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Posts from the ‘Health’ Category

You Know What I Love About….

Essential Oils?

I love that my husband and kids do not ask for Tylenol, Ibuprofen, allergy meds, antibiotic ointment, etc.

Noah:  Mom, my nose is running.  Do you have a potion for that?

Me:  Yep, get the allergy roller bottle out and rub it in your hands and then put some on a tissue and smell it.  It will dry you up.  Also, get the immune roller and put it on your feet, just in case.

**I also get the onguard going in the diffuser with peppermint, lavender, breathe, and lemon in case it is a cold.**


G:  Mom, these zits are out of control.  Do you have an oil for that.

Me:  Yep, get the acne roller and put it on your face morning and night.  It will dry it up.


Alyssa:  Mom, can you put your oils in my shampoo to help my hair grow.

Me:  Yep.


Victoria:  Mom, I am struggling with my moods…can you make me a roller bottle?

Me:  Yep.


Big Daddy:  Brandi, can you make my knee medicine and then something for my goatee to be better.

Me:  Yep.


Hunter **after he saw my incisions from my surgery**:   Mommy, put some oils on your belly and you will feel better.

Hunter **before bed**:  Mom, can I have some oil on my wrists?


I have a wart…..Frankincense

I have skin tags….Frankincense

My arthritis is acting up….I need a roller bottle….panaway

I’m bleeding…..get the lavender.

Mom, we are out of cleaner…I’ll grab the vinegar and your oils.

My tooth hurts…I’ll grab the clove.

I have a belly ache…..Digestzen


Am I using oils to replace doctors?

Heck no.

We go to eye drs, regular drs, pediatricians, clinics, dentists, chiropractors….we go to them all and they take good care of us, but reality is is that Hunter cannot be around places like that because we have to do our best to keep him well.  When he is sick, his OMS rages like an angry lion and that leads to hospital stays, more chemo, more steroids, more IVIG and I do not want that for my 3 yr old.

Do oils heal everything?

That, I do not know.  All I know is that God is the Ultimate Healer and Physician.  I also know that I can take care of a lot of things here, from the privacy of my own home. When I can’t, I head to those that I entrust my children too.

This is not for everyone and I’m certainly not telling anyone how to live their lives and I am no doctor.

I am simply a mom…..trying to save money (hospital stays and chemo), do what is best for my family, eradicate the chemicals from my home, and do my best.

I have some Young Living, Doterra, Rocky Mountain Oils, Eden’s Garden, Puritan’s Pride, Fabulous Frannie, and Simply Earth oils.  All of these have passed the purity test EXCEPT Rocky Mountain Oils and it leaves a pretty good size oil stain….so there you have that.  Any questions…just ask 🙂

**Disclaimer:  I DO NOT sell them.  I am not brand loyal, though I do buy a brand and then I test it for purity.  If it is not pure….I don’t buy it anymore.  If it is, I count it a good day.**

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I Went to the Enemy’s Camp….

Well, I went to the enemy’s camp and

I took back what he stole from me (my marriage)

I took back what he stole from me (my children)

I took back what he stole from me (my depression)

I went back to the enemy’s camp and

I took back what he stole from me (OMS, RAD, FASD, ADD, ADHD BRAIN DAMAGE, PTSD)

You know

He’s under my feet

He’s under my feet

Satan is under my feet.

I went to the enemy’s camp and

I took back what he stole from me (my children’s mental health)

I took back what he stole from me (my child’s learning disabilities)

I took back what he stole from me (my relationships with family and friends)

I went to the enemy’s camp and

I took back what he stole from me

You know

He’s under my feet

He’s under my feet

Satan is under my feet

I went to the enemy’s camp and

I took back what he stole from me (our finances)

I took back what he stole from me (my fears)

I took back what he stole from me (my life)

I went to the enemy’s camp and

I took back what he stole from me

You know

He’s under my feet

He’s under my feet

Satan is under my feet

Meal Planning: Off Schedule

I am a creature of habit and I have a slight OCD problem.  If I set something up, I want to follow it to a tee and if I don’t….it sends my innards into a free for all and I end up with a belly ache.

