THE ART OF DOMESTIC BLISS
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
1. Homework must be done daily. Come to an understanding with your children that homework is a necessity. Teach them that homework is something that has to be done on a daily basis.
2. Set expectations. Communicate with your children's teachers to find out how much time students are expected to devote to homework each night. Discuss this expectation so your children understand the average time they will need to devote to homework each night. Setting expectations and time limits will make them more productive.
3. Allow for active playtime before homework. If your children don't have an after-school activity, such as sports practice or dance class, provide 45 minutes to an hour for them to engage in physical activity before starting their homework. This will help them burn off energy, settle their nervous systems and help focus mentally for their homework tasks.
4. Create a designated area for homework and studying. Depending upon the child, this could mean setting up a desk space in a bedroom away from family members or clearing off the kitchen table within view of the parents. The important thing to remember is to keep the homework locale consistent, quiet and free from distractions.
5. Create charts to track homework progress. The chart will not only set a schedule that visibly shows that homework needs to be done every night, but will also allow your children to track their progress. Rewards can be given for homework completed successfully a few nights in a row.
6. Use positive reinforcement to encourage good homework and study habits. Positive reinforcement should be used to recognize accomplishments. Small rewards should be given for small tasks, such as a gold sticker on the homework chart for completing homework that week. Larger rewards can be given for larger accomplishments. Here's one idea: An "A" on a test earns the privilege of choosing what the family has for dinner on Friday night.
7. Be a role model for your children. School cannot teach them everything. Take an active role in your children's education. Check in on them while they are doing their homework to make sure it is completed properly. Also, suggest and model behaviors that teach important life skills that make tasks more manageable. For example, create flash cards on Monday for a test that will need to be studied for on Thursday or set daily "goals" for the child so a project will be completed ahead of its due date.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Pain, Sorrow, and Suffering.....Making Sense Of It.
It has taken me a long time to talk about this....I feel I am strong enough now....and it is time. I have always struggled with pain and suffering, the thought that God is always with you in the midst of it. The words, " he will never leave you or fore sake you ", that we toss in the direction of those whose world lays in rubble around their feet.
I think there are times on the grand stage of life, when a crisis of pain and suffering happen and the director/producer seem to have left the scene. The camera is left running. There is no one to explain what just happened, why it happened...or how the rest of the story will evolve. It's a freeze frame moment. You are stunned. Life's breath seems to have been sucked out of you. The hard drive in your head whirls frantically, trying to compute to make sense out of anything. In your free fall, you search for anything to hang on to.
I understand the concept of God being the great " I am ", the beginning, the end and every thing in between. But, there are times, when...you are on stage alone.
The Psalmist muses, All the days ordained for me were
written in your book before one of them came to be."
What does that mean?
Did it unfold as initially written? Or is the script being edited as the act of living my life unfolds?
Can I proclaim with the certitude of the Psalmist, or do I imagine something else?
Over the past year and a half...I have suffered two pregnancy losses. Both tragically felt...the recovery has been slow for me. I have searched my soul..asked why a million times....and offered up my very soul to accept whatever outcome God has for me and my children. And yet the pain lingers...the loss is felt deep....in every sun ray it hurts, in any vase of flowers, in any pleasure I feel ...it reflects on the pain I feel at the same time. It feels like a line in a song I heard..."Sunny days seem to hurt the most...Feels like I'm wearing a heavy coat. " And an other said "Who said Providence can take a child from his Mother while she's praying" Was this a punishment...some kind of chastisement...was I not healthy enough....was I not good enough? One Lab report said placenta failure to develop. So painful to hear after seeing your baby move...and watching a fluttering heartbeat. Was this the script that was written by a grand director/ producer that I was to loose my babies.
Enter, pain and suffering...my world lay in rubble at my feet. As if hit by the wind of a hurricane, my well constructed faith was scattered debris in all directions. And the director, where was he...suddenly the stage, the theater was empty. The lights had been turned out, not even an " exit " light illuminated a path for escape. I was alone...utterly alone.
