Paste your Google Webmaster Tools verification code here
nav-left cat-right
cat-right

Our Journey to Removing Toxins From Our Home: the Beginning...

It all started a couple of years ago when I began to see more and more, from various sources about the dangers of antiperspirants. At first I thought, antiperspirants can’t be that bad, if they really cause cancer they couldn’t possible sell them… there are laws, standards, tests that all have to be passed. However, the more I saw the greater the doubt as to their safety increased. I think one of the biggest clinchers was when someone told me that one of the first things women are asked if diagnosed with breast cancer is: “do you use antiperspirants?” So I switched to a deodorant, made with natural, plant based materials. I was a bit nervous at first, since high school I had a fear of being thought of as smelly or sweaty, I’d seen teachers be victimised by pupils because of body odour problems. But I stuck with it. To be honest it took a couple of weeks for my body to get use to being able to sweat- we are meant to sweat it’s a natural, God ordained mechanism. It helps our body remove toxins. And once I saw that the deodorant worked, and I did’t feel dirty I was happy. My thought process is not so much that any one chemical is going to cause terrible health problems. The question I don’t think we know the answer to is what is the effect of so many chemicals, from so many sources, building up over years in our environment and our bodies? And how do these different chemicals react together in our environment, something that my be ok in isolation is it ok when combined with this other chemical from a different source? The fact is cancer rates are sourcing in the West, as are other health problems and our exposure to chemicals is huge. Yes diet, and lifestyle factors also play a role but think the evidence is their to also support a detoxification of our homes also. The next step has been cleaning products. I am trying to replace much of the chemical based products that we all have in our homes. I already didn’t use air fresheners- they give me head aches; and I’d stopped using fabric softener years ago, have never missed it. Now was the time for the multi-purpose cleaner in the kitchen and bathroom, here’s what I’ve replaced it with: I bought a plastic spray bottle. And I fill it with 1 part vinegar, 1 part water, and a squirt of washing up liquid. I also had around 10 drops of...

The Wisdom of Not Over Scheduling

Over scheduling: it is one of the easiest traps we can fall into as mum’s! We all do it, we’ve all regretted it. It leaves us exhausted, frustrated, and grumpy; it also leaves our children the same way. As well as learning to be intentional about rest, I have also had to learn to be wise as to how I apportion our time. With four children I cannot have each one at lots of activities, but at the same time I want them to have “something”. So each child has their thing (apart from Thomas, who doesn’t want a “thing”). I also try not to arrange more than one play-date/other activity out of the home on a week day per week. This is not always possible, sometimes opportunities arise that are too good to miss, but I try to balance this with a quiet following week. As summer approaches a great way to meet up with friends in one go is to send a email to lots of people for a meet up in a park, or at the beach. It is not only activities and socialising that lead to burn-out, but the busyness of day to day life: shopping, doctor appointments, errands to be ran. With these I try to arrange them to dovetail together, so that I use the time efficiently, this does not always happen- that’s life! Minimising the day-to-day errands is something I like to try and do. I try to make sure I have a rough idea of what meals we will eat through the week (a weekly meal planner is one of these things I aspire to… perhaps one day 😉 ) that way I know what ingredients to have in the house when I do the weekly shop, and therefore cut out those extra visits, which end up costing money needlessly anyway. In the organising of our time I want to have at least a couple of days each week where we are at home, where we are not jumping in and out of the car. Days where we can all be a bit more stilled and quiet. I also try to be wise about going our in the evenings. It would be very easy to go out most nights with prayer meetings, house groups, meeting other mums- without children, a quick trip to the shops… I try to find balance here. Spiritually it is important to be connected to the church, and therefore I make it a priority to be at at least one meeting a week, and usually it is...

The Power of a Good Story

Today was wild- not the weather- but the boys, although the weather played a big part. After what feels like weeks of rain they all have a bit of cabin fever. Now when I say wild I mean we were seriously worried the neighbours were not going to appear at the door to complain, and when the DPD guy brought a parcel I had to explain to him they were play “dogs” hence they were barking at him. Even an afternoon bath did not work to soothe and calm their wild ways. What did work- a story (well a couple). We snuggled up on the couch and they produced their books. Thomas’ one was rather unremarkable, but he enjoyed it. But Jude and Noah their books were wonderful. As the words flowed it was like a spell that brought calm; and a peace descended upon them. Jude has been re-reading (well having them as his read-aloud) his collection of Laurence Anholt books. Anholt tells the stories of great artists through their relationships with children. The illustrations reflect the artist whose story is being told and the text is dazzling. Tonight we had Monet all four children gathered round captivated by the art and the beauty of the tale. His eyes lit up as he excitedly asked that tomorrow we read the one about Leonardo Va Vinci, that one is his favourite. Noah is going through the Little House on the Prairie books. The text here also sparkles. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s description of life on the prairie, the beauty of the nights hushed these wild boys into tranquility. The house restored to order they all went off to bed content and quiet… truly the power of a beautiful story. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Some Ideas for Christmas and Advent Traditions.

