Sunday, November 4, 2012

The fire in my belly...where all the "healthy" started

Since becoming sick for 7 months straight 2 weeks after my youngest daughter was born a little over 3 years ago, I have paid MUCH more attention to medicine. When she was 2 weeks old I got a sinus infection, no biggy you go to the doctor and get an antibiotic and presto-chango you are all better. Not so much. 7 months and 4 rounds of antibiotics that didn't help me one fraction of a bit left me to wonder this, "Back in the day when they had their babies in fields what did they use to help these kinds of "routine" illnesses? I mean I have never heard of someone suffering with a sinus infection for 50 years!" But I didn't know what to even start looking at or where to go. After they told me that my sinuses weren't formed right and the only way to fix my infection was to stop nursing my last baby way too early and have surgery, I decided modern medicine wasn't doing it for me anymore. I wasn't going to have surgery at all. My friend urged me to go to the naturopath. She suggested food was making me sick. I thought she was off her rocker. As a way to prove her wrong I went to the naturopath. The nice lady told me that I should lay off of dairy and gluten for two weeks and she would take my blood and see what it said. In two weeks I could eat either dairy or gluten and see how my body reacted. I too thought this woman was crazy but to prove her wrong I was going to do this for two weeks.

Fast forward 2 weeks, no antibiotics, no dairy, no gluten, mysteriously no more sinus infection. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I thought antibiotics were the only thing that would take it away! That started my food/health/chemical revolution. Since July 2009 when this all started we eat very different and practice healing very different. I now no longer run to the doctor for every little thing. In the last 9 months we are totally chemical free of any over the counter medication. We haven't have an antibiotic in 3 years and I love it.

It all started with the no dairy and gluten for me and my sinuses, then next was the no artificial food dye for my kids (it made one of them have bi-polar type fits) which has escalated into no high fructose corn syrup or any petroleum based products. I now cook almost everything from scratch and we eat as much raw as possible. We eat barely any breads and a lot fewer potatoes and rice, more squash (which is easy because we grow it on our farm) just healthy in general.

Chemicals are out and natural is in. No antibiotics, no vaccines, only real food, a lot less sugar, better portions, more self control, more knowledge. It feels good and it is empowering.

Corn Season...We call it that all the way through pumpkin time, but it is so much more than just corn. It is the season in our life that stretches us beyond what we could ever imagine doing, and being. It is the most fun time of the year, the most busy time, the most stressful time, the most bonding time, it is the love-hate all in one!

I am sitting here on my couch with the 4 littles all tucked into bed and my oldest doing homework, it is November 4th and today was the last day of our season. I was ready for it to be over. As I sit here and reflect I learned a lot this year. Some was encouraging, some not as pretty.

I learned that I am a lot better project manager than I ever though I could be, not that I ever signed up for the job but I made it happen. I learned that somewhere in the last 12 years of marriage I went from being a planner stick to the rules no matter the cost kinda girl to a planner who can role with the punches when needed without flipping out, that is a major accomplishment for me.

I learned my limits and that we are just getting to be too big of an operation to do what I used to do and all of my new unplanned duties and that I need to hire and mini me to help. I learned that I am too busy and that even though "corn season" is only for 3 months that my priority still needs to be my kids and that when it isn't life is hard and missed. I learned that my 9 year old has a lot more insight to life than I knew and she shared it with me this year and she was right.

I relearned in a big way that God has my back. He showed me in multiple situations that he had an answer for me before I even realized there was a problem. It very clearly reminded me that I can trust him in all things.

I also learned that my discipline tactics are not effective with 2 of my children and that I need to change a few things and seek advice from others before we implode on each other. I learned that Abi bonds with people faster than I think and she is really emotionally attached easy. I learned that death sucks and comes unexpectedly at times, twice in the last 2 weeks. RIP Larry and Casper!

I learned that I love drama free environments. I learned that being up front and straight to the point in every situation that you are dreading is much easier than once thought. I am learning I am still developing skills and discovering who I am and what makes me tick.

I am reminded once again how unbelievably blessed I am!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The fire in my belly...Essential oil!

