What LOVE Looks Like….

Today, while waiting on my daughter in speech therapy, I witnessed a beautiful mom walk in with her son. She was early for her appointment which gave me less time… less time to read without distraction… less time to help my easily distracted son with his homework. Her son is autistic and adorably jumping up and down when he laughed at the T.V. She was so kind to him; patient in giving him options and laughing with him. I ignored her to try and squeeze what time I could in to read and realized my son wasn’t going to concentrate anyway.

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She concentrated on her son. She took a phone call from another child reminding him kindly and repeatedly to do his homework and chores. As my daughter came out of therapy, and her son’s therapist came to talk to her, she mentioned her frustration at the news of her son’s diagnosis: getting worse in his teens, and not making it past 40yrs with not being able to process a certain enzyme. No cure. No hope of one. I’m thinking, “This mom was just delivered some of the worst possible news, and she’s still incredibly patient, loving, and has a kind smile on her face.”

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I butted in, apologized for eavesdropping, offered the hope we’d just gained through years of prayer and research, and left. She was even patient with me. What a beautiful love this woman has for her son to take such a hard task with kindness, perseverance, patience, and tolerance.

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#1 How hard do I think my life is? Do I act like a victim?

#2 How selfless and grateful am I after receiving tough news?

#3 How tolerant am I with strangers butting in to my venting?

#4 Would I be able to accept hope if it were offered?

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Thank you for your inspirational example of what Love looks like.

 

 

 

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I’m not dead, yet!

I just woke up this morning with more energy and became so excited to clean a couple of rooms!!! My daughter helped me to plant a couple of plants, and a couple of friends stopped by. I’m exhausted and a little nauseous, but happy! I was not created to rest continually. I’m a Dreamer and a Go-Getter, and I will accomplish those dreams regardless of how long it takes.

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Now, before you go chastising me, know that I have been bed-ridden 3 times in my life, I am fighting hard to take care of myself with Magnesium hourly in one form or another plus food, and rest, and…. I can only read so many books before I’m bored!!!!

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I think I’m regaining energy! After laughing with my sister, she reminded me of the “spoon theory.” It has been such a hard decision for me to choose what to spend my energy on this last week, not knowing how much energy I have to begin with.

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I had the kids pushing me through the house and to and from the garden. My husband carried heavy bags of dirt and mulch for me to play 5 minutes at a time. I spent a half hour in my dream garden I haven’t finished, yet. And, I will not be antisocial just because I don’t feel well… I may look like I’m falling asleep, but I love people.  I’m not dead, yet! Lol.

I’m so thankful for my hubby who has not batted an eye at doing all the dishes, laundry, and grilling enough food to last the week each week.

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I feel like I’ve (we’ve) gotten so good at managing my symptoms, that I forget that it’s NOT normal. I forget that I (we) need support… some days more than others. We all do. So, even if you don’t quite understand what I deal with, I’m thankful to those who are there for my family and I. Thank you for your compassion, prayers, and friendship regardless of whether I look well or not. I really appreciate you. 

And… If you’re wondering what you can do for me,

#1 make me laugh,

#2 feel free to sit and talk with me; be a friend,

#3 if I ask for help, do not embarrass me and draw attention to the situation,

#4 I know how busy life is, and I won’t ask for help unless I am certain I absolutely need it, and you’re able to give it. But, I won’t refuse service, either.

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Thanks so much for being part of our lives. I love you!!!! But God loves you more. 

 

 

Dire Circumstances, BUT God…

Well, I had a few really good days before my body crashed again. (fatigue/dizziness) I was really frustrated, yesterday, that it didn’t make any sense. So, I’m going to just say that I was sick. When people normally get sick, it’s random, unpredictable, and inconvenient. I don’t understand the reasons, but until then, here is a list of the things I’ve seen God be there for me this last week:

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1) God brought a friend back into my life that had hurt and disrespected me a year ago. I have kept boundaries in place, but He has been healing and leading her.

2) My oldest accomplished double his schoolwork last week to spend time with his grandparents fixing up their home. What an amazing teaching opportunity, and relationship builder!

3) The kids helped me research new recipes. My oldest even made one to take to our family reunion last Saturday! Because of this, there were no complaints about how “Mom’s killing us!” or “We’re eating like birds!”

4) We were able to spend quality time with some of our best friends in this weekend before they move later this week. I know God brought them into our lives blessing us in so many ways, and that He will bless us with more friends. It was great to spend time and hope to make plans together in the future, too.

5) I loved going to my home church, singing with incredibly talented people who I’ve missed, hugging many that I love, not needing Google maps to find my way, and feeling so loved that I could face the world again.