Christmas is a natural time of year for family traditions. Creating family traditions has been shown to strengthen family bonds and increase a child’s sense of security. How often are our memories of our own childhood centred around the traditions we had as a child? I saw a lovely idea of creating a 12-Days-of-Christmas-Bucket-List, I like this as it creates a framework to work from, but is not too overwhelming. So I have created my own, which reflects our family. Christmas baking: I love making Christmas cake, but I also love Christmas breads. I try to do at least one, usually stollen or Jesus Bread (although I’m totally rubbish at moulding breads into decorative shapes). Read Christmas books. We use the Ann Voskamp Christmas devotional, “Unwrapping the Greatest Gift”. Another favourite is “The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale by Aaron Shepard, last year this was a particular favourite with Jude. This year we are going to read “I Saw Three Ships” by Elizabeth Goudge. Gingerbread Men: following on from the Baker’s Dozen, we’ll make gingerbread men. Make ornaments for the Christmas tree. This year we are going to make home-made clay ornaments. Go carol singing: I love singing Christmas carols… enough said! When I asked Jude what he likes about Christmas he said “present [of course], singing Christmas songs, and the candles [see point 7]” Play Christmas music in the house. As well as going carol singing we play Christmas songs in the house :), instantly puts you in the festive spirit. Make an advent crown. This this simply a row of four candles on a plate, not so much a crown if the truth be told! We light one each on the advent Sundays as part of our family devotional time. Christmas crafts. This is one of those times of the year when I pluck up the courage to let out the glitter (hoover at the ready!)! I loved Christmas crafts as a child. This year I hope to make a Christmas wreath from things we have collected from the forest. We also make our own Christmas cards. Parties! With Beka’s birthday 3 days before Christmas it brings added fun to this time of year. I also like to have friends round, to share food and enjoy each other’s company. Wintry walks, we don’t always have a lot of snow at Christmas time here, but when we do it is extra special to go for a snowy walk. We live in hope for a white Christmas this year, Thomas currently thinks it is mandatory for Christmas to...

Summer- Time to Hit the Re-Set Button

Well we are passed the half way mark of 2015, it’s a good time to take stock of the past 6 months and check how things are doing, and prepare for the rest of the year. One of the main things I decided that had to change this year was the amount of rest I was having. So I have been intentional about resting, about scheduling a weekly Sabbath, about not cramming too much into the week. This has been a very positive change. However, the last few weeks have seen a complacency creep in, an overfilling of the weeks. And with it growing tiredness and inevitable grumpiness! Now is the start of the summer holidays, and school is coming to an end for this academic year- the perfect opportunity to hit the re-set button. A time to naturally slow down, and re-commit to good habits. Taking a little bit of time to look at what has worked this passed 6 months, and what needs improved. A time to plan for the rest of the year, so we don’t live in survival mode. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Sometimes the Answer is Simply Grit and Determination...

Mums who have been on this parenting road a while, who have a few children under their belt will at some point or another have the conversation “what was the hardest point?” Meaning what number of children is the most difficult! From my experience in such conversations the general consensus is 2/3. For me the hardest was 2. When The Soldier Boy was an infant, The Girl was only 2, Mr Man was at that time working shifts, and often had church commitments in the evenings he was not working. Those were hard months. I could have weeks where most nights I was alone for dinner and bedtime. That was just how it was then. I can remember come dinner time often going about doing all that HAD to be done in tears- my daughter had to be fed and gotten ready for bed, the baby was crying (he cried a lot), dishes needed cleaned, the house felt in disarray. And I was lonely- infants and 2-year olds are not great conversationalists. I felt overwhelmed by all the demands these two little people brought to my life. I felt guilty that I felt so depressed and unhappy. I felt I was not doing enough, or that what I was doing was never good enough. And here’s the thing: a lot, even most, of the mothers I have spoken to have seasons where they feel exactly the same (and I suspect all mothers go through times like this.) I remember one evening crying out to God for some help. I felt so very desperate, and hoped that the door bell would ring and someone would appear to help me with the words, “I felt the Holy Spirit say to come and give you a hand.” My miracle didn’t happen- ever! Instead God was using this time to work in me grit and determination. What happened was, despite my exhaustion, I made it through. When the one more task, seemed one more too many I would say to myself, “this will not kill you, it will only take 5 mins, then it will be done.” That may sound pretty extreme, that was where I was. And through those dark days I grew in strength, in stamina. And the season did changed. The children grew, and with that their needs were less demanding. In those months and years where you feel like you are surrounded by very young children it can seem never ending, and the demands of the days like they will crush you. But those times do change, even though...
%d bloggers like this: