Oh, my dear garlic,

How I truly love you so.

You not only add flavor to my food

But are the best remedy I know!

Ahhh, garlic makes me smile.  I recently asked my family if they were going to carve a sculpture of me out of the food that most represented me, what would it be?  GARLIC was the quick answer and unanimous decision of all.  The above picture is how I take garlic when I am too lazy to make the tea (sinus drainage remedy)… Just mince a garlic clove, put honey on top and take it quick followed by lots of water.  If you are trying to give it to a baby or child who won’t go for that, GOOT (below) is the best option, and it works great.  Enjoy your garlic however you can!!!!!!!!

GOOT Garlic oil ointment
A formula that will produce miracles -
Anti-infective/Anti-fungal/Anti-parasites
Warm 3 tablespoons of Coconut oil over stove until melted and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
Remove from heat and add 3 tablespoons of fresh chopped garlic.

Blend at slow speed, then at high speed for 2 minutes. Use a blender or coffee grinder. Pour mixture through a screen to remove chunks of garlic that the blender may have missed. Pour into a wide mouth jar and label it “GOOT.” Place in a refrigerator.

GOOT turns into a thick soft paste after 1 hour. GOOT, rubbed into the skin, transfers raw garlic oil directly into the blood stream. Apply on the feet of children or infants to fight infections. Rub on chest for chest colds, pneumonia or rub into nostrils for sinus infections.  Apply on rashes any place. Place on cotton swab for ear infections. GOOT kills Candida, parasites, bad bacteria and virus by direct application. In addition, it treats systemic infections by absorption through the skin into the blood supply and travels throughout the body. After two weeks, make a new batch of GOOT.

NOTE:
 
You may add 2 dropper-fulls of oregano oil (and mix well) and several drops (depending on amount) of GSE (grapefruit seed extract)
for extra strength and effectiveness before refrigeration.(the National Association for Child Development).

PS- Sorry about the irregular font sizes and styles… I do not know how to change it to make it uniform.   :(

February 20, 2011

Matthew 6:33-34

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

If you have ever eaten gluten-free bread (or even FELT a piece of it) you know what a challenge it is to find one that does not feel like a brick or a stiff piece of cardboard.  In the past I have had to toast the bread to soften it enough to make it possible to bite through the thing (so forget taking a nice sandwich along for a picnic).   I have recently found 2 breads (one homemade and one from the store) that are actually tender… PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!!  The softest one that I have found from the grocery store is Udi’s.  At Whole Foods it costs $5.99/loaf, but surprisingly, Reasor’s has it in the frozen area for $4.99.  Lately I have come across quite a few $1 off coupons on the computer, so do a quick search and print one if you are going to try it out.   I like to keep it on hand for lunchtime sandwiches. 

How about homemade bread?  It has taken me a while to find a good recipe, but we finally have a winner!  This recipe is found on food.com, and here is the link: http://www.food.com/recipe/gluten-free-french-bread-180306.  I do a few substitutions: 3 whole eggs instead of egg substitute, honey instead of sugar, olive oil instead of butter, and I use raw apple cider vinegar.  I put it all in one bread pan and bake it, and here is how it looks (drum roll…)

It sure does fluff up nicely, and it is oh, so soft. 

In other news, I have had a hard time lately coming up with a big enough (hearty enough) breakfast for Daniel; I think he is finally having a growth spurt AND his tummy isn’t hurting first thing in the morning.  He is really picky about eggs- he used to love scrambled eggs with bacon but won’t eat them now- so I have been trying different options.  Since we don’t eat cereal, and he can’t have oatmeal, I have been pretty frustrated.  The only consistent thing has been bacon!  My dad calls him “the BACONATOR“!   As you probably know, bacon isn’t cheap, so I have had to find ways to use it more as a flavoring.  Last week I came up with a wonderful creation…  a breakfast sandwich.  In order to get him to eat the fried egg I decided to fry it in bacon grease to give it some bacon flavor.  Then I break up one piece of bacon (I keep it frozen after I cook it), add the egg, and serve it on “buttered bread”- Earth Balance (soy free).  Here it is:

Of course this picture shows it on an English muffin, but it wasn’t big enough, so I changed it to bread the next day. 

