Sunday, December 28, 2008

The old grey chicken... ain't what she used to be.

Sure chicken is cheap and supposedly low in fat but look again. What price are you paying for this homogenized, cheap and convenient food? This video investigates how supermarkets have affected the food on your plate, and reveals the telltale signs that the food you buy may not have been grown in the way you think.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Process of Letting Go....

The process of letting go as your children approach adulthood is a bitter sweet process filled with either confidence or fear depending on how you have raised your children over the years.
In the younger years, training is of utmost importance; training to make their bed, training in cheerfulness and continual practice in daily routines that should become a part of everyday life over time. Their education is primarily knowledge based, fact related and fascination driven. Many boys love to read about astronauts and other science subjects and to develop the ability to make accurate observations. Some girls love insects, butterflies, also enjoy much in the line of science. This is a time to build a knowledge base of the English language and how the world works and to observe the wonders of creation.

In late childhood and early teens, the child should be ready for the understanding level, the ability and skill of drawing careful observations. History may come alive to many children at this time as they discover that history does repeat itself and can learn to love the ability to discern the lessons of history. Teaching your children about life and academic subjects becomes primary in a parents focus while training is being established.

Harvey Bluedorn of Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style'>Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style, says it well.

Your job would be to train the Knowledge Level to make accurate observations, teach the Understanding Level to draw careful conclusions, and coach the Wisdom Level to express themselves well and apply things effectively. Remember, all children of all age levels are developing all three of these capacities, Knowledge, Understanding, and Wisdom all of the time, but certain age levels are focused on certain levels.

As the child is approaching the late teen years, as my children are, I am seeing much of the later development taking place, the struggle to gain wisdom. This is the level where your job as a parent is to coach and mentor (or find mentors).

As I look back over the years I can see the whole process in arrears and can see obvious glaring holes in some of my parenting. Nevertheless, much of their development has been natural and we can rest that in all that we do God will assist us in doing His will in raising them for His Glory and that will include the natural process of growing up and developing into competent, capable young adults.

As I see my second son (third child) approaching adulthood, I long for the young sweet age of his toddlerhood, remember his tender childhood at 9 and 10 and see him developing into his manhood age as he is moving all too rapidly right now. He is taking on the attributes of manhood. He desires to look after me, and to protect me and to provide for me if necessary. All these things I cherish and long for and yet mean a time of change from childhood dependency to adult responsibility.

Ah the process of letting go is so bittersweet. Lord, give me grace.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Why I choose an anti cancer diet.

The statistics are staggering. Cancer has now passed heart disease as the number one disease killer in the western world. It has moved from one in four, past heart disease, to one in 3, (exactly two of my immediate family) will die from cancer as a direct cause of cancer in their lifetime.

Yes, I know we must die of something and today we are able to diagnose what that cause is rather than to say of "died of natural causes," but our western lifestyle has us believing that cancer is the risk of living. Our modern medical perspective has us trained to not ask why but to be dependant upon the professional doctors to fix us and send us home happy (and drugged) without any suspicion of cause whatsoever.

My 27 year old son was one of those statistics last year and even though is considered in remission after 6 months of gruelling chemotherapy, none of us need to assume freedom from risk. Cancer is usually multifaceted in cause and we all need to assume an anti risk lifestyle, not out of fear, but out of responsibility.

Causes of serious disease are everywhere, in food additives, pesticides, air pollution, cleaning agents, paint and furniture fumes, natural gas emissions (gas stoves and furnaces) even the radio and wireless computer and cell phones that we seem to have absolutely no control over in our electronic world are becoming major threats. Furthermore, the very medical practices that are supposed to "keep us healthy," such as vaccinations and other medical drugs and treatments can severely increase our cancer risk.

In reading this article, one line that struck me as interesting,"Surveys we've done indicate many people don't think they have control over their cancer risk, but studies clearly indicate they do."
Being the independent minded (rebel) that I am and quite opinionated as you might have noticed by now, I choose responsibility over dependency and subsequent medical treatments. Either way, my lifestyle becomes my choice... even to the extent that I take my life into my own hands through an anti cancer prevention lifestyle.

I will be posting articles and recipes from time to time that are specifically labelled anti cancer. I have been collecting and am constantly learning recipes that are becoming part of my daily routine and help to later my own lifestyle habits of health.

Below is one such very simple delicious and very inexpensive recipe using the great health foods berries and sprouts in my favorite format - a smoothie. You can buy sprouts in the produce section of your grocery store or you can easily and inexpensively sprout them yourself. I will post how to sprout broccoli in the next month or so.

Anti Cancer Green Smoothie

1 pint broccoli sprouts

1 pint ripe organic blackberries

1 cup water

Blend all ingredients well. - Enjoy

Nutritional facts:

In 1992, scientists found that broccoli sprouts are rich in a compound that provides significant protection against breast cancer and colon cancer. The compound is called sulforaphane glucosinalate.

Black raspberries (blackberries) have been shown to reduce the risk of oral, esophageal and colon cancer in animal models, according to the researchers.

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Friday, September 26, 2008

Many of us have great and powerful disabilities to overcome in life, but few of us choose to focus our life purpose and occupation in that very area of disability. Watch this amazing and moving video to see what determination and perseverance can produce through the message of this dance.

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wacky Wednesday-Real Life Science

One dark and rainy day in May, my youngest son Graydon and I were at a garden center and happened to see a small food service type of container at the cash register. "Mantis pod" it read. Would that be Praying Mantis? I was intrigued. What a great real life science project. I often regretted my boys not being able to see a real praying mantis in our hot and humid home when we lived in Ontario. (They were not born yet)

Praying mantis's are the most intriguing little insects. They will actually turn their heads to look at your face. It's kinda shocking the first time you see his head follow yours as you twirl him around on your hand. ....Back to the story... of course, we bought the container and followed the instructions to keep it in the fridge until the weather got warm and then hang it on a tree. Out came our field guides and we researched all about praying mantis (Life applicable learning- the most stickable learning there is. In 2 - 6 weeks out of the pod were to emerge hundreds of baby praying mantis. We hung one on either side of the garden and watched carefully. We were warned to not miss the hatching because once the babies come out of their paper wasp like birthing pod there is not much evidence that the pod is empty and the babies will all scatter and you could miss it. Well, one we missed but the other I providentially caught just a the right time. Here is a great shot of the pod dripping with babies. They quickly jumped down and were off. Within 30 min we could hardly find one. They were so cute!

Surprisingly, Graydon found one of the long lost mantis babies now grown to over an inch in only 3 weeks later. It is surprising because they are completely camouflaged with their surroundings. They look like a small twig or other thread like natural debris. He was obviously doing very well.

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

A new look-What do you think?

I have been contemplating for some time getting a new look for my blog. Since I'm not very technical I would have to pay someone to do a good job but my son just came across this free background blog site and gave it a whirl on his site GL Highlights

Wow, How easy can you get? So I switched mine as well. I like it but it doesn't do a few things that I would like, like give that scroll down feeling.
(The background stays put while the words move upward)

Does this bother anyone else besides me?

