Archive for the ‘Nutrition/Food’ Category

Family update and things to look forward to in the near future

March 31, 2009

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Well, I have all the kids down for a nap right now, so I thought now would be as good a time as ever to get back to posting on this blog.  It has been so hard for me to be absent from this blog for so long, but life has been busier than ever.  But, now that I’m back, I have a lot of new topics that I’d like to address soon!

First, though, I’d like to share what has happened in our lives that has caused my absence from blogging!  In February 2008, our church had “Sanctity of Human Life” Sunday.  I’ve always considered myself to be “pro-life”, but that Sunday, my husband and I were encouraged to do something about it–to show the world some way or another through our actions that we are indeed pro-life.  For many, it could mean talking to women, or volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center (which I did for a while), or protesting.  For my husband, Curtis, and I, however, we felt a very intense calling on our lives to show the world we value human life by adopting.  We had already adopted our daughter, Isabella, as a newborn.  But this time, we felt like the Lord was leading us to adopt older children–perhaps children that would be hard to place.

We responded to that calling by getting our homestudy in order, and applying for a lot of children in multiple states, including in Oklahoma, where we live.  But this process was frustratingly slow, and after several months, it became apparent to us, for several reasons, that adopting through the state government was not going to happen.  At that point, we were very confused because we had thought that the Lord was calling us to adopting older children.

So, still confused, we applied through an agency here in our state that specializes in infant adoption–thinking that maybe we would just get a baby instead.  About a week after we got in all of our paperwork and scrapbook, we got a call from the agency telling us that they had a group of 3 siblings that needed an immediate home.  We were shocked!!  Just the day before, I had received $4,100 in anonymous donations–specifically earmarked for adoption expenses.  So, wondering how much it would cost to adopt THREE kids (we had planned on maybe adopting 2 at most!), I asked what the expenses would be for such an adoption.  You guessed it….about $4000!  So, the Lord has confirmed right from the start that He had specifically chosen these kids to be our children.

The past 5 months have been quite a transition–and they have been quite rocky at times.  From the time we found out about the kids, to the time we brought them home with us, was less than 48 hours.  So, for weeks, we were left reeling from the major, unexpected transition.  We have faced behavior issues, food allergies, and a surgery.  I have been thrown into the homeschool scene, and suddenly have had to learn to budget for a family of 6.  It’s been tough, but oh my, it has been so rewarding!!

My experiences over the past few months have greatly influenced a lot of what I am going to post on this blog.  These are a few of the topics I want to tackle in the coming weeks:

  • budgeting in an increasingly worse economy
  • homeschooling topics such as curriculum, methods, and dealing with learning disabilities
  • simple homecare for busy moms
  • food allergies
  • craft projects for kids
  • frugal ideas to reduce waste
  • discipline
  • and the big one–adoption!

Now please note:  I am certainly not an expert in any of these areas, and I am hoping to make a lot of my posts an open forum for all of my readers to share their experiences as well.

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Farm Fresh Education

February 20, 2008

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The subject of getting your food from local farmers and growers is a subject near and dear to my heart.  I kind of figured that it would be one of the first posts on this new blog, but for some reason, I just kept putting it off.  Earlier this evening, I was reading one of my new favorite blogs, and Stephanie had written a fabulous article on this subject of knowing where our food is coming from.  I agree with everything she wrote, so there’s no need for me to write it out again.  So, you should visit her site.

There are a couple of things that I would like to add from my own personal story.  I am pretty new to the idea of advocating farm fresh foods.  Eating healthy has been a journey for me.  A year and a half or so ago, I found out that I had some ovarian problems that could be managed by eating low glycemic/sugar free foods.  So, I started to focus on complex carbohydrates and less sugar.  That led me into the realm of minimally processed foods and whole grains.  Then, about a year ago, I found out that I have Celiac disease, which means that I cannot have any wheat or cereal grains.  So, I had to throw all the “whole grains” out the window.  I really struggled with finding convenience foods that fit all of my dietary restrictions.  And then I discovered the wonderful book, Nourishing Traditions.  This book is probably the most used book in our house, second to the Bible.  Sally Fallon, the author, points out the value of eating fresh, whole foods, meats that are fresh, and drinking raw milk.  That book really prompted a lot of deep thinking about the food my family puts in our mouths.  And it prompted a lot more research that ultimately changed our family’s food philosophy from “convenience” to “natural.”

Now, every week, I drive out to a fairly local farm, and get raw Guernsey milk.  Besides drinking it, from that raw milk, I have made my own raw butter, cream cheese, yogurt, etc.  Raw milk is highly controversial, but a few things have made me a believer.  First, my husband is lactose intolerant, but because of the live enzymes in raw milk, he is able to enjoy milk again without getting sick.  Second, while raw milk does sour after a week or so, it doesn’t go bad.  Yet why does the milk from the grocery store go bad so quickly?  It just makes you wonder….

Also, I’ve been buying eggs at the farm, when they’re available.  This past week, they had duck eggs, and I bought those instead of the chicken eggs.  Farm fresh eggs taste great.  And I love that they are not all the exact same color and size.  Some are big and some are smaller.  Some are white, some are speckled and some are dark brown.  And I love that these chickens aren’t standing in their own waste in some tiny pen.  Nope, they are free to wander the farm.  Actually, the last time I went out to the farm, they were waddling around my car.

It’s been quite a journey for me.  I’ve gone from being the queen of convenience foods to making everything from scratch and “grocery shopping” at a farm.  But this road has been a gradual one–one paved by education.  Regardless of where you stand on these issues–whether you agree that farm fresh food is valuable, or whether you think that everything needs to be pasteurized and inspected by the FDA–it is important to make those decisions based on education.  Read those books, watch those videos, and check out both sides of the story.  Don’t draw your conclusions based on what you’ve always done or how your family was raised. There’s a ton of misinformation out there.  I’ve always wanted to be a good steward of my health, body, and resources, but it wasn’t until I educated myself (and didn’t let the media educate me) that I was able to develop my convictions.

If you’ve been on a journey to eat more natural foods, I’d love to hear about it.  Or maybe you’re skeptical about all this, and you want to know what resources are good to educate yourself about natural foods.  Nourishing Traditions and the Weston A. Price Foundation is definitely a great place to start reading.  If any of you readers out there have other resources that you use, please leave a comment and share with us!!