HE LIKES IT!!!!!!!!!!   -For now, anyway.  ;)

I left off in my last post with the idea that the Christian home is one that is to be intentionally built up.  Proverbs 14:1 is a very challenging verse that I often think about: “The wise woman BUILDS HER HOUSE, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”  What does the Bible say, then, about what our homes should look like?  

First and foremost it must be built by God to have meaning.  Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.”  We also learn in Matthew 7:24-27  that unless we build our homes on God as our foundation (house on the rock), they will not stand (house on sand).  The only way a house can be built this way is for all the decisions and actions to be “filtered through the grid of God’s Word” -as Pastor Bruce Ewing used to say.   If this is our blueprint for the house, then it only follows that Deuteronomy 6:6-9 will be true: ” These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”  Our houses become a place of family Bible study and instruction- a place where the father teaches his children the ways of God (Proverbs 4:3-5).  What a beautiful dwelling this is!  It is no wonder, then, that the Bible says that the Lord blesses the home of the righteous (Proverbs 3:33).

I am so thankful that the Lord gently and tenderly leads us where we need to go and shows us where we need to study.  He has taken me through interesting studies recently.  For the past few weeks He has been leading me to do my own study on what a home should be like.   Of course there are probably countless books out there written about homemaking, but it is so much sweeter when Jesus shares His heart with me through His Word.  I have written out 16 pages worth of verses in my journal that He has laid on my heart, so I am writing this post mainly as a way of putting my thoughts together because I am a little overwhelmed by all of  them. 

As I looked up the verses, I was expecting to find more verses using the word “home” rather than “house” because it seems like a much more personal word to me.  It was completely the opposite, though.  Home was used more in phrases like: “at home”, “to go home”.  House was used more to specify a place.   The verb I seemed to see a lot with home/house was “build”, so I looked it up on dictionary.com, and here are a few of the definitions that I liked:

1.  To construct (especially something COMPLEX) by assembling and joining parts or materials.

2.  To establish, increase or strengthen (often followed by “up”).

3.  To mold, form or create (…to build boys into men).

4.  To base, found:  a relationship built on trust. 

Knowing all of this, it seems clear that a home that honors the Lord is one that is INTENTIONALLY built up by the people who live in it.  It is something that we need to work at constantly because it deserves our best effort.  We dare not be complacent and think that just because we are Christians our house will be a place that glorifies Him.  Daily I need to evaluate all that is part of my home- my actions, relationships, clothes, decorations, food, entertainment- to see if they are pleasing to Him.  Ouch!  This is a painful and life-long process, but one that is supremely important.

As most of you know, Mike has had THREE different jobs in 2010… what a long year it was!!!  His second job was 100% commission (as is this current one).  With the decline of the housing market lately, this was a really dry time for the mortgage industry.  In fact, things got so bad in the end of the summer/early fall that he did not have a real paycheck for about 6 weeks (that means not even big enough to cover our mortgage).  At that point, we decided to see if there was any way we could qualify for food stamps.  God worked powerfully, and though we wouldn’t normally qualify, the case worker I met with happened to be a former realtor and understood what it is like to be commissioned.  He somehow worked the numbers (he was honest, but he had to project ahead for an average), and we got some help.  Mike and I were amazed that we were given $640… way more than we could have expected!  Because we qualified for food stamps, I was able to qualify for WIC.  Unlike food stamps which only gives you money one month at a time, WIC gives you 3 months worth of “coupons” for food all at once.  Although it is humbling to have to ask for assistance, it is such a relief to feel like you don’t have to worry about whether you can put food on the table or not.  I spent quite a bit of time researching how to best use these resources to do our best to still eat healthy.  A blogger I like had written a series of posts about trying to eat well on a food stamp budget that helped a lot (http://nourishedkitchen.com/food-stamp-challenge-week-1/) Here are some of the things I learned.

