Blessed

So another holiday, more family gatherings.  Making plans to remember those who’ve given up their lives for us. How blessed we are.

So, for celebration each year during memorial day we go enjoy the land that many of men and women died to protect.  Also to celebrate all these wonderful gifts God has given us.

I’ve been thinking today, of the many things God has blessed me with. Grin my children and husband to family and friends.  So each year I share one of my gifts of talent God has given me.  And today I’m going to share it with all of you.

MYO Quiet Time Marker Book

MYO Quiet Time Marker Book

There are many, many ways to have quiet time for your children. Eventually they grow out of nap time. So, keeping schedules for our busy buggies sometimes seems difficult. A lot of children end up going to video games, tablets, phones, and the like. And they do this at such a young age.

My Beanie Bug, who is six years old, as actually asked for a phone. She wants a phone because her friend, whom is the same age as Beanie, has a phone of her own. I told Beanie there was no way she was getting her own phone at such a young age. This has become common place for young bugs to have things like this. So, how do you curb this? Yes, use these devices to help them learn. As well as teach them how and when to use these devices. However, learning can be fun in a non-technological way as well.

You don’t have to use quiet time books for just nap time, either. You can use them in the car. Set up some time before bed time, to help them calm down before or after their bed time routine. There are so many ways to utilize this. Plus, the ideas are limitless. You can print them out yourself. You can use workbooks you find at Dollar Tree or other stores. You can hand make them, (I’ve done this, and it may take time, but I make copies after I do this so that I can duplicate as needed.)

Pick You Poison

Decide how you want to set out your Quiet Time Marker Book. Then gather your materials. For us, here at the Buggy House, I’m testing out printable online worksheets. So this is what my ingredients list looks like:

  • Gather and print worksheets
  • Laminate pages
  • Punch holes to fit in binder
  • Place in binderQuiet time marker books

Gather markers to use with, or allow the buggies to use what they have already.

And, that’s it. There really isn’t much to it, but at the same time, there is sooooo much that you can do with it. For my buggies, especially my Beanie Bug, practicing her writing gives her the freedom to read and write more. Then she can write stories with all her pictures she draws. When you go to make these books, make them around your child’s interests. For example, Beanie is my diva. If I make this centered around her writing about princesses or make-up, or even dress parties, tea parties, baby dolls, or anything diva like, then she will be so engrossed in this book. And that is what you want. Capture what your buggy likes the most. She’ll never want to put it down.

For Belly Bug, she loves dinosaurs, frogs, nursery rhymes, bugs, etc. She needs to work on writing her name and practicing writing. So, mixing these will make a fun book that keeps her practicing. You could also keep in the Zoo Phonics system that a lot of buggies are learning at school. Which is another thing Belly Bug loves, and will point out letters excitedly to tell you if it looks like Sammy Snake or Allie Alligator.

Again, the options are limitless. Leave me a comment below to tell me some of the ideas you like and work for your buggy.

Back to Scratch – Pantry Assesment

Hello everyone!  So, last week we discussed going back to scratch.  Changing what we are used to eating with pre-processed food.  However, before you go all out, let’s break it down a bit further.  This way you know what you can handle in your diet and what you cannot.

In Intro to Back to Scratch we discussed a few points in “Determine What You Want” section.  the first point was:

Figure out what you want to change in your pantry.  Start by taking a look at what you have.  With your inventory lists, you may not even have to open your cupboards.  Look at what is on your ingredient labels, and if you don’t know what it is, you may want to think that through.  Find out what you’re willing to live with, and what you want to change

The point to this is to actually look at the ingredients.  To clarify, I’m not saying count your calories and all that.  Frankly, I don’t feel this works well for us generally.  Yes, it works for some, but it isn’t going to work for all.  And the point of back to scratch is to eliminate as much of the pre-processed chemicals they put in our food to preserve it, which actually can make us sick.

Something I’ve heard often is that it is too hard to do.  Some of the things you may be doing through this series do seem difficult.  However, the largest problem we end up having is where to start and how to do it.  Or, even if you want to do it or not.  You may wonder how much money it will cost, and why it is different from what you buy at the store.

