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Friday, January 31, 2014

Re-purposing Laura Ingalls Wilder

About three months ago, after finally 'coming out' of the prairie water closet, so to speak, about my love for the values, history and writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder, I started work on a large writing project myself.

It involves a little history, a little research, and a whole lot of figuring out how pieces go together.  It's complicated, convoluted, sometimes frustrating and ALWAYS interesting.

In short, I'm in heaven.

To Tolerate or Embrace: What to Do About Differences?

In a recent blog post (When Tolerance isn't Tolerance, which you can read here), I wrote about the concept of tolerance needing to be a two way street if it's to be considered tolerance at all.

I chose that word as it was being thrown around in the hoo-haw surrounding the "Natalie Grant leaving the Grammys early" situation that happened last Sunday night.  I could have used other words, such as "equality, empathy, understanding, or acceptance, etc."  They would have all worked.

The Benefits of Eating and Growing Your Own Turmeric

If you're remotely interested in either natural health remedies OR yummy food, you've probably already discovered the many delicious and healthful benefits of turmeric.  Amazing in curries, butters, soups and stews, etc., turmeric was even once a main ingredient in England's wildly popular and beloved instant custard mix:  Mrs. Bird's Custard Powder.

Turmeric, a member of the ginger family, is a rhizome (an underground stem of a plant that is able to produce the shoots and root systems of a new plant), rather than a root and has a distinctive yellowy color that is used in everything from food to medicine to makeup to dyes.  Its flavor is a kind of warm, earthy, mildly bitter, faintly peppery taste that is versatile in sweet as well as savory recipes.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Six Simple Ways to Save in the Shower

There is nothing like a hot, steamy shower when you're tired, achy, or just need to relax. To be honest, I could stay in that kind of quiet, uninterrupted, liquid heaven for hours.

But I have things to do. And it costs money to pump that water from our well and then heat it up with propane. Plus, California is in a very serious drought situation at the moment. Sigh.

So, I slip in and out as quickly as possible and try to do a number of things to make the shower another place I can save money, time, and effort.  Intrigued?

The Danger of Like Minded People

There are many perks to homeschooling, which we're doing with our second oldest at the moment.  Beside the flexibility of schedules and subjects, it's also allowing us more precious one on one time with her than we would have otherwise.

It also allows us the luxury of some very weighty, uninterrupted, in-depth discussions.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mercy Rule

As a family treat in the run up to my impending birthday, we watched the new Kirk Cameron movie tonight. . .Mercy Rule.

It was a good family film with a solid message about what a family's true legacy is, adversity, playing as a team and sticking in there even when things look bleak. . .and even one of our favorite comedians (Tim Hawkins) was in it. Whoo Hoo!  Certainly worth a watch.

There were a lot of great talking points and laughs and worthwhile sub-messages throughout the almost two hour movie, but there was one special little nugget that kind of stood out. . .one line that I really, really liked.  (For a little context, the main character ran a recycling plant):

Budweiser, Puppies and the Superbowl

I don't usually pay too much to commercials if I can help it. Most of what little TV we watch is recorded, any way. . .so we zip through the ads in order to condense the 'good stuff' into as short a timeframe as possible.

Further, I don't drink. I don't mind if other people do. . .I just don't choose it for me.

So for me to even watch a commercial, let alone actually enjoy it. . .especially one for beer. . .well that is just a rare and unusual happenstance.

But I confess to having watched Budweiser's Superbowl commercial about ten times now.

When Tolerance Isn't Tolerance

The drama over the 'Natalie Grant leaving the Grammys early' kerfuffle has served to bring another issue that really, really frustrates me to the fore.  It's not her decision to leave early that's at the heart of the problem. . .it's the poopy, frenetic aftermath (excuse my language!).

Despite her graceful and non-accusatory early exit, she's been absolutely caked with accusation after ugly accusation. . .some of which are so ridiculous they defy understanding.  People don't seem to care about the truth when they believe they are self-righteously safe-guarding what they believe is right.

