Stop Interrupting Me!

My new book is now available on Amazon!!!

Stop Interrupting Me!: A Practical Guide to Teaching Kids Their Manners https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099FYVQ2J/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_X8MGAWQ8N5TEVNB208CZ

Also, I have a new blog set up for this book and my future releases, come subscribe!

https://bekamcclure.wordpress.com/blog/

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Galatians & Romans & Hebrews, Oh My!

In order to understand why Romans, Galatians and Hebrews are so great, consider some of these laws from the Old Testament that God’s people utterly failed to keep… and so will you if you try.

You can’t kindle a fire on the sabbath. Exodus 35:3

You cannot sow your field with mingled seed. Leviticus 19:19

You cannot wear a garment of mingled linen and wool. Leviticus 19:19

When you come into the land, consider the fruit uncircumcised (it hasn’t been marked as the LORD’s) and you can’t eat it for three years. Leviticus 19:23

You shall not round the corners of your heads, nor mar the corners of thy beard. Leviticus 19:27

If you curse your father or mother, you shall be put to death. Leviticus 20:9

If you commit adultery, the man and the woman shall be put to death. Leviticus 20:10

You shall not make baldness upon your head, neither shall you shave off the corner of your beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh. Leviticus 21:5

If a daughter of a priest plays the whore, she shall be burnt with fire. Leviticus 21:9

You are not to gather sticks on the sabbath day. A man was stoned to death for this. Numbers 15:32-36

Fringes are to be made for the borders of your garments, and you are to put a ribband of blue on the fringes. Numbers 15:38

No stranger or uncircumcised person is to enter God’s sanctuary. Ezekiel 44:9  (Jesus wants ALL to come to Him! Circumcision doesn’t matter!)

But when the people of the land shall come before the Lord in the solemn feasts, he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in, but shall go forth over against it. Ezekiel 46:9 (So many rules!)

If a man lies with another man, they shall both be put to death. Leviticus 20:13

If a man take his sister and see her nakedness, they shall be cut off in the sight of their people. Leviticus 20:17

If a man takes a wife and her mother, they shall all be burnt with fire. Leviticus 20:14

If you lie with your father’s wife, both of you shall be put to death. Leviticus 20:11

If a man lies with his daughter in law, both of them shall be put to death. Leviticus 20:12

If anyone in Israel gives his children to Molech, he shall be put to death by stoning. Leviticus 20:2 (I could get on board with this one!)

If you lie with a slave woman betrothed to a husband, she shall be scourged. Leviticus 19:20

You cannot let your cattle gender with a diverse kind. Leviticus 19:19

If a man or a woman lie with a beast, he and the beast shall be put to death. Leviticus 20:15-16

And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord. He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed. Leviticus 27:30-34

(2 Corinthians 9:7 says, Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver).

If you have a blemish, are blind, or lame, or have a flat nose, or anything superfluous, or brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, or a crooked back, or a dwarf, or have a blemish in your eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or have broken bones, you shall not come near to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire or to offer the bread of God, you must not come nigh unto the altar. Leviticus 21:17-23 (Yet Jesus said to come! Jesus loves the lame and blind and diseased! Things changed when Jesus came. The law that wasn’t working was fulfilled and done away with because something better took its place. To deny that by trying to keep the law is denying the work of Jesus on the cross!)

Now Let’s Look at ROMANS…

2:12- If you didn’t have the law, you won’t be judged by it.

5:13- no law = no sin

4:15- The law brings sin. If no law, no sin. We do need the law… so that we know we’re sinners!

2:27- Uncircumcision is by nature and fulfills the law just as… circumcision can also transgress the law!  

2:25- If you break any of the law, your circumcision is uncircumcision anyway!

3:10- All have sinned!

3:19- Those under the law need the law so that they’ll see that they are guilty before God!

3:20- You cannot be justified by God thru the law!! By the law is knowledge of sin! 

7:12-13- The law is holy and good! It makes us to know our sin! 

Why do we have the law? So that we can all realize we’re guilty! 

3:24- But we are JUSTIFIED FREELY by His grace in Jesus!! 

3:27-28- “the law of faith”- We are JUSTIFIED by FAITH without any of the law!  

3:30- Law-keepers (circumcision) AND non-law-keepers (uncircumcision) are JUSTIFIED by FAITH!  Not law! 

4:14- If law-keepers are justified, faith is made VOID!  We can’t have it both ways!
“For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect.”

6:1-2- We are DEAD to sin so we shouldn’t be living in it.

6:3-4- We are baptized into His DEATH!  Buried with Him. And now we walk in newness of LIFE!  

7:1-4- If you are dead to sin, the law is dead, you can’t even be bound by it. You aren’t under something that was buried!  You are free!

6:6-7- The body of sin is destroyed, we should not serve sin. He that is dead is FREED from sin!  

6:14- Sin and law don’t have dominion over you! We are under GRACE!  

7:6- We are delivered from the law!  We should serve in newness of Spirit, not in the oldness of the law!   

7:15-25 & 8:1- We can’t walk after the Spirit AND the flesh (law). So if we’re walking after the Spirit, there is no condemnation!  

8:2- Jesus has made us free from the law!  

8:8-9- Law-keepers can’t please God.

8:17- What an HONOR!!  We are children, heirs, joint-heirs!! With Christ!!  

13:8- He that loves another has FULFILLED the law!! 

14:17- It’s not about what we eat and drink, it’s about peace and JOY.

Also noteworthy:

Matthew 23:4- For they bind heavy BURDENS and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.  

James 1:25- “the perfect law of liberty”!!! 

James 2:10- if you offend in just ONE part of the law, you are guilty of breaking ALL the law.

Ephesians 2:15- He abolished the law of commandments! The law was a wall between us and God.  Jesus broke down the wall!  

2 Corinthians 3:17- Now the LORD is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty.  

Acts 13:39- We are made justified by Jesus; it can’t be by the law of Moses.

Acts 21:21- We ought NOT to circumcise or walk in their customs, we are NOT to keep the law.

Revelation 8:4- It used to be animal sacrifices that made a sweet savor to the LORD. Now it’s prayer that is as incense to the LORD! Offer Him your prayer!!  

1 Timothy 1:9-10- The law is for sinners! To show them their need for a Savior. 

Oh There’s More! Let’s Check Out GALATIANS.

2:21- If righteousness comes by obeying all the law, Christ died for nothing.

3:3- If you’re saved by faith, why are you trying to follow the law for righteousness?

3:10- If you’re trying to keep the law, you are under the curse of the law.

3:11- NO ONE is justified by the law.

3:13- Christ made Himself the curse for us so that we are redeemed from the curse of the law.

3:19- Why do we have the law? So that we would know our sinfulness.

3:21- But the law is not against the promise of God.

There was no law that could give LIFE like Jesus did. The law couldn’t/ can’t do what Jesus did!

3:24- The law was/ is our teacher to bring us to Christ to be saved. We need to know we’ve fallen short and need a Savior!

3:25- After we’re saved, we are no longer under the law!

4:1 & 7- Heirs are the same as Jesus who is LORD of all.

4:4-5- Jesus came being under the law to redeem them that were under the law!

4:9 & 21- Why do you turn to the weak and beggarly elements (the law) when you’ve been saved? Do you desire to be in bondage again?

4:31- We are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

5:1- BOOM. Stand fast therefore in the LIBERTY wherewith Christ hath made us FREE, and be not ENTANGLED again with the yoke of BONDAGE (law).  

5:2-3- IF you think you need to circumcise to be “Christ-like,” “Biblical,” or “godly,” Christ profits you NOTHING. (If you think you need to keep the law, Christ profits you nothing). If you circumcise to keep the law (or if you think you need to keep a certain law), you are in DEBT to ALLLL the law.

5:4- If you think you can be justified by the law, you have FALLEN FROM GRACE.

5:5- We gain RIGHTEOUSNESS by FAITH!

5:6 & 6:15- Circumcision means nothing.

5:13- You’ve been CALLED to LIBERTY! By love, serve one another.  

5:14- ALLLL the law is fulfilled in this… Love others as yourself.  

5:18- If you’re led of the Spirit, you are NOT under the law!

5:19-21- These things are of the flesh, NOT of the Spirit… Adultery, Fornication, Uncleanness (sexual impurity), Lasciviousness (obsession with sex), Idolatry, Witchcraft (sorcery), Hatred, Variance (strife), Emulations (jealousy), Wrath, Strife (selfish ambitions), Seditions (rebellion), Heresies, Envyings, Murders, Drunkenness, Revellings (gluttony), and such like.  

If we do these things, we are NOT walking after the Spirit, but after the flesh.

5:22-23- These things are of the Spirit and there is NO LAW AGAINST THESE…

Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, Self-Control. 

The God of the Old Testament is still righteous and holy. There is punishment for sin and wickedness, God enforced that and wanted people to obey the law. But then He gave Jesus! The punishment is now done, there is no more earthly punishment for us from God, no sacrifices needed. No sacrifice or law-keeping can get you to Heaven. Jesus paid it all! 

Lastly, Let’s Look at HEBREWS…

7:12- For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. (Change! JESUS!) 

7:19- For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. (A better hope! JESUS!) 

7:22- By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. (A better testament!)

8:6- But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. (A more excellent ministry! A better covenant! Better promises! It’s more excellent to have a tabernacle NOT made with hands! JESUS!)

8:7- For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. (There would have been no need for a second way! The first covenant needed replaced). 

8:8-9-  For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. (A new covenant. NOT like the previous one! A new way of salvation/ grace/ law! JESUS!)

8:12- For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. (The new way!)

8:13- In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. (The old covenant to vanish away!)

9:11- But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building. (Christ! A greater and more perfect tabernacle! JESUS!)

Nine Reasons Why I Don’t Tithe

NINE REASONS WHY I DON’T TITHE: 🎤 (Jesus calls us to so much more than a tithe!)

#9- The book of Malachi that talks about tithing was written to the people of Judah sometime around 500 BC. I’m not an Israelite that’s under Jewish law. 🤷‍♀️

#8- Galatians 5. #NuffSaid

#7- The book of Romans. The whole thing.

#6- 2 Corinthians 9:7- God loves a CHEERFUL giver and it’s so much FUN to give wherever I see a need! It’s a blast! I’m personally invested into the person/ ministry that I choose! I’m not blindly giving to something that I don’t even see where it’s going!

#5- I don’t give out of necessity in order to fulfill some duty. I give because I enjoy it!

#4- “Tithe” means “tenth.” I don’t give 10% so the term doesn’t even make sense for me. I’ve prayed about it and chosen a number greater than 10%.

#3- The Bible repeatedly talks about how foolish debt is. I can’t, in good conscience, just write checks every week that are paying off massive church debt. I don’t think Jesus wants so much of our giving tied up in debt payments! Is church debt God’s holy will? Should we have a corporate church debt that is owed to the world?

#2- Jesus called one man to sell everything he had and give it to the poor. Jesus’ disciples forsook ALL to follow Him. Why do we think we are only called to give 10%?

#1- Jesus didn’t tell us to tithe, He calls us to look at the weightier matters of the law. He calls us to so much more than a tithe!

An Exhaustive List of Fun Things To Do!

I started this several years ago and I add to it as time goes on.  These are super fun/ great things I’ve done with my kids!  Take time to ENJOY life with your precious treasures!

Fun Places to Go- Free

Visit every park in your area

Go to work with a parent

Ropes fun at parks (bring ropes, learn knot tying, climb/ swing with ropes)

After a rain- play in a creek 

Visit every state park within 1-2 hours of your home

Go to a nearby lake or sand volleyball court and play in the sand

Go Camping

Go Geocaching

Go explore for bugs or flowers

Go throw rocks in a lake

Go swimming

Kite Flying

Play tennis on tennis courts

Go on a nature hike

Pea Gravel Play- buckets and shovels, hours of pouring fun

Rock play (play with rocks, pick out special ones, sort them, etc)

Play Soccer

Zip Line- at a park or make your own

Kickball

Flooding out the splash pad and playing with buckets/ spouts/ sprayers

Take Uno or a card game or a 100 piece puzzle to a restaurant and have a date night 1 on 1 with child

Play some Baseball

Picnic at the Park

Fun Places to Go- Cost Money

Trampoline Park

Mini golf, go-karts, bumper boats

Petting farm

Gymnastics Gym

Bowling

Aquarium

Scuba Diving in local pool

Visit an Organic Farm

Ice Skating

Things to Do At Home- Indoor

Piggy Back Rides! Or shoulder rides.

