Adoption journey

Over the past year, the Lord has been growing, teaching, and challenging our family in so many ways! We are responding to the Lord's leading and are expanding our family through the adoption of a precious baby!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Good reads

Many of you know that I am very intentional about what we put IN our bodies (organic/real food) and ON our bodies (essential oils, natural products), but I also realize there is much more to us than what we consume and touch. My boys are growing up quickly; my oldest devours a novel a day and wants to read anything he can gets in his hands! I want to be careful and intentional about the things we are putting in their hands and minds. We want the things they read, listen to, and watch to produce spiritual fruit, grow their minds and imaginations, and encourage them to follow Christ. Over the past few years, I have asked older and wiser parents for suggestions and help. Here are a few of our favorites...

Missionary biographies
The boys and I just finished Nate Saint's biography and all I can say is WOW! I've read several books on Jim Elliot and other missionaries, but to walk through that story with my boys was incredible! I loved seeing them on the edge of their seat wanting one more chapter, hearing their excitement as they built paper model airplanes, and seeing them process the missionaries' sacrifice of their lives. I pray the Lord will give my boys a heart for the nations to know Him, as we read these biographies!

Some may think it's too violent or sad for their kids to read stories of missionaries or martyrs. However, this generation seems to be old enough to process the battles in Star Wars and video games; let's give them examples of a real and worthy spiritual battle on the mission field. 

Hero Tales  and Missionary Stories with the Millers are great compilations of short missionary stories with great lessons!  Window on the World is a great book that discusses people groups and how to pray for each of them. We also like the Trailblazer books, by Dave and Neta Jackson. My boys are already excited to start reading about George Mueller next week! 

We want our kids' favorite story, to be the story of God's love and redemption in Christ! We desire them to know God, love and follow Him, So, we desperately need God's Word! Here are a few of our favorite Bibles, from infant to older boy.

Toddler The Gospel Project Big Picture Interactive Bible for Toddlers, consists of two board book Bibles, an Old Testament and New Testament. My husband reads this Bible to our 1 and 3 years old boys each night. 

Preschool to Young ElementaryThe Gospel Project The Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook. My 7 year old loves keeping up with what he's learning in Sunday morning small group with this Bible! The Jesus Storybook Bible is a great Bible for a wide range of ages! We've read through The Jesus Storybook Bible several times and love it!

School age readersNIV Adventure Bible My 8 year old loves reading this Bible on his own!

Books and CDs
My older boys have enjoyed Adventures In Odyssey audio stories for years. We love the Bible Eyewitness set that takes listeners back in time to experience each Bible story.

Jonathan Park is another great audio series for kids!

My oldest discovered the Adventures in Odyssey Imagination Station novel series last year and can't get enough! We love the books because they take him on a reading adventure back in time to different significant historical events. He's learning history while enjoying a great adventurous book! 

A few other favorite books are Little Pilgrim's Progress, Kingdom TalesChronicles of Narnia Series, and The Boxcar Children, Magic Treehouse. Other fun books our sons have really enjoyed are: Origami Yoda series (Inspired by this series, my boys have made over 100 origami Star Wars characters!), Frog and Toad Series (lots of funny voices and laughs), I Love You, GoodnightA to Z Mystery Series, God Found Us You, and Geronimo Stilton books and videos. We gave our oldest son The Dangerous Book for Boys for Christmas this year. 

I would love to hear about great books and resources 
you are using with your families!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Essential Oils and Weight Loss

Several people have asked if there are Young Living Essential Oils 
that help with weight loss. 
The answer is YES!

Lemon is great for energy and detox, peppermint is helpful in 
suppressing appetite and grapefruit can increase metabolism. 

I've heard great testimonies of weight loss, increased energy and several lost pant sizes, 
thanks to this Young Living Detox Regime. I'm currently using ComforTone and can tell a difference immediately!