Living a Lifestyle of Learning Daily

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Spiced Squash Raw Salad

Another raw food winner.This time I am posting a recipe for a salad. Many erroneously think that raw food people (officially called raw foodists) eat only salads. Nothing could be further from the truth BUT salads are part of good nutrition and this one happens to be quite economical as well. If you happen to have planted one only zucchini plant in some remote garden corner you will have enough summer veggies to enjoy this recipe simply entitled Spiced Squash, taken unaltered from the bookThe Raw 50: 10 Amazing Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks, and Drinks for Your Raw Food Lifestyle

1/2 c chopped sun dried tomatos, soaked for 2 hours and drained

2 T cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.

1 T minced white onion

1 T minced fresh oregano

1 T minced fresh dill

1 t Himalayan salt

2 zucchini, sliced and 2 yellow squash, sliced.

Combine all in a mixing bowl, add salt, oil, and herbs. Toss to coat all the vegetables and marinate at least 2 hours.

The next day this salad is even better and the fresh herbs need a little time to really permeated the sauce and the skin of the zucchini.


Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Selling of Indulgences revisited-carbon credits!

I'm not much of an evening news person, in fact not much of a TV person at all. I don't even listen to the radio so when great and terrifying world wide news erupts I'm usually the last to know. News of one such worldwide news was the conversation topic at our kitchen table last night when my visiting son and daughter in law told us they were offered (and turned down) "carbon credits" when they had purchased their airline tickets to Arizona.

"Carbon credits?" "What is that?" I naively inquired. My husband proceeded to fill in the gaps in my current event vacuum in that Al Gore has made millions off of his carbon credit program.....The guilt freeing program that supposedly plants trees and saves the earth with a percentage of each credit purchased each time one such selfish person indulges in using unmerited energy. Tell me, I wonder, what exactly is different from the medieval selling of indulgences by the Catholic church to relieve one of past sins and grant forgiveness based upon how much you could cover with each dollar?

We are walking down a serious road of error if we believe all the "save the earth" dogma out there today. It may sound innocent and even responsible to be environmentally minded but watch out, some devastating consequences come out of such deception. Worldviews are blatantly exposed when talk of envirnmentalism is spoken.

(They exchanged the truth for a lie and worship creation instead of the

Stephanie (my daughter in law) writes on another serious consequence of being swayed by environmental thinking, only buying carbon credits will never help overcome these painful outcomes. Check out her article here for some of the outcomes of believing the lie that we are overpopulating the earth.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Reading tire numbers could mean life or death!

Late this evening my son Jonathan (18) was out underneath all of our vehicles checking out the date of production numbers on our vehicle tires. Find out why you need to learn to read the DOT numbers after you see this short video. Those numbers could mean life or death to you or someone you love. This is worth watching.
Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Thursday, September 11, 2008

"You have arrived!"

I have been saving, ...and planning ...and researching for what to me is a rather large purchase. Technology does not come easy to me but I found it next to impossible to go without one of these time and almost life saving tools... a GPS.

I contemplated for many months and finally laid down the cash with anticipation, walked away with high hopes and those hopes have not let me down. I love it.

In the three weeks that we have used it on every trip it has already saved me from much stress and last minute reckless lane changes and who knows how many tickets for U turns!

We even named it. It is called Squishy after Finding Nemo fame. It goes with us everywhere and "it will be my squishy and it will be mine."

But something keeps bothering me about it. One particular phrase that it repeats at the end of each and every trip keeps echoing in my mind. It says simply," You have arrived." At first it evoked a chuckle and a grin. "Ha, I have arrived." Then a just a grin and then a little consternation. Oh to have it so simple.

As I am endeavoring to encourage many a young Mom out here to stay the course in Homeschooling with vision, home business for skills, home cooking for health, and homemaking with love, I want to make sure that we have a complete understanding.

I have NOT arrived.

I have learned much in my years at home, and through many struggles but to be perfectly honest, I still struggle at times. I have not mastered all that I preach. I think in principles but act in the flesh. Nevertheless it is in the struggle that the search for God's way begins for all of us. And I am still on the path, just a little ahead of many of you.

....Just wanted you to know that.

Have a good day.... Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wacky Wednesday Baby Preacher. You gotta see this.

Even though this is hilariously funny, I feel a little sad that this is what a little baby is seeing in our cultural churches today. Is this really revival? Still you gotta laugh out loud. I just had to show you.

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Monday, September 8, 2008

Chance? No.... Providence, I say

I am so blessed. For many people church is a chore or an obligation, a routine like putting in time at the laundromat. Worse, to some, church attendance is a mindless exercise not being fully aware of exactly why we do this every week or twice yearly as it is with many in the traditional Bible Belt.

To my family, church is a wonderfully delightful "family event."

Why is my church so different? Well, I will tell you a story.

Several years ago I was having serious thoughts about Sunday school and youth groups. The battle for my children's hearts seemed continual and rotated around several issues raised always by events planned by the church. I found myself arguing with youth group leaders about the types of movies that were shown, late night hours and quite a load of junk food not only available but peer group encouraged to consume. Several rock concerts (Christian rock, of course) and the accompanied "lock in" sleep overs threatened to turn me into one of those raging parents in defence of my sweet ones innocence.

The events were all "fun" activities so I guess that is why we tend to overlook them at first but it gets deeper and so does the struggle. Most of the teen rebellion, be it large or small is generally then to be expected and parents are encouraged to go with it and just get them through it.

"Raise them in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it." Why then are 75 % of our youth leaving the church...permanently? I started realizing even though I believed in home education and non age segregated social life, I was somehow thoughtlessly sending my precious little hearts off in age segregated Sunday school classrooms and groups with whomever happened to be the teacher that day. And I often did not know what they were teaching my child about God (another clue...ABOUT God)

Furthermore, the youth group that my now grown children were attending several years ago was led by leaders not much older than my own children. (fools leading fools) Somehow that seems to qualify these leaders as "they can to relate to the kids where they are."

At one point the leader decided to have a (outreach) school book burning bonfire a the end of the school year.
Did I protest?
You know me too well!

Another time one of the youth group members was tied to a street post, toilet papered and sprayed with whipped cream and left there for what was supposed to be several hours...because it was his birthday. That activity was initiated by the youth leaders. I was not very popular when I let loose on them all and untied the poor boy, who by the way was not laughing! Neither is he in the church today.

Another memory comes to mind when I stumbled upon a youth group meeting in process while attending a wedding rehersal where 10 or 15 kids were gathered around a huge water barrel. I was confused seeing one of the young boys with his head immersed up to the neck in the floating ice and water. The kids around were counting hilariously. The challenge was who could keep their head under, breath held for the longest. I still recalled the deathly grey of his face and the obvious disorientation and seeming blindness of one such boy as he came bursting out of the glacier bath. I regret standing by silently in shock. Sufficeth to say I am glad for the leaders sake that my son was not the one in the barrel at the time I stumbled upon the scene. 911 would have had two calls that night.

