Monday, January 30, 2012

Nature Deficit Disorder

I have read 'Last Child in the Woods' twice and loved it both times.  I also just recently finished Richard Louv's 'The Nature Principle', which is applying the Last Child to adults, essentially.

He talks extensively about how the lack of contact with 'real' nature is wreaking serious havoc on our children, and adults as well.  Children study the rainforest in their classes, but they have no idea what habitat lies outside their own homes.  And if kids don't see nature, real and brutal, then they get this inflated sense of their own self worth.  And they really ultimately lose their drive to take care of the environment, as the real incentive-long term, only comes from a real connection to nature.

Plus, he talks quite a bit about the science behind why getting out into nature helps the human brain develop properly. 

He is not down on technology, he just feels it's important to have a balance of both in one's life.

He gives a lot of great examples of people getting back to nature.  Schools, clubs, families, even whole villages and cities!

It has been a good reminder of how important it is for myself and my children to get outside. I work REALLY hard at making sure my family has good, healing, nourishing foods and enough sleep.  I work hard at teaching and mentoring my children in the best way possible, to ensure that they not only learn what I feel they should know, but that they understand it and apply it to their lives.  I pray and work hard at growing spiritually and passing along what I learn to my kids . All of these things take a lot of deep thinking and long-term planning.  They don't 'just happen'.

But one thing I feel I have failed miserably at, is getting my children out into nature, and esp teaching them to really appreciate the little things it has to teach them.  I feel science is best learned in a formal setting, only after exhaustive field research, which should happen when a child is young, and has hours to spend on it.

I do believe that getting my children into nature is extremely important, and for many reasons.    Last Child helped me to clarify some concrete reasons for it.

But... I have so many excuses.  We live in an urban area, it's hard to get to 'nature', as it's a drive and it's never convenient for short trips.  We don't camp, although we want to.  The parks cost money for parking, etc.

But, esp when reading  Tom Brown's Guide to Nature and Survival for Children, this summer, and then Nature Principle, I was reminded of how important it is, and how we can find nature around us, if we just look.

So..... this is my resolve, to spend time with my kids, outdoors.  This place is actually only a mile away.  I found out about it a few years ago and we have visited a few times.  But, it's close enough to make it a regular part of our lives, and it's important enough, that I put the effort into it.  Once it warms up of course. :)  I hope to try and go there once or twice a week in the afternoons.  Preferably find a quiet place that we can scope out and hang out regulary.  I hope to 'teach' the kids to be aware of what is around them. I hope to become aware myself. To stop and smell the roses and actually see the wildlife that surrounds us.  And, if it works out how I'd like, to find out what one place looks like as the seasons change.  I want to see the 'miniature eco-systems' around us that are only visible to the patient, searching eye.  I can see how that will improve all of our concentration skills, as well as problem solving skills.  Both things we need desperately! 

I'd much rather be in the mountains, or on our own property on a farm.  But, I can't keep using that as an excuse to cure myself and my children of our nature deficit disorder.

I also love the idea of being outside for half an hour every day, no matter what.  Learning to be outside, and dress appropriately, and just making it a habit.  But, of course, in typical Sarah style, I can't just 'kick' my kids outside, I have to be the example. And it's just too darned cold for that!!  Although, they do choose to go out on their own all but the most miserable days, so that is nice.  Even if only for a quick run to some imaginary battle or party.

I love God's beautiful world. I love 'nature'.  It has always grounded me to take a walk in it. And I have been drawn to the mountains for as long as I can remember.  Why did I end up in New Jersey instead of Colorado I still don't understand (other then to meet Drew of course, but then...).  But God does.  And I'm tired of making that my excuse to not teach my children that same love of nature that I have.  It's cheaper then any pills or therapist, and generally works far better.  I tell you, I've solved my own, and the whole world's problems more then once, while walking in a forest.

We can recycle and reuse and plant as many trees as we want.  But the only way to really come to appreciate the earth that God has made, is to get to know it intimately.  To truly see how it affects our lives, to see how it reflects God's glory and splendor and justice.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Boys Adrift, by Leonard Sax

I recently finished reading Boys Adrift, by Leonard Sax.  I was mesmerized by it and it helped to put some more pieces into the big puzzle of life and learning.

Sax is a medical doctor and psychologist living in Maryland and over time, he came to see a pattern in males, how they were more and more disengaged from the real world, and more likely to be labeled with various negative behavioral issues.  So he decided to investigate and try and understand the problem better. 

This book is the collection of his research through the years.  He has decided that the main reasons for male disengagement in the real world is mainly due to 5 causes:

1.  Video Games

2.  Teaching Methods

3.  Prescription Drugs

4.  Endocrin Disruptors

5.  Devaluation of Masculinity

And I must say, they make sense!  I've seen it in my own husband and son.  We females have our own set of problems, but these particular issues relate mostly to the males.

VIDEO GAMES: I first heard of the concept of men needing a challenge from John Elderedge's book 'Wild at Heart'.  And it really rings true.    God made men to seek adventure.  Think of Adam out there in the big world, trying to make a home for him and Eve, and eventually their children.  That isn't easy and it takes a really brave, driven person to do that.  Men are the ones the God has given the responsibility of family to, and he also equipped (most of) them with a drive for just that.  They need adventure, it's wired into their DNA and for good purpose.  But, in today's world, they get so little of that, that they go out and seek it where they can find it. Those thrills, the action.  And the easiest, safest, cheapest way to do that these days is through video games.  They provide all of the 'good' with none of the 'bad'.  Except they create their own issues, as does any substitute for something deep inside of us. Only the real thing will do.  But who can afford to explore the Amazon these days?

Sax gave some fascination details on how video games actually affect the brain and it's development.  It seems that science proves that it can change the structure of the brain permanently.

