Sunday, March 29, 2009

Seeking God's direction at each turn

Our town has a lovely canyon, designated for pedestrians only that runs half the length of the town and is a favorite place for me to run. It's so quiet down there as the city beats on in the "above ground" world. But in the "lower lands" of the canyon, cars can't even be heard.

But, the negative side to this canyon is that it truly can feel a bit remote, with towering 50 foot rock walls lining both sides it leaves you realizing that if you were to have something happen, your screams could not be heard by anyone.

So, at 8:00 am when I was running in the "above ground" world - heading to the canyon - I felt a strong voice in my head say, "Don't run in the canyon today". Immediately, I asked, "God, is that you?"


So, I began to pray about this. I said, "God, I don't want to make a decision based on fear - but one based on YOU. Please make it clear to me what I need to do."

He impressed on my heart that he will, in His time. I had about 3 turns to make before I arrived at the canyon.

At the first turn, God said, "turn" I will let you know when you get closer.

At the second turn, I said, "I can turn right instead of left and create a different route."

He said, "turn left".

OK God, I am one turn away from the canyon.

Keep running.

I got to the final turn with still time to amend the route and not include the canyon.

God made it clear, right when I needed it: Turn left. Run in the canyon. Run without fear. Run for me. And run confidently knowing that you are safe.

So I did. I didn't think about it again and it was a wonderful run.

And such a powerful run. God always talks to us in His time. Sometimes I want to know 3 turns early where I need to go, but just like He did on this run, He didn't tell me until the final turn.

Just in time.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Detox your house

After you try to detox your bodies, detox your home:

  1. Clean your house with water,vinegar, essential oils and baking soda (recipes below)
  2. Don't use anti-perspirant. Try baking soda as a deodorant. There are crystals that are helpful for some in preventing odor. Or, just don't use it at all. Your body will stop producing as much sweat and odor and eventually, you won't need it at all (you especially won't need it once your diet is clean).
  3. Use dishwasher detergents that are phosphate and chlorine free...the fumes from the regular dishwashers are literally poison. I get a headache within seconds of smelling the steam coming out of a dishwasher now that I am not desensitized to the poisonous fumes.
  4. Trader Joes has an awesome cleaning line called "NExt to Godliness" - dishwasher liquid soap, hand soap, dish soap, and a household cleaner that cleans everything. Ingredients are alcohol and essential oils (basically). Almost as cheap as making your own.
  5. All your lotions need to be clean. Within 8 seconds of putting something on your skin, it's in your bloodstream. If you can't eat your lotion, then don't use it. It's a toxic load on your whole body.
  6. Make sure your makeup and shampoos and soaps are clean!
  7. Here's some companies that I purchase from
  • (laundry detergent)
  • (laundry detergent, dish soap, dishwasher soap, toilet bowl cleaner, toilet paper, and more)
  • (Chlorine free and color safe laundry bleach - brightens, whitens, and softens; household cleaners)
  • (laundry detergent and more)
  • (I clean the whole house with their castille soaps - you can even wash your hair, brush your teeth, and clean a baby with these mild soap. Whole house smells so good too. I get the peppermint one in a gallon size and it lasts for a very long time.)
I actually purchase it all from but you could purchase it from the individual companies or see if your local stores carry some of these healthier alternatives. The above companies sell products that are healthy for you and our environment (which effects all of us as we seek to not poison our water supply, fish, and wildlife) and they seem expensive, but they are always highly concentrated so they truly last a long time.

Or you could do what I have also done for years, which is to exclusively clean every nook and cranny with some concoction from the kitchen:

1 teaspoon of essential oil (like tea tree or lavender) in 1 and 1/5 gallons of water to clean windows, floors, toilets, bathrooms, and kitchen


3 gallons water + 3 Cups of vinegar + 20 drops of tea tree oil

Disinfectant cleaner

2 Cups of water + 1/4 Cup vinegar + 1/4 teaspoons tea tree oil and 1/4 teaspoon of lavender oil

Diaper Pail cleaner
(I did cloth diapers and used this in the bottom of the bucket)
1 cup baking soda
1 tsp of tea tree oil

Mix and work out lumps with fork. Sprinkle in bottom of the pail. Rinse with vinegar and water occasionally and let pail sit in the sun.

Dishwasher detergent
1 C of borax + 1/2 C baking soda (I also add some drops of lemon essential oil)

add 1 tsp per load

Instead of Ajax use baking soda! It cleanse stove tops, sinks, bathtubs, showers, toilet bowls like a charm.