Fortunately, because of a move to the middle of nowhere on acreage out in the sticks of Arkansas, I had the time to actually think about what I believe and more specifically what the Bible says about youth and how they are to be raised. Many verses immediately came to memory and I found even more as I searched the Scriptures. I started afresh and simply kept my children out of age segregated groups altogether. It wasn't met with a whole lot of encouragement, and even some downright mild rebukes but I held firm, stayed strong, and gained some quiet respect. Still I was continually frustrated by the wonderfully fun type of announcements of what the next Friday night group meeting would bring all the while my boys sitting beside me in church more than slightly pulled with desire.

Then it happened. I called an old friend back in Seattle to make the announcement that we were about to move back to the west coast and she said, "Oh, that' too bad. We won't be in town the weekend you arrive. We are going to a Conference."

My ears pricked up? "Oh? What conference? "

"A Uniting Church and Home Conference."

Uniting Church...and Home... Conference? I was intrigued.

She explained only a little and I knew I had to go. "Do you mean to say that there are other people out there who believe in keeping children's hearts at home and within the family, even at church? That there are whole churches that do not divide the family in age segregated groups the minute you walk through the door? That there aren't any youth group fun filled foolishness packed activity's announced over the microphone for me to have t0 say no?


And to make this story shorter, through that wonderful conference over three years ago we found one of those rare and wonderful churches. At first, to be honest with you, it was a little different and hard to get used to. We were used to a different style of worship and quite easier messages to listen to.
Within a few short weeks though, you could not drag my boys away from the sweet fellowship of mixed ages of many wonderful home school families who believed exactly as we did. Many of them had come through the same path as we did. Furthermore, our new Pastor's wonderful expository preaching spoiled us for anything less for ever more. It is deep and accurate and he lives his faith explicitly.

I confess again, this isn't an easy church to sit in. I have had quite a bit of my theology redefined and challenged. Every week I find myself crying out to God to make me more Holy as He is Holy as I apply the Word to my heart. That, if you have never tried it, is not comfortable.

Consequently, we have all grown in our faith and we have the most wonderful friends of all ages. One of my best friends is 15, a beautiful and fully competant young lady who is the second of 11 children. One of her younger brothers I affectionately call my "little buddy." I have intimate fellowship with both adult single ladies of the church and older Saints in the Lord. Our church is filled with families, fathers and mothers, not just women attendees- a common plight in this manless culture. All over the building you can see every age fellowshipping with any and every other age and group, a teenager talking to a 5 year old, a twenty some thing young lady talking to an older man.

We also have a shared meal at the end of each service. What sweetness of fellowship. It is a whole day of truth in the Word, fellowship with sweet unspoiled home educated friends, and home cooked nourishing food. And all of this is not in a small isolated country town in the center of nowhere but in the heart of one of the busiest and most liberal cities in the US. Seattle.

Chance? No,... Providence, I say.

Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.

We are so blessed! Thank you Lord, for your direction. Had I not been struggling, I may not have recognized your blessing and found a place to both challenge us and found a place of quiet rest.

For a directory of family integrated churches in your area check out this link. I highly recommend at least a visit.

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Back to school-10 homeschool principles

As we all head back to the regular routines of the fall season, back to home education is on the top of my list. Each year I read a new book or two for a fresh look, new ideas or just plain old encouragement. Kevin Swanson believes that a successful education is achieved when a child is prepared to make maximal use of his God-given talents and abilities in the accomplishment of the child's calling. With great passion, he writes a series of 10 principles for achieving the best education for our children in his new book Upgrade: 10 Secrets to the Best Education for Your Child Swanson's list of "10 Time-Tested Secrets for a
Successful Education" are:

1. The preeminence of character

2. Quality one-on-one instruction

3. The principle of protection

4. The principle of individuality

5. The routing in relationships

6. The principle of doing the basics well

7. The principle of life integration

8. Maintaining the honor and mystique of learning

9. Build on the right foundation

10. The principle of wise, sequential progression

Check out this great book for a renewed mind and as a tool to refocus on this years goals. This may be added to my all time favorite list for great Homeschool visionary books.

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sorry to be so distant....

Thank you to all of my friends and faithful readers out there who have commented on my mysterious absence over the last month. Usually I try to post daily but even every other day works well for me. However when life really gets way too fast to consider a private relationship with my computer, I may periodically, unintentionally, disappear for a time.

I regret not leaving a post letting you know of my unintentional absence but it all happened so fast. August was such a blur. I remember only sleeping in my own bed a few times for the whole month. Where did the the Summer go?

Let's see, there were strawberries to be picked. (late June) Fortunately a friend graciously brought me several already picked perfectly ripe strawberries. 60 lbs went in the freezer.

Then there were raspberries. The search for a new u-pick location was needed and took several days but once we found one we were off in a flash before the season was over. I then processed all 90 lbs in my juicer t0 remove the seeds and dried some puree for future raw jam.(future post)The rest I froze for smoothies for the cold winter months. Great.

Next on to blueberries. Circumstances took us away from our usual reliable spot and we ended up travelling quite a distance and picking on the hottest day of the year in the slowest picking spot imaginable. After a couple of hours and only about 30 lbs we quit and decided to find another location, another day.

Then there was the spontaneous camping invitation with a family that has 11 children. What an experience- what fun too! We all.... all15 of us drove up Burley Mountain and had a full circumpolar view of Mount Rainier, Mount St Helen's (the one the blew up 28 years ago), Mount Hood and Mount Adams. Then we all drove bikes downhill riding the brakes all the way, I might add. A half hour later the last rider made it to the bottom. Only a few of the tougher boys took some tumbles. Another day we all lined up and did some target practice with 22's, 27's, and a 38. Wow, that 38 packs quite a kick. Apparently my aim was impressive.

With only a day or two to clean smoky laundry, I then packed up to fly out to Whitehorse, in the Yukon Territory in Northern Canada, (up by Alaska-for the uninformed) to assist my Mother as she was recooperating from knee replacement surgery. It was quite an honor to be there and we got to spend some mother daughter time. What I expected to be doing was serving her and assisting her with exercises but it actually ended up becoming quite a vacation time as as well.

I had the priviledge of going on a historically narrated river cruise, a Broadway show and... quading. That's right, I drove a four wheeler though the woods, across dirt roads, over some frightingly narrow cliff edges to overlook the entire city of Whitehorse. It was quite a sight. I only stalled the machine once. And to relax after an exhausting day of outdoor
life, I got to do a little garage sailing.

Flying home a week later gave me only one sleep in my regular bed and then off on a labor day weekend church family camp. We ate, visited, played games, kayaked, and sat around the camp fire to our hearts content. Home for only a few days to clean more smoke smell from all our clothes and my boys took off this morning on a men's retreat and will be back on Saturday night.

Next weekend my boys and a bunch of their friends and their Dad's are going on a hiking trip off into the woods.

I guess I should be tired from all that busyness in August, but to confess to you a flaw in my character, I love being overly busy. I find it invigoratingly far too easy to have nothing but fun and not deal with creeping character issues in both me and my children. Hopefully the long days of Winter will help bring us all back into line.

