Monday, June 8, 2015

Freedom Van for Pauline

This is Pauline!!  One the warmest, friendliest, most down-to-earth people I've ever met!

We met her and her family while living in Hilo from 2011 to 2013. #freedomvan
How did we meet? She had called me on the phone and asked me on a blind-park-date after finding my phone# in an ad about starting a local homeschool group. She was homeschooling her child, and I was homeschooling my children, so she wanted to meet at a playground and become acquainted! Yes! I thought immediately. I love blind dates!
When the day came for us to meet at the park I realized I had no idea what she looked like, so was hoping we'd find each other easily. I remember driving up, parking my car, and then seeing that there was only one other adult person at the park: a woman I've often seen around town with no arms or legs, but the most beautiful smile and warmest eyes. Yes! I thought immediately. I love meeting interesting new friends! 
(I wondered for a second why she didn't mention it on the phone the fact that she didn't have all her limbs. Probably because it wouldn't have been a proper blind date if I knew what she looked like, but most likely because her disability was the furthest thing from her mind!)

As I got to know Pauline more and more I got to learn about her incredible life and the amazing person she is.  She was born to nurturing, loving parents who taught her that she could do whatever she wanted to do, despite her disability: that she could accomplish great things in her life, and make a positive impact on the world around her.
And she has! Pauline has not only pushed forward and accomplished her own goals in life, but through her accomplishments, has reached out and helped so many people around her. 
Furthermore, she has an insurmountable faith in God, an optimistic and positive outlook on life, and an ability to make people (like me) feel comfortable and at home in her presence.  I had never met anyone like Pauline before in my entire life, and soon felt like she was not only a wonderful friend, but a spiritual giant in my life. Her example to me as a faithful woman and mother, has touched me to the core. 
There was one experience in particular that Pauline shared with me about when her son was born, that I will never forget:
She shared that right after her baby boy was born, It was especially difficult for her watch as other people in her family took turns taking care of his basic needs: as her husband changed the baby's diapers, and as her step-kids fed her baby bottles, and as her loving family did all those things that are naturally instinctual for a mother to do, she had to let go of her very strong desires to take control of those motherly things and accept her situation for what it was. It was the most difficult  thing for her to do as a new mother, and taught her a great deal about letting go of control and finding joy in the journey. #freedomvan
Now when I experience difficult challenges in my life that feel out of my control, I think about Pauline. Her first mothering experience gives me the strength to push through the hard stuff in life, and have faith that everything will work out for the good- That sometimes even though we may not have control over a situation, we still know that God is always helping us, that God will work through the wonderful people around us, and that if we trust it and accept it, we can find joy in everything else.

I hope that as Pauline is raising money for her new van that she can remember this same lesson she taught me! I know it isn't easy for her to ask for help, and it's going to require a lot of trust in other people and acceptance of the things she can't control, but I also know that wonderful people will step in to help her, and God will increase her joy on this crazy journey of life!

Please take a few minutes to watch this video and donate to Pauline's Dream van! #freedomvan
Even a $1 donation will make her one step closer to her goal! Love you Pauline! Thanks for being you!

Click here to donate!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Natural Remedies for Curing the Common Cold

My family has been really sick with a nasty cold virus for the past 3 weeks. The virus has been circulating through each member of the household, debilitating them completely, and then forcing them into groggy-sleep-like comas for days at a time. 
I did not want this to happen to me! I'm the mama and have no time to lie around and be sick! So, as the last healthy family member standing, I've been determined to stay well! To make sure I covered all my bases, I  asked my facebook friends what remedies they used to help prevent or cure the common cold. This is the list I compiled from their answers:

*Elderberry, sleep, hot water with lemon, Herbal teas, warm salt water gargle if a sore throat, lots of washing hands and cleaning surfaces with an essential oil anti bacterial spray. fresh garlic, onion and ginger in anything you eat. no junk food, limited caffeine & limited sugar except a bit of chocolate. 
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*Honey, vinegar, hot water. Some add lemon. Ginger.

*Lemon echinacia with pelegrino and olena.

*My grandma swears by warm whiskey and honey. We use a different version with honey and lemon.

