Friday, September 28, 2012

Blessing counting

Oh, how I’d love to be that blogger that puts out a little happy post three times a week. It’s dedication that I just can’t seem to reach. Perhaps it’s the consistent need of raising the kiddos, survival mode during the afternoons, and just trying to remember my head on my shoulders. Yet, here I am, trying to write because I really do enjoy this blog of ours:)

Ever have one of those days, or weeks, when it seems your not doing anything right? You try to accomplish good, but you say the wrong things, or do something stupid, make more mistakes trying to learn and grow, and basically you just want to go back to bed and not face the world? Yea, those are humbling times. Combined with the whole family catching a cold, it can really help you to remember to slow down, pray better, and be very gentle on yourself.I think that’s the best part, remembering to be gentle on yourself. Us girls sure can struggle with that, but times like these do make you count your blessings more, and that’s a good thing.

I was so blessed to attend Time Out For Women last weekend, a big warm fuzzy conference with great talks and moving music. It happens every 2 years here, and I love it. It was a nice mom break for me. Sweet Shaun was home with the kids, while I was away for a day and a half. So thankful.

Here’s my sweet friends and I. I’ve know these gals since I was 15. They are such an inspiration to me, and I love them dearly.


Sweet Heather. We grew up in the same ward. I remember going to weekly church activities with her, and laughing at her funny brother’s sense of humor. Now, we’re moms with kids. Wow:)


Jericho Road, fun mormon boy band. Last time I saw them perform, it was 2001 at Ricks College. Holy crap, where does the time go?


One tid bit of notes from Julie De Azevedo Hanks:

Honor your emotions-It’s ok to feel mad and sad. That doesn’t mean you’re not Christlike.

Investing in your own growth-It’s not being selfish to spend time on yourself and your passions.

Celebrating the good in you-Acknowledging your god given strengths is humility.

Another great thought from Emily Freeman:

When was the last time you had an answer to your prayer? If not in the last three days, you need to change the way you pray.

Good stuff, huh?

Here are a few more blessings:


These no bake cookies. It’s my second cookie recipe I’ve found that is a healthy alternative to regular cookies. They passed the test, and they taste great! Recipe here.


Getting dirt, a lot of dirt, for the garden. Such a great thing!! Ethan sure enjoyed playing in it for a bit, which called for an early bath that day:)


The blessing of finally being able to own this book. It will be a great help in our school adventures.


For boys and their enthusiasm with the outdoors, and more dirt:)


For a friend who inspired me to get a bread maker for dirt cheap at Deseret Industries. The boys wanted to cook stuff in it, and got their play food out. Good times.



The joy of seeing it work, ha ha!

  • For a washer and dryer that works
  • A home to have the sick kids rest in, books to read to them, and Netflix to find fun shows
  • For the newly acquired knowledge of soaking grains, and making oatmeal that really fills up the kids!
  • For friends who are forever being kind to me, sharing things with me to help the kids, and who may not know just how incredibly thankful I am for them.

Those are just a few of my blessings. For those who are reading this, please know that I look up to you, and I thank you for your example. I read your blogs, and see your presence at church, outdoor activities, and Facebook. I learn so many great things from you all, and just wanted you to know that. Thank you, friends:)

Friday, September 14, 2012

My food learning journey

So, in the past month and a half I’ve learned a ton about food. A lot! It started with chatting with a friend who mentioned to start avoiding ‘the whites’, white flour and white sugar. Which began the research on those items, leading me on a huge and exciting journey to learn more about nutrition, how our food is processed today, and what causes cancer in our bodies.

I love to learn. I wish I had this passion when I was in college, but I have it now. I love technology, books, and youtube. We are so very, very spoiled today with the ease of learning through technology! When I research, I dig, search, gather information from lots of places, analyze, talk with others, process it in my mind, pray, and try to walk away with a better view on things. Well, learning about food changed our lives. When I learned one new thing, I wanted to learn more. I went from topic to topic, and was amazed at the discoveries. I listened to podcasts, and read a little bit each night. I had many moments of ‘Holy crap! Do other people know this??’ Well, yes, if they do the research.

