A simple blog about seeking the Lord, savoring life and joyfully serving my family.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

"White Chocolate Mint Mocha" Caffeine Free, Dairy Free


 I concocted this little recipe to satisfy my very sweet tooth and give me energy on a cold afternoon. My kids enjoy this drink as well and we have found it can be savored any time of the day, even bedtime.  We call it a "white chocolate mint mocha" although there is no chocolate or coffee in it!
...See now, how my eyes have brightened because I tasted a little of this honey. 1 Samuel 14:29

Adoring Family's "White Chocolate Mint Mocha"

1 1/2 cups almond milk
1 1/2 Tbsps. raw honey
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tsp. vanilla
1/2 Tsp. pure mint extract

Combine ingredients in a small pot and heat slowly on a stovetop. I usually add the honey right at the end so as not to compromise the beneficial nutrients and enzymes in the raw honey. Blend with an  immersion blender for 30 to 60 seconds. 

If you want to make this a mint hot chocolate recipe, simply add 1 or 2 tsps. of cocoa powder.
I love the bubbly froth the immersion blender creates. My daughter calls the froth marshmallows :) I doubled the recipe and we sipped this warming treat by the fire while we had our Bible study this morning.  And then I had to make more :D


Adoring Family's "White Chocolate Mint Mocha" has many health benefits.
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, a type of medium-chain triglyceride. This fat helps to increase thermogenesis, perfect for warming you up on a cold day. It also boosts metabolism and aids the body in burning fat. It creates a unique energy source and improves cognitive function. What momma doesn't need that in the afternoon?

Raw honey  contains the vitamins B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and the minerals calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc to name a few. Honey contains the antioxidant "pinocembrin" which has  antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer benefits.

Half my kids cannot pronounce half of those words (but it's great when they try) so they obliviously enjoy the frothy mustaches and delicious sweet creamy taste while I smile knowing they are ingesting a healthy, sweet treat.

My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste.
 Proverbs 24:13
Grace and peace,
Adoring Family

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Adoring Homestead

Good morning from the Adoring Family. We are a homesteading family which simply means we are attempting to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle.  
 
Prepare your work outside And make it ready for yourself in the field; Afterwards, then, build your house. Proverbs 24:27
 
Our homesteading journey began three years ago. We grow our own veggies, raise chickens and have planted 2 fig trees, 10 loquat trees, 2 peach, 2 plum, 2 pomegranate and one lemon tree.
 
 

 My husband has an extensive array of knowledge, he can fix anything and everything he puts his hand to thrives (sounds braggy but it's true :D). He designed, constructed and planted this lush garden. We planted tomatoes, tomatillos, habaneros (my favorite pepper), jalapenos, spaghetti squash, cucumbers, eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini and butternut squash. We also planted rosemary, dill, mint, basil, and sage.We plan to plant grapevines this spring.
 
 
We installed a drip irrigation system and use the "no-till" gardening approach (more on that later).
 
 
I gave my husband bee boxes for his birthday and he is working on moving a hive into them. We are hoping it will be a success as a bee box our size will produce about 30 lbs. of honey. Trust me, we'll eat it! 
We would like to add more livestock such as a calf and a Nigerian dwarf goat. These goats are gentle and small in size but give large quantities of milk.
 
 
Prepare your work outside And make it ready for yourself in the field; Afterwards, then, build your house.
Proverbs 24:27
 
 
This is our oldest hen, Helen. Her neck reminds us of a snow capped mountain so my husband thought of the name Mt. Saint Helen :)
 
 
She is a sweet old girl and doesn't mind sharing her chicks with us.
 
 
 
 
Helen and her brood cooling off in the flower bed.
 
 
When the chickens lay their first eggs they start out small and gradually increase in size. 
We are blessed with over a dozen eggs per day.
 
 
Of course our favorite thing to grow around here is this...
 
 
We are so excited for spring! I cannot tell you the joy it is to walk out to pick fresh veggies for dinner. We love fresh salsa and crisp cucumber salad. We enjoy making eggplant parmesan and feast on "fried" zucchini (shhh, it's actually healthy). Spaghetti squash is my absolute favorite. The kids adore fresh tomatoes and stuffed squash blossoms are a relished gourmet treat. I have a better camera this year so hopefully I can get some better photos for you! We will keep you posted :)
Grace and peace,
Adoring Family
 


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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fun Way to Memorize States And Capitals

The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge,
And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
Proverbs 18:15
I am grateful for the privilege of educating our children at home We take the classical approach and attempt to make the acquisition of knowledge a pleasant experience. We hope to develop a lifetime love of learning through study and life experiences.




I have mentioned that we use the Classical Conversations curriculum as an elemental portion of our homeschooling. I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate everything about this curriculum. The best part is our community. The children attend "school" one day a week and do awesome science experiments, unique art projects, study  math, geography, Latin, English grammar, history, fine arts, and give presentations to practice their public speaking skills. Classical Conversations is broken up into three yearly cycles. We are in Cycle 3 this year which focuses on American History. For geography we learn our states, capitals, landmarks and rivers and lakes.

For a fun geography activity we have a large puzzle map of the United States that the children enjoy putting together. We have also purchased the flashcards which have information about each state. Last year we chose a state per week to learn about using the flashcards and learned each state's flower, state bird and capital. Our favorite way to practice our states and capitals is the song below. Because of this fun song I am excited to say I have finally memorized my states and capitals as well! We love the catchy tune and it is so cute to see the kiddos dancing and singing along. I hope you enjoy it! Let me know if you have any other fun ideas for memorizing states and capitals :)




Grace and Peace,
Adoring Family


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Monday, February 16, 2015

Teach Us to Number Our Days

When I was a little girl I would dream of having babies and taking care of my home. I thought this time would last forever. Now that my oldest is nine I am beginning to realize that the little years are all too short lived.  People told me to enjoy it because it goes by fast. I knew they were right but I just didn't realize how fleeting the time would be. Life truly is but a vapor.


When my oldest daughter turned nine I remember thinking, "Oh no, half my time with her is gone." I could cry just thinking about it. I thought storytime would last forever, that bubble baths and peanut butter and jelly handprints were eternal. I thought little hands beckoning for me to pick them up would always be here. I now know how quickly seasons of life change although there are sweet fruits to be enjoyed with each one. 


 Psalm 90:12: So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
 I remember the delight I felt when I first stumbled upon this Scripture. Typically I think of the mind when I think of acquiring wisdom so I thought it intriguing as to why we would apply our hearts unto wisdom...I found this treasure which articulates it beautifully,"A short life should be wisely spent. We have not enough time at our disposal to justify us in misspending a single quarter of an hour. Neither are we sure of enough of life to justify us in procrastinating for a moment. If we were wise in heart we should see this, but mere head wisdom will not guide us aright." Charles Spurgeon


I hope to live in a profitable way. To take notice of the truth and beauty the Lord has surrounded us with. I want to be diligent with the time I have my children. I want to impart what the Lord has revealed to me and to surround my babies with love and favorable reception. To walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise. "So teach us to number our days,.... Not merely to count them, how many they are, in an arithmetical way; there is no need of divine teachings for that." John Gill



I am asking The Lord to redeem the time for me. I want to be a good steward and make the most of every opportunity I have with these precious souls that have been entrusted to me for this blessed season.

A photo posted by AdoringCreations (@adoringcreations) on
Grace and peace,
Adoring Family

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Toned in Ten: Lemon Water and Apple Cider Vinegar

Today's post is day TEN of my ten day series, Ten Ways to Tone Up in Ten Days. The focus is to strengthen our arms and get our postpartum abs back in shape. If you missed the first nine posts, visit Day 1:Rebounding, Day 2: Cran-Water, Day 3:Weight TrainingDay 4: No Sugar, Day 5: Psyllium Husks, Day 6: Raw Carrot for midmorning snack and Day 7: Two a Days and my flat-tummy-after-baby-ab-workout, and Day 8: Savory Green Smoothie, Day 9: Limit Dairy. Today we will discuss why we love our lemon water and apple cider vinegar.



Every evening, after the kids are safely snuggled in their beds, my husband asks me to make him a "Hot Totty" but not the kind you are thinking :) It is our delicious Apple Cider Vinegar drink. We take a mug of hot water and add about a tsp. of apple cider vinegar (actually, he likes his pretty stout so I usually add more to his) along with a tsp. of honey. We have been doing this all winter and he is very pleased with the results. His digestive issues have greatly improved along with his energy levels and cognitive function. Please note that it must be pure apple cider vinegar "with the mother". We prefer Braggs  Apple Cider Vinegar which you can purchase from your local grocer.  We also enjoy the benefits of lemon water, especially warm lemon water.