Where To Startcabinet-334128_1920

Pick a place in your kitchen pantry.  Pick up a package and look at the ingredients.  If you look at the bag of all-purpose flour you bought the other day, you will see it is bleached.  If you take a close look at the ingredients in something as simple as paprika or garlic powder, you’ll see the anti-caking agents as well as preservatives.  Or, have you ever really looked what is in your canning salt?

These are all things you would use in cooking from scratch.  Here, I feel is the least overwhelming part to look at.  These are your basics.  It is where you reach first when you are cooking, unless you just cook straight from a box, and even then, you may add some garlic powder and chopped onions to your burger for your hamburger helper.

What Are Spices?

Spices are fruits and vegetables that are dehydrated or freeze-dried, then mixed to flavor and packaged to sell.  However, there is a little more to it.  You don’t want your powders to cake up and get stuck in the bottle.  Also, vendors want their products to last from making, to shipping, to the shelf and then to your home.  So, preservatives are necessary.

If you were making your own, or purchasing from a farmers market, you would notice they do expire earlier than a store-bought spice.  However, you are not flooded with everything else that is put in to preserve from the store.  Sometimes even those organic or all natural brands do hide ingredients that they use to preserve it.  So, you really need to check all your products out when you are looking.

It may seem like a lot, however, checking out what you’re putting into your bodies, is important.  Especially when you are finding that you or your family is having bad reactions to foods, some skin reactions are from foods as well.  Or even food allergies.  Back in the days of the bible, you didn’t hear about all these allergies, however, back then, they made these things by hand.  You used them up, or you lost them.  They didn’t over stock their cupboards so they had plenty if they wanted a midnight snack.

How Much Is Too Much?

After you’ve looked at what you have in your spices or flour, or whatever you are using to cook, you need to make a decision from here.  Probably the easiest way to look at this is to look at flour.  It says right on the front of the package if it is bleached or unbleached.  Okay, if you pick up a bottle of bleach, you aren’t going to add it into your meat to make it look cleaner, so why would you do it with flour?

Then we look at the prices.  At Meijer, you can look at the all-purpose flour.  They have bleached and unbleached, and they have it in the store brand.  They happen to be the same price and size.  So, really, there is no need to worry about the price in this circumstance.  That isn’t always the case, unfortunately.

If you look at spices, some of the things you will need are fresh fruits and vegetables, salt of preference, and arrow-root powder, or something like it to help with caking.  Or you can decide to go with just the fruits and vegetables.  This will be more expensive than going out and just buying the paprika on the shelf already made.  Then when you add in the time it takes, to dry everything out, grind it down, and mix it up…well, some people don’t want to wait that long.

The bonus end to doing this yourself is that you know what is in it, and it makes that secret ingredient all the better.  You can mix it to your own taste, and it will be a bit different from what you get off the shelf.  You will most likely LOVE your own blend much better.  Also, when you do this, you’re often buying these in bulk.  You will end up with a larger supply to work with, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables to cook with while you’re making these.

What About the Cost of Tools?

Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to go out and buy a bunch of things to start making your own spices.  Most people have an oven and a blender now a days.  However, next week I’ll go over what I have learned from different options, and you may find yourself loving what you’re making.

Homework

Take a look in your cupboards.  Look at the ingredients of what you are currently eating.  Make a decision of if you want to start this path, and if so, where you want to start.  Start small, don’t bite off more than you can chew, or you won’t follow through with it.  Remind yourself not to get over whelmed, and that right now, you’re just looking and making a decision.  You aren’t jumping in head first.  Leave me some comments below, if you’ve tried homemade spices or some of the things you notice on the ingredient label.

Take a

 

Update and Updates

Hello all of you!  I’ve got some updates.  I know that it looks like I’m slowing down with my posts, however, there are things going on here, behind the scenes.  Planning, research, and of course, before I tell you about all these wonderful things, I am testing as I go.  I can’t say it is tried and true, unless I have truly tried it.

With that in mind, I am opening up a special forum to start a prayer group and bible study.  Create a further safe space to discuss all that we would like to discuss and move farther with saving souls.  My last post was about just that.  I’ve done a lot of thinking, and yes, I would like to start a bible study and prayer group personally.  However, that doesn’t work well for all of our friends that are too far away to join us.  Which brings me to another idea that can be done right away.

So, bear with me, as the forums are under construction, but please feel free to keep up with it as we go along.  And, feel free to join the fun.