TEACHING METHODS: Sax is very keen on all boys and all girls schools also.  He doesn't think everyone needs them, but boys esp, often do better in boys only schools.  Esp the ones who are labeled ADHD and hyper and aggressive.  They need a format where they can get their aggression out in a constructive manor, while being encouraged to get done what needs to get done.  He is also a strong believer in waiting to put boys into school until they are 7, as they need the extra year to mature.  Agreed!  I can see it in my own kids, dramatically.  And trying to force your son to act in a way that he is not capable of, will simply force him into believing he is stupid and will create a negative attitude toward school and learning, that often sticks with him the rest of his life.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS:  He believes that the vast majority of children who are on drugs for over activity do not need it.  They just need a different environment that allows them to use up their energy properly and constructively.  He gives a lot of evidence that points to prescription drugs also changing the way a brain develops.  And it's sad to realize that these drugs cause permanent personality and brain damage.  While there may be times when that is still worth it to the child, in the majority of cases, it simply is not.  Drugs are used as an easy way out for parents.  Because they don't want to deal with the other causes of the behavior.

ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS: He talks about how plastics have chemicals in them that cause a boys body to produce more estrogen and less testosterone.  And this causes developmental delays in the brain, bones and endocrine system, again, some permanent.

DEVALUATION of MASCULINITY:  'Forty years ago we had Father Knows Best, today we have The Simpsons.'  Good point.  With all the 'girl power' and feminist agendas being pushed, the male role models have changed dramatically.  And that is having a huge impact in the following generations.  They need mentors who can show them how to live and act, while coming along side of them and helping them through life.  It's so TJE. :)  With role models like EMINEM, no wonder our culture is going to hell in a handbasket. Geesh!

It was a good reminder to me to watch my little boy, to make sure he has good role models in his life, and to make sure I let him be a 'boy', while growing up.  I will also be careful of his time spent playing video games.  I have seen, already, that he gets easily addicted to them even this young.  I also want to work harder at providing real adventure for Drew and Samuel, so they do not need to disconnect from real life to feel that their needs are being met.   

Overall, it was a fantastic book and I would highly recommend it to anyone raising little boys in America today.

Monday, January 23, 2012

As for Me and My House

Sometimes I ache, with this intense desire to KNOW that my children will serve the Lord someday.  I know that is not for me to know, but only God.  And He does not call me to ensure that my children and their children will walk with Him someday.  I can only do what He has called me to do, and leave the rest to God.  But I wish I knew all the 'secrets' so I could do my best to ensure it anyway.  :)

Thankfully, God has taken that weight off of my shoulders and put it on his own.

For my daily Scripture reading, I was finishing up Joshua and came to the part where Joshua is about to die. Much like Moses, I read his story and just want to cry.  He gave the Israelites his all, he served the Lord by serving them his entire life.  And he cared about and loved them deeply.  But he also knew their faults and shortcomings.

Joshua 24:14-28

 14 “Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
 16 Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods, 17 for it is the LORD our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed. 18 And the LORD drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God.”
 19 But Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. 20 If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm and consume you, after having done you good.” 21 And the people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the LORD.” 22 Then Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the LORD, to serve him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.” 23 He said, “Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD, the God of Israel.” 24 And the people said to Joshua, “The LORD our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey.” 25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and put in place statutes and rules for them at Shechem. 26 And Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone and set it up there under the terebinth that was by the sanctuary of the LORD. 27 And Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the LORD that he spoke to us. Therefore it shall be a witness against you, lest you deal falsely with your God.” 28 So Joshua sent the people away, every man to his inheritance.

As for Joshua and his house, they were going to serve the Lord.  And the people agreed.  They too wanted to serve the Lord.  .But.....they did not kick out ALL the people from Canaan like they were told.  And they eventually reverted to serving idols.  It's really ridiculous, being on this end of it all, to read about their continue failings and deliverance.  I'm reading Judges now and it makes me heart sick.

I wish, wish, wish, that I could ensure that my children would not 'serve idols'.  I wish I could ensure that I myself would not serve idols. At least not permanently.  I am so thankful that God cares enough about us to put things into our lives to draw us away from our everyday idols and back to him.  It seems mean, but I do pray that he would do that to my children throughout their lives.  That he would not let them get too comfortable in this world, which is not their home.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  And, with his help, wait eagerly for his return, to consummate the marriage promise he made at his first coming. 

Gracious Heavenly Father, please keep our feet on the solid rock.  And keep our hearts and minds grounded in you. Like Lot and the Israelites after him, we are surrounded by idols.  We live in Sodom.  Help us not to 'marry' them, but to live separately.  Please guide and protect us until you return.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Family GAPS Update

Well, we are full GAPS now.  Really, we are back to where we were when we first started 2+ weeks ago, but without any non-gaps cheats so far.  And I haven't added back in nuts yet.  I hope to get some soaked and dehydrated and start trying them baked in things, by next week.

I must confess I am a bit ashamed that we didn't add things in slower. But for some reason, I couldn't/didn't.  I think it would have been better if we had waited longer in between things, and if we had charted our elimination. So we would have a better idea of what is being digested, and what is not.

But, the foods we eat/have been eating, are so good and healing, for the most part, that it's hard to give them up if we want and crave them.  My kids really didn't complain about not eating junk, or even 'healthy sweets' for the most part.  They wanted raw veggies, honey, butter, fruit and fried eggs.   I mean seriously, how do you not give those to your kids when they ask for them?!? 

They were amazing about eating the soup for 3 meals a day.  And if they were hungry in between meals, they generally asked for soup.   They ate their yogurt every day without their normal fruit and honey, but with vanilla and cinnamon.  And the veggies.  My goodness, we eat a lot of those!  My kids love them, and that is really nice. I do appreciate that part of cutting out grains.  They simply get replace by veggies, which at least have something to offer and are much easier to digest!  My kids LOVE steamed beets with lots of butter and salt. They love pretty much any veggie that is cooked (or raw), if it's loaded with butter and salt.  Smart kids!

Going forward, I need to do some planning of actual details.  But, my overall plan is to have us consume kefir, raw yolks, soup, yogurt and cod liver oil every day.

My overall meal plan will be the same as before.  Breakfast for the kids and I is soup with veggies, meat, kraut and sour cream, kefir smoothie and carrot juice.  For Drew, he does carrot juice mixed with kefir and egg yolk.  Lunch is meat and veggies, preferably with broth in some way, be it a glass of it, or sauce or stew, along with kombucha and bitters.  Supper for Drew is meat and veggies and sauce, or stew.  And for the kids and I, eggs and kraut.  3:00 is our normal yogurt time.  And I hope to continue Drew's soup when he gets home from work.