It's just another example of when 'tolerance' only flows one way.

And it makes me kind of sick.

Singer Natalie Grant Leaves Grammys Early, and I Stand with Her

She was nominated for two Grammys.  She had posted excited comments in the lead up to the big event.  She was clearly looking forward to it.  But she left early.  Politely and without expressing specific reasons as to why, Natalie Grant left the Grammys early.

And that move has ignited a firestorm.

A huge wave of support from a variety of sources has met with a flurry of ugly and pretty obviously untrue accusations and assumptions.  The fallout has been so sad to watch.

100th Blog Post ~ Thank You!!

Wow. . .what an amazing few months we have had launching this blog!  And what a lot of ground we have covered so far. . .kids, history, parenting, recipes, how-to's, health issues. . .and so much more. 

We've reached 100 blog posts!!!!

Whoo-hoo!  Yippee!  Hooray!!

We are so blessed by your support, comments (both private and public!), and for our shared love of family, faith, and all things pioneer.

Thank you so much. . .we deeply appreciate each and every one of you!

And what fun we are having journeying with you!


Robynne and the whole My Little Prairie Home Crew!

(photo courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net and can be found here)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Our Next Big Challenge? A Cecostomy!

Well, we had some good news and some not so good news at our son's medical appointment today. We'd been dreading what we thought was going to be a certain colostomy for our almost-13-year-old son. The impact of a full colostomy on a young teen's life, while manageable, would also be quite challenging. This is not the age in which a kid wants to feel different. Or to have a bag of fecal matter hanging from his side during P.E.

So we have been grieving for him.

He's already gone through so much in his long life, having had to deal with numerous consequences of choices he did not make.  So we would love to just let him 'rest' for awhile. . .to have no new challenges for the foreseeable future.

Guess that is just not going to happen.

Home Made Toothpaste: 7 Recipes

After my blog on oil pulling, which you can read here, I started thinking about home made toothpastes.  For an extreme couponer like myself, the thought of EVER buying toothpaste just goes against the grain.  It's always free.

But what's a little savings when you're talking about health?

And I confess that I am a little dubious about toothpaste ingredients.  From the raging 'fluoride' debate through to artificial colors and sweetners, etc., modern toothpastes seem like a dodgy collection of chemicals to me.

So I've done a little digging. . .and found a number of interesting looking home made recipes.

Removing Gluten, Renewing Hope

After weeks of inquiries and research and reading, we've finally gathered enough evidence to come to an important conclusion:  There's a strong connection between gluten sensitivity and some behavioral challenges.  So, we're going to put one of our children on a 'drastically reduced amount of gluten' diet to see if it will help him with some challenging issues.

Because of his age, maturity, and circumstances, though, we realize that removing all gluten is probably not a realistic possibility.  It seems like gluten is hiding in EVERYTHING. . .foods, shampoo, even medicine.  So getting every last smidge out is not very likely in our case.

But getting most out is.  And that is our new goal.

I'm a little intimidated.

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Simple Lesson in What 'Free' Sometimes Costs

My slightly disheveled 12 year old son recently came in from mucking about outside and slumped into a chair near me.  On his way in, he turned on several lights (none of which were necessary as it was the middle of the day), passed by the fridge, which he stood in front of (door open, of course) for ages, and then meandered into the living room.  He hadn't taken off his boots and had brought his faithful companion, Prince, with him.

Muddy boot and dog prints were EVERYWHERE.

Epic Fail: Forgot Probiotic Sour Cream, Too!

How on earth did I manage to forget the white nectar of heaven?

Though (normal) people don't usually eat enough sour cream to consider it a main food source, and the fat content does somewhat dampen its overall health benefits, the fact is, it's a probiotic food, too!

And, of all the probiotic foods, it's probably among the easiest to make at home.  Depending on the typical cost of cream in your area, or whether you can get it on sale, making your own sour cream might actually be cheaper, too.  Where I live, good cream is more expensive than store bought sour cream, but if you watch for mark-downs and sales it could be cheaper.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Confessions of an Extreme Couponer

A Haul I Earned Money On
You get an awful lot of odd looks when you trudge into a store with a couple of ten pound binders in one hand and a battle plan, I mean 'list,' in the other.

Some people are friendly. . .they come right on up and ask questions about how couponing works, how much I save, and what the hot deals are at the moment.  Some even go so far as to ask if I will teach them how to do it.

Some, though it's definitely the minority, regard me through deeply suspicious eyes.  They believe I will clear shelves, clog up checkouts, and get stuff I simply do not need.  Some even believe that couponers are the reason that prices are so high. . .it's clearly because we are 'stealing' so much from retailers.

Mt. Hermon Christian Writer's Conference

It's kind of amazing how fast things can change.  In one week our family's circumstances have altered so dramatically that something I was certain was entirely out of reach is suddenly not only within my grasp, it's actually going to happen.

From the very first second I learned about the Mt. Hermon Christian Writer's Conference, I was desperate to go.  And when I say 'desperate,' I mean DESPERATE!

Poopin' on the Prairie

Anyone who knows me knows I am a bit of an 'odd duck' in some ways.  If my blessed husband ever came to his senses and high tailed it out of here, it would be a nightmare filling out a form for one of those dating sites.  I'm sort of a, well, complicated blend of personality traits.

For example, I played competitive soccer for a gazillion seasons and am a consummate tomboy.  But I also like the color 'dusty rose,' did ballet for years, and sob over Hallmark commercials.  I love a good dress up and night out at the theatre, though I love to hike and camp in the woods even more.

I'm very frugal about most things (I make most of my household products from scratch, am an extreme couponer, can everything in sight, and hate to see an unneeded lamp left on), but I also don't mind the first class treatment from time to time.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Our Own Personal Festival of Lights

It's a bit easier to breathe now that a recent financially tense time has just about come to an end. I think I've had something of a 'keep your eyes closed and hang on' approach to the last seven months or so. . .knowing we were on a high wire of sorts, but trusting we were not going to fall.

Now that the roller coaster finally seems to be coming to an end, my eyes are cracking open a bit and I am a little surprised by what I'm seeing.

We had enough. Even though that was not possible.

We had enough.

Enough food, enough water, enough shelter, enough love. Enough.

Water Crystals and Gratitude

Last night, at our typical Friday night gathering of friends for a meal and making music together, we started off on a topic of discussion that, frankly, AMAZED me.

Our friend was telling us about a researcher he had read about, Dr. Masaru Emoto, who has done quite a study on crystals formed in water under different circumstances.

Before you yawn and get glassy-eyed at the thought of an impending science lesson, though, I can promise you this is going to be a truly, truly incredible revelation and well worth a few minutes to read!  And not at all math-y or science-y.

Okay, So I Lied: Probiotic Pickles

Opening the fridge this morning, I noticed someone had been rummaging about for something because things normally in the back were front and center. And the item most prominently placed (and therefore, probably what the 'rummager' was after)? Pickles!

In my recent run down on probiotic foods, I mentioned the exalted pickle, but then neglected to expand. Shame on me. Pickles are awesome.

And, truly, before this little research project, I had NO idea that they were probiotic. I knew they were delicious, mind you, but full of healthy microorganisms? No idea at all.

When Things are Looking Up

The past year has been interesting. . .one of those 'perfect storms' of events and circumstances that added up to a Real. BIG. Struggle.

As a family, we've had wave after wave of issues this year. . .everything from various health situations to losing people we love through to job changes.

It's reminded me a lot of labor with my youngest.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Final Post on Probiotic Foods: Natto, Tempeh, Micro Algae, Kombucha and a Surprise

A plate of natto.
Well, it's been quite a fermented journey, hasn't it? I honestly had no idea just how many foods contained probiotics, especially those that were easy to make at home. Check out our many other blog posts on probiotic foods (you can sort my posts according to the label 'probiotic' to see them all in one spot) to catch up if you're starting with this one. Because you know what? This is the last post on probiotic foods!  (Try not to be too sad, though. . .now you will have more time for fermenting your own foods at home!)

