New Horizons

This blog has served as a platform for me to express myself in our family’s new health journey. Four years ago I had my heart attack and so much growth and change has occurred since then. We continue on that journey. We’re still imperfect but keep trying. We still try to stay away from added sugar and still try to get our workouts in.

In those four years, I have survived but in the process…I have lost my dad, my niece, and one of my younger brothers. I have matured. I have gained new friends. I have lost some friendships. I have reprioritized what is important to me. We have switched churches. We have minimalized what is in our house and continue to do so. We have solidified our marriage even more. We’ve had another son.

In all of those changes, I’m realizing more and more that the small amount of time I have on this earth is so very precious. I don’t do this blog for money. I don’t post ads. I do this to share my heart and hope that in doing so…in being transparent…it may help someone else in the process. So I am reevaluating using a paid webhosting platform for this blog. I’m still praying about it and would need to switch to another site and name most likely. But I feel like even the money we have on this earth isn’t mine. It’s God’s. It needs to be earmarked to make this world better. It needs to go to something more worthy than a new shirt, new shoes, or my mindless ramblings on a blog. It should be used to help those in need. To sponsor another child overseas. To help a local mission with the homeless.

We as Christians can talk the talk but I’m feeling called more and more to walk the walk. Less truly is more. In reclaiming my life I want to prioritize the little time I have left. I want to spend it with my sons and husband and not worry about making a blog profitable or popular. I don’t care if people know me on the internet. I do care that my sons and husband know me. I want us to truly know each other. I want to be known by them as someone who shows Christ’s love to them in the small details of life and doesn’t just pretend to for a blog’s sake. I want to help those in need around me and not just talk about it.

So in being real with you…I’ve felt less of a call to blog here and more of a call (as I care for our third baby Superhero) to be a mom. I feel like God wants me to spend my time not on Facebook or blogging but on my family. He’s given me a job and I need and so desire to do it.

So if I blog less or if I switch sites I’ll let you know. I feel that there are changes ahead and there is a sense of urgency that I follow them. Thanks for listening to my ramblings…

Dee

Thankful

I realize to some my life may seem charmed and to others it may seem cursed. Charmed in the sense that there is much stability, love, and blessings both material and in the form of friends and family. Cursed in the sense that I am a survivor of a very abusive relationship, a heart attack survivor, and have lost three dear close family members in one year…my dad, my brother, and my niece. I could choose to look at life as charmed or cursed or something in between…an adventure with ups and downs.

I choose 1 Thessalonians 5:18…”In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God.” To me…this doesn’t mean God is saying “suck it up buttercup cause this is as good as it gets”. Rather, He is trying to show us to look for the good. Choose life, choose living, choose picking yourself up and helping others when it seems hard to get out of bed to brush your teeth in the morning. Pray for Him to help you to see the joy when it feels like all is gone.

My current health journey…I am 3 years post-heart attack and stent placement. I eat a mostly whole food diet and exercise more than not. Currently that means 4 to 5 days a week about an hour per time. I am 24 weeks pregnant and am trying to push past the fear and anxiety I have since my niece died at full term 3 months ago. Instead I am trying to rest in God and trust that God has a plan for this little guy kicking in my belly no matter how long or short his life is.

I am following OB, high risk OB, and Cardiologist orders strictly. I wept when my cardiologist said he has no worries and I can stay off some medications after the birth so I can nurse. I feel like I have been given so much and also lost so much but blessed be the name of my Abba Father who cares about a minute detail like my desire to nurse our third boy. He care that I weep when I hear the lyrics to a Newsboys song

Something Beautiful …

I wanna start it over
I wanna start again
I want a new beginning
One without an end
I feel it inside
Calling out to me

It’s a voice that whispers my name
It’s a kiss without any shame
Something beautiful
Like a song that stirs in my head
Singing love will take us where
Something’s beautiful

I’ve heard it in the silence
Seen it on a face
I’ve felt it in a long hour
Like a sweet embrace
I know this is true
It’s calling out to me

It’s a voice that whispers my name
It’s a kiss without any shame
Something beautiful
Like a song that stirs in my head
Singing love will take us where
Something’s beautiful

It’s the child on her wedding day
It’s the daddy that gives her away
Something beautiful
When we laugh so hard we cry
It’s the love between you and I
Something beautiful

Reminding me of my Dad giving me away in our simple state park wedding with our closest friends and family there and how I won’t see him again until Heaven.