Another overall goal is: "About 85% of everything your patient eats on a daily basis should be savoury - made out of meats, fish, eggs, vegetables and natural fats. Sweet baking and fruit should be snacks between meals in limited amounts.

I think that is an important part of healing in general.  So many people do SCD/GAPS, but find they don't heal.  They only consume 'gaps friendly' foods. But, it's still mostly nuts and baked goods.  And those things just don't heal as well as the high fat, high mineral animal products. 

Drew definitely is not full-gaps, and he is smoking, although he has cut it way down.  And I think he is starting to really acknowledge and deal with the emotional attachments to his carbs and nicotine. So that is a huge thing! I hope to revisit the diet more intensely for him, when he has dealt with some of those issues. His main complaint is digest and weight. 

I am overall, happy with how far we have progressed over the last few weeks.  Just subtle things, like appreciating new tastes and textures.  Being more aware of our bodies at all times.  Truly appreciating thick, hearty, fatty soups.  And eating and appreciating tons of veggies.  Holy smokes, did I mention how much my kids go for veggies?  They wouldn't touch them 3 years ago!  This has been a gradual progression, but it's so fun to see them learn to like new things! 

Going forward, I also want to use the principles of gaps that I have learned, and implement a monthly 'mini intro' for us.  Doing easy to digest soups for 2 or 3 days in a row, just to clean us up well.  I also would like to start it with something like this liver flush.  It's not as intense as the Liver and Gall Bladder cleanse.  I really should do that again, but I found I was able to clean out stones from my liver when I did the intro with just really salty, fatty broth, without stressing my adrenals. So there is more then one way to kill that bird.  Basically, I'd like to come up with some over all cleansing processes that we can smoothly implement into our lives on a regular basis.  Nothing crazy or stressful, but definitely things that work. 

I still don't feel we are as healed as we need to be.  But, I think if we continue, we will continue to heal.  And slow just seems to work better for us.

Myia is dying to try some 'junk', like wheat or sugary something.  But I don't think she is ready for that.  She still has bloating and seriously purple eyes and pretty intense mood swings.  Although overall, she is doing SOOO much better!  It's fun to see.  It's been slow and gradual, but it has happened.

We are hoping to add in raw milk by this weekend.  We miss it terribly.  I only cultured the yogurt for 10 hours, so if we do ok with that, then we'll try milk.  And then we'll also add in cultured cheeses again, like my raw cheddar from Trader Joe's. Yum!!!  And next week I hope to try nuts as well. I think I am the only person to really get messed up by nuts, so I'll try and keep nuts to a special treat for us all, rather then a regular part of our planned meals.  We'll still keep to mostly only full-gaps, although adding in occasional popcorn and corn tortillas might happen sooner then originally planned.

I am so thankful to the Lord for showing me the principles of food and nutrition, that I can use to heal my family!  I often wish it was a faster process, but I am learning to find joy in the journey.  Which is a big deal for me! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Waiting Impatiently, as the Bride of Christ

Oh man, I am so excited to see where the Lord is going to be leading my pastor and my church.  Last year, my husband and I were seriously praying about finding a different church.  We were struggling with the fact that we were not growing there.  Now, it's easy to jump down a pastor's throat and blame him for one's own lack of spiritual growth.  And we talked often about our own lives and whether we were doing our own part to grow spiritually.  But, we are heavily involved in the children's ministry at the church, so leaving is a big deal.  And, we were not willing to force the issue. We just talked about it and prayed about it and watched to see if the Lord would lead us to another church.

Not only were we not growing, but the church overall was not growing.  I really think that the pastor's job is to expound on the Word in such a way that he sends you home hungry, passionately, for more of the Word.  Of course, it's not a pastor's fault if one is not hungry.  But I believe that is the overall duty of a pastor.  And we just weren't getting that.  We talked to others, some agreed, some found his messages to be riveting and they actually did go home and get into the Word.  So we began to think it was us, and maybe the Holy Spirit was cutting ties so he could lead us elsewhere. 

I had my own personal 'conversion' to a more Lord-ship salvation/election-oriented personal system of beliefs and I wondered if that was where the Lord was going to lead us.  To a pastor and a church that believes that.  I'd love that! 

This past spring, I called my mom and was basically complaining about it all.  And I asked her to pray for us, for wisdom and guidance.  And I told her about how we just want to sit under preaching that pushes us to get into the Word more. To get meat and not just milk, both on our own, and in service.  We also really were struggling with the worship-it was so 'put on' we felt, and repetitious with the worship songs, but all milk and no meat.  We also really were struggling with the NIV version and wanted to study the ESV more.  I shared all of this with my mom, sitting on the front steps, while the kids rode their bikes out front.

De ja vue.  Weird stuff.  Only a few months later, sitting on the front steps, watching the kids play outside, I called my mom again.  Probably no calls in between-I'm a bad daughter.  And started animatedly telling her about the changes my pastor said were going to be taking place in his sermons over the next few months.  The exact things I had told her about in the last conversation!  He felt he was not doing his duty, but that was going to change.  He wanted us to not only hear the Word on Sundays, but to go home desperately wanting to learn more on our own.  He felt we needed more meat on Sundays and less milk.  He wanted to change to the ESV, since the new NIV had some serious issues and the old one was no longer being printed.  Even the worship songs began to be more balanced.  It was soo crazy!  Drew and I were pretty excited when he said that.  And we hoped that this was the Lord's leading us to stick around a little longer at least.

Well, that was this summer and nearly 6 months have passed since.  And I must say, we have not been disappointed.  Well, we never care for the speakers in the summer, as it's 'summer conference' and we get all the Dallas Theological guys in to speak. :)  But, Pastor Minema started a series on Hebrews, and it has gotten better over the last few months.  More meat, which somehow still leads to more application-at a heart level I guess. My pastor's enthusiasm for the Word is contagious, just as it ought to be.  See, even preaching is TJE style!  Lead, not teach. :)  It's the way humans are wired man, you can't argue with it!  

