Saturday, April 23, 2011

Doctor Who returns tonight!

I am so excited! The season 6 premiere of Doctor Who is only hours away!! WOOHOOO!!

I've read some not-very-spoilish blurps and watched teasers and trailers and interviews over the past few weeks, but stopped this past week because I don't want to see or hear or read something that gives too much away.   This is the only show I watch that I prefer to watch untainted.  Although I will say that everything I've seen so far says this is supposed to be the scariest Doctor Who episode ever yet made.  haha

We have plans to go visit with some new friends, toss some food on the grill, and watch The Impossible Astronaut on a big screen.  :)

I was afraid we might have to cancel because I was feeling so horrible when I woke up this morning, but I was able to get in to see my own doctor (who, sadly, isn't Ten or even Eleven) but he gave me strong meds and I'm already starting to feel a little bitter.

Except we're watching The End of Time and I'm trying my hardest not to cry (thus making the sinus congestion worse) as we say good-bye to Ten and hello to Eleven.

David Tennant in The End of Time. Photograph: BBC

Friday, April 15, 2011

Feeling very stylish

I feel so special this week.  Amy over at Coffee Lovin Mom picked me as one of her 10 for the Stylish Blogger Award.

It's been a rough week and I'm not feeling very stylish these days.  I'm still annoyed at myself that I completely forgot to go pick out my prizes for the UBP11 so I totally missed out on any chance of winning those, and I still haven't had gotten around to visiting all the nice ladies that stopped by and left me notes.  I'm way behind on blogging pretty much everything, and way behind on getting stuff done around the house.  So it was really nice when her email came in the other day with such a sweet surprise.

In keeping with the program, here are my 10 sites that I think deserve the award. (In no particular order, other than how they're listed in my bookmarks and g.reader.)

  1. Keeper of the Home
  2. Peak313 Fitness 
  3. Brooke McGlothlin
  4. Crunchy Betty
  5. Come Have a Peace
  6. Funky Faith Girl
  7. My Crazy Kind of Wonderful 
  8. Mending Hope 
  9. Amy's Blah, blah, blogging 
  10. Vanderbilt Wife

The goal is to pass this award to 10 or so blogs that you enjoy. Link back to them as well as the person sending you the award. Then have some fun telling your readers 7 random things about yourself.

Seven totally random things about me
  1. I've broken the middle and ring fingers of both hands at least once (and I think more).
  2. I once spent the entire summer, from the weekend before Memorial Day to the weekend after Labor Day, in a walking cast.
  3. I've been a Doctor Who fan for more than 30 years.
  4. I love natural scents like lemon, vanilla, cinnamon, and sandalwood.
  5. I blame my internet addiction on my younger son because there was nothing better to do at 1am when your newborn has his days and nights mixed up.
  6. I think white is boring unless it's an accent color.
  7. Of my 5 closest friends: 2 I've known half my life (since high school), 1 I met online but never IRL, and 2 are the big sisters I never had. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The dangers of fluoride poisoning

Manny and I have been saying for several months now that we strongly feel his medical problems are linked to fluoride poisoning. A lot of reading over the past few days has shown us that there is widespread documentation and scientific research that strongly links fluoride as a culprit to a number of illnesses, with Fibromyalgia itself being a severe form of fluoride poisoning.

Below are links to what we have found to be one of the best put together, easy to understand websites for causes, questions, historical background, and natural detox methods.
“…you really only need to know one thing about the connection between fluoride & fibromyalgia, and that is this: if fluoride is indeed the cause of your condition, you will see a dramatic improvement in your symptoms simply by minimizing your exposure to fluoride. In this way, you can not only prove or disprove the cause of your condition, but even potentially make yourself better at the very same time. “

Once thing that is of great interest to me is an emerging link between hypothyroidism, fluoride poisoning, and FM. Every time we visit his FM doctor, she tells Manny that his thyroid levels are good. His PCP says the same thing (and mine too) but still we both have many of the classic symptoms of hypothyroidism. There is some evidence that suggests the current levels used to identify hypothyroidism is much too high, which would also be supported by our own personal lab results as stated by our MDs. In addition, women need almost twice as much iodine as men. I’d almost guarantee that if Manny’s iodine levels are lacking, mine most definitively are! Ironically though, instead of treating hypothyroidism with iodine, physicians just prescribe more chemically-created medications. Since iodine can easily and safely be absorbed through the skin this is one thing we'll be trying.   Of added benefit, iodine also leeches fluoride and other heavy metals out of the body.

Anyone want to take guesses on how long before we feel better?

So what are the quickest ways to decrease fluoride intake? Go ahead and roll your eyes at me, because it’s the same thing we’ve been saying for months now, and with good reason.

