Where Homemakin, Homeschoolin, Home Cookin, Sweet Tea, Babies, & Jesus are a part of life.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sugar Free Peppermint Mocha (THM FP)

One of the drinks I missed so much from Starbucks was their Peppermint Mocha's. That is until today. :) A FB friend of mine shared a picture of a frozen sugar free Peppermint Mocha Frapp and I asked her to share her ingredients with me. I changed only one due to the fact I didn't have what she had. I blended the ingredients and then warmed it on the stove, topped it with FF Ready whip, dusted it with cocoa and voila!

Sugar Free Peppermint Mocha Heaven!

I made a drink big enough to share, or to sip yourself all afternoon. It was such a cozy drink. I sat by my hubby while we finished our movie from last night and my senses danced in a minty stupor. It was delightful.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. Erythritol
  • Pure white stevia (to taste. I used approx. 5 sprinkles)
  • 3-4 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 1/2 scoop Swanson's vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4- 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract (depending on how pepperminty you want it ;)
  • a dash of salt
  • 1 heaping tsp. of granulated instant espresso

1. Mix all ingredients in your blender. I have a vitamix and did this part on low since it was during nap time. I just wanted to break down the powders and it worked on low.
2. Taste and see if or what you might want to add more of.
3. When you're happy with the taste, pour into a sauce pan and warm until desired heat. You can also use a microwave, of course,
4. Pour into a cup, add some FF Ready Whip and dust the top with cocoa.


How our family takes Raw Garlic, a natural Antibiotic.

With the recent success our family has had kicking sickesses where it hurts with raw garlic, I have had many mama's asking me exactly how I give it to my family.
 I didn't  know how to take it either when I started. It was kind of a trial by error thing. I knew you could take it with honey but that was the end of my knowledge.
Today I'm writing this post to share with others how our family takes garlic. :)
Here are a couple things you need to know.
1. Do not take raw garlic on an empty stomach.
(It's best to take it after you eat something)
(You can and I have but I don't advise it. Your stomach won't feel good at all. I did this and actually thought I might throw up. O.O Not a happy moment from me.)
2. Follow taking garlic with some sort of milk chaser.
(This will ease your tummy)
3. Mixing with honey really does help it go down.
(however, I don't take it with honey since it's sugar)
4. Do this at least 3 times a day (if not 4 times) if you are already sick. Continue to do this for at least 3 days. The garlic will alleviate your symptoms before the sickness is totally gone. Think about an antibiotic the Dr gives you. The pharmacist tells you to take all 10 days worth no matter how great you may feel on day 5. Garlic will need some time to kill the illness. In my experience it still didn't take as long as Dr. prescribed antibiotics.
The next picture will show you my set up.

1. Chop a clove or two of garlic per person, finely.
 (When I'm fighting something I use one large clove for me or two regular size ones. You can see in the top picture how much I cut for 4 of my 5 daughters, my hubby and I) The finer you cut it, the easier it is to take. Plus it helps the allicin come out. My barely two year old daughter takes it happily.
2. Set a timer for 10 minutes so that the garlic can release the allicin. That is what helps you from what I've read.
3. Make a milk chaser while you wait. You can either take just plain milk or if you're really interested in kicking something you can do what I do and make a turmeric milk chaser. (Ingredients: milk, (I use unsweeneted almond milk for me) organic turmeric, pure white stevia, and cinnamon. Just add some of each. The turmeric is great for you and this drink tastes great. my girls love it!
4. Get a bowl and your honey ready.
5. When the 10 minutes are up, mx your garlic with some honey (local, raw is best but you can use whatever honey you want)
6. Open up and swallow. (You can chew it, but I wouldn't suggest that either. I did the whole, 'put a garlic clove in your mouth, bite down and extract juices' thing and I wasn't too fond of it. Maybe I'm a wiener but it burned my mouth bad.)
Like I said earlier, I don't take mine with honey since I don't want the sugar. I just put mine in my mouth and take it with my turmeric milk. It's way easier than I would have thought. :)
You can google the benefits of raw garlic. It's incredible!  There are some sicknesses that aren't responding to antibiotics and yet garlic is proven to kick them. I have witnessed its power as its healed my family this year and it has helped me not catch what my littles had. I even make a garlic rub for the baby. The garlic has allowed them to break up and expel the build up of mucus from their sicknesses. I really can't say enough good things about it.
*One last note* I did read somewhere that it's best to use the raw garlic within 24 hours since it's most potent then. I typically cut enough for a day at a time. Garlic rub for a baby can last one week in the fridge.
P.S. I am not a doctor, I'm just a mama sharing what has worked for my family. :)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Tis the Season to be Jolly...

Growing up, Christmas time was my most favorite time of the year. The sights and sounds danced across my eyes, filling my heart with such joy it felt as if it would almost explode. Now that I'm an adult and a mama to 5 beautiful girls not much has changed in how my heart feels. It's more the why that's changed. It's no longer about what gifts I receive Christmas morning that make me happy. Instead it's watching my children call out to Jesus, wishing Him a happy birthday. I never did that growing up. It's watching them acknowledge Him and what a gift He was/is to us.

Something else that has changed in me over the years is that I now know that this isn't the only season to be jolly. Every season warrants that kind of emotion.

Our family loves Christmas time. I know some Christian families don't celebrate it because it's become such a commercial holiday and it's not really the day of Jesus' actual birth. God tells us though, not to judge each other as to what days we choose to celebrate Him. In our family we celebrate Jesus every day but on December 25 we celebrate the day of His birth, whenever that really was.

 We bake cookies.

We ice them.


We sing Christmas carols even when we're sick.

 And we decorate a tree.

This year my tree had it hard. My two year old really loved taking ornaments off and moving them around. She also enjoyed messing up my burlap ribbon. I finally gave up and had my 4 and 7 year olds fix it each time. That alone was amusing. Tis the season to be jolly, right!? lol We don't worship our tree. It's a mere decoration, and apparently I have a future design artist on my hands with my two year old.

Christmas in our family isn't about gift giving. Although it sure is fun and we do it when we can.
 We give all kinds of gifts. We give both bought and homemade ones. This year my twelve year old gave my seven year old a jewelry box that she painted and decorated herself. It was really special!

My two year old got a doll she's been looking at for months in a catalog we get. Her Grandma Debbie bought it for her and she was super excited.

All in all it's about celebrating the birth of God as man. We've had Christmases with lots of presents and some with not so many. It's about how thankful we are that Jesus came so that we could live. Because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross our family can commune with God and we can be together for eternity. We love each other so much, just as most families do and this excites us. When our bodies stop working we know that it's not over. We will be together again. What a gift!

It's Jesus who gave us that gift by taking our sins upon Him and conquering death for us. Because of Jesus, my husband, daughters, and I will live forever reigning with Him in heaven. Now that's something worth celebrating if you ask me.

I hope y'all had a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Melt in Your Mouth Peanut Butter Fudge

This world is changing. It's sad but true. It seems that it's getting harder and harder to be able to find and purchase things made without chemicals or weird ingredients, and that my friends includes fudge. Malotodextrin alone has reared its head everywhere. Organic and non-organic. I'm no fan of the stuff and one thing I def. don't want that in is my fudge.

Sugar isn't good for you so I don't make a habit of indulging in sweet treats often but this time of year, there's just something about sharing some yummy goodies with those you love.

This recipe is not healthy. At...all. If you're a Trim Healthy Mama plan user and follow me, this is not for you unless you are splurging a little. Okay, well maybe a lot. lol

Like I said, it isn't healthy but it is divine! And is guaranteed to oooo and ahhhh all those who like peanut butter.

I tried many recipes and found this one to be my favorite years ago, so many so, that I don't have a  clue where I got it. I would assume somewhere on allrecipes.com. I cannot take the credit for this recipe. But I can take credit for this batch that went to the Air Guard base with my husband early this morning. The batch that was devoured before 10am.

Gosh, I can almost smell this fudge through the screen. Would you believe that I made this peanut buttery fudge and chocolate quickies (homemade chocolate fudge with oats) and didn't taste either?! It's true! My kiddos were the taste testers. They didn't mind. ;) lol

This is the second time I have made treats this month and haven't eaten any. I think I won a personal award for self-restraint! Whooo Hoooo...

Of course, I will be making this again soon for my own family and this time I will eat a little. Yum!

Okay... here's the recipe.