Lemon and apple cider vinegar contain pectin fiber to improve the health of your colon. They are both antibacterial and improve the body's pH level. The lemon juice is excellent for an after workout drink in the morning as it replaces salts the body uses during the workout, flushes out toxins, reduces uric acid and lowers joint inflammation. Apple cider vinegar lowers blood sugar and speeds metabolism, purifies your blood, gently cleanses your system and has potassium which as I mentioned in this post, keeps our tissues soft and helps us look and feel young! Lemon also prevents wrinkles with its plethora of antioxidants and vitamin C.

Any time we feel a sore throat or sinus symptoms coming on we increase the frequency  of our drink to three times a day. We feel instant relief when sinus symptoms arrive and the acid in the vinegar hinders the survival of the germies that cause a nasty sore throat. Lemon juice aids recovery from the common cold.

Apple cider vinegar can have quite a pungent taste and smell. In order to prepare your palate for your daily drink you might want to start out with less apple cider vinegar and more honey. Eventually you will get the mixture to equal parts and you may be like my husband who prefers more ACV and less honey (although the raw honey has many benefits as well but that's another post). My husband actually enjoys the taste of lemon juice mixed with apple cider vinegar and no honey. You will grow to love your "Hot Totty"  and look forward to and "crave" your daily ritual of sipping on your healing, hot cup. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Here are  two beauty recipes using Lemon and Apple Cider Vinegar:

Brightening Facial Toner:
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar and 3 Tbsp. purified water, the juice of half a lemon.
Apply topically to reduce redness and minimize pores and lighten acne scars.

Soothing Detox bath:
1 cup of Epsom Salts
1/2 cup Baking Soda
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
2-3 drops pure lavender oil.
Sit fully immersed in the warm bathwater until it cools. As you relax the combination of the ingredients will draw toxins out of your body and the magnesium in the Epsom slats will be absorbed into your skin giving you a better nights sleep.

I have gained valuble information from the book Apple Cider Vinegar Miracle Health System. The next book on my health book list is The Bragg Healthy Lifestyle. Comment if you have read it and let me know how it is!

This concludes our ten day series on Ten Ways to Tone Up in Ten Days. Thank you for joining me on this journey. I hope you have taken away information of value to you. I have enjoyed all of your comments and I am encouraged to know others are embarking on this health journey with me! I will continue to implement these things as I am feeling wonderful and my mommy hormones are quite balanced as a result :)


Grace and peace,
Adoring Family

Ten Ways to Tone Up in Ten Days

1. Rebounding/mini-trampoline

2Cran-Water

3.Weight Training

4. No Sugar

5. Pysllium Husks

6. Raw Carrot for midmorning snack

7. Two A Days

8. Savory Green Smoothies

9. Limit Dairy

10. Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

 
Remember to discuss these things with your physician if you are starting a new exercise/diet program :)

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Toned in Ten Day 9: Limit Dairy

Today's post is day nine of my ten day series, Ten Ways to Tone Up in Ten Days. The focus is to strengthen our arms and get our postpartum abs back in shape. If you missed the first eight posts, visit Day 1:Rebounding, Day 2: Cran-Water, Day 3:Weight TrainingDay 4: No Sugar, Day 5: Psyllium HusksDay 6: Raw Carrot for midmorning snack and Day 7: Two a Days and my flat-tummy-after-baby-ab-workout, and Day 8: Savory Green Smoothie. Today we will discuss why we limit dairy during the ten day tone up.

Our family hopes you get lots of kisses for Valentine's Day!

Ah the great dairy debate. There are varying opinions as to why you should or shouldn't consume dairy. Some say dairy is superior to milk substitutes because of the protein content while some think milk products should be avoided altogether. Others consider pasteurized milk to be a dead liquid devoid of any beneficial nutrients and that organic, raw milk is best. Our family camps out in the middle somewhere. My husband had a milk allergy as a child so we are cautious with the amount of milk we allow our children to consume. We use cheese in moderation but freely use grass fed butter, organic cream cheese and yogurt. I do thoroughly enjoy brie', chèvre, feta and camembert but admittedly experience digestive issues when I indulge in these too frequently.

During Toned in Ten we avoid most forms of milk because of the lactose. Lactose is actually a form of sugar and we are supposed to be avoiding sugar during this time. We do consume yogurt because the lactose in yogurt is minimized due to the live cultures that are introduced which feed on these sugars.