Yes….I realize that is an issue and I need to relax a bit.

This weekend, Big Daddy is sacrificing his time with us to work some overtime.  So, it is me and the kids.  That automatically throws my mojo off.  Saturdays are family time, honey do lists time, and me do whatever I’m itching to do at the moment.  Today, I’m parenting alone, making grocery lists, working on my weeks menu, going to the grocery, going to the bank (if there is time because I am procrastinating), dealing with stitches, and adult children moments.

With that I am throwing caution to the wind and I’m using up the last of my freezer meals and I’m throwing in an old childhood favorite my mom used to make.  I will have little grocery shopping to do, as I premade a whole lot of breakfast items, I do not have to buy much in the way of that (except milk and yogurt).  Lunch stuff…well, when you homeschool, that is *always* needed, but there are days, like today, that we have leftovers.  That helps.  This week, we probably won’t have any leftovers because my children are ravenous and they think they are always starving.  I still have a thing of spaghetti sauce I made and froze.  There are also 2 huge packs of chicken breasts that I need to thaw and boil.  Always always ALWAYS save your broth.  You can freeze it in mason jars and save it for soups.

MENU

Pasta Casserole (freezer meal) and french bread

Pizza

Mom’s Tacos (I probably have not had these in 30 years….I am stoked)

Doro Wot & Injera for some….others will have baked chicken, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole

Creamy Tuscan Garlic Tortellini Soup & Chili

Mississippi Roast, Mac & cheese, roasted italian potatoes, and corn

What’s on tap for your family, this week?

Turning the Page of a Book to a New Chapter

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Welcome to this new chapter.  I could’ve cropped this picture to show a close up of my baby’s beautiful smile, but when I saw his hands….I thought….nope, this is real life.  Behind that smile is fear, excitement, worry, anticipation, exhaustion, and hunger.

My baby came to us when he was 5 yrs old, after a long intense battle to bring him to America.  Being a child of color, older, and a boy his odds were against him ever getting adopted.  See, little black girls turn into sweet gorgeous black women.  Little black boys turn out to be thugs, murderers, etc.  There is a sad stigma and that does not mean it is just in America.  There is racism in the country of Ethiopia as well.  If a male child is 3 or younger and “caramel” colored….he is a good child to be adopted.  If a male child is 4 or above and darker….well….that is a lot of odds.

How can one look at that face, those eyes, that smile and say he is going to be ANYTHING but a child of the King and a warrior for His kingdom.  This baby………….this baby………..I cannot even.  My heart simply bursts with love, pride, gratitude, and thankfulness for what the Lord did in our story.  I seriously cannot even.

We did not know he was deaf for almost a whole year LOL.  He was learning the language and learning how to live in a family and acclimate to the USA.  That was his only job.  To learn to be loved, to know he is safe, to help him with his loss and grief of not being with his family and his beautiful country.  He was, at one point, trilingual.  He was LOUD.  He could speak and worked hard at his broken English until he mastered it.  After almost 6 yrs, he stills says a few words wonky LOL.

On his birthday, my mom calls to sing to all the kids.  She always calls in the morning.  I answered the phone and I knew it was her, so I went ahead and called him upstairs and I handed him the phone.  Now, remember, he is an Ethiopian who had only be home for 8 mths.  I put the phone up to his right ear so he could listen to her sing.  When I did, he said “mommy…I no hear in that ear.”  I laughed and said he was a funny boy and I put then phone up to his right ear again.  He said “mommy, I no hear in that ear.”  He switched ears and smiled as she sang.  He is a man of little words so as he was grinning (he thought she could see his approval), he handed me the phone.  I was sitting there, with my mouth opening, looking at him like he an eyeball that had just sprouted up on his forehead.  I held the phone and I could hear my mom speak, but all I could say was “what do you mean you can’t hear in that ear?”  He said “I no hear in that ear.”  I could’ve caught flies with my mouth.