  • Stop using tap water – especially to cook! Two mg/L of fluoride is known to cause cancer in lab animals. EPA regulations call for 0.7-1.2 mg/L in water; La Porte’s 2009 water quality report indicates the highest sampling level at 0.92 mg/L.
    • Switch to bottled spring water (make sure it says it’s actually sourced from a spring; Kroger’s is NOT, despite the label!) or water that was filtered using reverse osmosis for all drinking and cooking needs.
    • Get a reverse osmosis water filter for your tap, your shower (you absorb fluoride through your skin too), and your fridge. R/O purification removes ~90% of fluoride from water.
    • Invest in a multi-stage water purifier. (Berkey is a great brand used world-wide, and we will be investing in one w/ the fluoride filters and a showerhead just as soon as my tax refund comes in.)
    • Fluoride doesn’t evaporate in cooking, it concentrates. 
  • Avoid foods known to be high in fluoride: green & black tea, grapes/raisins, processed foods (esp. sodas, bottled juices, soups, etc.). 
  • Shop organic and cook at home! Most commercial pesticides (which are typically not used in USDA certified organic food items) include some of the most toxic types of fluoride.
  • Check the chemical makeup of your prescription drugs. Many current and common medications now contain fluoride. If the chemical makeup includes “FL” it’s probably fluoridated. This site gives a very detailed list of meds by drug category:
  • Change your dental products. Toss the fluoride-laden pastes, gels, washes, rinses, and flosses and find ones that are fluoride free. Tom’s of Maine makes a decent tasting no fluoride toothpaste, but we prefer the Desert Essence Tea Tree line. (Tea tree oil has incredible antimicrobial properties that can be used to treat just about everything and is a staple in our house – just don’t drink it.)
  • Do your own research. Pray over this issue, asking God to grant you wisdom and knowledge of the truth as you read both “propaganda” and “conspiracy” sites. God started us on this path and continues to lead us to more in depth information with the obligation of sharing this information with those we can. Some of you can even attest that He started me on this path almost 1.5 years ago because I had to slowly become adjusted to the concepts and lifestyle I’ve now embraced wholeheartedly. LOL
  • Spread the word. Tell others in your circle of influence, tell your doctors. Convince them they need to do their own research and take this seriously.
A few more interesting links Some vegies, fruits and nuts have naturally occurring fluorine in them and there’s nothing we can do about that other than avoid them completely or at least make it a very-once-a-while food. Some foods are more susceptible to fluoride accumulation from the water and pesticides that are used. That salad spinner just made it to the top of my “must buy” list and *everything* is going to have to be washed first. The body can clear up to 3mg/day of fluoride through urine and sweat. Levels of 20-40mg/day start to inhibit calcium absorption, and levels 40-70mg/day can cause heartburn and extremity pain.

Interesting link: Of particular note - Teflon is made with fluoride and leeches into cooked food.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Praying for my sons - week 1 link up

This week has been a challenge for me.  I have been challenged at work by an extremely busy scheduled that left me little time to stop and pray.  I have been challenged at home with disobedient and neglectful children that leave me tired and frustrated. I have been challenged by my own problems, by situations not entirely within my control that pull my focus to myself instead of my responsibilities.
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thes 5:16-18
But in this, I have been disobedient and neglectful.  I must stop letting these situations interfere with time spent on my knees in prayer for my boys.  It is my duty to them and to my Lord as their mother.

Hope sings within my spirit

A few days ago I was so down and out I couldn't see the Light, even though I knew I needed to be reaching for it anyway. The following day, I read this post by Ann Voskamp and it all clicked together.  Her words inspired me, made me fell less alone in my little corner of the darkness.  The Lord spoke to me through her and for that I am extremely grateful.

And the tune resonates in the open space, To show us how emptiness sings.
Singing truth to myself: stay open to His will, lay the hand open, always be an open space, surrendered to His sovereignty.To take Christ-courage and bare the empty places, because like the inner hollow chamber of a guitar, it’s only when we stand in our own interior emptiness that we can become an amphitheater of God song.

God is opening my eyes in so many ways, my ears and my heart as well.  There is disenchantment in some areas of my life; hope for growth and change in others.

I know, I know. How odd it is to hear me speak of hopeful change when only a few days ago I was bemoaning it.  Isn't God just awesome?
Unchangeable, unshakable, unstoppable, that's what You are
God emphasized those words in our worship this morning because He knew I needed the reminder. He knows where I am right now, where I'm going. He knows my struggles and my fears. He knows where and when my valley will become a mountain moved out of my way.

