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/

“Bought” Documentary

For just a few more days, you can watch “Bought” for free!!  Then it will be $24.95, so watch it now!  Aside from 1-2 swear words (grrrrr….), the movie did an excellent job of explaining some issues with vaccines and GMO foods.  Very clear information that parents need to know!  Watch it while it’s free!!

http://www.boughtmovie.net/free-viewing/

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!

Easy Christmas Gift Idea!

Want to wash your hands with something that’s not harsh and leaves your hands moisturized instead of dry?!  Got 5 minutes to make it homemade?!  Then this is for you!

Sea Salt Scrub:

–Mix 1/2 cup Sea Salt with
–1/4 cup Olive Oil (or oil of your choice), and
–15 drops Essential Oil of your choice

Stir, put in a nice jar, enjoy for handwashing or give away as gifts!

Notes:
–Some essential oils are strong and don’t need as many drops (cinnamon is one I figured out).
–Other essential oils aren’t as strong and you could add more (lemon, tangerine, orange).
–If you want to make a Lavender Vanilla Scrub, use 1 tsp of vanilla along with 15 drops of lavender essential oil.  This is a great flavor to make!
–I also really like lemon tangerine!
–If you want to still have ‘soap’ in your handwash, you can mix in some liquid soap also!

If you want the printable that I used on these jars, just email me and I’ll send them your way for free!  Thanks to my hubby for designing them!
DSCN7183DSCN7182DSCN7185DSCN7191A friend of mine made them as end-of-year teacher gifts, so pretty!…
WP_20140510_001(1)And she made them again this Christmas, aren’t these so pretty?!…
Candice's Button Jars

Two-Ingredient Payday Bars

These are yummy!  Two ingredients make a delicious “Payday” bar replica!

Check out the recipe and beautiful step-by-step pictures here!

Ingredients
  1. 4 cups Lightly Salted Peanuts, divided*
  2. 1 1/2 cups Dried, Whole, Pitted Dates**
  3. 2 Tablespoons Water
Instructions
  1. In a food processor blend 1 cup of peanuts until they are very fine and start to clump together.
  2. Add the dates and water and blend until you get a fairly smooth paste. You will have to stop several times and scrape down the sides.
  3. Lay out 1 1/2 cups of peanuts on a baking sheet lined with a piece of parchment paper. Don’t try this without parchment.
  4. Spoon the date mixture onto the peanuts as evenly as possible without disturbing the peanuts underneath.
  5. Press the remaining peanuts into the top of the mixture flattening it as you go. Use an additional piece of parchment to completely flatten. You can utilize a cutting board to help flatten the mixture.
  6. Refrigerate for at least an hour before cutting into candy bar sized pieces.
Notes
  1. *Substitutions: If you can’t find lightly salted peanuts you can use regular salted peanuts. OR, use unsalted peanuts in the filling and salted peanuts on the outside if you’re worried about them being too salty.
  2. **I find my dates in the dried fruits and nuts near the produce section of my grocery store. I would advise you to avoid using “chopped” dates in this recipe as they often have a different texture. Dried “Medjool” dates are considered the King of Dates. They are usually a bit more expensive but they have the proper texture too.
By Micheline Krise

The Miracle of Baking Soda

I knew baking soda made a great household cleaner.  But recently, my hubby has been having fun (yes, you read that right, HE has been having FUN) using baking soda to remove what we thought were irremovable stains.  He said I HAD to post about it on this blog.  When my man wants a recipe or natural living thingy posted, he gets it, because rarely does he say that!

Here’s what he’s been cleaning lately (I have a newborn, thus the reason for all this man cleaning):

-White stovetop-  I thought our stovetop had scratches on it, not stains.  Since those “scratches” never wiped clean, I figured they were there to stay.  Wrong!  He agitated them with baking soda and a wet rag.  “Scratches” are GONE!  Wowzers!

-White Kitchen Bowls-  I had some bowls that had some rim stains on the bottom of them.  They never come clean in regular dish washing so I figured the stains were there to stay also.  Nope, baking soda, water, and a rag got them white again!

-Counter Tops-  Oh my, I was shocked by this one.  We have those cheap formica countertops.  They were pretty stained.  I was thinking it was time to get new countertops.  Nope, baking soda got ALL the stains out, super impressive!

Moral of the story:  Don’t buy expensive toxic chemicals at the grocery store to clean your home, just whip out the baking soda!