Sunday, November 30, 2008


Question:I've heard that Epsom Salt is often used by parents whose children have been diagnosed with autism. Can you explain?
Answer:Many doctors believe that autism is accompanied by bowel disorders that make it difficult to absorb nutrients and to purge the body of wastes. Sulfates, one of the major components of Epsom Salt, have been shown effective in improving nutrient absorption and toxin elimination. Magnesium, the other major component of Epsom Salt, has a demonstrated calming effect and plays a role in the activity of more than 325 enzymes. Because both magnesium and sulfates can be absorbed through the skin, many parents report that giving their child a warm bath with 1-2 cups of dissolved Epsom Salt just before bedtime helps extend the child's sleep cycle and ease digestive function.

A good friend of mine suggested Epsom Salts for Mikey. This was a God-send. We started the Epsom Salts right away. Dr. Mary Megson also recommended this for him.
His wet diapers used to smell like sulphur (which I thought was odd). Now they smell normal. Mikey calls the Epsom Salts "snow". He asked for "snow" yesterday when I forgot to add them to his bath :)

Friday, November 28, 2008


Then and Now...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mikey

Mikey's 3rd birthday was on Thanksgiving Day this year! He enjoyed the presents (of course!) and blowing out the candles and all the attention. We had friends over so he had a lot of people singing "Happy Birthday" to him.

This was his first time to actually tried smiling for the camera!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year, I'm especially thankful for:

Jesus , Savior and Friend

Good health
A faithful and loving husband
Our children
Mikey's progress
The beautiful area in which we live
A great parish
Friends and Family
Beautiful birds
Our Nubian goats

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." I Thessalonians 5:18

Snuggle Bunny

Mikey is happily snuggled up on our bed.

The date on the pic is wrong...this was taken last week before I cut his hair.

How do you get rid of the red eyes?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Basketball Player

Jonathan is on a varsity basketball team this year and is doing real well. I think he is the tallest on his team at 6'5. He's number 40 on his team.

Play Dough

Today I bought some Play Dough (a package of 4 was only 99 cents!) and was very happy that Mikey enjoyed playing with it. He was getting over the stomach flu and then Julia came down with it. They needed something a little different and fun.
So I stayed home with them while Michael took the others to a Christendom play of "The Secret Garden" They enjoyed the play and we had fun making snakes, cookies and chicks with the Play Dough :)

Friday, November 21, 2008


Today when I came home from the store, Mikey ran to me and said "Mommy"! To me it's amazing, wonderful, and exciting!
I've been waiting and longing and trying to hear "Mama "or "Mommy" for a long time! I know he's almost 3 but he is just now starting to talk.

I was worried when he was 2 and didn't speak. We thought he might have a hearing problem because he didn't turn to us when we called or even screamed his name. People told me that they thought he was deaf. We had his hearing tested and it came back normal. I found out through Internet research that he had many of the red flag warning signs of autism.

He received a diagnosis of PDD-NOS (some autistic signs but not all) in June. We saw one of the best doctors in this field (Dr. Mary Megson) and she gave us hope that he would recover from this. She put him on many supplements and we all work with him daily to help him learn to interact and speak.

He has stopped banging his head, being overly obsessive about little things, and the horrendous tantrums (well, we still do get these sometimes). He is less picky about food, has better eye contact than before, shows some interest in playing with others and is so much more engaged in general than he was 6 months ago.
I believe prayer has helped him.

I believe autistic children can be helped and they can recover.
Mikey is most likely going to a special ed. preschool in the New Year. We think this will help him.
God bless all the parents with autistic children and all their children.
A video about a little boy named Drew who is on the autism spectrum. Sad but beautiful video for me. It makes me cry every time.
If you have a little more time, here's another video with more info. on the signs of autism. It is at epidemic proportions now affecting 1 in 150 children. (Less than 20 years ago, it was 1 in 10,000!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Homemade Cleaning Products

Here's a few of the formulas I use for cleaning which are non-toxic (most of the typical cleaning products out there are very bad to breathe). I enjoy giving the kids a spray bottle and not having to worry about them breathing toxic fumes. Plus, they are really inexpensive to make! I like the natural cleaning products out there but they cost much more than the homemade ones and are basically the same thing!

