Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Multiplication Tables

Although this is our 10th year homeschooling, I am in new territory when it comes to 5th grade work.  You see, Andrew was in 10th grade when we first started to home-educate.  He already knew how to read, write and he knew his multiplication tables.

I remember learning my multiplication tables and that is exactly what I want our 5th grader to be fluent in:  multiplication. 

I use Math-U-See curricula and have been pleased with it.  But, for some odd reason, Hubs has decided that we should switch to Alpha Omega's Switched on Schoolhouse.  I don't get it, really.  Hubs is not real involved in the planning of our school years, the selection of curricula or in our unit studies.  I think that he thinks that it will be "fun" for Nicolas to learn math on the computer.  I am trying to keep an open mind and heart, but - am skeptical.  We'll see.

Umtil we switch over, we'll keep reviewing our times table monthly, just to stay on top of things.  I found a great website with a full size times table - here is:


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pinterest of Interest - Yummy Chicken Recipe

Yes, I spend enough time on the computer... reading blogs, IM-ing on Facebook and pinning on Pinterest.  Interestingly enough, I get a lot of great ideas for our homeschool on Pinterest, as well as home project ideas and recipes.  Speaking of Pinterest recipes...

Made this the other day...  it was delicious.  And really fattening, even though I used reduced fat ingredients as much as I could.  ((sigh))  I made a 9 x 13 pan of the warm and wonderful chicken recipe and they ate the whole pan!  Unbelievable.

Chicken Crescent Roll Casserole

2 (8 ounce) cans Reduced Fat Pillsbury Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup, undiluted
¾ cup grated cheddar cheese or Monterrey jack (and/or any cheese or combination of)
¼ cup milk
4 ounces cream cheese (very soft) - used reduced fat cream cheese
2 Tablespoons soft butter
½ - 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
½ cup frozen peas, defrosted
1 large cooked chicken breast, finely chopped
½ - ¾ cup finely grated cheddar cheese
½ tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)
2 Tbsp. milk

1 cup grated cheddar cheese for topping
½ cup Monterrey jack cheese for topping
2 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan for topping

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray or coat bottom and sides with olive oil. Mix together milk, 3/4 cup cheese and undiluted soup and season with black pepper.

For the filling: in a bowl, mix the very soft cream cheese with softened butter until very smooth, then add garlic powder. Stir well and add in rest of ingredients until combined. Unroll the crescent rolls. Place 1 heaping tablespoon chicken mixture on top of each crescent triangle, then roll up starting at the thicker end. Your fingers will get a little gooey, but – just roll and seal. Spoon a small amount of soup mixture on the bottom of the dish. Then place the crescent rolls seam-side down on top of the creamy soup mixture.

Spoon the remaining sauce on top each roll up and lastly, sprinkle with 1 cup (or more) grated cheese or cheese mixtures, or amount desired. I used 4 different cheeses because I had a little bit of this and that… Bake for about 30 - 40 minutes.

Serve with a generous tossed salad because your family will want to eat the whole pan of these yummy chicken roll ups. No kidding. Use salad as a filler, especially if you want leftovers. My kids called these little cheesy chicken pot pies. Kinda true.  Very good on a cold night.  Definitely comfort food category material! This recipe is pretty forgiving because I changed and adapted it to my preference (reduced the chicken/added the veggies).

And to be fair, I found it at http://www.plainchicken.com/2009/08/chicken-rollups-2.html



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New to Me Website

I recently stumbled on a great website about vaccinations and immunizations.  I have learned more than I thought I would -- so I have to share it!


What I especially find informative is the section that explains how the vaccines are made.  Funny what I have fogotten over the last year.  Actually, not funny at all.  Not at all.  Allergies are not funny.

Here's info on the MMR.  If you're reading this, and if you are brave enough, I ask you to read just the MMR info.  Take 2 minutes and read it.  Then pray and ask God what  He wants you to do with your new info. 