I put the phone to my ear and said “Martha….he says he can’t hear out his right ear….I gotta go and figure out what the heck he is talking about.”  We got off the phone and I looked him square in the eyes and said “WHAT THE HECK DO YOU MEAN YOU CAN’T HEAR OUT OF THAT EAR?”  He took his hands….clapped them on my cheeks…pulled my face nose to nose with his face and said “MOM, I NO HEAR OUT OF THAT EAR.”  I asked if he heard out of that ear in Ethiopia….he just waved his hand like it was nothing and he said “No.  I no hear in that ear in Etopia (that is how he pronounced it).”

I think I sat there staring at him for 30 minutes.  I’d plug one ear and talk…he could hear me.  I would plug the other ear and talk….he could hear me.  I did not get it.  At all.  I turned all the fans on, made him turn around, and I whispered…he heard me.  I am stumped.  In a last ditch effort to understand what was going on, I got in the van with him, turned up the radio, lowered all the windows and whispered…he heard me.  Either he was insane or I was insane.

I took him to an ENT.  We did hearing tests…he was in the “sound proof” booth and the lady said some words and he repeated while one or the other ear was plugged….he did it.  She said he was fine.  In another moment of “I am such a bad parent because if he is hard of hearing in that ear, I didn’t know and didn’t do anything about it but the audiologist said he was fine but I want a second opinion from a friend because she is good at what she does and she is free and I will leave this alone if she tells me that he is fine I will just assume I am nuts and he is nuts and we are all just nuts.”  Yes….that is the long run on sentence that took place in my head.

I headed to see my friend Susan Brown.  She did all her of her initial stuff and then put him back in the booth.  I sat in the booth with her.  This time, was different.  She said things, but she covered her mouth.  When she did that, we discovered that he is stone cold deaf in his right ear.  See…..what I didn’t realize was that he was reading my lip and everyone else’s lips.  Most people are deaf from either their outer ear to their eardrum OR from the eardrum to their brain.  Jude is deaf from the outer eardrum to the brain.  He has all the mechanics of a “good” ear….he is just deaf.  We are guessing he was born this way, which explains SO much.

When I took him from Susan to the NEW ENT…Jude was pretty stoked.  I told him we were going to see Dr. Jones.  With his wide eyes….he said “we are going to see DR JONES?”  I said yes we are…he is going to check your ears.  I asked why he was looking at me like that and he said “Dr. Jones?  As in Indiana Jones?”  I smiled and said “No, Dr. Shawn Jones.”  Let down.

As we were talking, I asked Dr. Jones if this could be hereditary?  He said it could be and why do I ask.  I explained to him that my mom was born without a bone in her ear and that she was deaf.  I told him that she had surgery and they placed a metal plate in there and now she can hear.  At that moment, the dr was staring at me, the nurse was staring at me and Jude was silent.  I couldn’t figure out the silence.  Dr. Jones leaned WAY in to me and he said “Brandi, is your mom black?”  I said “No.  She is a little short redhead, why are you asking me if she is black?”  He smiled and said “Brandi….your son is black.”  Duh…..I forgot.  I don’t think about things like that so I was felt pretty stupid.

Well, after many visits, many types of hearing aids that did not work….learning some sign language to help him in crowds…..5 years later…..yesterday was the day we turned the page to a new chapter.

Yesterday, we were in Louisville for Dr. Severtson to perform a BAHA surgery.  Now, normally this surgery would have a titanium screw and in about 6 mths or so, once it is healed, you *snap* a hearing aid on behind your ear.  The sound bypasses the ear canal and goes straight to the brain.  The post requires A LOT of attention and maintenance.  We were going to do that because, the older Jude gets, the more it bothers him about his hearing.  I get that.  Our dr was recently approved to do a new type of BAHA hearing aid.  Instead of the titanium screw, he put in a magnet.  This takes 2-3 mths to settle in and heal.  Once that is healed, we go back for the processor.  His hearing aid will also have a magnetic on it and it will just stick to his head, behind his ear and it does the same as the original.  This is good because there is zero maintenance.  You get your processor quicker.  He is the first in our area to receive it, so we can hopefully help other families.  More importantly, he will be able to hear out of both ears for the first time in his life.  How freaking cool is that.