6) I’ve been able to work through some issues while my parents encouraged me.

7) We came home safely and were able to get the house back in order, so that I only had laundry and dishes left.

8) When I was wondering if I needed to ask for help, I realized that the house was fine, the kids know how to feed themselves because I haven’t made dinner in months, and I just needed rest since I couldn’t do much else.

9) The van’s axle broke with me driving across town. I was safe. Ford fixed it for free because of an old recall.

10) Our upstairs bathroom is getting remodeled! It’s been leaking since we moved in, so we tried not to bathe much… But we have a shower upstairs, now, and the bathroom could be finished by the end of the week.

11) The kids found out about a VBS down the street and were excited to go. Without a vehicle, I wasn’t letting them go in the rain. They prayed for it to stop and it did when it was time to go.

12) My neighbor took my kids last night to VBS since I couldn’t walk them.

13) I am grateful for those who show kindness and compassion. A friend who asked if she could help without embarrassing me in front of others, listened and tried to understand, and made sure I safely returned home.

14) Free valet parking at the hospital. He never questioned why I might need help even with his eyes. (I’ve had people do so in the past with Walmart carts.) Never made a comment about how good I look to not feel well. He even helped me with my door and seat belt. Kindness is God’s love. 

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I could go on with every detail. But I just wanted to say that regardless of how dire circumstances seem, God is always there. He’s been working things out for my good from the beginning. He knows and loves me personally. Circumstances change, but God never does. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This is why I trust and love Him.

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Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

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With my first two children, I really struggled gathering materials together to teach them to read. There are a few materials that I absolutely loved, but there always seemed to be a huge gap to get there. We loved playing with our Foam Letters to learn ABC’s, sounds of those letters, and words to go with them. We also all loved Dick & Jane books, Bob books, and Mo Willems books. With my third child, I decided to try this book.

 

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Now, granted, I am not strict about following an everyday schedule, following every rule (unless it makes sense,) nor pushing my child to hurry and get it right. We had read this book about 3 days/week. Sometimes, we had gone on vacation or he just didn’t seem to be doing as well, and we would go back a few lessons until he was comfortable. I didn’t have a timetable that he should read by, but I figured that I generally wanted him to be able to read in about a full school year.

 

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I love the details in the book, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Englemann, that don’t leave you with any hesitation about what to do.

This book begins with simple letter sounds. Then moves on to simple words to use those few letters, and moves on. It uses phonetics to make it easier for them to learn certain words. As the lessons go on, the words get smaller and in the 70’s lessons, the phonetics are taken out.

 

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Now, my son doesn’t sit still for very long, so we had to figure out a fun way for us to read this book together. I learned my son’s limits. When he began getting too distracted to sound things out, but would look around, play in his shirt, guess words and get frustrated, I would have him take a 30 second break.

We would get to a point where I could say, “Okay, do this one page and you can make silly faces for 30 seconds.” or even, “Go to this line, word, or paragraph, and you can hop around the room for 30 seconds.” etc.

We also would cover up the picture before he read the story, so after he read it, the picture was his reward. We had fun with it.

 

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Some people like supplemental activities to go with the material.

One person had come up with a chart. I didn’t like the chart because like I said, if he needed to go back to get comfortable, I didn’t want him to feel like he was doing something bad.

I like to use the “sight words” section and make a game out of it. I would lay them on the floor in different designs and have him hop on them when he said the word. (This is also what we did with the foam letters to help him learn for preschool.)

There is a writing section at the end of each lesson. I would write the two learning letters for him on lined paper to do on his own, and he loved it.

 

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If you want to advance your child from preschool after they know their letters or just give them help with their reading, it does help them advance from K-2nd grade reading level.

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What other Blogs are saying about this book:

http://daisycottagedesigns.net/preschool-at-home/teach-your-child-to-read-in-100-easy-lessons-an-update-on-our-progress/

 

http://mamaofletters.com/2011/10/23/review-teach-your-child-to-read-in-100-easy-lessons/

 

http://www.hermamas.com/2014/01/teaching-your-child-to-read-in-100-easy.html

 

Magnesium Rich Foods

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Today, I walked into church feeling exhausted, my voice sounded tired, my muscles were tired. I began shaking during Sunday School and went for my emergency bag holding my Nuun tablets. However, later, after church, I laid there exhausted wondering how I could help myself. I realized that this time… I could. Recently, I’ve been finally learning to make and eat healthy foods to save me from a Magnesium drop. So, I began to make things to help my Magnesium levels to rise back up.