There is also a Petrochemical Weight Loss Protocol that works on our 
yucky cellulite and detoxing our bodies.

My favorite morning drink is a quart of purified water, 1-2 TBSP raw Apple Cider Vinegar, 1-2 drops Young Living Lemon, Grapefruit or Citrus Fresh oil, and a tiny amount of stevia to taste. 
Add ice and enjoy! You can even put this in a blender with a handful of frozen strawberries for a yummy and healthy treat!!

Slique Essence and Slique Complete are also geared toward weight loss and weight management.

Exercise is another great way to lose fat and gain muscle. 
Here are a few oils to help with maximize your workouts!
One that note, here are oils that can help out after your workouts!

Disclaimer: This blog and information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe or treat any disease, illness or injury. 
Also, these oil protocols are ONLY meant to be followed with YOUNG LIVING essential oils. 

To order Young Living Essential Oils at retail or wholesale pricing, follow this link

Friday, December 19, 2014

Our Crazy Crunchy New Year!

As the New Year approaches, I'm reflecting on this past year and all of the changes our family has made this year. This bread making, Creole cooking, food loving city girl went crazy crunchy!!

Over the past couple years, our family has gotten rid of processed food, tried to buy organic, made most things from scratch, and tried to find natural remedies for injuries and illnesses. For a variety of reasons, food intolerances, allergies, and wanting to rid toxins from our home, our family made some big changes and started eating and doing new things that I never would have imagined five years ago! Buying raw milk (especially goat milk) and pastured eggs from a local farm, replacing our medicine cabinet with essential oils and natural remedies, making homemade baby formula daily, and losing over 40 pounds were not on my radar, but have all been part of Our Crazy Crunchy New Year!!
Upon learning of several food intolerances within our family, we've made radical changes to our lifestyle, changing what we eat and where we get our food. Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post on where we get our food. It discusses local food sources, milk from a farm, organic food co-ops, farmer's markets, gardening, and even what we buy at Sam's Club.

After seeing major side effects and injuries from several OTC and prescription medications, we began searching for more natural remedies. I wrote a previous blog post on our big organic switch in our medicine cabinet. We are thankful to find, learn and benefit from Young Living Essential Oils! My family has loved using remedies that the Lord intended for our bodies, and don't have any of the nasty side effects! Young Living Essential oils help with fighting off nasty germs & bugs, bring relief to all of our cuts/scrapes/burns/bruises, and help with everyday owies! We also found an incredible naturopathic physician, who has helped us learn how to eat for our health, while teaching us what to do to bring healing to our damaged guts and body. Many of these remedies my physician recommended can actually be purchased from Young Living! Here are a couple of my physician's recommendations for my family, probiotics, food enzymes, and a natural cleanse (to fight a nasty bacteria found in intestines).

While I began cutting dairy and grains for our family's health, I began making other changes for my own health and diet too. I was not pleased with the number on the scale last January, or the way I was feeling, lacking energy and full of aches and pains. A couple friends told me about their positive experience with Trim Healthy Mama, a healthy eating lifestyle, with no supplements or extra costs (other than the awesome and helpful book). 40pounds and 3-4 sizes later, my blood sugar is balanced (no more crazy highs and lows), I have so much energy and am so thankful for Trim Healthy Mama!! Here's a great explanation video from the authors of Trim Healthy Mama. Here'a link to a quick start guide too!

We are definitely still learning how to balance our health, feed a family of six, and well... life. However, I'm really thankful for the positive changes that have helped my family's health this year and look forward to another great year!! I wonder what we'll learn about and change next year??

Disclaimer: This blog and information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe or treat any disease, illness or injury. This is my opinion and I'm sharing the recommendations that were made for MY family. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Homemade gifts with oils

Many of you know how much I enjoy making things from scratch... food, bath and body products, cleaning products, personal care products, and gifts. As I learn more and more about Young Loving Essential Oils, I'm enjoying making many types of products and gifts "from scratch". Here are a few of my favorite homemade items that would make great Christmas gifts!