One Soul At A Time

Prior to all of this with my blog, or even prior to meeting my husband I’ve gone through a lot. I’ve always wanted to help people, and was often told I cannot save the world. In reply, when I was younger, I always said I knew that it was right but it never sat well within my heart. I felt that, yes maybe we cannot save the world. But shouldn’t we at least try? These feelings have caused me to feel very naive in many ways, and have even had people call me retarded and the like for my views.

Moving on, I’d learned to harden my heart, to stop being called stupid or retarded. I learned to look the other way, because you can’t save the world. I had learned, right down to seeing the flash from a gun, to not interfere for it could be the end of me and all those around me, just for acknowledging the fact that I witnessed it. I don’t regret a bit of it, because it was within this hatred and blindness that I learned not to hate and not to turn a blind eye. But it still left me a bit lost on where to move from there. It is one thing to decide not to turn a blind eye. But, how do you go about following through and being effective?

Current days, I need to take more care to protect my children, but at a younger age, when I first made the decision to not live blind and dumb to the hatred and evil in the world, I knew that I’d always come out of it. I just didn’t quite understand why. I know, now, that it was God that was carrying me through. I also know that how I have done things in the past is not the way I was called by God.   But was the way of the world, and even the enemy trying to reclaim me. It is easier to spit fire from your heart, than it is to stand in the middle of the fight and not strike back. However, when we are in the world, and are trying to reclaim God’s souls from the enemy, we have to remember that these people are hurting. They are being attacked in the worst way possible. Spiritual attack happens in a very subtle way. It slowly takes us over, and twists and bends what is right and righteous into what the enemy wants us to have. To the point that fighting in silence has now come to turning the blind eye, and allowing things to pass us by.

Coming home from the big city, I had wanted to go to college and study psychology. I wanted to work in the prisons and help gang members learn to refocus what was naturally in them. What made them feel that they needed to join a gang to start with. I wanted to work with prostitutes to show them a way of life free of judgement and free from the slavery sex had turned into for them. I wanted to show addicts that there are more lovely things to be addicted to, like the sunrises and sunsets that God painted just for us each morning and night. I wanted to work with people from all walks of life, that have experienced violence. I wanted to show them that they are worth living their lives without fear every day, that they can make it through hard times, and that not everyone will turn a blind eye to their black eye.

Of course, there were many who had said I cannot do this. I cannot work with the people I want to work with. Felons, gang members, prostitutes, and abuse victims cannot be trusted, or they already have programs in place, so why bother? You’re just wasting your time. You, alone, cannot stop the trafficking of sex slaves, across borders. You are not capable, you don’t have the schooling, you don’t have the support. And I believed them. I was wrong. In one way they were right. I couldn’t do it alone. However, so long as I accepted Jesus in my heart, and followed God and his word, I wasn’t going to be doing it alone. I also don’t need the credentials to help the people I want to help. Experience and love has taught me that I can do what is in my heart. If credentials are needed, I am intelligent enough to acknowledge this fact, and find the right kind of help for the right kind of person. Not every counselor can help every person. You need the right person to help the situation, and each situation is different. We are all affected by things differently, we all perceive things differently, and we handle all of this differently. The only thing that is the same, that is entirely constant, is God. The only handbook out there that really matters is in his word. But, as a general, we’ve all forgotten.

So, my new motto is that, yes, we can save the world, one soul at a time. I start it here, with God guiding me. I will keep writing, and I will be starting other things to help along. Groups online, in person, whatever it takes. God will do it all by using me and moving me. What I need from all of you is to read and listen. Open your eyes, heart, and ears so that you can hear what God is calling you to. We are all called to do something. Something as simple as worshiping God, thanking him for all he has done. You may not think it much. You may have even been told it isn’t enough. But it is. Stop listening to those voices of doubt. God loves everyone! You skin color, the language you speak, it doesn’t matter. God loves you. You are worth it, because if you were not, then God never would have made you. Each and every soul does matter. It is time to stop listening to the enemy, who is telling you that you do not matter. He will even tell you that you deserve the pain in your life; that you earned it. This is not true, and it is not God’s word, will, or way.

Make a stand with God. Only in God will we all succeed. And, as his children, that is all he wants. He wants to one day, take us all home. He wants us to love each other, just as every parent wants all of their children to love and get along.