*key note* Do not alter the ingredients whatsoever. I have and it changed everything!! You have been warned. ;)

  • 1 cup of Jiff Creamy Peanut butter (and Jiff only)
  • 1 cup marshmallow cream
  • 1 cup of white cane sugar (not all white sugars on the baking aisle are created equal. You want the sugar made from cane, not beets. This is vital! Beet sugar will alter this recipe and it will not be as good.)
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • candy thermometer
If you've made real fudge before, not the stuff from chocolate chips, then you're already familiar with the soft ball stage. This recipe is uber-easy. All you do is mix the milk and sugar and cook on medium (I do mine a wee bit higher but I think my stove is tired lol) and then add all the other ingredients. That's it!

Here it is in detail for those of you who have never ventured into homemade fudge land.

Welcome, friends. :)

1. Pour milk and sugar into medium size saucepan. Get your candy thermometer and attach it to the side of the pan. This will guide you and tell you everything you need to know about where your fudge is in its cooking process.
2. Cook milk and sugar on medium heat until your candy thermometer reaches where it says 'soft ball' If you don't have a thermometer you can check if you've reached this stage buy dropping a small amount of the cooking syrup into cold water. If it's reached that stage it will stick together and you will be able to roll it into a ball with your fingers in the water. This is a pain in my opinion, hence me using a thermometer. But, if you don't have one, you can still make fudge! ;)
3. When it reaches soft ball stage, remove it from the heat and add all the other ingredients and stir until it's mixed well.
4. Pour into buttered 8x8 pan and let cool.
5. Cut into squares and enjoy!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

DIY Antibacterial Foaming Hand Soap

I have a love/hate relationship right now with this time of the year. The little girl in me loves the cold and all of the holiday's it brings. The sights, the sounds, and the smells are all something I embrace. The other part of me however, the mom part, isn't too fond of this time of year.

 I not so lovingly call it "Cootie Season." It's the time where it seems everyone everywhere is sick and they all share their cooties as if it's the kind thing to do. I for one think it's poopy, especially when you have a few kiddos, or 5 that tend to take your lessons in sharing very seriously during this season.

I'm not real interested in bringing tons of chemicals into my house so I've been making my own foam hand soap for years now. It wasn't until recently that I had a light bulb moment and realized that I could make my own antibacterial and anti-viral soap.

All you will need is...

  • a foam pump
  • Dr. Bronners liquid castile soap (I use the baby unscented one)
  • Melaluca or better known as Tea Tree Oil
  1. Fill Bottle 1/4 way up with Dr. Bronner's
  2. Fill the rest of the way with water (filtered is best)
  3. Add 4-6 drops of Tea Tree Oil (I use 6 but I use one I bought at Walmart. If you're using one from DoTerra you will have to deem how much works best for you. I am not familiar with theirs yet so I don't feel comfortable giving an exact amount of drops you would use.)
  4. Put pump part back on and gently give it a shake to mix the oil in.
I love the clean smell of Tea Tree oil, but if you don't or if you want to change it up a bit you can always add some lavender essential oil or any scent you like. I made this particular one for my kitchen. When I do one for the bathroom I think I might add just a little vitamin e oil and see how that goes. It might work. It might not. That's the fun of trying. :)

Until next time....

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sugar Cookie Delight (THM FP)

Starbucks who? That's what I think every time I make a sugar-free drink that tastes better than what they serve. Don't get me wrong, I still love their Decaf. Mocha's but probably only because I haven't figured out how to make those just yet. lol

This new drink surpassed all of my expectations. It was like an afternoon dessert.

I kid you not!

Hubby bought me some Celestial Seasonings 'Sugar Cookie' tea. It seemed festive and I thought, "Awesome!"

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Truvia
  • 2 Sugar Cookie tea bags
  • FF Ready Whip
  1. Heat water and milk
  2. Add tea bags and steep for 4 minutes.
  3. Remove bags and add Truvia.
  4. Taste. Mmmmm..
  5. Now add FF Ready Whip if you're sugar tooth is really hankering for something good and sweet.
Prepared to dazzle your taste buds with sugary goodness without the sugar!

*The above serving I made is shareable. Unless of course you're having a particularly rough day and are in need of a serious comfort drink and a long book. In that case, enjoy it all without the guilt.*

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving Quinn style :)

Turkey is one of those things I am thankful for. My family eats a lot of turkey, typically ground. We use it instead of ground beef. It is cheaper and not as fattening. Even with all the turkey we eat, we don't typically eat whole turkeys until Thanksgiving and we look forward to them all year long. The above turkeys were a blessing from God this year.