Lip Balm - This recipe was inspired by another blogger's recipe, but I tried a couple other oils and will only use glass containers for storing lip balm. I find my glass containers for many of these homemade concoctions at Abundant Health.
3 TBSP beeswax
3 TBSP coconut oil
2 TBSP shea butter
1/4 tsp raw honey
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
8-10 drops of Young Living Lavender, Peppermint or Lemongrass (some people may like Orange or other Citrus oil, but Citrus oils can cause your skin to be photosensitive in sun exposure)
  • Over a double boiler, heat (until melted) beeswax, coconut oil and shea butter.
  • Once melted, remove from heat and add honey, vanilla and Essential Oils. 
  • Pour quickly (before hardened) into 1/4oz glass containers. 
  • Seal, label and give away (or enjoy for yourself)
  • Makes approximately 10-12 1/4 oz. containers.
Luxurious Body Butter
This is my absolute favorite lotion! I use daily on face and body!!
1 cup shea butter
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil
1/4-1/2 cup almond or grapeseed oil
1 tsp Vitamin E oil
10-12 drop Essential Oil-- Great oil choices are Lavender, Lemongrass, or Peppermint, I also like Lavender with a couple drops Frankincense or Lemongrass with Cypress).

  • Over a double boiler, heat (until melted) shea butter and coconut oil.
  • Once melted, remove from heat and add almond oil, vitamin E oil and EOs.
  • Chill a few minutes in refrigerator (over over a bowl of ice water) and whip with a mixer to get a wonderful creamy luxurious body butter!!
Bath Salts are super easy to make and a wonderful gift!!
Mix 1 cup of Epsom salts with 6-8 drops of Essential Oil. My favorites are:
  • Lavender - calming 
  • Peppermint - refreshing
  • Lemongrass - great for circulation and detox
  • PanAway - awesome for sore muscles!
  • Stess Away - exactly how it sounds!
Sugar Scrubs are great for face and body! 
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup sea salt
1/4-1/3 cup Almond or coconut oil
5 drops Essential Oil
Great YL Essential Oils are: Peppermint, Orange, Lemongrass, Lavender, Lemon, Citrus Fresh

Super Easy Anti-Aging Face Cream
4 oz unrefined coconut oil
12 drops Lavender
3-4 drops Frankincense
Combine--that simple! You can also whip with mixer for a whipped lotion.

Interested in ordering Young Living Essential Oils? I would love to help!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Creative Gift Ideas for Boys

With Christmas approaching, many parents and grandparents are searching for the perfect gifts for their kids. Many get tired of the same noisy toys or video games. Here are several ideas that I've found (and links that others have compiled) of great gift ideas that grow kids' imaginations, minds and love for the Lord!

Here's an awesome link by Megan Spires, with a list of 100+ battery free Christmas gifts for kids! From building toys, paper airplanes and Star Wars Origami to creative toys I would have never thought of... this is a great list!
Looking for gifts that grow kids' imagination and love for the Lord? Check out this post!
Ann Voskamp, author of The Greatest Gift, talks about how to have the greatest Christmas! She has beautiful family devotions (for grown up kids and littles) in her Jesse Tree Advent books.
My boys get excited every year when we pull this out of the attic! I love hearing them act out the Christmas story as they play together!!

Do you have a history lover? Or trying to foster an appreciation for American History? This inexpensive CD set would be a great gift!

Looking for family devotional books? Hero Tales is a family favorite with our boys! There are several volumes in this series.

My favorite gift for our oldest son this year is The Dangerous Book for Boys!

My son's favorite book from library, because what boy doesn't LOVE Legos!!
Snap Circuits has been one of my boys' favorite gifts!! They (and Grandpa) spent hours playing with it together!

I would love to hear your creative gift ideas!!!