Matthew 9: 12

Jesus said, “Because people who are well, don’t need a doctor! It’s the sick people who do!”

He said this after he was questioned by other tax collectors and those who were a higher station, why Jesus would sit with sinners, prostitutes, and murderers. So, if Jesus did this, and taught his disciples to do it, why would we not do it?

Did Matthew have a degree in teaching? No, he was a tax collector. He didn’t go to school to learn how to teach the word. Jesus guided him, and taught him how to listen to God. All of the disciples were many different things; however, when they were called they didn’t worry about who went to seminary school, who knew how to care for the sick and dying, who knew how to teach children. These are all the ways of man. Jesus didn’t stand on the pulpit in a church. He made church wherever he went. Church is a family of people who get together to learn, be healed, spread the word, and praise the Lord. It is NOT a building. It isn’t windows, doors, stages, pews, and all the like. It isn’t even about who can purchase that baby grand piano they had their eyes on. It isn’t the piano that brings people to god. It is what is in our hearts that bring the truth to light.

It is so sad to hear why people will not go to church anymore. It is sad to see the Christians give those non-believers reason to not come to church. We no longer allow God to be the judge. We judge everyone everywhere, but we have forgotten, we are also lost and we also sin, so how do we have the right to judge? It breeds anxiety in choosing where to get help to learn the correct path, who to speak with to find the smaller path, instead of the more trodden path.   What we need to be teaching people, is that a church of man will die over and over again. But, a church of God, by God, and for God will always strive. We also need to remember that church is an extension of family, not a building. It is where we go to find our way back to our Father.

If you have ever felt the need to save the world, leave me a comment and tell me how you handled it.

Motivating for Chores

Part of motivation for chores for our buggies will be visual.  But today we’re going to talk about a verbal way to motivate them.

When we were younger, my mother used to have us sing a song when it was time to pick up our toys.  I use the same exact method today.  I don’t remember exactly where she got the song from, but it works.  It makes little buggies excited to clean, because they are cleaning to the song:

The Clean Up Song

Clean up clean up

Everybody everywhere

Clean up clean up

Everybody do their share

 

We repeat this song until we’re done picking up our toys, clothes, or whatever it is that is being cleaned up.  Not only do hesitant children start cleaning, they do it together, and they do it happily.  It is now a game that goes with a song.

Another thing we do for cleaning up, is have a race.  The winner gets to pick a movie, the first bath toy, or really whatever works.  Sometimes we use stickers to bribe them along as well.  We explain how we are going to work things out, what happens if they do what they are asked, and what happens if they do not.  Naturally, sometimes we all have bad days, so they do learn that they will receive repercussions if they do not do as they are told.

What about things that can’t be rushed?

Things that cannot be rushed would be like brushing your teeth.  If you speak to your dentist, they will give you many tips.  One thing we had gotten from our dentist was a sand timer.  The kind you flip, and when the sand collects at the bottom, you’re done brushing your teeth.  You could use a calming bottle, or any other fun looking timing device.

My favorite tool for brushing our teeth actually came from a Dora the Explorer book.  It is to the tune of the alphabet song, which pretty much everyone knows.

Scrub and Brush

Scrub and brush and scrub and brush

Hum a song so I don’t rush

Brush my teeth so they might shine

You brush yours and I’ll brush mine

Scrub and bush and scrub and brush

Hum a song so I don’t rush.

Repeat it twice and you’re done.  And, they love it.   They sing it around the house and everything.  They ask if their teeth are nice and shiny.  And those that still need you to do it for them are more pliable when you sing the song, meaning, they let you actually spend more time allowing you to get the toothbrush into their mouths.

Just to point out, quickly, I did not write either song, and I do not take credit for doing so.  I have, however, taken cue from this and created my own songs to help move stubborn children along.  Just this morning, Do and Belly Bug didn’t want to listen and put their shoes and socks on, so instead of yelling (which I really had the urge to do), so I made up a song:

Socks and shoes and socks and shoes

On my feet so I don’t bruise

Don’t hit my little toe, that hurts

Hopefully there’s no blood that squirts

Socks and shoes and socks and shoes

On my feet so I don’t bruise

Okay, okay, I know you’ve already noticed the blood part.  However, when you make things up like this it has to flow song wise as well as kid wise.  So, of course, Belly was just tickled about the blood part.  Don’t ask, because I really have no clue why she finds it funny, but she does.  Even more important part, it worked.  I sang a couple of times, and low and behold, they had socks and shoes on.  They are still singing the song right now.  We sing this repeatedly, and sing it to the tune of the alphabet song as well.

