Thursday, January 27, 2011

Today's Ramblings--a wide variety

While I know that we can never remove ALL the toxins around us we can definitely take steps to REDUCE those toxins & thereby improve our health.  One of the greatest books I've read: Not Just a Pretty Face really impacted me in this regard.  It made me stop & think about what I was putting ON my body as well as what I was putting IN my body.  I recommend the book highly.  And since reading that book I've been using natural products--soap, shampoo, makeup, etc.  I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to READ LABELS--your food, your cosmetics, toiletries, etc--READ THE LABELS & do some research on those ingredients & decide for yourself if you really want to continue to use that product. 

But I have to admit that buying those products (at Henry's, Whole Foods, & Mother's Market) can get expensive.  Enter vitacost.  I love this online company.  They offer a wide range of products.  In addition to toiletry items they also offer supplements.  They offer most of the brands that are available in the health food stores.  And they offer all of these things for less money than the health food stores.  As if that's not enough incentive, we don't pay sales tax when we buy from them & we do pay it in the health food stores.  And shipping is a flat rate of $4.99.  They do offer more rapid shipping for more money, but don't waste your money, they ship FAST, as long as the item is in stock.  I recently ordered on a Sunday night & my shipment arrived Tuesday morning.  This company is phenomenal.

I also wanted to ramble regarding a new product I am buying from Vitacost.  It's from a company called "amazing grass".  My diet always falls short on fruits before anything else.  And I do often fall short on veggies as well.  So I decided to look for one of those green powder drinks to try out.  After doing a lot of comparing I decided on one from the amazing grass company.  They do have several to choose from, but this is the one I chose: Amazing Grass Berry & Greens.  I also liked that they offer 2 for kids, a chocolate variety & a berry variety.  Now I know my son well enough to know that he'll choose berry over chocolate 10 times out of 10 on any given day.  So I ordered him this: Lil J's Berry Drink

I hadn't planned on getting him one, I was really just looking for one for ME, but when I saw that they had them for kids too I suddenly realized what a great idea that is for him, nutrition-wise I mean.  It's funny because when I was pregnant I kept imagining myself (later on of course, not while he was still a baby) creating all sorts of healthy drinks for my child.  And it's amazing to me, because my son definitely prefers to DRINK his calories rather than EAT them any given day.  And so I have tried my hardest to make sure he's getting good nutrition in his drinks, especially since he's such a picky eater.  I have found that I need to be careful though, at least until he's potty trained.  Some drinks are acidic & will give him a rash.  He has VERY sensitive skin, just like me.  :(   And so I've added this drink daily for him (just as I've done with mine) & he LOVES it (& it's not acidic for him at all).  So he gets that one & his kefir--which are both calorie & nutrition rich.  And then he gets a couple of sippys of diluted juice along with some foods, whatever he is willing to eat at the time.  He's still super picky about what he's willing to eat & it varies on a daily basis.  Hubby has finally seen the full extint of this now that he's been here all week.  I know he thought I was exaggerating before now. 

I do know that they make pediasure, but all those drinks like that, geared for a variety of age groups & health situations, I refuse to buy.  I, personally, do not think they are healthy.  I truly believe you can make  far healthier drinks on your own.  It makes me sad to see people turn to those drinks.  And I know they have their reasons, but I promise you "I" will never buy those for myself or my loved ones.  They are so processed & synthetic it's ridiculous.  They are made by the people who believe nutrition is simply science & they know everything about that science.  I sooooo dislike that mindset.  If you have a loved one that is using those types of drinks PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE consider making them some really healthy nutrition & calorie rich drinks yourself & take them to them.  At least try.  It could make all the difference in the world for them.

I guess that's all I have to ramble about today--touched a little on the importance of what we put ON our bodies & praised & Lil J's nutrition, a well rounded blog me thinks.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Please feel free to join in by getting details from Peggy:

FOR TODAY, Tuesday January 25, 2011.

Outside my window… it's a gorgeous day, in in the upper 70s-low 80's

I am thinking… about what else I need to get done today

I am thankful for… my husband--more & more with each passing day

From the learning rooms… still focusing on Bible study & Bible reading on a daily basis; I feel like it has made such a change in me & my attitude

From the kitchen…still LOVING my crock pot & using it almost every day! I've got Spanish Chicken & Rice cooking in it right now.

I am wearing… a brown/multi colored top with a tan cami underneath & jeans

I am creating… lots of paperwork for one of our lawyers.....uuggghhhh, not at all the type of creativity I enjoy

I am going… to workout each morning for the rest of the week, & to clean my house tomorrow morning

I am reading… I have 2 books on their way here from amazon--the kind diet & worldliness

I am hearing… Lil J playing & hubby talking on the phone

Around the house… today is my laundry marathon, crazy crazy day

A few of my favorite things…spending time with my hubby :)

A few plans for the rest of the week: house cleaning & a trip to the bank

I am praying… for my church, the govt, my family, & lots of friends & extended families & lots of little ones

Thursday, January 20, 2011

21 month updates on Lil J

So Lil J is now 21 months old.  It feels like the 2 year mark is RIGHT around the corner now.  But of course it's still 3 months away.

He now weighs 29 lbs (50-75%), he is 34" tall (50-75%), & has a head circumference of 20" (>95%).

I don't think there's a whole lot of new info this month, no major drastic changes to report, but he seems to still be learning a lot these days.  He's still thinking a lot & learning quickly.  He learns new things almost every day.  His comprehension is very good, probably much better than we even realize.  And more & more these days he is following commands.  Most of the time I just ask him to do things just to see if he understands or not.

His vocabulary is growing rapidly as well.  He now has more words & 2-3 word phrases as well.  I don't think I can even recall all of his words & phrases.  And he seems to go through phases where he says something over & over & over & then he'll stop saying it for a while & later on he'll start it up again.  For example, a while back he kept saying "nose" while pointing at his nose.  He'd say it over & over.  Then he suddenly stopped saying it, he didn't say it at all, not even if we encouraged it.  He didn't say it for at least a few weeks.  And then suddenly just a few days ago he started saying it again.  I assume this is normal. 

He still watches us very closely & tries to immitate many things he sees us doing.  And he LOVES to help.  When I'm cleaning he wants to clean too.  When I'm folding laundry he will keep handing me the next piece of clothing to be folded.  He's still very OCD & a neat freak.  One night he was hanging out in big sister's room & I went to check on him & he was picking up trash on her floor & putting it in the trash can for her, LOL!  She swears she didn't teach him that, he just does it.  (big sister & big brother are not neat freaks at all like mommy & daddy are, LOL)

I think that's all the updates I have for now.  Until next month......

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Please feel free to join in by getting details from Peggy:

FOR TODAY, Tuesday January 18, 2011.

Outside my window… it's a gorgeous day!  It's been in the upper 70s-low 80s lately, but I'm pretty sure it's at least a tad cooler today.  And it's supposed to drop back to low 70s starting tomorrow.

I am thinking… about all the preparations I need to have in place for Thursday

I am thankful for… my husband--he's so amazing & awesome

From the learning rooms… still focusing on Bible study & Bible reading on a daily basis; I feel like it has made such a change in me & my attitude

From the kitchen…still LOVING my crock pot & using it almost every day!  Yesterday I made a Mexican Chicken Soup in it for hubby cuz he's been under the weather with a bad cold.  Last night I left it cooking garbanzo beans cuz I want to try to make falafel.  And right now I'm poaching chicken in it for Chicken Tortilla Soup on Thursday.  How did I ever live without my crock pot????

I am wearing… a brown top with a pink cami underneath, jeans, socks

I am creating… I'm feeling very creative with my new recipe blog, I'm enjoying it so much more than I had thought I would

I am going… to finish off my current workout plan--I'm in week 2 of doing the slim in 6 program.  I've had the DVDs for many years & have used them, along with the slim series, off & on.  But I was feeling really unfit, had stopped strength training several months back, so decided to kick-start this plan & get myself back in shape.  I know it takes me 12 weeks before I really feel fit, so this will only take care of the first half of that.  After that I'm not exactly sure yet, but will definitely be using the slim series.  The only change I've made is that I'm committing to do it 4 days/week, when I know it's designed to be done 6 days/week.  But 6 days/week is just not doable & I'd rather set up my plan at 4 than be disappointed in my failure every week.  And I guarantee you 4 days/week is better than NONE or even than 2 or 3.  At the end of the 12 weeks I'll set up my maintenance plan, which is usually only 2-3 days/week of working out.