 

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First, it has been important to me to know what causes these drops. This helps me to know how I might be prepared for these issues instead of frustrated as I’m learning.

 

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#1 Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome– Because of having this particular connective tissue disorder, my kids and I are naturally deficient in Magnesium.

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#2 Sugar– Processed Sugar, Processed Sugar substitutes, and other Grains and Starches (that turn into sugar in our bodies) not only lower the salts in our bodies (which is not good for #1,) but also allows the bad bacteria in our bodies to get out of control. This can cause a big range of problems including bad teeth, liver problems, insulin resistance, obesity, high cholesterol, and contributes to cancer.

Our culture has been rising in sugar consumption by less than 2% yearly showing on this graph from 1822-2005. “It’s a remarkably straight line, increasing steadily from 6.3 pounds per person per year in 1822 to a maximum of 107.7 lb/person/year in 1999.”

 

 

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#3 Leaky Gut– Too much wear and tear on the stomach lining causes holes which leak food directly into the blood causing many physical issues including, but not limited to, autoimmune issues, major food allergies, and malabsorption of vitamins and minerals.

 

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#4 Hormones– Naturally, the last two weeks of a woman’s menstrual cycle causes Magnesium levels to drop which can normally cause headaches, bloating, low blood sugar, dizziness, fluid retention and sugar cravings.

On a grander scale, low Magnesium can ultimately lead to dysmenorrhea (painful periods,) preeclampsia, infertility, premature births, hypoglycemia, anxiety, obesity and diabetes.

 

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Here are some Magnesium Rich Foods that we are currently enjoying; most of which friends and family have gladly shared their knowledge and time with me… 

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Roasted Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)

Originally, I had been frying them, but since burning a hole in the microwave above the stove, I decided to roast them. 450 degrees for 30 minutes.

1 can Garbanzo beans
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Tbsp Paprika
1/2 Tbsp Cumin
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp salt

 

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This is one of the first things I began making. At first my kids stayed far away from it, but after I told them that it was mine… they began wanting it. I have to keep the banana out for one of my children, but it is an amazing source of Magnesium!

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Green Smoothie

1/3 Kale
1/3 Spinach
1/3 frozen Berries
1 Banana
1/2 Water (some use milk, but all use different kinds of milk in our household, so this is best for us. Almond Milk would be the highest source of Magnesium. Feel free to use ice if you don’t use frozen fruit.)

 

 

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Kale Chips

My son made these last week after a friend at church told me how to make them. We all love the taste, and they are super easy to make. I did notice that when I put them away in a ziplock bag or plastic container, that they would become soggy again. I then put them back in the oven. We left them out all night a couple of nights ago, and they were super crispy!

In a bowl, mix Kale leaves with a tiny bit of Olive Oil and salt.
Put them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

 

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And just adding Avacado and Spinach to your Salad is a great boost of Magnesium!

 

 

 

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This has been a fun learning experience for my family and I as we are changing for the better. I will add more as we learn more. I hope this encourages you today!

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Other Related Articles:

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Magnesium Deficiency

Treatments for EDS

 

 

Feel Your Emotions

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November, over year ago, I first experienced Fibromyalgia. I had a confrontation with someone at Bible Study and I didn’t feel like I had a voice in the situation. I was angry and became depressed. Within the week, I had insomnia and pain up my spine and over my shoulders so bad that no one could touch me. It was not only hard to experience those physical pains, but one of my main Love Languages is touch which left me feeling lonely.

 

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I worked with a friend of mine to find the best essential oils for me to help heal the inflammation. Within a month, I was able to get the pain gone.

 

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Doing the Dressing Your Truth program began to teach me that I am lovable and created beautiful in my own type. I began to be excited to be me and tell others what I had learned.

 

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In the process, I had friends that were angry with me for doing so. I began to notice a pattern in these confrontations and I would feel the pain severely again. Some of it was that I would turn to my sugar addiction and my body is already out of balance with bad bacteria causing Leaky Gut. Part of it is that I would revert right back to “Somebody doesn’t like me, I’m not good enough” thinking. I realized after the last time, that I’d had enough of taking my anger out on me.

 

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I began to go to counseling to learn to deal with my anger in a healthy way. And here I’ve been learning to set boundaries in my relationships, to be more patient with myself, and to use my voice.

 

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One of the things that my counselor has been reiterating is that emotions don’t last very long. If we don’t allow ourselves to feel our emotions, it turns into suffering.

 

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I used to stop myself from crying because it wasn’t a “positive” emotion. I felt that it was incorrect to be angry or to cry. I would still be angry, I just wouldn’t express it. Pretending that the feeling wasn’t there didn’t make it go away. My anger would then last for a few days, then I would get depressed for a few days thinking that it was my fault that I was feeling angry and it was wrong. Then would find a way to move on.