Speaking of that... did you notice how expensive turkeys were? Crazy.

This year I had multiple kiddos wanting wings. Hmmm... There are only two on a normal turkey. If there are more than two on a turkey I don't want any part of it. O.O lol

As our loving Father would have it He provided us with two smaller turkeys this year for free. One we got from Albertsons when we spent $100 and the other from a local grocery store because we are a "valued customer." I guess spending money has its perks every now and then. In a perfect world I would have been slaughtering my own turkeys. One day, God willing.

Those two fit perfectly in my roaster. I was worried for no reason. God always knows better than us!

Our day began with a really fattening, yummy breakfast called Cinnamon French Toast bake. I made homemade white bread, a treat for our family, the day before. I don't make a lot of white bread.

It's perfect for Thanksgiving because you prepare it the night before.

It is really good and I repeat... really fattening!

The rest of the day was filled with fun and silliness while the food cooked. Mackynzie, my little two year old, was an actress that day. She is following in her sisters footsteps and is quite the comedian.

She asked her sister to put the bandanna on. Kynzie thought she was funny and was purposely not smiling. I tried to get her to smile and she just nodded no, staying in character.
 She cracks me up. And apparently she found herself funny too.
Finally it was dinner time and boy were the girls excited!
One of my kiddos was trying to decide what piece of turkey she wanted. 
Wing or drumstick? Wing or drumstick? Wing or Drumstick?
 This was apparently very stressful for her. LOL

The day ended with pie and us decorating for Christmas. There are no pictures of the homemade pies I made nor is there any pie left. Hmm... LOL That was some good pie! hahaha And no, it wasn't diet. I don't do healthy on Thanksgiving.
And that night was the much anticipated return of Tinsel McBiggles.
Let the Christmas Season begin...


December DETOX time :)

It's the first Monday after Thanksgiving and although I didn't eat as bad as I did growing up, I did ingest some things that weren't the best for my body.

I know that Spring is typically the time when people start thinking about detoxing. They've had a long winter full of treats and it's the time coats come off and the result of those treats show through your clothes.

For me, I think differently than some. You see, my parents weren't very healthy. On his death bed my earthly father had heart disease, type 2 diabetes and kidney failure. He even had gangrene on one of his feet from the high levels of sugar and the fact his body just couldn't function well anymore. Years of eating bad had taken its toll on him and it had finally come to take his life. As I held my fathers hand when the Lord took him home I knew I never wanted to end up like him. I was 26.

My mother was and is no better. She suffers from heart disease, type two diabetes and has been on dialysis for a couple of years now. She can't hardly walk anymore and her quality of life is poor.

I don't want to end up like them and if I don't take care of my body I will.

So here we are today. I don't like to go with the flow of society. It annoys me. Typically they are moving in the complete opposite direction that I am looking to go. Detoxing in December is no different. :)

So let's have at it... Here's what I'm doing to give my body a nice cleanse.

Last night I started with a warm Bentonite Clay bath . Bentonite Clay is a very popular detoxifier. If you Google it you will find tons of info on it.

"Bentonite Clay s a unique clay due to its ability to produce an “electrical charge” when hydrated. Upon contact with fluid, its electrical components change, giving it the ability to absorb toxins. Bentonite is known for its ability to absorb and remove toxins, heavy metals, impurities, and chemicals."

*taken from a blog post by Wellness Mama*

When I was done with my bath I let the water drain and then went to look at the clay. It was dark. Yikes! That shows that it was pulling out toxins and heavy metals from my body. I barely used any last night )maybe 2Tbsp. Next time I will use 3oz)

Good start to my Monday before it even started.

This morning I woke up and took 2 Bentonite Clay capsules that I encapsulated myself yesterday. You can buy everything you need to encapsulate from Bulk Herb Store. Then I drank 15 oz. of water. I did this on an empty stomach. I will take another 2 this afternoon and repeat this for 3 days.

Today and tomorrow I will be removing all glucose from my body. That will include all simple sugars as well as grains. Then on the third day I will begin reintroducing complex carbs that are good for my body in small amounts. Simple sugars will not be making a comeback. Instead I will be using pure white stevia, Xylitol for our Southern Sweet Tea and Truvia.
I am a Trim Healthy Mama.
If you're interested in purchasing the THM book you can link to it in my Amazon store. It offers a wealth of health information!