All Purpose Cleaner

2T.white vinegar (only distilled white vinegar)
1 t Borax
Hot water
a few drops of a mild dish detergent
5 drops of essential oil, optional
In a 16 spray bottle put vinegar, borax and hot water. Swish around until borax has dissolved. Add the drops of dish detergent and fill the rest of the bottle with water. Add the essential oil (I like using orange or lavender).

Homemade Window Cleaner
½ t mild dish detergent
3T. white vinegar
2 cups water
Put all these ingredients into a spray bottle. Shake this up some and use it just like the commercial variety. Wash the windows when the sun is not shining on them and they will not streak.

I love using distilled white vinegar for cleaning and there are so many ways it can be used . See the link below. A little bit of essential oils will cut the vinegar smell but I don't use the oils when cleaning windows.

Soft Scrub Cleanser
For homemade soft scrub cleanser, mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with enough liquid detergent to make a cleansing liquid. You can apply the cleanser and scrub with a sponge to clean. This works very well in sinks or the bathtubs. Simply rinse it off when you are done cleaning and it washes off easily and will not leave any grit behind.


Here's a little something I found the other day when googling "how to get motivated to clean your house". Ha Ha!! I google everything! Maybe I'll put some of this into practice today :)
1. Make a list of cleaning goals. Take some time in the beginning of your week to jot down a few small cleaning goals for each day. Try not to overwhelm yourself by tackling a huge job that you'll tire of halfway through and abandon. For example, instead of cleaning the whole bathroom at once, settle for making your countertops and mirrors shine. 2. Enlist a little help from your children and husband. Nothing deters you from cleaning the house more than knowing you have to do it all. To make your life easier and to get you going full force on the job you take on, pass the list around. 3. Treat yourself to some new cleaning supplies. This may not sound so exciting, but if you go out and buy new tools for cleaning that are designed to simplify your jobs, you'll be more motivated to get going.
(I love to try new natural products without all the toxic fumes and/or make my own)
4. Set the alarm and start the day by cleaning something. By tackling a small job first thing in the morning, you get your mind set on the other tasks waiting for your attention. Also, this sets the motivational tone for you to get as much done as possible before moving onto something else. 5. Crank up the music. . Music is a great motivator, and it helps to pass the time that much quicker. 6. Take some time for yourself--after you've finished a cleaning job, that is. Create motivation by indulging in a reward when you've reached a cleaning goal. Have a cup of tea, read a magazine or take a walk.,eat some chocolate, etc. You've earned it! 7. Plan a party! One surefire way to spark the motivational fire is to invite friends or family over . You'll want your house to look its best, so you'll get those cleaning gears turning.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


We were blessed with more snow today. I'm loving this turn in the weather!
This photo is of a female Red Cardinal. The male is the bright red one. I can't take credit for the photos though...I found them on Google images ;)

First snow dusting

Michael and I were out for our weekly "date night" tonight and it started snowing! Well, it was more like heavy flurries but it was exciting!
We went to Goodwill and found some good buys for only $3 and stepped out into the blowing snow. Exhilarating! We went to a cozy Mexican restaurant following and I ordered a bowl of their soup. That was perfect on a cold night.