I am not the kind of person who can ignore truth.  Bam!  When it hits me - I am changed.  Not always for the good either... sometimes most times it is downright depressing and I may stop blogging about all the negative stuff that I find out.  But, that takes me back to the "Bam".  How does one deal with the whole vaccine dilemma?  I will pray and make the best decisions for my family that I can.  I hope that you do too.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. ~ Proverbs 14:12

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cold Season Already?

I have a cold.  It's what I call a "head cold" and I almost never get them.  During the winter months, I increase my resistance by taking extra vitamin supplements, including D3.  I did not get a cold all of last year, but, I sure do have one now.  (Sniff-sniff)  I do not take any OTC medicines when I get a cold.  I suffer it through and am generally better within 5 days.  The symptoms are rough, but shorter duration is what I go for.

When my kids get a cold, I don't give them cold medicine either -- especially if it has red #40 in it!  No way! 

We've experienced crazy behavior too many times... so the last few years we've used what I call "old fashioned" remedies for our colds.  Hot steamy showers, diffused essential oils (RC & Thieves), lots of fluids - including hot teas, juicing, staying home and increasing sleep and rest, etc.  Most people want to feel better right away - me too!  However, I have personally found that taking medicines that mask the symptoms have negative effects on us and prolong our illness.  Quite the opposite effect of why we would want to take them!

Ran across a great post about OTC medicines and such -- over at The Autism File:

"The FDA recommends that parents and caregivers check the active ingredients on the product label. Parents and caregivers should also check the inactive ingredients on the label, as both may affect the well-being of a person with ADD, ADHD, or ASD.

Inactive ingredients such as preservatives, dyes, and other excipients can cause allergic reactions, such as rash, exacerbation of asthma symptoms, anaphylaxis, hyperactivity, and, in some cases, upset stomach and diarrhea.
■First, you can ask your pharmacist to look at the package insert. Under the title “description” at the very top of the insert, there is a list of all the ingredients in a manufactured product.

■Second, check a Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR). The PDR is a compilation of package inserts printed as a book. Most libraries and large book stores have a copy of the PDR. Unfortunately, only the most current high volume prescription drugs are in the book.

■Third, you can look online. Find the official website of the prescription drug you are checking on. Click on “health care professional” and then go to the prescribing information section, which will bring up a copy of the package insert. The first item listed is the description, and the inactive ingredients are listed there."
You can link over to the whole article here.  She has a couple of great tables highlighting many of the ingredients that we avoid - including sodium benzoates and the effects of  such on those with special needs.  I also personally think that hand washing does an amazing job of ridding germs and assists in fighting off colds too.

Isn't it funny that so many  informative websites (IMHO) are autism related?  Yet - they are beneficial to the whole family.  Again, in my opinion.  The older I get and the more I experience, the more opinions I have.  I hate cold and flu season.  I will work hard on prevention again this year.  Really hard. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Dentist is Not A Flouride God

I took the kids to a new dentist, recently. Normally, when we go to the dentist, I prepare myself to be lectured and scolded because of our decisions to NOT use fluoride.  I usually rehearse what I may need to say -- so that I am not caught off-guard and I re-familiarize myself with just how much money the lobbyists and dental associations actually make.  This time:  I did none of that.  I simply went as a mom.  A mom taking her kids to the dentist.  Period.

I told the receptionist that I wanted to get my children's teeth cleaned and that we would need x-rays, but - that we would not be having fluoride treatments.  Apparently she listened, (heard) and understood what I said because they did not have the fluoride out on the trays nor  did they ask me if I wanted it.  The hygienist starting looking for it and quickly realized that we were declining treatment and then... she offered my kids some stickers.  That's it!

No lecture.  No guilt.  No thoughts of, "Why don't they get it?"

Oh, by the way -- NO CAVITIES!  I was and am so happy!  Makes me want to chant:  no cavities - we have no cavities!  Excuse my lack of proper grammar when elated.  By the way, my children do not have any cavities! 

No cavities - we have no cavities! 