" I will never leave you or fore sake you ", " all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" Where was the director, and who would write such a bizarre sick script and expect us to faithfully act it out. For months I tried to digest the above words. They only added to my pain and suffering, they tormented me. I had so many questions. I wept, I screamed into the depth of the darkness that seemed to be swallowing me. I heard nothing...nothing, not even a whisper.
It seemed the only person I could relate to was Job. If the script I was living out was unbearable, Job's script was absolutely insane. Just when things couldn't possibly get any worse, they got worse. And Job had questions. If there was a script, he wanted answers...why!!!
But what really upset me was, Job did finally get to question God. But in an even more bizarre twist, Job's why questions were thrown back to him with more questions from God. So in the end, did Job fair better than me? Sure he was restored, life returned to normal...even better than normal, but there really was no answer to his pain and suffering. About the only thing Job could say with certitude was God is God. That some how he is the beginning, the end and everything in between. But as to how it all works, how the script comes into play...the actors, the scenes, pain, tragedy and suffering...still so many questions.
For months, I embraced my pain, suffering, sorrow. It was breakfast, lunch and dinner. I lived in the midst of an emotional storm of anger. I came to realize my well constructed faith is fragile, something to be held lightly, and that in pain, sorrow and loss it sometimes breaks. In the end, I pick up pieces, not all the pieces...and I learn to live with new faith.
I believe there are times when we are alone. I believe there is a script to my life, but that it is a script of such imagination that I will never understand it...at least not here, on the stage in which I act out my part.
Pain, suffering and sorrow, are they pre-written into the intimate scripts of our lives? I don't think so. But they are a reality of everyday life. They torment us, and haunt us with never ending questions that we very seldom find answers to. They test faith, reconfigure, and reconstruct faith. And in the end, we likely find like Job did...God is truly God, miraculously he is the beginning, and the end...and everything in between.
I think we find God in the midst of friends, family who hold us, love us, hug us, and cry with us. They some how lift us carry us when we are too weak to even move. It is the hands, the face, the words of the God who is love coming into being. Mysteriously it is Emmanuel...God with us, in the midst of pain suffering and sorrow.
When my road leads into dark storms,
You will light up my eyesight.
When I fall on hard ground,
You will lift me up to rise.
When I face hardship and scorn,
We will together share our portion.
When I suffer in a hopeless sickbed,
We will together battle in each breath.
When I'm lost alone and lingering,
You will be with me, and guide me home.
One day I'll die and depart,
But I truly believe
You will lift me up.
O God, our Savior, listen to our prayer.
Fill our hunger, heal our sickness,
Comfort our souls.
If you wish not to answer,
Then please wait for us,
Because we are about to shut our eyes.
Now my act on stage has a new purpose...I felt overwhelmingly to rise from the ashes of this event with healing in my wings. God did finally answer my unanswered questions...
He said to me as clear as rain......"Mourn with those who mourn...and comfort those who stand in need of comfort." My pain was a lesson...a training ...a preparation to help me to help others who suffer the loss of a pregnancy or an infant. I also Put together Pregnancy and infant loss memory boxes for the hospital to give mothers in the hospital.If anyone would like to donate items for this project please let me know. I call them Butterfly Boxes...a butterfly has a very short lifespan...but a beautiful one that touches all . I was inspired to create a website for grieving mothers...if you know anyone who has suffered such a deep loss...please refer them to the website below...it is a safe place to grieve. This was a labor of love for me.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Hormone Balancing and Body Nourishing Diet
- Eat a lot of organic vegetables and fruits- Conventional produce contains harmful herbicides and pesticides. Studies have also shown organic vegetables and fruits to have more nutritional value.
- * Eat less dairy or eliminate dairy products – Dairy foods such as milk and cheese are congesting to the body. In addition, dairy that is not organic contains added hormones and antibiotics which can contribute to increased estrogen levels in the body. There are many healthy alternatives to dairy such as fresh almond or hemp milks.