Foot Launches (parent lying on back, child placed on parent’s feet overhead)! 

Play Music and Square Dance with Each Other

Wrap your favorite teddy bear/ stuffed animal in a special blanket.

Make an indoor play town- someone be the restaurant owner, librarian, sheriff, etc!

Dress Up and Take Pics (fireman, police, army, etc)

Make homemade play-dough and play with it!

Bake Cookies or other treat together

Tell jokes and laugh together- look up some!

Headstands, lifting weights, mountain climbing, crunches, exercise dice (roll to see which exercise you all get to do together)

Camping indoors with stuffed animals, blanket hideouts, indoor tent, etc

Parachute play

Flashlight Hide and Seek after dark

Learn to Juggle

Watch a show on a big projector screen

Play with trains/ train village

Write special notes to others

Look through memory boxes of stuff

Look through old pictures/ family albums

Sing Hymns Together

Make up a Skit and Act it Out!

Pray Together

Swing Child in a Blanket- one person holds each end of blanket

Read Children’s Books while Snuggling on the Couch

Baby Lapsit Time- Sing and clap. Jesus Loves Me, If You’re Happy And You Know It, Joy Joy Joy, etc. 

Give Your Child a Pillow Sandwich (put child between two pillows and apply weight to their back). 

Hold Child and Talk while you bounce on an exercise ball

Give each other foot massages

Give each other foot baths

Water pouring fun at kitchen table- structured

Cars Trading/ Animals Trading- trade for your favorites!

Trading Post- Everyone gathers items that they personally own (that they are willing to trade).  Start bargaining and trading for things you’d like!  Moms can trade too and collect some prize box items to re-gift later.

Fix each other’s hair

Make homemade bubbles and blow bubbles

Clues to Find Things- Make Treasure Hunts 

Simon Says

Make Paper Super Airplanes that fly far- rubber band kind

Handlettering/ Doodling

Make Homemade Business Cards (Child designs his own business). 

Painting on canvas.  (You can use a how-to-draw book to draw an animal or object with pencil, trace it with black marker, paint the object, and then use a small paint brush to outline over the marker with black paint to make it POP!) 

Paint Lessons online

Chalk Markers on personal sized chalkboards

Spiro-graph fun

Stamps and Ink Pads

Use random craft supplies to make something

Use nice Scrapbook paper and make fancy cards for people.

Foil painting- transparent sheet, sharpie drawing, foil background

Stained Glass Tissue Paper Art- mosaic of colored tissue paper pieces glued down, then a handprint or drawn object cut out of black construction paper glued on top of the tissue paper.  

Play with Stickers!

Draw mathematical hexagons, septagons, octagons, etc!

Drawing new pictures with how-to-draw books

Color by Numbers

Color/ draw with chalk pastels/ pencils- Chalk Pastels are so fun on construction paper.  Look online for ideas! 

Homemade Bowling

Build with Trios, Construx, or Legos

Pottery Wheel for homemade pottery

Bead Necklaces

Dominoes

Lacing Cards

Squares and Bears- counting toys to set up and trade/ play with

Music Band with Structured Music (and Headphones for Mom)

Colored Buttons- sort and play

Marble Race Game

Sand Art

Play with Kinetic Sand

Send your child a card in the mail

Play with a big pot of cold Spaghetti noodles

Child Lays on Blanket and parent drags them around on blanket

Build a big fort

Parent/ Child Wheelbarrow races

Have a game night with snacks

Have a movie night with popcorn

Make homemade Slushies

Play charades

Throw a small, squishy ball back and forth in the house

Parents tell stories of their childhood

Leave hidden notes for each other

Make silly faces and take pictures

Pretending Flashcards- pretend to be various things- mailman, fireman, astronaut, chef, etc.

Serve pretend food to each other (one pretends to be poor, the other has a free store where the poor can come to get food)- practice serving and giving to the poor.  

Pretend play Sharing- practice sharing things like crayons, toys, etc.

Use Coins/ Debit Cards for Grocery Store pretend shopping, beep at checkout!

Pretend food grilling/ fire pit rack with fan and streamers, serving food to poor

Pretend Campfire Cooking

Playing healthy doctor/ chiropractor

Play Camping (homemade tents, stuffed animals, toy camping supplies, etc)

Play Fireman/ Policeman

Play Boats- child can get in a container and scoot across the “ocean” (kitchen floor) with all their supplies loaded in with them.

Play soldiers/ army/ marching.

Play Grocery Store/ Money

Playing Baby/ Nursery- child uses a stuffed animal or baby doll as their child

Play with puppets

Play Dress Up

Go Fish, War, Other Card Games

Board Games/ Paper Games/ Card Games like… 

Sorry 

War

Multiplication Bingo/ Regular Bingo

Yahtzee

Tic Tac Toe

Stick Man

Squares

Sudoku

Checkers

Uno

Scrabble

Skip Bo

Memory Match Game

Battleship

Twister

Bible Trivia Time

Hand Stacking

Egyptian Rat Slap

Monopoly Deal

Cover Your Assets

Play Nine

Ticket to Ride

Blokus

Rummikub

Things to Do At Home- Outdoor

Have an outdoor carnival.  Pay tickets to play homemade games. Popcorn cost one ticket! Create your own carnival games!  

Baseball game or just play catch

Soccer

Catch Tennis Balls

Water Play- water table, pool, sprinkler, slip-n-slide, pouring in containers

Tug-O-War

Family Basketball Game

Parachute play

Duct tape bracelet nature walk

Painting on driveway (have large poster, rolls of paper, etc)

Watermelon Picnic in the front yard- one of our favorite things! 

Backyard- “campout” for just an evening, not overnight

Flashlight Hide and Seek

Climb Trees

Treasure Hunt

Roller Blading

Bike Ride

Field Day Games- Sack Race, 3-legged race, balloon toss, etc. 

Playing for long periods of time outside at the sand/ water table

Projector Night Outside

Rope Fun- tying knots in swings, to lower down buckets, etc

Jump Rope!

Build something or work on an old motor in the garage

Backyard campout overnight

Sidewalk Chalk (circles to hop game)

Make a car from a cardboard box

Trampoline time with a parent!

Make things with the scroll saw out of wood in the garage

Egg Hunts- anytime of the year

Fun with cones- obstacle courses, trick challenges

Fun Learning Stuff

Look through a Picture Dictionary together

Read- A-Loud Book Time

Science Experiment

Quiet Reading Time

Do a Spelling Bee

Write a Letter to Someone

Online Piano Tutorials

Fun Math Game

Fun English Game

Fun Geography Game

Youtube learning- places to visit, music composers, landforms, etc.

Puzzles- small as well as harder 300-500 piece

Word Searches

Mazes on paper 

Dot-to-dots

Lego Tutorials

Research something.

Ways Kids Can Serve

Serve your family at meal time.

Serve dessert to your guests

Pick a chore and do it with a willing heart

Do something nice for each family member (make their bed, serve them a snack, give a foot massage, etc)

Make a basket of bottled waters/ snacks and leave it on your front porch with a sign telling delivery persons to help themselves!

Pray for someone who is sick or in the hospital.

Read a book to a younger sibling.

Play the “How Can I Help?” game.

Practice letting others choose first.

After doing a task for your parent, ask “What else can I do to help?”

Pretend to help care for a sick person/ hungry person- with fake food/ dishes, etc

Write a card welcoming a new neighbor.

Give bottled waters to construction workers.

Pray whenever you see or hear an ambulance.

Buy an item for a cashier and let the child hand it to him/ her after bagging.

Help pick up trash at stores, buildings, parks, anywhere you go.

Deliver cinnamon rolls to someone.

Color a picture for a missionary and send.

Visit a sick person in the hospital.

Visit a nursing home- take large print Bible verse cards to hand out and prepare to sing loudly.

Visit a homebound person, take them a colored picture.

Deliver a dessert to a neighbor.

When someone drops an item, practice quickly rushing over to pick it up for them. Practice as a “game” at home.

Mail a card of encouragement to someone.

Write a special note to someone

Pass out Gospel Tracts at Stores

30 Verses for Anger

I keep two journals. My Thankfulness journal and my “Write The Word” journal. The second is where I just write out Scripture that resonates with me, sweeps me off my feet, or challenges me. Lately, I’ve been focusing on ALL Scripture through the lens of “Parenting.” We often think verses about being kind and “loving our neighbor” only apply to people OUTSIDE of our home. When in reality, the most important people in our life should be receiving the best 🍇 fruit 🍇 of our walk with Christ!! Most of us know the following verse but I’ve SO been chewing on it in regards to 👉👉 how I treat my very own children…
“But the fruit of the Spirit is
🔹Love (Am I being loving? Or harsh and cruel?)
🔹Joy (Am I grumpy or am I smiling and singing and being playful?)
🔹Peace (Am I yelling and bickering and lecturing or does my demeanor bring a calming peace to the home?)
🔹Long Suffering (Am I truly being patient or do I expect my family to jump at my every whim and command?)
🔹Gentleness (Am I rough and rash with my words and my body language? Or am I sweet and tender even in the tense moments?)
🔹Goodness (Am I causing harm and hurt feelings? Or am I working for the good of others in my home on a daily basis?)
🔹Faith (Am I living like I trust in the Living God? Or am I so wrapped up in my own worries that I don’t show dependability on Him daily through His Word and prayer and worship? Do my kids see me walking out my faith?)
🔹Meekness (Am I humble? Or do I march around like the commander of an army? Am I often insistent that I’m right or am I willing to apologize even to my toddlers and teens when I didn’t handle a situation well?)
🔹Temperance (Am I able to control my anger and not lash out at those I love the most? Or do I treat them badly just because I can? Am I modeling the self-control that I expect them to have?):
Against such there is no law.”

——–

These other ones are great to post throughout your home and car.  I enjoyed taking one at a time and memorizing it and concentrating on it for a week at a time.

“He that refraineth his lips is wise.  In the multitude of words there wanteth not (lacks not) sin.”  Proverbs 10:19

“A fool uttereth all his mind:  but a wise man keepeth it in till afterward.”  Proverbs 29:11 (Keep it in till afterward.  Don’t speak out of anger!)

“An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.”  Proverbs 29:22

“Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words?  There is more hope of a fool than of him.”  Proverbs 29:20 (Don’t jump to conclusions.  Stay calm and evaluate the situation).

“Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”  James 1:19 (Slow to speak!)

“He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good.”  Proverbs 16:20

“He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life:  but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.”  Proverbs 13:3

“It is an honor for a man to cease from strife:  but every fool will be meddling.”  Proverbs 20:3 (What can you do to stop an argument?  Do that!)

“Suffer (allow) not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin.”  Ecclesiastes 5:6a  (Don’t let your mouth cause you to sin!)

“He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding:  but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly”  Proverbs 14:29

A soft answer turneth away wrath:  but grievous (harsh) words stir up anger.”  Proverbs 15:1 (Talk softly to your family even in the stressful moments!)

“Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry:  for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.”  Ecclesiastes 7:9

“Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”  Proverbs 16:24  (Talk pleasantly to those in your home!)

“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit (is better) than he that taketh a city.”  Proverbs 16:32  (Be in control of your own self, rule your spirit!)

“Keep thy tongue from evil.”  Psalm 34:13

“Let all bitterness and (all) wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you.”  Ephesians 4:31

“Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”  Matthew 15:11

“He that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.”  Proverbs 11:17  (Sometimes we are cruel to those in our very own home).

Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.”  Ecclesiastes 5:2  (No endless lecturing, Mama!)

“But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”  Colossians 3:8  (This includes swearing or vulgar words).

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”  Ephesians 4:29 (Spread grace, not harsh words!)

“the ornament of a meek (gentle) and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price (precious).”  1 Peter 3:4  (A meek spirit is of great price to God).

“A fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.”  Ecclesiastes 5:3 (Sometimes even Mama needs to zip it!)

“The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.”  Proverbs 19:11  (I love this one, defer your anger and it’s to your honor to overlook a transgression someone has done to you… overlook it!)

“He that is soon angry (quick-tempered) dealeth foolishly”  Proverbs 4:17a

“Whatsoever things are true… honest… just… pure… lovely… of good report; if there be any virtue (anything virtuous), if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), THINK ON THESE THINGS.”  Ephesians 4:8

“Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another.”  Ephesians 4:32 (Be especially KIND to those in your own home!!)

“Whose keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.”  Proverbs 21:23

He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Proverbs 25:28

Boredom Busters for Families

I made these lists for my own family so some items include stuff/ games that I already have on-hand.  But once I was done making these lists, I just had to share!  Pick and choose what you like, I hope you’re inspired to have fun with your children!

Fun Places to Go- Free
Visit every local park over the summer
Play at a Splash Pad
Play at a Skate Park
Go to a Local Sand Volleyball court during off-hours and play in the sand
Visit a lake with ducks and feed them
Go to work with Dada
Ropes fun at parks
After a rain, Go play in a  creek
Go to a State Park and Nature Hike or Play on the Beach
Serving Task- See Ways to Serve List
Go Camping
Geocaching
Go explore for bugs or flowers
Go throw rocks in a lake
Go swimming
Kite Flying
Tennis
Pea Gravel Play- buckets and shovels
Rock play (play with rocks, pick out special ones)
Tug-O-War
Soccer
Zip Line
Kickball

Take a notebook and watercolor paints to a nature spot and paint something that you see.

Flooding out the splash pad and play with buckets/ spouts/ sprayers
Take Uno, other card game, or a 100 piece puzzle to a restaurant for a date night 1 on 1 with child
Baseball
Picnic at the Park
Play Disc Golf at a Disc Golf Course
Watch Wake-Boarders at local Wake-Board Park
Local Recreation Center- ping pong, billards, air hockey, fooseball, open gym
Fun Places to Go- Cost Money
Zoo
Trampoline Park
Mini golf, go-karts, bumper boats
Petting Farm
Gymnastics Gym
Bowling
Aquarium
Scuba Diving
Visit an Organic Farm
Ice Skating
Archery
Ways Kids Can Serve
Serve your family at meal time.
Serve dessert to your guests
Pick a chore and do it with a willing heart
Do something nice for each family member (make their bed, serve them snack, give a foot massage, etc)
Pray for someone who is sick or in the hospital.
Read a book to a younger sibling.
Play the “How Can I Help?” game.
Practice letting others choose first.
After doing a task for your parent, ask “What else can I do to help?”
Pretend to help care for a sick person/ hungry person- with fake food/ dishes, etc
Write a card welcoming a new neighbor.
Give bottled waters to construction workers.
Pray whenever you see or hear an ambulance.
Buy an item for a cashier and let the child hand it to him/ her after bagging.
Help pick up trash at stores, buildings, parks, anywhere you go.
Deliver cinnamon rolls to someone.
Color a picture for a missionary and send.
Visit a sick person in the hospital.
Visit a nursing home- take large pring Bible verse cards to hand out and prepare to sing loudly.
Visit a homebound person, take them a colored picture.
Deliver a dessert to a neighbor.
When someone drops an item, child should quickly rush over to pick it up for them.
Mail a card of encouragement to someone.
Write a special note to someone
Pass out Gospel Tracts at stores
Play the Initiative Game (think of someone’s needs before they speak and meet that need!)
Play the “Go the Extra Mile” game (ask your child to do something and  he has to go one extra mile in doing it!)
Make a list of “Golden Deeds” you could do to bless others
Do a Secret Giving Thing for someone else!
Pick up a messy toy aisle at a store
Give away a toy
Take cookies to policemen or firemen
Pick weeds for a neighbor and sweep their sidewalk
Leave an encouraging sidewalk chalk message on a neighbors driveway
Send a care package to a soldier
Send a gift to a child in the hospital
Offer babysitting or a meal to a special needs family
Leave candy and an encouraging note on a public bathroom mirror
Leave a kind note on a car in a parking lot
Mail a card to a prisoner
Draw a picture and mail it to a widow
Leave 50 cents and a note by a ride-on-toy at the entrance to wal-mart
Things to Do At Home- Outdoor
Baseball, Soccer, Catch Tennis Balls
Family Basketball Game
Parachute
Duct tape bracelet nature walk
Painting on driveway (have large poster, rolls of paper, etc)
Watermelon picnic in the front yard
Backyard- “campout” for just an evening, not overnight
Flashlight Hide and Seek
Climb Trees
Treasure Hunt
Roller Blading
Bike Ride
Water Fun in the Yard (pool, slip-n-slide, sprinkler, pouring in containers)
Throw Baseball
Sack Race
Playing for long periods of time outside at the sand/ water table
Projector Night Outside
Rope Fun- tying knots in swings, to lower down buckets, etc
Jump Rope
Build something or work on an old motor in the garage
Fun with cones
Sidewalk Chalk (circles to hop game)
Make a car from a cardboard box
Trampoline time with a parent!
Make things with the scroll saw
Egg Hunts
Fun Learning Stuff
Picture Dictionary
Read- A-Loud Book Time
Science Experiment
Quiet Reading Time
Do a Spelling Bee
Write a Letter to Someone
Online Piano Tutorials
Fun Math Game
Fun English Game
Fun Geography Game
youtube learning- places to visit, music composers
Puzzles- small as well as 100-300 piece
Word Searches
Mazes, Dot-to-dots
Lego Tutorials
Research something.
Things to Do At Home- Indoor
Piggy Back Rides!  Foot Launches
Play Music and Square Dance with Each Other
Wrap your favorite ted/ puppy in a special blanket
Dress Up and Take Pics (fireman, police, army, etc)
Make homemade play-dough and play with it!
Bake Cookies or other treat together
Tell jokes and laugh together
Headstands, lifting weights, mountain climbing, crunches, exercise dice
Camping indoors with teds, blanket hideouts, indoor tent, etc
Parachute
Flashlight Hide and Seek
Learn to Juggle
Watch show on big projector screen
Act Out Bible Stories!  (read it ahead of time for extra solidification)
Write special notes to others
Look through memory boxes of stuff
Look through old pictures/ family albums
Sing Hymns Together and Dada play Guitar
Make up a Skit and Act it Out!
Pray Together
Two Parents Swing Child in a Blanket
Read Children’s Books while Snuggling on the Couch
Baby Lapsit Time- Jesus Loves Me, If You’re Happy And You Know It
Give Your Child a Pillow Sandwich
Hold Child and Talk while you bounce on an exercise ball
Give each other foot massages
Give each other foot baths
Water pouring fun at kitchen table- 45 minutes, structured
Collect all the cars or animal toys and have a trading game
Fix each other’s hair
Make homemade bubbles and blow bubbles
Clues to Find Things
Brain Warp
Simon Says
Dino Super Airplanes/ build far-flying paper airplanes
Handlettering/ Doodling
Homemade Business Cards
Painting
Paint Lessons online
Chalk Markers
Spiro-graph
Stamps and Ink Pads
Craft Drawers of random craft supplies
Nice Scrapbook paper for fancy cards for people.
foil painting- clear sheet, foil, sharpie
stained glass tissue paper art
Play with Stickers
Draw hexagons, septagons, octagons, etc with a protractor, compass, and ruler
Drawing new pictures with how-to-draw books
Color by Numbers
Color/ draw with chalk pastels/ pencils
At-home Bowling
Build with Trios, Construx, Legos, Lincoln Logs, etc
Pottery Wheel to make homemade pottery
Make Bead Necklaces
Dominoes
Lacing Cards
Play with Counting Bears or other bulk little toys for counting/ sorting
Music Band with Structured Music and Headphones for Mama
Play with a container of Buttons (string them, sort them, etc)
Marble Race Game
Sand Art
Send your child a card in the mail
Play with cooked Spaghetti noodles
Child Lays on Blanket and parent drags them around on blanket
Build a big fort with Dad
Parent/ Child Wheelbarrow races
Have a game night with snacks
Have a movie night with popcorn
Make homemade slushies
Play charades
Throw a small, squishy ball back and forth in the house
Parents tell stories of their childhood
Leave hidden notes for each other
Make silly faces and take pictures
Pretending Flashcards- act out being animals, driving a mail truck, trash truck, swimming, etc.
Serve pretend food to the poor (parent or other child pretends to be homeless), having a free store where the poor can come to get food
Pretend play Sharing- practice sharing things like crayons, toys, etc.
Using Coins/ Homemade Price Tags, go pretend shopping at your grocery store
Pretend grilling out- cooling rack with fan and red/yellow streamers taped (blow streamers up like fire), serve food to the poor
Pretend Campfire Cooking (sitting around a campfire)
Playing healthy doctor/ chiropractor
Play Camping (homemade tents, teddy bears, toy camping supplies, etc)
Play Fireman/ Policeman
Play Boats- child can get in a container and scoot across the “ocean” (kitchen floor) with all their supplies loaded in with them.
Play soldiers/ army/ marching.
Twister
Playing Baby/ Nursery
Play with puppets
Play Dress Up
Go Fish, War, Other Card Games
Sorry
Multiplication Bingo
Yahtzee
Tic Tac Toe
Stick Man (nicer version of ‘hang man’ since we don’t want to hang anyone)
Checkers
Uno
Scrabble
Skip Bo
Memory Mate
Battleship
Octego
Bible Trivia Time
Hand Stacking
Play in Rice. Play with and scoop beans.
Play with toy trains/ tracks/ set up a city!
Pretend to have a meal with pretend food/ table cloth.  Practice Mealtime Manners!

24 Days of Giving

It’s almost that time of year again!  Our family tradition of doing a giving thing every day for 24 days!  Starting December 1st, we’ll be picking things off of this list to give every single day.  We hope you’ll join in and do your own giving throughout the month!  It’ll be hard to top last year, we had some AMAZING giving opportunities last year!  But we are so excited for this year and know that God will bless our efforts!  Here is a list of completely random ideas!…

-Pick up a messy toy aisle at a store.

-Put Gospel Tracts and a handwritten note on cars in a parking lot.

-Put DVD’s on windows of cars in a parking lot.

-Write notes to neighbors that have nice lights displays telling them you enjoy seeing their display.

-Exercise to earn clean water for orphans.

-Do a giving thing for our tenant and children at rental property.

-Pick out some of your toys to give away to other children nearby.

-Donate Action Packs to Voice of the Martyrs for persecuted Christians.

-Leave $1 near an item at the dollar store.

-Take cookies to police or firemen.

-Leave a sidewalk chalk message on a neighbors sidewalk.

-Pick weeds for a neighbor and sweep their sidewalks.

-Leave the mail carrier a gift.

-Give a gift or treat to the trash truck driver.

-Hand a nice note to a cashier at a store.

-Give drinks to construction workers.

-Send a care package to a soldier.

-Buy a meal for a Veteran

-Buy a beverage for a Salvation Army bell ringer.

-Send a gift to a child in the hospital.

-Offer help (babysitting or a meal) to a special needs family.

-Take a meal to someone in need.

-Leave a gas card and note in the credit card slot at a gas station pump.

-Find a dirty car and leave a car wash certificate on it.

-Tip larger than normal at a restaurant.

-Give a grocery store gift card to someone.

-Bake goodies for neighbors.

-Leave candy and a note on a public bathroom mirror.

-Doorbell and ditch a treat.

