Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Some favorite resources

Since people often ask me about my favorite parenting books or where to find info on natural solutions, etc, I thought I'd compile a list of my favorites. This list is nowhere near completed; I'll be adding to it as I find more resources! I've put stars by my absolute favorites in each category :)

Favorite Biblical Parenting/ Mothering Books and websites:
Prayer of Hannah blog
**Don't Make Me Count to Three: A Mom's Look at Heart-Oriented Discipline by Plowman**
Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp
Raising Godly Tomatoes by Krueger
Parenting in the Pew: Guiding Your Children Into The Joy of Worship by Castleman
The Heart of Anger: Practical Help for the Prevention and Cure of Anger in Children by Priolo
The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child's Heart For Eternity by Sally Clarkson
A Mother's Heart: A look at Values, Vision, and Character for the Christian Mother by Fleming
The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elizabeth Elliot
For Instruction in Righteousness: A Topical Reference Guide for Biblical Child Training by Forster
Teach Them Diligently: How to Use the Scriptures in Child Training by Priolo
GirlTalk blog

Favorite kids' Bibles/ resources for biblical study and scripture memory:
**The Big Picture Story Bible by Hunt -- perfect for 2 years and up!
**The Jesus Storybook Bible -- great for preschoolers and up!
Rhyme Bible Storybook -- very simple and fun because the girls love to guess the rhyming words.
My ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God's Word in Little Hearts by Hunt
Doorpost's Catechism Set for Young Children
My 1st Book of Memory Verses byMacKenzie
Truth and Grace Memory Books

Godly Music for Kids:
Sovereign Grace Kids Music
Seeds Family Worship
Songs for Saplings -- I absolutely LOVE her catechism songs!
Hide Em in your Heart by Steve Green

Favorite Biblical Training Resources/websites
Doorposts.com, especially the If/Then ChartTitus2.com
Wise Words For Moms
We Choose Virtues

Favorite books on being a godly wife:
**Feminine Appeal by Mahaney**
Heaven at Home: Establishing and Enjoying a Peaceful Home by Plowman
Sacred Marriage by Thomas

Other educational resources:

Sonlight -- I absolutely love their reading lists!
ABC Jesus Loves Me (a free online Preschool Bible Curriculum)
My Father's World
Classical Conversations -- what we are using for a homeschool foundation

For toddlers and early preschoolers:
Melisa and Doug Products, especially puzzles like Upper and Lowercase Alphabetand USA Floor puzzle
My First Steps to Math books and My First Steps to Reading books by Moncure
Tactile Sandpaper Numbers and Letters
Bob books, especially Alphabet and Pre-Reading skills for under age 4

For Preschoolers and Kindergarteners:
The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading by Wise
The Writing Road to Reading by Spalding
Developing the Early Learner
Explode the Code
Language Lessons for the Little Ones

Good Reading Lists to help choose books for your kids:
Early Years Read-alouds -- Simply Charlotte Mason
Classical Christian EducationSupport Loop: 1000 Good Books List 
The Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education booklist

Five in a Row booklist
Our Library's book list

The Read-Aloud Handbook: 6th edition
 by Jim Trelease
Honey For a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt

Meg's Favorite Resources for Different Stages:

Favorite Books about Healthy Living/ Nutrition:
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Mary Enig
**Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck **
Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby's First Foods
Food Rules by Michael Pollen
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Pollen

Favorite resources/ websites on natural/ healthy living:
**Natural Living 101 at Passionate Homemaking **
Weston A Price Foundation
Nourishing Days
Food Renegade
Naturally Knocked Up 
Sue Gregg cookbooks

Money-Saving Books/Websites:
**Dave Ramsey, especially The Total Money Make-over **
Clark Smart Parents, Clark Smart Kids: Teaching Kids of Every Age the Value of Money by Clark Howard
Clark Howard.com
Deal Seeking Mom

Friday, November 5, 2010

25 Tips for getting over sickness naturally...

1. Oregano oil -- Personally, I think this is THE MOST EFFECTIVE natural remedy available! If you don't do anything else, please stock up on oregano oil. It is simple and effective. If I start taking it at first notice of a scratchy throat, I can pretty much avoid a bad cold because most symptoms are gone within 24 hours. If I don't start it right away, it might not go away as quickly, but it will still help a ton! I put a few drops in an empty pill capsule and take about 3 times a day. For children, just rub it on the bottom of their feet. Oregano oil is a hot herb and kills bacteria and viruses, very much like an antibiotic but without the dangerous chemicals. Make sure you read the label, though, and buy some that is not watered down with olive oil.