The last 2 years we have used Young Living toothpaste.   Don't judge me - just rejoice that my kids did not have any cavities... ok?  Healing takes years and we are not going back to the chaos of what it used to be like when we went to the dentist.  I went through years of humiliation. 

No cavities - we have no cavities! 

There are 3 man-made chemicals (that I've blogged about before) in most toothpaste: Sodium fluoride, Sorbitol and sodium lauryl sulfate.  In my opinion, they should not be in anything that touches our skin on a regular basis, let alone in our mouths!  (sigh)
A quick reminder about fluoride...  By law, the amount of or concentration of Sodium fluoride cannot exceed 1000 ppm (parts per million) for adults and 500 ppm for kids. If higher, there is concern that the "fluoride ion might react with calcium ion and magnesium ion in the human body and cause low level calcium ion and magnesium ion in blood".   For those of us who fight to get supplements in our kids, we sure don't need to make things worse!

Basically, Sorbitol is a liquid that keeps toothpaste moist/wet. Sodium lauryl sulfate  makes toothpaste foam (and gives lather to shampoo as it strips the hair). However, both could be a laxative, causing diarrhea - if they have been swallowed. C'mon -- kids swallow everything and when trying to pinpoint allergies and reactions, it is so hard to trace what affects our kids... but - toothpaste?  Well, you test it out and see if there's a connection.

Thieves Dentarome Toothpaste 

All 3 varieties of Thieves toothpaste are from natural sources. The active ingredient is the essential oil blend - Thieves. Don't judge the name - read about it here.
The constituents of essential oils in Thieves -- thymol, eugenol and eucalyptal are documented to be antibacterial! These ingredients fight the development of plaque and reduce the severity of gingivitis and cavities without side effects. Thieves toothpaste is also effective against 6 different common organisms that can cause oral infections, such as periodontal diseases; Streptococcus oralis, Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus pneumoniae,Streptococci sanguis, Bramunella catarrhalis and Candida albicans.

Our whole family uses Thieves toothpaste and as a distributor for Young Living, this is one of the many Young Living products that I believe in.  It does what is claims to do. There is nothing else like it and so we continue to use it.

No cavities - we have no cavities.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Changes - 1 at A Time

  This year has been a year of changes - more than I could have or would have even imagined, if I had imagined changes at all.

  • Our family has moved to a new state, new home and new life. Big change.  Due to this big change, I find myself needing to blog again.  Remember -- blogging is my therapy!  My kids need me, so here I am back to blogging.
There have been many significant changes that have happened, which I am sure I'll share in due time.  The most amazing things have happened and I want to be able to share the good and encouraging things -- especially regarding our health and allergies.

For today, I will share that our son's health improved SIGNIFICANTLY when he lost his baby teeth with silver fillings.  We live with him, so we saw the improvement right away.  It was significant and it was immediate.

Tomorrow we have dentist appointments for the 1st time since moving.  I am curious to see how Boy Wonder  reacts to the air and environment.  And, no - we will not be having fluoride treatments. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Safe Mints - Yum Yum

I'm always on the lookout for safe treats for my family, but - especially for Nicolas and especially this time of year, the after-Christmas let down.  Long gone are the days of Christmas stockings that were filled with marshmallow Santas and holiday Snicker bars.  Pears and pomegranates replaced the corn syrup filled sugary candies.  And mints.  And Christmas was good.

In November, I found a wonderful new (to me) candy called Meltzer's Puremints.  I bought spearmint flavor.

Label says --
100% Natural, Absolutely Nothing Artificial and No Animal Products.
On the back it says:  Gluten free. Non-irradiated, no propylene glycol.  
 Although sealed in plastic wrap, I can smell these little lovlies!  WOW - they smell more than amazing.  Wow - I hafta say it again...  WOW.

I got these at Vita Source in Madison, however, I believe that Whole Foods sells them as well.  I keep them in my purse and enjoy them during church.  I love church and I love these mints.