-Leave random kind notes on cars in parking lots.

-Leave a note and $5 gift card on someone’s car at church.

-Leave a note and quarters at a laundromat.

-Order dinner for a friend and have it delivered to them.

-Send a friend or family member an old photo or memory.

-Mail a Christmas card to a prisoner.

-Clean an elderly person’s home or someone who just had a baby.

-Go caroling dressed like Christmas presents and take treats to give

-Go caroling at a nursing home and take gifts (fleece blankets are a hit)

-Send a gift to someone who might be lonely this Christmas.

-Children can make or buy goodies for Dada’s co-workers.

-Send a note or gift to a widow.

-Give a gift or treat to a single mom.

-Donate baby gear and/ or diapers to a Crisis Pregnancy Center.

-Buy a goat, chicken, or mosquito nets for children in Restore International program.

-Buy a goat, chicken, or mosquito net for children through Compassion International.

-Do one nice thing for each family member.

-Give a gift or treat to someone who has lost a loved one and still grieving.

-Pray for people before sending off a Christmas card to them.

-Donate to Women At Risk International to fight human sex trafficking..

-Pack an Operation Christmas shoebox.

-Donate to A Child’s Hope Int’l to fight world hunger.

-Make homemade ornaments out of last year’s Christmas cards and give them away.

-Act out the Bible Nativity story with your children and some of their friends (maybe even be willing to do it in a public place!).

-Mail a card and/or treat to a missionary.

-Pick up trash at a park.

-Make special crafts for the elderly and take it to them, even if just elderly people at your church.

-Leave 50 cents and a note on a toy ride-on machine in the entry way of Wal-Mart.

-Leave note and change on a vending machine.

-Buy Bibles for people in China.

-Give a gift to someone and tell them they have to give away half of it, just so that they can experience the joy of giving.

Famous Food Companies Caught Using Aborted Babies For Flavor Additives

I am strongly pro-life.  I am also strongly pro-woman.  Women are harmed by abortion in great magnitudes.  It’s one thing to say you’re pro-life, it’s another to actually care enough to take a stand.  If there are products made using aborted fetal tissue, then we ought to boycott them to the fullest extent.  That’s why you won’t catch me consuming anything on this list!!!  Companies are actually using aborted fetal tissue to manufacture their products to sell to you and me!!  Outrageous!!

(NaturalNews) “Every time you purchase mass-produced processed “food” from the likes of Kraft, PepsiCo, or Nestle, you’re choosing, whether you realize it or not, to feed your family not only genetically engineered poisons and chemical additives, but also various flavoring agents manufactured using the tissue of aborted human babies.”

“Processed food isn’t the only hidden source of additives made using aborted human fetal tissue — many so-called “beauty products” and vaccines are also loaded with aborted baby tissue-derived additives. According to EndAllDisease.com, Neocutis “beauty” products and anti-wrinkle creams are made from aborted male baby cells collected after a 14-week gestation period.”

“Many vaccines, including Merck & Co.’s MMR II vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella, as well as ProQuad (Merck), Varivax (Merck), Pentacel (Sanofi Pasteur) and Havrix (GlaxoSmithKline), also contain derivatives of aborted human babies.”

“The aborted human fetal cell line is known as “HEK-293,” and it is used to see how the human palate will react to synthetic flavors. Since most of today’s processed food lacks flavor, companies like Semonyx are hired to develop flavors on their own.”

“What they don’t tell the public is that they are using HEK 293 — human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce those receptors,” said Debi Vinnedge of the pro-life group Children of God for Life. “They could have easily chosen animal, insect, or other morally obtained human cells expressing the G protein for taste receptors.”

In case you didn’t click on the links above, here is the list of famous food companies caught using aborted babies for flavor additives…

“PEPSI BEVERAGES:
• All Pepsi soft drinks
• Sierra Mist soft drinks
• Mountain Dew soft drinks
• Mug root beer and other soft drinks
• No Fear beverages
• Ocean Spray beverages
• Seattle’s Best Coffee
• Tazo beverages
• AMP Energy beverages
• Aquafina water
• Aquafina flavored beverages
• DoubleShot energy beverages
• Frappuccino beverages
• Lipton tea and other beverages
• Propel beverages
• SoBe beverages
• Gatorade beverages
• Fiesta Miranda beverages
• Tropicana juices and beverages

NESTLE PRODUCTS:
• All coffee creamers
• Maggi Brand instant soups, bouillon cubes, ketchups, sauces, seasoning, instant noodles

KRAFT – CADBURY ADAMS PRODUCTS:
• Black Jack chewing gum
• Bubbaloo bubble gum
• Bubblicious bubble gum
• Chiclets
• Clorets
• Dentyne
• Freshen Up Gum
• Sour Cherry Gum (Limited)
• Sour Apple Gum (Limited)
• Stride
• Trident

CADBURY ADAMS CANDIES:
• Sour Cherry Blasters
• Fruit Mania
• Bassett’s Liquorice All sorts
• Maynards Wine Gum
• Swedish Fish
• Swedish Berries
• Juicy Squirts
• Original Gummies
• Fuzzy Peach
• Sour Chillers
• Sour Patch Kids
• Mini Fruit Gums
• Certs breath mints
• Halls Cough Drops

NEOCUTIS “BEAUTY” PRODUCTS:
Neocutis uses aborted male baby cells after a 14-week gestation period in their anti-wrinkle creams. The following creams they sell contain aborted fetal cells, but we need to boycott all their products.
• Bio-Gel Prevedem Journee
• Bio-Serum Lumiere
• Bio Restorative Skin Cream

VACCINES:
• MMR II (Merck)
• ProQuad (MMR + Chickenpox — Merck)
• Varivax (Chickenpox — Merck)
• Pentacel (Polio + DTaP + HiB — Sanofi Pasteur)
• Vaqta (Hepatitis-A — Merck)
• Havrix (Hepatitis-A — Glaxo SmithKline)
• Twinrix (Hepatitis-A and B combo — Glaxo)
• Zostavax (Shingles — Merck)
• Imovax (Rabies — Sanofi Pasteur)

OTHER MEDICINES:
• Pulmozyme (Cystic Fibrosis — Genetech)
• Enbrel (Rheumatoid Arthritis — Amgen)”

To me, being pro-life doesn’t mean sitting around talking about it.  It means…

-Boycotting companies that support Planned Parenthood (Starbucks will never see a dime of my money unless they change their stance!!)
-Boycotting companies that have used aborted babies in the manufacturing of their product
-Reaching out to women in need and women that are facing an unexpected pregnancy
-Adopting these sweet babies that may not be able to be cared for by their biological parents
-Informing others
-Attending Pro-Life Rally’s
-Contacting members of government to let them know your stance

Can YOU really homeschool?

I think a lot of Mama’s don’t homeschool because… they’re honestly not sure if they can really do it.

Their head starts whirling with how much there would be to cover… math, reading, writing, ancient civilizations, art, music, government, classic literature, essays, etc, etc, etc! Not to mention keeping up on our home and grocery shopping!

That’s a lot!! How do you do it all?

You. Don’t. Have. To.

Please don’t buy the lie that a child’s education is a very complicated thing that should be left to the state to manage.

Public schools cover way less ground than you can as a mom.

You know your child better than anyone.

You know what their brain and their hearts can handle.

There’s no better person on the planet to teach your child than YOU!

When you write down everything you’d like to teach your child, break it down and simplify, simplify, simplify. Do they need to be writing perfect sentences by age 6? Do they need to cover ancient civilizations at 7?   Do they need to be multiplying and dividing by 8?

Why no, no they don’t!

Start with the minimal basics and that is more than enough.

Just being present with your child and connecting with them is enough!

Playing with them is enough!

Reading to them is enough!

Cooking and grocery shopping together is enough!

YOU are enough!

You can do it Mama!!  You truly, honestly can.  Break things down into bite-sized pieces and KISS- Keep it simple, silly!

—————————————————————————————-

Oh, and it shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg either.  Get simple, easy little books.  Buy used from craigslist or local facebook sites.  Ask other homeschool families if you can borrow some things (and then take really good care of them!)  Print things for free from learning internet sites.  It’s unbelievable how frugal you can educate your child!  You do not need some elaborate, expensive curriculum to do it!!

Almonaise

My friend and mentor Sherry got this recipe originally from Marilyn Diamond’s cookbook ‘The American Vegetarian Cookbook’.  Of course, it has been altered and played with it over the years.  Here is the latest version that we really like.  The recipe comes out really smooth with a Vita-Mix.  However, you can do it with a regular blender and it turns out really yummy still.

2 cups blanched almonds (or you can throw them in raw and whole but it will affect the flavor some)

2 cups water

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 garlic cloves

2 Tbsp diced onion

1  cup coconut oil (Sherry uses organic canola)

1/2 cup lemon juice

Optional:  2-4 Tbsp Honey

To blanch almonds:

Bring a pan of water to a boil, around 4 cups or so.  You want enough water so that the almonds will move around freely when you add them.  When the water is boiling add the almonds and turn off the burner.  Stir and wait 10 seconds or so.  You don’t want to go over a minute.  Pour the almonds into a colander and rinse with cold water until you can handle the almonds.  Now comes the fun part. 🙂  You ‘pop’ the skins off of the almonds by gently squeezing them between your fingers.  Watch out because they can and will fly around the room if you are not careful.

-Place all the ingredients into the blender and blend until it becomes creamy smooth,  if it is too thick to have a vortex you may need to add small amounts of water until you have a vortex going.  With coconut oil, the almonaise will thicken up after refrigerated.

Sherry’s Notes:  If you are using a regular blender you will probably want to half or quarter the recipe.  Your blender will last longer if you do. 🙂  Also if you are using a regular blender you may need to, very carefully, stir in the oil as you drizzle it in towards the end of the blending.  You can change the spices around and make all kinds of new flavors.  Sherry also adds a spice called “Spike” or makes her own, which is basically a lot of different spices she has on-hand!  You can really play with spices/ flavors.

Avocado Panini

I’m pretty sure I’ll still be eating these in Heaven…
DSCN9465

I have eaten more than a dozen of these in the last two weeks! So healthy! So delicious!

Warm a tortilla.  Add avocado slices, sea salt, slivers of raw onion, and chopped tomato.
DSCN9466

Easy, filling, nutritious, and super yummy!  I’m addicted!  And even my kids beg for them!

(I had not been adding any spreads on these but did the last few times… almondaise!  Recipe coming soon!)

Simple, Frugal, and Fun Homeschooling

One of my most favorite things to do is to share with other mom’s who are considering homeschooling! I have had maybe close to 10 moms in my home to just show them what all I do and why. I have loved those times of sharing! But in case you haven’t made it over yet…

I’m not a veteran homeschooler and I have much yet to learn. BUT… I love that homeschooling can be (gasp) enjoyable and absolutely delightful!

My Motto: Behind everything I do is my homeschool motto, found in Deuteronomy 11. Love God with your whole heart. Teach your children as you sit, as you walk, when you lie down, and when you stand up. All of life is learning. If you teach your child to love learning, you’ve taught him everything he ever needs to know. Learning happens over a lifetime. It takes place all of the time… in the van, at the store, in your backyard, at the park, while making dinner, etc.

The greatest commandment is to love God with your whole heart. The second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. Teach these two things to your children and you’ve nearly fulfilled God’s call for you as a mother!

So practically speaking, what is our main focus then?

#1- Bible. This includes memory verses, LOTS of memory verses! Before children can even read, they can be memorizing passages of Scripture!

This also includes you reading Bible stories to your children. The actual Bible event, not fairy tales or fables or bathtub boat pictures of Noah! Also, acting out the Bible stories after you read them! Talk about these precious events at all hours of the day, looking for opportunities to live out what you have read.

#2- Character- We go through these character cards and try to do one character quality each week. Each card includes the definition and an animal that displays that quality in nature. I teach my children the names of the character qualities (even if it’s a long word like perseverance)! Throughout the following weeks and months, I’m continually using those terms to remind them of that character quality and why it’s so important (honesty, humbleness, attentiveness, self-control, etc). We act out these qualities too! And we actually practice these qualities in real-life ways.