 

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But this weekend, my husband and I went out to eat at a buffet. Going out to eat is hard for me because so many things can knock me back down again. I got a lot of meat and found a few veggies that were not covered in sauces. My husband sits down with carbs. I looked at his plate and said, “I miss that.” He said that a little bit would probably not hurt me, but in this healing stage, I need to stay away from it. I also know that I wouldn’t stop with a little bit because I fear I may never have it again and go overboard.

 

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And I began to cry. This time, I didn’t stop it. I cried because of grief over the loss of my favorite foods. I cried because it wasn’t fair. I cried because I caused this damage to my body. I cried because I don’t know how long it will take to heal.

 

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And after a couple minutes of crying over my food, it was over. I took a deep breath and felt great! I didn’t not mourn for the rest of the day. I did not mope about it for the next week. I wasn’t angry with myself, depressed about it, nor did I feel the Fibromyalgia pain. I’m so excited that I’m learning!!! I’m getting it!!! It’s one thing to know what is wrong with you, or have the answer of how to get better, but accomplishing that task is so rewarding!!

 

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I know that without my vitamins and supplements right now, I would still and have crashed. I know that diet changes and exercise are crucial and I don’t have it down, yet! I know that I need to be especially careful around hormone changes. I know that what works for me, may not work for everyone, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t answers for you. I know that addressing whatever caused the problem may not be the only way to heal. Because all parts of the body work together, one thing can affect all the other. By praying, hoping, being willing to seek and find answers, and paying attention to my body, I was able to see the connection for me. I am excited that I am practicing feeling my emotions, learning how to voice them, that it is okay to do so, and that I’m getting this part!!! I am healing!

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Other Related Articles:

10 Things I Learned as a Type 2 with a Type 2: Sensitive Daughter

Climbing Out of the Canyon

Faith and Encouragement

Get Over It!

I Deserve to Be Loved

I Don’t Need Your Approval

Recovering Perfectionist Here

This Amazing Journey

 

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Mullein for Asthma

One of the very first herbs that I was introduced to is a plant that grows in our yard. It’s a soft-leaved plant called Mullein.

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My mother had been researching alternative help for my 2yr old son’s asthma. He would get a cold and it would turn into an asthmatic cough that we couldn’t get rid of without rounds of antibiotics, steroids, and breathing treatments. I began to wonder what strain these drugs were putting on his little body and I was worried for his future. We wouldn’t leave the house for a couple of months trying to help him recover just to go back out into the world for him to get something else.

Glass Teapot with Herbal Tea

We began putting Mullein leaves into a tea for him. At first, it did not taste very well, so we added juice to it. But now, at 5yrs, he drinks it super fast without added sugar. I also use this tea to help any of us in our family heal from respiratory colds.

Thankfully, we have also learned preventative herbs and are working on healing his body from the damage done by antibiotics, but I am thankful to have learned about Mullein. It has been a life-saver. It’s important to remember that not one herb works for everyone, but this has worked for us. There are many herbs that work to heal the same issue.

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Uses for Mullein: Ear Infections, Wounds, Hemorrhoids, Colds, Flu, Diarrhea, Migraines, Gout, Tuberculosis, Croup, Cough, Sore throat, Inflammation of the airways (bronchitis), Whooping Cough, Tuberculosis, Hoarseness, Pneumonia, Swine flu, Chills, Fever, Allergies, Tonsillitis, Colic, Gastrointestinal Bleeding, and Joint Pain. Mullein is applied to the skin for wounds, burns, hemorrhoids, bruises, frostbite, and skin infections. The leaves are used topically to soften and protect the skin.

Tinctures, capsules, lozenges, powders, and ear drops containing mullein are found in many health food stores.

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Other Herbs for Asthma: Licorice, Adhatoda, Ginkgo Biloba, Coltsfoot, Turmeric, Chinese Skullcap, Grindelia

Essential Oils for Asthma: Breathe, Clary Sage, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Frankinsence, Geranium, Helichrysum, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Melalueka, Myrrh, Owie Spray, OnGuard, Oregano,  Peppermint, Rose, Rosemary, Thyme, Ylang ylang,

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Where to buy bulk herbs:

http://www.starwest-botanicals.com/category/bulk-herbs/

http://www.herbco.com/c-2-bulk-herbs-spices.aspx

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Other Related Articles:

Antibiotics Kill!

Essential Oils

Herbs

Healing Infections, Sicknesses, and Cuts

Plantain for Stings