- * If you eat fish, eat only cold water fish – Fish supplies important essential fatty acids (omega 3) to our diet. These fatty acids aid in the production of hormones, reduce inflammation. Fish is also a great source of protein and vitamin A. Avoid large deep water fish such as ahi tuna, swordfish, and Chilean sea bass due to there potential concentrations of mercury, and focus on cold water fish such as wild Alaskan salmon, cod, and Alaskan halibut. Also when choosing salmon, avoid north Atlantic farmed salmon and choose wild salmon instead. Farmed salmon contains antibiotics and toxic food dyes.
- * Reduce the amount of meat that you eat and eat meat that is Grass Fed and Organic – Conventionally raised cattle contain high levels of added hormones and antibiotics which can contribute to estrogen dominate conditions. Grass Fed meats, on the other hand, are a great source of essential fatty acids, are low in saturated fat, and are a great source of protein. It is best to eat no more than 4oz. of red meats per serving. Ideally a mostly vegetarian diet should be followed for optimal health.
- * If you eat chicken, eat only free range/Organic chicken – Like red meat, conventionally raised chicken is full of antibiotics and hormones which can have negative effects on hormonal health. When shopping for chicken, look for the words “cage free”, “free range”, or “organic” on the label. Ideally a mostly vegetarian diet should be followed for optimal health.
- * Eat only grains in their whole, natural form – Whole grains are filled with fiber, important vitamins, and immune supporting properties. Fiber is important for helping the body to get rid of excess hormones and helps to keep the blood sugar balanced. Avoid processed and refined white foods and grains such as white bread, semolina pastas, and white rice. Instead choose whole wheat or sprouted bread, rice or whole what pasta, quinoa, and brown rice.
- * Eat high fiber foods with each meal – Fiber helps to regulate the blood sugar levels. which helps to reduce immunological issues, and promotes healthy hormonal balance. Some examples of high fiber foods are fruits, vegetables, dark leafy greens, and beans.
- * No soy of any form unless fermented such as miso and tempeh – Soy foods have been shown to contain estrogen mimicking properties. It is best to avoid processed soy foods such as soy milk, soy burgers, soy protein powder, soy chips, soy meats, and soy cheeses to avoid a negative impact on your hormonal balance.
- * No refined sugars or fruit juices (unless freshly juiced) – Pasteurized juices such as bottled apple juice, orange juice, and other bottled fruit juices contain concentrated sugar, which can throw off your blood sugar levels and negatively effect your immune system. Also avoid any processed/refined and artificial sugars. Some great alternatives are stevia, honey, and maple syrup.
- * Drink lots of clean water – Be sure to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of clean, purified or filtered water daily. It is best to avoid bottled waters as some of the plastics in the bottle can contribute to hormonal imbalance due to there estrogen mimicking chemicals. The best waters to choose from are reverse osmosis and distilled. Avoid tap water, as many recent studies have shown tap water to be laced with harmful pesticides from agricultural runoff.
Fresh fruits and vegetables- Fruits and vegetables supply the body with minerals, vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Eating a wide variety of produce and (eat as many different colors of produce as you can) will help you to get all of the different nutrients you need. I like to make a smoothie each day, which provides all of my daily fruit and many of my daily supplements and superfoods. I also strive to eat one big salad a day in addition to a dark green vegetable with dinner such as broccoli or swiss chard to up my vegetable and fiber intake. In addition drink fresh vegetable and fruit juices daily.
Protein- Proteins are needed for every function of the body. Protein can come from dark leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, grains, fish, organic poultry, organic meats. Ideally a vegetarian or mostly vegetarian diet should be followed for optimal health.