Nevertheless, amongst all the flurry I still managed to read a few great books (another post) sew some drapes for the school room and master a few more raw recipes. Sigh, the summer was over before I even knew it, but we had a lot of fun. Now we all need some time to slow down, refocus and reestablish some regular routines again. Hence my next post tomorrow.... or in a day or two.

How was your summer?

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Back to School difficulties.

Each year, after a busy summer, running here and there, picking berries, camping, visiting with friends and perhaps an actual travelling vacation time, we get to start up our regular routines again. Some years we have started out with great difficulty and in examining why- I have come to some conclusions. I used to start "school" with a bang, a full schedule including new chores, and a full load of assignments and workbooks and great expectations (mine).

Thankfully, I do not do that to my poor children anymore. We saw too much flesh and resistance, both theirs and mine and I now have learned to have a more graceful approach to a new start up. After any change in routine, even after a vacation or a big move the first things to be re established are the regular routines of chores and household living.
Getting beds made in the morning, if good habits have slipped, and just generally getting adapted to long lonely days at home again. As the weather cools outside, it leads us to cuddle inside with blankets and a great read aloud. As we are established in spending enjoyable time together again we will start up with some more educational disciplines such as a math program or any other disciplined table time activity. If I have decided to make any particular changes to our educational approach this is when I will transfer my vision to my children and open discussion on how and why I want some changes to be made. Whether they embrace these changes right away is not as important as the ideas that I want them to contemplate. In any case as they get older, I want to capture their hearts in their educational plan so I am not dragging them along all year long. Next I want to draw them into an educational plan that both inspires them and disciplines their minds and character to embrace their own education. Usually in a couple of weeks we are into a full blown routines that is both compatible with everyday living and with good educational plans. Every year is different and each day is often different as well but I consider it a good day if we have pursued learning with a passion and grown in relationship as well.

Have a great start up again this year and remember to consider your children are trying to refocus as you are and give them some room to come down from a busy summer.

Living a lifestyle of Learning Daily.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A few more vinegar ideas.....from readers

As I am pursuing a study in natural cleaning methods and products, I am keenly interested in the use of white vinegar (and baking soda-more to come on this) as a cleaning agent. If you have not seen my previous post, check it out here and then let me know of any other ideas that you have come across. Below are some additions taken directly from readers comments.

I use this one all the time to clean the grime left in my microwave when my
dear husband forgets to cover his food. Fill a coffee mug with 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar. Heat in microwave until boiling and let boil for about one minute.
Remove mug and wipe your microwave clean!

If you forgot to clean your paintbrushes the last time you used them. You
can soften the old, dried paint by covering the bristles with boiling white
vinegar and let them stand for an hour.

To remove "wet glass" rings from your furniture, rub them with a mixture of equal parts of vinegar and olive oil.

To remove dirt and grime from heavily soiled hands you can scrub them with corn-meal damped with apple cider vinegar. Then rinse with cool water and dry your hands.

Great ideas, Keep em coming!

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

28 years ago today.....

I was at the end of my rope. Eight and a half months pregnant and carrying an extra 35 lbs of baby weight, I was getting heavy and felt teary and anxious to have it over. I generally very much enjoyed being pregnant especially since the news of not one but two special blessings soon to come. The fun of picking names was not double but multiple times as great a task as each first and middle name for either a girl or a boy, two boys or two girls had to match or be compatible with the other names. We didn't know what the babies were but I did know that they were fraternal making it a possibility that they could be a boy and girl. (my hope and dream) Ryan and Amy's birth (coming into my life) have been to me the single most life changing event of my life. Having lost my first baby at 18 months after open heart surgery, God had given me a special gift, not only a little girl again but he gave me a boy too! How could I have known how they would captivate my heart. My life has never been the same again.
Even though their birth ending up being an unnecessary emergency C section delivery, they did arrive safe and sound.
I am grateful for the lives of my twins (as all my children) and I enjoy watching their relationship with each other and with their two brothers blossom and mature.

I love you,

Rose and Bud,

Lily and Vine... no

Ryan Michael and Amy Joy, ah, now that works

Happy Birthday,
my twins,

my children

my Pride and Joy!
Love, Mom.

(Sorry I could not find a picture of just Ryan, (the one shown includes his lovely wife and their beautiful children) or of the twins together as adults, but I will try to locate a good baby picture and an adult one as well, and will post it as soon as I do. (Amy is also married (to Tim)and has a very cute baby boy.
Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Vinegar; don't you just love it

Here are multiple uses for the most common and cheap, non toxic cleaning liquid that we all have in our cupboards, WHITE vinegar! (note while most of these suggestions use white vinegar, I do not recommend ingesting white vinegar at all. It is not a natural food, in fact, it is not a food at all. It is simply a chemical created to mimic the real thing - apple cider vinegar-usually or other natually soured products

Increase soil acidity.
In hard water areas, add a cup of vinegar to a gallon of tap water for watering acid loving plants like rhododendrons, gardenias, or azaleas. The vinegar will release iron in the soil for the plants to use.Kill grass on walks and driveways. Pour full strength on unwanted grass.

Deter ants.
Spray vinegar around door and window frames, under appliances, and along other known ant trails.

Keep cats away.
Sprinkle vinegar on an area to discourage cats from walking, sleeping, or scratching on it.

Relieve itching,
by using a cotton ball to dab mosquito and other bug bites with Vinegar straight from the bottle.

Cure for colds. Mix one-quarter cup Apple Cider Vinegar with one-quarter cup honey.
Take one tablespoon six to eight times daily.

Remove fruit stains from hands. Rub with vinegar.

Use in machine machine to cut soap.

Keep bright colors from running. Immerse clothes in full strength vinegar for 10 minutes before washing.Freshen up the washing machine.

Clean the hoses and unclog soap scum.

Freshen vegetables. Soak wilted vegetables in 2 cups of water and a tablespoon of vinegar.

Boil better eggs by adding 2 tablespoons water before boiling. Keeps them from cracking.

Coffee machine
Vinegar can help to dissolve mineral deposits that collect in automatic drip coffee makers. Fill the reservoir with vinegar and run it through a brewing cycle. Rinse thoroughly with water when the cycle is finished. (Be sure sure to check the owners manual forspecific instructions).

Brass, copper and pewter will shine if cleaned with the following mixture. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of distilled vinegar.

Clean the dishwasher by running a cup of vinegar through the whole cycle once a month to reduce soap build up on the inner mechanisms and on glassware.Make your own scouring cleanser by combining 1/4 cup baking soda with 1 tablespoon liquid detergent. Add just enough white distilled vinegar to give it a thick but creamy texture.

Clean counter tops and make them smell sweet again with a cloth soaked in undiluted white distilled vinegar.

Clean the shelves and walls of the refrigerator with a half-and-half solution of water and white distilled vinegar.

Cut the grime on the top of the refrigerator with a paper towel or cloth and full-strength white distilled vinegar.

Get rid of fruit flies by setting out a small dish of undiluted white distilled vinegar.