God tells me, "Hold on. Be patient, my child, for it is not yet time."

And so I will wait. I will allow God to have control over every aspect of my life because that is what He desires of me.

We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy. Col 1:11 (NLT)
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7 (NLT)

I will set aside the things of this world that serve as distractions. I will focus my eyes on Him in words and praise and prayer. I will remember that I need not worry how this situation will play out because He already knows the end and cannot be surprised.  I will cling to my faith and obedience and wait it out. I will cherish the knowledge that the hope I find in my spirit is a sign of what I know to be the next step in my relationship with the Lord.

That, more than anything, is reason to have hope.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Searching for something

After much prayer and some discussion with a few of my closest friends, it was with a sad heart that I emailed my pastor and his wife Monday night to let them know of my intent to step down from teaching and the worship team.

The Lord has been preparing me for something, and I don't know what that something is.  I have inklings of ideas, glimmers of wisdom, bits and pieces of what He has in store for me.  I'm excited at what I've seen so far, inspired by kind words from friends that tell me what an encouragement I have been to them.

There are already so many changes happening in our life right now. Our quest to live healthy, BE healthy, continues and as it does, so do the complications that come with an ever changing family dynamic.  I don't do well with change, and I don't like going somewhere without a map on how to get there.

I'm tired though. I'm tired of being attacked and beaten up. I take 2 steps forward and the enemy pushes me 5 steps back.   I'm tired of the arguments, of the disrespect and rudeness coming from two teen boys that need major attitude adjustments. I'm tired of feeling guilty for voicing thoughts of things that may possibly happen just b/c they don't like it, when I didn't have to ask for the opinions in the first place.  I'm tired of the stress, the chaos all around me. It's weighing me down and I'm starting to feel like I can't function normally anymore. I have no energy, no desire to do the things I need to do.  I know in times like this, I should turn even more to Him, turn to my Bible and to prayer, but even those things require focus and concentration I just can't seem to find this week. And I don't like it.

I hate this. I hate being like this. I hate what it does to me, to my family, to my friends around me. I don't like the person I turn in to, but I feel helpless to fight it off.  I feel weak when I know I shouldn't.  I could post scripture after scripture but I know it wouldn't help right now.  I've given these situations, these circumstances over to Him, yet my spirit remains heavy.   I should feel strong and victorious b/c I know He is right there beside me, or perhaps in front of me, fighting my battles for me, but I don't feel that way.  I should feel strong because these attacks are confirmation that I'm going in the right direction; I'm preparing myself and others in my life for something better.  Except I don't.  I'm facing the unknown; lost in the middle of the woods seeking the road that always remains just out of sight. And I don't like it. But I feel powerless to stop it, powerless to do anything other than let it run its course.

I know this is part of my test. It will strengthen my faith, my trust in Him, and it will help me to go deeper into my relationship. It will make my marriage stronger, my family stronger, myself stronger. It will be a testimony of trials and encouragement to others that will someday hear it.  But I fear that someday is still far off.  And I still don't like it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fit 4Faith

Another recent site I've stumbled upon (finding lots of those thanks to UBP11) is Julie's Fit 4Faith series on Come Have a Peace.  Although her challenge just ended, I've decided to incorporate it into my own lifestyle because it's a perfect fit.  :)