Some lovely foods rich in probiotics are exotic enough that I wouldn't try to make them at home. . .just yet.  But they are readily available in most health food stores, and even some regular supermarkets, so no need to go abroad to expand your culinary experience!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Making Homemade Go-Gurts (Yogurt Tubes!)

The 'Helper'
Parenting involves a whole lot more tactical planning than I'd ever imagined. . .from preparing for a week long camping trip through to getting everyone to smile at the same time for a photographer, everything takes forethought and deft parenting techniques.  I honestly had no idea how many strategy and logistics conversations my husband and I would have to have as we raised our four kids.  We're so good by now, though, I'm surprised the Pentagon hasn't called to tap into our expertise!

The current conundrum?  How to keep two boys, who are in a (perpetual!) growth spurt from going hungry while, at the same time, staying within our monthly budget.

Don't laugh.  It's nearly impossible.

Buttermilk Frosting! YUM!

A fresh batch of GORGEOUS yogurt is tucked into the fridge, a large jar of spicy kimchi is fermenting in the basement, a newly cultured quart of buttermilk is cooling on the counter, and I am in the thick of the hunt for local milk kefir grains. . .so I think I can take a quick breather from the fermented healthy foods/probiotic delicacies and focus elsewhere for a moment or two.

And what better thing to focus on than FROSTING! :)

Probiotic Recipes: Kimchi

Ready to jar!
Kimchi is one of my favorite foods. I could eat a whole jar of it in one sitting if I let myself. But it's pricey stuff (often $7-$8 per small jar!). So, I have had to content myself with sparing tidbits. Up until now!

I always thought you needed to have some sort of proper crock and bury kimchi to achieve the proper level of fermentation and flavor. But it seems that you can create that delectable Korean specialty at home with equally amazing results.

And since I have recently learned that kimchi is a wonderful probiotic food, I am really excited to make my first homemade batch. Yummy, cheap, and great for you? Count me in!!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Probiotic Foods: Miso

As you've probably figured out by now (you bright bunch!), I've been blogging a bit of a series about probiotic foods.

If you are starting with this post, however, you might want to go back and check out my first post about it here to get the lowdown on all the benefits of probiotics and what surprising foods are rich in those magic little microorganisms.

I've been posting how-to's and recipes on some foods (more to come, too) but wanted to also talk about some already prepared foods that might be an interesting and quick way to get those little buggers into your system. (Don't forget, though, that heating kills the beneficial microorganisms, so the least amount of processing and cooking possible means the healthiest food possible.)

So let's get to it! Today's food star? Miso!

Probiotic Foods: Kefir

Like a cross between yogurt and milk!
Of all the foods I've recently learned are probiotic, the one that's interested me most is kefir.  The health claims go WAY beyond the standard (and already impressive!) benefits of probiotic microorganisms, and are pretty tailor made to some health issues running through our family.  (This site has a list of nearly 80 conditions kefir is purported to help with like lowering blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as fighting cancer, aiding digestive problems and even clearing up acne!)  If even a fraction of the claims are true, this is some potent liquid!

So, what is it?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Making Yogurt in a Crockpot!

I've heard a lot about people using crockpots for making yogurt, but have always used the stove method for some reason.  I don't know why, though. . .a crock pot is just a large version of a yogurt maker. Still, I guess I have just stuck with a familiar method.

But my current stove has an oven light that doesn't seem to throw enough heat to keep things moving right along in the thickening process.  I have resorted to chucking hot water bottles in with my dishes to ensure the temp stays warm enough through the night.

So this crockpot method seems to be a GREAT alternative, depending more on the residual heat of the crockpot rather than an outside heat source. . .and, if I am being honest, seems even easier than my usual method.  Here's what you'll need:

Adults Living with Parents?

I read an article on the BBC website this morning (I like to stay in touch with UK and world events if I can) that kind of disturbed me.