Create your own window cleaning solution by combining 1/2 cup non-sudsy ammonia, 1 cup white distilled vinegar, and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a gallon of water.

And one more great idea sent by reader Evelyn Mae,
My favorite vinegar tip (other than the GREAT ones you have already posted)
is...pour white vinegar into a shallow, open type bowl and leave on the counter
for a few hours or overnight to eliminate the 'fishy' aroma left from cooking

What's your favorite vinegar tip?

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Super Summer Sale

Good Morning Ladies,

I just found out about an awesome ebook package that Crystal Paine has put together! She is offering over $100 worth of ebooks for only $5.97 - TODAY ONLY! After today the price goes up $3 a day until it is over on Sunday. I have several of these ebooks already and Crystal writes clearly and very down to earth and her books are so practical. They are absolutely excellent, first class and beautifully designed products.

This package includes:

Supermarket Savings 101 Course

Simple Tips for Successful Home Management

Simply Centsible Breakfasts

Simple Centsible Suppers

How to Start Your Own Business

Menu Planning Made Easy!

Homegrown Business

The Bread By Hand eBook

Momma's Guide to Growing Your Groceries

Thriving On One Income

and a whole bunch more!

Grab yours today at this link: Click Here! for the Summer Sale!

Have a wonderful day!

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Wacky Wednesday- The Fastest Aerosol Can in the West!

This is Jonathan's idea of safety when attacking wasp nests with chemical spray: Spray for the nest, an umbrella for the spray fallout(which is toxic when in contact with skin), overalls and dorky glasses for the stingers. (He should have had a breathing mask on as well!) Of course, he didn't want a harness or safety rope because we all know that falling from 18 feet in the air and breaking your back is a lot less scary than getting stung by a wasp ;-)

The nests... covered in spray.

Fastest aerosol-spray-can in the west.

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Consider what God's Word says about Children's Education, by Julie Beth Lamb

Therefore do not worry, saying what shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or what shall we wear? (or what shall we teach? or how can we afford it?) for after all these things the gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things, but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, (and point your children there continually) and all these things (the education and materials your children need) shall be added unto you (and them) Matthew 6:31-33.
And you, fathers (and mothers), do not provoke your children to wrath (by teaching them secular views that are contrary to God’s Word and take them out from under His protection), but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord (all day, not just when the government’s hours of training are over) and having good will doing service (learning the important lessons of serving family and community), as to the Lord (through whom all things are possible) and not to men (from whom we should be set apart) Ephesians 6:4,7.
God will feed (and provide everything needed) His flock like a shepherd, He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom (and make sure they are prepared for His good plan, with His work and through His people, not with government curriculum) and gently lead those who are with young (in the right way to educate their children for Him) Isaiah 40:11.

For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord (plans from His word for your protection and guidance, your obedience and preparation for His use) plans of peace and not of evil (so you don’t have to be afraid to just trust and follow His ways and not man’s ways)to give you a future and a hope (our hope lies in loving and fearing God) then you will call upon Me and find Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you (and your schooling concerns) and you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart (God will be found in prayer, His Word and Godly curriculum, He will not be found in government school curriculum and ideas) Jeremiah 29:11-13.

Train up a child in the way he should go (discipling him in God’s ways, by His instruction) and when he is old he will not depart from it (he will love God and obedience to Him and will have been walking with Him through the school years) Proverbs 22:6.

And whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea (as parents we have a great privilege and responsibility to protect and train these little ones as God intends, never putting them into a situation or training them with curriculum that could cause them to stumble) Mark 9:42.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies (and every moment of our lives) a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service (not defiled by ungodly training). And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (by a constant focus on God and His Word), that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (we must be set apart from the traditions of the world and pressures from others who say that it would be too hard or costly to follow God rather than the world’s way. We must trust God that if we allow Him to guide our children’s steps, through a Godly school life as well as a Godly home life He will conform them to His righteousness and prepare them for His usefulness) Romans 12:2.
May the God of Grace show you His way to educate the children He has entrusted to you.

Used by permission.

JulieBeth Lamb thanks God for allowing these words to flow through her and prays they are a blessing to others as God has allowed them to bless her. She and her husband Rex are the leaders of a homeschool group in Oakdale, California. They have been homeschooling their five children since 1993 and have three still to graduate. Contact her at or 209-838-6062

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Microwaves and What I Do For Fun!

Microwaves are not the miracle machines they were made out to be and with recent evidence that they are downright dangerous. I bought my first one many years ago and through the years have used it less and less and less. Now, I'm microwave free and lovin' it. I defrost in the kitchen sink and it is as easy and convenient. With so much of our food being raw recently, I simply have no need of it most of the time.

But I've had a hard time getting my kids off the convenience. When your kids are little you do everything for them but when they are man size with man sized appetites keeping them from using the microwave when your back is turned is next to impossible. They love to melt cheese on toast or make themselves mini pizzas late at night. Explaining to them that what happens when food is microwaved seems to willingly go over their heads. (They are actually very intelligent but sometimes have selective reasoning when it comes to food) My oldest son's recent bout with cancer last year walloped all of us to smarten up and take control of our own health and that included unplugging the microwave. (I cannot remove it. It is a built in model)

I love to garage sale (no this is not a change of subject) I have found not only the most unique items but virtually do all my shopping, clothing, household goods and even Christmas and birthday shopping at yard and garage sales. Not only do we save a whole lot of money but we also make money buying and reselling used books and other media that I find at sales. (Another post another day)

My most recent great find is a Flavorwave Convection oven. It uses infrared (an intense spotlight) and acts very similar to a toaster oven but I can do roasts, hamburgers and if I can find round muffin trays, I may even be able to do baking as well. Our first try was pizza and it did a great job. I originally bought it for an upcoming Church Family camping trip but quickly realized that it works very well as a regular oven and I can ditch my microwave for good. Furthermore I have been reading how much gas stoves emit formaldehyde,(Gasp) I am glad to minimize the use of that appliance as well.

So how much did I drop for this baby? guess... I'll give you a hint...originally it was 89.00 plus tax and shipping. The original receipt was included in the instruction booklet and they only used it twice.
Any guesses? Okay, you cannot guess (I play this game all the time when I come home from my Saturday morning shopping sprees) $20.00. Normally I offer about 30% less than the asking price and it is often readily accepted but this time they said it was so new that they would like to keep it at 20.00 but would throw in several cookbooks for the same $20.00. I accepted, I then promptly listed the cookbooks on Amazon for $5.00 and $13.50. If they sell at those prices then I will have virtually gotten my new toy for 2.00! Now that is what I call fun.

Now it's your turn. Has any one else gotten a really good garage sale buy recently? Any garage sailing tips?

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Natural Beauty Products Part 2

Ha, I found it. A natural deodorant that works, is inexpensive and easy to make. Yep, you can make it yourself. It's a little too easy and you may not believe me that it works but I have been testing it for over a week and under several circumstances and it has come out with shinning colors. It is..... drum roll please.... baking soda and coconut oil! That's it.

