Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Waldorf play and the big boy work

Today the boys and I organized some of the play room toys so we could be sure the 4 year old and the 2 year old had plenty to play with while the big guys did school work. Playing is their school work! In the Waldorf method we encourage play that mimics adult home making, such as cooking, as well as play that ignites the imagination with natural woods, beeswax, wool, cotton and silk.

I love these wood animals. Worth every penny, lasted through 5 children so far! Here we have our three friends a horse, a reindeer and a bear. Nearby is the wooden rainbow stacker and in the background a basket of pinecones with a felted owl and a little pocket baby.
Our play kitchen is modeled after a wood burning stove. At the time we made it we lived in a home where we cooked on a wood burning stove. Next to it is our basket of play dishes both tin and wooden.
And some of the big boy work - the water cycle!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ebola - Is it a threat and what can we do?

Deuteronomy 3:22 Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you

It's on everyone's mind - Ebola.

What is it, why is it, is it a threat, what can we do? Many people have asked me my opinion and once the nurse in Texas who was treating the Liberian man who died of Ebola came down with Ebola - I knew I needed some answers for my family.

I did some research and a lot of praying and this is my best take on Ebola.

What is Ebola?

Eb·o·la fe·ver
ēˈbōlə ˌfēvər/
noun: Ebola
  1. an infectious and generally fatal disease marked by fever and severe internal bleeding, spread through contact with infected body fluids by a filovirus ( Ebola virus ), whose normal host species is unknown.
Although scientists have not clearly identified the source of Ebola there is a consensus that Ebola originated in bats and spread to humans when people living along the Ebola river in West Africa consumed bats for food. (In my opinion it is very important to follow both the Word of Wisdom which counsels us to eat meat sparingly as well as Leviticus which specifically lays out which animals humans may safely consume).
Ebola is frightening because of it's death rate and the painful way in which one dies. The death rate in previous outbreaks has been 25-90%. Reasonably you can think of this in terms of about 6-7 people in 10 who contract Ebola will die from it.
Contracting Ebola
The plus side? If you contract Ebola and don't die you can totally use that anytime you want.
"But moooooom, it's haaaaard!"
"Um, you think *your* life is hard? Mommy had Ebola kid!"
The bad news? You only need one Ebola virus in your body to become sick with Ebola. It can live in you for 2-21 days before you show symptoms and during those days you are most contagious (essentially before you know you have it).
OK, time for a round of good news again. Ebola is pretty hard to spread especially in a country like the US where we have excellent sanitation. You must come in contact with infected body fluids to contract Ebola or something with Ebola in it that has stayed moist. Hot, humid climates are going to spread it more easily (sorry Duck Dynasty fans) and dry climates will spread it a bit slower (hooray for the Mojave desert!). The Ebola virus kills quickly and often so you won't find those sick with Ebola strolling around town calmly drinking from public water fountains.
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Not Contracting It
Currently the average global citizen is not at risk for contracting Ebola. This could change at anytime of course but over all I would not be especially worried. However, just because you aren't worrying doesn't mean we shouldn't all take some simple precautions, and hey, cold and flu season is coming up anyway so what I'm about to lay on ya is good advice either way.
1. Wash your hands often with hot soapy water
2. Avoid air travel and stay out of Africa
3. Boost your immune system
4. Gather your water, food and medical storage
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. (Psalm 9:9-10)
Boosting Your Immune System
What I'm about to offer is my best personal advice. I'm NOT a doctor, yada yada yada. I'm not going to go trolling the internet for a thousand links because what I want you to do is personally research these options, through sources you trust, pray about it and make *your* own decision.
OK, we good? Good.

Step one; make an herbal infusion.

Grab a quart pot. Fill it with water. Bring that water to a boil and then turn it off. When there are no more boiling bubbles add two heaping tablespoons each of the following herbs: Echinacea root, Echinacea leaf, dried black elderberry, yarrow, and red clover. Steep the herbs in the water, with a lid on the pot until the water is cool. Strain out the herbs and place your herbal infusion in a pitcher. To that pitcher add a few tablespoons of nano silver or colloidal silver. Stir and place in the fridge. Every morning drink 1/2 - 1 cup of your infusion.

**Important Note: There is no know cure for Ebola HOWEVER if an Ebola outbreak were to occur - based on my research, your best bet is to be taking Nano or Colloidal Silver. Currently, every time I buy some Nano Silver I buy two bottles, one to use now and one for storage.

Step two; make an immune boosting spice mix.

Fill a jar 1/2 way with organic garlic powder. To that jar add equal parts ground rosemary, dried and crushed basil, ginger powder, oregano and sage. Put the lid on the jar and shake it to mix the spices together. Sprinkle these spices on your savory foods. We use it on everything! Potatoes, meat, noodles, veggies, salad dressing, pizza, sandwiches, etc.

Step three; increase your intake of fermented soy.

Some studies have shown that elements of fermented soy have some effect on the Ebola virus. Miso is my personal favorite way to get fermented soy. I add a spoonful to our salad dressing and blend it in. We eat salad every day so this is the easiest way for us. You'll have to find the best way for you.

Step four; increase you intake of Vitamins D and C.

DO NOT run out and buy vitamins. STOP! Put the car keys down. The BEST way to get vitamins D and C are NATURALLY.

It's really simple and cheaper than vitamins. Go sit in the sun for some vitamin D. Unfortunately in the western hemisphere we can only make D between March 21st and September 21st. Your body CAN store up D for winter though so make it a habit to eat your lunch in the sunshine during the summer. Soak it in.

