Ah, fall. Beautiful weather, fun festivals, football...and the beginning of "sick season." It's the perfect time of year to teach middle and high school students about germs through some cool bacteria science experiments! I've harped to my son for years about the importance of hand-washing to prevent illness. Now that he has actually seen bacteria with his own two eyes, he's washing his hands more often. It's amazing what experiential learning can teach. Bacteria are all around us...and not all of them are bad! In fact, good bacteria are essential in our bodies to help us digest food and fight off some of the bad microbes that get in. Bacteria are also fabulous decomposers in our world ... Read More
Many mommas come upon the Charlotte Mason method at a pivotal time in their children's growing-up - the time when "school" begins. "We'll need textbooks. Maybe little chairs and desks." They start to feel pulled in different directions trying to teach all the different subjects, while school and life quickly feel fragmented. It isn't long before the balancing act begins, that for the most part has been culture created. But, what culture? And just what is being created? In the quest to answer that question, light bulbs begin going off and parents oftentimes find themselves resisting "school" for something better. This post contains affiliate links. Making a list and checking it ... Read More
I have a serious chef in my house. He's only nine years old, but the boy can cook! When I see a natural motivation like this in one of my children, I make sure there are plenty of opportunities to foster its growth. So...he cooks. Because our goal is to have healthy kids in the kitchen, he cooks healthfully (most of the time.) I allow him to experiment with ingredients as often as I insist that he follows a recipe. I allow him to do as much of the chopping and stove work as he's ready to handle. He's just so darn cute standing on his stool while doing the truly serious work of a real chef. He's been my kitchen helper since he was old enough to sit in a Boppy chair. All that ... Read More
AKA - Our Red Food Coloring Story Even though I shared my MSG story first, I really believe that this story is a more important message. Why? I see children every single day that are either out of control and their parents are at their wit's end OR the parents have already lost hope and have put their children on a brain altering drug like Ritalin only to wonder if there's a way out. Let me back up for just a minute and say that I don't intend to offend anyone who either is going or has gone the Ritalin (or some other medicine) route. I'm in no way judging you, I promise. I am only speaking because of the countless parents who have said to me, " I wish there were a way to get ... Read More
I've tried to briefly answer most of the questions that have come from the MSG and homemade mix posts. I'll be happy to continue answering questions if you have any. I'm only speaking from my experiences, but I sure hope something here helps someone! What Pre-packaged Foods Can I Eat? Let's see. Just taking a quick scan through my pantry and refrigerator, these are some pre-packaged things I found. Take note - some people will be more sensitive than me and possibly not able to tolerate what I can. NONE of the products on my shelf have MSG as an ingredient, but their could potentially be some hidden MSG in terms like flavorings, seasonings, or spices. Personally, I can eat all the ... Read More
Why am I sharing this? I come across so many people who share the same struggles that I used to have and I want to be sure they understand that getting MSG out of their diet can potentially be life changing. It was for me. I grew up in the 70's and 80's. Eating Little Debbies, Big Macs, Doritoes and ranch dressing was just a normal part of life. It still is for most people, in fact. I never struggled with those foods until I reached my early twenties. I really have no idea why something "snapped" at that point, but it certainly did. Maybe it was years of ingesting a dangerous food ingredient and my body finally said. "No more!" Maybe it was four years of college when I probably ... Read More
Over 100 quarts of beans have been canned, and I've decided to stop! But the kitchen was still a busy place one morning last week as Mahayla and I prepared many of our homemade mixes for the year. I'll be telling you my MSG story one of these days, but basically I can't have it in any form or fashion. Finding spice mixes and such without MSG is nearly impossible. So, for several years now, we have been making our own mixes. In less than two hours we made everything from taco seasoning to shake-n-bake mix to Emeril's BAM. Here are a few pictures from our morning.