Thursday, September 18, 2014

Here Comes Fall

My favorite season!

Colors abound and warmth welcomes you home every day...or welcomes you to the store...or the library.

Heat is on everywhere when it gets chilly out and I love it! Everywhere becomes cozy and, usually, smells of nutmeg and cinnamon.

But the best part? It's my favorite season to get outdoorsy with the kids!

This is the season. This is the time. This is the perfect weather! 

 Baby gets bundled, the stroller tires get pumped, boots are on and the adventure begins!
Of course, with four kids, nothing is just that easy. There are preparations to be made!

Snacks are packed alongside the camera - usually some Nature Made bars, dried fruit or home-mixed trail mix with apple juice and water. Diapers, baby wipes (for messes as well as surprise diaper changes), boots and socks, spare pants and an extra shirt for everyone - and, of course, plastic jars for collecting.

A lot, huh?

It is, but it is so worth it. The kids behave differently after our adventures, but during? Well, they're full of questions which is the perfect time for mom to teach the important lessons in life. That's one of my main reasons for doing this. I'm not thinking about the dishes or laundry or picking up toys. It's me, them and God-created nature. I'm able to see myself in a different light as a mother. I always realize where it is I'm slacking when it comes to my kids. How much do they know? How much should they know? I typically find my answers on our trail walks and that's one thing that's immensely important to me.

The kids seems more enlightened, too. They're curious and walking through the woods is one of the best ways I can think of to get their inner scientists - as well as energy - out. They gather, collect and study.

They become my little biologists...well, except for my 6 year old who becomes my little daydreamer.
"Mommy, what if there was a bear on a unicorn swimming in the lake?" *tee hee* <3

Don't get me wrong, summer is fun in it's own right, but, to me, nothing compares to the fresh, woodsy adventures of fall. For my sanity, for our health and our over-all wellness.

Nothing compares to nature.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Little Something About Life

It's been a while since I've written anything.
Those who know me personally know that I love to write. It's my first method of relaxation. But, I've just been so busy!
Baby number 4 was born 3 months ago.

She's an angel! - and what I believe and pray will be the completion of my family. If more come, then so be it. I'll be more than happy.

So, yes, I've been super busy. Running after 2 kids and a toddler during the day, nursing at night. My sleep level is pretty low and so it seems is my patience. (I should go back and read my own post about patience as a parent, I think)

As I take a moment today to breathe - while the 2 little ones are sleeping and the 2 older ones are swimming with friends - I turn on some Dan Gibson and sit down on the sofa, taking in what mess the kids made in the living room. I take a deep breath and remind myself that "hey, this is my kids' memories here. They're living. They're being happy and having fun at home while others are begging their parents to drag them here and there all day, every day."

And that thought brings a smile to my face. I feel like I'm doing something right for once. Yes, my house is cluttered with toys and diapers and snacks. But my kids are happy. They'll remember their home and all the fun they had - the fun they're still having.

This is when I realize my true moment of relaxation. With my music playing softly through the house, the green trees waving in the breeze out my windows beside the squeaking of the porch swing, the quiet tinkling of the baby's toys as she happily bats them above her. This is heaven on earth! I wouldn't want to be anywhere else, with anyone else.

I love my family. I have a handsome husband who works hard and loves his family. Four healthy kids who are growing and teaching me things I never would have known if not for them.
And a wonderful taste in music if I do say so myself ;-)

I'm not living in a millionaire's home. I don't have some fancy car or eat the most expensive foods...but life is good. Days roll by in a home full of laughter and smiles and stories from the most innocent of minds. It's the memories and experiences in life that create happiness. That's something more people need to stop and think about.

We need to learn to look at what we have - not what we lack - and only then will true happiness shine through.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Wonderful World of Bone Broth!

Bone broth! Mmm mm mmmmm! Don't it sound tasty? What wouldn't be tasty about a soup stock boiling some good 'ol fashioned chicken for five or eight hours?

Ok, so it sounds kind of funky, but it is gaining some major attention and being dubbed a super-food. Why? Where do I begin?

You know how grandma was always making you to eat chicken soup when you got a cold? Well, she was on to something there. But we're not talking about the sodium-filled soups that come in a can. No, we're talkin' some honest to goodness, homemade chicken soup that's simmering some warmth straight into your home.

If every household would have some bone broth on hand to use in cooking or to take in just like a soup, there wouldn't be so much illness going around. This broth has been proven to fight anything from the common cold to auto-immune diseases right alongside cancer! And guess what, it doesn't taste bad so your kids will be more than willing to take it in. 

Now, it's important to know what in the world bone broth is in the first place!

Bone broth is a mineral-rich broth made with healthy animal bones and organic vegetables, herbs and spices. Also known as a stock. The main difference between regular broth and "bone broth" is the cooking of the bones and veggies anywhere from 5 to 24 hours! (the longer, the better!) The time spent simmering infuses the soup with calcium (for healthy bones and joints), magnesium (bones again and teeth), phosphorus(digestion, protein formation, cellular repair) and collagen! Reduced appearance of cellulite, anyone?

Amino acids are also included in the list of goodies that come with this soup! These amino acids can help level your blood sugar levels, reduce stress and anxiety levels. There is so much more but, can you see where I'm going with this?

Healthy food, healthy brood, I always say!

It's important to know that the bones used in bone broth need to be bones from healthy, pasture-raised animals. No hormones, no antibiotics, no junk like that, otherwise, you'll infuse the toxins into the broth as well and that'll be a help to no one.

Now, let's get cookin'!
Since there are so many different ways to make this soup, I will share the five hour recipe my mom gave me.

This makes about 12 servings.

Whole Organic Chicken, Skinned & fat trimmed off 
5 fresh Rosemary twigs tied with twine
1/2 bunch organic parsley tied with twine
1 med organic onion quartered 
6 org. celery stalks cut in large pieces
4 org. carrots cut in large pieces
4 whole garlic cloves
1 org red bell pepper quartered
(ALL the herbs and vegetables will be discarded when broth is done. That
is the reason for leaving in big pieces)
Celtic Sea, EC, Salt & cracked pepper to taste.
Put all the above in a large stock pot and fill with cold water about 4 inches 
from top of pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 4 hrs with lid slightly askew,
leaving about an inch for steam to escape.
Let cool for about an hour then remove the chicken and put in a bowl then
discard ALL other ingredients.
While it's cooling, cut up a variety of vegetables ..... However, avoid potatoes,
corn, pasta and rice as they turn to sugar in the body.

1/2 bunch parsley chopped
1 medium onion chopped in small pieces
6 celery stalks, cut in bite size 
2 zucchini cut bite size
1 each yellow & red bell pepper
1 bunch spinach or kale, chopped
Your favorite organic herbs.
Put all your vegetables in the broth. Simmer vegetables until they
are tender, then add the chicken you cut up into bite size peices during
the last 5 min.

Enjoy! And keep in mind that this broth is NEVER, EVER TO BE MICROWAVED.