Monday, November 19, 2012

Christmas Season?! Already???!!!

Ok, who took some days, weeks, even months out of this year to make it go by so fast?! Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and then we are in the Christmas season for 2012! I think my head is spinning time is flying by so fast! Yikes! Anyway, I've re-designed my page, and then decided to decorate for Christmas this year! And soon, yes SOON, I promise! I will write a few catch-up posts. In the meantime, have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Healthy Cheese?

For those of you who know me, you probably know that I'm pretty much a health nut. I'm constantly reading about ways to improve my and my family's health, and am working on shedding the extra pounds FOR GOOD, that I've been carrying around for quite some time now. In my quest to to learn about better health, I've learned a lot of things that the mainstream nutrition "experts" won't tell you. One of them is that raw milk and other dairy products are really good for us! And pasteurized dairy products???... not so much. We've been led to believe that raw dairy is dangerous, and yet, there have been FAR fewer illnesses or even deaths as a result of consuming raw dairy products as there have been from eating bad meat, or even just cross contamination from raw meat. Hmmmmmm. :)

Thankfully, we have a raw milk dairy not very far from us here in the Phoenix area, but it's been nearly impossible to find other raw dairy products, such as cheese. And I LOVE cheese, so my compromise has been to look for cheese that is at least free from hormones. But even THAT is hard to find. But now I have discovered, thanks to an email newsletter that I receive from a website called "Food Renegade" that there is a website I can start ordering raw cheese from. And today, if you click on this link - http://www.foodrenegade.com/giveaway-raw-milk-grassfed-cheese-sampler/#comment-1199213 - you can enter to win a free cheese sampler. So go check it out! :)

And if you are afraid of trying raw dairy, let me assure you that it is MUCH safer, and MUCH healthier for you then you think! I can't drink pasteurized milk as it wrecks havoc with my gastrointestinal system. But raw milk, doesn't do that to me at all. Also, a little known fact is that one of the Mayo brothers who founded the Mayo Clinic, actually used raw milk to treat and heal his patients of many different illnesses and diseases. In it's raw form, milk is a living food with lots of good enzymes and nutrients in it that are destroyed through the pasteurization process. So I hope you will look more into it for your own good health. And don't forget to enter the contest for the free cheese sampler at the link above! :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pageants...Pageants!

As many of you know, two of my daughters have discovered the world of pageants. Not something I would ever pick for my daughters to do, but I have to say, so far I've been pleasantly surprised as to what we've encountered in our journey into the pageant world.

I've found that there is a high level of Christian & generally nice, well-accomplished girls involved in pageants, not just self-centered girls who only care about their looks. I've actually been really impressed with the caliber of the girls I've met, along with the directors of the pageants. Yes, there are always those few girls who are "in it to win it" and are very self-centered and focused on their "beauty", but they have been in the minority, and this attitude is greatly discouraged by the pageant directors. My daughters have made some really nice friends, and have found a real "sisterhood" with most of the "pageant girls".

Pageants aren't just about beauty and looking good & beautiful, but rather being involved in your community and in helping others. It is greatly encouraged to find a charitable cause you can stand behind and then make it your platform. Learning to eat right and become more fit is also encouraged rather then just being "skinny at all costs." College scholarships are what many of the winners and runners up receive which encourages the girls to further their education and gives them opportunities to go to college that they might otherwise not have had. And Sarah recently had to research her ancestry as well as write an essay as part of her entry process.

Pageants get a bad rap a lot, because people don't understand what pageants are and what they are not. Pageants ARE an avenue for growth and character building. My daughters are learning more about giving back to our community and to be involved in things that help others. It is helping them learn a confidence in themselves and how to be assertive when necessary, like when they are contacting businesses to secure sponsors. It is teaching them the importance of  physical fitness and taking care of themselves in order to remain healthy. Pageants are NOT about exploiting women. At least not the ones my daughters are involved in. Yes, beautiful girls are usually the ones in pageants, but that doesn't mean that is the only thing it's about or that they are being exploited. I can tell you one thing, pageants are NOT the same as the ones portrayed on TV in "Toddlers and Tiaras" or even movies like "Miss Congeniality", funny as that movie was. I actually would love to see the toddler and little girl pageants banned like the ones portrayed on "Toddlers & Tiaras"! VERY different "world" then the pageants my daughters are involved in.

