Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking Back and Looking forward

It's fun to look back and see where we were last year and how far we have come.  I was pleasantly pleased to read last year's post on 'resolutions'.  Sometimes it's hard to see the forest for the trees.   So looking at such lists is helpful for seeing the big picture. 

Looking back at 2010's goals:

Spiritually-I was staying in the Word and growing closer to the Lord until mid November.  Since then I've been stagnant, but look forward to getting back into a routine.  My goals for my prayer life did not happen, maybe this year will be the year of implementing prayer regularly. One thing that I finally came to terms with is the concept of the 'elect'.  It's something I've struggled with so long and this year I can finally say I have come to appreciate why God worked that way. 

Emotionally- My main issues were nutritional/biochemical, and I can see major improvement in those areas.  And we have been working on better habits now that our brains are more clear. 

Marriage-Drew and I are doing so much better then 2 years ago.  It's very exciting!  This year we have been able to work on our own issues more since being more clear-headed and healthy.  God esp has been using the last few months to work on my respecting of my husband.  It has slowly evolved over our 9 years of marraige, each time going a little deeper.  It's hard to let go of things, but God is showing me that life is so much better if I do.

Parenting-Broken record... Well, I did not make a lot of the actual changes that I hoped to from last year. so they will be this year's goals.  But overall, the kids are doing much better and Drew and I are able to train them more then in the past.

Education-Same as the others.  Definitely happy with the changes and the things I've learned and I want to continue to learn and implement more.

Financial, same as last year.  We have our credit card debt down quite a bit and we'll keep chipping away at it.  We have mostly managed to live within our means.  Not perfectly, but definite progress.

Nutrition-same as last year.  I'm soo happy with where we are, but there is always room for improvement. 
Some highlights from last year's nutrition goals: We like liver!!!  that is great.  But, we still can't handle canned salmon without major groans.  GAPS is more doable, as we are eating more traditional and liking it more. We consume a lot of bone broth, but still not great on the fish broth.  I cook with coconut oil and make cookies with them, so we consume a lot of that.  We don't do CLO like I'd like, just because of the money.  And cheese making hasn't happened either.  Still working on the fermented foods also. 

And my number one goal of bringing God glory in all we do, well, I'm actually very happy with that one.  There will always be room for improvement, but I can see how it has become more a part of our very fibers, to want to bring glory to God in all we do.  Which is very exciting! 

Looking forward to 2011:

Spiritually-To just keep growing closer to the Lord.  To be in the Word regular and let it saturate my very being.  I'd like my prayer life to improve, but I have wanted that for so long I hardly think it's possible. I think as I draw closer to the Lord, my prayer life will improve.  A lot of my issues with prayer are a lack of understanding it's power and place in the Christian's life.  Also, I hope to grow more in grace this year.   Not sure where this goal belongs, but a desire I have for 2011 is to better understand what motivates the 4 of us, and to use that information to help us to make good choices in every area of our lives. 

Emotionally-To continue to keep our physical brains clear so we can work on our sin issues of the heart.  I hope to see improvement in all of our moods, but esp mine at night with the kids.  I tend to get grumpy and I want to stop.

Marriage-To continue to give ourselves to God and see his plan for marriage, and to make that our own plan as well.  Which includes me learning to truly respect and honor my husband.  Not just act respectful, but to truly, deeply respect him.  I feel I made such huge strides last year, I hope to see just as many this year.  I also will hope again this year, that we will find a way to be in the Word and in prayer regularly together.

Parenting-To continue to train and teach.  Esp to concentrate on character development and skill learning.

Education-To get through Egermeier's.  We still have not done that.  And to read lots and lots of books.  To concentrate on spending more one on one time with them (half hours we call them), and really getting to know who they are and how God made them, so we can mold them properly. 

Financial-same as last year.  To learn to live within our means and continue to pay down our debt.  
Nutrition-I hope to see us continue to eat traditionally and enjoy it.  To continue to heal our bodies and to give them what they need, while detoxing what they don't need.  Specific goals for 2011:

1.  To find ways of eating well when we're with others.  For myself esp, to find foods that we can have when others are eating with us, that are truly nourishing, but enjoyed by all.  As well as more 'picnic/to go' foods.

2.  To eat fermented foods with every meal.  I've had that goal for some time, and for some reason, I find it difficult.  

3.  To afford and take fermented cod liver oil daily.

4.  To find a source of grass fed meats/fats/organs that we can afford.

5.  Continue to find natural cures and remedies.  

6.  Find more 'grain free' foods to enjoy.

7.  Work more towards finding ways of enjoying canned salmon

8.  Possibly do the GAPS diet this summer.

9.  To find ways to consume homemade fish broth regularly. 

And, like last year, my Number One goal for 2011-and life-is to glorify God in all we do.  Ultimately, that is all that matters.

Dear Lord, I pray for the coming year.  I thank you that your grace is sufficient and your mercies are new every morning.  I pray for my myself, my husband and my children.  I pray that you would be glorified in our lives, in every little thing, as well as every big thing.  I praise you that not only can I wish for that, but I can truly 'hope' for that.  Knowing that you will complete the good work that you began in all of us.  Thank you that you have called us to you.  I pray for your peace and power and wisdom for 2011.  I pray that we would draw closer to you, that we would come to know you better every day through your Word.  I pray for wisdom in all of the decisions we will have to make in the coming year.  I rest in the truth that you will work ALL things out for our ultimate good.  AMEN

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Global Achievement Gap, by Tony Wagner

Oh, what a fantastic read this was!  I identified with it so much, it was downright amusing!  And it's so exciting to see the classics/mentor type approach to learning in the bigger context, and applied to today's global economy.

The Global Achievement Gap, Why Even our Best Schools Don't Teach the New Survival Sills our Children Need-and What we Can do About It, by Tony Wagner brought together the TJE of homeschooling that I have come to love, as well as the needs of the general public.  Mostly.  :)

And even so, he wanted to hone his skills and ask questions and come to see the big picture.  Which he assumed he could be able to do 'on the job'. However, he found the other teachers completely unilling to discuss what works and what doesn't.  He wanted to 'shadow' some teachers, but they looked askance at him.  He asked his boss to come in and watch his class and give him tips, etc.  But he wouldn't do it.  Wagner also was a principal for a short period of time.  After some frustrations and disappointments, he went back for his masters and I think his doctorate.  He ended up working on the research end of education and was appalled that his experience was the general rule instead of the exception. 

His main complaint of the current education system is that it is incapable of raising up a generation of citizens and workers who will be able to compete in today's global economy.  The vast majority of public (and many private) schools teach 'to the test'.  They don't teach general thinking skills, but rather the facts that are on the tests. If their schools don't pass the test, they are not given the money and get a bad rap.  And this really is dumbing down our next generation of leaders.  He actually quoted from 'A Whole New Mind', and cited a number of the sources Pink quoted.  It was fun to read them back-to-back to get the big picture better. 

In order to be able to compete in the new global economy, it is going to be of utmost importance for people to think for themselves and be able to get along with others.  As a matter of fact, after research and reading and asking questions, he came up with 'Seven Survival Skills for Teens Today' that schools should be teaching instead of the current 'teach to the test'.

1.  Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
2.  Collaboration across Networks and Leading by Influence
3.  Agility and Adaptability
4.  Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
5.  Effective Oral and Written Communication
6.  Accessing and Analyzing Information
7.  Curiosity and Imagination

He agrees that there ought to be a 'core' of knowledge taught, although what that core ought to included in all education, although deciding what that core ought to include is almost impossible (and a bit socialistic in my opinion).  But, other then that core information, what really needs to be stressed is the overall story of life and how it all fits together and how it can be used and manipulated for today's needs.  People today have a glut of information available to them.  They need to be able to find information (google, books) and then sort through to find the pertinant info, and then place that info into the bigger picture.  Simply sorting through a google search can be overwhelming. But things like dates and names, etc, are easy to come by these days, and in the blink of an eye.  It's the skill of being able to sort through it that will make a person useful on the job. 
For example, if you can't remember the dates of World War II, you can easily find that information on the computer.  But trying to understand how WW II affected the world today is something that takes thinking and deductive skills.