I cannot even remember what amount of each. I just took a Tablespoon or two of coconut oil and poured and worked in enough baking soda to make a thick paste and then I crammed it into a small film canister so it would be small and available for use. I just press off enough to make a small paste and smooth it on and it seems to soak in and disappear.

I have used lavender essential oil sprayed right from a refillable perfume bottle for some time in the past but for some reason it seemed to stop working after several months.

I also heard somewhere that you can put a drop or two of tee tree oil in the coconut/baking soda mixture to help with antibacterial effects. So far I haven't found this necessary but will try it if the effect wears off over time. (I really do not expect it to)

Everyone's body chemistry is different and I'd be interested if anyone else has had similar success (with this recipe or any other particular one.

I'm sure you have baking soda on hand and if you do not have coconut oil you can usually pick it up at any health food store nowadays or even a grocery store that has a Health Food section. You will need only a small amount to try it so be sure to use the rest of the coconut oil in cooking. It is wonderfully fragrant and has many, many health benefits.

Below is an excerpt from an article by Dr Mercola talking about the dangers of using common drug store deodorants.

".... I need to explain that one of the simplest, least expensive and non
toxic alternatives to deodorants is simply plain soap. Antiperspirants are far
more dangerous than deodorants, but I haven’t used either for over two decades.

An additional benefit of stopping these CHEMICALS is that you will stop
producing the yellow stains in the armpits of your shirts. Those stains are NOT
due to your sweat but rather caused by the chemicals you are putting on and in
your body."

Putting chemicals on your skin is actually far worse than ingesting them, because when you eat something the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help break it down and flush it out of your body.

When you put these chemicals on your skin, however, they are absorbed straight into your blood stream without filtering of any kind, so there's no protection against the toxins. Instead, they are in large part going directly to your delicate organs."

Using natural deodorant is such a benefit as there are loads of lympth glands under the skin in the armpit area. It is downright dangerous to put chemicals on the skin in that area that STOP perspiration. The intent with natural deodorants are that you do not stop perspiration, just stop any bacterial growth that cause odor. We do that by creating unfavorable conditions that are not harmful to the skin nor the underlying lymph nodes, and allowing proper drainage as it should be. On another note, the less toxic you are internally, the less troublesome body odor will be. Perhaps that is another post, internal cleansing!

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Natural beauty products Part 3

On to skin and hair care again as I have found some really great additional tips and tricks.

The best things to use on your face as a scrub is steel cut oats, Epsom salts warm water, and an egg yolk.

A good natural moisturizer has always been unrefined sesame oil or coconut oil as I have already tried and love using coconut oil.

A good mask for dry skin is mashed avocado! Nothing beats plain old diluted cider vinegar as a toner. ...and last but certainly not least....drink water and practice good sleep hygiene! Nothing beats a good night sleep....zzzzzzzzzz

And for the occasional break out use an all natural acne fighter- Rubbing just a drop of oregano oil on a breakout can speed up the healing and prevent unsightly scarring without resorting to harsh commercial acne medication (remember to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards).

For the hair, I have tried this and IT WORKS! Add a Tablespoon of baking soda to a cup of water and keep in a squirt bottle in the shower. Instead of using shampoo, just soak your hair with the soda mixture and your hair will come out soft and clean without shampooing! This will save your hair from being stripped everyday or, in my case, every other day and gives it time to rebuild it's natural luster. I have been skipping the conditioner as well as it seems it was simply a film that attracted dirt and making frequent shampooing more necessary. I have used in the past, with good success, a diluted solution of apple cider vinegar to make the hair nice and shiny. (1 T or so to a couple of cups of water)

That same vinegar solution is also good as a skin toner and apparently so is Witch hazel. I haven't tried this yet so if you do try it let me know what you think.

Another thing I found in my research, (but have not tried) is the use of peelu vegetable fiber toothpastes. (don't have a clue where to get these)

Apparently, you can also use the same deodorant mixture-coconut oil and baking soda as a natural toothpaste. (sounds weird doesn't it?) I think I will try this next.

I have also been told that coconut oil massaged into the scalp before bed stimulates hair growth and makes the hair stronger.

And yet another use for Baking soda. I substituted baking soda for regular dish washing powder and it worked! I have been looking for a natural replacement for several months (maybe years) I have tried borax and it seemed to work for a while but so I hear that it may not be a good choice anyway. I plan on using baking soda for a week or so and access the outcome. If I feel it does not do a good job of disinfecting I may add a little Hydrogen peroxide. Anyway, I will let all who are interested know how it comes out, in the wash... (Sorry couldn't resist.)
My next post, Part 4 will be on natural hair colors. Until then, have a non toxic clean day.

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Rancid Onion and Garlic Powder!

One of my faithful readers submitted a question in response to my awesome ranch dressing recipe post and I thought it such a good question/comment that I would write a whole post in reply. Here is both her question and my answer.

I know you have said in the past that the number one thing you try to avoid is
rancid oils. Dehydrated &/or powdered onion and garlic are full of rancid
oils. It is what makes the garlic so extra offensive once eaten, as compared to
eating the fresh. In fact we can tell by smell if a recipe has used fresh garlic
or the powdered, the powdered garlic has a 'brass doorknob' smell and taste.
Have you made this with fresh ingredients and if so, how was the flavor, and
what adjustments might be needed??Blessings,Mrs. Evelyn Mae R

Excellent question Evelyn Mae. I have not used fresh garlic or onions in this recipe yet but it might be a good idea to try them and see how it works. Perhaps I'll try it in my next batch and let you know.

However, if your onion and garlic powders are raw (naturally dehydrated properly under 115 degrees) and not cooked (irradiated) and are fresh, (grown, dehydrated and packaged recently) they should not be rancid.

I'll bet that most grocery store brands of herbs and spices are not fresh at all, perhaps months or years old, nor truly raw (as in not heated over 115 Degrees) Once the product is cooked or as in most cases irradiated, they are susceptible to turning rancid.

On the other hand, while I do avoid most heated oils, if at all possible, the amount that you use in most dressings is so small compared to the amount that many consume everyday in deep fried foods at home and in restaurants. The biggest culprits need to be addressed first and then work on down to the smaller problem foods. (unless you are already there, of course! Then keep working on the little things)

If you have been able to hone that skill of determining the "brass doorknob" smell or what I call the "sharp oil smell" then you are far better off by being able to discern dangerous foods before you eat them. Many cannot or do not even suspect rancid oils as one of the most damaging disease causes in our modern world.

I get my herbs and spices mostly from Azure Standard where not only the turn over is high but they carry mostly organic, non irradiated, and sealed for freshness herbs and spices from reputable companies.

I might add that the bulk food section of my grocery store is one section that I will NOT buy almost anything as I suspect that new product is poured into half empty bins and who knows how long the old stuff ends up being there? Not to mention that all the foods are constantly being exposed to the air oxidizing most seeds like sesame and sunflower. I do not buy these foods at all from anywhere that does not refrigerate their whole bulk section. I think that bulk foods offered in open bins might be the biggest ridiculous invention that has hit the stores in the last 20- 30 years. I would far rather buy something in sealed in plastic than open in a bin. Besides, who knows who has sneezed in it anyway? (No, I'm not generally paranoid of germs but that is just plain gross!)