Another must in my books when you're wanting to cleanse your body is incorporating both fresh lemon juice and Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother) I use Braggs.

Serene Allison, one of the authors of Trim Healthy Mama created this yummy drink and it blew up! Now there are as many variations as some women have shoes I think, lol, but I am sticking to the original. At least maybe until summer comes. ;)

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Ginger
  • Water
  • whole small or half large lemon
  • pure-white stevia
  • ice
This drink is awesome! One of my friends at church even recently told me that her hubby loves this drink and asks his daughter to make it for him. My hubby however, wouldn't touch it. LOL To each his own I guess.

Other than making sure I drink enough water and concentrating on fueling my body with healthy foods, I have one more thing in my Detox arsenal. This one is something that I won't stop after detoxing since it is terrific for my body. Theresa Tapp developed an exercise that also helps those with adrenal fatigue and it is a proven detoxifier.

Here are some benefits stated by Wellness Mama
  • “Is the fastest weight loss workout we’ve ever seen
  • Detoxifies the body
  • Increases insulin sensitivity, which promotes loss of excess weight
  • Reduces stress
  • Skyrockets energy levels and mental clarity
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Improves cardiovascular function
  • Helps the brain gain better control over the body (builds neurokinetic function)
  • Takes just 15 minutes”

    I love Ttapp and have been doing it off and on since May of 2013. I lost a total of 20 inches and 17 lbs in only a few weeks doing Ttapp and THM. My skin cleared up and I felt great! My husband lost 30 lbs doing Ttapp and THM with me. He didn't Ttapp as much as I did either.
    Since then life has happened and I haven't solely stuck to both. I am super excited to get back on the bandwagon.
     I had never felt better in my life!

    As someone who loves food I have learned much in my life and after seeing how the wrong foods can hurt your body I refuse to let food own me. It may be Christmas time but that doesn't mean that I have to gorge myself with goodies and blame it on the lack of warmth outside.

    Will I eat unhealthy this month. Oh yeah I will. I just won't go crazy. And you can bet that for the most part I will be eating well. When January comes I will do a second detox just in the name of homemade sugar cookies and fudge. ;) Just sayin....

    *Side Note*

    I am writing this post on my Father's Birthday. I so wish I would have had access to the health information I do now while he was still alive. He is who taught me about my Savior, not through words but instead by his self sacrifice for Jesus. I knew that Jesus had to be someone so very special when I watched my father suffer for him. As my fathers' body was beginning to fail he would still kneel every night and pray. He was so weak and his knees would give out. He would struggle to stand back up. This spoke volumes to me. The church we attended spoke of Jesus, yet never in all my years of attending did I see the kind of love for Jesus in that church that I saw in my father.

    Happy Birthday to my Daddy! I hope you're having fun celebrating with Jesus. I sure do miss you!

    Sunday, November 24, 2013

    Are Family Integrated Church's a Cult?

    All this Doug Philips "affair," talk has stirred up quite a few opinions in blog land. I briefly Googled Vision Forum to see what was going on from Vision Forum itself and before I clicked on their link I found a rather interesting site referring to Vision Forum, Above Rubies, Michael Pearl, Family Integrated Church's, the Quiverfull movement and large Christian families like the Duggar's as either cults or their cult followers.

    This stopped me for a moment. I clicked on the link and skimmed this person's website. What I read wasn't worth repeating in my opinion, and is not what this post is about. However, I will speak of a couple things he touched on as he shared his beliefs that he/she stated as facts which were blatant lies. As my 'about me' page says, "I am allergic to liars." Whether this person is just ignorant or has some ulterior motive, it is irrelevant to me. A lie is a lie.

    I am not here to say whether a family integrated church is right for you and your family. I am simply writing this post to state my personal experience with family integrated church's. All of which opposes the author's webpage I read tonight.

    For starters, what is the definition of a Family Integrated Church?

    Wikipedia says:

    A family integrated church is one in which parents and children ordinarily attend church services together, children stay all through church services without attending Sunday school or children's ministries, and organized groups and activities for children and youth are normally non-existent. Other terms used are family discipleship churches, family-centered ministry and inclusive-congregational ministry.[1]
    A spectrum of such churches exist with some completely eliminating all age-segregation and others allowing for some in certain contexts. Although segregation may take place during weekday events, family-integrated churches are generally united in having children in the main worship service

    So what is a Family Integrated Church coming from someone who has attended one?