The recovery is not fun.  He has to keep his head wrapped for 3 days and not wash his hair for a week or so, but in the end…..it will be awesome and that is what I have to remind him.

I am so stinking excited.  He is excited too, but he is hurting pretty good and his incision site itches….which is driving him bonkers.  All in all……welcome to his new and improved HEARING story 🙂

Pretty Successful Baking Day

I got quite a bit done on my baking day, yesterday.  Hunter helped me line the muffin tins (he did three…Noah did 33 LOL).  He was quick to be done because it was boring to him.  Oh well…no harm no foul.  I bribed him to naptime with a banana muffin.  It worked.  So everyone is thrilled.

BANANA BREAD MUFFINS

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**You can put this in a loaf pan.  Also, I doubled this recipe to make more cause I had lots of bananas.**

2 c. self rising flour

1 c. sugar

1/4 c. butter, softened

2 eggs

3 ripe bananas

1/3 c. plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)

1 tsp. vanilla

I put all of this together in my giant mixer and I just let it mix.  I used a 1/4 measuring cup to dole it out into the the muffin tins.  With DOUBLING this recipe, I made 42 muffins.  I baked them at 350 for between 12-15 minutes.  I do not fill all the way up to the top because they will rise (hence the self rising flour)….I do about 1/2 full.

LEMON POPPYSEED MUFFINS

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**Again, I doubled**

2 c. self rising flour

1 T. poppy seeds

1/2 c. butter

1 c. sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp lemon extract OR the zest of 1 lemon

1 c. yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)

2 tsp. vanilla

Throw it all together and I did the same as above.  The only major difference I saw was that this batter is DENSE.  Because it was dense, I did fill them about 3/4 the way full.  They do NOT need to be filled more than a 1/2.  I could have stretched this out to maybe 36 muffins but you live and you learn.  I ended up making 24 muffins, which is fine but I could have stretched it.  These would be good with a powdered sugar glaze or a lemon glaze over them…..

BREAKFAST BURRITOS

1 lb of sausage

Bacon

18 eggs

Splash of milk

Colby Jack (or any cheese for that matter)

Spinach (optional)

Flour taco shells

I first chopped up my bacon finely and got that moving and grooving.  Then I added my sausage.  You can add seasoning, but our bacon is extremely salty, so I did not need to add anymore to eat. I also added my sausage.  If your sausage and bacon are store bought…might want to drain it.  Ours is “homegrown” so there is no fat.

While that was cooking away, I got all my eggs in my mixing bowl and I add a splash of milk (that’s how my Granny did it).  I poured it on top of the sausage and let it start cooking.  I then finely chopped my spinach and throw that in there.

Once it was all cooked up, I put about 2 good tablespoons in the center of my flour tortilla and added some cheese.  I rolled it up burrito style and I lined a baking sheet with them.  Once my baking sheet was full, I put them in the freezer to “flash freeze” them.  I do this so they will not stick together in my bag.  I will wrap them individually in saran wrap and then put them in a gallon sized freezer bag.

This made 48 burritos.

APPLESAUCE OATMEAL CINNAMON MUFFINS

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*I did not double*

1 1/2 c. oats

1 1/4 c. self rising flour

1/2 c. brown sugar

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 c. applesauce

1/2 c. milk

3 T. oil

1 egg white

TOPPING

1/4 c. oats

1 T. brown sugar

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

1 T. butter, melted

Mix the muffin ingredients and put them in your muffin tins.  Sprinkle the topping over it.  Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Chocolate Muffins

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**I doubled this**

1 1/3 c. self rising flour

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. cocoa

1 c. milk

1/2 c. butter, melted

Next time I will add in shredded zucchini and oats cause this stuff is GOOD and I can hide all the “healthy” stuff and my kids will never know.

Mix it all together and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

GRANOLA

3 c. oats

3 T. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 c. honey

1/4 c. oil

1 tsp. vanilla

**add nuts, seeds, or dried fruits**

Mix all together and bake at 300 for 5-15 minutes.  Be sure and stir often to prevent burning.  It will chunk up, so once dried, just take a fork and unchunk it.

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147 muffins. 48 breakfast burritos. gallon baggie of granola later…… I am done.

Where to Go From Here

Today is Friday….Friday’s are typically spent with my Lady.  I would head over to her house a little before lunch and we would either eat there or go out….that began our day together.  Once we were done eating, I would get some laundry started or get started on her “Brandi do” list.  Don’t get me wrong…I love to organize and I love her and I would do anything she asked me to do….and I did LOL  Once those little things were done, we would head to her chair and I would head to mine and we would sit……..we would talk……I would cry……..she would pray…..she would teach me.  I would head home about 4, get supper started and then head back over there to bring her supper.   Somedays I would eat with her and somedays I would drop it off and head on home.

Now.

I sit here, at my table, eating a salad……alone…..

We buried my Lady yesterday.  It was a day we were all dreading but we knew that that is what she wanted…to be with her hero and her Jesus.  We all know that she would never come back to this fallen earth….that she would simply wait till our room was ready and she would meet us at the pearly gates.

Her service was beautiful.  I was honored that I was asked to sit with the family, though I am not blood.  This family took me in, like their own and loved me.  I am thankful for her boys Joe David and Doug.  I’m thankful for their wives Esther and Luanne.  I’m thankful to the two grandkids that I have met Devon and Chelsea…..then there is Caden, Abigail, Colton, and a new one on the way.  I had the privilege to meet her brother and his wife and her nieces and nephews at the funeral.

Her precious friend did the service and he did exactly as she asked.  Make it a celebration of life and not a free for all cry session….oh, and be sure you talk about the plan of salvation.  Her constant prayer was that everyone come to know her friend, Jesus.  She was pretty special like that.

Our friendship was rare…..so many people have “acquaintances” but that is as far as it goes.  We had a closeness that cannot be described.  She knew my EVERYTHING and I knew her EVERYTHING.  She caught me by surprise one time, during her hospital stay…a nurse asked a standard question and she answered it in a way that I was not expecting.  Once the nurse left…I got all up in her stuff and I said “Faithie….are you sure you did that, for that long?”  She smiled and said yes but she was not proud of it.  I asked her how I never knew that and she said that that was something I did not need to know LOL.  You could’ve knocked me over with a feather.

Our relationship shifted a bit after her stroke in 2015.  I did more of the housework and I took care of her needs a bit more, but that did not diminish what she did for me.  She taught me how to live life to the fullest.  How to love my husband and my Jesus without reservation.  How to parent and make cornbread.  How to get out stains like a beast.  How when she called and said “Brandi…when you have time….” I never heard the rest of the sentence.  My kids knew if she needed me, I would go.  I’m blessed to have older children who can watch the younger children.  I’m also blessed my kids loved her so deeply and she loved them.  I would always tell her, I’m on my way.  I would always try to hide my grin or my gaping mouth when I would walk in and see what it was that she needed….once she flooded her kitchen LOL….what was she thinking????

Everything I did for her…..I did it with joy in my heart and love.  Whether it was hauling her somewhere, filing her toenails, cleaning up, sitting with her…so many sleepless nights.  It was absolutely and honor and a joy to be in her presence.  It was always and will always be my pleasure….there was never an I’m too tired, I’d rather not, can someone else do it, it can wait…”  I just did it because she needed it.

I will never have another relationship like I had with her.  I have close friendships and I treasure them…..but she was my everyday.  There will never be another Ms Jo, Josephine, Faithie, my Lady………….

There is a giant hole in my heart……..one that will never be filled.  Jesus did good when He allowed our paths to cross.  He knew I needed her and He knew she needed me.

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I’m Ready for my Rainbow

I posted something on FB the other day stating what all we had coming up, as a family.  There was my surgery, Hunter’s IVIg treatment, Jude’s surgery, my daughter coming home after 22 weeks at military school, my Lady’s health, and the sentencing of my niece.  A lady said that with all that, that means you are due a rainbow.

Well….rainbow…..it is time for you to show the heck up.

I *need* a rainbow.

Since about April or March of 2015…the Lord turned my life upside down and inside out.  If it could go wrong, it went wrong.  He took what I thought was a firm foundation and He shook it to the core of my being.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve learned a lot but I’m over it and now I just want my rainbow…..I really really do.

When the first massive (and no I am NOT exaggerating) thing happened…..I thought my world just stopped spinning.  I remember that day, like it was yesterday.  I was doing some cleaning up of things and I came across something that took my stomach from its normal residence down to the bottom of my feet and then back up to the top of my head.  I remember telling myself to “stay calm.”  You do not know that this is true so do not make assumptions.  I restrained myself when I called someone up to talk with me.  The question I asked….the answer I got….then the truth came out.  Then, I had to start all over with another person and do the same thing over again.  I remember falling to my knees and making a noise that sounded like a wounded animal.  I could not get my breath.  I could not stop crying.  I just crumpled myself while the other parties sat and looked helpless at the revelation.  My heart was ripped out of my chest and shattered that day.  The Lord has been gracious in putting my heart back together, but it will never be the same as it was that day.

Once I got my bearings about me, I ran out of the room and I got in my van and I headed to the one place that was my safety.  My Lady’s house.  I knocked on her door and I heard her yell “I’m coming!”  I stood there….frozen.  She opened the door and she just looked at me and I crumpled in her arms wailing.  I could not even form words.  She gently guided me to her dining room table and I laid my head in her hands….she never asked anything….she just simply prayed over me.  Once I could pull myself together, I told her what had happened.  She never showed emotion (other than her hurting because I was hurting)….she just loved me.  She loved the people who had hurt me so deeply.  She continued to pray and she called a beloved friend of all of ours and she simply said “can you please go here and do this and this.”  Our friend never missed a beat…..he did what she asked.  He knows everything and he has never ever judged or condemned any party.  He has simply loved, counseled and prayed over everyone involved.

The love my Lady has for my family is unspeakable.  It is pure, unconditional, and honest.  Believe me, she cleans my clock when I am in the wrong and she does it with a smile on her face and Jesus in her heart.  She is my person…….plain and simple.  Her guidance, through this all, is why I still am where I am and why I didn’t allow satan to make a horrible situation even worse.  I did not fall into the flesh and do what I wanted to do….I did as I was guided through intense prayer, accountability for all that was a part of this, ejecting things out of my life (though painful), and learning to live without those damn rose colored glasses…….

It has taken time to forgive….time I cannot get back but then again, the time was necessary in my healing process.  A line was drawn in the sand, that day.  A line that no party wants crossed because if it is crossed, the outcome will be way different than it was in 2015.  Forgiveness is not about giving the people who hurt me permission to do so.  It is about releasing the shackles from my feet so that I can dance.  It is about not letting satan take a moment of flesh to dictate my, or the other parties involved, future.  It is about being obedient to Jesus dying on the cross….forgiving with His last breath.

I still have moments of “what are you doing, what are you hiding, are you lying to me.”  But they are fewer and further between.  I am not perfect.  I have to remind myself that I have forgiven, in Jesus’ Name, and I’m not allowed to throw this topic up when it suits me or when I want to feel “justified” about something.  I am NOT a victim because I actively choose joy.  I actively choose obedience.  I actively choose to take that next right step, which is shown by the Light at my feet.

Once this issue was “resolved” (I say that in quotes because I still struggle, still have trust issues, still have nightmares but I believe I have forgiven)….our world was rocked again.  Rocked in a sad heart tugging way that not many people truly understand….till tomorrow, friends and neighbors.

Gearing Up

Since I did my Once a Month Cooking Session, back in July, I’m ready to start again.  I have had a hysterectomy since then, so one week of recovery also included generous folks helping a girl out and bringing supper to my crew.  So very thankful…..I have thoughts on that, but I will save that for another day.