 So this last November I got a cold, annoying, draining but just a cold. By Thanksgiving it was almost over, soon after Thanksgiving I get another cold. More annoying this time. And by Christmas I had my 3rd cold. My friend on FB talked about thieves oil and I didn't know what that was but she had good success putting it on her children's chest and feet when they were starting to feel sick. In the morning they would be all better. I had to investigate what this was she was talking about. Long story short back in the bible days thieves would go into peoples houses that had died of the plague and steal their stuff. But in order to not get the same sickness the people in the house had died from they would rub a mix of 4 different essential oils on their bodies. I was intrigued enough to I went to the local co-op and got some and put it on. I went to bed and when I woke up all of my cold symptoms except the runny nose was gone. I ended up having that runny nose the duration of what my cold would have lasted, but no lethargy, tiredness, congestion etc. I thought their might be something to these oils. Before this incident I had used oils but really only to make my house smell pretty.

In January my friend Leah invited me to an "oils class" and since I had previously used oils with good results I thought I should go and see what they had to say. I was intrigued by what they had to say and a lot of it made sense. For example, essential oils come from plants which our body sees as food and so instead of fighting off the oils (like it does with man made chemicals) our body accepts it and absorbs it on the cellular level. So we now have natural plant matter that can help our bodies heal being absorbed INTO our cells. Hmmm, So I decide with my husbands permission to order some oils. The class I went to that night was put on by a company called DoTerra. There are many oil companies out there and there are many oils that are great and will work. What I like about DoTerra is that their essential oils are CPTG which mean Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, their oils are pure enough to be ingested. They test their oils a minimum of 4 times before they will sell them to anyone. Now I am not a picky person for the most part, but I get snobby about a few things, I only like Jif peanut butter, not Skippy, and I will only use miracle whip not mayo, oh and if I am ingesting something or putting something on my skin (the largest organ on (in) our body I want it to be the best of the best. So I use exclusively DoTerra oils now.

I need to share some success stories I have had with oils, I can't share them all or we will be here all night. First test was Abi got a cough shortly after I got my oils. One of the oils I ordered was called "Breathe" which is a blend of a few different oils. It is good for a lot of things but a cough is one of the things it help. So Abi is coughing and wakes me up in the middle of the night. I decided to try the oils and so I put one drop of breathe on her chest and she stopped coughing for 4 hours! Needless to say at that moment cough syrup was out the window and Breathe was all I used on her for the rest of her illness.

I have been using oils regularly since January and have seen dramatic results. I have for the last three years of food intolerance's been thinking in my head how did they fix ear infections, coughs, headaches back in the day before antibiotics were around? I mean really did they get an ear infection or yeast infection and have it for the rest of their life? What about bronchitis or strep? I have never heard of anyone having strep and it lasting for the rest of their life. So I thought of the stinging nettle plant that causes itchy, stinging rash and how everywhere in nature that stinging nettles grow the fern that counteracts them grows right next to it. God is smart, he made and designed everything for a purpose (Still wondering what the purpose of mosquitoes are though). So it only stands to reason that back in the day there was something in nature that could help.

 As a mom their have been SO many times my kids have been sick and there was nothing I could do for them and felt so helpless. It is a horrible feeling. Kylie has been such a sick kid her whole life, although mainly when she was little. Obviously no oil would fix her heart and I believe there is a place and time for modern medicine (as I have used it many times before) but I also believe we abuse medicine as a whole in this country. I just talked to a friend tonight who was having some skin issues and her doctor said to her "I am not sure what is going on but just take this prednisone". WHAT? If you don't know what it is let's dig deeper and find out! I crave to know the "why" behind everything. I feel as if we (people in general and yes I am guilty too) want a quick fix, we feel like crap and we just want to feel better so we treat the symptom not the root. We don't want to or don't know how to fix the root of the problem. Maybe it is too messy to get to the root but as anyone who has done any weeding before knows, if you don't get to the root the weed keeps coming back again and again no matter how much chemical we put on it. Wow that was a soap box!

