Saturday, February 25, 2012

Kid Chores

 
It's really important to give children chores and responsibilities to balance out the workload in the home they live in.  The chores we give them help them not only learn responsibility, but help prepare them to take care of a home of their own one day.


My children are responsible for the care and keeping of our pet cat.  They also help with the dishes, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming and keeping their bedroom and bathroom clean.  In snowy weather, they shovel the walk of our home and our elderly neighbor's home.  In warm weather, they mow the lawn and weed the garden beds.


When we can afford to, we reward them monetarily for their efforts, especially when their attitudes are good. :)  If their attitudes need improvement, additional work usually takes care of that. 


What kinds of chores do you give your children? Please share. :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Eve and Her Sisters

Genesis 3: 16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

The Lord in his sovereign justice, passed sentence upon the woman for her sin. She is condemned to two things: a state of sorrow, and a state of subjection.  These are very fitting punishments for her sin in which she gratified her pleasure and her pride.

Her state of sorrow was to be in bringing forth children.  Not only the pain of physical child birth, but also all the levels of grief and fear which we, as moms, are most apt to endure throughout our lives.  For no matter what happens - whether our children grow to old age or die young, we are prone to feeling deeply the calamities that inevitably come with bringing up children.  

The pain of child-bearing, which is great, comes of eating forbidden fruit. A woman's sorrows are said to be multiplied - greatly multiplied.  For they include, not only the travailing throes of labor, but the discomforts before (the sorrows begins with conception), and the nursing toils and vexations after. And ultimately if the children prove wicked and foolish, they are, more than ever, the heaviness of their mother.

Thus are her sorrows multiplied.  Just as soon as one grief is over, another follows along.  It is God that multiplies our sorrows: I will do it, says the Lord.  And God, as a righteous Judge, does it, which ought to silence us under all our sorrows, as many as they are.  For we have deserved them all, and more.

Yes, God, as a tender Father, does it for our necessary correction.  Why??  That we may be humbled for sin, and weaned from the world by all our sorrows.  Any good we get by them, with the comfort we have under them, will abundantly balance our sorrows, however greatly they are multiplied.

Womankind was also put into a state of subjection. The whole sex was, for sin, made inferior, and absolutely forbidden to usurp authority (1Ti 2:11-12.) The wife is put under the particular dominion of her husband, and is not at her own disposal. Her sentence amounts only to that command, Wives, be in subjection to your own husbands.  Due to sin, that duty became a punishment, which probably would not have otherwise been.

If man had not sinned, he would always have ruled with wisdom and love. If the woman had not sinned, she would always have obeyed with humility and meekness, making his dominion no grievance.   But sin and folly made the yoke heavy.

If Eve had not eaten forbidden fruit herself, and tempted her husband to eat it, she would not have complained of her subjection.  Wives who despise, disobey and seek to domineer over their husbands, greatly lack the wisdom to realize that they violate a divine law. They only multiply further severe consequences upon themselves.

But isn't it wonderful how, even here, the Lord's mercy is mixed into this sentence. The woman shall have sorrow, but it shall be in bringing forth children, and the sorrow shall be forgotten for joy that a child is born, (Joh 16:21). Isn't that marvelous?  I'll never forget the intense joy and wonder I felt when my baby was delivered and mine to keep and love. Pure delight!

She shall be subject, but it shall be to her own husband who loves her, not to a stranger, or an enemy. The sentence was not a curse, to bring her to ruin, but a chastisement, to bring her to repentance. It's a good thing that enmity was not put between the man and the woman, as there was between the serpent and the woman!

So, although we bear the consequences of the first woman's sin, we all know that if any of us were in her sandals we're just as likely to do the same.  She sure did lack obedience to her own husband, didn't she?  How many of us have struggled with that one?  (raises hand)

It is good for us to remember the boundaries which have been placed around us are for good reason.  They will work humility and obedience into our hearts. And that is a good thing!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Iodine Deficiency - What You MUST Know

Over a hundred years ago, iodine was called the "Universal Medicine" and was used in may clinical conditions.  We've all heard of Iodine, but few of us know the facts concerning this essential little element. Like that most of us are woefully deficient.

Did you know that iodine is not only responsible for cellular differentiation but also for cellular death?  It's imperative for people who have cancer to have sufficient iodine levels in order to help reduce tumor growth. Tumors are immature cells that continue to grow because the mechanism for cellular death has failed. Iodine and vitamin D in combination assist or provide the mechanism for this action to occur.

Depression, brain damage, heart disease, obesity, cancer, and many other diseases are related to iodine deficiency. We are submerged in a world of toxins that are displacing the important functions that iodine makes possible.

Whether it's the fluoride dumped into municipal water supplies or the toxic bromine that is added to store bought bread, these toxins actually displace the iodine needed for health.