What are some things you could add to this list?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Detox your bodies

Everywhere I turn, I run into more families that are sick. Some tell me that "they've heard" that this is one of the worst sick seasons we've had. I seriously want to declare from the rooftops of my town all that our family has learned these last years, because the culmination of all of the healthy practices that we do results in a super fun winter of skiing, snowball fights, sledding, snowshoeing, snow camping, and cozy get-to-gethers with friends. Winter does not equal sick for equates to cold, crisp fresh air; cozy tea each evening while reading books; thick sweaters; Dansko shoes; concentrated time with friends during the dark, long evenings; worshiping outside around a bonfire.

So, if you find yourself or have found yourself battling a couple of colds, kids with fevers, coughs that don't end, or even the flu during these last few months, try a cleanse. This could be simply eating fruits and veggies for as many days as you can handle it...or you could do a more extensive one that includes detox teas, psyllium fiber, and bentonite ( a clay that literally clings to toxins and helps rid the colon of all kinds of residue and toxins).

If you start to get a tickle in your throat, try what we do: squeeze a fresh lemon into a teacup, put some warmish/hot water in it, and put 2 T of raw honey into the lemon tea. I haven't had a tickle turn into a cold in years with this remedy. It's awesome for coughs for kids too. We never have used cough or cold medicine (and for good reason too: FDA now knows that it has caused quite a few kids to never wake up - read a comprehensive list of meds to avoid here: Cough and Cold remedies can kill Children).

This time of year it's especially important to limit sugar (we don't eat sugar during Jan - April).

Also, eat tons and tons of veggies and fruit and drink lots and lots of CLEAN water.

Get sunshine and exercise too.

When we do catch something, we don't go out and get 7-up and icecream to cuddle up together on the couch with...I instead stock up on things like Coconut water (super sweet and yummy and a perfectly balanced source of electrolytes) and let the kids get a lot of warm tea with raw honey and lemon in it. It's good to take an immune system supporter - look for products that have goldenseal, oregon grape root, pau 'd arco, oregano oil, and echinacea in it. Only take it for maybe 2 weeks, then take a month off (unless you are getting sick).

I take a cold seriously because we have had too many outstay their welcome, turn into secondary infections (bronchitis, ear infections, sinus infections) and I see it around us all the time - the cold that doesn't leave...mucous that lingers around wrecking havoc. This is the war strategy we impose:
  1. Immeditatly stop eating wheat 100% until the cold is long gone
  2. Immeditately stop eating sugar, 100% until it's gone.
  3. Drink warm teas with lemon and raw honey
  4. Increase vitamin C
  5. Drink lots of smoothies with veggies and fruit in it
  6. If necessary, take an immune system booster

If we do these things, we are done with the cold in 2 days flat.

Between these measures, you will not get sick as often and if you do, it might last 2 or 3 days at the most. This year we all caught 1 cold, first time in 3 years, and it lasted about 2 to 4 days. Strong bodies, supported by the stuff of God's amazing creation, can fight these bugs very effectively so you can get back to LIVING for HIM!!!

It works! I promise! It works!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Uncanniness continues

I finished Chateou of Echos (Awesome read!!) and as I hesitated to close the cover, I realized it was because I couldn't help but think to myself, "Now that the book is over, our visitors will probably leave." (You'll need to read this post to understand this!)

I went to bed.

When I woke up, Mountain Man was gone. He left a note and a sweet plaque that says "God Bless our Home". On the back of the plaque he wrote:

"To one of our favorite family and friends: Thank you for opening your home and your hearts to two wanderers seeking togetherness. Harry & Sally

Saturday, March 21, 2009

When Harry met Sally, Live at our house this week


He met a lady, named Sally, through A Christian Dating service. They have been writing letters for a month (yes, through the mail - these are 60+ year olds without computers! I LOVE IT!) and they want to meet.

He spent Friday night here and on Sat. drove the 3 hours to get to her house to pick her up and bring her to our house. He wanted a safe, neutral place to get to know her. If they liked each other they'd stay until they were ready to leave...if it didn't go so well, they'd just go home! he wanted our advice on her. He wanted me to kick him under the table if he said anything weird - "cause you know, it's been a long time since I dated a lady."

And now, Live at Our House for the last 5 days was the 2009 version of When Harry Met Sally and I was so giggly about it all weekend, because you know what? They like each other! :)

Modern 60 year olds, they both love things like eating healthy, essential oils, chiropracters instead of doctors, herbs instead of drugs, hiking/biking/ walking instead of shopping/eating at restaurants/computers...