It stated that 26% of young adults (which they classify as from 20 to the MID-30's!!) live at home with their folks.  In some parts of the country, like Northern Ireland, that number rises to 36%.

If this was simply because of financial reasons, like the economic downturn, I would be okay with it.  If there was some health reason, or an unforeseen tragedy, I would totally understand.  If it is a temporary stopgap, no big deal.

Probiotic Foods: How to Make Homemade Yogurt

My grandma used to have a cute little electric yogurt maker she would fill with milk and a little starter, plug in at bedtime, and wake to a fresh batch.  It was like magic. 

Yogurt is probably the most well known and popular of probiotic foods.  It's literally TEEMING with those awesome little microorganisms (lactobacillus and bifidobacteria) that do so much good.   

If you get the right kind, that is.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Chopped: The Entree Round

Ready to Start Round 2!
To be honest, we started this as a lark.  We thought we would have a little fun in the kitchen, avoid a little garage cleaning, and that would be it.

But this is getting serious!

Round 2 of our 'Chopped, Feav Family Edition' commenced today.  Our oldest and youngest were again competing, this time needing to prepare an entree.  The 'Mystery Basket Ingredients' were a pre-cooked, bone-in chicken breast, potatoes, onions, and Ritz crackers.

It was fascinating to watch.

As the competition began to unfold, I spent a lot more time in the background than I did the first round, quietly observing.  What I saw really encouraged and challenged me.

Probiotic Foods - Cottage Cheese

I was SOOOOO excited to learn that cottage cheese is a probiotic food.  I love it, especially in the summer when its cold creaminess in a salad makes a wonderfully light and refreshing lunch or dinner.  Sigh.

And it's not hard to make, either, and homemade tastes SOOOO much better than store bought. . .so I was thinking that we had a home run here on the homemade/healthy front.  

But then I started doing some research.  Turns out, I can't find a homemade recipe for a cottage cheese that is made in such a way that the probiotic microorganisms are developed.  Apparently, you need the benefits of a factory full of scientists and sophisticated equipment to get things right. 

Probiotic Foods: Sauerkraut

I honestly never thought that sauerkraut could possibly be a 'health food,' especially since it is often served with stodgy sausages of varying kinds or on top of hot dogs.

But the more I've looked into it, the more sauerkraut impresses the crud out of me.

Usually made out of only two ingredients (cabbage and salt, though sometimes with other vegetables, too), it's the fermentation process that produces copious nutritional benefits.  Of course, as with all probiotic foods, home made versions, done properly, are much better for you than store bought ones.  The less fermented foods are fussed with and heated, the better.  Too much processing kills  beneficial bacteria and microorganisms.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Getting Your Kids to Eat Fruits and Vegetables

When we were living in England, a study was published about the eating habits of children in the UK.  It focused on how many fruits and vegetables they ate each day.  I can't remember exactly what the amount per person was, but it was something along the lines of ONE QUARTER of a serving.  Per DAY.

I remember thinking that they must have made a mistake. . .the study must have been flawed, or the report figures in error.  I was pretty shocked.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

12 Probiotic Foods - An Overview

One of my kids has a medical issue and it's caused us to do a LOT of research.  To our surprise, there are a number of promising studies about the use of probiotics in the treatment of everything from intestinal disorders through to behavioral problems.

On the weight of these studies, we are looking into beginning the G.A.P.S. diet with our son, but we have to wait for a possible colostomy before we begin in earnest.  In the meantime, we are doing what we can to improve his condition through simple changes in diet.  While we are eliminating some foods, the main thing we are doing is adding probiotics.

Chopped! (Feav Family Edition)

The contestants, hard at work!!
We, as a family, have a particular strength: procrastination!  ('tis a gift, of sorts!)

There were a million things we SHOULD have done, and a million more we COULD have done, this afternoon.  Instead, we decided to take an hour or so out of our regularly scheduled Saturday programming to thoroughly amuse ourselves.

What diversion did we concoct today?  Our own family version of 'Chopped!'