Before immediately going on a course of very powerful substitutes for thyroid hormones, be sure that your iodine and vitamin D levels are not depleted.

The seriousness of the diseases and the modern treatment procedures that typically ignore the basics of nutrition is frightening.  There is no choice other than arming yourself with all the knowledge you can find on the tenets of good health.  And iodine is at the top of the list.

All cells - I repeat-  ALL CELLS in the body need iodine for proper functioning. ALL GLANDS (pancreas, thyroid, adrenal, etc.) especially need iodine to produce hormones and do their jobs.

Leading the iodine revolution is Dr. Brownstein.  His book "Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It" is a must read.  I found it at my local public library. 

His research has linked iodine deficiency as a major cause of breast cancer and other diseases of the reproductive organs such as ovarian, uterus and prostate cysts and cancers.

Shockingly, iodine levels here in America have fallen 50 per cent over the past 50 years and our soil is now dreadfully deficient in iodine. The Great Lakes region has some of lowest soil iodine levels in the world.  

Dr. Brownstein has been very successful in treating fibrocystic breast disease (cysts in the breast) with iodine/iodine supplementation. In one case a 37 year-old woman with severe fibrocystic breast disease was completely cured after supplementing with 50 mgs of iodine a day for two months!! It's interesting to note that women with larger breasts need more iodine than women with smaller breasts. The breasts are one of the places that iodine is concentrated in the body.

Dr. Brownstein's findings have been confirmed with other medical authorities.  They agree that iodine deficiency can lead to fibrocystic breast disease and/or ovarian cysts.

Iodine can reduce uterine fibroids.  Amazingly, one of the first conventional medical treatments for severe fibroids was to paint the uterus with iodine! What is happening in our medical fields?  They seem to be going backward in their understanding rather than forward.  Why?  Could it be that the simple answers that support good health just aren't as profitable as disease?

Some other medical conditions associated with iodine deficiency are goiters, Grave's Disease, Hashimoto's Disease, fatigue and impaired immune system function. Iodine deficiency during pregnancy can lead to miscarriages and reduced IQ in surviving offspring. 

In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) says that iodine deficiency is the largest single cause of mental retardation. 

Iodine also detoxifies the body by removing mercury, fluorides, chlorides, and bromides.

If iodine/iodide are so crucial in the body, why hasn't there been more research studies published? Dr. Brownstein believes that because iodine cannot be patented so there is no incentive for the drug companies to perform the research.

Iodized salt and the iodine supplements usually found in health food stores contain the iodide form of iodine. Dr. Brownstein has had little success treating patients with only iodide.

The supplement Iodoral contains both the iodide (reduced) and iodine (oxidized) forms of iodine because our bodies needs both forms. The US RDA for iodine is 150 mcg. Iodoral contains 100 times (12.5 mgs) the RDA's requirement of iodine/iodide.

So it turns out that conventional medicine has once again grossly underestimated the amount of a nutrient needed for good health.

Though it's the most misunderstood and most feared, iodine is the safest of all the trace elements known to be essential for human health.

Seafood and sea plants such as kelp (seaweed) are good dietary sources of iodine but few people in the US consume enough of these foods. 

Iodine deficiency may be a major contributor to the widespread arthritis problems in the US. A home remedy for arthritis is consumption of two drops of Lugol's solution each day. There are two different kinds of Lugol's solution - one is a 5% solution and one is  2% solution.  is

Hormones control body weight and it's interesting to note that malfunctioning glandular systems due to iodine deficiency may be a major cause of the overweight problem in the US. If you're having trouble with metabolising the energy you consume (i.e., burning the calories you eat!) then you may very well be dealing with iodine deficiency.

I ordered Lugol's 2% Iodine solution and have been taking it every day for the last few weeks.  I have noticed an increase in my energy levels, better sleep, clearer thinking, decreased hair loss, decreased hormonal surges and slight weight loss.  All from taking iodine!

There are very informative research papers about iodine at http://www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/opt_Research_I.shtml.

For further information about iodine's function in preventing and treating diseases there are four of Dr. Brownstein's video clips located at http://vitamincfoundation.org/videos.

Dr. Brownstein's home page and links to his books are located at http://www.drbrownstein.com/iodine.shtml.
His books include
  • Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It
  • Overcoming Thyroid Disorders
  • Salt: Your Way to Health which encourages consumption of sea salt in order to obtain many trace minerals.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cultured and Probiotic Foods

We all get tummy aches now and again and like most folks, I used to reach for antacids to treat them. But about 6 years ago I discovered an all natural and safe product that was healthy and had no harmful side affects. You have probably already heard of it: probiotics.  The term probiotic is of greek origen and means "for life"


Probiotics are a digestive aid for all the foods you eat: proteins, carbs and fats. They help to break those foods down in the gut which in turn helps you eliminate them. After all, what goes in must come out, right?  But another star quality about probiotics is that they populate the gut with healthy flora and "good bacteria".  Those good bacteria need to outnumber the bad. 