Ok back to the feeling helpless when my kids are ill. Abi, she gets migraines. Kylie did at her age too for about 2 years and they went away. I am pretty convinced it is the puberty change. Needless to say when your kid once a month out of no where gets a headache that comes on fast and furious it isn't fun. For Abi it always starts in her nose. She will randomly start crying and say her nose hurts. At first when this started happening we thought she was being drama, then she puked and we knew she was serious! Anyway the cycle begins like this each time, her nose hurts, then she gets hot and sweaty and then chills, she falls asleep then wakes up and pukes and the cycle starts over. This last about 8 hours with the cycle starting over about every hour. It sucks! So the last time she got a migraine it came on right before bed. Bob was out of town, it was a Saturday night and it was my turn to volunteer in kids church the next day. I HATE not following through on commitments but if she was sick I wouldn't have a choice, I would have to stay home. So I looked in my trusty oils book and saw that "Deep Blue" a blend of oils was recommended for migraine's. It said to put on her temples and forehead and down both sides of the back of her neck. I did that and then put "On guard" which is another oil blend from DoTerra which is kind of a protective blend if you will. One that is suppose to help fight things off. I put that on her just in case she really had the flu and not a migraine, I wasn't taking chances. I also put lavender essential oil on her back and kind of gave her a back massage. Lavender is relaxing. So I did all of that because I was still new to all of this and I honestly didn't know if it was going to work but I figured it couldn't hurt and selfishly it made me feel like a better mom for trying something. I went to bed right away because I knew it was going to be a long night of getting up every hour. Imagine my surprise when I woke up...THE NEXT MORNING!!!! She didn't wake up at all that night, didn't puke AND slept through the night. On a normal night she wakes up a lot (insomnia? There is an oil for that too!) I couldn't believe that after 2 years of watching her suffer almost every month with these 8 hour migraines and no way to help her that a few essential oils would do the trick! Yep, I am a believer!

I would be sold if that was all they did, but wait there is more! Yes I intended that to sound like an infomercial. It has helped my kids sleep better. Lavender helps with that but the blend called "serenity" does too. Abi used to take a melatonin every night just to sleep. Now we rub 1 drop of serenity on her and it has the same effect. I noticed the biggest difference in Jorja, our little Tasmanian Devil who is up about 6:15 every morning without fail. I started giving her a back rub at night with some serenity in it and the first time she slept until 8am the next morning. She usually only does that when she is sick. She now wakes up at about 7:30 every morning when I rub her back with the oil.

My mom, sweet mom. She burnt her finger pretty good a few weeks ago, we won't talk how just that she did it. Anyway I went to her work and she had a bandaid on her finger and was quite vocal about her pain, she would randomly gets shooting pains in her finger not to mention it just hurting non stop. I asked if she wanted me to get the lavender, and she HATES the smell of lavender but she was in so much pain she didn't care. I put it on, just one drop and then that gave her something to distract from the pain because now she had to smell something she hated. Anyway she emailed me later that night, maybe 7 hours after I put the oil on and said her finger didn't hurt anymore even if she pushed on it really hard! Yay! Oh but to top if off the next morning all of the liquid in her blister was gone. All from one drop of oil. That is it for story telling but oils have helped us here at my house with my headaches, attitude boosters, cuts, pain, muscle stiffness, digestion issues, mosquito bites and a ton of cleaning uses! Not to mention the flu.

My friend Leah who introduced me to DoTerra oils sells then as a business. I have always said I don't have time and don't want to do that but the more I use them and the more they help heal my family I just can't shut about it and have to consider selling them myself. Why not let my sharing help pay for my own oils? It is something I am considering strongly, they are definitely something I can get behind and something I believe in.

Like I said before I like the DoTerra brand because they are so pure, but why do I like oils besides all of the reasons listed above? Simple. This earth and everything in and on it was created, created by an all knowing, all loving God. Everything has its time, place and purpose. Not by happenstance but by divine appointment. So when God created the lavender flower and all of the compounds that he put into that plant he did it with us in mind I am convinced. He created us and he created us to live in harmony with the plants. Those plants are gifts to us from him. Not only do they look beautiful and smell beautiful but they help heal us. He never fails to continue to amaze me. So even though I feel that oils are pretty miraculous things, I know that they work because our God created them that way. Just like you and I were created for a God given purpose all of these plants were created for a God given purpose too, for us!

The only thing I am left to wonder is WHY did our ancestors ever stop using them and turn to chemicals to do a worse job? Some things I guess I will never understand! If you are interested in oils let me know I go to classes often to keep learning more, maybe you can join me at one.

The fire in my belly...eating food, real food!

Our health is so important. Think about it, it dictates everything about us. Our activity level, our ability to communicate and function properly, our attitude, our ability to travel, go to school, work, daycare, play dates and the list goes on. I have not always eaten well or even been concerned about health. I eat because I am hungry and it tastes good. I took my health for granted and I for sure DON'T do well when I don't feel good.