Of course, using all of the usual information that is taught is the best way to teach the 7 Survival Skills.
But if the actual details are not remembered (and they must be in order to take most state tests today), then it's not a big loss. 

He spends the last part of the book doing 'walk throughs' of school that are implementing principles similar to his 7 Survival Skills'.  I'd love to visit them!  Here are a few of them:

High Tech High
Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School
the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center

What fun to read about the teachers and students of these schools and to realize they really are living out the TJE model of learning and development.  And it works, even in big schools!

I still believe that all of the issues he addressed are most easily addressed at home.  But, I was excited to see that it could be done in a larger setting also.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink

I saw here on the TJE website, a list of books that talk about the classics approach to education, but are main-stream today.  I was excited to see the list and ordered a number of them from the library right away.  Go figure!

A Whole New Mind, by Daniel Pink was the first one I read.  And I really enjoyed the 'right-brained' view of things.  I am definitely a left-brained person.  I have a hard time with imagination and definitely prefer liniar thinking and rules and definite results.  That is something I've been trying to challenge lately, but it does not come naturally.  And this book helped me to see that the creative/right brain side is just as useful as the more practical side. We all, of course, work with both sides of our brain.  But I think most people tend to have one side more dominant then the other-which translates to what we call personality.

Pink's thesis is that in order to survive in the up and coming job market in America and most of the Western world (and the rest of the world eventually), a person must use both sides of their brain in order to offer a goods or service that will allow him or her to have a job that pays more then minimum wage.

He gives 3 questions that need to be answered in order to determine if you will be viable in the workforce in America in the near future.

1.  Can someone overseas do it cheaper?

2.  Can a computer do it faster?

3.  Am I offering something that satisfies the nonmaterial, transcendent desires of an abundant age?

He gives plenty of reason why those 3 questions need to be asked.  He gave all kinds of stats that show how most jobs in America have transferred to the eastern world where people graduate with MBA and have a much lower cost of living.  So the same job could be done in America for $70,000 or Asia for $15,000, allowing the same quality of living for the worker.  Hence companies like GE, Dell and HP have hired people over-sees instead of America.  My husband works in investment banking and he has told me many stories of jobs being sent overseas because of cost.  I had no idea until a few years ago, but apparently it's a very common thing.  No one in America can pay bills on $15,000 a year, it's just not possible (at least not in the NY metro area).  So how do you make yourself worth the extra $55,000 to a company?  By using your right brain says Pink.

He also gave a lot of examples of how computers are being used to do more and more things that used to be done by the human brain and hands.  Even writing computer programs is being done by computers now!  Go figure.

His last question addresses how you can distinguish yourself from those in Asia and from computers.  People now have the opportunity to have so many things inexpensively, that the only way to get them to choose your product, is to make it beautiful and artistic and to give it some sense of inner meaning.  The guy is definitely right-brained!  :)  Computers can't offer that dimension, and even people in another country can't offer the creation of such things, as they do not know what appeals to different cultures and people.

Make it personal.  Offer something that people can't get anywhere else.  My mother-in-law's consignment boutique  is a perfect example of this.  It's funny how many times I thought about her and her store while reading the book.  I'll have to ask her if she read it.  Her clothes are not cheap.  People could go to TJMaxx or Marshalls and get things for the same price, or even cheaper. But she offers things those places can't.  No malls or traffic.  She and her associates are amazing at outfitting people with wardrobes that they look and feel good in.  She knows her customers names and life stories.  Those are things no computer, or Asian graduate or even a discount store, could offer.  And people love her for it.

"For business it's no longer enough to create a product that's reasonably priced and adequately functional.  It must also be beautiful, unique, and meaningful.  In an age of abundance, appealing only to rational, logical, and functional needs is woefully insufficient.  Engineers must figure out how to get things to work.  But if those things are not also pleasing to the eye or compelling to the soul, few will buy them.  There are too many other options." 

The last 6 chapters are devoted to teaching 6 'senses' or skills' that Pink thinks a person will need to succeed in the days ahead.  They are all right-brained of course, and some are a little off the wall.  But it was a very fascinating book to read for a left-brainer like me.

The 6 senses are:

1.  Design
2.  Story
3.  Symphony
4.  Empathy
5.  Play
6.  Meaning

He talks about each one in detail.  He gives examples of how they are used in big-business today and then he gives a 'portfolio' after each one of books and other resources for developing these senses or skills.

While I have no desire to go into business at the moment, it's still some good skills to learn and sharpen.  And to keep in mind for helping my kids to get an over-all, truly 'liberal-arts' education.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Fourfold Path to Healing, by Thomas Cowan

Ok, first, let me say that today is a special day.  My sister turns 40 today.  I so wish I could be in Iowa to celebrate with her!  Happy Birthday Angie!!!!!

Ok, now on to the book.

I have been wanting to read The Fourfold Path to Healing, working with the laws of nutrition, therapeutics, movement and meditation in the art of medicine, by Thomas Cowan, pretty much since I first found Nourishing Traditions. I'm glad I finally read it, but I also think it was best that I waited until now to read it.  :)

It was a fascinating book.  His theories of 'dis-ease' are very interesting and different from mainstream, and even different from a lot of 'holistic' books that I've read.  But so utterly fascinating!  It was good to get a more 'rounded' view of the human body and disease.  It definitely ventured into the 'etheral', but I have really come to appreciate that the body is a 'whole' and needs to be addressed as such. The emotions are not separate from the body, they all work together in a synergistic fashion.  I think if you lean too much on one or the other, it's not good. But I think it's good to have both sides brought to the table for consideration.

Cowan discusses the 'Four-Fold Path to Healing'  and how all 4 points are important to understand and consider for 'wholeness' and 'wellness' in the body.  The 4 points are: Nutrition, Therapeutics, Movement and Meditation.  He gives an overview of all 4 at the beginning, and then he deals with specific illnesses in the rest of the book.

The overall of nutrition is founded on traditional diets as studied by people such as Weston Price, Pottenger, Lee Royal Rudolph Steiner, and others.   He feels this is the foundation for the rest of the 'paths' and must not be ignored.  He talks about nutrient dense foods and eating a high-fat diet.  He recommends fermented cod liver oil along with high vitamin butter oil for healing as well as daily health.  He even suggests insects for those who dare eat them. :)  He refers to Nourishing Traditions throughout the book. 

Therapeutics is based on homeopathy, herbs and an overall 'balance' that he learned from Rudolph Steiner,  Edward Cayce and Samuel Hahnemann.  All people whose works I'd like to read.   His definition of disease is good: 'the body's attempt at self-correction, or self-healing.'  So rather then work against, it, his goal is to work with it, to heal itself.  Makes sense to me!  So his therapeutics are used after nutrition is firmly in place.  He goes into details about how to use balance and herbs and homeopathy, etc. to heal specific ailments.  I loved this section of the book.  So much to learn about the natural means God gave us to heal and be healthy! 

His section on movement is actually written by someone else: Jaimen McMillan.  He gives a lot of specific movements and exercises for dealing with different emotions, body parts and diseases.  I must confess, I did not read much of them.  I'm still trying with the body mechanics and barefoot movements. :)

Meditation was, well, about the mind and meditating, etc.  Again, I confess, I did not read nearly enough of this section to give any account here.  It's not that I think the mind is not important. I truly do believe it's essential to have healthy emotions and thoughts in order to heal.  But my meditation and prayer life are based on Scripture as opposed to more new-agey type things.  But, for what it's worth.  For a non-religious person who is trying to heal themselves naturally, I do think that meditation would probably be helpful, and his suggestions were in line with the rest of the book. 