 A few weeks ago, my pastor preached a message that I have mediated on a lot.  It was about how we are to be eagerly awaiting the coming of Christ-our bridegroom.  In order to give it more significance, he went over, in detail, the marriage customs of Jesus' day.  I've heard over and over again, that we are to be ready and waiting.  But hearing the customs really helped to clarify it for me and to get me even more eager about his return!

He told how a man would go to the household of a woman (often as young as 12, and the man was considerably older-skeevy for us today, but then it was normal) whom he wanted to marry.  He would bring 3 cups and some wine along, and he would make his offer to the woman/girl's father.  If he was accepted, he would pour the wine into a cup for himself and the father.  But, the girl also (generally) had to agree.  And if she did not agree, she would take the 3rd cup and turn it upside down.  But, if she agreed, then she would take some of the wine and pour it into her cup, and they would all drink together.  It was called a betrothal, and it was as permanent as marriage, and if broken, it was necessary for a divorce to complete it.

Generally, at that point, the man would return to his own house and prepare for his coming bride. Usually he lived with his father and built a room onto his father's house.  Again, ugh, but such was the times.  He would make sure he had enough livestock to feed her and their sure-to-be-family.  And do whatever else was necessary to prepare.  Apparently it was not unusual for this betrothal period to last a whole year. I can't imagine!  But the woman knew that at any time, her man would show up with his friends and family, and take her, in a big party, to be his forever bride.  And she spent that time preparing herself for becoming a bride and mother (probably eating tons of fish and egg yolks).

When the man was ready, he would gather a procession and walk to his bride's house, with trumpets and songs, and calling 'I am coming my bride' and she was sure to hear it from a long ways off.  When he came, she would be standing in the door, all dolled up and ready for her new position in life.  He would carry her home and there would be a feast of I think, 7 days. Wow, he had to prepare for months just for that!

The obvious analogy here is that Christ came to us and asked us to be his bride.  If we said yes, and drank of the cup (communion), then we entered into an agreement with Him, that we would keep ourselves pure, and that we would be ready at all times, for him to come and take us to be his forever bride.

He will come back someday.  And all he has asked us to do in the meantime, is to prepare ourselves, so we can be the best bride ever, to him, for eternity.  And we're not talking about marrying somebody who is a sinner with needs and baggage.  We are talking about the Creator God, the Word, life and love itself.  He wants to be with us forever!  It's pretty amazing!

So... are we ready?  Are we waiting, expecting him every minute?  Will we be ready when the trumpet sounds?  Or will he find us 'in bed with another man'?  It's so easy to get caught up in the world.  In some ways, it's necessary to live in it.  But yet, God expects us to be ready when he comes.  He expects us to be as excited as a bride, biding the time, waiting for her betrothed to come and consummate his promise to her, to take care of her until death do them part. 

For some reason, the details made it more tangible for me.  And i find myself thinking with almost a giddiness, about the fact that I am in this waiting period, knowing that at any moment, my beloved will return to take me home. Heaven.  Glory.  To sing Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord Almighty' with the angels, and the dolphins and the stars, forever....

Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dr. Jensen's Guide to Better Bowel Care, by Bernard Jensen

I've heard about Bernard Jensen for some time, and was excited to finally read one of his books.  I'd love to read a few others some day, but this is the only one I could find through my library.

Dr. Jensen's Guide to Better Bowel Care is just what is says.  It's a guide to taking care of your bowels.

He was a chiropractor for some time, but was frustrated that he could only provide his patients with temporary relief.  They all had to come back again and again. Man, I hear that frustration!  So, naturally, he started doing more research and ended up believing that the majority of modern diseases are due, in part, to a clogged, unhealthy colon.  Makes sense to me!

So, as most doctors in his situation, he came up with a protocol to help heal just such problems.  And eventually, he wrote a book about what he learned about it all.

As seems to nearly always be the case, he believes in a mostly vegetarian diet.  Protein and fat are evil, while in the same breath he acknowledges that they are necessary for life.  But, I was able to read and ignore what I thought was wrong, while enjoying the rest.

He starts out by sharing his story of learning and healing through bowel cleansing. And then he goes on to explain the biology of the colon. But in very readable terms.  He has a chapter on 'The Neural-Arc Reflex' , which is something he developed on his own.  It's really fascinating. He found that problems in various parts of the body were almost always associated with a problem in a certain section of the bowel.  And he found they corresponded to the development in the womb. It was pretty cool actually.  He had some pictures of fetal development and what parts of the body were connected to which parts of the bowel.

The scientific and clinical information was all very compatible and interesting. 

He has a 7 day Cleansing Program, which he suggests you follow up with a 7 week building and replacement program.  His cleanse uses a colema twice a day, with a bunch of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and herbs.  His building and replacement program includes regular colemas, and some other vitamins, minerals, etc, along with a mostly vegetarian diet. 

I really can't bring myself to use supplements for the most part. But it's fun to read these things and see what I have learned to include in our diets on a regular basis, that are similar in function.

He ends the book with nutritional info and some tips on fasting, etc.

I was fascinated by the colema concept.  It's basically like doing color hydro therapy at home.  It gets in further then the enema and you can expel at the same time as the water is coming.  Allowing for more of a 'flow' then just in, and then out.  Interesting....  It costs around $300, which is about the same as a few sessions.  It won't happen here, but I like the concept.

Did you know that the average bowel has 10 pounds of fecal matter encrusted on the side?  10 lbs!!!  That's a lot of extra weight, and causes a lot of extra toxins and damage to the entire body.  He talked about how some cadavers were cut open to see their large intestines, and the hole is supposed to be 12 inches in diameter, for the food to go through, but some were only 2 inches.  Yikes!

The diseases he associated with bowel disorder were numerous.  Asthma, hypertension, placenta problems, arthritis, cancer, psychological disorders, neurological disorders.  Everything is affected by the bowel.  If food is not digested properly, then the rest of the body does not get what it needs.  Plus, the bowel causes a lot of toxins to circulate through the body, rather then ushering it out as it's supposed to, which can cause problems anywhere in the body as well.

Here are some quotes I enjoyed:

'Some people will pay anything to get well after they have become sick.  However, we find that no matter how much money we may have, we cannot buy health.  It's not for sale by anyone at any price.  The truth is that you have to earn health.  You must work for it.'