To start off, here's Julie's 24 Point Self Check for Fit 4Faith and my answers.
  1. Do you often wake up and think, "I can't wait to go to bed tonight" or "I hope I can take a nap"?   Sometimes
  2. When you hear how much water we should drink daily, do you count coffee, Diet Dr. Pepper ;) & tea?  Coffee yes, but I know it really shouldn't
  3. Does your diet include all of the food groups, and not just in "shake" form?  Now it does, mostly anyway
  4. Do you find yourself eating often from the "fast food" food group?  Not so much anymore.  Non-GMO and Organic doesn't mesh well with fast food.  LOL
  5. Would you describe your breathing as deep and even, short and tight, or panting and panicked? If you answered the 2nd or 3rd ... go lay down! :)  Somewhere in between all those.  It's not deep, but it's not short and panting either, except when I'm exercising
  6. When was the last time you had an hour to do something that rested your body, mind, and spirit?  Without having to deal with outside factors?  I don't even remember.
  7. Look at your planner (do you use a planner?); when is the next time you see a time to rest? (You can't go into 2012. :) )  My calendar doesn't incorporate rest times
  8. How many times in a month do you go for a walk? Shopping doesn't count. :)  Does walking around at work half the day count?
  9. Have your tennis shoes lasted longer than two years? A decade?  My current pair is probably at least 6 months old. They only get worn evenings, Fridays, and weekends.
  10. Would you describe your posture as strong and straight or tense and tight? Relax ... :)  Slouched and really bad
  11.  Do you often eat while driving, standing up, or walking around (grazing)?  Not so much anymore. Again, that kind of eating doesn't do well with our new food choices.
  12. Would someone watching you say your shoulders are more hunched over or pulled back?  hunched, definitively
  13. Do you spend most of your grocery shopping time in the inside or around the outside of the aisles?  outside aisles, and the shop in bulk aisle b/c that's where they keep the honey and maple sugar and fresh ground peanut butter, and my seasonings and spices and flour
  14. Back to the water question ... are you trying to count what you inadvertently drink in the shower? ;)  nope
  15. When you go to the doctor for an annual exam and have to answer if you exercise, do you say something like, "My whole life is exercise!" (My doctor doesn't accept this anymore.)  hahaha   no.  i just tell him i'm working on it.
  16. Have you been to the doctor for an annual exam?   not yet this year. 
  17. As you read God's Word, do you let yourself reread passages, think, and reread again?  yes, but it's not always intentional. sometimes i let myself get distracted and then i have to reread it anyway.
  18. When you pray, do you get up and feel refreshed?  usually yes, but i'm really bad about praying regularly
  19. Do you find yourself stuck in a chair long enough to need to apply new lipstick or warm up your coffee?  yup 
  20. How do you decide what you're going to eat? Coupons? Leftovers? Cravings? Beat the kids to it?  depends on whats in the pantry. we're working towards a meal plan but we're still learning to shop organic and cook at home so it's difficult some days.
  21. When you look in the mirror, do you ever wonder who that exhausted woman is looking back at you?  Sadly, yes.  Some days I think I look way too tired and worn to only be 37.
  22. Do you feel like you have to pray to God in morse code or short hand?  Sometimes
  23. After reading God's Word, does it go in one ear and out the other, or does it linger in your mind and come back often? Depends on how much attention I'm giving to God when I read
  24. Is your idea of a well rounded meal accomplished by visiting the sample station at Sam's Club?  Nope, but I don't shop at Sam's.  ;)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April 3in30 Goals

Earlier today I stumbled upon Ashley's 3in30 post challenging readers to pick 3 goals each month to tackle.  Since it sounded like a great way to get some things done around here with a little more focus than normal, I signed up for April.

I now give you my April goals.  Come back each Friday for an update on my progress.

  1. Finish cleaning closets and dressers to weed out the things that are unworn and then donate them to charity.
  2. Clean out my craft cart and rid it of the junk so I can use it for crafts again.
  3. Identify favorite recipes and get them typed up so we can work towards meal planning.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 90 Update

Today is day 90 of the Bible in 90 Days challenge hosted by MomsToolbox.  Congratulations to all those that have finished!  I currently happen to be on day 50, but one of these days I'll finish it.

I started the 90 day read because I really need to read the bible all the way through for a change. I thought 90 days was a good challenge and I had every intention of keeping up with it.  But then one day was extra busy and I didn't get all my reading done, and the next was busy and I got further behind, and then because it was busy and I was tired, I played a game instead of reading, and before I knew it, I was a good week behind.   Oh, I put forth the extra effort to get caught up, but then I let the things of this world get in the way and fell behind again.  Rinse and repeat.  That brings us to day 90 and I'm still on day 50.

But that's okay.  I'm perfectly okay with being on day 50 because I know I will finish it.  I'd like to say I've set my own goal date to finish by, but I'd be lying if I did. I'll get there when I get there and I refuse to allow myself to feel bad over it.  I know there will be a day where I can pick up my bible and all on my own finish it in 90 days, and I'll be overjoyed whenever that day arrives. In the meantime, I'll just be overjoyed to say that for the first time ever I'll have read the entire bible straight through.

In the meantime, I plan to join MomsToolbox for Blogging Through the Gospels, which starts Monday.  Figured I might as well since I'm going to be reading the Gospels anyway, right?  LOL

I'm also participating in the "Try It" challenge from Peak313. She's challenging everyone that joins to try a new food each week.  Who knows, maybe we'll find something we really like!

Also ongoing is the 21 Days of Prayer for Sons challenge, where we're reading Warrior Prayers: Praying the Word for Boys in the Areas They Need it Most by Brooke McGlothlin.  Each day for 21 weekdays, we pray for a specific area of our boys lives.  Day 1 started off with obedience.  I've gone ahead and started praying day 2 (submission to authority) today b/c my boys need A LOT of extra prayers in those two areas.   Only have little girls in your house?  Then join us anyway and pray for your future sons-in-law!

I'd love to see you join us on one  (or more!) of the challenges!
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