I know this is rambling on but my point is this…be thankful. Embrace life and fight for all it’s worth to see the good, to contribute to the positive in your little circle. Be there for your mom, dad, siblings, husband, children, friends. Really, really be there and love on them and thank God that you have another day to love on them. For the alternative is so bleak and depressing and holds us back from really living.

Take care,
Dee

Advent: Our chance to celebrate life and giving

This is a repost from 2 years ago. Last year, I was in too much grief over the loss of my dad to do it again. My then 5 year old asked for it but all I could muster was cards, gifts, and the tree. He asked again for it this year and saw the box with the activities and Bible verse for each day. So…this time…it didn’t take any work other than stringing it up and retying all of the clues. I’m thankful for my two little boys who reminded me of the joy wonder of Christmas through their eyes.

So it’s December 1st. I stayed up late working on a homemade Advent Calendar idea I found from the site Mr. Printables. So cool but I had to create activities or prizes for inside. Since we want our kids to appreciate the little things and have a giving spirit…I didn’t want to have a monetary or candy prize for everyday. I wanted to focus on things we could DO together or ways we could help others. So here is our list. I added a Bible verse to everyday as well since that why we celebrate Christmas. I used the Christmas story from Luke and the Beatitudes in Matthew 5. That gave me a big head start and I also picked others that focused on love, forgiveness, letting our light shine, helping others, etc.

Here’s my list so far…I still have 11 more to add but we’re having fun with it so far! Enjoy!

Our Advent calendar ready to go.

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Make Mama and Daddy into a snowman. Use winter hat, scarf, etc and toilet paper. :-)
Do something kind to help someone else in the house. (Including your little brother).
Write letters or draw pictures to people you love.
Go shopping for Operation Christmas Child or another charity.
Wrap Christmas presents!
Make Christmas ornaments with glitter (Glitter is a big deal here!).
Find our old mittens and scarves and sneak them over to a needy families house without them knowing!
Make a list of love and appreciation for each other.
Make ice candles. Fill a bowl with water. Fill a tin can with rocks so it sinks halfway down into the water. Freeze. Remove can and ice. Set ice bowl cube in a larger bowl and light a candle in the center. Have a candlelit dinner.
Make a birthday cake for Jesus and freeze for His birthday!
Make Ice Ball ornaments for the sidewalk. Fill balloons with water. Add food coloring. Freeze. Pop balloons and set on edge of walk to decorate.
Make homemade bouncy balls. I found a recipe here. Mom to 2 Lil Posh Divas.
Have a scavenger hunt. (I’m hiding our Nativity Scene figures).
Make snowflakes for our windows.
Camp-out in our living room in our tent!
Play flash light tag (hide and seek in the dark with flashlights).

5 Steps to Avoiding Colds and Flus

Our powerhouse go to aids for cold and flu season

Our powerhouse go to aids for cold and flu season

So we have been on a wellness journey for the past 6 years. My sons were both prone to ear infections as infants and strep throat as kids. I went the standard route of antibiotics and don’t regret that, however, I wish I had known a bit more about preventing these infections before they happened.

Our bodies are amazing! When given the right nutrients, they can fight off a lot of things! Our guts, that wonderful bacteria in our tummies is the first line of defense. I have come to believe through visits with our pediatrician, research, and holistic doctors that by feeding our bodies well and healing our guts we can heal some food intolerances and help to diminish the severity or avoid altogether colds and flus.