'As a body becomes increasingly toxic, proper oxygenation cannot take place in the tissues.  Without oxygen, the body loses energy, and the tired body continues its downward spiral.  A tired body has a reduced ability to throw off toxins, which is why toxic sick people are always tired people.'

'After 23 years of observation, he concluded that toxemia of gastrointestinal-tract origin is the underlying cause of asthma.  Allan Eustis, M.D., said "I believe the results of treatment justify my position."'

'Intestinal toxemia and eclampsia in pregnancy are linked'

'Minerals are the most important structural elements in the body.  Although the majority of people think of vitamins and enzymes as being the most important nutrients required by humans, it is minerals that constitute the essential components of the structure of tissues.  Vitamins and enzymes facilitate chemical reactions and processes in the body, but do not constitute the structure of tissues.  Minerals, on the other hand, are the basic components of tissues.  Although your automobile certainly needs gasoline and oil in order to function, it's composition and strength are largely due to the steel and other structural materials.   When there is a structural failure, you need to replace a part, not just add fuel and oil'  Hence my objection to vegetarian diets.  The minerals and building elements are mostly found in animal food.  Without them, you can detox til you're gone, but there is no building up of the body, which is equally important. 

'Some health professionals believe that urine retention and its effects on blood chemistry may be linked to the beginning of arthritis and join troubles, esp as we grow older.  Circulation toxic materials tend to settle in the areas of the body farthest from the heart because the circulation is poorest there.  The toxins often affect the joins in the arms, legs, feet, and hands.  Arthritics usually complain of pain and stiffness in the extremities.'  His answer is to consume more good salt and less bad salt.

'Laxatives and pain relievers are the largest selling over-the-counter medications in America'.

'The colon is extremely sensitive and is influenced greatly by every emotion, both positive and negative.  It has been proven that unpleasant emotions can interfere with the peristalsis of the colon, regardless of how slight the excitement, anxiety, or apprehension is.  This is because the brain sends as well as receives nerve impulses.'

'Cancer and many other degenerative diseases develop more readily when the body's immune system is depressed.'  If we can help strengthen our kids' immune systems, we can help bring down their chances of cancer as adults.  Isn't that worth it?

'The major symptoms of ileocecal-valve dysfunction are low-back and hip problems, caused by the weakening of the muscles in the lower-right quadrant of the abdomen.  Varying consistency of the stool with a tendency toward diarrhea and dark circles under the eyes are also symptoms of a dysfunctional ileocecal valve.'  Hum... I wonder about this for me. I'll have to research that ileocecal-valve thingy.  My chiropractor seemed to think it could be an issue with me.  Where would I find information on that?!?

I wonder how many of today's symptoms could be fixed, or at least lessened, if we were to take better care of our colons.  Of course, I know the answer is MANY!

I shall carry on, trying to take care of my own and my families.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Power of A Wife

You know, I have been blown away by the power I have 'over' my husband.  Frankly, it's starting to scare me!  I finally gave up my need for power in the relationship, and decided I was willing to take my place in God's 'story' of life.  Even though it isn't really 'fulfilling' in the world-way, it is what God asked of me, so how could I say no.  And I sort of settled into the idea that Drew will make the decisions and wear the hat in the family.

It was relieving of sorts.  I was glad to have the burden off of my shoulder. 

But, after taking a deep breath and starting to relax, God started to show me that while I don't make the final decisions in this family any longer, I have a HUGE role to play in it none the less.

My role, besides the daily homemaking and training, is to make sure Drew's needs are being met, so that he is in a position to make the decisions that he needs to make.  And my goodness, the things that affect his decision-making are vast!  I started to realize what goes into my own ability to be wise and clear headed and disciplined.  Goodness, if I eat wrong, I'm a mess for a week, or year!  I get so grumpy with the kids and can barely survive, much less think ahead to problem solving to help them grow up to be who God wants them to be.  And forget about having the time and energy to prepare foods for us as we heal and grow physically! If I am hungry, or tired, again, forget it.  My life turns into one of survival, and little else. 

If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.  How VERY true that is!

We used to not be able to be in the same room together, as a family, until recently.  Without fighting and bickering and just overall misery.  But lately, we actually enjoy being together.  We have started playing games together and reading and actually interacting and creating good memories.  Not ALL the time mind you, but I see lots of good times finally.

And the difference I have seen that make in Drew is amazing!!  He will be responsible to God someday for his family, but yet he couldn't even be with his family because they were such a mess!

But, if I follow through on discipline, and take care of myself so that I have energy leftover, I can take care of the kids, and train them to become the people they need to be, so we can be together and actually have fun.  And then Drew is able to enjoy being with us, and get to konw the kids better and see what their needs are, and figure out how to help them.  We become a team and it's amazing!

Drew needs food, protein, red meat specifically.  Or his personality changes also.  I have come to realize that is actually very common in people, men esp.  Probably a blood sugar level thing actually.  Trying to make sure he has the food he needs, in the formats that he enjoys, is challenging, but doable.  He also needs to not eat things he he reacts to.  That is specific to each person of course.  His ability to function at work is dependent on his clear-headedness.  So what I feed him can even affect his job! 

Drew needs sleep.  Again, he can't function properly without it.  As it turns out, no human being can long-term.  Scarlett Pimpernel be damned!  So by protecting his sleep-time, I can help him to be the man God means for him to be.

Men have sexual needs, and in this world of constant sexual bombardment, it's important that we wives are aware of those and meet those as best we can.  And that includes emotional AND physical.

He needs to be respected.  It's in his dna, like it or not.  And he can't be who God wants him to be without his woman's respect.  Fair?  Maybe not, but it is the way it is.

He needs to have fun. He needs to relax and enjoy life sometimes.  So I need to make sure he has time 'built in', esp when he is having a hard time at work.  That he not feel guilty for needing some 'down time' before he watches the kids or fixes the door.  He needs to come home to a house that is calm and happy, not needy and psycho and moody.

He needs order and organization.  I am amazed at how much more likely we are to be creative and get along when the house is clean and orderly.  If it's a mess, somehow, we seem to fight more.  And we are in 'survival' mode.  But if things have a place, and things are mostly in their place, we just do so much better!  So while cleanliness and organization isn't necessary to godliness, it certainly helps in the day-to-day life.