Does anyone else have any concerns over the bulk food system of purchasing food stuffs? OR about the rancidity of spices in particular?

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Character first- but how?

We all know that character is first and most important in raising your children, not academics, not accomplishments, not creativity.... but character. We all set out to accomplish this daunting task and soon run into the absolute impossibility of this idealistic approach. It is not as easy as it sounds and most often we run into both the sin nature of our children and the battle for our own obvious lack of character. The two worlds collide as we realize that our own character training may not have been as thorough as we may have thought.

Furthermore, the thing that I have most objected to over the years in the homeschooling arena is everyone seems to say that character is supposed to be first in their children's training but no one seems to say how to do that. We really do not know what that means in the application of everyday life.

After raising two great kids and two more almost ready for the world, I can now say that raising children with the principles of honesty, integrity, perseverance, determination, thoroughness, respect, etc, is not easy, but it is simple.

In one word, it is relationship. We are all made for relationship (with God himself and also with each other) but our sin nature pushes us to hide from relationship and especially accountability in those very relationships that we treasure the most. Nevertheless, as you are raising our children jealously guard those important relationships. Let nothing come in between you and your child.

(Warning-peer and age segregated activities may be the number one threat.) (more on this later, in another post)

When you blow it, loose your temper, or selfishly push them away, etc, apologize and get this slate cleaned quickly. Make sure you do not repeatedly offend or they will not believe your apologies. If you can retain that precious respect you child has for you then you will be able to speak into your child's life much easier as your child gets older. In fact, the ability to which your child accepts difficult instructions or corrections from you is the degree to which you hold his heart.

Keep in mind always that your child wants - no - needs a relationship with you, even if he does not show it. Some personalities are very appreciative and expressive and the need for relationship is obvious. Others are less demonstrative but need you nonetheless. This principle has held me on track many a time when I felt so overwhelmed with the hopelessness of one of my children getting the lesson I am trying to have him master. Overtime it will be the strength of the relationship that will cause the weight and pressure your child will need to reach out and grasp perseverance or obedience or whatever you may be working on, when you expect it of him.

Let us not become weary in well doing, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore as we have opportunity (while our children are still under our roof), let us do good, to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers (our children)

Galatians 6;9

How about any one's experience? How have you been able to teach character and still maintain relationship with your children?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Key Lime Pudding

I have discovered raw puddings! Wow!This is reminiscent of lemon chiffon pie, with a strong citrus flavor (my favorite) instead of that artificially fake taste.

I have taken this from a web site somewhere, (I cannot remember where right now) and adapted it to a smaller amount so you can use just one avocado for a meal or dessert for two.

This is really, really yummy if you have a perfectly ripe avocado, no brown spots and you can use lemon juice and zest instead if you do not have lime on hand. In fact, I have only tried it with lemon so far but I call it key lime pudding because it is green and STILL no one knows that I use frog as an ingredient, (so I have a to have reason it is green!!!)

1 whole large Haas avocado
1/4 c fresh squeezed lime juice
1 T lime powder (or fresh zest taken from the lime)
1/4 t Celtic salt
1/4 c agave nectar (or more)

Whip all ingredients in a blender and serve with kiwi, bananas and raspberries. Enjoy!
Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Raw and Probiotic Ranch Dressing

In keeping with my determination of cleaning out my kitchen (and menu) of all natural flavors which is one of the many guise words for MSG, I have discovered and developed a raw ranch dressing and one that is a probiotic feast as well. "Discovered and developed" simply means that I found the recipe in a book and then adapted it to make it truly raw, and added probiotic benefits, and in this particular case adjusted the seasonings to make it just right, AND it passed the Mikey test!

Awesome Ranch Dressing

1/2 cup purchased mayonnaise* (unless you have time to make your own) recipe given at bottom of post)
1/4 c or less raw milk (pasteurized only if you have to) , used to thin out the dressing so don't add too much
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t black pepper
1/2 t dried marjoram leaves
1/2 t celery salt (optional because I didnt have any and it was good without)
1/2 t dried savory leaves (optional because I didn't have any and it was great without)
1/2 t or more dried parsley
1-2 t liquid whey.

Blend till smooth and leave out on the counter for 4-6 hours to develop the probiotic benefits and then refrigerate or serve. Will keep for 1 week or more - if it lasts that long.

IF you do not have whey, that's OK. It will not affect the flavor much with or without but will help to promote healthy intestinal flora and aid in digestibility of itself and anything that you eat with that meal if you add it. However, if you use only raw milk there will still be some probiotic benefit.

To make your own whey from raw milk (very easy) see my new post, called "Curds and Whey") ..oops... to be published in a few days.

* Follow your Heart mayonnaise or vegennaise is raw and is found in the refrigerated section of your health food store. Any mayonnaise not found in the cooler is not to be trusted, and is certainly not raw, nor healthy at all!

Oh, and here is the raw mayonnaise recipe as well. This is great.

Raw Mayonnaise, taken almost directly from Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

1 whole egg
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1 t dijon mustard
1 1/2 t lemon juice
1 t whey (optional)
3/4 - 1 c expeller pressed sunflower oil, or grape seed oil or other natural but mild oil
generous pinch of Celtic or Himalayan salt.

In your food processor, place the egg, yolk, mustard, salt and lemon juice and optional whey. Process till well blended, about 30 seconds. Using the attachment that allows you to add liquids drop by drop, add oil while motor is running. Taste and check seasonings. You may want to add more salt and seasonings. If you have added whey, let the mayonnaise sit at room temperature, well covered, for 7 hours before refrigerating. With whey added, mayonnaise will keep several months and will be firmer with time. Without whey, mayonnaise will keep 2 weeks.

Living a Lifestyle of Learning Daily

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wacked out Wednesday! Thank God for Guardian Angels

My brother is a pilot and mechanic who buys and restores older planes. He had a rather harrowing experience last week while flying an older plane that left him and his wife a little shaken. Read his description and then take a look at the pictures below! Gasp!

There we were, In a 1954 Cessna 180, 1500’ eastbound over the second narrows
bridge in Vancouver, (BC) just clearing the Harbour control zone. We were on our way back from a nice lunch at a restaurant on the beach at Gilles Bay, Texada Island
with some friends.