Good stuff in and you’re strong…bad stuff in and your bad bacteria cheers and down you go.

So here are the top things we do in our household.

1) Eat an unprocessed whole food diet. If it isn’t the way it comes off of plants…if it had to go through massive changes in a machine or through chemicals…don’t eat it. This includes eating unprocessed sugars only (coconut sugar, maple syrup, and raw honey). So essentially, lots of veggies, fruit, meat, nuts, granola (homemade), quinoa, amaranth, occasional brown or wild rice. We follow the 80/20 rule for this.

The less sugar and starches…the less the bad bacteria has to feed off of. So the good can flourish. Think natural, grass fed and organic when money permits.

2) Supplement with whole food vitamins. We use the Standard Process brand. Daily my boys use a low dose of Congaplex to keep strep throat away. This fills a deficiency and helps to specifically prevent strep throat. We also use their Cyruta Plus to help prevent nose bleeds in my youngest. I blend them up in juice and they drink their vitamins with no aversion.

3) Use therapeutic grade pure essential oils to boost the immune system and fight off the yuckies. My youngest was exposed to the stomach flu this week. He has complained of a tummy ache and looked gray a couple times this weekend but we have been using Young Living Thieves oil on his feet and diffused in the air while we have snuggle reading time. I also rubbed their DiGize oil and Peppermint on his belly and his tummy ache has gone away.

4) Use high quality diverse strains of Probiotics. Your stomach needs this. When my little guy felt yucky I also gave him one probiotic per day to help him fight things off. We also drink kombucha instead of pop and my kids love the fizziness while I love the probiotics in it. You could look to kefir (there are dairy and non-dairy forms) that can help boost your good gut bacteria levels.

5)Get your Vitamin D! This is huge! We are an indoor society now…we don’t get all the vitamin D that we need. My sister survived Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and her oncologist said the majority of people are deficient and should be getting 2000 IU of D per day! Get in the sunshine as much as possible and take a natural formed supplement. We take Cod Liver Oil or krill Oil. My boys get a teaspoon per day that is lemon flavored and a piece of chocolate for their effort.

We can’t avoid everything but I do know that my boys have only thrown up twice in their lives. The enterovirus and Ebola freak me out and other parents as well. I know that the healthier we eat the healthier we are. When I slack off and let them have the suckers and candy or pop…they get sick. It’s just not worth it.

Strep Throat Smoothies

We love smoothies here!  We also love the way we sneak essential vegetables and even vitamins into the smoothies our kids drink.  The key…have some strong tasting fruit or lemon juice in there with a little raw honey and you’re good to go.

 

Our boys are prone to strep throat.  They had it 5 or 6 times last year.  This school year they had it in September and then I heard about a naturopath that had some vitamin/mineral supplements that could help.  I was skeptical.  I do the natural and medical path for our family.  I read up, research, try, and sometimes we’re successful…sometimes we’re not.

 

Image from mywisemom.com

 

 

 

 

So we started taking Standard Process supplements and when my boys are taking “Congaplex” they don’t get strep.  When they stop for awhile or refuse to drink the smoothies I make with it in them…  Sure enough they get strep throat.  The only problem is it’s a strong tasting supplement.  So here’s a sample smoothie that I make which hides the flavor.  I also sneak other Standard Process supplements in for nose bleeds (Cyruta Plus), severe runny noses (Antronex) as needed.  I test on myself first and the stuff works!  I do all of this under the guidance of the naturopath who recommends the correct dosage for their weight and age.

 

Strep Throat Smoothie

 

3 capsules of congaplex

3-4 Tbsp lemon juice

1 cup apple juice

4 frozen strawberries

4 chunks frozen mango

4 chunks frozen pineapple

2 Tbsp raw honey

water to the 2 cup line of blender

 

Blend to a smooth consistency and drink away!  Enjoy!

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