He needs me to study him, daily, regularly, and find what his needs are, and find ways of meeting them, so he can be the man God wants him to be.

Really, it's a full time job! So much for sitting back and relaxing.  The final decisions may no longer rest on my shoulder, but I am responsible for practically every other step along the way it seems!

I sure am glad I'm not on my own here!  And, it does feel good to feel that I'm not just 'susie homemaker', but that what I do on a regular basis does make a difference today and forever.  Maybe only in the world of my 3 people, but if it's enough for God, it's enough for me.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Holistic Parenting, by Lynn Wiese Sneyd

I just 'happened' to see Holistic Parenting on the library shelf a few days ago and picked it up.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but figured I would at least learn something from a few of the chapters.

I did end up reading it through and enjoying it.  It's not written by a doctor, which was kind of refreshing.  It was written by a wife and mother who learned the hard way, that the body is designed to heal itself.  And will do so, if given the right conditions.

She gives some great info on what 'holistic' means.  I think, as Christians, it's a word we are afraid of, but really should take back from mainstream.  Holistic, as in 'whole', meaning, the whole body must be dealt with in any area of life.  Jesus grew in 'wisdom, stature and in favor with God and men'.  Our minds, bodies and emotions DO matter.  God made us humans in his image.  We can't concentrate on one area of our humanness, and ignore the rest.  Each must be considered within it's context.

She gives a brief history of health and medicine, discusses some herbal remedies that are more general in nature and using more common herbs.  And then she takes a chapter to discuss different 'branches' of holistic medicine, including: homeopathy, Ayurveda and nutrition.  She has a chapter on vaccines and one on holistic dentistry as well.

It was, I thought, a rather well-rounded overview of holistic body care.  She talks about the 'quack' mindset openly, which I appreciated.  Homeopathy is something I have found fascinating, for whatever reason.  I've read on it some and wish to read more.  I have not actually used any homeopathic remedies for myself or my family, but I'm definitely not opposed.  I just tend to study something until I get to a point of comfort, and then apply it, and I'm just not there yet.  But then, I must confess, I may never get there with homeopathy.  Because, it's not really possible to 'prove' it scientifically.  And it doesn't totally make sense in a practical way.  But, it does make sense in other ways.

Ayurveda and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is something I've found fascinating, but, like homeopathy, it's not really 'practical', so I've not done much with it.

But, one thing that I have come to appreciate about holistic, natural medicine is that it deals with the emotions as much as the body.  I do not believe that a person can heal, while living a hectic, rushed, stressed lifestyle.  It's just not possible.  And that is something that modern medicine doesn't really deal with much.  It's band-aid upon band-aid, without ever stopping to really get to the root of a problem. And getting to roots isn't easy or quick!  And, the 'root' of all human suffering is spiritual ultimately.  And while TCM/ayurveda does not point one to Christ, it at least points out that area is one that we have needs in, that must be met. 

I was also reminded about how I have come to see the body differently then I had in the past.  I used to believe, like most modern doctors, that symptoms are annoying and should be ignored or treated.  However, I have come, through my study of homeopathy and nutrition in general, that the symptoms are the bodies way of talking to us. And if we ignore it, bad things will happen.  Symptoms are a sign that there is something wrong . They are a clue, that we need to follow, to find the ultimate source of the problem.  So we can fix it at the root and not just the symptom.  So often, if we treat a symptom, that channel of detox and 'body language' simply moves to another symptom or part of the body.  It's a lot easier to just deal with it from the beginning, then to end up with a long trail of issues that need to be traced back later in life, after some serious illness has struck and modern medicine proves useless in helping. 

So, all of these things were brought to my attention by reading the book, and it was fun to see how far I've come in terms of over-all holistic care of our 'temples'.  We are to take care of them, and I think it's great to see how people have done so throughout the ages, and use what makes sense to us.  We are blessed to have a plethora of choices and examples and written words to choose from.  Although sometimes it seems a curse with all it's choices...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Family GAPS Day 3

Well, so far, so good.  The first day was actually sort of rough for all of us, but more of that 'walking around bored, so I want to eat something' feeling then actual sacrifice and suffering.  Plus, the kids and I were getting over colds, and at the end of our colds, Samuel and I get headaches and Myia gets an earache, so we were all feeling the affects of that. And Drew had fallen down the steps outside onto the cement the day before and banged up his knee really badly.  So that hurt every time he moved it. 

Oh, and we walked around asking 'how long before we can add ___ back in'-fill in the blank with: milk, corn tortillas, ice cream (Samuel) and Oreos (Drew).  But, no real detoxing that I noticed.

I mixed coconut oil with some vanilla and almond extract and poured it onto a cookie sheet and froze it, and then chunked it up and put it into a container.  Drew is going to try and take it before meals at home as a way of speeding up his metabolism.  I am going to take it as often as I remember, as it's good for so many things.  And the kids found it especially yummy on Monday, so they both ate quite a bit of it, more then I thought they could have stomached.  Before he went to bed that night though, Samuel complained of wanting to throw up and blamed it on the coconut oil.  I wonder if it caused a die-off in him that night.  The next morning he woke up late and tired and pale, but not too bad altogether.  Myia, on the other hand, woke up late and was pale as a ghost and went right to the bathroom and said she thought she was going to throw up.  But both drank carrot juice (the first thing we added back in on Day 2), mixed with kefir cream and had some soup, so I knew they were ok.  Myia would stand up and then complain of being dizzy, so she'd sit down again.  I get the same way, so I knew how she was feeling, and knew it was just detox and would pass.  Great spirits all around, no neauses or anything like that, so that really helps.  By lunch, they were both fine. 

Drew has not been missing his nicotine so far, but when he went to work yesterday, he thought all of the buses looked like loaves of bread.  And he found himself desperately wanting oreos.  Oreos-I guess he eats them more then I realize, from the vending machine at work.  He left his debit card and money at home, so he would not be able to get anything from the machine.  It's hard because we are still so limited, so it's hard to send snacks with him to work, and even the soup only stays warm for so long, so I can't send him with a lot of that.  I'm praying hard for the boy, I SO want him to succeed. But, to God be the glory no matter what happens.  Drew has done great so far and I see emotional battles being fought and won and I'm so proud of him!  I think we are going to take pictures of him every week and measure and weigh him, see if that can be one more little stepping stone toward success.  :) He also did have some IBS yesterday at work, we'll have to watch and see how he progresses, but I am going to continue adding in foods for now.  It will help him stick with it if he can have variety. 