Friday, January 17, 2014

Defining a 'Personal Family Conviction'

I first heard the phrase 'Personal Family Conviction' about twenty something years ago.  I didn't want to appear stupid at the time (I don't mind appearing stupid that much now, though, FYI), so I didn't feel comfortable asking what the heck it was. . .though I certainly wanted to know.  I quietly, but intently, listened to the conversation, hoping to discern its meaning from context, but never really figured out exactly what a PFC actually is.

Over the next several years, the elusive term popped in and out of social conversations, but it wasn't until I became a parent myself that I finally 'got' what it is.

Defeated Before I Begin? 4 Tips to Remember

I tend to work very late into the night.  It's the only time the house is quiet and I don't have kids clamoring for food or homework help or cuddles.  It's the only time I can't run the washing machine, even if I wanted to (which I don't, by then!). . .the laundry room is right next to the girl's room.

In the very late hours, I can sit near the fire in the living room (which is teeming with activity just a few hours before) and revel in the glorious peacefulness.  Dark and hushed and generally free of distractions, I love it then and am able to write.

However, morning responsibilities don't really seem to care when I go to bed.  Appointments begin, school is in session, and church starts whether I have had eight hours or not.  And most days, I do not.  It isn't ideal, but I realize it is just a season and will change at some point.

Switchel, Sack Posset and Scrub

Mmmmmm chocolate!
Sometimes, when I'm writing, I feel like one of the cast members of the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie.  You know the scene. . .the one where the door opens to the big old room of magical sugary happiness. . .where everything you can see and touch is edible.

Do you remember how everyone flung themselves into the room and could hardly contain themselves as they ran from one treat to another, shoving their faces full of candy, drinking from daffodils and sucking chocolate from the river?  They were literally like kids (and adults!) in a candy store. . .and could hardly get from one treat to another fast enough.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Natural Ear Infection Prevention and Remedies

Knowing I am Mrs. 'Make it at Home From Scratch When You Can,' a friend recently asked me if I knew of any home remedies for ear infections.

Generally speaking, I'm not a huge fan of messing with ear infections in kids. . .it's a legit going-to-a-doctor situation for me.  There was an incident in my past that left me emotionally traumatized. . .involving a cousin, tubes, infections, intense pain, lasting damage. . .it was a mess.  I think I'm scarred for life.

But I don't mind trying to find natural ways to ease the pain and discomfort and help speed healing along while antibiotics do their thing too.  Simultaneous treatment works for me!

Oil Pulling for Dental Health?

I've been hearing tons about 'Oil Pulling' over the last few months, but haven't paid a lot of attention.  Way too much going on.  But finally, an endorsement from a friend I actually trust appeared on my radar. . .so I decided to look into it.  Apparently, it's all the rage at the moment.

But it's more than a fashionable trend, lighting up all kinds of blogs and discussion boards. . .it seems like there is actually a bit of science (and multiple studies) behind it.

What's 'Oil Pulling?'  Well, basically, it's swishing an unrefined oil around in your mouth like a mouthwash.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tim Hawkins. . .

I needed a little cheering up today.  A whole host of heavy, worrisome issues has descended on our family, and we're a little emotional and burdened around here at the moment.

Don't get me wrong, we'll survive.  Everything is going to be okay.  It's just going to be a bit of a slog for awhile.  Probably a long while.

So, today, I needed a little boost. . .a little something to lighten the mood a bit.  I decided to seek out someone I often turn to. . .someone who is always there when I need him, always makes me smile and with whom I feel I can escape my troubles, if even for a little while.  When I am with him, I lose all track of time. . .and sometimes end up in a fair bit of pain.  From laughing, that is.

Tim Hawkins rocks.

What to do When You Can't Fix Your Child?

Our family is pretty open about how it was formed.  Before marrying, my husband and I hoped for a large family made up of a blend of adopted and biological children.  We were open to adopting all sorts of kids, but we had one small prerequisite:  They had to be somewhere in the 'difficult to place' category.