Speaking of acting out and practicing great things… we regularly have “Manners Practice” where we practice things like greeting a guest, picking up an item for someone who dropped it, saying “coming” when Mama calls for us, taking a seat on the floor when adults need the chairs to sit on, etc. My children beg me to do “Manners Practice” time!

The third most important thing we do in homeschool is to read! It’s such an amazing thing to read out loud to your child most every day! Read about everything! If all you ever do is read to your child, he’ll surpass a level you didn’t even think he could achieve! Our read-a-loud times have brought about the most precious discussions in our home. We try and squeeze in reading time wherever we can but my children especially like me to read to them at mealtimes. You don’t have to stop filling your brain just because you’re filling your belly! Mealtimes are a great time to learn!

What do I read to them?

A)- The actual Bible, of course!

B)- Bible Stories, of course!

C)- Quality children’s books that focus on character. Not fluffy books without a point. And not about magical kingdoms and fairy tales and fables. But stories about feeding the poor, about learning humbleness, about giving yourself away. I have posted some of my favorite children’s books here and here.

D)- We also use our read-a-loud time to read history and science (you’ll see why below). Recently my boys have been crazy excited about George Washington. They’ve dressed up like him and drafted a Declaration of Independence and the whole nine yards. All from me reading to them!  We have enjoyed this book, this one, this one, and this one, to name a few.

Now on to “Academics”:

I think the greatest thing you can do for you and your child is to keep things simple and fun. Your materials and your schedule should be a blessing, NOT a burden!! I hodge podge my materials to tailor to each individual child. What fits their personality best? What sounds fun? What is simple? What is not overwhelming? What doesn’t require 30 minutes of Teacher Manual prep time the night before?! What is frugal? What did I find at a garage sale or receive as a hand-me-down? Could I use that instead of spending big bucks on something that will make me feel STRAPPED for time and energy!

I like briefly checking out used homeschool sites for easy, cheap ideas. My favorite store is Mardel’s, but I always have a coupon in hand! Or best yet… what could you use that you already own?!

One of my favorite things about homeschool is all of our homemade things! We have made homemade “Exercise Dice,” homemade money/ coin board games, homemade flashcards galore, and more!

Flashcards, flashcards, flashcards. What an incredible way to learn! Your children can do them with you while their jumping on a trampoline, doing a chore, or standing on their head (just hold them upside down so they can read them!) 🙂

Flashcards have taught my children their ABC’s, all of their phonics sounds, all of their Bible verses, synonyms/ antonyms, homophones, contractions, multiplication and lots of other math facts, music notes, and much more!

Repetition, repetition. Get out those flashcards every day! And they’re portable enough to take to the park or waiting room!

I also like to hang stuff on my walls. Well, I don’t like the cluttered wall part but I am actually totally fine with it. You know why? Because my children walk past it many times a day and they LEARN! I’ll take that over plain walls any day! Your child can make character posters or manners posters and hang them on the wall. You can write out important principles and hang them up. You can hang up your phonics words or shapes or letters, they sky is the limit! Hang up your Bible verse flashcards at the least!

Besides the walls in your home, placemats are also a great learning tool! Your child is sitting there eating and can have something of knowledge filling his spongy, absorbent brain! You can make your own and then laminate it. I’ve done this countless times for help with coins, words, letters, math facts, etc. Or buy a laminated map of the world or the USA and point out things each day! This helps your child understand there is more to the world than his little city!

I didn’t know this until my first son turned two, but children have an INCREDIBLE ability to memorize stuff! We are constantly working on memory work. The neat thing about this is that your child doesn’t even have to know how to read before memorizing all kinds of great stuff. For us, that means our favorite Bible verses, of course! But it could also mean poems, quotes from history, etc. One of the neat things about memorizing things is that you can practice reciting them when you’re in the van or out and about. It doesn’t have to take place during structured homeschool time! Make up songs, rhymes, motions, sign language, or just a particular rhythm; and repeat, repeat, repeat!

Okay, so in case you didn’t notice… I haven’t actually told you any specific homeschool “subjects” that we do. So here they are…

Reading.

And math.

End of post. 🙂

I’m partially kidding. We do other subjects like history and science and art (lots of art!), but we do those in a more passive way. Honestly, the thought of a big huge history or science book for my 7-and-under children makes my head spin. So for history we just read! We read all about history! I don’t know of a better way to learn! And for science we kind of just do it as we come across it. My husband and I have gobs of Creation resources from our college-searching days and that’s a BIG deal to us. So we read science from the Bible and study all that God made in nature, our solar system, our bodies, etc. When do we do this? As we sit, as we walk, as we lie down, and as we stand up, of course!  🙂   And on the weekends when Dada has more time for crazy science experiments!

I’m big on reading. If you teach your child to read well, they can learn endlessly! Once they learn how to read, they can practically homeschool themselves! Have you heard the quote? “In five years you’ll be the same person you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” Reading changes lives! Reading gives knowledge, tons and tons of knowledge!

Here is how I teach my children to read.

The Harding family wrote an e-book called “College by Age 12” and I was really curious what that looked like for them. I don’t think parents need to push for college by age 12, but after reading their book, I see that it is completely possible to have a child finish high school material FAR ahead of their non-homeschooled peers! One of the keys they mentioned was math. If your child can speed ahead in math, they could potentially be at a college freshman level by the time they’re 12. Or 14, or whatever. Now some children won’t be able to go as fast as others, but I do think children are way smarter than we give them credit for! As soon as my boys have mastered one concept, I introduce the next. I don’t care that a Kindergarten math book doesn’t introduce multiplication. If my son sees how 5 circles in 2 rows equals 10, we run with it!

Again, even with math, stick with what is fun and simple. Don’t choose a curriculum that is so extensive that it wears YOU out! Play gobs and gobs of math games! I think money spent on games is way better than money spent on elaborate curricula! Design your own flashcards, make your own worksheets! Print free worksheets online. And if your child just isn’t ready for a certain concept, back pedal and let him rest at the basics until he’s ready to move forward. But keep chugging along with math and your child might have their PhD by 21, like some of the Harding children! 🙂

Lastly. Many parents wonder, “Where should my child be?” Yes, you can check online lists of what certain grade levels learn, but as long as you’re always filling your child’s mind with knowledgeable things, you’re doing more than enough!

It’s not like you’ll hit your forehead one day and say “Oh yeah, math, I forgot about math.” You know best what your child should learn! The internet can help as long as it doesn’t burden you to do more than you both are capable of! You do have laundry and dishes and meals to tend to also! Which, having your children do chores is part of homeschool too! See, you were homeschooling and didn’t even know it! Chores are GOOD for your child, let him/her work you out of a job!

If a homeschool conference comes to your area, GO! I’m not recommending you go from booth to booth to be sold on all the best curricula (THAT is exhausting!), but go to hear the speakers and get inspired and fueled up!

You’re raising a World Changer! You can do this Mama! There is no better teacher for your child on the planet!!!

Our Favorite Children’s Books

I’ve posted our favorite children’s books before, so some of these are a repeat, but this is our most recent “Favorites” list in case you’re looking for some new books to add to your collection!  We own lots of books and these (as well as ones on my last post!) are the best of the best!

This is the only one I’ll give with a warning.  It teaches what sex is.  I think the illustrations are so sweet and so well-done.  I think it’s worded so perfectly so that parents can start at a young age being open with their child about sex.  I really like this book but I understand that some parents want to wait until their children are older to talk about this subject.  However, I think the earlier the better and that it should be a normal, open conversation as the child grows and matures.
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The True Story of Noah’s Ark (You will be in awe of the center fold out illustration!!!) and The True Story of Adam and Eve are amazing books to teach your child the REAL accounts of Noah and Adam and Eve.  The illustrations are BEAUTIFUL!!
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Ronnie Wilson’s Gift is a sweet story about how a child can give a gift to Jesus.  Giving a gift to someone in need is the same as giving to Jesus!

Sanji’s Seed is about a boy who chose honesty over greed.  When his plant didn’t grow like the other boy’s big beautiful plants, he still just took his empty cup to the king.  The king was pleased because Sanji came and honestly presented his empty cup.  Sanji was pronounced the next king because of his honesty.

The Jingle in My Pocket is a bit long, so maybe for age 5 and up.  It’s a book in rhyme to teach about giving, saving, and spending money.  The illustrations in this book are precious (as are the illustrations of the other books in this series).

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Trusty.  Good ole’ Trusty.  He’s a train who learns to listen to his Papa’s warnings in Trusty Gets Off Track.  And he stands up for honesty and what is right in Trusty and Ingrid Fibster.  We’re also big fans of Trusty Tried and True.  These books are pricey though, but we really like them.
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God’s Wisdom for Little Boys is a great book to teach your son great character.  It walks through different character qualities with a rhyming poem for each one and has beautiful illustrations.  God’s Wisdom For Little Girls is also great!

The Story of the Empty Tomb is a great book to read about Jesus’ Resurrection!  These little “Arch Books” are good little paperback books, we own several!
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The next three books are all “Little Jewel Books” and there are dozens to choose from on their website.

This is Mohan is about a little boy that meets a missionary family and learns about Jesus.

A Truck and a Tricycle is about a little boy who learns to always pick up his things after he’s done playing so that others don’t get hurt on them.  Cleaning up your things is a way to show kindness to others.

Anthony Gets Ready for Church is just a simple book about how a little boy has to wash his hands, put on his socks and shoes, comb his hair, buckle his shirt, and grab his Bible to get ready for church.  
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Bible Memory Verses- Level Two

After our most simple verses were memorized, I started adding these one at a time.  Both my 5 and my 7-year-old now have 196 verses memorized!  Not because I’m so great or because they’re such geniuses but because we practice, we sing, we repeat over and over again, and we keep them out and handy or on our walls.  You child can do it too, one verse at a time!

Click here for 11 Tips on How to Teach Your Child to Memorize Bible Verses

Click here to see my list of Beginner Bible Verses for Age Two and Up.
Little children, keep yourself from idols. 1 John 5:21

Let us not love in word… but in deed 1 John 3:18

Give me now wisdom and knowledge… 2 Chronicles 1:10a

All unrighteousness is sin. 1John 5:17

…ye are the temple of the living God… 2 Corinthians 6:16

And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 1 Timothy 6:8

Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Romans 12:9b

Be ye thankful . Colossians 3:15b

God is light and in him is no darkness at all 1John 1:5

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. Psalm 33:5

We love him, because he first loved us. 1John 4:19

Wisdom is better than strength Ecclesiastes 9:16a

It is his (the wise man’s) glory to pass over a transgression. (to overlook someone’s wrongdoing to you) Proverbs 19:11

There is none righteous, no not one. Romans 3:10

Great is our Lord, and of great power. Psalm 147:5

Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath James 1:29b

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27b

Charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8b

God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. James 4:6b

Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself Mark 12:31a

And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom 1 Kings 5:12

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made Psalm 139:14a

If ye love me, keep my commandments John 14:15

Abstain from all appearance of evil 1 Thessalonians 5:22

If any would not work, neither should he eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:10b

…let us love one another: for love is of God 1John 4:7

In God have I put my trust Psalm 56:11a

O Praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him all ye people. Psalm 117:1

He that hath an ear, let him hear Revelation 2:7

Be content with such things as ye have. Hebrews 13:5

Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men Matthew 4:19

Keep thy heart with all diligence Proverbs 4:23

As for God, his way is perfect 2 Samuel 22:31a

As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Psalm 55:16

He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30

We ought to obey God rather than men Acts 5:29b

But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6

Be ye holy; for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:16

A wise man is strong Proverbs 24:5

God is my strength and power; and he maketh my way perfect. 2 Samuel 22:33

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near Isaiah 55:6

A Week of Eating At Our House

I’ve been asked several times what we typically eat at our house.  Funny how all of us moms want to know how other mom’s feed their families so we can gather ideas and get inspiration.  Because I’d love to know what YOU ate at YOUR house this past week!  🙂

So I will tell you everything (I think) I ate at my house a few weeks ago.  I wrote it all down on scrap paper that week and it’s just now making it to the blog.  🙂
I only recorded what I ate that week, my hubby and children may have ate slightly different, but probably mostly the same.