Who would have thought that Mountain Man Harry would have cabinets full of essential oils, supplements like Primrose Oil and CoQ10, and books on his bookshelf like "Wild at Heart" and "Hearing the Voice of God"....

But it makes sense! Harry sums up what my blog is trying to be about - he is a mover, he is a seeker of God in quiet and in service to others, he treats his body right through alternative treatments vowing that he will NEVER take a prescription drug. And the proof is in the pudding - he has more energy than many 30 year olds.

Each evening we get to hear more stories, listen to him read his profound poetry of seeking and finding God out there in the mountains, and he even sang 4 of his own songs to us one night with Princess sprout planted firmly on his knee. Who needs TV or Facebook to entertain us?! This is how folks used to do it, and it's filling up our hearts to the brim.

He is quite famous in his little town - because of the novelty of what he did for 17 years and also because he is such a servant to so many, helping whenever he can.

So, it was not a surprise that Sally liked Harry. And I was so honored that I had the chance to watch this unfold in front of me and that I got the chance to serve a man that has served so many.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Our visitor

It all started 5 years ago. We had backpacked into a wilderness lake, about 7 miles in (shows how die hard we are - Princess Sprout was 2!). In true StudHusband fashion, he wanted to do a night hike after dinner, which he did alone. He came back with a fascinating account of cabins that he found on the other side of the lake.

For those of you that are not familiar with American Wildernesses, let me do a quick 101 here. The key to being a wilderness is that there are absolutely no roads, no human industrial type impact, no buildings...period. This was crazy news! A full village of beautiful lincoln-log type cabins??

The next morning when we wandered to the village, we half expected them to not be there, as if StudHusband just hallucinated it the night before. But, sure enough, there it was. A village in the wilderness! And out popped a white bearded man, we soon learned was named Harry. He warmly welcomed us and even offered us a cabin to sleep in - cleverly coined the "Hampton Inn". Every morning he'd whip out a full pancake,egg,sausage, and bacon breakfast. He had rigged up a private shower room, with pipes wrapped in black plastic that wound down the mountain creating strong water pressure and HOT water. I took a real shower, slept on a mattress, and met up with harry every morning for breakfast in the round lodge room with a beautiful balcony.

This was crazy!! In a wilderness?

As we learned more of Harry, we learned that we were on 15 acres of private land that had been grandfathered in when the area had been turned into a wilderness area. He was the "Wilderness guardian" or, as most knew him as, "Harry, the Mountain Man." This man had chosen this job as he sought peace, solitude, and time with God in quietness. He loves the Lord and Loves serving people up in this remote destination resort that has literally had thousands of people come to it, year after year, to hang out with God and Harry and the peace of the mountains. And it's Totally FREE!!

So, every year, we go back to the area, even though now he is retired and living in his home in the town that abuts the wilderness area, and we visit Harry for a few days. And every year, Harry hints that he'd love to meet a nice lady, as he is wanting to share his life with a lady.

At 69, this is the fittest man I know (other than StudHusband :). He is the kindest, gentlest, and most interesting soul too. He talks of hiking the trail to Anaroid Lake, 7 miles one way, over 80 times a summer so that he could restock his food supply. His stories are endless and each one more fascinating then the next. I tell him that I need to write all of it down, and publish a book: "Everything I needed to know about Life I learned from the Mountain Man".

So, this was my visitor. He called last week and said he's coming through town and needed to stay at our house.

COOL! Mountain Man is coming!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009


(So, maybe I'm not done blogging...or I am just weaning myself...or it's an addiction I can't break free of cause I like hearing from you all and reading about your cool life crisis happening here...till I figure out, keep visiting!)

It's a super strange and very funny inside-joke between StudHusband and I. For years, I have read books and it's absolutely amazing how I will pick up a book and somehow the plot is simultaneously happening in my life or relates to something happening at that time in my life.

Like, 4 years ago, I started reading the Jank Kirkpatrick series that chronicled women on the Oregon Trail over 3 books. I had no idea where these books were set in, but as I began to read book 3 we were cruising and camping in the exact areas that book was about in California. Then as the book shifted to the Applegate valley in southern Oregon, that's exactly where our trip took us to!

There have been so many instances like that I seriously begin a book and almost think it's going to end up a prophetic glimpse into what might be happening soon. I know, nuts. I read books that I have no idea are set around Easter, right during the week of Easter - or it's set in summer, right when July begins. I never plan this - but it almost always happens!