In short, we are doing the processed free way of eating, and eating along the lines of Weston A. Price. Whole foods, nutrient dense foods, vitamin and enzyme packed goodness. It’s a big undertaking, yes, but so very worth it. It wasn’t too hard for me, because I love to cook and already do a lot of preparing meal from scratch. We’ve made, and are still making little changes to our food, and the way we prepare it.

That’s the key. If you want to change your eating, don’t get overwhelmed and try to change too much at once, because there’s a lot that needs to be changed:) Just do one change at a time, and do what you can comfortably do. I’m crazy. I changed about three things at once, the white flour and sugar, and the cooking oils. I just got really excited from what I learned, and knew we could do it. Don’t be crazy like me:)

Besides learning about traditional cooking and such, there is one lady who taught me the most important things I never knew I’d learn, and her name is Dee Mccafrey. Her website is Processed Free America,  and she has seriously done her homework. She’s an organic chemist and diet counselor.

Back in the early 90s, the poor babe was 200 pounds and only 4’ 10. She was on a hike one day with her school class, and it was there she realized that she needed to change her life or she would die, from her health, eating habits, and weight. Previously, she tried many diets, but no success. The weight would come off, but come back with cravings and such.

The first thing she did on her journey was cut out white flour and white sugar. In 30 days, she lost 20 pounds. After walking for exercise, and going processed free for a year, she lost 100 pounds, and has kept it off for 20 years. She maintained her weight, awesome.

In that journey, she went back to studying and gained insanely important knowledge about our health and food. Her story intrigued me, and I read her recent book, this one:

Oh my goodness, if there is one book you read about food, read this one. It’s an easy to understand, and very well written. She shares her story, and then teaches us about the food we’re eating, how it affects our bodies, and how to make changes to improve. It’s fabulous.

So basically, I’ve learned so many great things, and I wanted to share them in some blog posts, a food series. For anyone out there who cares, and who is curious. The things I’ve learned are concerning, and exciting. I just want to write them down. I will say that after I learned about our food, and made the changes, going into a grocery store has never been the same. I  just become a TON more aware of everything. I became a food label detective. Many times, people pass me in the aisles as I stand there holding something in my hand, and reading the label. Actually, I don’t shop much in the middle of the store, just the perimeter now. Everything has changed, and it’s wonderful.

I’m hoping to talk about these things in their own post:

  • Refined, white flour
  • Refined, white sugar (I never knew that overconsumption of white sugar, which is in nearly every processed food,  sets the stages up for cancer in our bodies. Can’t wait to discuss that more.)
  • Refined vegetable oils (My favorite discovery so far! Free radicals, wow.)
  • Canola oil
  • Agave nectar
  • Salt
  • High fructose corn syrup (who’s bright idea was this??)
  • Lacto fermentation (Really old and cool way to get probiotics in our bodies, which fight cancer)
  • The movie “Food inc”
  • Coconut Oil (Oh, my love! The best stuff ever!!)
  • Healthy fats (Guess what? Butter, whole milk, and cream don’t make you fat. Sugar and fructose does.)
  • Making cream cheese and whey (You need whey, and other items, for lacto fermentation.)
  • MSG (Highly not good)
  • Sodium Nitrate (Big cancer causing factor)

These are what I hope to cover, when I can. Trying my best to blog with family life and such. Thankfully, the kids slept in this morning so I could write this:)

Thanks for taking the time to read my little blog. I’ll do my best to share what I’ve learned:)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Potty training, Brooke update, and good thoughts

Today was such a good Monday. Usually, Mondays are the craziest, stressful, getting back to reality after a nice weekend break day, but today was better. I think it was because of one thing I did; I got up early. I used to get up early before Brooke was born, but then I became a slacker and slept in till 6:30, when the boys get up.