Food stamps are great because they give you such freedom!  We got a debit-type card that you swipe like any other when you check out, so it was super easy.  I don’t think that there was a store I shop at that did not accept it, so yes, I could even keep going to Whole Foods to get some of the specialty stuff I need for Daniel.  Thankfully I had recently found out from a friend that some Wal-Mart Markets had started carrying gluten and casein free foods, so I went to check it out.  I was able to get the Tinkyada brown rice noodles/spaghetti that we love there for about $1 less that WF, as well as better prices on Muir Glen organic tomatoes and some Bob’s Red Mill grains like brown rice flour.  I mainly used the food stamp money to stock up on basic ingredients such as these and fruits, veggies, etc.  Oh, another thing I used them on was honey.  Normally I like to order raw honey from the food coop, but I couldn’t justify that, so I found the next best thing at Reasor’s- Cheatwood’s honey.  Quite a few stores in Tulsa sell it, but Reasor’s has the best price AND they put it on sale sometimes.  It seemed like the Lord really made that money s-t-r-e-t-c-h farther than I expected!  -I was often reminded of the story of the loaves and the fishes in the Bible or the widow’s oil and flour.  :)

What about WIC?  Like most things, there are pros and cons.  The good thing about WIC is that the government is trying to help people make “healthier” food choices by specifying the foods on which you can spend your coupons, i.e. whole grains, cheeses, peanut butter, beans, milk, eggs, fruits and veggies.  However, I don’t agree with everything the government considers healthy- i.e. CEREAL* and JUICE.  Many of the coupons were on these items, but I would have preferred being able to get bags of oats or grains and fresh or frozen fruits!  Of course, I am not in the majority, so I am probably one of the few who dislikes this aspect.  Beggars can’t be choosers, right?  Well, here is how I made the most of my coupons:

 

My favorite store overall to use the WIC coupons was Target.  After hours (literally) of walking down aisles and reading ingredients/comparing sizes, I found some nice options.  Things I liked to get at Target: milk & cheese (the Archer Farms brand actually does not use rBGH! wow!),  whole wheat tortillas (no high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils), organic fruits.  Reasor’s was good because they were the only store with the right size cannister of whole oats (WIC requires a specific size)- these were the only whole, unprocessed grains I could get.  They also had the better wild, Alaskan canned salmon (Pillar Rock, I think).  The salmon was a blessing; I got it because I am a nursing mom… you could choose any canned fish. 

Okay, this is getting long.  I had more thoughts on eating well on less money, but I will have to write another post.  I would love to hear if anyone reading this has any great ideas or experiences like this to share! 

* Here is a good blog post that summarizes my thoughts on cereal, in case you are curious: http://www.naturallyknockedup.com/what-is-cereal-good-for/

Last year about this time we had done another test to check Daniel’s mercury levels, and it had appeared that he was finally at “normal”.  Unfortunately, we did a follow-up in 2010 that showed everything (mercury, lead and arsenic) was back up.   Although this was a bit discouraging, our doctor in Pennsylvania has been so wonderful through all of this.  I am so thankful that God put him in our lives to help out! 

In the fall we took a break from the chelator we use (Waiora Natural Cellular Defense Zeolites), and began to focus on the systemic yeast in his body.  The past 2 months have been very difficult because the energetic, happy Daniel we know & love seemed to be disappearing before our eyes.  He became more lethargic and sad, and his speech got quite a bit worse.  Just a few weeks ago we consulted with Dr. Prociuk again and learned that the “die-off” of the yeast in his gut was having a drug-like effect on him.  In addition to restricting gluten and casein free foods, we had to cut out sugar/desserts.  We also gave him activated charcoal twice a day for 5 days.  Fortunately, this has seemed to help some.  We still have to keep him off sugar for a couple more months since it feeds the yeast.   Daniel has been a trooper about all of this, though.  He really has not whined or complained about no dessert (which was really the main time of the day that he had “sugar”- even though that was really in the form of honey or sucanat in things like peanut butter fudge). 

I am the one who has had a hard time with all of this.  Honestly, I am worn out and tired of having to think about food all the time.  I wish I could just give him anything that he wants to eat!   I think I had just hit a wall lately because I feel like there are so few things that I can give him… it just makes me want to throw my hands up in the air!!!!  However, I keep reminding myself that the Lord will give me  wisdom, strength and creativity when I ask Him instead of walking around whining about it.  Here are a few of the new things I have done that he likes lately:

Chebe mixes are AWESOME!  They are made out of manioc root and are really yummy plus they are versatile!  Daniel had been wanting a hotdog in a BUN, but I hadn’t seen any GF buns (besides the fact that many GF items are expensive).  These mixes are about $2.99, and you can do all kinds of things with them.  I decided to give buns a try with it, and they came out great! 