Sunday-
Pancakes with fondue sauce (chocolate pancakes!)
Grilled Asparagus (a ton of it)
Fajitas- Wheat tortilla, vegan sour cream substitute, salsa, onion, bell peppers, tons of guacamole, cilantro lime rice
Fajitas again for dinner

Monday-
Apple cider vinegar drink, banana, almonds
3 salads this day with beans on them, tomato, and cashew dressing.  It was so good, I kept wanting more of this salad!  It was really filling with the beans on it!
Cucumbers with vegan ranch dip

Tuesday-
Apple cider vinegar drink
Chocolate fondue pancakes again because they were so good on Sunday so we made some more!
Pancakes again for lunch (Why not?!)
Carrots with vegan ranch dip
Refried bean burritos- Wheat tortilla, vegan nacho cheese dip, cashew sour cream, homemade salsa

Wednesday-
Apple cider vinegar drink, banana, almonds
Refried bean burritos again
Green Beans
Salad
Refried bean burritos… again.  🙂

Thursday-
Apple cider vinegar drink, banana, almonds
Green beans
Refried Bean dip with tortilla chips (I made way too much refried beans!)
Bell Pepper strips and vegan ranch dip
Peas
Sautee’d Mushrooms with salt
Cherry Tomatoes
Peanut Butter, Frozen Blueberries, and Honey Quesadilla (like a PB & J!)

Friday-
Apple cider vinegar drink
Biscuits and gravy
Biscuits and gravy again (they make great leftovers!)
Homemade Lara Bar (lots of it)
I stopped recording here for some reason, sorry!

But you can see… I didn’t cook elaborately too much this week.  We’ve been trying to keep meals simpler because at this life stage (5 children age 7 and under!), we can’t spend as much time in the kitchen.

Burritos are an easy go-to meal, salads are great, we eat a lot of peas, green beans, bell peppers, cucumbers, and carrots.  We make our vegan cashew dip/ dressing by the blender-full as well as good size amounts of our vegan nacho cheese.  We probably had some grass-fed beef on the weekend.  We eat about a pound a week as a treat.  We usually have some homemade bread or biscuits or pizza dough each week.  We usually soak some kind of bean and cook with it every week.  See?, we’re pretty boring!  🙂

Biscuits and Gravy

Whole-grain biscuits with a non-dairy, peppery gravy!  My picture isn’t very good but this is definitely a fave around here!

Biscuits:
2 1/2 cups Warm Water
3 1/2 tsp Yeast (proof it if not instant yeast)
1 Tbsp Sea Salt
2 Tbsp Coconut Sugar or other Sweetener
5 1/2 cup whole-grain flour (I use spelt immediately after grinding it in the Vita-Mix!)

Mix Well.
Drop onto greased pan in biscuit size pieces.  Let rise 15 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees.  (For some reason I don’t have a time written on my recipe card, I’m going to guess for 12 minutes or so).

Gravy:
4 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1/3 cup Flour
3 cups Milk (coconut, rice, almond, etc)
1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper (or more!)
Whisk on heat until thick.
You can also add some chopped hard boiled eggs to this if you’re not wanting this to be a vegan meal.  🙂

biscuits and gravy

Homemade Lara Bars

Using just dates and 1-5 other ingredients, you can make your very own Lara Bars!  You can do this for much cheaper than store bought ones and you can tweak them to how you like them.  Which, for me, means chocolate!

You’ll be shocked at how SWEET these are using only dates as your sweetener!  They are delicious!

Homemade Chocolate Larabars! Mmmm…

I’ve used the website below as a guide but kind of do my own thing most times. The cashew cookie with added cocoa is a great chocolate one!  (It’s just cashews, dates, cocoa, salt, and vanilla!  Mmmm, so good!)

Today’s version is almonds, sea salt, vanilla, and dates, SO good! The kids gobble it up, as do I!

But I will say… you can’t really make these without a strong food processor, dates can be very hard to blend! So I wouldn’t even try it if you don’t have a large food processor.

If you don’t take the time to form bars, you can call them Lara Balls, Lara Bites, or Lara Bowls- that’s our joke around here. 🙂

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/chocolate-covered-recipes/fudge-baby-mania

Some friends and I even got together and had a Lara Bar Party!  Yeah, it was awesome!  We all made different kinds of Lara Bars and then exchanged at the end!  You should so steal this idea and have a Lara Bar party yourself!  Please invite me if you’re in my area.  🙂

For these below:
1-Blend 1/2 cup almonds to small pieces/ powder.

2- Add 1/2 cup chopped dates (if you chop them first, they’ll blend easier).

3- Add 1/4- 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp vanilla, and 1/4 cup shredded coconut.

4- Blend in food processor. Add a little water while blending to get ball-form consistency.

You can do endless varieties of these so feel free to omit any of the above ingredients and do your own thing… other nuts, dried fruit, etc.

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A Typical Breakfast For Me

For breakfast most mornings I have my warm apple cider vinegar drink (super healthy way to jumpstart your day!), banana, and some almonds.

But not all at once, I use good food combining rules. I finish my drink, wait a bit, eat my banana, then finish off with almonds.breakfast
Remember:  “An apple (cider vinegar drink) a day keeps the doctor away!”  🙂

Ultra Healthy Apple Cider Vinegar Drink: 
15 oz Warm Pure Water
1 Tbsp Bragg’s Raw, Unfiltered, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
Honey to taste

Please remember not to drink ACV straight up, it will BURN!  🙂

Chocolate Fondue Sauce

Oh yes I did! I can’t have chocolate chips because I’m on a no-sugar diet, but I can use my homemade chocolate fondue sauce and put it on my pancakes with real maple syrup. Healthy! The most delightful breakfast!

Chocolate Fondue Sauce: Mix 1/2 cup cocoa and 1/4 cup coconut oil in pan on low until smooth. Turn off heat. Add 1 tsp vanilla, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup maple syrup, and raw agave nectar to taste (probably also about a 1/4 cup but more if you want it sweeter). The sauce is liquid when warm, more solid when cooled. Use to dip almonds or smother your pancakes or whatever else is good with chocolate!
pancakesalmonds in fondue

Jumbo Veggie Fajita

My problem is that I need a bigger tortilla!  Two different days, two different meals, but I obviously make this a lot!  fajita fajitas different day
How I roll (pun intended!)…
1- Grill some onion and bell peppers.  Salt to taste.
2- Remove from heat and add some chopped cilantro leaves, if desired.
3-Warm a whole-grain tortilla
4- Spread Cashew Sour Cream Substitute on shell.  Pile on grilled veggies.
5- Add a bountiful helping of guacamole!  Add some salsa too!  And freshly chopped tomatoes if desired.

-I’ve also made cilantro lime rice and will add this to my fajitas.  Yum!

What I Buy at the Grocery Store

I’ve had the honor of taking quite a few friends now to my fave grocery store and showing them what I buy and why. People are always so curious how our family eats/ what we eat.  So I just let them look in my cart and show them! Here is a follow-up email I sent my friend that recently went shopping with me (in case you’re wondering too).  🙂

So if you want to eat healthier without increasing your grocery budget to $700 a month!!…

I would still buy all meat, produce, and dairy (if any!) organic, grass-fed, etc.

But… to save money for now, you could get some of this stuff conventional if you had to…
rice, beans, lentils, grains/ flour, oats and the following produce: pineapple, watermelon, asparagus, avocado.

It’s a balancing act. You want to get non-gmo foods and you want to get healthy foods. But you also have a budget and your family’s finances to consider. The link below is a great list to tell you top things you should definitely buy organic and then also cleaner produce that you could probably get conventional if you had to…. http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list.php

I try to buy lettuce (to make lots of salads!), asparagus, pineapple, avocados, cilantro, and bananas at nearly every shopping trip. I don’t always, but I try. These are great superfoods for you!!

Other staples at our house that I buy in bulk or buy often:
-beans (pinto, black, garbanzo, lentils, split peas, etc),
-brown rice,
-oats,
-spelt grains for flour,
-coconut oil,
-olive oil,
-local raw honey,
-real maple syrup- organic,
-raw agave nectar,
-celtic sea salt,
-lemons for lemon juice,
-frozen peas, frozen green beans,
-lots of carrots, onions, garlic cloves,
-flax seed, chia seeds,
-olives,
-cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds,
-Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar,
-nutritional yeast,
-coconut/ palm sugar,
-coconut milk,
-lots of veggies,
-lots of fruits.
Oh, and whole grain spaghetti noodles, organic peanut butter, and organic tortilla chips.  🙂

All these foods above make up about 95% of our diet!

To avoid the majority of GMO foods, avoid: Soy, corn, canola, sugar, and dairy. Always buy organic with these to ensure you’re getting Non-GMO!! Of course, soy is not healthy even organically so we avoid it big time.

Happy Healthy Eating!

10 Years of Vaccine Research

Sha-ZAM, this reseacher nailed it! So many powerful points she makes! Whoa!

In case you don’t click on over, these are my favorite points from her article

4. Vaccines are not mandatory for school.
Why oh why is this still not common knowledge? The greatest myth of all myths within the vaccination world (besides the myth of herd immunity) is making vaccines seem like they are mandatory for a child to receive an education. As if. But how crafty. First we are going to create “well-baby” visits, where you are “required” to bring your “well” baby to a sick place at 2 months, 4, 6, 12, 15, 18 months… for what? To tell a parent how much their baby weighs? No, the joke’s on us. Why aren’t they called “shot visits”.  And when the 2 month shots give the baby chronic constipation and reflux, then at the 4 month visit, the baby can get more shots and a prescription to help with the 2 month shot side effects.  These “well-baby” visits (part of our healthcare system) have nothing to do with health, nothing on breastfeeding, proper nutrition, etc… Just scheduled visits, so that these babies have now conveniently grown up to meet the “requirements” they need to go to school.

I’ve written oh-so-many posts on this topic, the latest being Shots Are NOT Mandatory for School. Please parents…know at least this…your child CAN go to school regardless of whether they have received all 49 doses of 14 vaccines before your child reaches the age of six (which is roughly 12 times higher than the number of vaccines administered to children back in 1940). Your child can also go to school whether they have received NO shots, or even if they have received a modified/delayed schedule (still not compliant with the “CDC recommended schedule”), your child CAN go to school. The word “mandated” does not mean mandatory. See there is this thing called exemption. Know your rights. Know your state’s exemption laws. Find them HERE. The fact that vaccines have to be mandated is a sign of their failure. Because if they were truly safe and effective – guess what? We’d alllllllll be lined up. No need to mandate. I’d be the first person lined up with my children. Who doesn’t want to keep their children safe and healthy from “vaccine preventable diseases?”

Since when are we so brainwashed as a people, that we can’t even see truth for what it is? YES, Vaccines CAN & DO cause harm and injury. #cdcwhistleblower. Wake-up people! And rock on Thinking Moms Revolution. You guys have my heart!

Dr. Andrew Wakefiled… “To the parents I would say, trust your instinct above all else. When considering how to vaccinate your children, read, get educated, and demand fully informed consent and answers to your questions. When you are stonewalled or these answers are not to your satisfaction, trust your instinct. I say this as someone who has studied and engaged in the science and who has become aware of the limitations of our knowledge and understanding of vaccine safety issues.”  Trust your maternal instinct on vaccines.

Every single day for the past 10 years I have watched maternal instinct get stripped from mothers. One. well. baby. visit. at. a. time.
Guess what? NO ONE. Even well meaning doctors and family members who love your kids like their own, NO ONE has maternal instinct like a mother. DON’T IGNORE IT!