Suddenly I noticed a seabird ahead. It was a cormorant; A sea
bird that is normally found on or under the water or flying low. I said to Pauline,
my wife, “What’s a cormorant doing way up here?” We were on converging courses,
and he was slightly higher than us, so I descended slightly to increase the
margin. He started to descend also, so I increased my rate of decent and yelled
“Watch where you are going!” With that he dove abruptly and we hit with a loud
bang. The windshield was immediately covered almost 100% with the remains of the
bird and his last meal. (which I later found out to be herring) The cowl doors
were blown open and damaged. I informed the Harbour tower of my situation and
told him I would divert to Pitt Meadows airport since it was slightly closer
than Langley, and had wider and longer runways more suitable for a blind
landing. He gave them a call to give them a heads up and shortly I switched to
them and headed directly towards Pitt Meadows. They asked if I needed any
emergency services and I said “Not likely, but let’s see how the landing turns
out.” I was cleared straight in but couldn’t see ahead so requested and was
granted an angled approach so I could see out the lower corner of the windshield
for the approach. I descended to just over the threshold and then straightened
it out, and then completed the landing using my peripheral vision on the sides
of the runway only. It wasn’t too difficult actually. My time flying the Tiger
Moth at the museum was a benefit since you fly that plane from the rear seat
with your passenger and engine ahead. Anyway, I have a bit of work to do fix the
upper cowl again. We just finished a major restoration of this airplane last
spring. Enjoy the photo attached, and keep an eye out for those suicidal birds!

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Monday, July 14, 2008

Reasons for Home Schooling

Even though I prefer to call what we do "home education", homeschooling is the term most commonly understood. Also once not too long ago, homeschooling was completely unknown or a very misunderstood term. It has now become main stream, and everyone that you run across that asks you or comments on how sweet your children are ends up knowing someone who homeschools (educates) their children at home. My friend, Lisa, from my very short days in Arkansas, is a very Happy Homeschool Mom who like many of us fared the fears and pulled her children out of school. She has listed as many reasons as she could think of in 15 min as to why she spends the effort. I think Lisa's reasons are quite insighful.

Here's another really good list from reader Milehimama. I love this!

Anyone else got any really good reasons? Or good reasons why not?

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Acid Alkaline Balance-so important!

Is it the dump that breeds the flies or do the flies create the dump? This may seem like an odd question but it is at the heart of the modern medical vs alternative medicine debate. In other words, do flies cause disease by bringing bacteria or is there bacteria already but the flies (disease) come due to the rotting and acid conditions?

Alternative medicine by that very title assumes that standard medicine is normal and mainstream and alternative is off on it's own and to be used as a last resort. Although many people do actually view alternative medicine as a last resort, it is actually the method of health and disease prevention that has been used for thousands of years before the advent of modern medicine. (Is it any coincedence that we are generally sicker today than any other time in history?)
Homeopathy is hundreds of years old, so is acupuncture and some other source based diagnostic tools like energy testing. It is actually modern medicine that is the new kid on the block hence we get the new development or discoveries that we all tend to think is because only recently do we have expert scientists now.

Almost 100 years ago, Dr Otto Warburg was issued the Nobel Prize for his discovery that cancer is caused by weakened cell respiration due to a lack of oxygen at the cellular level. A normal healthy cell undergoes an adverse change when it can no longer take in oxygen to convert glucose into energy. In the absence of oxygen, the cell reverts to a primal nutritional program to nourish itself by converting glucose through the process of fermentation. The lactic acid produced by fermentation lowers the cell PH (acidifies) and destroys the ability of DNA and RNA to control cell division. The lactic acid simultaneously causes severe local pain as it destroys cell enzymes. Cancer appears as a rapidly growing external cell, covered with a core of dead cells.

Nobody can say that one does not know what cancer's prime cause is. On the
contrary,there is no disease whose prime cause is better known, so that today
ignorance is no longer an excuse that one do more about prevention. Dr Otto
Warburg 1931

In keeping with prevention of cancer and other major diseases, the internal systems should be slightly alkaline and the outside skin should be slightly acid. What we eat, of course, has a large impact on whether we maintain that acid alkaline balance.

Below is a list of alkalizing foods and acid forming foods. You may just notice the alkalizing foods are mostly vegetables and some fruits. Acid forming foods are mostly animal products and grains. Visually checking how much of your diet leans on either side can create a good guess on how you'll test. The standard and easy test is simply using acid test strips or litmus paper available from any drug store or from Azure Standard or other mail order suppliers. Take a look and predict a guess on how you'll do.


Garlic, Asparagus, Fermented Veggies, Watercress, Beets, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Chlorella, Collard Greens, Cucumber, Eggplant, Kale Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Dulce, Dandelions, Edible Flowers, Onions Parsley, Potatoes (esp. peels), Peas, Peppers, Pumpkin, Rutabaga, Sea Veggies, Spirulina Sprouts, Squashes, Alfalfa, Barley Grass, Wheat Grass, Wild Greens, Nightshade Veggies

Apple, Apricot, Avocado, Banana (high glycemic), Cantaloupe, Cherries, Currants, Dates/Figs Grapes, Grapefruit, Lime, Honeydew, Melon, Nectarine, Orange, Lemon, Peach, Pear, Pineapple All Berries, Tangerine, Tomato, Tropical Fruits, Watermelon

Eggs, Whey Protein Powder, Cottage Cheese, Chicken Breast, Yogurt, Almonds, Chestnuts Tofu (fermented), Flax Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Tempeh (fermented), Squash Seeds Sunflower Seeds, Millet, Sprouted Seeds

Apple Cider Vinegar, Bee Pollen, Lecithin Granules, Probiotic Cultures, Green Juices, Veggie Juices, Fresh Fruit Juice, Organic Milk(unpasteurized), Mineral Water, Alkaline Antioxidant Water,Green Tea ,Herbal Tea, Dandelion Tea, Ginseng Tea, Banchi Tea, Kombucha


Cinnamon, Curry, Ginger, Mustard,Chili Pepper, Sea Salt, Miso, Tamari All Herbs ORIENTAL VEGETABLES Maitake, Daikon, Dandelion Root, Shitake, Kombu, Reishi, Nori, Umeboshi, Wakame Sea Veggies


Avocado Oil, Canola Oil, Corn Oil (not recomended due to GMO process on all corn and soy) Hemp Seed Oil, Flax Oil, Lard, Olive Oil, Safflower Oil, Sesame Oil, Sunflower Oil


Rice Cakes, Wheat Cakes, Amaranth, Barley, Buckwheat, Corn, Oats (rolled)
Quinoa, Rice (all) , Rye, Spelt, Kamut, Wheat, Hemp Seed, Flour

Cheese, Cow Cheese, Goat Cheese, Processed Cheese, Sheep Milk, Butter

Cashews, Brazil Nuts, Peanuts, Peanut Butter, Pecans, Tahini, Walnuts ANIMAL PROTEIN
Beef, Carp, Clams, Fish, Lamb, Lobster, Mussels, Oyster, Pork, Rabbit, Salmon, Shrimp,
Scallops, Tuna, Turkey, Venison PASTA (WHITE) Noodles, Macaroni, Spaghetti OTHER Distilled Vinegar, Wheat Germ

Chemicals, Drugs, Medicinal Drugs, Pesticides, Herbicides,

Beer, Spirits, Hard Liquor, Wine

Black Beans, Chick Peas, Green Peas, Kidney Beans, Lentils, Lima Beans, Pinto Beans,
Red Beans, Soy Beans, Soy Milk, White Beans, Rice Milk, Almond Milk

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily