Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Health and Well-Being

This is going to be a random post of various thoughts on health and well-being. You see, I'm sick again. I've lost count of how many colds I've had this year. Bronchitis twice. I'm sick of being sick. So, I'm looking into why I'm getting sick and how to rebuild my immune system. Here are my thoughts:

1. Reduce stress by prioritizing better and not getting bent out of shape if things don't go as planned. No one says I have to do this or do that right now. I can say no. I can put some things off. (Some things I can't.)

2. Cut out refined sugar. This is going to be hard because I love a good cookie, pie, cake or pastry. However, my body does NOT handle sugar well. Despite coming up negative on diabetic and glycemic tests, I do NOT handle sugar well. I get dizzy, I feel dehydrated and thirsty, I crash hard and I get kinda mean. I notice the link more because if my son has too many fruit snacks (which I used to dole out liberally and some family members love giving him) he becomes very whiny, impatient, throws tantrums and generally doesn't act like himself.

3. Amp up the veg. I need more power-house foods, but foods that are easy on the system to digest. Veg and broth, I think. I plan on cutting back on heavier or altered carbs and keeping my dairy intake in check. I don't really believe in eliminating something from my diet (ie...becoming vegetarian or diary-free). I believe in a healthy balance.

4. Echinacea! Garlic! What else is a natural immune-boosting product?

5. I think I might try a different water, too. I drink my tap water which goes through a water softener. Salt. My parents have great water. I think I'll go fill up there.

6. Play with my children. Not only does it help them behave better, but there's a great stress relief in kneading play-doh and coloring or tossing a ball around.

7. Exercise. Nothing too rigorous. But movement is good.

8. Sleep. If I have to give up a favorite TV show or some internet time or even start my day later, it's imparitive that I have enough sleep.

9. Learning to just enjoy things rather than stressing out about getting it done.

10. Learning to ask for and accept help rather than stressing about putting someone out and needing to do it myself.

11. Eliminate stress-triggers such as loud music/TV, political talk shows, newspapers, action movies, etc.

Do you see how many times I listed stress? I think this is key. I can say "no." I can leave early. I can skip out. It's not selfish to do what you need to do to stay healthy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Father's Day, Beep Beep

Our daughter just adores her Daddy. Daddy just got home from work in this picture and she wouldn't stop hugging him. :)

For Father's Day I took hubby to the Wildlife Museum and then out to lunch at one of our favorite restaurants on Saturday. He was quite pleased. Sunday, we all went to church where we heard a VERY good sermon on Biblical Fatherhood/Manhood and then we went to visit hubby's daddy who we haven't seen in a dog's age due to conflicting work schedules.

Beep Beep! I have Road Runner now! The local cable company had a 1 year deal and we were able to get Road Runner Lite and Digital Phone for less than what I'm paying for local phone and dial-up! I can speed through the internet now and get things done a lot more quickly. I can visit blogs I've been avoiding because they would take forever to load. I can finally download the many pictures I have stored on my computer to photo center and get hard copies done!! Woo hooooo!!! This is an answer to prayer.

My next big prayers of faith are for a new mattress (our current one is so bad I can barely move when I get up in the morning and often have to sleep either on the sofa or on the window seat in the porch) and a truck for hubby. His current one is too small for our family and really old and is driven every day with prayers that she'll continue. Due to the type of job he does and where we live, hubby needs a truck as opposed to a van or car. Now we just wait for God's timing.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Enjoying June

Between raindrops I took the children for a walk today. We enjoyed the sights, sounds and smells of a beautiful, overcast June day. We smelled the farm, peonies, damp earth and this ground cover weed that brings me back to my childhood summer days. We heard frogs, birds and water flowing down a nearby creek. We saw chipmunks, our neighbor, and a beautiful, well-kept piece of property that thrust me into sweet daydreams and new inspirations.

A second break in the rain urged me outside to my own little garden where I harvested plump turnips and chamomile:

Currently, I am looking for a local farm that sells strawberries for a good price. I want to get 5-10 lbs to eat with abandon and preserve.
Today, I also tidied up my kitchen. Kitchens are such easy places to get cluttered up with this and that so I went through and put away all things that didn't belong. Now I have plenty of counterspace and the whole room doesn't look cluttered and unkempt.
Hubby surprised me today with a gift certificate to a day spa and he ordered out Chinese for dinner. I didn't have to cook! What a perfect ending to a much-needed relaxing day. I feel refreshed.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Books, Devotions, Learning

Just for fun, here's a picture to share. We were at a re-enactment last weekend. The blond, curly-haired fellow is my son's best friend.

I promised myself that I wouldn't read any books until I finally finished reading the Bible all the way through. However, I recently felt more pressure on my heart to do devotions with my children. After some thought, I decided to attempt to find a good devotional for pre-schoolers. I simply don't have the time to put together my own Bible study for the kiddos and Bubby's learning style is one that just sitting down and reading from the KJV won't cut it. While some may disagree with me, I'm quite certain that I'm heading down the right path for my family to incorporate daily Bible study and devotions.

For myself, after I finish the Bible, I want to start on The Well-Trained Mind, and start on the Classical Eduction reading list. One thing I've been having a hunger for is studying grammar and how to be gramatically correct. I'm pretty sure I suffer errors in my grammar and punctuation.

I'm also wondering if I should start a more steady homeschooling effort in the fall. It would be unofficial, as Bubby is only 3, but I think it might be good for us to get used to the time, management and discipline needed for the adventure.

My dear son has a very kinetic learning style. Sitting down and doing lessons isn't quite his thing. He needs to be active. For example, a workbook of shapes does nothing for him. However, the other day, I drew a path of shapes with sidewalk chalk on our driveway. I showed him how to hop from shape to shape, naming them as he went. This worked like a charm! I also noticed that he likes to play "teacher" with me and he learns by asking me.

I do find myself comparing him to his peers. "Oh no! So and so already counts to 50 and Bubby can barely make it to 20! He's only 2 1/2 and he already knows his colors!" Etc. etc. Then, I realize that Bubby has his own strengths and weaknesses, too. He sings a handful of songs. He already knows how to drive the lawn tractor (he's VERY mechanical). On top of that, he speaks very well for his age and absorbs anything about farming. He's a lot of fun to teach.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Where Gardens and Children Grow...

Isn't she beautiful? I can't believe I gave birth to such a pretty little girl.

The poppies this year are huge and gorgeous! These grow wild at the edge of my property (when they're not run over by a 4-wheeler).

Here she is again having fun this morning.

And here's big brother. He posed like this himself, my little ham! And no, that's not a bruise on his wrist. That's sidewalk chalk. Yes, he's right by the road, but we get little traffic and I was right there. He's not allowed near the road otherwise.
I love that I can go in my own backyard and pick good things to eat and season my food with. Tonight, I made Quick Salmon Croquettes with a Hollondaise sauce, seasoned rice, green beans with parsley and my home-canned plums with real whipped cream sweetened with my brother's home-made maple syrup. The salmon was seasoned with parsley and rosemary from my herb garden.
As a side note, I'm trying not to throw about perfectly good food. The croquettes were breaded with some artisan bread that dried up on it's own in my cabinet. I can't believe anyone would buy canned breadcrumbs at the store when breadcrumbs are free in our own homes! Also, I usually just drain canned seafood in the sink, but today it dawned on me that I'm throwing away a perfectly good base for a seafood chowder. Instead, I drained the canned salmon into a freezer bag and froze it. Now, every time I drain tuna or salmon or some other such seafood, I'll just add the liquid to the bag in the freezer until there's enough for a good seafood chowder!