I set my phone alarm to have that pretty song from the Keira Knightly ‘Pride and Prejudice’ movie to play, the one at the beginning of the movie when the sun is coming up. Seriously, the best music to wake up to.

I got up, slowly, somehow exercised on the treadmill, felt better, got food done in the kitchen, while the boys started to wake. (Someday, I will relearn where to put the stinking commas in a sentence. Goodness, I let that one go!)

It just helped so much to get started early. I also read a neat parenting blog post last night about not yelling at your kids. Ha! Yet, I wanted to try hard to work on that today. I told the boys that if I start yelling at them, to tell me that I’m yelling. I was going to close my mouth and just not talk if I felt like yelling. Breathe deep and pray. Thankfully, with that mindset, I didn’t raise my voice today. I was shocked and so proud of myself, and the boys reacted today tons better. No meltdowns from Ethan, took the kids to the park, and had time to have fun, little moments with the kids. Gosh darn it, I want every day to be like this!

Ok, potty training! Third time was a charm for Kevin. We decided we’d give it another try, and totally not expect miracles. Yes, expectations were super low, which made it so much less stressful. Shaun took Kevin to get pick out a little Lightning Mcqueen potty. All I can say is that getting the little potty was the ticket to success. The first 3-4 days Kevin was naked just drinking lots of juice and sitting on his potty in the living room.

To help with potty training, we decided to get Netflix. Wow, what a help that was. We haven’t had TV since January, and I kept renting dvds from the library, but I love the simplicity and convenience of Netflix. Basically, my friend convinced me of the greatness of Netflix for moms and kids, and it has been a huge help. Especially when I’ve taken the boys to Brooke’s doctor appointments, and they get tired of being in that small room. They watched Curious George on the netflix app on my phone. Oh, huge help!!

Anyways, Kevin shocked us on the first day of training by going poop in his potty, his first success. Go, Kevin! We had a little sticker chart, and some junk from the dollar store for the end of the day.  Being naked totally helped in the potty training. Then, by the end of the week, we attempted to put underwear on him. It took a little bit to understand not to wet them, but by the second week, he did great. He even has done well going out, and waiting to go potty in a restroom, not in his pants. I was ready to faint in complete shock and happiness of how well he was doing.

So, I don’t have any pics of that to show, since he was never wearing clothes, but I can honestly say that with boys, it really helps to wait, awhile, till maybe they are 3 1/2 yrs, and then try to potty train. It was SO easy, and he really got it down. Oh, relief to only have one kid in diapers!

Now, for Brooke. After a series of events, we got Brooke to a gastrio.. something, a stomach doctor. We need to get Brooke to gain weight. 12 pounds for a 10 month old is a bit small. The doctor recommended some liquid vitamin supplements. She’s been taking them for about 4 days now. All I can say is that since she’s taken the vitamins she has become a lot more spunky, vocal, and moves a lot more. She rolls like crazy now, kicks her feet everywhere, smiles and is so sweet and bubbly, and has been doing tons of great tummy time on her own. We do exercises to help her with sitting up and such, but I can see a big difference in her since she’s getting some extra vitamins. So, we have a long road, but it’s taking a good turn:)


One of those fun pinterest activites. I froze toys and letters in a big thing of ice. Boys loved it!


Is this picture not the most hilarious thing ever? This is my Ethan, and his craziness. I just crack up looking at this. Boys are just so dang funny. I have no idea what Brooke, a girl, will be like when she’s older, but I sure know a little about boys:)


One day, I had a neat thought, a mini vision I guess, about Ethan. I wrote it down as fast as I could remember seeing it in my head. Here’s my notes:

Dropped Ethan off at BYUI for college. Saw the familiar campus in the background behind him. Got emotional remembering my time there. Ethan stood tall in front of me. He was so tall and had that same wonderful smile. He turned out fine, smart and friendly, a true leader amongst friends.

All the struggles from his young behavior will be gone, as we continue to love and help him. How blessed we are to have him sent to our family.”

Isn’t that beautiful? Just made my little mama heart feel better. Made sure to give him a huge hug that day.