The chapters on specific illnesses are: infectious disease, cancer, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, diseases of adrenal insufficiency, digestive disorders, chronic fatigue, women's diseases, men's diseases, weight loss, depression, back pain, arthritis and neurological diseases.  

He gave far too much information for me to go into in regards to the various diseases.  But it was so interesting to read his ideas on the 'whys' behind them.  Most of it was not new to me, but one that was new and interesting was his explanation of the heart.  But, alas, my brain couldn't wrap itself around it enough to be able to explain it 'in my own words', so I shall have to reread the book again later and hopefully it will sink in then.  But it was a fascinating concept and one I mean to look more into, esp if we find we are ever struggling with heart disease.  His overall answer to heart problems and cold extremities was to eat more good fats and to not drink too much water.  As a matter of fact, he was pretty against drinking water in general, as he believes it messes with the natural balance of minerals in the body.  That seems to come up a lot in the books I read. Good well water with the minerals is fine, or even water with some celtic salt. 

Some specific things he mentioned at the end of the book that I found interesting were:

Bee venom as a way of helping with osteoarthritis.  I'd never heard of it before!  They take real bees and have them sting you as a way of helping the inflammation to go down.

Blessed Herb Internal Cleanse.  I would love to do this, but it's expensive.  But I hope to find some herbs that do similar things and incorporate them into our lives as necessary. 

Castor Oil packs are something he highly recommends throughout the book.  They apparently have been used for thousands of years in the medical world.  They apparently create warmth in whatever organ they are placed over, almost immediately. And they also help the body to increase the flow of bile in the liver, which helps it to detoxify the toxins that are often stored there.  I would like to get some good castor oil and some flannel patches of cloth and use them as a part of our healing protocol, along with enemas and liver cleanses, etc. 

Bowel cleansing using milk of magnesia.  I've been doing enemas, but I might try this sometime also.  I just need to do more research.  Gunky colons are definitely a problem in America today!  Of course, this is just helping a symptom, not addressing the actual cause, which is of utmost importance.

Epsom Salt Baths, which we do often.  He has you drinking tea with it as well, which I don't.

Hydrotherapy, which stimulates a fever.  He has you take a warm bath for 10-15 minutes, and then stand under a cold shower for one minute.  Then wrap up in a warm blanket and get into a warm bed and drink warm tea (elder flower, linden flower or peppermint to induce sweating).

I really enjoyed reading the book and would love to find it super cheap to add to my collection for reference when dealing with a specific disease or ailment.  His use of therapeutics is esp useful, because he has such extensive use of herbs and homeopathy, etc.  His combinations are tried and true and good to know!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Harriet Tubman, the Moses of her People

My cousin and I and a few others have started an 'email book club' of sorts. We have been reading books together and writing our thoughts out afterwards.  It's been fun and eye opening.  Good for learning to 'think' about things rather then just read and move on.

One of the books that read recently was 'Harriet Tubman, The Moses of her People'.  It was written in the 1800s, while Harriet was still alive.  And it has been reissued a number of times since.  It is a small book, but powerful as a motivator and reminder of what life as a slave in early America used to be like.

Having grown up in a society that says that education is important, I realized I have come to believe the lie that the more you know, the smarter you are, and the better person you are.  But Harriet blows that stereotype out of the water.  She was so in tuned to the Lord, she could 'hear' him speak.  I don't know anyone like that today. I wonder if our 'education and knowledge' get in the way of the still small voice?

Harriet was born a slave and ran away when she was a teenager.  She was used of the Lord to bring thousands of other slaves along the 'underground railroad' to safety in Canada.  Her family as well as many others.  The Lord seemed to speak to her almost audibly.  The stories she told of close encounters and last minute changes of plan were amazing. 

I have a hard time hearing stories of slaves and the treatment they endured. I am too empathetic and can't handle seeing people suffer.  But I need to be reminded of the history of America and God's grace even in the midst of such atrocities. We are surrounded by horrible acts of sin today, they are just different and to us, not so obvious.

I was also really encouraged to pray for 'faith like a child', which is exactly the kind of faith Harriet Tubman exhibited.  It could be nothing but that, as she couldn't even read the Scriptures herself.

She willingly and humbly excepted any gifts the Lord provided.  She begged for mercy and help when the situation merited it. And she was so thankful to God for every little blessing she encountered.  She had no thought for herself or her safety.  She fully believed that when the Lord wanted her home, he would take her home.

Oh, to have such faith!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Darwin's Black Box, by Michael Behe

I read and was fascinated by Darwin's Black Box, by biochemist Michael Behe.

It was very intense and technical at times, but very readable throughout also. He put the really technical stuff in squares so you could easily skip through that part until it ended if you felt the need.  I felt the need a number of times, but got the point of how complex the cell is nonetheless.

He talked about how Darwin explained his ideas of evolution based on a 'black box'.
''Black Box' is a whimsical term for a device that does something, but whose innter workings are mysterious-sometimes because the workings can't be seen, and sometimes because they just aren't comprehensible.'  But since Darwin's time, many technological advances have been made and have 'opened' the black box that Darwin spoke of.  We now understand life down to the cellular level and realize that much of what Darwin thought can not be true. 

Having grown up in a 'fundamental' Christian home, I never doubted creation and always thought that evolutions was 'crazy'. :)  Ok, a bit simplistic, but the general gist is true.  I did hear some Answers in Genesis speakers on occasion and realized there was a lot more going on that I was not aware of, but I did not do much studying until this summer.  I really started just to get going on my science reading just as a way to start on my 'scholar phase' education.  But it really is a fascinating subject. Now, I have not gotten nearly technical, but instead have read a bunch of books on science versus evolution.  Long-age versus short-age, etc.  So I have not delved much into the hands-on science.  But I am enjoying this study very much.

I was a bit worried, that after doing some serious reading, I would come to the conclusion that science really is true and the Bible is not.  I knew better, but yet there was that little 'thing' in the back of my mind.  'What if?'  You hear all the time from intelligent people that creation is simply not possible and that Evolution is obvious and self-supporting.  But, after reading and seeing real, hard facts and numbers, it was a relief to come to the realization that it takes just as much imagination and faith to believe evolution as it does to believe Creation.

Behe is a Roman Catholic biochemist (genius) who believes that evolution of some sort happened.  However he also does not believe that it could have just 'happened'.  He does not share as much what he believes as he does what he does not believe.  After research and thinking things through, he came to the conclusion that there was no way for the cell, in all it's intricacy to have evolved without a designer of some sort.  He talked about a concept called 'irreducible complexity'.

And he went into great detail to explain how 5 facets of human biology were irreducible complex.  There was not one extra part that could be removed and still have it function properly.   Which makes evolution almost impossible.  He started with a mousetrap and used that example throughout the book.  He also explained the cilium and how they 'swim' around to help the cells work properly.  The second example was the coagulation of blood.  The third example is the complexity of the transport system for a piece of DNA to copy into an RNA.  The fourth is the way our immune system works to fight off invaders of all shapes and sizes.  The fifth and final example of irreducible complexity is how the cell builds itself from the various protein components.

That was a pathetic version of the 5 examples he gave of irreducible complexity. I confess much of it was above my head.  But I was able to grasp how it was impossible for any of those processes to work without all the components in place.  And without those processes, there is no way we humans could live. 

And because of that and many other examples, Behe, and many others, came to the conclusion that there MUST be a designer out there.  It is impossible to think otherwise.

He did not seem to think it was a Creator God.  He definitely did not think it was the God of the Bible.  But I found it refreshing and reassuring that intelligent people could believe that someone or something did design the earth.

I also really appreciate that Behe did not try to answer all the questions.  He acknowledged that there is just no way to know all the answers.  It's too complex.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cancer Salves, by Ingrid Naiman

Cancer Salves, by Ingrid Naiman was a fascinating read.

It has a lot of 'new agey' ideas and some eastern/Ayurvedic healing type methods.  But, all in all, it was a fascinating read of one woman's journey to learn more about healing and cancer slaves in general.