I treasure our weekly night outs and I'm glad that we've kept this tradition in our (almost) 20 years of marriage.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Dream

MADRID, November 13, 2008 (CNA) - The Spanish daily "La Razon" has published an article on the conversion of a former "champion of abortion."Stojan Adasevic, who performed 48,000 abortions, sometimes up to 35 per day, is now the most important pro-life leader in Serbia, after spending 26 years as the most prominent abortionist in the country. "The medical textbooks of the Communist regime said abortion was simply the removal of a blob of tissue," the newspaper reported. "Ultrasounds allowing the fetus to be seen did not arrive until the 80s, but they did not change his opinion. Nevertheless, he began to have nightmares." In describing his conversion, Adasevic said he "dreamed about a beautiful field full of children and young people who were playing and laughing,from 4 to 24 years of age, but who ran away from him in fear. A man dressed in a black and white habit stared at him in silence. The dream was repeated each night and he would wake up in a cold sweat. One night he asked the man in black and white who he was. 'My name is Thomas Aquinas,' the man in his dream responded. Adasevic, educated in communist schools, had never heard of the Dominican genius saint. He didn't recognize the name." "Why don't you ask me who these children are?" St. Thomas asked Adasevicin his dream. "They are the ones you killed with your abortions," the Dominican saint told him. "Adasevic awoke in amazement and decided not to perform any more abortions," the article stated.
Never before had a doctor in Communist Yugoslavia refused to do so. They cut his salary in half, fired his daughter from her job, and did not allow his son to enter the university." After years of pressure and on the verge of giving up, he had another dream about St. Thomas. "You are my good friend, keep going," the man in black and white told him. "Adasevic became involved in the pro-life movement and was able to get Yugoslav television to air the film 'The Silent Scream,' by Doctor Bernard Nathanson, two times." Adasevic has told his story in magazines and newspapers throughout Eastern Europe. He has returned to the Orthodox faith of his childhood and has studied the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. "Influenced by Aristotle, Thomas wrote that human life begins forty days after fertilization," Adasevic wrote in one article. Scientific advancements since Thomas' time, however, have revealed that human life begins at the moment of conception. La Razon commented that Adasevic"suggests that perhaps the saint wanted to make amends for that error." Today the Serbian doctor continues to fight for the lives of the unborn.
I am amazed how God uses many ways to convert people, even dreams! I took out a small portion of the article because of a graphic description.

Pro-Life Benefit

Michael and I attended an amazing pro-life gala last night thanks to some good friends of ours. We had a great time!

I have been hearing about Dr. Bruchalski for some time and last night I had the privilege to hear him speak.He founded and runs a ob clinic (Divine Mercy Center) which is pro-life and they help the poor also.

We heard some amazing stories and it was a delight to see so many babies there. They raised over 50,000 dollars last night. Pretty impressive considering the economy! That just goes to show that God's work is alive and well and people care more than ever.

We are hoping that he will open a clinic in our town someday. Here's an interview with Dr. Bruchalski that I found:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Comfort Food

I love this chocolate pudding recipe from my mom! It turns out silky smooth and rich. I think the secret is heating the dry ingredients before adding the milk. Anyway, yum!

Mom's Chocolate Pudding

1/3 Cup of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1/2 Cup of sugar

2 T plus 2 t. cornstarch

2 Cups of Milk

1 t. Vanilla

In medium pan, stir (with a whisk) the cocoa, sugar and cornstarch until thoroughly blended. Heat this mixture over medium heat and gradually add the milk. Cook..stirring constantly with wire whisk until thick, shiny and smooth. Cool for 5 minutes stirring occasionally to keep smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour into custard cups or into large bowl and press plastic wrap on the top and cool. Or... eat it warm like I like to do :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pumpkin Bread

This recipe has been a favorite of mine for years. Lately, we've been eating a lot of this. The recipe makes 2 loaves and sometimes I add chocolate chips to the batter to make it extra yummy (and fattening!). It calls for 3 cups of sugar but I only use 2 or 2 1/2. Also, I use coconut oil sometimes for the oil/butter. I got the recipe from my step-mom and it's moist and delicious:)

Also, the sunflower seeds on the top are optional. It bakes at 350 for about 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clear.