Whether that was due to age, health issues, parental background, or whatever, we wanted to give a home to a child that might not have one otherwise.  We were pretty realistic as to what that meant and might look like.

Our adopted kids all know their history, in an age appropriate way, and we make a point of honoring their birth parents, no matter what their story or life choices.  After all, it's because of them that we are privileged to raise these precious, amazing human beings.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Best Kind of Evening

It's not often you get to host two lovely young international-ly people for dinner.  One was the son of precious friends from the UK.  I've known him since he was about 14 and it was such a joy to see him now, all grown up and introducing his beautiful new American wife to us.

Though he's British and she's Californian, they live in Thailand, where they work with Iris Global.  It's so encouraging to see such capable, intelligent, compassionate people so in love with each other and with a country they have chosen to make their home.

They're in California to meet her extended family and friends, take the second half of their honeymoon, and generally get ready to head back to Thailand where they will lead a team in the  northern part of the country.

The Colin Kaepernick Kerfuffle -- 49er Fun

There seems to be a lot of fluff flying about ahead of the 49er v. Seahawks playoff game next Sunday, and most of it isn't pretty.  Don't get me wrong, though, I know a little good-natured smack talk is all part of the fun.

If that's all it is.

But this is getting silly.  Attacking a person's character as a means to justify why your team should win a game, for goodness sake, is a step beyond the pale.  And way beneath a true fan of the sport!

Have you seen what's been making the rounds?  It's a pretty tacky denigration of Colin Kaepernick's character.  A side by side comparison of the 49er's quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the Seattle Seahawk's quarterback Russell Wilson basically paints Wilson as a saint and Kaepernick as a self-absorbed dipwad.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Promise of a Promise Ring

It's a tradition in our family to give a promise ring on a 16th birthday.  So far, we've only had two girls reach that age, one just today, but we'll do it for our sons, as well, when the time comes.  It's a pretty special milestone for our kids, and a lovely way of acknowledging their entry into young adulthood and our own changing roles as parents of kids who are getting ready to transition into adulthood.

Tonight, after all the birthday festivities were drawing to a close, our newly-turned-seven-year-old asked us what a promise ring is.  A really interesting discussion ensued.

Sweet Sixteen: A Letter To Hannah

My beautiful, intelligent, talent, AMAZING sweet Hannah is 16 today.  I am struggling to grasp how time could possibly have flown by so fast.

Indulge me. . .

My Precious Daughter,

I always thought that a mother's role was to teach, care for, comfort, and guide her babies.  What I didn't realize is how very much I would be taught, cared for, comforted and guided by my children, instead.  You, sweet Hannah, possibly most of all.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Natural Treatments for Migraines - 15 Ways to Relief

Ginger Root
Five years ago I was in a bad car accident.  I received, among other things, a head injury.  During my recovery, I was informed that I was suffering from Post-Concussive Migraines.  And they might continue forever.

The news was devastating.

If you have never experienced a true migraine, it's nothing like a headache.  Not even a very bad one.  It's absolutely excruciating.  Truly.  And it's a huge blow to be told that this kind of pain might be a continual companion.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

What Do Children in Other Countries Eat?


Started a little firestorm there with my last post!

But I maintain that Western culture underestimates our littlest resident's abilities to eat and enjoy a very wide variety of foods and textures and seasonings.  I said it, and I stand by it.

And before we begin, let me say that there are ALWAYS exceptions to every rule.  My goal on this topic is not to condemn or criticize, but to convey information and, hopefully, give people a little, well, food for thought!

The Lie About Baby Food We Feed Ourselves

I'm thinking about food a lot this week. . .partially because I happen to have some very special events coming up and partially because I overheard part of a disturbing conversation today while waiting in line at Walgreens.  Despite myself, I couldn't help but hear one lady tell another that her son would only eat fries, fish sticks, and bread.  I almost fell over when the second lady, who looked mature, educated and, well, sane, replied something like: "that's all five year old kids are capable of eating, so I wouldn't worry too much."


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