She has a website that she maintains with more up-to-date information on resources, etc.  It also is an interesting read.

Of course, it opened up a pandora's box yet again.  I want to do more research on cancer specifically and on the healing powers of herbs, etc, and esp their history throughout time.  I love that God knew at Creation that we would be suffering the effects of sin, so he provided us with natural means of healing right from the start. 

I loved the history the woman gave about the cures for cancer, going back as far as the 12th Century.  It was very eye opening to me to realize that the body has been breaking down for a long time.  And the crazy thing is, thousands of years ago, people seemed to generally agree that the health starts in the gut.  And that health is the balance of meeting the bodies organic needs (minerals, vitamins, energy) and helping to rid it of toxins.  There truly is nothing new under the sun.  

This book dealt specifically with the history of using 'escharotics' to heal cancerous masses on the human body.  The definition of 'escharotic' is: 'a caustic substance that causes a chemical reaction with tissue.  The reaction is usually attended by heat, itching, and burning and results in the destruction of the reactive tissue.'  She was esp interested in using escharotics versus surgery for removal of  cancerous 'lumps'.  She gave a short biography on the various people she had found throughout time, that used esocharotics for healing cancer.

She mentioned the treatment of cancer by Hildegard of Bingen, 12th Century; the American Indians' Richard Guy, 1759 from London; Constantine Rafinesque and Samuel Thomson of America, early 1800s' Weldon Fell, 1858, America; John Pattison, 1866, NY; Eli Jones, 1911 of Pennsylvania; Henry Hoxsey, 1900s; John Christopher, 1900s; Frederic Mohs, late 1900s.

The people mentioned above all used escharotics to remove cancerous lumps, but all agreed, later in their career at least, that using internal cleansers and detoxers, and nutrition were the most important part of dealing with the disease.  Escharotics were used in place of surgery, as they had a much higher success rate and caused less trauma in the long-run.

There was a lot of 'little nuggets' of info that I learned by reading the book.  And I'm excited to read more on the subject by those who have used natural means to heal cancer and other immune-related diseases.

I enjoyed this quote:

"We live in a time of unparalleled pollution and adulteration of our food and water supply.  Survival of the fittest and good health may depend on periodic detoxification as well as adequate efforts to regenerate damaged tissues.
Detoxification is a technical term referring to measures that relieve the body of chemical toxicity as well as surfeit, metabolic residuals that are deposited in various parts of the body where they congest those areas.  There are many ways to purify the body, ranging from fasting to specific dietary regimes and herbal remedies to medical protocols.  The simplest involve modest improvements in the diet and supplements that cleanse the blood and liver, improve elimination, and relieve lymphatic stagnation.  The most complex entail the removal of parasites and serious contaminants such as mercury and lead.  While it may be possible to overcome cancer without addressing digestion and elimination as well as the functioning of the liver and blood stream, kidneys, and bowels, it hardly seems realistic to expect health without attention to the overall condition of the body.  Tonification is another technical term.  In essence, it refers to those strategies that correct deficiency conditions.  Detoxification and tonification employ different diets and herbs because detoxification removes unwanted substances from the body whereas tonification rebuilds depleted systems of the body.  Since every cell has a different normal life before it is replaced, each system of the body is rebuilt at its own pace.'

I thought that was a great 'overall' view of what a body needs to heal and be healthy.  It needs to get the junk out and get the good stuff to where it needs to go. Isn't God so good to design such a simple, yet incredibly complex system?

The book also described in detail, some anti-cancer herbs. Namely violets, yarrow, bloodroot, galangal (similar to ginger), goldenseal, red clover, marigold, poke root, chaparral, burdock and turmeric. I am esp interested in trying to find a source of yarrow, goldenseal, burdock and turmeric and incorporate them into our regular diets.  Maybe through teas or tonics.  I need to do more research into the Swedish Bitters that we take daily. I may find that they have herbs that do the same things as the ones mentioned above.  That would be nice! 

I was fascinated by the book and I'm excited to learn more about the 'natural pharmacy' that God gave us, to heal our diseases and 'dis-eases'.  We definitely have some!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Our Current Homeschool Schedule

I posted here what I would like my 'Eureka' to look like. 

Now that it is party way through November, I can say that, while it's not perfect, I am very happy with where we are in our daily routine of life and learning.  I see major progress from last year. I see us loving the learning process together. We get into good books and learn so much from them.  It's very exciting for me. :) 

I feel the area that needs the most work at the moment is the chores.  For some reason I'm having a hard time with figuring out what they should look like.  But we are getting there, definitely progressing.  Attitude is so important, I have to make sure I'm going about it the right way.  I want to see joy in learning, and character building and skill learning in the chores. 

This is what our general routine is at the moment.

8:00   Eat breakfast (we eat anywhere between 7:30 and 9, depending on when the kids wake up and how long it takes to make breakfast, I just picked 8:00 as a starting point)

8:30   I read 2 or 3 stories from Egermeirs while the kids finish breakfast.

9:00   I do dishes and clean up while the kids do their chores. Right now one washes the toilet/sink/floor while the other changes the cat litter and sweeps the kitchen.  Needs work, eh?  :)

9:20   We sit down at the kitchen table and I look over their Saxon math books to see what concepts they need to know.  If they know them, I don't usually do too much, if they don't know it, then we'll work on it, using manipulates from the kit mostly.  I also go over the Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading. Myia knows most of it, so I go over a few lessons so she understands the rules she already seems to be able to follow.  Samuel can't get past the sounds of letters, so we just sound out a few words together and I ask him what sounds a few letters make.  The whole thing takes from 10-30 minutes.  We esp love making things with the manipulatives and counting the bears while learning math.  

9:40   We lay down and read a few chapters from a book.  When we're done, we write about it in our Book Reports.   We have read a few American Girl books, a few Littles books, some history books (chapter type books mostly) and some other cute books I have collected along the way. 

10:00   This is the kids favorite time.  We call it 'half hours' and basically, I set the timer and each child gets half an hour (or less depending what time it actually is, what the plans are for the morning, etc.) with me to do whatever they want.  Or, I reserve the right to choose if I think they should be doing something specific.  Samuel pretty much always chooses to lay on his floor and play with his Hot Wheel cars.  It's not my favorite, but he loves it and talks about it all the time.  It really seems to be filling a need.   Myia and I tend to do things like crafts, puzzles, games, etc.  It's fun and special for all of us.  

11-1  Kids play while I prepare lunch. 

1:00   We eat lunch as a family.  Sometimes we read parts of a proverbs and talk about a verse or two.  

1:30-2:30   They each play their computer games for half an hour. 

2:30-3:00  We don't always do this, but I try to read some more of the book we are reading.

And that pretty much is our schedule.  Drew is gone for the afternoon, so we run errands if necessary.  I try to get to the library once a week with the kids.  And we read 20 minutes or so before they go to bed.  Myia also is allowed to read in her bed until 9:15 and she reads a lot then.  It's fun to listen when she doesn't know I'm there.  She is getting to be an amazing reader.  And her sudoku skills are downright embarrassing!  She won't let me write in her book because her handwriting is neater then mine (no joke) and she allows me to help, but doesn't nearly need it.  Crazy! 

All in all, Drew and I are pleased with how we are progressing as a family.  I spend a few hours reading most days. Maybe not as varied as would be wise, but I am advancing my own 'Scholar Phase' and even Drew is starting to read more 'useful' books and enjoy them. 

I still have a lot of things I want to do, but I have learned that slow change is better then fast, as it's more long-lasting. 

Progress is good.....

Friday, November 5, 2010

Found-Goals for 2009

I found my goals for 2009, I just didn't publish them on my blog. :)  So here are my goals from last year.  

