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!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Our Road to "Organic" Living: Where do we get our food?

While our transition to a more organic lifestyle has stretched to many aspects of our lives and home, the kitchen is where our "organic" journey began. There are so many toxins, chemicals, pesticides, hormones in today's food; all of these toxins in our body are causing problems! We want the things we put in our bodies to help our body, not hurt our health. Our goal is to eat only REAL food!

Our family also started noticing several problems with food allergies and intolerances. The food allergies sped us along on our journey to "organic"; because of this, we probably traveled farther down the "organic" path than we ever imagined! We hoped to buy from local farmers or organic for all of our food sources, I just didn't realize it was possible!

Many people ask, where do you get all of this "organic" food?

  • Local Farmers
    • Timmons Family - We purchase beef from a local family (they also raise chickens and pigs).
    • Dairy Co-op for cow milk, goat milk and eggs (6 families take turns driving to a farm in Missouri to pick up the week's milk for the group)
    • Farmer's market or local produce stand (our town only has these Spring-Early Fall)
  • Gardening - We grow our our produce in our backyard raised bed (Square Foot Gardens).
    • We buy seeds from Baker's Creek Seed Company
    • We buy starter plants from Azure Standard*, the local farmer's market, and occasionally Home Depot. 
    • We grow spinach & lettuce, root vegetables (radishes, beets, carrots, potatoes), tomatoes, peppers, herbs (basil, thyme, rosemary, cilantro), sugar snap & snow peas, butternut & spaghetti squash. It's amazing what you can grow in your backyard!!
  • Local health food stores (Kountry Kupboard and Health Food Store-Stone Street)
    • Grains, oats, oat flour, gluten free items, vitamins
  • Azure Standard - this is a once a month order. Several families order by a certain date and pick up their order at a local meeting place, once a month. Let me know if you're interested in ordering this month and I can give you the details. Here are some of the items we purchase through Azure:
    • Fresh and frozen produce (often at less cost than Sam's Club!)
    • Goat milk products (yogurt and kefir)
    • Elderberry powder and juice
    • Nut butters
    • We've purchased organic chicken here, but found it cheaper at Sam's Club.
    • Starter plants for our garden
    • Dairy free coconut milk ice cream (they have a lot of dairy free food options)
    • Molasses, raw Apple Cider Vinegar (Can also be found at Kroger)
  • Soaper's Choice - This is where I get my coconut oil in bulk.
    • Raw is the healthiest type and has lots of great health benefits (I put this in smoothies, baby formula, & use to make chocolate). ID# 59507SC 
    • Refined - great for baking and frying ID# 59707SC
  • Country Life - This is a special order that needs to be arranged with our local contact. I purchase grains, nuts, seeds from them. Can also get organic canned goods, cereals, beans, produce and other bulk products.
  • Sam's Club - We still get several products, some produce (onions, bananas, etc), and organic whole chickens from Sam's Club. 
  • Amazon - Great place to order diapers (I didn't go "organic" in the diaper department), paper products, batteries, teas, water filters, vitamins/supplements for our homemade goat milk baby formula, gluten free items, soaps and ingredients for homemade laundry detergent.
I hope these resources help your family make the switch to REAL organic food!
More blogs in this series coming soon... 
"REAL" food and organic cleaning supplies!

Monday, May 19, 2014

One fun day:)

I'm so thankful the boys are starting to feel better and the weather is nice again! I feel like all is well with the world again when we can get outside to play! Here are some fun pics from our day:)
Art project!

6 years old, self portrait

Self portrait - he dyed the string brown for hair!

Samuel - 2yrs self portrait
Getting creative with shapes!

Timothy sleeping in swing, Evan reading, Ben playing ball and Samuel jumping!
Very typical:)

A quick nap before soccer:) He loves his swing outside!

Sweet Timothy loves to be outside:)

Samuel had fun playing soccer too!
Always jumping:)

Go lightning! They won 5-0!

They played hard tonight!