What are some examples of your motivational tools for your buggies?

Intro To Back To Scratch

Back To Scratch

Why would you want to spend all your time slaving away over a stove and oven and the rest of your kitchen appliances, unless, of course, it is your passion.  But, then again, with all these appliances, are you really doing that if you start cooking from scratch?  And, if you start cooking from scratch, how much money is it going to cost you to revamp your pantry just to accommodate this new style into your kitchen?

What if I told you, it doesn’t have to be that hard.  It can be easy-going, and while, yes, there is some added work, you will be possibly healthier and more satisfied with what is going into yours and your family’s body?  Cooking from scratch can be that easy.  However, just like a diet, if you jump into it, you won’t stick with it.  Too much change, a shock and overwhelming your mind and body often causes us to reject these kind of changes.

I don’t want to call this series anything natural, because I’m not talking about cutting out many of the things that are considered not natural at the moment.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried, am trying, and have studied up on the natural thing.  However, the way I look at it is a bit different.

Unfortunately, with what we’ve done to the earth, going back to natural is impossible.  We can look at some of our current recalls to see this.  There is currently a recall on frozen vegetables, and if you take the time to look at the list…I was floored.  The organic list was quite up there, and right along with the non organic.  But why?

We’ve grown so big, and demand is so high, that we work quickly to fatten things up, and grow what we can as fast as we can.  We’ve polluted the earth, so that even the rain has nasty stuff in it that can cause harm.  There isn’t enough room to have large populations of cattle and the like, so they can be grass-fed like they should be.  And even if there was room, we wouldn’t be able to make enough, fast enough, to feed the country.

It doesn’t mean we can’t try.  It doesn’t mean that we cannot cut out these chemicals and other genetically altered things.  We CAN eat REAL food again.  We just need to figure out the way to do it.  So, to start, let’s break it down in to easier to chew bites.kitchen-scale-532651_1920

Determine what you want

  1. Figure out what you want to change in your pantry.  Start by taking a look at what you have.  With your inventory lists, you may not even have to open your cupboards.  Look at what is on your ingredient labels, and if you don’t know what it is, you may want to think that through.  Find out what you’re willing to live with, and what you want to change.
  2. Look at the things you need to help you along.  Figure out what you need, and what you can work around.  For example, a dehydrator is a wonderful thing to have, but do you really need to go out and buy one?  Fact is that you can make a dehydrator right from your oven.  It may take some thought, but it does take less money.  Also, when you’re starting this off, going out and buying the machine may not make sense if you are just not finding yourself liking it.  If this method doesn’t work for you, then there is not a reason you should dump money into it if you aren’t going to use it.
  3. Start asking around for recipes.  Not just on the internet.  Our best resources for this is actually not much farther than our families.  My grandma makes me freezer jam every year for my birthday.  I absolutely love it.  But she doesn’t sit there and do it within the week of my birthday.  She makes large batches, freezes it, and gives it out to all of us for gifts, as well as uses it.  I have asked for her recipe, and she’s already given it to me.  She loves sharing her recipes with her family.  They are wonderful things to pass down from generation to generation.  We just have to give them the time and opportunity to do so.
  4. Know the different things you can do to preserve your food, and know what your body can and cannot handle.  The point of stepping away from pre-processed food and doing this from scratch is to get into a healthier lifestyle.  If you’re using a preservative that makes you sick, then there isn’t a point in doing it.

Through the next few weeks I’m going to conquer each of the numbers above in detail, and work on my own recipes here at home.  There are so many different things that you could do, that sometimes getting started is the hardest part.

The inspiration for this series comes from my stepfather, among other things.  He has a problem with salts and preservatives.  It makes him very sick, so my mother has been re-assessing his situation.  It took them a bit to nail down what was causing him to get ill, exactly.  So, their journey in this is just barely beginning.  However, they won’t have to do it alone, and neither will you.cooking-1271605_1920

Leave me a comment below to share some things you have noticed about our food.  If you have ideas, feel free to share as well.