1. Food:
-3 meals a day-real meals, breakfast, lunch and leftover supper
-mostly only soaked grains
-little/no sugar (honey and maple syrup are fine)
-little/no processed food
-fermented veggie, dairy and/or drink w/every meal
-take daily as supplements: apple cider vinegar, whey, coconut oil, cod liver oil, salt water

2. Children:
-homeschool daily-get into a better pattern and more creative
-daily bible study with them
-Stop yelling at them (this has gotten bad lately, and I know it needs to stop)
-attitudes I want to purposely cultivate-gratitude, respect, selflessness, honesty, obedience, intelligence, courage, joy, eat and like nourishing food, curiosity, love for life and learning, kindness, wisdom, self control,
-be active together at least twice a week-soccer/team sport, park, walk
-set a limit, either 1 or 2 times a week with an actual movie time, or 1/2 hour/one show a day-not sure yet.

3. Me:
-Less grouchy/moody
-In bed by 9:30
-Read scripture daily
-Less internet-set a limit
-Cut the junk out, as it's totally in control of me right now

4. Money:
-Cancel both CCs
-only spend money after talking it over
-set up and stick with a budget, food budget
-use any extra for paying off credit card instead of spending on other things

Winter Meal Plan Template

Well, it's a change of season, a change of foods and also time for a change of menu planning techniques.  Summer went well.  I hope to do better next summer, but I enjoyed preparing one meat a week and seeing how far I could make it stretch, and what I could come up with for picnic friendly foods. 

I am really trying to get back to cutting our budget so we can pay off some debt.  The only thing we can really cut is the grocery budget, and that is hard to cut without losing ground on our health and healing.  I really am not willing to do that.  But, with winter here, I realized it's a perfect excuse to do more soups/stews, which tend to make the meat go further.  I am also trying my hand at adding beans and lentils to our meals.  Not as a substitute for the meat, but as a way to make that same meat stretch just a little further.  I am using only navy beans, as they are GAPS friendly and supposedly ok to consume with a messed up gut.  They also allow lima beans, but, in the words of the great Alexander 'Yuck, I hate lima beans!', so I'm not ready to add those yet. :)

I decided to go back to my original 4-week menu planning.  I am much better at it now and found it quite a simple process to 'fill in the blanks'.  I like 4 weeks, because we get 2 paychecks in that period and only one is available for food.  So I have to get it all with that first paycheck or it's gone.  Which means that I need to know what I am planning to make for the next 4 weeks, or I can't make sure I have it on hand.

I also want to get better about what the kids and I eat for supper.  We have been doing a LOT of peanut butter on leftover pancakes/waffles and granola.  The granola is still fabulous, but nuts shouldn't be a regular meal, so I would like to add more variety to our suppers, without adding much expense or cooking.  Plus with Myia's possible wheat-induced asthma, I can't justify pancakes or waffles (even if they are sourdough and soaked for 24 hours) on a regular basis.  That is my one meal that I don't have to spend an hour + on, and I'd like to keep it that way.  So that means more advanced planning and preparing of course.

Breakfast stays the same-any variations on eggs and bacon I can come up with, or a kefir smoothie.

I also decided to try and make meals for Drew for the entire month and freeze them individually.  It is so nice to just grab one out of the freezer when I'm making lunch and heat it up in the cast iron skillet with some broth while we're sitting down to our family meal.

So if I'm cooking and freezing a bunch of meals for him, why not make extra of the same foods for the kids and I?

Which lead me to create the following meal plan for the 4 week period of November 14th to December 11th.  And I plan on following the same general outline for the rest of the winter if it goes well.  With necessary tweaking of course.  The actual days we eat them may vary, depending on our schedule, etc. 

I have my grocery list all worked out and it should come to just over $400.   I hope it does!  

It's similar to summer, in that we have the same foods every week-white fish (cod usually as it's the cheapest)/canned salmon, liver and I'm also adding a chicken soup every week and a fish chowder every week.  I can make them at once and freeze them for easy meals throughout the month.  Two chickens should be enough for a soup a week as a family meal and a meal for the kids and I for supper every week (luckily, the kids and I love chicken soup and Drew will tolerate it).  And fish chowders need a lot of various cans of seafood at once, so making them up at once is more economical and easier.  The other 3 family meals will be one meat like this summer also.

For Drew for work, I will pick 4 different meals and make them all at once, and make enough for the kids and I to have as leftovers for a set amount of meals also.

I hope to do a lot of cooking at the beginning, which means less later on.  I have the freezer space, so that really helps.  And cold weather cooking lends it self to that type of meal nicely. 

Also, I'm working on getting probiotics with every meal.  Breakfast we do kefir.  Lunch is kombucha, fermented veggies and bitters.  And for supper I'm hoping to serve 1/2 cup of yogurt, sweetened or not.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

You know You're a homeschooler When...

An email from Sonlight curriculum came a few weeks ago with a list of 'You know you're a homeschooler when...' and I loved them and had to post them here.  Some I wish were true, and others are true for us.  It's a great read!  

You know you're a homeschooler when . . .
 . . . your kids are in the kiddie pool playing Lewis and Clark, paddling down the river with lacrosse sticks. --Jen
. . . you find yourself and your guests at your birthday party, at 10pm, embroiled in a lively discussion/explanation of the heart's size and function...with your five year old, who just had to get out of bed and ask because she couldn't sleep until she knew! --Eddie
. . . people ask to borrow books from you because it's closer than the library with almost as varied a collection. --Christine

. . . your son asks to listen to the Geography Songs CD every day at lunch. --Sherri

. . . you can SING the countries of Africa! "Algeria, Ethiopia, Liberia . . ." --Cindy

. . . you stop in the church parking lot to pick up a big Rhinoceros beetle. It is dead and actually smells a bit bad, but you lay it carefully in the back seat, because your kids have never seen one before, except for the one in "Bug's Life." --Anna

. . . you go to the greenhouse in the summer to buy herbs and start talking to the kids about the different kinds of plants . . . and then one of the workers asks if you work there!!!! --Donna

. . . you're out with non-homeschooling friends and they expect you to know the answers to everything--like the difference between a vegetable and a fruit and whether certain things like cucumbers are veggies. --Melissa

. . . your daughter's dance bag has more books than dance shoes in it. --Carla

. . . you find yourself saying, "We were studying last week, about . . ." and people look at you funny, and you don't know why. --Melinda
 . . . you don't think about, but your friends are all talking about, school registration next year . . . or how many days until you go back to school. --Carrie

. . . the doctor's/dentist's/hairdresser's office is happy to schedule your child's appointment because you don't want one after 3pm or during a school holiday . . . or you can take advantage of off season rates because you make your own school holidays. --Carla

Sonlight Curriculum, Ltd. at

Monday, November 1, 2010

Yeah for Progress!!

Like my friend and I say 'Progress is good'. And it truly is.  I find myself wishing for more progress, more quickly.  But God has been showing me that slow is better, it makes for more long-term, REAL changes in one's life. 

The kids and I walked to the park last week.  It was so beautiful out and we were enjoying the fallen leaves, nice breeze and sunshine on our faces. 

Our park has a big army tank that was used in one of the World Wars (I'm assuming).  It's big and fun for the kids to climb on.  Thankfully they have never fallen and hurt themselves.  Now, they have been climbing it for 4 1/2 years and I have never joined them.  I couldn't.  I didn't have the physical ability. 

But, after watching many children trying to climb up and around the tank, I came to appreciate how much my kids had grown and developed because of their hours climbing the tank.  Now I know other things aided in their development and growth of course.  But climbing the tank is a lot like climbing a tree or rocks (which are 2 things they don't have much access to).  The bodies is forced to move in various ways and a whole lot of muscles are used in the balancing and climbing of the various pieces.  It's pretty cool actually. 

After watching this video, I came to really understand how important overall movement is to one's body.  And esp to appreciate how much their tank climbing fun aided in my children's over-all development. 

I would love to come up with a workout with similar varying moves as the MovNat video.  I love the concept of using all the muscles and changing the stresses on the body, instead of the same stress over and over again.  It seems more natural really.  Of course, it would look nothing like his, being here in Clifton, NJ. But, the concept can still be followed I think, to an extent. 