So proud of my soccer players!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Going "organic": In the bathroom

I have to admit, switching our bathroom and toiletries over to "organic" was the area that I was most intimidated by in our transition. Interestingly, it was probably the easiest area to switch, once I had all the research in front of me. I wanted to use products that were natural, paraben, sulfate, aluminum & dye free. Your skin is your largest organ and absorbs everything that you put on it! It is said, that you should only put on your skin, what you would put in your mouth. I didn't want to spend a large amount of money on "organic" products that still have numerous ingredients. I wanted simple, natural (literally from nature) ingredients to use on our bodies.
Here are a few of the products we use and where to find them:
  • Raw Unrefined Coconut oil - great for your skin (and edible too). I add Young Living Essential Oils to coconut oil to up the benefits. 
    • Lavender is incredible for skin health 
    • Frankinscence is amazing for skin health and maintaining a youthful appearance!
    • My favorite face cream is Lavender, Frankincense and Myrrh in unrefined coconut oil (I use morning and evening).
    • I also occasionally use Young Living's Beauty serum for dry skin... it smells wonderful!

  • Toothpaste - one of the worst toxins for kids and adults is fluoride. When taking toxins out of your health regime, be sure to get a toothpaste that is fluoride free (especially for kids who sometimes forget to spit it out;)
  • Sunscreen - Tru Kid Daily Suncare It is a mineral sunscreen with 20% zinc. This is such good stuff, even adults who battle skin cancer issues are asking what kind and how to get it! 
    • This past summer I made an awesome homemade sunscreen with shea butter, beeswax, lavender oil, carrot seed oil, myrrh and zinc oxide powder. It worked incredibly and even my red head didn't get color!

  • Lotions
    • For baby, kids & adults, I make our own body butter and diaper creams. I use my Luxurious Body Butter recipe and add oils for different uses 
      • Gentle Baby oil for diaper cream
      • Lavender and Frankincense for a soothing hand and body butter
      • Lemongrass and Cypress oil for invigorating body butter that supports the circulatory system
  • Deodorant - Due to store bought antiperspirants being one of the most toxic products on the market, and the close proximity of application near lymph nodes, this was one of the first products I swapped out for "organic" many years ago. 
    • Young Living's Meadow Mist Deodorant is wonderful. 
    • I also make a homemade recipe with:
      • 3 TBSP coconut oil
      • 2 TBSP shea butter
      • 3TBSP baking soda
      • 2 TBSP arrowroot powder
      • 10-15 drops of Purification essential oil (other oils of Lemongrass, Thieves, Lavender & Cedarwood)
  • Bath salts (Epsom salt or Sea salt) - Put in our baths to detox our bodies.
    • Add lavender, Stress Away, peppermint or other YL essential oil for a soothing detox bath
  • Shaving Cream can be replaced with Coconut Oil - here's the "how to"
  • Makeup
    • I personally use Younique's BB Cream and LOVE it!!
    • We love Lavender lip balm, or our own homemade recipe. 
  • Here are several "Sprays" we also use and love. 
I would love to hear about your favorite body care recipes and organic products! 
Share your favorite and I'll send you a sample of one of my favorites!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Series: Our journey to "organic" living

About a year or two ago, I talked with an old college friend about wanting to switch our house, food, lives... everything, to "organic". We talked about a few ways we could make the switch, a couple different products to use, but also about the fact that this would be at least a year long process. For economic reasons (and our sanity) we couldn't quickly make the switch to organic everything for our entire family. Several of the things I wanted to accomplish in our big switch/transition was:
  • to buy local/organic meat, produce and dairy, 
  • get rid of processed foods, chemical colorings & flavorings and give our family REAL food that increases our health instead of causing sickness
  • Get rid of the chemical and toxin laden bath & body products and use natural soaps, lotions, detergents & toiletries.
  • Use natural cleaning solutions, instead of harsh chemicals with toxic fumes.
  • Find natural alternatives to our medicine cabinet
  • Give our kids a better and healthier start in life with the products they are exposed to and the foods they consume daily.
Making this switch all at once would be costly and overwhelming, so I took one step at a time. I'm happy to share that we have had great success in our big switch! While we haven't switched every single aspect of our lives to "organic", our family is healthier and happier with our new "organic" lifestyle!!

Several friends and acquaintances periodically message me for ideas and resources about making this switch. This blog series will take you on our journey to "organic" living and give you several helps and resources that we have found along the way.  If you're interested in getting rid of some of the toxins in your life and switching to a more organic lifestyle, I hope this blog helps! I would also love to hear feedback, tips, and resources from you!!

Stay tuned for blog posts on our transition to "organic" living in several areas: the kitchen, the bathroom, the medicine cabinet, cleaning supplies and much more!

*Disclaimer: I will link many products in this blog series. I am not receiving compensation for these posts.