Carbohydrates- Whole grain carbohydrates in their natural state are full of fiber. Fiber helps the body metabolize the excess estrogens out of the body. Examples of whole grain carbohydrates
Raw calcium foods – Getting plenty of calcium is important for an alkaline body . Calcium rich foods include sesame seeds, seaweed, almonds, quinoa, chia, organic dairy, yogurt, cottage cheese, and dark leafy green vegetables.
Fats-Fats are necessary for producing hormonal balance. Fats are not the enemy; they provide essential vitamins not found anywhere else. Be sure to include a variety of fats. This means no low fat diets. Focus on clean fats and oils from olives, flax, avocados, nuts, seeds, hemp and fish. Fats to avoid are hydrogenated fats and animal fats.
Unheated sweeteners- Replace processed sugars with sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup. Avoid processed sugars like white sugar and artificial sweeteners like Nutrasweet or anything containing aspartame.
Make sure to eat these foods everyday, here is a checklist to help you remember…
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
This yoga pose is not for beginners and should not be performed if you have a heart condition, are on your period, have neck or back problems, are pregnant, have high or low blood pressure, or have a headache.
If you trying this yoga pose for for the first time, do not hold this pose for more than a few seconds.
- Get a floor mat and lay down in child’s pose (see below for how to do child’s pose).
- Keep your forearms on the floor and clasp your hands together, placing your head between your hands.
- Take a deep breath in and pull your legs off the ground, closer to your head.
- Breath outwards and pull your legs upwards, heels pointing up, using your thighs to stretch.
- Stretch your legs until they are completely straight against the wall. Do not bend your knees.
- Hold this pose for 10 seconds if you can.
- To come back down, do this pose in reverse and finish with the child’s pose.
The Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
For this yoga pose you will want to get a thick blanket to put behind your head and neck to prevent injuries.
- Lie flat on your back with your feet together and the soles of your feet touching your buttocks and your knees bent.
- Breathe out and push your feet and arms into the ground while gently lifting your buttocks off the floor.
- Lift your chin, and lengthen your spine.
- Stay in this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Exhale and slowly lower your torso back on to the floor.
Yoga Poses for Hormonal Stimulation and to Rejuvenate the Body
The Child’s Pose (Balasana)
One of the simplest yoga poses, child pose helps the body to release any tension, stretch the shoulders and improve the breath.
- Sit on your knees with your arms at the sides.
- Inhale and while exhaling, bend your body forward over your knees with your chest touching your thighs.
- Touch the floor with your forehead and keep your hands along the back of the body by the side.
- Continue breathing and only release this pose when you feel all your stress draining away.
The Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)
An excellent pose to stretch the inside calves and to stimulate the ovaries.
- Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out. Next, bend your knees and let your heels touch at your pelvis. Lower your knees as much as possible.
- Use your fingers grab each of your toes while keeping the outer edge of the soles firmly grounded.
- Stretch your upper torso and keep the shoulder blades firm.
- Continue with this pose for 1 to 5 minutes. After that, exhale and extend your legs to the original seated position.
Yoga Poses to Aid the Abs and the Reproductive Regions
The Lotus Pose (Padmasana)
Although you will not be able to do this your first try, with practice you will be able to easily do a lotus pose.
The lotus pose centers the body, aids the abdominal muscles and reproductive areas.
- Start by sitting down cross-legged as you normally would.
- Then slowly lift the right leg, bending at the hip not the knee.
- Place the right foot lightly in the bend of your left arm and the right knee in the bend of your right arm.
- Relax and slowly put the right foot over the left thigh with the right knee touching the floor.
- Repeat the sequence with the left leg.