Another reason to avoid dairy during this time is because the lactose in milk may cause inflammation, heartburn, acne and constipation. I have found that when I limit my dairy intake my digestive issues and skin clear up. One of the goals during this ten day period is to flush toxins from our bodies but if dairy products are clogging up your digestive system this would hinder the desired result. If you suffer from any of the above try limiting your dairy and see if your symptoms improve. I'd be interested in your thoughts on dairy. Does your family abstain? Why or why not?

Please join me tomorrow for our last day of Toned in Ten as I share why we enjoy an apple cider vinegar drink every evening :)



Grace and peace,
Adoring Family



Ten Ways to Tone Up in Ten Days











 
Remember to discuss these things with your physician if you are starting a new exercise/diet program :)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Toned in Ten Day 8:Savory Green Smoothie

Today I have the honor of guest posting on Karina Powell's blog at
Please join me at her place, I have something new prepared for you over there!
 

 
Today's post is day eight of my ten day series, Ten Ways to Tone Up in Ten Days. The focus is to strengthen our arms and get our postpartum abs back in shape. If you missed the first six posts, visit Day 1:Rebounding, Day 2: Cran-Water, Day 3:Weight TrainingDay 4: No Sugar, Day 5: Psyllium Husks, Day 6: Raw Carrot For Mid Morning Snack and Day 7: Two a Days and my flat-tummy-after-baby-ab-workout. Today I will share my Savory Green Smoothie recipe with you.

Why a savory smoothie? When we started the Maker's Diet and we were going through the detox phase we could not have certain fruits like bananas due to the high sugar content. The idea here is to kill off any candida or other parasites that might feed off sugar in our bodies. I was accustomed to my daily green smoothies at this point and didn't know how to function without my bananas! I adapted of course and concocted this savory version with tomato juice. I find it quite palatable and hope you enjoy it as well!

Adoring Creations Savory Green Smoothie
2 cups organic tomato juice
1 cup water
Two handfuls of organic spinach
2 celery stalks
1 clove of garlic
1/2 an avacodo
1 jalapeño (omit or half this ingredient if you are not a fan of spicy foods)
Dash of pink Himalayan crystal salt

Blend until smooth. I usually start out pulsing the blender a few times and eventually put it on high and let it go until everything is smooth. This makes a thick, creamy and savory smoothie to share or bottle up for later.

A savory green smoothie is a great option if you find your activity is suddenly limited due to injury or bed rest. Because your body is not expending the energy it is used to you might want to lower your sugar intake. A savory green smoothie is a great way to get the nutrients your body craves without all of the sugar from the fruit.
Please join me tomorrow as we discuss limiting dairy intake.

Grace and peace,

Adoring Family






Ten Ways to Tone Up in Ten Days










 


Remember to discuss these things with your physician if you are starting a new exercise/diet program :)

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Toned in Ten Day 7: Lose the Baby Tummy With Two-A-Days Plus Ab Routine

Today's post is day seven of my ten day series, Ten Ways to Tone Up in Ten Days. The focus is to strengthen our arms and get our postpartum abs back in shape. If you missed the first six posts, visit Day 1:Rebounding, Day 2: Cran-Water, Day 3:Weight TrainingDay 4: No Sugar, Day 5: Psyllium Husks,  and Day 6: Raw Carrot for midmorning snack.


 Day 7: Two a Days and my flat-tummy-after-baby-ab-workout.
I remember when my brothers came to stay with us for a football camp at our local university and they told me they were dreading Two-A-Days. I asked them what in the world Two-A-Days were and they explained it is when they train in the morning and in the afternoon on the same day in order to shape up for the season. I loved this concept and incorporate it before a vacation or right before springtime. That simply means I do a quick workout like this one in the morning and then I will blend a version of strength training and cardio with my ab workout in the evening.

Toned in Ten Two-A-Days

Morning 6am
Quick Cardio Interval Training

1. Sprint in place for 30 seconds
2. Rest
3. Mountain climbers for 30 seconds
4. Rest
5. Jumping jacks for 30 seconds
6. Rest
7. Forward leg lifts
Stabilize yourself on your counter or with a chair and lift your leg straight out in front of you to hip level 20 times. On your 20th leg lift, keep your leg straight out in front of you and perform 20 mini pulses (little lifts in the air never touching your foot to the ground until your last pulse)
8. Side leg lifts
Stabilize yourself on your counter or with a chair and lift your leg straight out to the side 20 times. On your 20th leg lift, keep your leg straight out as high as you can and perform 20 mini pulses (little lifts in the air never touching your foot to the ground until your last pulse)
9.Back leg lifts
Stabilize yourself on your counter or with a chair and lift your leg straight out in behind you 20 times. On your 20th leg lift, keep your leg straight out as high as you can  behind you and perform 20 mini pulses (little lifts in the air never touching your foot to the ground until your last pulse)
Repeat entire set and be sure to stretch for long, lean muscles.