Now, granted, you can't do that kind of movement if you're bones are weak and brittle, or even if you're body is filled with toxins and unable to get the blood and oxygen to where they need to be quickly and efficiently.  Or, for that matter, if you're physical structure is all messed up and even walking is painful.  All of which describe me quite well.  I have felt, for some years, that I have the bones and body of an 80 year old.  It's depressing to have that old of a body when you're in your 30s! 

But the last few weeks I have found myself feeling so much better.  I still have a long way to go (slow is better, remember), but I really don't feel like I'm 80!  Like if I take one wrong step, that I'll start the domino effect of bone breakage.  It's so wonderful! 

So, when the kids were climbing and playing on the tank last week, I decided to try and join them.  I have NO upper body strength and was a bit sheepish to try, in case I couldn't and looked silly, but it would just be another lesson for my kids to make good food and lifestyle choices so they don't end up like their 'dear old mom'. 

Low and behold, I was actually able to pull myself up onto the tank without too much grunting and butt-sticking-out.  It was fabulous.  And I was able to even slide down without hurting my back on impact, and I did it over and over again.  The kids were amazed.  The nice thing about homeschooling is that you can go to the park before it fills with school kids.  So after awhile, I stopped because it was kind of embarrassing.  :)  But it was so freeing to see that I was making real progress.  That my body is healing and my foundations are being reset properly.  Yeah for progress!! 

I was able even to run around with the kids some.  We were soldiers hiding from the enemy by running from tree to tree.  Some of the adults in the park found it amusing.  But I was just having so much fun, actually being able to run without fear of major repercussions-like a 32 year old ought to be able to do! 

We even enjoyed a barefoot walk home together.  :)

Whenever I get discouraged by things I can't do, God graciously reminds me of how far I have come, and encourages me by reminding me that I'm going in the right direction. 

Progressing forward.....

Friday, October 29, 2010

7 INCHES!!!!!

So, truthfully, I had many reasons to embark on a lifestyle that was more conducive to health and more in-line with how God made a body to be treated.  But, early on, I realized that I needed to make sure that my focus was not on outward appearance, but rather on in-ward healing.  Pride is such a huge struggle with me, there was no reason to add to that.  But I was really, really hoping I'd lose some weight along the way. 

So, 2 1/2 years after realizing we needed a major overhaul in our day-to-day life, I am excited (but hopefully not proud) to say that I have lose SEVEN INCHES off my gut!  Yeah, yippee, hooray! Actually, probably more.  I only measured myself for the first time in January and I have lost 7 inches since then.  

It's quite amusing really.  This year has been the first year that I started actually feeling better (oh so slowly) and looking better.  I was confused with the whole weight loss thing.  I felt and looked better then I had in 5 years, but my clothes size was not (and still has not) gone down.  I did lose about 15 pounds over the summer.  But, it was confusing as to why I wasn't going down any sizes in clothes.  Now, my size 12s are definitely getting big on me, but I would not fit into a size 10.  I was hoping it wasn't muscle and bone loss! 

But, I realized I had measured myself in January. I had taken measurements in my stomach (above the waist), my gut (below the waist) and my actually waist. Ok, so I don't really have one of those. There is a slight indentation, but ever so slight.  Oh, and my thighs.  My upper legs are HUGE.  And they rub together something fierce. Seriously restricting my wardrobe (no shorts or skirt or dresses without something tight to keep my legs from rubbing together and causing intense pain), and making summers in a bathing horribly uncomfortable.  That, is still a problem unfortunately . I do hope over time maybe it will go away. But I'm also thinking it's probably a structural thing and may never go away. *sighs*  But I will keep hoping! 

Anyway, so I took my measurements again to see if they had changed.  And they did.  Well, the gut did. The rest are the same. But I was 42' in January and down to 35' in October. Yeah!!  I realized that explained why the clothes size isn't changing.  My waist is still the same, but I find the pants hang down lower in the crotch (funny word, isn't it?), because they are not supported by my larger gut.  Funny how these things work.

I know I have a lot of detoxing and healing left to do.  But I am definitely on the right track.  And I hope, maybe, I'll lose a few more pounds and clothes sizes.  My husband wants me a size 6 (it's a joke between us-I told him if I get to be a size 6, I'll wear a bikini), but I'd be happy with an 8 or 10. :)  Ok, I'll choose to be happy with a 12, if I'm healthy and energetic.  I know the typical American ideal is not healthy and bigger tends to be better, to a point of course. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Food Thermos for Cold Weather Lunches

Last year we bought a food thermos for Drew to take food to work.  We weren't sure if we were going to like it, but he has used it all year, and now I am going to buy 3 more for the kids and I when we go out.  It's so fabulous I just had to share.

It's perfect for soups.  You can put any warm hotdishy type food in it, or cold things for that matter.  But my favorite thing for it is soups.  They stay warm for hours and are so easy to eat out of it, so filling and nourishing, cheap and simple.

Last fall I remembering desperately wishing to like soups.  By the spring of this year, I was sad to have soup season be done.  Yeah for progress!!  I've already made a number of yummy soups since the weather turned cold 2 weeks ago.

For taking with you, it's so easy to heat up a leftover soup and throw it into the thermos.  Pack a spoon and you're good to go.  You can pack a thing of bread or cheese to go along with it if you like.  Sometimes I'll send a separate container with extras that Drew adds when he eats it, like sour cream or salsa or corn chips. 

And lucky for me, I can eat the same soup 5 days in a row and not find it annoying. :)  My kids do pretty well with it, but Drew definitely needs variety. 

The thermos also works great for fried rice meals, pasta meals and even potato gratin type dishes if the potatoes are cut small enough.

I'd love to buy a stainless steel food container for the meals that Drew doesn't want all mixed together.  And then find an insulated small storage bag that would keep it warm/cold until he ate it.

But for now, I'm very thankful for the Thermos!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Attitude Is Everything

As my journey of learning God's principles for the physical world progressed, I found myself having to learn 'simple' things, that I really should have already known.  Things like how to do dishes systematically, how to make chicken broth, roast a chicken, grow and preserve food, etc.

I felt like I was learning to walk all over again and I found the whole thing very frustrating and discombobulating.  Great word, isn't it?

I started to realize that this knowledge was knowledge that used to be passed down from one generation to the next.  Part of the Titus 2 command to mothers was to pass along just such knowledge.  And it hadn't been passed down to me.

So not long ago, in a conversation with my mom, I asked her why she didn't teach me to do more 'homemaker' things, like cleaning, dishes, cooking, etc.  And her answer really got me to thinking.

'Sarah, you didn't want to learn any of that'.  And I realized she was 100% right.  I had no desire whatsoever, to learn such things.  The few times she forced me to do them, I had the most horrid attitude. I'm sad just remembering it.  I wouldn't have remembered them even if she had tried to teach me.  I had no interest whatsoever in doing such demeaning work.

Well, fast forward 15 years and I find myself with this intense desire to teach my own children such knowledge.  But I'm also faced with the same dilemma.  Even if I were to force my children to learn such things, it won't ultimately do them any good if they don't 'want' to use the knowledge to God's glory when they need it.  It's not enough for force them to learn, I also have a burning desire to help them 'want' to learn and implement these things in their own life.

In a world where godly qualities are looked down upon, where homemaking is considered old-fashioned, where busy-ness and money are far more important then attitude and contemplation, is it possible to raise my children to see the beauty and joy in following God's order for life?  For them to be equipped with skills and attitude necessary for bringing God glory in whatever jobs he gives them, be they exciting or not?

As with everything else in child training, it seems that the best thing I can do is be an example to my kids, sharing my joy and passion for the Lord and the job he has given me.