Every day, instinct is being stripped from mothers. I hear the stories. I get the emails. I get the desperate letters filled with shame and guilt and the “what-ifs”. If I could only give mothers one piece of advice, it would be: FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCT. Sometimes instinct comes in a still small voice, other times it’s an overwhelming feeling…but as mothers we know. We know. Follow your instinct. If something is telling you vaccines aren’t safe, follow your instinct. If something is telling you your child reacted oddly after the first round of shots, follow your instinct. No one else knows your child better than you. And at the end of the day, the only person who will answer for your child is you.

And we can continue to blame every outbreak on that teeny tiny small percent of unvaccinated children (don’t worry about the adult population that hasn’t been vaccinated in years). Does herd immunity only apply to children at the age in which “well baby visits” are scheduled and getting an education “requires” shots? How convenient. You can read more here about the Myth of Herd Immunity. (This is one of my most “loved”/hated posts ever).

Oh hey, did you know that the CDC did a study on parents who don’t vaccinate? They event published it in the Journal of Pediatrics. Here’s what they found: children who hadn’t received any shots at all tended to come from educated families with high incomes. The study ended saying: ”It’s an excellent example of how more education and awareness translates to better health. Parents are gradually waking up to the dangers of vaccines. Those who have a university education and a well paid job, are in a better position to research vaccinations and know their rights. Education is power and they and those most invested in health and research are most likely to avoid vaccinations at all costs, a trend that is welcome and timely for future generations”.  -Dr. Mihalovicis a Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in vaccine research

Vaccines DO cause injury despite what you may think… “there’s this thing called vaccine-injury. Hello National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (that title alone points to fact that vaccines can injure children) in 1986. This released all manufacturers and administers of vaccines from ALL liability from any injury caused by a vaccine. Ever heard of VAERS? Our governments database on vaccine injury claims.  Our government has awarded over $2 BILLION dollars to vaccine injured children, paid out in vaccine court. Did you know there was vaccine court? Only 1% of actually cases even make it there. Did you know there was a Vaccine Injury Compensation Program?”

Did you know the current vaccine schedule has NEVER been tested? Not for safety or efficacy? Did you know that the combined doses of vaccines we give infants has NEVER once been tested for safety either? Yikes! That’s a lot of untested vaccines we are giving this generation of children. In fact, according to a Harvard study, we are the most highly vaccinated population in history, yet we are sicker than ever before. Is This The Best We Can Offer?

If you WANT to believe in vaccines, all you have to do is turn on the tv, open a parenting magazine, visit the CDC website, or take your baby to a “well baby visit” to find the answer you are looking for. Finding truth takes a willingness to be openminded enough to consider that maybe not everything we are told is true. Finding truth takes dedication and diligence. Not everyone wants to do that.

The time you put in to researching cribs and carseats and planning your nursery, put that same time and more into what you will be injecting into your baby starting when they are just a few hours old and for the first year of their life.

And if me sharing this information makes me “anti-vaccine”, then so be it. Educated, informed, thinking moms call it called something else. We call it…..informed consent. A choice. Imagine that? Being truly informed so that you can make an educated decision. Why aren’t we called “Pro-Think-for-Yourself?” Think about it. We have chosen to believe in a mindset that goes AGAINST what we are told to believe in. Last time I checked, that’s the not the easiest or most popular road to take. Going against the status quo involves a conscious decision. A decision that goes against what is considered “acceptable” and “right” and involves a mindset that is aware, well researched,  and confident. Every mother wants to protect her child. Even the educated mother who chooses not to vaccinate. Yep, that decision was made to protect her child. Thank God for choice.
This is why the topic will continue to be a debate. Because vaccines aren’t about choice. They are a bullying, scare tactic, propaganda, fear driven mandate, given with NO informed consent. Ever read a vaccine package insert?

Top 10 Vaccine Resources (a simple list to get you started on research):

1. Package Inserts. Who knew? Who knew a product that has been declared “unavoidably unsafe” would also come with package inserts that state that “adverse events reported during post-approval use of Tripedia vaccine include idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, SIDS, anaphylactic reaction, cellulitis, autism, convulsion/grand mal convulsion, encephalopathy, hypotonia, neuropathy, somnolence and apnea. Events were included in this list because of the seriousness or frequency of reporting”

5. Vaccine Illusion. Written by a Harvard PhD immunologist. I love her forword: “I never imagined myself in this position, least so in the very beginning of my Ph.D. research training in immunology. In fact, at that time, I was very enthusiastic about the concept of vaccination, just like any typical immunologist. However, after years of doing research in immunology, observing scientific activities of my superiors, and analyzing vaccine issues, I realized that vaccination is one of the most deceptive inventions the science could ever convince the world to accept”

10. The Thinking Moms Revolution Book. Should be a pre-requisite read before having a baby. Go buy it. Now.

http://heartruth.info/2015/01/29/top-10-things-ive-taken-away-from-10-years-of-vaccine-research/

Measles, Vaccines, and Childhood Cancer

This is a post from Thinking Moms Revolution (many more great articles on their website!)

“I read with great interest the recent ‘measles epidemic’ articles that addressed the vaccine debate from the point of view of a cancer parent. My interest is the result of being a cancer parent myself – my little girl has been battling leukemia on and off for the past 10 years. I read these articles, and I became angry. Very, very angry. Once again, the government and drug companies are exploiting the plight of children stricken by cancer to achieve a profit-driven end without actually helping them. In fact, this profitable end could cause great harm, even increasing the rates of pediatric leukemia, if their obvious goal of a federally mandated vaccination protocol is achieved. I am a seasoned Momcologist, a term the research-driven cancer parents call themselves.  We are the cancer equivalent of  Thinking Moms, critical thinkers. I have done extensive reading on the etiology of leukemia, its connection to autoimmune disease, and how vaccines and natural disease may influence these sorts of childhood illnesses. Come connect the dots with me.

Clearly, I empathize with the raw fear the parents in these articles have that their children may contract an illness that could be devastating to their immunocompromised children. I have walked for years in their shoes. I get it. However, the parents in these articles are either grossly misinformed, or their comments have been edited with bias. Let’s get some facts straight about cancer treatment and infection. One of the first things we were warned about after my daughter’s diagnosis was live-virus vaccination. No one in the family was to receive a live-virus vaccine while my daughter was on treatment because these viruses can and do shed (1, 2, 3, 4), some for as much as four weeks (5), potentially infecting the immunocompromised patient with disastrous results. That includes the measles vaccine  (MMR II and ProQuad), the intranasal flu vaccine, and the chicken pox shot. In fact, my other children were able to get medical waivers not to receive vaccines because of my daughter’s illness. I know my child is much more likely to encounter a peer at school who has been recently vaccinated with a live-virus vaccine than she is to encounter natural disease from an unvaccinated child.

If my child were at a stage of treatment in which she was very immunocompromised, she would not be in school. My daughter missed most of fourth grade and a good portion of fifth, not because she was so sick, but because others were sick. Despite a nearly 100% vaccine compliance rate at our school, there were regular outbreaks of shingles, occurring after chicken pox vaccine boosters, influenza and other illnesses. Please note that, even in areas in which vaccine compliance is extremely high, there are still outbreaks of disease that are not caused by the unvaccinated (6).

The most deadly threats for a child during intensive cancer treatment lie right within his or her own body. Immunocompromised pediatric cancer patients are far more likely to die from opportunistic infections that originate from overgrowths of fungi, mold and bacteria(7) than they are from vaccine-related viral infections.  When I searched to find the last recorded incidence of a child dying of measles (because that is the hated disease du jour) while undergoing cancer treatment, well, I couldn’t find one.  I did, however, find at least one death in the immunocompromised from the measles vaccine (8), with no indication of when it or they occurred. There hasn’t been a recorded death in the U.S. from measles in the past 10 years. (9) In fact, measles infection may actually be curative of some blood cancers (10, 11), presumably by initiating normal immune system defenses.  The measles virus as an actual treatment has also been explored in other malignancies (12, 13).

There is evidence that the “hygiene theory” of the immune system may have some relevance to to vaccines. It has been found that more “hygienic” populations, i.e. kids who have had fewer exposures to everyday germs, are at higher risk for some illnesses. The idea being that the immune system needs to “learn” how to respond appropriately by coming in contact with common bugs in order to develop properly.  Industrialized countries that have a decrease in infectious burden over less developed nations nevertheless show an increase in allergies and autoimmune disease.  “The leading idea is that some infectious agents — notably those that co-evolved with us — are able to protect us against a large spectrum of immune-related disorders.” (14) Are we trading benign, transient illnesses that were once considered normal childhood rites of passage, illnesses that appear to be protective for more serious disease, for a lifetime of chronic illness, even death?

A discussion of the peculiarities of leukemia is in order, its relationship to the immune system, and the and the idea that vaccines can act as a possible trigger for the cancer itself. Leukemia begins with the development of immature white blood cells in the bone marrow, when one of these baby white blood cells mutates into an abnormal, leukemic cell. The more actively the body produces white blood cells (which are infection-fighting cells), therefore, the higher the risk of mutation. This is the explanation given for  increases in the incidence of leukemia after a flu virus passes through an area (15), and why children who exhibit hyper-stimulated immune responses in the form of asthma and eczema also have increased risk for leukemia (16). It may seem contradictory to discuss infection as a preventative for leukemia when applying the hygiene hypothesis, while also pointing to infection as a cause.  It’s apparently all about the maturity and status of the immune system.  “Timing is critical, as early infections are likely to positively modulate the immune system thereby reducing risk of leukemia, whereas later infections in children whose immune system was less well modulated may increase such risk.” (17)

Time to stop and connect more dots.  What are American children exposed to that deliberately hyper-stimulate the immune system? Vaccines. Our children are subjected to an incredibly aggressive vaccine schedule, the likes of which no other country sees, from the day they are born (and we have the highest first-day infant death rate of any first-world country, by the way) (18). Could we actually be triggering leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer, with these vaccines? Particularly when we give them to children who already show signs of abnormal immune response?

Vaccines are not calibrated by weight or age or health-risk factors; potency levels of vaccines are standardized (19), which may cause hyper-stimulation for a child with a highly sensitive immune system.  Isn’t it interesting that less industrial countries have lower rates of autoimmune disease,  yet when those kids come to industrialized countries, in one generation they match our rates? (20) Could this possibly be related to the fact that these immigrants are required to submit to more aggressive vaccine schedules?

Acute lymphocytic leukemia is also less common in third-world countries, despite their children’s otherwise more debilitated state.  Children in industrialized nations experience a sharp rise in leukemia between two and six years of the age, the vaccine years, which does not occur in less developed nations. (21)

It is so very obvious that this potential connection requires exploration, yet the only studies to be found merely compare leukemia in more vaccinated to less vaccinated kids. The data from children who are completely unvaccinated is critical in uncovering the true reality of overall pediatric health.  We may very well find many interesting discoveries. Read this study from Germany (22), for example, which shows less acute and serious chronic illness overall for unvaccinated children, though they did not include childhood cancer. Why are we merely chasing a cure when a likely cause is sitting right under our noses?

One word: Profit. As of 1988, vaccine makers and the doctors who administer vaccines bear no liability for vaccine injury (23). They cannot be held accountable by law for adverse events from vaccination. In fact, the entire adverse event reporting system (VAERS) is voluntary! This means that the more aggressive our vaccine schedule, the more profitable it is for vaccine makers. But what about the Centers for Disease Control, don’t they direct the vaccines our children really need? Please note that the CDC uses worldwide disease data to formulate our policies, which makes no sense at all. How could one possibly compare a malnourished child living in unsanitary conditions and subsequently exposed to illness to a child exposed to that same illness in a first-world country? I invite parents to take a look at the resumes of some of the heads of pharmaceutical companies and members of the CDC like this one (24). One can very clearly see those in charge of vaccine policy have a dangerous conflict of interest with those who profit from that policy. Remember, pharmaceutical companies contributed $34 million dollars in campaign funds in 2014  (25). It would behoove anyone attempting office these days to err on the side of ‘big pharma.’