- Let your index and thumb fingers of each hand touch and rest each arm on your legs.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Cabbage Soup Ingredients:
- 6 cups water or soupstock
- 1/3 cup brown rice or pearl barley (or 1 cup cooked br. rice or barley)
- One 2 inch piece kombu seaweed
- 2 cans Great Northern beans, pinto beans or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 can each of two kinds of bean)
- *If you want to cook your own beans, see the directions below
- 1 Tbsp olive oil or other vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled & minced OR a pinch of hing (asefetida)
- 1 Tbslp minced fresh ginger, or 1 tsp dried
- 1/2 small head green cabbage, cut in half lengthwise, cored and cut in thin strips
- *For variety substitute savoy or napa cabbage, or 1 bunch kale or collard greens. Remove stems and chop in thin strips
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced thinly on the diagonal
- Optional: 2 cups diced potato, peeled or not
- 1/2 tsp dried ground fennel
- 1/2 tsp gr cumin
- 1 tsp gr coriander
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaf
- 1 16 oz can crushed tomatoes, or 2 cups tomato sauce or 4 oz can tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Add the grain to the water or stock, with the kombu, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover, and turn down to simmer
- Prep the veggies
- Heat the oil on medium in an 8 - 10 quart pan
- Add the fresh garlic (if using), and ginger to the oil, sauté for a minute
- Add the veggies and sauté 5 minutes on med/high heat
- Add the herbs and spices, sauté briefly
- Add veggie mixture to the soup
- Drain and rinse the beans, then add to the soup
- Add the tomatoes, and bring back to a boil
- Simmer 20 min - 1/2 hour, until veggies are tender and the grain is cooked
- Add salt, pepper, Braggs or soy sauce, and minced fresh parsley
Friday, February 4, 2011
This morning I started with the Salt Water Flush. I did it about 11:00 and followed that with my first cup of lemonade mixture. I doing fine so far...no hunger pains...I'm excited to see how far I can go this time. My goal is 7 to 10 days. I did it for 14 about a year and half ago and I felt terrific. I chose today to start my cleanse because it was the due date for my baby I lost last August. I feel cleansing is a good way to process sorrow and focus on a positive future.
During the cleanse it's a good idea to do a lot of comforting things for yourself. Bathing is agreat way to relax and detox the body. As you do the cleanse many toxins will exit your body through your skin ...so soaking in an herbal or Epsom salt bath is a great idea. Also body brushing is a good way to exfoliate and further eliminate toxins.
Reflexology is another thing you can try to help stimulate and heal the body. You can practice doing it on yourself...just find a guide on the internet. I also advise getting massages during a cleanse, just be sure and drink lots of water to continue to flush toxins the massage releases. Otherwise you may get more sore after wards then before you began.Well I'll update you tomorrow...I will be drinking my lemonade all day and Drink my Senna Tea before bed. Let's hope everything comes out alright. LOL!
Thursday, February 3, 2011
The imbalance of ones system might manifest as disease and start in the intestines, so it is a good idea to do a cleansing. We should be aware that one's healing process must go much further including all levels of one's existence - not only the physical... It is no coincidence that you arrived at this Web site. Here you will find a lot more in your search for health. Take your time... listen to your body and be conscious what you are doing, - you might also enjoy it, - but be aware, that the body is a very complicate system and it depends very much on your present condition, your history, your behavior, life style, attitude and other influences, in how far what you do for your health and healing, is really beneficial. It might be, that something that is good for one person, can have a negative effect on another. So in any case it is advisable, before you do any thing, that you consult a 'health professional'. I have done those things described at my pages with success and benefit, but I can't guarantee this for others. Whatever you do, this is your own risk and don't make me responsible for any thing you have done and it didn't work out well. Apart of this, the given information about the various ways of cleansing and fasting, are not discovered and described by me, but from other sources that are always mentioned.
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LEMON DRINK for your Master Cleanse
An Island of Security....A Mother at Home
- Her spirit gives the home its atmosphere.
- Her hands fashion its beauty.
- Her heart makes its love.
of a home.
The woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.
A true mother is one of the holiest secrets of home happiness.
God sends many beautiful things to this world,
many noble gifts;
but no blessing is richer than that which He bestows
in a mother
who has learned love's lessons well,
and has realized something of the meaning
of her sacred calling.
~ J. R. Miller, "Secrets of Happy Home Life, 1894" ~
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