Evening 6pm

2.Weight Training Routine

3. Abdominal Routine
Before you begin your abdominal exercises take note of these crucial tips. You must completely empty your lungs as you are pulling up in the crunch position and exhale fully as you are lowering. It is also important for you to complete the range of motion, meaning start on the floor and crunch all the way up and then lower all the way back down to the floor again.

 Lower Ab Reverse Crunches x 10-20 reps
Classic Ab Crunches x 10-20 reps
 Cross-Knee Crunches x 10-20 reps
Lying Leg Raises x 10-20 reps (If you feel any strain on your back then bend your legs or skip this one)
Repeat entire set

I performed these exercises making sure to empty my lungs as I described above and completing each exercise slowly and completely and I did not acquire the baby pooch that is common after delivering a baby.

I hope you find inspiration here but do remember I am not a physician. These are things that work for me and you may find we are on a different fitness level. Yours may be greater or less than mine. Listen to your body and slow down when you feel fatigued (or speed up if you need to). Please join me tomorrow for my savory green smoothie recipe :)



Grace and peace,
Adoring Family



Ten Ways to Tone Up in Ten Days










Remember to discuss these things with your physician if you are starting a new exercise/diet program :)

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Toned in Ten Day 6: How Raw Carrots Balance Your Hormones

Today's post is day six of my ten day series, Ten Ways to Tone Up in Ten Days. The focus is to strengthen our arms and get our postpartum abs back in shape. If you missed the first five posts, visit Day 1:Rebounding, Day 2: Cran-Water, Day 3:Weight Training and Day 4: No Sugar and Day 5: Psyllium Husks. Today I am excited to share how raw carrots balance your hormones.



When you consume carrots in their raw state, they help clear your body of excess estrogen.
Eating raw carrots helps to ease the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. This was my original encounter with balancing hormones naturally as I was suffering with severe PMS. I found carrots rid the body of excess estrogen, the culprit for physical (and sometimes mental) symptoms of PMS. During my pregnancy and after delivery I made sure to eat plenty of raw carrots and I did not encounter the hormonal acne or anxiety I experienced during my first two pregnancies.
This is a result of the remarkable fiber, unique to carrots and bamboo shoots that estrogen binds to. This is useful for breastfeeding mommas as high estrogen levels decrease your milk supply. It is also good news for suffers of PMS and menopause.

It is best to ingest your raw carrot daily before lunch. This allows the nutrients to be better absorbed before our digestive systems is bombarded with loads of food to digest for the day. Carrots have been shown to decrease the absorption of nutrients from other food so it is recommended to eat raw carrots alone. Here is a tasty carrot salad recipe from Mama Natural (I am greatly inspired by her blog and YouTube Channel, she was so helpful during my last pregnancy).
Daily Detox Carrot Salad
Ingredients:
1 medium organic carrot
1 tsp. raw coconut or apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. coconut oil
1/2 tsp. raw honey
(optional)Sea salt to taste
Directions: Wash carrot well. Do not peel! Grate lengthwise with grater. Add oil, vinegar and salt. Mix and enjoy DAILY!
You will still reap the benefits of raw carrots just by grabbing a whole carrot and munching away so don't feel that you have to take the time to make a consume this salad every day. I find it a welcome change and treat but most times this busy momma will just wash and enjoy a whole, raw carrot :)
I have also been known to hop like a bunny and mutter "What's up, doc?" as my kids and I take part in this daily ritual together. Hey, you'd be surprised what the little things mean to a 9, 6, and 4 year old! My baby girl doesn't seem quite as impressed with my impersonations yet :D
Please join me tomorrow for Day 7: Two a Days and my flat-tummy-after-baby-ab-workout.



Grace and peace,
Adoring Family


Ten Ways to Tone Up in Ten Days











 
Remember to discuss these things with your physician if you are starting a new exercise/diet program :)
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