I am reading… still haven't finished the 5 love language of your children book, but am also reading some homeschooling magazines & fitness & parenting (I got free subscriptions to them)

I am hearing… the lid on the crock pot jiggling around

Around the house… today is my laundry marathon, busy, busy, busy

A few of my favorite things…going for walks, working out, reading

A few plans for the rest of the week: setting everything up for Thursday & maybe some grocery shopping on Friday

I am praying… for Gideon's saturation week, my church, my govt, my family & lots of friends

Monday, January 17, 2011

Children & their weaknesses (health-wise)

I have no idea if there have been any studies done or if there is any proof behind what I'm saying.  But it seems to me that each of us all have an area of weakness health-wise.  In some cases it seems to be  moreso in a child & at some point they outgrow it, but in other cases it seems to come on later in life & even continue into adulthood.  And in some cases it begins in childhood & continues throughout adulthood.

When I was a child I don't remember having a tendency towards respiratory issues.  But I do remember when I was in junior high I got a REALLY bad case of bronchitis.  They diagnosed it as bronchitis, but I would actually argue that it had spread into pneumonia, given how sick I was.  And from that point on if I got sick I would end up with respiratory issues & it the cough would last for a really long time (sometimes well over a month, even with antibiotics).

I know I struggled with chronic ear infections, beginning at the age of 1 week old.  Those continued into my early 20s & then suddenly stopped.  Praise God, those were sooooo incredibly painful.  By the time I was a teen I remember docs telling me that I should've had tubes put in my ears as a young child.  So nice that nobody bothered to mention that back then.

And then there's UTIs (urinary tract infections).  I believe my first one was at the age of 6 or so.  And I still struggle with these even today.  That's been a life-long battle for me.  I have found some great natural preventions & remedies, so I don't have to take antibiotics as often as I used to, but occasionally it does get past me & it does progress to the point of needing antibiotics.

So there are three different examples (all of me) of medical weaknesses that I have had inclinations toward & have fought with.  But I know I'm not alone, I see it in others plenty as well.

My stepson was born prematurely.  He has always been the first one to get sick in the family.  He gets sick very easily & he always has a tendency towards respiratory issues when he gets sick.  I have heard from other people that premies always have respiratory issues, so it does make sense to me.

My Lil J is already showing digestive issues.  I do believe we are going to see many years of digestive issues with him.  He loves yogurt, he loves kefir, I've given him lots of probiotics on top of that as well.  And yet diarrhea is still an issue for him.  Aside from one time when he was sneezing & very stuffy all his other issues have been digestive, mostly being diarrhea.  I will forever wonder if it's somehow related to me taking antibiotics during my pregnancy &/or during labor.  But of course I will never know for sure.  I do also tend to think that his food allergies/intolerances could simply be a digestive issue, that he's somehow not assimilating & digesting certain foods properly.

And I know I've seen cases like that in other people, I know me & my family are not the only ones. 

I, personally, am planning & gearing up to try to find ways to strengthen Lil J's digestive system naturally, so we can hopefully put an end to the diarrhea battles sooner rather than later.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bible study & reading

I spent many years as a Christian thinking my Christian walk was a balance of 4 things: reading my Bible, worshipping God, prayer, & fellowshipping with other Christians.  That 4th one was never really very high on my list of importance, but I did feel it was somewhat important & I did feel strongly that the other 3 should be balanced out as much as possible. 

It always seemed like I could never keep them balanced.  I would go through phases where I would be worshipping God a lot & doing very little of the other 2.  And it would rotate around & the one that dominated would vary at times.  And yet I always felt discouraged thinking that was wrong.  Thinking that they needed to remain in balance.

Now I do still think those things are important.  But while we were fellowshipping at Harvest Christian Fellowship they kept going on & on about being in your Bible DAILY, every single day.  Every chance they got they'd be pushing that info on people.  It seemed to come from every angle.  And the more involved we got in the church the more we felt it coming at us.  Prior to that point I would regularly read my Bible at least twice a week, but it was usually more.  But their insistance on DAILY reading made me really ponder on the importance of Bible reading.

I am a book worm, have been for as long as I can remember.  So maybe I'm not one who needs someone shoving down my throat to read more.  But just because I don't need it doesn't mean that others don't also.  In this day & age flashy technology is always tempting people away from books it seems.  In the younger generation there is a universal opinion regarding reading as "boring" & "old-fashioned" & "outdated".  And more & more adults are following that path as they are overwhelmed with all the flashy technology.

Who has time to read the newspaper, or magazines?  Especially when you can get all the info online, or on TV?  Only a true book worm will seek out the old-fashioned print forms in this day & age it seems.