I must add additional comment about parental trust in the government as it concerns our cancer kids.  Once parents recover from a cancer diagnosis, they have a strong desire to  help their children – to participate in activism in some way.  It is then they discover a disturbing reality about the state of pediatric cancer research and funding: In a united front, the major cancer fundraising organizations, our government, and the pharmaceutical industry ignore pediatric cancer. Why? First, kids don’t vote.  Second, kids don’t get cancer in rates high enough to warrant good profit returns. There has not been a novel drug developed for the treatment of acute lymphocytic leukemia, the most common childhood cancer, in 20 years (26). Oncologists are forced to use the same horridly harmful chemotherapy and radiation; the only variability in protocols is in the combinations, dosages and timing of the same archaic drugs. And while ‘cure’ rates have increased, childhood cancer incidence is still on the rise (27).  Over and over again, however, these organizations will exploit the pitiful stories and pictures of our kids to tug heartstrings and solicit funding.  The National Cancer Institute directs a pittance (4%) at pediatric cancer research versus other, more common and profitable, cancers (28).  When  will health research be directed by the needs of the people rather than the greed of corporations?

If any parent wants their child to be safe from preventable illness, it is a cancer parent. Yet I also stand with scores of cancer parents who have seen their children become stricken with leukemia shortly after vaccination.  My little girl?  She was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after her pediatrician “caught her up” on her shots almost 10 years ago.  That “catch up” schedule matches the regular schedule for a toddler today.  Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to untangle true childhood cancer statistics or ‘cure’ (as in survival) rates (29).  The SEER database includes only five states and ten cities in the U.S., and one cannot readily backtrack to the time before the mad rush of vaccines. (30)

It is time to ask the hard questions for the sake of our children.  Are we actually causing leukemia and other childhood illnesses with these vaccines?  Could we even prevent leukemia by allowing natural disease?  The current measles “scare” is clearly a push for a federally mandated vaccine program.  Measles is highly contagious, yes, but benign (even potentially helpful) for the vast majority in a first-world country. If the current vaccine schedule could be harming our children, what will happen when pharmaceutical companies are given carte blanche?  Do we really want to relinquish our parental rights to a government that has shown itself to be both corrupt and callous in their treatment of our cancer kids?  What data is critical to either prove, or disprove, the hypothesis that vaccines can lead to increased chronic disease, particularly those related to the immune system like leukemia?  An independent study of the overall health of vaccinated versus unvaccinated children must be undertaken.  It is past time to finish connecting the dots to reveal the true picture of vaccines and childhood cancer.   Though it is too late for my vaccine-injured daughter, this Momcologist stands against vaccine mandates, for the health of future children.

~ Jean Ghantous

January 2015 Goals

I don’t know if you noticed, but I didn’t share my 2015 goals with anyone at the start of the new year!  I’m kind of glad I didn’t because I was able to scratch a few and tweak a few without feeling like a failure!  Here are my revised 2015 goals and how I did in January! (Yes, many of my goals are 2014 repeats because they were such great ones for me!)…

Health:
Eat 15 Salads per Month- (done in January)

Exercise at least 4 times each week, 30 minutes minimum each time- (I’m behind by 3 sessions, will play catch-up!)

Jump on the rebounder (trampoline, such great exercise!) for at least 10 minutes each week (pathetic tiny goal, but I was currently doing none, so at least this is something!) (I did a total of 70 minutes in January!)

Drink a Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar drink at least 104 times this year (1 Tbsp in each glass, twice a week) (The drink is warm water, lemon juice, ACV, and honey; really yummy!)- (I drank 11 of these in January!)

Do Push-Ups, Squats, and Abs at least one time each week- (For January, I did push-ups 4 times, squats 4 times, and abs once… hmmm, maybe I won’t be able to stick with the abs one??)

Eat no sugar (from purchased products, I don’t bake with it anyway) at least until I get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight (have about 10 pounds to go).  Honey, maple syrup, raw agave nectar, and coconut sugar are still permitted for making homemade sweets- (I did this for all of January!)

Personal Growth:
Go through my Bible and read everything that has been underlined, highlighted, marked, etc.  (Which as my husband teases… is most all of my Bible!)- I got started on this in January but am a little behind as I’m still in Genesis.

Memorize one verse a month that pertains to an area I’m struggling with- (Did it!)

Read 24 books with at least 8 of them being about parenting.  (I completed 8 books in January, but 3 of them were e-books.  None of them were specific to parenting).

Record 1,000 things I’m thankful for- (kept up on this in January).

Pray for the entire world using online prayer calendar as well as persecuted Christians prayer requests through Voice of Martyrs.

Children:
Sing hymns with hubby playing the guitar at least two evenings per week.  Guess we could say this is mostly a goal for hubby!  (Did this in January!)

Cycle through our two containers of meaningful children’s books that focus on good character and good lessons at least once every three months- (on our way!)

Incorporate a family sport time on the weekends starting in the spring.

Do 25 children’s crafts/ activities this year- (did one in January)

Read through our Bible story book and act out stories- (have not officially started yet although we did do this for two stories in January)

Complete 24 Read-a-Loud Chapter books (We finished one in January)

My Favorite 2014 Reads

Here are some of my favorite books that I read in 2014, in case you’re looking for recommendations!

The Homeschool Experiment by Charity Hawkins- Hilarious, easy/ quick read.  For anyone homeschooling or considering homeschooling.  This author is so funny and so real, I loved it!  You’ll laugh like crazy!

Family Is Hard, Deal With It by Todd Wilson- Such great points we as parents need to be reminded of.  The hard stuff is really worth it and the things that are really worth it are hard.  Great points that need to be heard!

Vaccines:  Are They Really Safe and Effective by Neil Z Miller.  I’ve reviewed a bit of material on vaccines, and this book was one of my favorite because it was relatively short and straight to the point.  If you have children, you should at least be fully informed on vaccines- their efficacy and their safety.  You should know if the disease the vaccine is made to prevent is treatable if not vaccinated, weigh out the risk of the vaccine vs. the disease, etc.  Educate before you vaccinate!  This is a great resource!

Today Matters by John C. Maxell- Such a neat concept… what you do with your life today dictates how the rest of your life will be.  Today does matter.  If you want to reach that big, audacious goal, work on it each and every day.

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom- I can’t believe I had never read this.  Riveting, this holocaust story had me on the edge of my seat.

Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala- I’m not sure that this author attends the same denomination church as me, but whew… the Holy Spirit is alive and working!  This book left me thinking for months!  Good stuff!

Follow Me by David Platt- Another great book by David Platt.  Read this one, Radical, and Radical Together and you will SO be called out of your comfort zone!

Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow- Very good reminders to be content where you are… your relationships, your situation, etc.  Have a CALM heart.  This one spoke to me.

Other Runner-Up Books that I Also Enjoyed:
In A Pit With a Lion On a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson

Rhinestone Jesus by Kristen Welch

Love Idol by Jennifer Dukes Lee

Sherry’s No-Bake Cookies

Another winner recipe from my sweet mentor friend Sherry!
I have made these SEVERAL times and they are always a big hit.  Very yummy, very healthy!

NO-BAKE COOKIES
1/2 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup carob powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp chicory (or coffee substitute that has barley/corn malt in it)
1 cup honey (or substitute maple syrup/ agave/ honey combo)
1 cup palm sugar (can substitute with honey/ maple syrup/ agave)
1 cup water
1-2 Tbsp brown rice flour
1 1/3 cup nut butter (almond, peanut)
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup flax seeds (if desired)

-In a large pan mix the coconut oil, salt, carob powder, chicory and heat until the oil is melted and starting to get thick.
-Add the honey, palm sugar, water and brown rice flour.
-Bring to a boil and cook until it comes to the soft ball stage (see below), stirring constantly.
-Take off the burner, add the vanilla and the nut butter, mix well.
-Add the oats and coconut, mix well, then add the flax seeds. You want add the flax seeds last so that they don’t get cooked.
-Drop with a cookie scoop or spoon on to cookie sheets, plates or wax paper. Let cool, then eat.

Sherry’s Notes: In place of the water and brown rice flour you can use a milk substitute like rice milk, almond milk etc.

There are lots of variations of this recipe. Have fun playing with it!

How to tell when something is at the soft ball stage without a candy thermometer:  Have a bowl on hand with cold water in it. As the mixture boils down drop a little into the bowl and see it holds together and if you can pick it up. I usually add the nut butters when the honey and palm sugar are just barely able to be picked up.

2014 Goals

Oh me, oh my.  Just have baby #5 and watch your goals slide to the back burner!  It’s totally okay though, babies are way more important!  Here are my results on my 2014 goals (posting a little early so I can clear my head to start thinking about 2015 goals)…

Mothering/ Marriage/ Homemaking:
Make a Proverbs list.  We got half-way through this, which has been great though!

One handwritten note per month to someone in family (husband, child).  Done each month!

Two read-a-loud chapter books per month with older children.  We completed 24 this year!

Bible with children- Read at mealtimes, Continue to add new memory verses, Read Bible story book and role play.  We’re working through Proverbs.  We’re still adding new Bible memory verses often.  And we finished  101 Favorite Stories from the Bible.  So we hit this goal!

Do at least 25 Children’s Crafts/ Activities with my children.  My children really like doing crafts so I want to make sure I do this for them.  We have done 54 crafts this year!  Some were super easy though.  We might have a couple more before the year is over.

Every Saturday, have a planning session for each day of next week.  Done.

Personal Growth:
Read 1/2 the Bible- I actually finished the entire KJV Bible this year, my fourth time to read completely through it!  Amazing!!  God is absolutely amazing!

Read 24 books- I’ve read 52 books so far this year and am nearing the end of 3 more!  So 55 most likely!  This is huge, I’m so excited about this one!  I’ve learned and grown so much because of the books I’ve read!  (But before you think I’m super-woman, 20 of these have been e-books, which are shorter than regular paperback books).  🙂

Record 1,000 Gifts- things I’m thankful for.  I’ve recorded 1,820 things I’m thankful for so far this year!

Try to live more minimalist and keep clutter to a minimum by getting rid of 7 things per week.  I stopped counting but I did do pretty good with this.  Just made a large thrift store drop-off the other day.  My hubby would say though that I need to work on this one some more. 

Ministry:
Pray genuinely for the needs of others at a set time each week (10 minutes, morning time).  I’ve got a prayer wall with lots of people’s names and needs from around the world up on the wall going up our stairs!  Yes, kept up on this for the most part.  So neat that my children’s eyes are being opened to needs all around the world.  And oh my, do you get icommittopray.com emails?  Oh my heart, such huge needs for prayer for persecuted Christians around the world.  I recommend signing up and praying for those that are being beaten, burned, displaced, and murdered for the name of Christ.  Even now, in our day and age.  It’s horrific.  And the least I can do is pray.

Pass out gospel tracts at least twice per month.  Finally more in the habit of this!  I keep some handy and the children each leave some throughout stores when we go out!

Pray for the entire world using online calendarDid this!

Health:
Do 3 months no sugar.  I’m still allowed to have my natural sweeteners- honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, and coconut sugar.  I use no other sweeteners.  Done in Jan/ Feb/ March.

Do a separate 3 months with only 1 sugar insult per week- Did this for April/ May/ June.

15 salads per month- I’ve hit this goal every single month, and them some!  Yah!!  This was such an awesome goal, I’m so glad I did it!!  I now crave my salads and want them more than 15 times per month!

Briskly walk on treadmill (or outside) at least 4 times each week for at least 49 weeks of the year, at least 30 minutes each session.  October and November were my not-so-good months.  I only exercised 7 times in October and 12 times in November.  But with a newborn, I just didn’t make time for it.  I did hit this goal all other months though and am on track to hit this goal in December.

You ready to set 2015 goals???  I’m excited to do so but am also prepared to lower the bar since I have five children now!