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 fisthers of men Matthew 4:19

Keep they 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

breakfast

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/