Being a book worm it makes me really sad to see people not enjoy books & not even give them enough time to discover what they're missing.  To me a book is sooo much better than any movie.  The only reason I enjoy watching a movie is because I get to sit & cuddle with my hubby while doing so.  About the only time I watch movies is if I'm sick & too de-energized to focus on reading.

So reading in general is an awesome thing that people are missing out on in my opinion.  But I suppose reading is still quite "optional" in life, unless of course you call yourself a Christian.  As a Christian you absolutely cannot not read your Bible.  And this is what I see in the younger generation.  People are forgetting God's Word.  How can God speak to them?  How can they call themselves a Christian if they don't even know what it means?  You can't just rely on what your pastor tells you or other people tell you. 

Of course I think this is precisely how satan wants things to be, but I think it's very sad & very very detrimental for those headed in that path. 

I will admit that while I was still working outside the home (working 12-13 hour shifts at a time) I was never able to fit in Bible reading on the days that I worked.  But I only worked 2-4 days per week.  I'm sure there was a way to do it, but I was never able to master it.  So I know it can be hard.  I'm not trying to judge anyone, especially someone who is trying as hard as I was back when I was still working outside the home.  But now that I am a SAHM I read my Bible every single day & read it to my toddler son also.  He will be taught the importance of God's word for sure.  Teaching him the importance of God's Word & creating in him a love & desire of God's Word is really a whole other blog topic, I don't want to stray too far off the topic here.

So reflecting back on what I used to think: yes, I still think worship, prayer, & fellowship are important, very important, but I think I would have to rank Bible reading as even more important.  If you can only do one of those four things, choose Bible reading is what I suggest. 

That's my rambling of the day.........

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Please feel free to join in by getting details from Peggy:

FOR TODAY, Tuesday January 11, 2011.

Outside my window… it's chilly & overcast, it looks like it's going to rain, but there's no rain in the weather forecast

I am thinking… about MOPS--I am turning in my application tomorrow & am told it starts on February 9th.  I am soooo excited!

I am thankful for… my cousin bringing up MOPS & encouraging me to contact another group (since the first group had turned me down)

From the learning rooms… daily Bible study with Lil J, we are back in I Corinthians now (following my church sermons), & still doing Proverbs each day as well

From the kitchen…still LOVING my crock pot & using it almost every day.  :)  For dinner tonight is leftovers from last night, but in the crock pot right now is a cuban flank steak.  My stepdaughter & her boyfriend LOVE Cuban food, so it's mostly for them (hubby & I don't eat beef--well I will eat it on very rare occasions, but hubby never does) & my stepson likes beef, so I'm hoping he'll like it too.  This dish has to be cooked in two stages & takes a very long time to finish, so I'm starting it today & will probably finish it Thursday or Friday.

I am wearing… a black knot top, jeans, & socks

I am creating… I pulled out the crayons yesterday, but he really wasn't very interested, BUT he's not feeling well right now, so maybe that's why

I am going… to turn in my MOPS application tomorrow

I am reading… still haven't finished the 5 love language of your children book, but am also reading some homeschooling magazines

I am hearing… the breeze blowing outside, Lil J is down for his nap

Around the house… today is my laundry marathon, busy, busy, busy

A few of my favorite things…watching a movie with my hubby, reading, cooking

A few plans for the rest of the week: cleaning my house, gotta get some more eggs, gotta turn in my MOPS application

I am praying… for Gideon's saturation week, my church, my govt, my family & lots of friends

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I have a new blog

I have started a new blog, where I plan to post recipes & cooking related blogging stuff.  If anyone is interested the URL is:

This blog will remain here as my main blog that blogs on a wide variety of topics, the other one will be strictly for cooking/recipe blogs.

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Please feel free to join in by getting details from Peggy:

FOR TODAY, Tuesday January 4, 2011.

Outside my window… it's chilly, but gorgeous!!  It rained most of the day yesterday & is so blue & clear today, with a few scattered clouds.

I am thinking… about what I need to put on my grocery shopping list for Thursday

I am thankful for… all that my Lord provides for me & my family, we are soooo blessed :)

From the learning rooms… daily Bible study with Lil J, we are back in I Corinthians now (following my church sermons), & still doing Proverbs each day as well.

From the kitchen…I finally got a crock pot (with a Christmas gift card) late last week; I've been wanting one for YEARS.  It is so awesome & amazing--hubby is LOVING the food that comes out of it & so is Lil J. 

I am wearing… a tan sweater with a tan cami underneath, sweats, & socks

I am creating… gonna pull out the crayons today (or tomorrow, hopefully today) & show Lil J his coloring book once again

I am going… grocery shopping on Thursday.  We need lots of stuff, gotta go to Costco & Mother's Market.

I am reading… the 5 love language of your children book--haven't had time to read lately, so I'm still working on this one

I am hearing… the wind blowing outside, I love the wind, but it's a very chilly wind today!!

Around the house… tomorrow will be my house cleaning day this week

A few of my favorite things…cooking, reading, gardening (I REALLY need to start working on my garden!), playing with Lil J, watching a movie with my hubby

A few plans for the rest of the week: still gotta go to Babies R Us for a bathtub toy organizer, & need to go grocery shopping.

I am praying… for my family to be safe, strong, & healthy always

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Merry Christmas & a blessed 2011 to all

I hope everyone had a very merry CHRISTmas & a great new year's eve & new year's day as well.

The economy has not been in our favor for a while now, but we worked really hard to pull off Christmas for the kids.  They each got 2 gifts & they were pretty simple gifts.  Nothing super fancy & expensive, nothing over $100 at least.  I am amazed at how many expensive gadgets abound in this day & age that kids want & see all their friends with.  Christmas could easily cost some folks an outright fortune!  Lil J got a tricycle & a potty chair. 

But lots of family & a couple of friends gave the kids gifts (& me & hubby as well) which was a real blessing. 

Hubby got me clothes & a gift card to buy more clothes.  I desperately need clothes I must say.  I haven't bought any since 2007 (with the excpetion of a few maternity items during my pregnancy in late 2008) & there's plenty I've had to get rid of in my closet cuz it just doesn't fit me right since having a baby. 

Hubby also gave me a gift card to Target & said it was for Lil J.  I asked how much it was for & he said $20 or $25, he couldn't remember (he had actually been given it by a vendor at work, but instead of spending it on himself he knew that Lil J needed some things & he passed it on).  We did still need some things for Lil J so I headed to Target to get those things & when it was rung up it was $48 worth of stuff!  I was panicking in my mind, trying to figure out how to pay for the rest of it.  I handed over the gift card & was digging through my purse looking for my ATM card only to find that it was a $50 gift card & it was all covered, with a dollar & some change to spare.  I can't even put into words how blessed I felt at that moment.  The Lord provided & Lil J got the clothes & things that he needed.  I did buy him a couple of fun things (Veggie Tales Jonah movie-it was on the clearance rack & I've been wanting it for a long time, couldn't pass up the price; color wonder markers & coloring book-I got the smallest & cheapest set I could find; & the rest was pants & necessities).  I am thrilled with the pants I found for him.  They were on the clearance rack.  They are cherokee brand, with the zipper & snap fly.  I love these, but can never spend for them when they are full price.  I always end up buying the cheapie Circo pants, but they don't have a zipper or snap & it makes it really hard to get them on him, to get up over the diaper.  When hubby complains I remind him that these are the $3 pants, we didn't pay for a zipper, LOL.  The Cherokee ones are usually well over $10 in comparison, but I got them on clearance for $5!!  So now we have enough pants for him (8 pairs) to get through a week without doing laundry for him.  (that's a plus with the water bill while we are in drought mode!) & I don't think he'll outgrow them anytime soon.  I would guesstimate that he will grow out of them next winter at the soonest, they might even last longer than that, as they are too long for him right now.  We still have some shorts that should fit him this summer, so that helps too.  We might need a couple of shorts this summer, but aside from that I think we'll be set for the whole rest of the year pretty well now.We definitely have enough shirts to get through the summer.  So I think we'll be set until next winter probably all the way around.

I took the gift card hubby gave me to buy clothes & got a crock pot with it, but it was cheap, so there's still money to buy clothes with.  I just need TIME to go try on clothes & browse & shop.  That's tough to do with a toddler.  But I will give it my best shot as soon as I can.  My stepson is on his Christmas break still & I don't want to go while he's with us & leave him at home alone.  So I will probably be able to make time once he's back in school.  I need to take a look in my closet & see what I really need & prioritize it that way.  Hubby got me 2 pairs of pants, but they didn't look good on me, so we've returned them & I plan to use that money to buy jeans.  I do DESPERATELY need new jeans more than anything else. 

I hope everyone had a blessed holiday season.  Bring on 2011 & I'm praying it's a better year all the way around than the past couple of years have been.