Lord, help me to train my children in the way they should go.  So when they are old, they will not depart from it.  Thank you for giving me such an awesome job.  Please continue to lead and guide me in the best way to do that job. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Liver Cleanse Experience

I reviewed the Liver and Gallbladder Cleanse book here, and started a record of my personal cleanses.  It's been fascinating!  I thought I would switch my 'log' onto this post instead of the book review post.  I will continue to update this page as I do the cleanses.

Someone posted this forum site for the cleanse also.  Great resource for problem solving, etc.

Also, this blog post really encouraged me to look up the book and do the cleanse finally.  

So here is my journal of cleanses:

**  6/25/10**

I sort of did the cleanse.  I had done the epsom salt/oil pulling for a month and then drank a quart of apple juice every day for 4 days and then I had to stop as the timing wasn't working out.  However, Monday I decided to just do the cleanse without the apple juice.  I followed the instructions above and actually passed at least 100 very small lime green, covered with a mustard yellow, stones.  It was pretty wild and exciting. :)

GRAPHIC:  I had terrible diarrhea shortly after taking the first epsom salt drink and all the next day.  And all I can say is 'owww!'.  I know it was intentional, but I have never really had diarrhea, so I had no idea how to deal with the 'clean up process'. Sorry, gross, I know.  But, if someone can learn from my mistakes, then it's worth sharing.  So, for next time, I am going to simply take a quick shower after every episode so as not to cause excessive wear and tear on the more sensitive parts with the rough toilet paper.  Did I mention 'owww!'?

-GRAPHIC: See here for pictures of something similar to what I had, only mine were smaller.  

-I have always struggled with low blood sugar, but it had gone away most since changing my diet.  However, being gone over the weekend and not eating great, it was back with a vengeance. So fasting for part of the day was rough.  I was very tired Monday night, as I consumed only water after 1:30pm.  I think that would have been fine if I had been eating better before the cleanse.

-The oil/OJ mix was actually quite good.  I was expecting to gag on it, and I did plug my nose for half of it, but then I found it was actually kind of enjoyable.  I measured 1/2 cup of EVVO into a glass measuring cup and squeezed 2 juicing oranges into it and mixed and chugged. 

-I did not start off with the broth/GAPS like I intended. My husband had lunch duty and he is a wicked chef and I simply could not pass up his pork fajitas. I drank some kefir at 10 and had pork fajitas at 1. :)  Along with some yogurt, kombucha and fermented beets.  :)

-I intend to do this every month until I have 2 months with nothing, and then once a year hopefully.

-None of my stones were calcified or bigger then a piece of corn, and most were closer to the size of an ant.  But I still have to be better off without them.

-I did not do an enema, but I really think it would be wise.  I just need to find the equipment and work up the nerve. 

-Tuesday and Wednesday I felt great, but Thursday afternoon I had one of my knock-out detox spells and was out for an hour and a half, dead to the world (well, to my kids at least-but thankfully we had put in a video, which I just ended up sleeping through).  And today (Friday)  I've been mostly laying down with extreme exhaustion.  At least I've come to realize what is going on and learned not to fight my body, but to rest until it passes.

I WILL GET HEALTHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

** 7/15/10**

I did another cleanse, basically same as the last.  Only this time no toilet paper after I started on the epsom salt, so no pain from that.  I did, however, throw up in the middle of the night once, which did not happen last time.  I was worried that since it was mostly oil, it wouldn't work.  But apparently the oil had done it's job and it worked fine.  The book said throwing up was not unusual and nothing to worry about.  Once I did, I felt fine and went right back to sleep.

This time, I got at least 400 stones out, and some were the size of my thumb.  So I had more, and larger ones, then last time.  Still no enema.  Mostly a money thing.  The kids are $20 and we just don't have them .And I've not figured out a way to substitute something cheaper or free yet.

I'll do another one in August.  It's pretty crazy!!!

** 8/1/10**

I have had back pain in my lower back for close to 10 years now.  My chiropractor has been my saving grace and I'm so thankful for him!  This week I knew I needed an adjustment in a bad way.  But it was weird, because it didn't hurt.  I could just tell that I was twisted and a mess. I wonder if getting the stones out has taken some of the pressure off of my lower back.  I don't know for sure.

** 8/7/10**

I did my 3rd cleanse.  I find the salt water harder to take and I once again threw up in the middle of the night.  4:00 actually.  I slept fine most of the night, before and after.  And I picked a bad time, as I had Sunday School the next morning and that was rough. Note to self, pick a morning when you can stay home and take care of business.  The throwing up is no fun. I might try half as much EVVO next time.  I read that the throwing up is the gall stones pushing the EVVO back into the stomach.  And throwing up isn't supposed to be a problem. Other then being horribly unpleasant.  I think while drinking the salt water and throwing up, that I'm definitely not doing it again.  But then when I get hundreds of stones out, I can't help but assume it's helping me.  Chemo makes you throw up for months, so this is much better then that option!  I think I got about 400 stones out, most teeny, but about 20 of them were about the size of my thumb nail, which is big!  They seem to be more green and less yellow coasted.  Not sure if that is good or bad or indifferent.

** 9/9/10**
I did my 4th cleanse and got no stones.  I can't decide if that is bad or good.  My kids love the whole process and my daughter was very optimistic.  "Maybe you don't have any more stones mommy'.  Yeah, maybe...   There was what looked like a few broken stones, so maybe I am cleaned out.  I still feel so yucky at times though.  I'll try it again next month and see what I get and if I don't get anything, then I'll give it 6 months and do another one.  My diet is really cleaned up, so it's possible that I am cleaned out.  I still have to get my gut in order, but progress is good!
I had a really hard time taking the epsom salt and oil this time.  The epsom salt seems to get harder every time, but this is the first time the oil has bothered me.  I had to juice more oranges then normal, and still couldn't get down the last 1/4 cup of the mixture.  So that could have to do with the lack of stones also.  But I didn't throw up this time either. 

I'm due for another one tomorrow, but it won't work out, so hopefully early next week I'll be able to do it, along with enemas as I finally bought a kit.  I'll post afterward as usual.


I did my 5th cleanse.  The salt water wasn't so hard to take, and neither was the oil/juice. Strange.  I did the enema this time, around 9:00 pm the night I took the oil.  It did really seem to help.  I did not throw up either.  Altogether, it was the easist one so far.  I did get approx 400 stones out, all various sizes and colors.  Some were definitely older.  I'm not sure if they are from way back in the liver ducts, or if they were in my colon since the last one and the enema helped to clear them out.  I did an enema the evening after the cleanse and the following evening. Three total.  And I was surprised that even after more then 24 hours and with nothing coming out for some time, after the last enema, more stones were released.  Hum...
Since doing the cleanse, my back has been better then it has in a long time, and my hormones are strong and my bones don't feel 80.  It could be because of anything.  But hopefully my body is detoxing and healing in general.  It's very exciting and encourages me to keep on.  I will feel only my age again someday!!!


I was finally able to do my 6th cleanse.  The results were so/so.  I was doing so well until I went away for a weekend and ate foods I hadn't eaten in a few years.  It seems to have totally messed me up.  My hormones had been wacked for years and were finally starting to get evened out it seemed this summer.  Now I feel I'm back to square one.  My body won't seem to let go of anything.  I was really hoping this cleanse would reset me, which is what seemed to happen with the last one.  But, no such luck. :(  Usually I notice the oil when it comes out and I still have yet to see much of it.  I'm retaining water and can't eliminate hardly at all.  It's VERY frustrating!  But, the cleanse went ok otherwise.  I got out about 200 stones of various sizes and colors.  I did not throw up, but I was neauses all night, which is odd.  I also did an enema Friday night and Saturday morning, which helped some, but not a lot.  I am praying that the Lord will show me what I need to get back into order.  Oh, I also only consumed broth Friday and Saturday until supper. I was absolutely exhausted and depressed.  It's insane how much my mind is affected by my body.  Crazy!  When I ate, I felt better mentally, but the retention/hormones are still wacked.  

