Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Family Christmas Gifts

Christmas gifts this year will consist of ...

{1} fun and games to enjoy together ...
Mashoonga sabers for the Star Wars fanatics.
Mom is playing only with sparring gear ON!
Citiblocs are natural building blocks.
Definitely more my style and safe for the baby too!

"Screen time" is limited, but Outdoor Challenge looks fun
... and we scored it secondhand!

{2} food for thought
"The Story of how God loves His children and comes to rescue them."
In Mighty Acts of God the focus is on God, not the characters in the stories.
This series is new to us so went with Volume 1 - The Adventure Begins.
I've had my eye on The Mysterious Islands for awhile now and was thrilled to
purchase it at the $5 daily special price a few weeks ago.
Trav and the kids drum to the Newsboys regularly, so their new cd,
God's Not Dead will be well received.

 {3} the necessity
Bogs - boots for rain and snow.
Which means only one pair of boots per child.
No more cheap rain boots or winter boots that crack with always-wet liners!
Yes, they're pricey, but buy them on sale and get a quality product.

Aside from a quick trip to my local Christian bookstore,
I shopped completely online this year!
A mall-free Christmas!

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Goat's Milk Eggnog Recipe

Store-bought eggnog is not on the shopping list this Christmas season as 1} it's expensive! and 2} Trav avoids cow's milk and the rest of us limit it.  Since we have a surplus of goat's milk and eggs, it makes sense for us to make our own nog.  This recipe is easy and quick. Don't let the cooking deter you as it cooks quickly.  Even the non-eggnog fan liked it!

Goat's Milk Egg Nog

4 cups goat's milk
4 whole large eggs
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla
1/2 tsp. maple flavor
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice

Whisk eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a saucepan until combined.  Whisk in the goat's milk.  Cook over low heat, whisking frequently until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F.  Remove saucepan from heat and stir in vanilla and spices.  Serve warm or chilled.

Note:  I like to add about half the spices it calls for and add more as needed.

Recipe adapted from Good As Food.
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Preschool Highlights {November 2011}

"J" jumped in with jewels and jellyfish.
"K" kissed us with "kissing lips" and kangaroos.
"L" left behind leaves and lions.
"M" moseyed by with macaroni and monkeys.
"N" was nimble with names and nests.

We also focused on the numbers six through eight, and reviewed our previous letters.

Resources:  Animal Play
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Homemade Christmas Gifts 2011

As our family is simplifying Christmas considerably this year, I have not been shopping for gifts for extended family.  Instead, we've made a few things to share:


This Simple Holiday Potpourri is a plan for another year ...

See our 2010 Handmade Christmas Gifts.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book Review {Super Immunity by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.}

A friend loaned me this book recently.  She thought of me as her family was reading it and knew I would be interested.  Am I ever.  Thanks, friend.

I've considered myself to be a healthy person, feeding my family good foods and of course good desserts.  I've tried to ensure we eat 5-10 servings of fruit and veggies each day as the food guides recommend.  I've avoided aspartame and artificial sweeteners and used whole grains.  We take vitamins, avoid flu shots and rarely eat fast food.

But there is so much more I didn't know ...

~~ Did you know women who receive folic acid via a multivitamin have an increased risk of developing breast cancer and their children are more likely to develop leukemia and asthma or have birth defects?  Dr. Fuhrman recommends eating folate-rich foods such as broccoli, romaine, spinach and asparagus and avoid folic acid supplements.

~~ Did you know green vegetables are almost 50% protein and extra protein does not build strength and muscles as we tend to think?  Instead extra protein ages us and adds fat and harm to our bodies.  Dr. Fuhrman recommends eating less animal protein and receiving your protein from antioxidant supplying foods like peas, lentils, spinach and whole grain bread.

~~ Did you know vitamin C supplements, chicken soup and echinacea are a likely waste of your time when you are under the weather?  Zinc and Vitamin D are a better choice.

~~ Did you know taking medications to reduce fever is not recommended?   Fever is a positive sign that the body is fighting the infection or illness.

Super Immunity will be the next book I purchase.  It is definitely worth its price tag.  Dr. Fuhrman has included his own "food pyramid", his thoughts on everything from salt to coffee and many recipes in this lifestyle-changing book.
I have a love/hate relationship with this book.  I love the knowledge I now have, but I also hate having that knowledge as I know what changes our family needs to implement.  Am I willing to make those changes?  It's easy to say "Of course", but in reality it will not be easy to drastically reduce the amount of sweets and animal proteins we eat.

Although this book was not written from a Christian perspective, I couldn't help but think how God certainly knew what He was doing when He created plant foods for us.  They are so beneficial for our bodies and should be the majority of our diet.  Why should we be surprised to learn that man-made processed foods, shots and even vitamins are harmful ...

Happy reading ... Do you have any other book recommendations on healthy living for me?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Liebster Award {Say What?}

In Christ Alone Family has been awarded with the Liebster Blog Award from Jolene at The Alabaster Jar.

The Liebster Blog Award is given to blogs you love  with fewer than 200 followers.

Why Liebster?  Liebster is a German word which means love, beloved or dear{est}.

Thank you, Jolene, for  passing this award to us!

In accepting this award, I agree to:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated me by linking back to her.  Check.
  • Share 5 blogs I love  with less than 200 followers.  See below.
  • Post the award on my blog.  Check.

Blogs I love {in alphabetical order} ...

Cherished - Jessi is a homeschooling Mom who shares her heart for Sierra Leone.

Divinely Domesticated - Meghan is a Mom to almost three who shares faith and homemaking fun.

Forgotten Way - This family lives "off-grid".  Enough said.

Homeschooling Momtographer - Catherine is a homeschooling Heart of Dakota Mom with amazing photos.
Jill's Home Remedies - Jill is teaching me so much about healthy living.

Go enjoy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Natural Christmas Decor ... {On An Artificial Tree!?}

Yes, we have an artificial tree.  Because of the asthmatics in the house.  And because we put our tree up mid-November.  This year we put the tree up and outfitted it with the usual plasticy, glittery stuff.  Until last weekend when I decided to go natural.

I'm still in my simplifying mode and when we hauled out the Christmas decor I chucked everything I didn't love, including most of my "fake" stuff.  It felt great.  It will also feel great to donate all my previous tree decor.

Here's the plastic tree with the plastic lights and the natural decor ... that sounds like such a ridiculous statement.  Oh well.  Here it is.

Yes, this is the tree topper.  Char told me it looked like deer antlers.  I think she's right.  A burlap bow may work ...

What I used on the tree:
Wooden cranberry beads ($5 yard sale find)
Paper Bible verses
Dried grass
Paper angels
Lavender leaves

A few other natural Christmas decorations ...

I will have so much less to pack up this year.  Much of the decorations will be thrown outdoors!
Thanks for looking ...
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Growing Home

day2day joys

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