Thursday, September 17, 2009

a book that makes me happy (and a happy picture)

For awhile, I searched and searched for a good book about manners. An odd search, one might think. Can't I just teach my kids to say please and thank you? Well, yes, but I also wanted something to reinforce it. I tried a couple of books and wasn't really happy with them.

Recently I found the book I was looking for. It's called "Everyday Graces: A Child's Book of Good Manners." It is exactly what I was looking for. Great, classic fairy tales with just a little commentary at the end of the stories by the author to explain which manner the story is talking about. There are several poems in there as well. The pictures are cute (but few, if you're looking for lots of illustrations).
We're on Chapter 3. We homeschool and we've been doing a little Manners lesson once a week during our Circle Time. We've been using this book and it's worked splendidly! I highly recommend it!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Exercise Can Make You Happy . . . Really!

In case being trapped in the house with your kids is your excuse for not exercising....

I have a free, comprehensive workout you can do any time of year! This is a perfect way to just keep moving everyday. You can get your kids involved and if they're 6yrs. old and up, you can set goals and earn accolades from the President for achieving them! Want me to hook you up? Thought so.

Do you remember doing the Presidential Fitness test in school? If you're competitive, you remember not being able to sleep the night before. That's me. Nevertheless, this is something the whole family can do together. My family got started a few years ago, because we homeschool and wanted our kids to value physical fitness. The program is available to anyone online at We started by testing everyone (even Dad and Mom) in each criteria. Set up your DAILY workouts however you like. This is perfect if you're a homeschool family looking for daily P.E. You can spend as little or long as you like on it. We do 30min./day focusing on improving in one standard or another. (I should note that we are overall pretty "into" physical fitness, so this is not our only daily workout, but can be if you're focusing your energy in other directions). Today's 30min. session today consisted of working on the "V-Stretch" and "curl-ups" or "sit-ups." We didn't take measurements today, but did both exercises, along with several others that worked our abs and stretched our legs, to fill the 30min. time slot. Anyhow, you should move some way, some how everyday. I promise this will give you more energy and make you feel better overall, no matter how tired you think you are.

You can even order certificates, t-shirts, etc. when your kids reach their goals. Browse the website and enjoy getting moving!

Posted by Danneca

Pretty Peppers

On the vegetable theme, some friends gave us some of their abundance from their garden. I'm drying the peppers - summer vegetables look so pretty in the kitchen!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pretty Tomatoes

The last of the summer tomatoes. . . We're having them tonight with some fresh basil on homemade pizza. I've tried several pizza crusts lately. My favorite the last few times I've made pizza is from the book "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day." A great book, by the way. I got it for Christmas last year and have tried several of the bread dough recipes in it. They've all been really yummy!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Chore Chart

Recently I was over at a friend's house who had this great chore chart. It had two pockets for each child - one pocket for chores to do and the other pocket for chores that are done. I loved it and she said the only thing she didn't like about it was that it was getting torn up pretty quickly, it being posterboard and contact paper (I think).

So I went home and thought about how great her idea was. It seems that children (mine, at least) appreciate being able to visibly see what needs to be done. In turn, they also get really excited when they can have a way to say they've done it!

So I've recreated her idea using some fabric scraps, a large piece of material (mine was a long table runner), a curtain rod and some ribbon. This was very easy and didn't take too long, which is what all of my crafting projects usually are - quick and simple!

I have note cards for each child with each chore on a separate note card. I wrote out details for my 6 yr. old (who can read details) and drew pictures of everything for the non-readers.

It has worked beautifully so far. The kids like doing it and they get excited about putting their cards from the "do" pocket to the "done" pocket. And I like seeing pretty fabric hanging up in my hallway.

P.S. The beautiful fabric scraps came from Amoretti. They also make something called The Skirty, which is a wardrobe essential for our fun loving, tree climbing girls. I have them in a number of sizes and love them!

P.S.S. No, my almost 1 year old does not do any chores. Neither does the 2 year old for that matter. But they still have to have little pockets!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Navigating the Cold & Flu Season Drug Free

Eeeewwwww! It's here! Cold and flu season has already greeted my household. My clothes from yesterday and today display the signs. The 3 youngest (ages 4mos., 22mos. and 3yrs.) have a cold. They each had slight fevers for less than a day. I'm not worried though. I am so thankful for the arsenal for this season that God has given me through years of research. I can't keep it all to myself. Here's hoping you can have some success and not have to trapse off to the doctor's office too often this year. Wouldn't it be marvelous if you could navigate this year's onslaught without the use of antibiotics and instead actually have your whole family come out of a cold/flu healthier than before? This can really happen if you learn a few simple but highly effective tricks that will kill the virus/bacteria and boost immune systems for the better, instead of weaken them, the way antibiotics do. Here are a few things I've found incredibly successful.

First, for overall health, you HAVE to cut back on refined sugar. Sugar perpetuates all sorts of things you don't want to deal with, but especially at this time of year, it collects mucus, making it tougher to keep the toxins out of your system. Cow milk also does this. At first sign of a cold, say bye-bye to the milk jug until you're past it. I could write post after post on milk, but that's for another day.

Second, yarrow. This is an amazing flu-stopping, fever-reducing herb. It is very bitter, but well worth it. My older kids will chug it all by itself, but they're used to concoctions of this sort. For the younger kids I make it with equal parts of peppermint and add lots of raw honey (babies under 1 yr., add maple syrup or molasses). I get my supply from The Bulk Herb Store. To make the tea, cover 1 heaping tsp. of yarrow with 8oz. boiling water. Steep for 10-20min. I add about a tsp. of raw honey to each cup, or to taste. Research on this herb shows that the tincture of this mixture was not as effective against flu and fever as the tea, so unfortunately, we have to drink it. The key to making this really potent against sickness is to catch it early!

Third, garlic. I get garlic powder from the same source, The Bulk Herb Store. I love this site. My sister turned me onto it a couple years ago and I have found it invaluable. I also by capsules from them and fill them with the garlic. Take as many of these as you like. My kids will take them. If yours won't, you can mix the garlic into their uncooked food. I also sprinkle a good green drink powder into the baby's uncooked food (usually plain goat yogurt) when he/she is sick. I like Garden of Life's Perfect Food for many reasons.

Fourth, cayenne. It is rare to need this, but for serious sicknesses, I have found it very useful. I get the powder and fill capsules for this as well. It heats up your gut and causes a great immune reaction and kills all kinds of bad guys.

These are my main go-to's in this season. I rely on The Bulk Herb Store for lots of other herbal teas, etc., which you can take a look at for yourself, but what I have posted today is what I have found to be the most successful, hands down. All of these are safe for pregnant and nursing mamas. Remember, the key with herbal remedies is to use them early and in abundance. You cannot simply take one capsule and a cup of tea and hope that will do it. We're talking 4 or more cups of yarrow and at least 3 garlic capsules. In the future I will post on how to help babies in cold and flu season. To your health!

Book Recommendations: Herbal Antibiotics, The How To Herb Book