2. A tsp. of raw honey with 1/4 tsp. of good quality cinnamon. Both of these have great anti-bacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. If I'm feeling sick, I will mix up a bowl full of honey and cinnamon and take a spoonful 3-4 times a day. It soothes a sore throat tremendously, helps fight your sickness, and tastes great, too! For even stronger honey for medicinal purposes, purchase raw Manuka Honey.

3. Gargle with hydrogen peroxide or put drops in your kids ear.

4. Garlic -- If you google garlic you will be amazed at how effective this anti-bacterial natural remedy is. You can simply cut it up into pill-sized bites, or (if you are like me and don't like swallowing those pointy edges :) chop up finely and put in an empty pill capsule. For my girls, I slice it and just rub it on their feet. Their feet are very porous and absorb it very well. I also try to make meals that contain large a mounts of garlic when we are sick. For instance, I will make a pot of our favorite cheesy potato cheddar chowder and add a whole bulb of chopped garlic to the recipe. Or you can generously spread Donielle's "Cold Kicking Garlic Herb Spread" on your favorite bread or crackers :)

5. Probiotics -- These are so important for replenishing your good bacteria! You want to take them on an empty stomach if at all possible.

6. Collodial Silver -- Another super effective way to fight bacteria and viruses. You have to make sure you have a good source, but it really works! I take a mouthful about 4 times a day when I am sick.

7. Unpasturized Apple Cider Vinegar -- If you can, taking a mixture of 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar with honey and plenty of cayenne pepper really works well. Take it 3-4 times a day. I can't do the pepper, but I just pour a little ACV in my water or tea and drink it throughout the day.

8. Steam Pot for chest/broncial/mucus issues. -- boil water on the stove in a glass pot – if you don't have a glass pot, boil the water in a tea pot and then pour into a glass bowl. When the water is boiling hard, remove from heat and add three shakes of Euchalyptus, lavendar, and pine oils into the hot water. The oil effectiveness lasts about 15-20 seconds so move quickly to get yourself over the steam. Breathe in through your nose, turn your head to the side and breathe out through your mouth. Continue this process until the scents aren't as strong. Be sure to close your eyes. With children, place a washcloth over their eyes as it can burn. You could also make a tent over the top with a towel for really young infants, but if they can get the concept of breathing through their nose, then it will get deeper into their lungs. You're doing it right if it just about takes your breath away or make you cough!

9. Grapefruit Seed Extract -- I add it to my smoothies, tea, or juice all year long just to boost our immune system. When I am sick, I take it in a capsule with my oregano oil.

10. Elderberries -- anti-viral, contains high levels of flavonoids and antioxidants, has cell-protecting components, soothes sore throats, and supports the immune system and respiratory system. I add some dried ones to my morning tea or make a simple elderberry syrup for the girls when they are sick. Lindsey gives a great little video of how to make your own on THIS post.

11. Kombucha -- it cleanses the body from toxins and aids in digestion and metabolism. Click HERE to see my review of it and some links explaining why I love this drink and how to make it yourself. My toddler and I drink this regularly (I'm still working on my husband :), and I was amazed that my baby would even take sips of it when she was sick! When I make it, I usually try to leave a small jar of it fermenting for several weeks so that it will be even more potent for killing off illness.

12. Mullein for chest/cold issues -- Take mullein capsules – The amount taken depends on the size of the capsule. The larger 0 sizes can be 1-2 capsules 3x per day. The small 000 capsules can be 3 capsules 3x per day. This is not a hard science, can take larger doses if the lung infection is bad or persistent. Mullein is a safe herb. You can also make a tea for kids who can not swallow pills. Or add a small amount to applesauce or yoghurt and have them take it that way. I add it to bone broth through out the winter.

13. Home-made Chicken Stock -- Your grandma was right to tell you to eat chicken soup when you are sick because it is chock full of immune-boosting nutrients! But don't buy the store-bought kind full of chemicals, bad salt, and MSG. It is so simple to make your own with nourishing sea salt and immune-building herbs. Every time I cook a chicken, I make stock for soups. Any time a soup recipe calls for water, I use my stock instead and it adds tons of flavor and nutrients! And anytime we are sick, I reach for my chicken stock!