My youngest has also had his second round of IVIG (immunotherapy) for his OMS (Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome), so he has had a bit of a set back…also, my daughter, who was in military school for 22 weeks), also came home.  Also, my sweet Lady is hanging on, so I am trying to spend as much time as I can with her before the Lord has her room ready.  I’m SO thankful that her boys are home (one lives out of state and one is recovering from a massive accident).  She loves them so deeply and it is such a joy to be a fly on the wall with these two…and their sweet wives 🙂  She also was a proud great Granny Jo again, when her granddaughter had her latest bundle of joy.  Lots of joy in the midst of life.  So lots going on, as usual.  It has been an adjustment with me just being tired and sore, Hunter being wobbly and unsteady, and G learning how to be a part of this family, me trying to stay with my Lady as I can…..so we have been keeping our heads down and just muddling through.

I do have food leftover from the last time (I know, right LOL)….so I do have a “base” of what I’m working with.  I am switching up suppers and such (using my PINTEREST boards).  As I cook, if I do not like a recipe, I immediately delete it and add a new one to replace it.  There was a pork quinoa recipe that was like eating the treads off a car…..sadly, I have another one of those, frozen…I’ll be thawing that sucker out and giving it to the chickens…I love my family *too* much to feed them that again.

What I will do, this time around, is cook this weeks of menus and double it.  We will eat on one set of meals and the other will be used either as we need it (aka when I’m over it and still have to feed the people who live in my house) or save it till for week 14 of the New Year (Weeks 14 & 40 are the same).  We shall see.

I still have the following frozen dishes:

Chicken wrapped in bacon (mashed potatoes and peas)

Cheeeseburger soup and Chili

Breakfast Casserole

Stuffed Pepper Soup and Enchilada Soup

Baked Chicken legs (roasted Italian potatoes and cauliflower/broccoli au gratin)

Mexican Lasagna

Spinach Mexican Lasagna

For this week….I am making (doubling):

Pizza

Tacos

Minestrone Soup and Creamy Tuscan Garlic  Tortellini Soup

Mississippi Roast (sour cream and cheddar mashed potatoes, Mac & cheese, Zucchini)

Buttery Garlic Herb Chicken & Zucchini (Au gratin potatoes, prosc. wrapped asparagus)

Cowboy Casserole (Corn Pudding & Lima Beans)

I am also going to see if my budget stretches to Weeks 15 & 41 to cook a bit more and freeze a bit more.

On tap for that is:

Pizza

Hamburgers/hotdogs/fries

Easy Lo Mein (with Egg Drop Soup)

Chicken Parmesan Soup & Asiago Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Soup

Skillet Chicken with Garlic Herbed Butter Sauce (crispy garlic smashed potatoes, green bean casserole)

Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti (Bread and salad)

My grocery list will be on tomorrow’s post (I hope).  I will also include any breakfast or lunch freezer meals.

7 Best Ways to Rest….

7 best ways to rest when you have a lack of free time

“Relaxation” is such a sweet word. What associations come to mind when you hear this word? Peace, sleep, warmth, recovery, energy, health, pleasure… First, you should believe in the existence of a quick rest; yes, it does exist. Every day in a hurry, a dull routine of work, this is a reality of a modern person. At the end of the day, you flake out like a squeezed lemon, cursing everything in the world. Meanwhile, it has already been proven that rest increases productivity. Such a recreation does not require large expenses or special equipment. Maybe you won’t believe, but you may find a lot of things to help you relax. Here you will find the most effective and the easiest relaxation tips.

  1. Water treatments

Baths are probably the most pleasant way of body relaxation. Fill the tub with warm water and add a few drops of lavender or rose oil. In general, any oils refer to relaxing things. The warm bath taken for 10-15 minutes calms the nervous system. During the bath, you can make a cosmetic mask that will help give your face freshness and remove swelling from the eyelids.

No less useful is to take a contrasting shower. The cold and hot shower will help not only to cheer up, but will also open the pores, the skin will acquire a healthy color, will begin to breathe fully, and you will feel a surge of energy.

  1. Cosmetic procedures

One more type of body relaxation involves various cosmetic procedures. Putting a refreshing mask on your face is a great way to let your skin rest. Besides, this does not require much time and money. You will need 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, cucumber juice, and some Greek yogurt. Mix these ingredients, take a clean cheesecloth, and put this mixture on it. Put the cheesecloth on a dry clean face (without touching the eyelids) and hold it for 10-15 minutes. Further, remove the cheesecloth, rinse your face with warm and cool water, and pat the skin dry. After such a mask, your skin will be saturated with vitamins. Be sure to humidify the skin with a cream after this mask.

  1. Breathe! Do not breathe!

And what are you thinking about? Of course, breathing exercises. They are one of the quickest and the most effective relaxation techniques. Slow, deep breathing can help reduce blood pressure and heart rate. But you need to take it seriously, focus on your own breathing, completely ignore the noises around you, and try to hear your heartbeat. For a change, try pranayama breathing. This yogic method involves breathing first through one nostril and then another, and it is often applied to reduce anxiety.

  1. Mentally I’m here, but physically I’m not

In order to use this method, you need to relax body and mind. To cope with fatigue and get a charge of energy and strength, one may turn to the help of daydreaming. To do this, you don’t need to retire, you should just learn to turn off your consciousness in any convenient place, and it’s not that difficult as you think it is. In essence, you just need to close your eyes and imagine yourself in your most pleasant place. Once the picture becomes as detailed and emotional as possible, you can return to the real world with a rested brain, which gives a charge of strength and vigor to the entire body.

  1. With benefit to the body

Stretching: Do you have this image of the gym and graceful gymnasts in the twine? This is not necessary – you can stretch even without getting up from your workplace. Try to pull up and to the sides, different body rotations, slopes or, for example, this complex.

Yoga: One of the ways to relax at home. Many people think that yoga is very difficult and not suitable for a noisy city. However, it’s not like that at all. Yoga is a great way to take control of not only your body but your mind.

  1. Art

Listen to your favorite song: It’s amazing what transformations with our consciousness music can make. If you are upset or depressed, if you need to pull yourself together or relax, then try listening to your favorite song, and your thoughts will lean in a different direction.

Dance: Put together some energetic physical exercises, motivating cheerful music, and the flight of the soul. This mixture gives positive results in just a few minutes.

Books: This piece of art is for your exhausted mind. Yes, relaxing reading exists. Just read something for your soul, and it will help you take a break and plunge into the world of fantasy.

  1. 60 seconds

It will seem impossible, but you can rest for one minute. So, let’s begin.
1. Rub your palms – 5 seconds.
2. With hot hands, rub your cheeks vigorously – 5 seconds.
3. Drum with fingers on the top of the head – 5 seconds.
4. Gently massage your feet, paying special attention to your toes.
5. Clap on the entire length of your leg with your open palm.
With only one minute of such actions, you will immediately feel benefits of relaxation.

After using at least one of these methods, you will definitely have the strength for new achievements! Remember that overloading the body and mind is stressful and even dangerous. Get regular with relaxing, and you’ll be more productive and vigorous.

 

Joshua Robinson is a true professional of his “craft” and perfectionist. Joshua is a freelance writer at https://samedaypapers.com/, linguist, and literary critic. Joshua graduated from a linguistic institute and now lives in Pennsylvania. He is fond of rafting and reading, his pleasure is in writing articles on philosophy and literature. His motto for life: “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”.

Wisdom from a 3 Yr Old

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Meet Hunter

The day after I came home from my hysterectomy, he was missing his mama because I had been upstairs resting.

Every night, before bed, Hunter crawls up in the bed with me and we snuggle.  This particular night was no different, but I warned him that my belly was hurting.  To help in his understanding, I showed him my bandaids on my belly and told him he needed to be gentle.

In his wisdom, my sweet baby looked up at me and said “Mama, we need to put some oils on your belly to feel better.”

Uhm, yes we do, sweetness……I have officially become an oily mama with an OMS baby who LOVES his oils.

Love that I’m teaching him about alternative ways to help heal and nurture our bodies with natural solutions instead of synthetic medications!

BTW:  He chose wintergreen for me to have on my belly 🙂

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