*I swallow cloves of garlic like pills, after a meal. I may not smell that nice, but it beats getting sick!

*Apple cider vinegar shots in the morning. (I dilute with organic apple juice.) And sleep. 
Reduces severity and length compared with the family members who do not partake. I call it the breakfast of champions.

*Apple cider vinegar. I also keep a bottle if fire cider on hand (fire cider: apple cider vinegar, onions, garlic horse radish, turmeric, lots if nasty potent stuff. But it will cure what ails ya. I make it by the gallon.) Wish you lived closer, I'd share.

*Getting lots of sleep, reading fluffy library books, fanatical hand-washing, wiping off doorknobs/ light switches /keyboards/phones and making garlicky recipes for dinner.

*Old Chinese recipe: 
1. Slice 2-3 thick slice of ginger, cook it in 1-2 cups of boiling water, if you can, drink the hot ginger tea without adding brown sugar. You body will feel hot within 5-10 mins. 
2. Prepare yourself clean clothes in the bathroom 
(for later use). lay down washable blanket on your bed. 
3. Now wrap yourself in blankets on the bed, nothing poking out and exposed but your head and neck. 
4. Let yourself sweat, in about 20 - 30 mins, you should feel like your body is dripping with sweat (which is what you want). That's when all the virus and germs in the body will come out through sweating. 
5. Now jump out of the blanket and take a hot shower, wash all the sweat and germs off, and you should feel better that night. smile emoticon

*I do most of these things and can usually "catch" it before it's a full blown cold. If I don't or get lazy=cold. I also like cold snap (herbal blend you can buy), and I make a tea with various herbs depending on what's going on. Usually horse tail and marshmallow and Mullein and of course elderberry. I will add rose hips for vit c and take more as well. Cut out dairy if snotty. No white flour, sugar etc. lots and lots of fluids. Gargle and rinse sinuses with alcohol.

*Stay in complete denial til it goes away. (This was one of my favorites, and one I use often)

*Speedwell by Lily Zerkle  (an herbal blend made by a local midwife/herbalist).

*Good old home made chicken noodle soup.

*Get cotton tube socks. Soak them in ice water. Ring out slightly . Put on your feet. Cover with thick wool (best) or cotton socks and go to bed. I used essential oils and even the garlic menthol rub on the bottom of the feet as well. This draws the congestion away from the head and chest. It works so well!

*Drink water until you feel like you're drowning, then drink more water.

Conclusion: I ended up getting the cold from my family, but it only lasted 3-4 days! I didn't end up doing all of these things, but will be saving this list for future reference in case illness strikes again. 
 Each day I took a morning shot of 2 Tbsp. Apple-Cider vinegar, then I took Elderberry Lozenges, extra Vitamin C, garlic, and loads of water. I washed my hands a ton, slept and took naps, and no junk food but a little chocolate because chocolate makes me happy. If my illness got any worse I wanted to try the Chinese recipe and the Speedwell. Maybe the wet sock treatment.

Stay well my friends! Summer is too much fun to get sick!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

You pick, Cherry Picking

As we were driving the 25 minutes south to pick cherries at a local cherry farm, I realized just how happy I was in that moment! I had a perma-grin on my face, and a carload full of my favorite people- my children!  
If someone asked me what makes me happiest in life, that would be it: Going on fun outside adventures with my kids. Nothing else makes me smile like the prospect of being out in nature, exploring, and watching my children thrive in the beauty of mother nature.

Several days ago we sat down and made lists of all the fun things we want to do this summer. Everything was included from hiking Zion National Park (which we just did on Mothers Day but will do again and again), finding frogs in Kolob Canyon, climbing rocks at Three Peaks, swimming in the lake on the hill, going camping, going hiking, visiting animals at Red Acre Farm, hiking in Snow Canyon, splashing at a water park, going to the St. George Children's Museum, looking for caterpillars, collecting more bugs, building sandcastles, going fishing, picking cherries, and resting in between (that was Odin's idea). 

Today we decided to check cherry picking off our list. I feel so lucky that we have farms like this so close by. I realize that this is an opportunity that not every family can experience, because of where they live. We felt very blessed today to be able to take from this local farmer's bountiful harvest.