Probiotic foods are simply cultured foods. These are foods that have been fermented when enzymes (beneficial bacteria) and yeasts are present. Fermenting food was a common preservation method before modern refrigeration.  Rather than spoiling, these foods often improve with age because the bacteria and yeasts fight off bad bacteria that would otherwise destroy the foods.

Foods like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sourdough, naturally brined pickles, sauerkraut or kimchi are some examples of cultured foods. Old fashioned ketchup and soy sauce and other condiments made using traditional methods are also cultured foods.  Natural brines of sea salt, whey or culture starter are different from the white vinegar brines commonly used for grocery store foods like pickles or sauerkraut.  White vinegar brines do not pass on the needed probiotics [enzymes] which are essential for it to be a truly cultured food.

Cultured foods are tremendously important for good digestive health. They help repopulate the gut with healthy bacteria and yeasts and maintain balance in the digestive tract. They also aid in the digestion of our food and hinder infection through a boosted immune system -most of which is located in the intestines.

In bygone times, eating a cultured food with every single meal was common. Not only the foods, but the condiments also commonly contained cultured properties.  My absolute favorite sandwich is a Reuben sandwich.  When prepared using traditional methods, every ingredient - sourdough bread, corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and condiments are all cultured foods! Even the butter it is grilled with can be a cultured food. Enjoy it with a traditional beer or glass of kefir and it constitutes an incredibly probiotic rich meal!

Everyone benefits from probiotic and cultured foods.  But there are those who are in much more dire need than others, such as someone who’s been given antibiotics or suffers from digestive problems or immune system disorders.  Probiotics in the form of cultured foods will be an immense help for these individuals.

Since cultured foods and ferments are literally in a state of pre-digestion, they are often easier to handle for folks who are sick or have trouble digesting their food. I recommend EVERYONE eat more traditionally prepared foods, whole foods, and living foods, like fermented and cultured foods prepared using old world, traditional methods.

I am very anxious to try culturing foods in my own kitchen but I think just getting set up with the necessary equipment (crocks, jars, cupboard space) is what has held me back.  I believe that most cultures are truly set it and forget it and that really calms my fears. From what I have read, you throw a bunch of stuff in a clean jar, throw a lid or tea towel over it, and just let it sit for a few days before tossing it in the fridge for future use. Now really… does it get simpler than that?  J
  
Other foods high in probiotics are kefir, kombucha, pickles, dark chocolate, aged cheeses such as swiss and gouda and real sour dough bread.  Who knew that some nice melted cheese on some sour dough bread with a little dark chocolate could be so good for you? 


So make sure you include lots of healhty fermented foods in your diet and start your children on them young so it will become a natural part of their diet as they get older.

Whether you buy them or make them fresh, getting cultured foods into your diet is vital.  If you have a recipe you've had success with, I would love to hear about it.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Children's Capabilities and Our Expectations

It is important for us moms not to have our expactions of our children too low.  Some research done in Arizona reveals what many devoted and loving moms already know - that kids between the ages of 6 and 18 do about 12 percent of household chores, leaving 88 percent to the parents.

Naturally, we don't want our expectations of our children to be too low OR too high.  Having expectations too high can cause children to become frustrated and honestly feel they are not able to meet up to them.  Conversely, we also don't want to set expectations so low that they are easily met and don't present enough of a challenge for children to do their honest best.
                                       
When you're working on some chore, ask yourself whether someone else could do it or help with doing it.  If you tend to underestimate your children's capabilities, pay attention to opportunities that will help keep your children challenged at their own level.  And don't forget to praise them.  An encouraging word goes a long way!

One thing remains the same though: I'm always amazed that no matter how many chores I give away to my children, I'm still busy all day long!  There are always enough tasks to fill a catalog.  So  balance is the key.

For someone who leans toward being a "work-aholic" (which is admittedly a minority among moms) it's important that your day is not just work, work, work.  It's important to have periods of rest and fun in between or at minimum, at the end of the day. 

Because, while I do find housework to be generally pleasant, I don't typically break out laughing while I'm vacuuming and scrubbing toilets. :)  However, when all members are busy doing chores, there are plenty of instances for good humor and jocularity. 


Breaking up the housework into manageable chunks and completing tasks throughout the week is the way to a balanced approach. We want to give our children enough work to keep them challenged but not so much to make them discouraged.

I enjoy rewarding my children in the evening with a little tv (a short and wholesome dvd), some dessert, a family game or an outing. That "spoonful of sugar" to keep their hearts encouraged - it goes a long way.