Finally, I did another one. Took me long enough!  When I did the GAPS intro in November, I drank a lot of really salty broth for a few days, and I found I actually passed a few green stones, and a lot of, what I believe was, broken stones.  So I have felt like my liver had a cleanse since, and in a very healthy way. Plus I feel my overall diet is very healing for the liver, not too toxic and full of liver cleansing and liver building materials.  But I had found myself not wanting to eat much meat for a few weeks, and my poop was very light, so I decided it was time for an actual cleanse.  My husband and kids were away, so it was perfect timing.  I did the usual, minus the apple juice.  I got out approx 300 itty bitty stones and quite a bit of the broken ones.  It was really yucky to drink the epsom water and the citrus evvo as usual.  I was nauseous all night, but only slightly and it went away after I had some diarrhea in the morning.  I did a coffee enema the night before, and some enemas the morning of, and one the 2nd morning.  Just to make sure.  But no more stones came out after the first morning.  I will assume that is a good thing.  I really don't currently feel like I should do another one next month, so i will play it by ear/feel and do another one when I think I need it.

* August 29, 2016 Phew. I haven't posted on here in forever. But I do want to keep track of my cleanses, and this is the best place for that, since I already have it started. Today I did the cleanse again and am amazed at how many stones have come out, and how big some of them are! My stooles have been a really light color for 5 days, and I didn't want to make myself as uncomfortable as this cleanse makes me. But I knew that the long-term health problems far outweight the short term discomfort. I pretty much did everything the same as I had in the past. No major nausea or vomiting or terrible diarrhea. And hundreds upon hundreds of stones. I did do a coffee enema around 9:30 last night. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Relative Truth

Is there such a thing as truth outside of the Bible?  Maybe not.  I know the Bible is the only source of definite truth.  But is it possible to find truth in areas that are more practical-like child rearing, relationships, eating, time management, money matters, science, etc.

Is it possible to study and learn the natural laws of God's creation and apply them to life? God is a good of order and he made a world that follows natural order and laws. 

I have studied and applied what I consider God's natural laws in many areas of life.  Imperfectly to say the least.  But I really do believe I have found the general ways in which we are to do things such as care for our bodies and raise our children.  But it is contrary to what I see and hear around me. 

So, I have to either believe the principles are true and that I am somehow privileged to learn them.  Or that they really aren't principles but simply preferences and don't really make much of a difference.  Is there such a thing as relative truth?
If the principles I have learned are true and most people don't follow, then what are the consequences today, tomorrow and eternity?

Following said principles is a big deal.  It's not like it's just a little thing for me and my family.  It's earth-shattering and huge.  If they are true, then I have to not only live them out today and teach them to my children, but I also have to do my best to make sure they choose to do so when they are adults and raising their own family.

If they are true, then how do I see all of those around me going against those principles, having to suffer the consequences of them, but always thinking it's God's doing.  He can do a miracle, but He mostly seems to let his creation follow it's natural course and only intervening now and then to bring glory to himself. 

But, just reading that sentence makes me cringe.  Who do I think that I am, thinking I know the truth when so many others don't?

But, one thing that I have used as 'criteria' for believing and knowing said principles is reading older literature, etc. and seeing how things 'used to be'.  And more often then not, it proves those very principles.  We seem to have gotten so far from the truth, from what was considered normal.  Today, it's considered crazy and 'fringe', when only a hundred or so years ago, it would have been considered normal and good.

I don't want to be right or crazy, I just want to do the job God has given me to do, to the best of my ability.  I don't want to stand before the thrown of God and say 'well, I didn't know'.  Will that be an acceptable excuse?  Maybe.  I really don't know

Meanwhile, I'll do the best I can with the knowledge I have, and pray that I can stand before God someday, having done all in my power to stand firm.

And try not to 'judge' others with my relative truth.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Serving the Lord, by Serving my Family

When I first became a mom (7 years ago), I was so unhappy with the 'job'.  I felt guilty not being 'busy' and not being more useful and important.  Burping babies and changing diapers does not come with a lot of prestige (unless of course you're a nanny, then for some reason it's considered perfectly useful to society), and I craved attention and men's accolades.  I didn't admit it at the time. To be fair, I might not have even realized it then.  But over the years, that discontentment grew and drug me down.  I remember standing in my messy living room one day, a few years ago, and wishing I could run an orphange with 30 sick kids.  Granted, I could barely take care of my own 2 sick kids.  But somehow if they weren't my own, and there were more of them, I thought I could handle it.

What I didn't realize at the time was that my lack of contentment and joy in motherhood was based on the world's idea of worthiness and importance.  More is better.  If only I could be affecting the lives of 30 people instead of 2, it would make it all worth it.  I would feel important.  I could change the world.  It would be my 'ministry' to God.  He would be proud of me and I could be proud of myself.

But, what I have come to learn over the last few years is that God does not operate that way.  In his glory and wisdom, he created men to glorify Himself through the roles he gives to them in their daily lives.  Nothing grand is necessary.  Yes, sometimes he does choose to use people in larger venues.  Billy Graham, Charles Spurgeon, Charles Wesley and George Whitefield come to mind.  But, after studying the lives of some amazing, effective evangelist, I have come to the conclusion that he has only been able to use them because of their humility and utter trust in God.  I have also come to realize that I am NOT that humble and if God were to use me in the lives of great amounts of people, it would most assuredly go to my head and cause not only myself, but those who witness it, to stumble.  He would, of course, receive no glory in that, and has graciously not allowed me to fulfill my 'dream' of affecting many people for him. 

Paul says that he has learned to be content in whatever state he is in.  I wanted to be able to say that, but truly couldn't.

So God graciously sent me on a journey of learning my 'place in this world' and my 'ministry' of bringing glory to Him.  And of learning his 'plan' for mankind. 

My marriage was the first thing that needed cleaning out.  I was proud and had swallowed the world's agenda for feminist/women.  I was important and intelligent and should not have to suffer for someone else's decisions.  But God showed me how important submission was to his story of 'creation, fall and redemption'.  It wasn't something that was degrading or demeaning.  It was simply His way of unfolding His plan.  Who am I to disagree?  Through many books, conversations (thanks Carrie!!), prayers and meditations, I finally saw God working in my hard, prideful heart, and allowing me to finally have true respect and honor for my husband.  And following that, came the submission somewhat naturally.  Yeah for victory!

Next God worked on my attitude toward my 'home duties'.  Oh, how I remember spending hours at the kitchen sink doing dishes and preparing food and being so bitter.  'Why can't Drew help out with kitchen duties now and then?' 'No one else spends this much time cleaning their dishes/kitchen'.  'Woo is me' 'Poor Sarah'.  Seriously, the whining I used to do in my head, it's downright embarrassing!   But, as God started showing me that my 'ministry' to Him is to take care of the family he gave me, I started finding those same chores a blessing.  I found myself doing dishes and being thankful for God's graciousness in giving me a husband that wants me to stay home and raise our children.  So many people I know would like to stay home and/or homeschool, but their husbands want them to earn money, or their kids to go to school to be 'normal'.  But my husband not only requested that I homeschool, but he has also been open to my unusual methods of homeschooling/eating.  'For such a time as this' did God prepare me to glorify Him and serve Him.  Thank you Lord!!!!  I truly rejoice when I hang my laundry up to dry these days.  I am doing it for the Lord!

Once the Lord worked on the foundation of the marriage, which is so important to a family/child training, he started working on my attitude toward my children.  I've been reading child-rearing tip type books since becoming a mom.  But I've always known that I was missing something.  And now I realize that the something was the foundation of my relationship with my husband and my attitude in general to my 'homemaking'.

Finally I get to attend to the details, which are what I really enjoy.  My control-freakish nature of course, prefers those over the attitudes, which I can't ultimately control.  It's a very exciting place to be. 

And here is my manual for those details:

Proverbs 31:10-31

A wife of noble character who can find?

She is worth far more than rubies.

Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.

She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.

She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.

She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.

In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

"Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.