I really have not had any cravings or issues so far.  My belly is still bloated and I still don't eliminate properly, but I feel like those will take a long time to heal, so I just need to be patient and carry on.  I'm so glad I'm well enough to contemplate the needs of my family and do my best to meet them. 

The kids and I are taking one detox bath a day.  We have gone through a lot of meat so far, but it's keeping us full, which really helps.  The kids are doing really well with the soups.  I have softened it all by allowing carrot juice throughout the day.  It's not cheap and it's a lot of work for me, but it's worth it. :)  Plus it's good for them also. A bonus. 

So far, we have had broccoli, cauliflower soup with meatballs, pepper sage soup with roast, beet soup with sausage, brussel sprout and sausage soup,  and broccoli mushroom soup with meatballs.  We add kefir cream to them (except Drew, he's not a fan of the cream added). And we have yogurt with cinnamon for a snack, and carrot juice with kefir cream or kefir.  Today we added egg yolks, so I added those to our soups and carrot smoothies.  I found it easiest to mix up 12 egg yolks and some kefir in the blender and then leave it in the fridge and just add to things as necessary.  Raw egg yolks that are not well blended have little stringy things that are yucky.

Since we all seem to be doing fine, I am going to add in avocados tomorrow. We just happen to have some ripe on the counter. :)  And we LOVE avocados.  We are all really wanting butter/ghee, but I am out of butter.  So tomorrow or Friday I plan on picking some up at Trader Joes and making 2 cups of ghee.  As best as I can... 

So, if all goes well,  I think we'll add in sauerkraut tomorrow-it's 2 months old, which means it's soft and easier to digest-and really yummy!.  And then Friday we'll add in gently fried eggs with some gently fried onions, as she suggests for Stage 3.  Saturday hopefully we'll have our ghee. 

After that, we'll maybe roast a chicken and enjoy that.  And then, we'll try the cooked apple.  She does suggest you add in pancakes for stage 3 and bread for stage 4, but since we've been bread free for so long, we won't miss them .  And I know nuts are a major problem with me, so I am going to hold on them a bit longer I think. 

After the apple, I hope to add some raw veggies and then berries and honey.  If all goes well, we'll be at full gaps then, and I'll start trying out 'nut goodies' and cheeses and 8 hour (versus 24 hour) fermented milk, and then non-fermented milk, and other foods that aren't on intro.  And then, slowly, add 'non-gaps' things into our diet, like maple syrup and molasses and popcorn and corn tortillas. And eventually, adding in rice cooked in broth and hopefully, someday, trying our hand at sourdough again,

So, that is the current long-range goal.  One new food a day, and watch for reactions, although I don't find it easy to see if we are reacting.  And since the foods are all good foods, I'm not going to stress too much about them.  We'll love the variety and I do believe that overall 'food heals'.  If I see an obvious reaction, we'll stop.  I also hope to maybe do only soups for 2 days a month, sort of a mini-intro. Also, I plan on soup being our main meal for the next 2 weeks, and after that, making sure we eat soup for one meal a day, plus a cup of broth or a sauce made from broth, with a 2nd meal every day.  And ferments with each meal, etc.  And kefir and egg yolk every day.  Basically, what we were last week.  Without the 'cheats'. 

I expect the kids and I can stick with it with little sacrifice.  Drew, however, will probably need to have things tweaked for him.  But we can do that, no problem!  I know that 2 weeks of this will go a long way toward healing Drew, and carrying on with our long-range goals will help the healing to continue. 

I just may need to find a substitute for his oreo craving quickly......
I'm thinking I might try macaroons for the cookie (he prefers the uh-oh Oreos) and chocolate butter frosting for the inside.  Hum...... 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Family GAPS Day 1

Well, I have been reading and dreaming about doing gaps as a family for 3 1/2 years now.   Ok, so when I posted the previous post, I hadn't heard of gaps yet, but it was my start toward learning the principles of taking care of our bodies. 

And I have spent the last 3 years reading and learning, and applying it all, to our lives, as best as possible, without 'going crazy' over it all (ok, so most people in my life would disagree with the 'not going crazy' thing, but really, I have taken it slowly, all things considered).  I've consciously made long-term changes in our diet, rather then sudden ones, that we couldn't maintain.  I don't want to do things in fits and starts.  If it's true, then I want to do it.  If it's not, then why bother? 

I have planned on doing gaps every 6 months or so, for the last 2 years.  But I never felt, when it came time, that we were ready for it.  I saw too many changes that needed to happen, for us to be able to carry it out long term.  So, I made more smaller changes, taking us in the general direction, instead. 

Finally, I feel/think, that we are ready for it. Well, the kids and I anyway.  Drew's comment 'I like cookies, a lot'. :)  He has sooo many other challenges that I have not been able to work out.  Whereas, the kids and I have dealt with so many issues, physical, spiritual, emotional, etc.  That we are ready, I believe. 

It's never safe to have 'expectations' of something like this, but yet, it's natural.  At this point, I think/hope that the kids and I are not all that toxic anymore, and I even suspect that our leaky guts have mostly healed, and that our candida is mostly under control.  So I don't expect major die-offs for us.  Just normal, minor die off. I suspect that our biggest issues are just needing our organs and internal everything, to be renewed with properly functioning cells.  And, for our digestion to improve.  Which means getting our digestive tract in order with working cells and the right flora. 

Of course, I could be just really, really hoping for all of that to be true. :)  I don't really know of course. 

Drew, on the other hand, I can't even begin to guess.  He needs to stop smoking, amongst other things.  But, for him, I have been really praying that God would give me wisdom to help him along.  And I feel we need to really focus on the 'adding in the good', rather then keeping out the bad.  Small, baby steps in the right direction.  He has so many temptations and hurdles in a day, that the kids and I just don't have to deal with.  And I want this to be positive, not negative, for him.  He really has come a long ways, and anything he does with us will be good.  