Can you tell which eggs are free range?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Above Rubies

I just received the recent issue of the Above Rubies magazine. This magazine comes out whenever they can publish it as it is run by donations. This is a ministry of building up families throughout the world.
This new issue is on marriage.
I'm so happy when it arrives in the mail! The articles always seem to inspire me and convict me too!

I met Nancy Campbell (the editoress) at an Above Rubies retreat almost a year ago. I was struck with her humble and loving disposition. She is a woman of faith and conviction and is full of the Holy Spirit and the love of Jesus. I loved meeting her and hearing her speak and praying with her.
I've been getting the magazine for over 15 years now. Nancy has also written to me over the years always encouraging me in the high calling of motherhood and family life. She's been such a blessing to me! I really should be a much better wife and mother by now!

God bless Nancy Campbell and her ministry :)

Here are some words from Nancy Campbell:

God blessed and "said to them..."
What do you say when you open your mouth? Is your first response to bless? To bless your husband? To bless your children? To bless the people you come in contact with? It is a God-like habit we need to cultivate. Think about things you can say that will encourage, inspire and bless and then say them. Words of blessing can be exhilarating words that will gladden a person's heart. They can be exhorting words that will spark vision and revelation and release people to do great things. Blessing words inspire people to be what God created them to be.
The word for “bless” in the Hebrew is eulogeo from eu which means “good” and logos which means “word, speech.” If you are a blessing person as God created you to be you will constantly be speaking good words.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Golden Trees

I'm enjoying the beautiful golden leaves on the tree near our house. Here's a poem I found expressing the beauty I see all around. I also love to see the hidden nests that are exposed when the leaves fall.

In Autumn when the leaves turn brownAnd red and gold, they all fall down.To paint a picture, oh so rare!I know that God is there...
To mastermind His ebb and flow;To stage His wondrous Autumn show, To brush His skies with molten gold;I watch His art unfold.
No grander sight could I behold:These leaves of brown and red and gold.But Winter bodes its icy chillsUpon the snow-clad hills.
In time the land, a living scene,Comes bursting forth in savage green;And I confront the season's thievesThat took my Autumn leaves.
But soon a softness in the air!God paints a picture, oh so rareOf Autumn leaves that all turn brownAnd red and gold as they fall down.
~~By Henry W. Gurley.~~

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Buck

Here are some pics of our goats visiting the local registered Nubian buck. They seem to be getting along well and hopefully, in the spring, we'll have lots of kids and goat's milk!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


The readings at Mass, friends and the bluebirds gave me encouragement this morning. Thank You, Lord!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

Fast and Pray on Election Day!

This is taken from the Priests for Life:

Pope John Paul II put it this way: "Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination" (Christifideles Laici, 1988).
A call for human rights while claiming authority to take away the most basic right – life – from unborn children is “false and illusory” precisely because if government can take away rights from some humans, then those rights aren’t human rights at all. Such a politician, in other words, is saying that rights like health care only belong to some humans, not to others.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Our chicks arrived a couple of weeks ago and they are doing great. We have 16 Golden Comets (they gave us an extra one). It's fun to throw in a worm and watch "chicken football". Mikey keeps saying "chick" and dragging me downstairs to see them.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Skyline Drive

Jonathan, Mikey and I took a drive up Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park the other day so Jonathan could get in some more driving hours. Jonathan is doing really well and I'm confident that he'll be a great driver. We took the photos with his camera (much better than mine).

Saturday, November 1, 2008

All Saint's Day Party

We went to the All Saint's Day celebration at the parish today. Julia was Blessed Mother Teresa and Becca was Saint Bernadette. Happy All Saint's Day!

National Zoo

We had a beautiful afternoon at the National Zoo. The weather was perfect and we all enjoyed seeing the animals. Mikey was wide-eyed when he saw the elephants (one of his favorite animals!) We also saw an orangutan close up but it was regurgitating it's food and then eating it in front of us. A good way to keep the crowds moving along I guess :)