    In a Family Integrated church (hence family integrated) children are not excluded from the service.

    This pretty much sums it up.

    Can it be that something that simple is being referred to as a cult? Oh yes, it can, and it is.

    Here are some other questions I want to answer...

    1. Do Family Integrated Church's embrace the "Quiverfull Movement?"

    Some families do and some don't. Some have 11 kids and some have had surgeries to stop them from having children. God's church is filled with different kinds of people. Do Family Integrated Church's teach that babies are a blessing and should be accepted as such? Yes. It's so odd to me that women killing their babies as a form of birth control so they can live as they wish is not only accepted in our society but also praised, yet welcoming life and especially welcoming more than three babies is crazy. Seems to me that something is a wee bit off with that.

    2. Do Family Integrated Church's do everything together?

    No. They have Bible studies and other activities that children don't attend as well as youth activities. You will always find parents there running it instead of a 'youth pastor.'

    3. Do Family Integrated Church's enforce homeschooling?

    No. This is so silly. Yes you will find lots of homeschooling families in Family Integrated Church's but you will also find children who are public schooled as well as some in private schools.

    4. Aren't Family Integrated Church's only for families?

    This question coincides with #1 and the answer is no. The author of the bizarre webpage stated that Family Integrated church's only had families in them. How weird is that?! In family Integrated church's you will find single people, widow's, and even divorced people. You name it. That author had no clue what he was talking about. I wonder where he got his information from. Clearly he has never been to a Family Integrated Church. Maybe he should take a trip to Voddie Baucham's Southern Baptist Family Integrated Church in Spring, Texas and ask him some questions. I'd love to hear those answers.

    5. Do Family Integrated Church's believe in male dominance?

    This one makes me laugh. I'll answer this one with the answer that can be used on every question I've answered. Family Integrated Church's are biblical church's that believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and follow it as such in all aspects of their lives.

    Blog author man or woman stated that Family Integrated Church's are unscriptural cults. This had my jaw on the floor. It shocked me that someone could be this ignorant. During the Apostolic age children worshipped with their parents. They didn't send them off into the other room. That didn't start until much later and yet now that is accepted as scriptural. Children were not a burden. And on another note, the Bible states that it is the parents ultimate responsibility to teach their children about Him. I was raised in a faith that deceived me with their man made doctrines. My husband and I don't want that for our children and sadly we have had some not so great experiences with youth leaders teaching our daughters unscriptural things. These people had Bible school backgrounds and yet were teaching my children their opinions about such teachings. I don't want that. I want my children to learn the truth and it is my responsibility to see that that happens.

    Back to the question. The answer is no. The Family Integrated Church believes in a God-ordained order and that my friends is Biblical. It amazes me how this one thing can freak so many people out.

    Mention the word submission and watch people go crazy.

    God's order:


    I always say that there are only two kinds of people in this world. There are those that believe the Bible is God breathed and those who don't. Those who don't, can't possibly believe its truths and those who do believe that the Bible is inspired that argue, obviously haven't read all of it, or they've read a counterfeit Bible. Many religions add to the Bible in some way and some take away from it. Whatever works for them. And people like my parents and their parents are deceived every day in the name of trust. I learned four years ago to read the Bible and see what God said about everything. That was an eye opener and is why I left the religion I once knew and loved.

    (Did you know that many Bibles omit entire verses? How about that a very popular Bible refers to satan as Jesus?)

    How is it that a church that has decided to go back to how the Apostles did everything is being called a cult? It's simple. Jesus warned us that this would happen. No slave is greater than His master. If we are to follow Him and do what He says, we too will be persecuted.

    Since the last question seems to be the one people (esp. women) seem to have the most issues with, I will touch on it a bit further. Women in these types of churches have been compared to FLDS and that is plain odd to me. They are nothing like them. Authors like the one I read depict women in Family Integrated churches who submit to their husbands as miserable, fake, smiley women who are abused and mousy, submitting to their husbands out of fear.