I have been dabbling with gluten-free sourdough lately, so I decided to make some Italian herb foccacia bread using a pizza crust recipe.  Daniel really likes this (esp.  dipping it in olive oil and balsalmic vinagar).

I have been trying to come up with something other than crackers and fruit to give Daniel at meals, and then I remembered a phone consult I won on a blog with Chef Rachel (she wrote a cookbook called “The Garden of Eating”).  She suggested trying a crudite platter with various dips, and he actually likes it (it’s not his favorite, but he will eat it.  Kate really likes grabbing these veggies).  I like to serve them with homemade sundried tomato balsalmic vinaigrette- it is soooooo yummy.  Here is a link to the recipe: http://www.thegardenofeatingdiet.com/pdfs/335CruditePlatter.pdf  I did the broccoli for about 3 minutes, and it comes out beautifully… no bitterness!  Give it a try.

Lastly, we made some GF/CF gingerbread cookies at Christmas time (I used a combo of brown rice, arrowroot and garbanzo/fava flour), and they were really good.  Mike and I actually liked them!  We topped them with some candy and sprinkles that do not have any artificial colors- they were a hit.

Okay, okay… I guess I took an unofficial blogging break after having Kate.  I didn’t know anybody missed me, so thanks to my couple of friends who have encouraged me- here I am again.  I have actually thought about writing many times, but I haven’t had the energy.  It has been quite an adjustment to add another child to our lives- especially with homeschool- but we have found a new groove.  ;)  Instead of diving straight into the few random blog posts I have had marinating in my head for months, I thought I would start off with a look at what we have been doing lately.  This will probably not be in any particular order; I am just going through picture files and grabbing what looks good to me. 

 Cloth diapers… I love them (most of the time). 

We went to Lake Tenkiller a few times to swim and play.

I STARTED a garden but didn’t finish well.  What was I thinking?

We had fun with our dear friends, the Mings, but then had to say goodbye when they moved to Texas.  We are oh so sad!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Daniel still spends lots of time with our great neighbors across the street.  He and Camille (AKA Alexa, Tinkerbell, Sugar Plum, or Toothless) play as often as they can outside. 

First day of kindergarten at home!  I can’t believe it!

Fossil hunting with dad at Roger’s house.

Lots of nature walks and nature study.

Awesome field trips with our homeschool group.

Great brother-sister times!!!!!

Dad and Glendamom came to Tulsa TWO times in 2010!   We all put our money together to get Daniel a bigger bike for his 5th birthday in October.  Then dad and I took him out and taught him to ride without training wheels.

Daniel is in the Tulsa Homeschool Choir with his friend, Grant. 

Well, that is all for now.  There are about a million more pictures that I would love to add, but I will do them in another post.  It’s good to be back!

I was just going through my pictures on the computer so that I can finally order some, and I found a ton of cute ones of  both kiddos together.  Here are some glimpses of my sweet ones…

In the hospital.

At the Jenks Herb Festival (hey, did I actually make it in a picture???)

Last, but not least… a concert for Kate this morning (Daniel is starting to figure out he has a “captive audience”; he wanted me to leave Kate there this morning so that she could listen to him play).

I recently was blessed to be able to start ordering food from a coop out of Oregon called Azure Standard.  I had heard about it for a couple of years; it is highly regarded and used by the healthy blogs that I frequent.  This past month I got a catalog with my order, and I found this recipe which excited me.  Mike LOVES no bake cookies, but I have never made them.  I decided to take a chance and try these out, and he gobbled them down.  If you are looking for a new dessert recipe that is “healthier”, you might want to try this one (in the future I might try to use soaked/dehydrated oats in them to remove the phytates and make them even healthier). 

No Bake Cookies

1.5 cups sucanat or rapadura

1/4 cup carob powder (I used half raw carob and half Dagoba cocoa)

1/2 cup milk (preferable whole, raw milk)

1/2 cup butter

3 cups quick cooking oats (I used regular rolled oats, and they were fine)

1/4 cup peanut butter

Boil sugar, carob, milk and butter in a large pan for one minute.  Mix in oats and PB.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed or parchment paper.  Refrigerate until set.  Store in fridge or freezer.

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