God is such an amazing, gracious God and he gave me the greatest gift last night.  I was nervous about starting (I still am, to be sure) the diet today, and just not having peace about it.  But then, it's hard to know if it's the Holy Spirit leading, or just laziness, in a case like this.  I had the opportunity to attend a worship night at my church last night.  They don't have those often, and I was hoping to get the kids to come.  But God knew I just needed that hour with Him and I, to deal with some heart issues.  And He did, He really did!  My heart was hard and I was worried about the diet not turning out the way I want, and others pointing fingers and saying 'see, I told you so'.  And I knew it was pride.  But I didn't know how to get rid of it. 

So God, in his grace, reminded me over and over again, that EVERYTHING is done for his glory.  And any healing that comes from my family and I doing gaps, comes ultimately, because of Him.  To God be all the glory, great things he has done.  It's not gaps healing us, it's not me healing us, it's not even the food healing us, but rather, it's God healing us.  He can use any medium he chooses, to do his will. 

I was reminded of the past year and how much we have all grown in all areas of our life.  And how God has been glorified through it all.  I was reminded that He is in charge of everything.  And that I don't get any glory, that gaps doesn't get any glory, and, the flip side to that, is that I don't need to feel any pressure that it all turn out perfectly either. 

I have a peace that God has shown me the general principles of how to care for our bodies, and that He has helped me apply those principles to my family.  And that is exactly the job he has for me at the moment.  It's not a science, but more of an art, and he has graciously helped me along.  And will continue to do so. 

So when I start to panic about the coming few months and the sacrifices we will have to make, I think back to my mantra for the year 'To God be the Glory'.  And I relax and realize that all that really matters, is that we give God the glory for everything.  That we seek Him in all we do.  I can do that!  The rest is just details.

So, the details so far are...I am picking a 'soup du jour' and cooking one big old pot the night before, with meat and veggies and herbs.  And we shall consume that all day.  We are starting every morning with warm water with lemon and probiotics as NCM suggestions (we do not have probiotics, but are using whey from 24 hour fermented yogurt), and then doing soups.

I am not positive about what we are adding in every day . Today it's just soup with kefir sour cream and the kids have both sipped a bit of beet kvass.  I hope to continue that, and add in carrot juice tomorrow, and then yogurt and then ghee, and then egg yolk, and then kraut.  I'll take it day by day, but go by the principles of gaps for adding in the easiest to digest and most healing foods first.  And we will watch for reactions along the way and just take it day by day.  I suspect we will miss the milk, honey, fruit and corn tortillas most.  But I hope it doesn't take too long to add them back in.

I'm so thankful I did the intro in November.  I feel I did a lot of healing then and got a better idea of what it looks like.  I am still eliminating on my own daily, and my itching is so much better.  I am sleeping great for the most part, and my moods are more stable.  My bones still feel good and I don't get many aches.  My main issues are that I pee at least every few hours, 24 hours a day, and that is not normal!  I still have terrible acne and I need to have my elimination better still. 

So, here goes.  To God be the glory, great things he is doing this year.  I 'hope' I know what he is doing, but even if I don't, I KNOW He will be glorified in our lives, and that is all I NEED for the year. 

Our 2011/2012 School Year-Review

Well, we are close to the half-way point for school.  The holidays are over and it is back to a routine soon hopefully.    But, I thought it would be a great time to post my schedule and thoughts on it so far. This is my 'projected' plan for the year.  And while I'm not fully on target, I'm happy with where we are so far.

Our current schedule looks like this:

Mondays: Breakfast and read Manners, chores, Children Just Like Me, Egermeiers, Saxon Math, Read a book out loud to kids and do book report if appropriate.  I also started with a movie on Monday nights, but our computer doesn't work well enough for them anymore, so that will have to wait until we get a new computer.

Tuesdays: Breakfast and read Manners, chores, Children Just Like Me, copy a Scripture verse of my chosing, Saxon math, Moody Science DVD (now put on hold because even Drew's dvd drive on his laptop won't work anymore-grr), read from our current book. 

Wednesdays: Breakfast, read Manners, chores, Children Just Like Me, Egermeiers, drawing (we take turns choosing an origami or drawing from a children's draw book), Story of the World.

Thursdays: Breakfast, read Manners, chores, Children Just Like Me, copy Scripture verse, Saxon Math, Geography from The Core, and read a book.

Fridays: Breakfast, read Manners, chores, Children Just Like me, Egermeiers, Saxon Math and read.

I am generally able to have breakfast cleaned up, chores done and school started by 9ish, and we go until about 11.  At which point I start preparing lunch.  The kids help with that some.  We do not read often in the afternoons, but sometimes we will.  We also generally make it to the library once a week. 

What I have NOT done yet is to implement the math facts or much for games in the afternoon.  And we have not yet gotten the pass to Liberty Science Center.  I'll probably be more motivated to do that when it gets cold and we get bored.

There is still lots I want to implement, but I love this general outline and look forward to adding things in, esp as other ends.  The Manners book is about half done, and the Children Just Like Me is close to being done. So I hope to simply put in other things in their place. I would like to do more with music somehow.  Also the books we read I try to really rotate.  History, biographies, fun, mystery, science, etc. That is where most of our learning will come from.

We sit around the table for all of it except the reading.  For that I lay on the couch or bed, while the kids either snuggle with me or sit on the floor.  I am keeping a list of all the books we read this year.  I have a binder for both of them, and in that I keep all of the book, video and trip reports, along with their scripture copying, some math pages and drawings, etc.  I am also organized enough this year that I keep a daily calender and fill in all that we do for school and otherwise, and at the end of the month, I copy it and put one in each binder.  I really feel so much more organized this year then last.  So far, Myia has a binder for kindergarten, 1st, 2nd and now 3rd.  Samuel has one for kindergarten and 1st.  I will keep them easily available for them to look through at any time.  As they get older, I will need to get bigger binders most likely. 

I hope to continue as we have been, always sharpening and strengthening our schedule, but also sticking with the general outline.  It's working well for us and I'm very thankful for that!

Happy New Year!!