    This couldn't be further from the truth. I have met many women who share this belief system and you will find anything but mousy, abused women. You will not find women who only wear skirts and cover their heads. Instead you will find jean wearing, skirt wearing, strong, happy, women who enjoy talking. (and even speak in the church. They just don't teach) You will find real smiles. You will find laughing, joking, and even some complaining at times. You will find women loving their husbands and husbands loving their wives. These are not abused women. They don't submit out of guilt or force. Maybe some do, but I've never met any. They submit out of respect and love and each one I know has a husband who adores her in return. Each woman has a voice. A mighty loud one at that and each husband listens to his wife. They reflect God and His church, just like the Bible said married couples would. Do they disagree? Yep. Do they talk about it in front of other people? Sometimes. I've sure seen it.

     Like I said, these women have opinions and mouths. What you won't typically find is disrespect of their husbands. You may find women talking amongst themselves and relay some funny story about how her husband may have frustrated her, but you will never find a woman belittling her husband. If this happens, it is rare. These women know how blessed they are to be loved by strong men, willing to lead in a day and age where men are becoming more and more effeminate. They don't take that or their husbands for granted. It is their goal to lift up their husband with love, even on a day when he may have upset them. If critics find this weird, so be it. I however, don't. My husband is special and he should know I feel that way. I can show him by respecting him.

    That authors accusations were just plain silly and he/she was highly ignorant.

    On to another question.

    6. What's so wrong with daycare and why don't Family Integrated Church's have it?

    There's nothing wrong with daycare and it's a misconception that there isn't ever any daycare option at a Family Integrated church because there can be. It all depends on the church. I have been to one where different mom's take turns and sit in the back of the church, creating a daycare.

    7. What about screaming babies? How can anyone concentrate? What about those that don't have children? How would they feel with all the screaming?

    I grew up in a church that had a cry room. It was poopy and I could never hear anything. It was lonely and I felt isolated. My baby didn't cry if I was walking her but walking her in the church would have been weird and possibly disrespectful. In the Family Integrated Churches I have been in there was rarely crying. This is no lie. Babies cuddled next to their mama's and others played quietly. When a little one would get loud, their mom or dad (this isn't unusual to see) would walk them which would usually solve the problem. Family Integrated churches aren't loud. The children are happy and the parents are free to get up and walk their babies or take one to the potty. There typically is no screaming and no need for a cry room.

    Here's another difference about Family Integrated Church's. In my experience, the Elder's do not get paid. All of the tithes go back into the church, into the community and to helping missionaries. The church members are involved in this. You will find leaders who lead because of their genuine love for Jesus and His church. Money has nothing to do with it. It's not a job.

    I could go on but this post is already pretty long. If you've read all of it, I hope it answered some of your questions and gave you some answers from someone who has attended a Family Integrated Church.

    As I'm sure you've gathered, I love Family Integrated churches. Do I think other churches are bad? I sure don't as long as they line up scripturally. I know of some families who are blessed to attend terrific churches that have phenomenal youth programs. Even still, if I have a choice, I want my kiddos with me, and given the choice (which they have been) they choose to be with us, no matter what church we attend.

    Wednesday, November 20, 2013

    Should Christians put up a Christmas Tree?

    From the above picture I am going to assume you know what I do beings those are three of my girls putting up my tree. LOL

    Once upon a time, I didn't think twice about having a Christmas tree. It was what everyone I knew did and then I found out how pagans worshipped trees and shortly thereafter I met some Christians who didn't celebrate Christmas and surely didn't put up a tree.

    After talking and praying about it, my husband and I decided that we would still celebrate Christmas in remembrance of whenever our Savior was really born and we would continue to put up our tree.

    So here's why...

    We do not worship the tree, never have and never would. It is nothing but a fun decoration. I am a creative spirit and I decorate for every season. I would have a tree up other seasons and decorate it. Maybe not as big as this one, but I totally would.

    We still celebrate Christmas because we enjoy it. Our children know the truth about the season including its myths and we're all happy with that. Jesus Himself told us not to let any man judge us as to what days we focus solely on Him and that would include December 25 or 26 or 27. You get the picture.

    So now I bet you're wondering if these pictures are this year and the answer is yes.

    Think I'm crazy? LOL

    Every year in November on my husbands birthday we put up our tree and lights.

    It is our little family tradition to decorate the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving night after all of the dishes are done. After a couple of years of putting up the tree, doing the lights that night and then decorating, I decided something had to change. I was way too tired to do that again. Especially on a day I spend on my feet cooking a big meal. The next year we put up the tree and lights in advance and boy was I happy when Thanksgiving came and all I had to do was help decorate! I could rest and enjoy the time with my family. Now, it wasn't work anymore. It was fun!