I've seen good changes in my daughters as they've been involved in pageants. Neither of them have won anything, and yet they have lost gracefully and are genuinely happy for those who do win. I watched Hannah, this weekend, practically jump up and down for joy when SHE lost, but one of her new friends won in the most recent pageant she just competed in. I was SO proud of her at that moment! :)

I don't know if my daughters will ever win one of the pageants they enter. As their mom, I really do hope they do, but even if they never do, I know God has a plan in all of this for them, and I am glad they are going through these experiences that are growing them in a way that nothing else will.


Here are some pictures from the latest pageants Sarah and Hannah have been involved in. No they haven't won a title, but what I see them "winning" is much more important then a title. :)

Hannah - Miss Jr Teen Queen Creek, Arizona United States Pageant


















Sarah - Colleen & Rose Irish Pageant



















Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I'm a Bad Blogger! LOL

So here it is 2012, and it's FEBRUARY and I haven't blogged in the new year, yet! I didn't even blog in the last month of 2011! [sigh] My intentions are good, I just can't seem to discipline myself to write things down here. I would make that a resolution for this year, but I don't believe in making resolutions anymore. LOL.

So, the last time I blogged was in November about Bob's surgery to have his kidney stone removed. I'm happy to report that he has fully recovered and is SO happy to be free of pain! Woo hoo! :) November was also the month that both Sarah and Hannah took part in the Miss Arizona and Miss Arizona Teen USA pageants. They both didn't place, but had a great time and grew as young women. I was SO very proud of them! Also had a nice Thanksgiving with my parents and sister. They don't get this direction often enough!

Thanksgiving Dinner


December was a busy month, as usual. And I apologize for not even getting a "blog-Christmas card" sent out. Seems like every year I just get worse and worse about that. But with Facebook and blogs, the need to send out that yearly Christmas letter just doesn't seem to be as urgent because we are all keeping up with each other throughout the year now in a way that wasn't possible even just a few years ago. Kind-of sad in a way, but then again, I LOVE keeping in touch with people who before Facebook I never would have been able to keep in touch with. Anyway....


The month of December always starts off with my birthday, something I'd just as soon skip over anymore! LOL. But I guess I can't really do that. I look at the number I turned this year, though, and it just doesn't seem like I've been around that long! LOL. I mean didn't I just graduate from high school a few years ago??? Yeah, like 30-something "few" years ago! LOL. I am, however, thankful to be blessed with good genes that keep me looking younger then I really am, and MOST of the time I feel younger then I really am, so I'll just pray that trend continues for many more years! LOL



Christmas, for our family, was a fun and special time this year! Some good friends from North Carolina came and spent it with us, and it was SO much fun! This is when I'm thankful for a place like Facebook, because I never would have met these friends, if it weren't for Facebook. Linda and I met in a Facebook group we are both in, and through texts and Facebook chats, we have become as close as sisters. When I first invited her, and her husband Elmer, to come visit for Christmas, I didn't even know her that well, so it was weird that I invited them! I don't usually do that sort of thing. But after their visit, Linda and I realized how providential it was that I invited them. We had a lovely time together, and our friendship continues to grow and deepen. Thanking God for that! :)

Linda and Me


January, Rachel turned 18 years old! OH MY! Now I have TWO adult children?! Hardly seems possible! Rachel also will be graduating from our homeschool high school in a few months, so I'll be down to homeschooling only one child next year! Kind of makes me sad to see the end of my homeschooling years coming so quickly!

So now February is more then halfway gone, and time marches on! Or should I say, races on! Sarah just took part in an Irish pageant called the Arizona Colleen and Rose. She didn't win, but she had a great time discovering the Irish community here in Arizona and also exploring her Irish roots, which is through my side of the family. She has long dreamed of going to Ireland, and probably will someday so I think she is very glad to discover a little piece of Ireland here in Arizona! Hannah is getting ready for HER next pageant in March as Miss Jr. Teen Queen Creek in the Arizona United States pageant.

So life goes on, one day at a time. There are still struggles such as surviving for several months with only one vehicle since the other one was broken down with no money to fix it. But God is good and He provided the money to get it fixed recently, and then directed us to a good low-cost mechanic, so we've got two running cars again! Yea! So until next time..... (which will hopefully be sooner then it was last time! :) )