Disclaimer: There are NO affiliate links. Just sharing my opinion and ideas that I liked!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Warding off Winter Bugs

As a parent of young children (4 boys!), the winter season tends to be a constant battle to keep my kids healthy. Here are some of my favorite natural supplements, remedies and Young Living Essential Oils that I keep in my arsenal, to help ward off nasty viruses, help with drippy noses and yucky coughs in our home.

Fermented cod liver oil is an incredible supplement that everyone in my family takes daily. This link explains so many of the health benefits of fermented cod liver oil and how to administer to your family. Probiotics are also an essential part of our family's health!

RC blend oil, combined with lemon and peppermint is diffusing almost nightly in our boys' bedrooms. I've also made a chest rub with these oils. This has quieted many coughs/congestion and brought many good nights of sleep in our home!

Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar (raw, with the mother) can also help build your immunity, especially to those wretched stomach bugs! I make a daily drink with ACV. I fill a quart glass jar with purified water, 1-2TBSP ACV, 1-2 drops of Young Living lemon oil (or more recently I've been using Citrus Fresh), and a tiny amount of stevia. Add ice and sip! My boys love it and call this "Mommy's Special Lemonade"!

Oregano is one of the strongest oils for fighting nasty bugs and is a staple in our home! We make a blend of Thieves, Oregano, Frankincense & Coconut oil to rub on little guys' feet and spine when they are under the weather. Frequency and consistency is key, we apply ever 30 minutes when the boys are sick.

Thieves oil is one of the strongest immune builder that can fight even the nastiest of germs! Applying this to my boys' feet daily has helped keep them healthy, even when they have been exposed to nasty viruses! I diffuse this often throughout the day to get rid of any germs in the air, as well as administer Thieves aromatically to everyone in the home.

Copaiba is a great oil to add to the diffuser (with RC) for the barky coughs, because it helps reduce swelling.

This is a roller ball blend I've been rubbing on boys' feet and spine, since the big crazy F bug hit our town! My husband and I have been taking these capsules (as well as Oscillococconium, elderberry and probiotics) at the first sign of illness.

The most gentle oil, Lavender, diluted with coconut oil, is my go to oil for rubbing on baby's sinuses when he is congested. We also use diluted Peppermint on adults for same stuffy nose issues.

While all of these remedies are wonderful, eliminating or reducing sugar is also vital to maintaining a healthy immune system. Sugar consumption lowers immune function (especially in children) and should be minimized to natural sugars to heighten immunity. 
Couple articles on sugar and immunity -- Dr. Sears article and Sugar's effect on immune system

Disclaimer: Everything I have shared is my opinion and not provided in order to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any disease, illness or injury. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Classroom Renovation!!

As a homeschooling family of 4 boys, we spend a large amount of time crafting, inventing, coloring, painting and learning in our classroom. Up until recently, the room was quite an eyesore of raveling, stained carpet, littered with play doh bits, paper scraps and everything else imaginable! 

A slight water leak finally necessitated an overhaul for the entire room. We had to pull everything out (carpet included) and redo the entire room! The boys had fun dancing in the empty concrete floor room!
Since we had everything pulled out, we decided to paint the classroom with fun colors (leftovers from the boys' rooms). The boys got in on the painting action!

The room in progress... notice my Young Living Essential Oils diffuser:) We diffused Thieves to clean the air and mold. You can also diffuse peppermint while painting to get rid of paint fumes!
 The floor is starting to go in! 
We're thankful for this hand-me-down flooring that was in awesome condition!
Renovation complete!

Now for the classroom organization!!

Already making messes!!

The little guys love their magnetic chalk board!

lots of books, manipulatives and craft supplies
He's ready to learn in his new classroom!
Starting to decorate!
The final product!!
Little guys' play/learning area

MFW ECC map & curriculum

school & art supplies station

The best motivator ever!!! My boys are eager to complete their "jobs" (schoolwork and chores) everyday!!
Thankful for this sweet place to learn alongside my boys:)