    Of course there are some of us (all my girls) who think that putting the tree up is just the most wonderful thing ever. Clearly they have never put lights on a tree. O.O LOL

    And then there are those too little to do much. They tend to find other things to do like try to eat their sisters Magnadoodle pen when Mama isn't looking. O.O Uh oh, busted.

    And then there's the wee one who is just content at that moment to be being held by Daddy.

    Tis the season to be jolly... fa la la la la, la la la la

    Tuesday, November 19, 2013

    When a 4 yr. old Dresses Themselves

    This my friends, is sometimes what happens when my four year old dresses herself.

    Hmmm... I told her that she couldn't just wear her tights even though they are crazy thick. I didn't mention that I wasn't too fond of the black tights with the purple shirt. She was so proud of her outfit. I figured it was one of those moments I should just keep my opinions to myself.

    This is the end result after she finished her outfit and mommy fixed her hair. Check out that smile!

    And for an added bonus her little sister snuck in the picture.

    The end result, albeit being better than the first try at her outfit, was still not what I would have chosen.
    A child is only 4 years old once.
    I say, wear those black tights kiddo and enjoy being little.

    Beaver Butt... it's what's for Dessert. Say What?

    Oh yeah, you read that right. The FDA has been using a secretion from a beavers anus to flavor foods as well as in perfumes. Nope, no kidding.

    I think it might be time to think twice (or once even) before buying anything vanilla, strawberry, or raspberry flavored ever again. O.O

    You can read about it HERE at Natural News.com

    *Today I decided to Pin this to my Trim Healthy Mama pinterest file for all those mama's to see. Back when I was on Facebook I knew of many mom's that used these flavorings regularly and would want to know what they were consuming*

    Monday, November 18, 2013

    Meet some of my 'Extended Family'

    As a mom to all girls my life may be a wee bit different than moms of both boys and girls. You see, I am raising future mom's, and only future mom's. With that being said, I would like to show you what I see often on my furniture. I call them my extended family.

    These are my children's "children."
    And each and every one of them has a personality. Maybe it's in the genes. I'm not sure. As someone who took acting in school and was in the theatre since age eleven, I am not new to the world of pretend.

    Six of those little dolls are American Girl dolls, three being my eldests and one being a joint doll which was a gift from my mom last year. The twins belong to our four year old and McKenna is our seven year old's.

    If you're even remotely familiar with American Girl Dolls then you know they are not cheap by any means. I have seen so many blog posts on how getting a 'My Generation,' doll from Target is just as good. I am here to say that if that's all you can buy and your child will never come in contact with an American Girl doll than that may be true. However, my girls have had those dolls and they aren't made nearly as well as the pricey American Girl dolls. Their hair is almost unmanageable and if you're planning on these little things being around for awhile, their hair is semi-important.

    My husband and I aren't well off by any stretch of the imagination. We have had to save to get our girls these dolls and I am so glad we have. They are a wonderful addition to our family and are around us all the time.

    I have learned much as I've gotten older and one thing I've learned is that I don't like junk in my home so my girls don't get nearly as many presents as they used to. It never failed, I would end up getting rid of tons of junky broken things by spring or summer. That was a waste of money.

    Meet "Johnny boy and Amy," our Bitty Twins. Johnny boy is pretty special. He's our only boy. These belong to our sweet four year old who takes great care of them. She had a Target doll whom went bye bye awhile back. Her hair was everywhere! Ew... My poor girl pretended she was Johnny and Amy's big sister. When I got rid of that doll my daughter looked at me all sad and said, "Mama, who will babysit them now?" It just about broke my heart but the amount of hair all over my floor and the floofed up, unbrushable doll hair won out and that doll said her goodbyes.

    Here is my sweet baby girl playing with her big sisters doll, "Brenedette." Brenedette is seven years old and my eldests first American Girl doll. She is very loved. Sunshine is now letting my four year old babysit her every now and then but my little one still misses her doll. Mama and Daddy might just have a special surprise for her this Christmas. My hubby is unemployed now that he's off of orders but before he was we were able to buy each one of our daughters one Christmas present.

    One may not be much, but we don't believe Christmas is about presents. It's when our family has a birthday party celebrating Jesus' birthday and I'm pretty darn excited about this Christmas!