Right now (October 2014) your only option for D is through food. My favorite food for vitamin D is fermented cod liver oil. My children and I take it every night before bed (PS it tastes fine, don't worry and you can get it in pill form too).

Vitamin C is also found in a variety of foods but my personal favorite is good old fashion citrus fruits. Have an orange with breakfast each morning or some yummy fresh squeezed orange juice.

Step five; exercise.

Just move. You don't need a gym membership, you don't need equipment, just move for 20-40 minutes everyday, at least. My personal favorites are bouncing on our trampoline and walking. I also indorse running, gardening, swimming, etc. Running around with your kids at the playground and playing really hard is also a super fun way to exercise :)

Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:10b)

Additional Precautions

Stock up on some bleach. Print out directions on how to clean water using bleach. Bleach kills Ebola and in the event that a mass epidemic DID break out, water is how it will be spread quickly. Sewage, sabotage, system break down, etc. you will need a clean source of water.

Make sure your home storage is up to date. Get a 72 hour kit together. Gather food and water storage for every member of your family for 3-6 months AT LEAST (two years is better). Gather basic medical supplies like pain killers, gaze, sterile equipment, etc. I'm not advising this because I'm worried about Ebola especially but because I believe it is important to have an emergency plan together in general. We never know if there will be a government break down, a plague, a war, a riot, or a natural disaster.

Add some tea tree oil to your favorite cream. Apply this around the outside of your nose. This helps reduce a virus' ability to enter through your nose. This is especially helpful if you have nose pickers amongst your children ;)

Acts 16:31
They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household."

Spiritual Preparation

If you're LDS (and even if you're not) study the modern day counsel and revelation given to us on being prepared.

Google "Ezra Taft Benson and Preparedness." Read, watch, listen - soak in his counsel. He is my favorite Prophet to learn from on this topic.

- Plant all the food you can on your own property. Even if you live in an apartment grow herbs on your window sill.

- Have a MINIMUM of 1 years food storage for your family. If you are poor gather little by little, a food item or two per week if you cannot afford more.

- Learn to sew, knit and/or crochet. Learn to make and repair clothing.

- Keep yourself strong and healthy, free from all addictions.



Thursday, October 16, 2014

Simchat Torah Dinner

Tonight I made stuffed cabbage rolls for Simchat Torah. Simchat Torah  is a time to celebrate the Torah (scriptures). The cabbage rolls are meant to look like little scrolls :)

They are super easy to make. Stuff the raw mix of your favorite meat loaf recipe into steamed cabbage leaves. Roll like a burrito and cook, topped with your favorite tomato sauce, covered on 350 for an hour.

Beloved Ancestor Tree

October is a time to remember our beloved who have passed through the veil.

Here we have attached ribbons with their names to a stick to create a tree of rememberance.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Sweeter Halloween Series - Part 2 - Wholesome Activities

Little Spite Boy enjoys a s'more around the campfire during our trip to the pumpkin patch!

Haunted houses, spokes, ghosts, seems nearly impossible to find wholesome things to do on Halloween. I've really been prompted to stay clear of such demonic influences for several years but this year I threw my hands up and said "I'm DONE!"

It all came about when I took my children to the opening day of the Spirit Halloween store. Their grandpa had just visited and gave each of them $20. I thought it would fun for them to start thinking about Halloween costumes and maybe buy some fun dress up things.

Boy howdy!

I could not BELIEVE what I saw in that store! Pretend dead babies with bleeding eye sockets. Little mechanical zombie girls with missing eyes, black stuff dripping from the eye sockets, that jump at you and yell for their mommy.

In short I was HORRIFIED and I think my children were scarred for life. Honestly, they still have nightmares.

It was beyond sick but was unfortunately not isolated to that store.

Imagine my surprise when I see facebook posts from one of my favorite family farms who were getting ready for their annual Halloween pumpkin patch by decorating with this zombie girl!

Wha? Seriously?

My home school group had a field trip planned to this farm. I decided my children and I would not be going to this pumpkin patch and I chose another farm, a little further away. This farm was more low key. They had a "Sleepy Hallow" theme and the scariest thing they had was a boy dressed as the headless horseman riding a real horse.

Most important about the headless horseman was there was no blood or gore. The horseman didn't frighten my children, they squealed with delight. It was just fake enough to not be terrifying and just real enough to cast a fun atmosphere.

This farm decorated with pumpkins and some white sheet ghosts only. No blood, no gore, no dead babies.

*sigh of relief*

My church holds an annual Halloween carnival and trunk or treat. 99% of the costumes, activities and trunks are not scary and are fun and playful however I'm not trilled with trick or treating in general so when someone in my local home school group decided to host an unHalloween party on Halloween night I jumped on the chance!

This party has a fairytale theme. We still get to dress up, have a costume parade but in addition there will be a sugar-free dessert contest, a soup potluck, a story telling time, karaoke, etc.

Wholesome. No candy, no guts, no blood, no gore.


So I encourage you to seek out a sweeter Halloween by minding what activities you choose to participate in. I encourage you to follow your promptings and pray about what your family will do in October and seek out the sweet! :)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Our First Sukkah

The kids and I built our first Sukkah for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. I'm not sure it meets all the requirements for an offical Sukkah but we Christians gave it our best shot. We are trying to really live all the words of God by celebrating these Old Testament holidays. So far it has been an enriching experience! I highly recommend it.

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