After my last child was born I was thrown into a season of life that changed how I thought about food. It was a slow change and one that still continues to this day. I was no longer healthy and couldn't function very well to take care of my 5 girls, that is another post I will do soon. So for these last almost 3 years I am more and more aware everyday of what is being out into our bodies. My husband still eats nasty processed dead food on a daily basis and I will not complain. Why? Because although I would love for him to eat healthy he doesn't want to, and he FULLY supports me in our girls eating healthy and so I will not complain!

  Today we made our second ever batch of homemade chocolate syrup. Hershey's syrup has been a staple in our house since forever. I love chocolate. I believe that God loves chocolate too...ok maybe I am assuming but someone once told me that in the bible when it says "The streets are paved with gold" that is really just the wrapper around the chocolate. Chocolate streets would be amazing!

 However if you look at the label of the Hershey's syrup there are SO many things not good in there. The sugars alone are over the top, check out the nutrition label. Not to mention that most of the sugar comes from in the form of high fructose corn syrup. Now you know me I am not against corn at all, it may be the best thing ever, well ok, only if you buy it at Bob's Corn! But the way they process HFCS is awful and basically is a chemical by the time they are done processing it.

So Lucy helped me make our syrup today. Isn't she cute?

It was pretty easy and has simple ingredients. I was lucky enough to use raw honey straight from our fields, but you could use any local honey or agave if needed. I made a double batch and am excited for how much it made! I use it in everything now. Chocolate milk, mochas, dessert toppings etc. It is healthy but we don't have chocolate milk everyday, it is still a treat but now I don't have to worry about my kids drinking toxic chemicals, which is important when 3 of my children react strongly to chemicals.

 Here is our stash.

I got the recipe from this blog, I am excited to see what other recipes are on there that have to do with honey!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The fire in my belly...Our God given Mother's Intuition, a blessing and a curse!