I just finished Leota's Garden by Francine Rivers - a beautifully written story of the importance of reconciliation between a mother and a daughter - only in this story, the mother dies before her daughter can let her know of the forgivness she feels for her. It was like God handed me a book after true friendship is happening with my own mom to put into words what I have been working through for these years - right during the exact month that I truly think we have made it to the other side of this hard journey between a mom and a daughter.

So, now I am reading a fabulous book called Chateou of Echos where a lady has bought a chateou in Italy and fixed it up to be a bed-n-breakfast. She doesn't enjoy a lot of guests, so often turns guests away who want to book a room. However, she does say yes to an author who wants to do some action research for his story by living in this historical home that housed the people that he plans to write a fiction story about. Anyway, his visit of a few days is so far lasting for 6 months (I haven't finished it)....

I started this book 2 weeks ago with no signs of any Italian Chateau or unexpected visitor in my horizons. 1 week ago I got a call from a dear friend we met 5 years's a long story, and this is already a long post, but here he is with a new friend that we never have met until 2 days ago...and after 4 days, they show no signs that they want to leave.

But we are thoroughly having a blast with them so I hope they do stay for a bit longer - hopefully not 6 months, but even that could be a fun adventure.

As I started that book 2 weeks ago, i remember thinking, "Now there's no way I will see anything parallell happen to me with this kind of a plot - " and now I read my book each night of the visitor that has moved in and during the day hang out with my friends, who are retired and don't live on any schedule, who are getting super comfy just where they are in our trailer.

It's so crazy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Answers to a few questions

1. Wondering what happened with the budget cuts? We just found out and a few of you asked about this. The state is using it's $51 million rainy day fund to fund the shortfalls to districts that qualify. We qualify.

Kids only will lose 1/2 of a day.
Teachers will lose 3 - they will teach one day for free, not teach the 1/2 day, and not get one of their teacher work days. So for us, this means we suddenly we won't get paid about $800 to $1000 that was part of his salary. But, you know what? We'll be OK!! We have faithfully set up our financial spending plan according to the great teachings of Dave Ramsey ( and we are going to be fine. His financial advice is simple: don't spend what you don't have! No credit allowed, period. No borrowing allowed, period. We do owe on our mortgage...but are faithfully paying extra on this every month too so we aren't a slave to this payment for 30 Years. Without any debt, it sure makes life so much simpler.

Anyway, it is enough of a pay cut to make it tricky to pay nearly $10K for the kids schooling next year, so we are still seeking God in this decision.

2. I do still tour with David Klinkenberg when he has a full concert and promoters pay for my ticket. (FUN!!)

3. One comment from a friend said she blogs in place of scrapbooking. I thought I'd alert you all to an awesome, high quality site where you can create digital photo albums and they send you your book in the mail. This company targets professional photographers and they know how to print professiona level books. I never print out my photos anymore. For about $70, I get a large scrapbook that contains nearly 300 photos in it! No cutting, pasting, and sticker collecting. Simple is good!!

High quality printing (much better than the Costco photo books)...tons of space to journal if you choose...full bleed options on pictures.

That's it for now. Have a blessed day!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Done blogging

Hope this isn't too disappointing, but I am going to stop blogging. Some day I might do it again.

I don't want to blog about my family life as I figure whoever would want to know what we are up to would know anyway. And it's just taking way too much time to blog about all my random and numerous Spirit, Mind, and Body ideas. Not really able to spend the time it takes to browse around the internet networking and making other like-minded blogging friends which is what well developed bloggers do. I'd like to, but would rather spend that time doing numerous other things.

I am amazed at some of your beautiful blogs - full of everchanging designs, pictures, and side bars. I have read blog posts that have pictures from every year of life of a birthday child in the house...I know for a fact that most of those pictures were not digital so they had to be scanned in, one by one for the world to see. WOW! What a labor of love! I am not worthy!

So, it leaves me pondering why I have been sucked into spending hours and hours doing this. I love to write and think and learn, which is why I started it. But, it's just taken up too much time.

I was going to just take the blog offline, but then I realized I do have hundreds of posts that could be helpful to people out there searching so I'll leave it up...which means that occasionally, I just might add another post!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Zuppa Toscana Soup

Absolutely delicious! My friend that lived in Italy for a year, brought this recipe to my attention. Now, there's not the load of veggies in here that I typically have in a dinner, so, as always, include a large raw salad with your dinner and you'll be set!

Zuppa Toscana Soup
1/2 lb of spicy ground sausage (nitrate free, of course - get this in the bulk meat section)
2 medium potatoes cut i half and then cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 Cups kale leaves, chopped up well
2 T chicken base or boullion
1 qt water
1/3 C heavy whipping cream (I skipped this entirely)
1/4 t crushed red pepper

Cook sausage then drain. Add chicken boullion, water, potatoes, kale, and cream. Simmer 1 hour. Then add:

1 T italian seasoning blend (or some basil, oregano, thyme etc.) (optional)
pepper flakes (optional)
1 t fennel seeds (optional)

Again, the family loved this!

A member of the Brassica family, kale is a great food if you're looking to protect your health and enjoy a delicious food at the same time. It's the organosulfur compounds in this food that have been main subject of phytonutrient research, and these include the glucosinolates and the methyl cysteine sulfoxides.

Although there are over 100 different glucosinolates in plants, only 10-15 are present in kale and other Brassicas. Yet these 10-15 glucosinolates appear able to lessen the occurrence of a wide variety of cancers, including breast, lung, colon and ovarian cancers. Now, research published in the International Journal of Cancer (Zhao H, Lin J) suggests that bladder cancer can join the list.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Barley Soup

Barley is one of the oldest cereal grains, being one of the main foods of the Greeks. Make sure you soak it for at least 7 hours before using it or the results will be difficult to digest. You might not notice the difficulties, but research shows that the nutrients in Barley are much more available if you pre soak it.

Cool news if you have cholesterol issues - barley reduced serum cholesterol levels by as much as 15% in hypercholesterolemic persons in 2 studies cited by Rosemary K. Newman of Montana State university. Why?:
  1. It contains betaglucans and other viscous soluble fiber components which reduce absorption of fats and cholesterol. (Oats also contain these betaglucans.)
  2. Fiber tends to bind to bile acids, which are removed from the body rather than recycled, thus requiring the conversion of more cholesterol to bile acids.
  3. Contains fat-soluble antioxidants related to vitamin E called tocotrienols that reduce cholesterol syntesis in the liver.
From James F. Scheer Health Freedom News

Beef Barley Soup

prep: 25 min ~ Cooking time: 1 1/4 Hours ~ Servings: 6

12 oz beef or lamb stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 T cooking oil (olive oil!!)
4 C water
1 C chopped onion
1/2 C chopped celery (1 stalk)
1/2 C pre-soaked barley
2 t Non-MSG instant beef bouillon
1 t oregano or basil
1/4 t black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 cup frozen mixed veggies
1 14 1/2 - oz can diced tomatoes (I just used my prefozen tomatoes from the garden)
1 cup parsnips in 1/2 inch slices or peeled potatoes in 1/2 inch cubes

1. Brown meat in hot oil. Stir in the water, onion, celery, barley, bouillon, oregano, pepper, garlic, and bay leaf. Boil then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 hour for beef or 45 min for lamb.
2. Stir in frozen veggies, undrained tomatoes, and parsnips. Return to boil, reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 min. discard bay leaf.

This was definitely a hit with the whole family. Quite yummy.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Stepping forward

I have been reflecting this week on God as our Mighty Counselor. Too often I go to people instead of to God for advice. I can touch them, hear them, and seemingly get to the solution faster. But these last 2 weeks, I have tried to do less of that, and more of quietly waiting on Him.

I have had 3 distinct moments when I heard his Counsel these last 2 weeks alone. The first one, I wrote of a few days ago in regards to where I need to be placing my faith. The second one happened after praying all night it seemed for my son when God gave me a simple practical word into the situation for my son. The third one happened, like it often does, in the early hours of the morning. I think God talks to me then the most because I am still, the world is still, and I can hear Him.

God called me to send the Sprout's Applications with the $100 registration fee into their Christian School.

Funny. When it's God, and I know it's God, my spirit does not even quicken and question. It just obeys. I didn't argue that we are potentially in the midst of the worst economic blow to our family over the next 3 years that we have faced yet.

He also didn't promise me, still, that they get to go. He simply reminded me that if I don't take the 1st step He will not be able to complete the work.

I shared this with the sprouts on the way to their school and my sensitive son finished the conversation by saying, "Now God Has a chance to either make it possible that we get to keep going to our school or not. Either way, He'll make it work out for good."

My little guy is getting it!