14. Home-made ear drops -- these are helpful even if the sickness is not an ear infection, because it helps to get garlic and GSE into the body which fight infection. Click HERE for 2 different home-made ear drops, one that you can use right away and one that you can make ahead of time and store.

15. Cod liver oil -- Vitamin D is so important for your immune system and I prefer to take real food rather than just a vitamin D supplement that my body might have a hard time digesting and utilizing. I take it every day but take extra when I am fighting an illness. Don't be deterred by the gross-sounding name -- it comes in pill form so you don't have to taste it :)

16. Herbal Teas -- so healing! Click HERE for a list of which herbs help different ailments.

17. Stay away from sugar and white flour!!! This is so important, because they inhibit the natural workings of your immune system.

18. Let the fever run its course -- (That means NO Tylenol!) This is probably the hardest, yet most important thing for me to do when my girls are sick. God made our bodies to have a fever because the high temp. kills the virus or bacteria. Using Tylenol ruins this natural process and makes the body unable to fight the disease. It can also cause a fever convulsion by bringing the fever down too quickly. Without Tylenol, your fever will naturally break when it gets too high, then climbs back up and breaks again, etc, until it has killed the infection. So I just try to make my girls as comfortable as possible and if utterly miserable, I give THISspecial bath for helping with the fever. The main thing you have to watch out for with a high fever is dehydration, but I will write about that soon...

19. Coconut water -- This is truly nature's Gatorade or Pedialyte without all the added flavorings and sugar! I get in the organic section at Kroger or buy when on sale at Amazon and always keep it on hand for any time we are sick. Coconut Water is rich in many vital minerals, vitamins, and proteins, not just the basic "electrolyte essentials" found in a lab-formulated drink. And believe it or not, the natural electrolyte & pH balance of coconut water even make it suitable for a rehydrating IV solution! And my girls love it! Smart Water/ Trinity Mineral Water is also a good option for dehydration because it has a lot of electrolytes, but my favorite is coconut water.

20. Lemons -- high in vitamin C, which is important when sick. Once again, I'd rather take real food than a processed pill, so I add a ridiculous amount of fresh lemons to my tea or water all day long when I am sick.

Chiropractor! The relief a chiropractor can bring during illness is simply amazing. I can see immediate relief in my girls' eyes once the chiro has finished. And the amount of drainage that immediately is released is even more proof :) A chiro is particularly useful if you think your child has an ear infection and can bring immediate relief to the pain. Our family chiro has a lot of medical training and gave me much encouragement and more advice on beating sickness naturally. If you live in my area, I can recommend a fabulous Christian chiro who charges a reasonable rate and doesn't even deal with insurance. I just love her! I take my girls to a chiropractor before I even think about taking them to a doctor.

22. Coconut oil -- Filled with anti-viral and anti-biotic properties -- I eat a few spoonfuls or spread it on toast or mix in my tea. But make sure you buy the raw, cold-pressed kind.

23. Smoothies with coconut milk, coconut oil, frozen fruit, raw honey, and grapefruit seed extract --The best tasting medicine ever! It is really the only thing I can get my girls to eat when they are absolutely miserable. It is dairy-free so it won't add to drainage, has tons of vitamin C from the fruit, contains bacteria fighting GSE and coconut oil, all the nutrients of coconut milk, and the honey is soothing and has many other benefits. We actually eat these all the time to try to boost our immune system. My husband likes them so much that he was willing to give up his nightly ice cream treat for them (and if you know my husband, that is saying A LOT!)

24. "Remedies" from my Christian Holistic Doctor -- I know not everyone has this resource available but I wanted to include it because if you live in my area, I can refer you to the BEST natural doctor ever. She can pinpoint any illnesses/ allergies without invasive treatment and makes remedies based on your body's particular needs. She has such a heart for helping others and I just love her!

25. Homeopathic remedies -- I've recently started trying out Homeopathic options like teething tablets and allergy tablets. I've used the Hyland's and 
Boiron brand and they both seem to work well. I plan to try out the cold remedy next time any of us get sick and I have the flu remedy in my medicine cabinet just in case! Homeopathy seems to be very safe and effective. It treats the individual with highly diluted substances given in mainly tablet form, which triggers the body’s natural system of healing. The idea is that by giving a small dose of the very thing that could trigger the types of symptoms that a person is experiencing, you can actually bring about a natural healing response that will help to relieve those symptoms! Pretty neat!