I grew up a shy kid who wouldn't ask for my money if someone overcharged me. I had no confidence in my ability to stick up for myself. That little me in a little town called Snohomish would never have believed you if you would have told me that would grow up and be a fighter. Not a boxing fighter but a fighter for what is right. I would have never believed that I would have stood up to anyone let alone doctors, school administrators and eventually all that I have known to be normal. I also would have never believe that when I discovered something that I believed in to be right and helpful that I wouldn't be able to contain myself and share with everyone! Since becoming a mom at the young age of 19 and having a sick baby who had to have open heart surgery when I was a 21 year old single mom I have gotten a fire in my belly. At first it came slow and that "pit" in your gut when you know something isn't right or when that pit tells you "act now", well those were few and far between. Lately though they seem to be coming fast and furious! Sometimes I wish I could live in denial and ignore that pit in my stomach, it would be so much easier in the moment. It would save me tons of thinking, research, late nights, deep thoughts and so much more. But in the long run it is life changing and beneficial for my whole family. I feel as if God has me on a revolution. One that will change my life and my families life for the better. I can tell already it won't be an easy road but one that is necessary. I am excited for it because any road God has me on is exhilarating and exciting. Anything worth doing however isn't easy but WELL worth it! So although I know some paths that He has me traveling down I know there are more to come that right now my mind probably can't contain. I feel like my brain is already ready to pop with all of the knowledge and research I am gaining. I am also surprised about how much you have to listen to that gut feeling even if you don't fully understand it yet. I don't like research yet I can't get enough of it right now, go figure! I need to get my thoughts out so this blog is my way to do it. I am starting a "series" here inspired by my friend Bridget who is a much better, more consistent blogger than I! In this series I will hopefully be more consistent than i have been in the past, but I am going to share the fires in my belly that I couldn't ignore and why my passion continues in each area. They will be in no particular order and definitely random but what else would you expect from me? The first time I ever felt that fire in my belly as a mom is when Kylie had her open heart surgery. I never understood or did well in school. I made it through high school by the skin of my teeth and don't have fond memories of those four years. I got pregnant at 18 and never went to college hence I have always felt insecure around the more educated. I have felt like they know more than me and therefore I shouldn't question what they say or do and just go with it. Laughable I know, but those insecurities were so real back in the day. I always felt like the educated looked down on me too, like they all could tell by looking at me that I didn't go to college. Then my child gets sick and suddenly out of nowhere this momma bear comes out in me and I didn't even know what hit me until it was done. I was questioning everything the doctors told me, researching and getting second opinions left and right. I remember when her surgery was over and it was time for the nurses to have shift change, parents had to leave the room for that so the nurses that were getting off duty could brief the nurses coming on. Even though my daughter was in ICU I still had to leave. I was not happy and let the nurse know it. I remember VERY assertively telling the nurse what she was and wasn't allowed to do to and for my daughter when I was out of the room. Who woulda thunk that little ol' me would have told an educated nurse what she would and wouldn't do. Guess what, I was the momma and I had the final say! I think that was the beginning of the end for my insecurities ruling my life. I haven't stopped fighting for those (usually my children but also others) who are unable to fight for themselves. I come alive when I can help other people become more successful or help them through the unknown or a hardship that they are facing, I believe that is why I was put in this earth.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I failed my daughter yesterday. I have done it before and promised I would never do it again...yet I have. I am making this public declaration of failure as a reminder to myself. Ellie is on a gluten free diet. We went to the farm yesterday and worked, it was an unexpected work day so I didn't have a meal planned. Hunger got the best of me and since we didn't have a lot of time before church we just got pizza. I normally order a gluten free pizza for Ellie and I but she asked for a regular pizza. Normally I would have just said no but I was at that "hangry" stage were I was not in the mood to eat pizza toppings on a cracker crust and so with barely any coaxing from Ellie I caved. I got the gluten filled was SO good. In my devotional last week it talked about how when you do something that you know is wrong you are a fool. I knew eating the pizza (and feeding it to Ellie) was wrong but I let my emotions control me instead of my common sense. And since food is my weakest thing, I willingly gave in. I was a fool, a willing fool. Willingly which means "eagerly compliant" I was eagerly ready to eat what I knew would make me sick and cranky to my children, the children that I prayed for, begged for and was blessed with. I was eagerly ready to feed my child gluten which is like poisin to her brain. Really I am not exaggerating, it is toxic to her, it changes her attitude, her coping skills, her ability to be a normal person. I eagerly fed it to her, eagerly fed her poisin in the form of gluten. Today 24 hours later as she does her homework and struggles because of the "brain fog" and has an extreme fit on the floor. She kicks and screams and makes grunting noises that I haven't heard from her in a long time. I have been cooking from scratch and she has been getting no artificial junk or chemicals in her food because I am making it all and not feeding her processed junk. So not only was the gluten bad for her but all of the additives and chemicals that are in processed food. Tonight I sit at home not liking her much because of the beast she turns into I realize that it is all my fault and I have failed her. That may sound heavy to call her a beast but it is true and you may think that me saying I failed her is a bit drama but it is all true. She is a beautiful girl with a big heart and as her mom it is my job to protect her and take care of her and I failed. So to make sure that I never forget what it is like when she has gluten, here is my confession. So what I would say to myself if I should read this in a time I am tempted to cheat with gluten and in turn she would cheat too is "You are setting her up for failure and failing her by not protecting her from things that will harm her, you will regret it and beat yourself up for it." I love you Ellie and I am sorry for not being strong for you when you needed me. And now to be the change I want to see.

Monday, January 16, 2012


I woke up at 5am today. Nothing unusual for me. I went to bed at 10 last night and usually that is too late for me if I want to get up at my standard 5am time and not be sleepy or grumpy. When my alarm went off I thought, well I could lay here for just 10 more minutes (as is my standard lately) but I decided to just get up, I think that made the difference between groggy and awake. Something about those 10 extra minutes in bed where you aren't really sleeping but you are resting while at the same time convincing yourself why you don't really need to get up and all the things that you need to do that can wait. Then you finally get up and are rushed and cranky because you have 800 things to do and no time to do it. Today I just did it, I got up. That is going to be my new rule, just wake up. I need to wake up, wake up my attitude, my soul to really to be ready to parent these kids I have been blessed with! God has called me to be a mom to these girls, it isn't a small task, it is a very important task. I feel that I often make light of it, as if someone else's job is more important or has more impact than mine. I have come to realize over the years that comparing myself isn't helpful. Really God has called each of us to a different task, I need to focus on mine because He designed me for this task, I can't be successful in someone else's position because I wasn't called there. And why would I want to? Would I want someone else to do my job of raising my babies? Well Somedays maybe, I won't lie. But most days I couldn't imagine someone else loving them and taking the time with Ellie that is takes to figure out how she ticks. Would anyone else be able to understand Lucy's mumbling when she is upset? Could anyone else harness Jorja and all of her energy? what about Abi and her fourth grade emotions? And Kylie, she needs to laugh would someone else be too serious with her? So, Today my goal is to love on my babies, be slow to speak and quick to listen and breath in the day and blessing and struggles that come along with it.