Try right click.

Monday, September 30, 2013

To Eat or Not to Eat-GMO? "My mom says my stomach will explode!"

My son came in the living room this morning and said "Hey Last night at Katlin's house, her mom made corn. But I told her we weren't allowed to have corn... because my mom says It will make my stomach explode."

Really? Are you kidding me? I could die in embarrassment!  So I again re-iterated our rule-that when you go to someone else's house, you eat what they offer you! Unless you have an actual allergy to a food. Now neither of my children have food allergies-so they can eat what they like. I do like them to make good choices on how much they eat. So on Sunday morning when they go to church-and there are donuts available. I tell my kids to have one, maybe 2. They are not to go in and gorge themselves on 6 donuts because they can and because they are free, and because, well-they never get them at home.

So now, I will be making a phone call today to our friend, (who so graciously offered to feed my children a home cooked meal at her house last night.) And today we will have a science lesson, and a general manners lesson. And we will learn how we handle and decipher some of this.

Just a note on why my son said "My mom thinks it will make my stomach explode." When I began researching GMO's foods, I came across yet another article that said GMO corn caused insects stomachs to explode. So I told the kids-since we were in the process of switching to non organic corn-that the other corn wasn't really good for them-according to what I am learning.


About 6 months ago I starting seeing facebook posts about GMO foods. So I began researching more about it. The words GMO are everywhere you look now. So I have been making changes in what our family buys as far as food products go. Now I have to say-that I am no expert. I haven't tested one rat of my own to know what is safe and what isn't. I don't trust the FDA, or any company or agency formed by our government. So just because the government says it is safe-doesn't make me think it is. It is hard to decipher all the different information out there. If you google GMO -you will see many articles saying GMO's are perfectly safe, and also many that say it isn't. So how do we get to the truth of it all?   I am just a wife and mother-trying to do the best she can -trying to make better choices today for our family as I learn these new things.

I went to Youtube to see what info there was on GMO. Just a simple search on "GMO" brings up more videos than I could possibly sit and watch in one week. (Who has this kind of time?)

Now 88% of our nations' corn crops are now GMO. (You can see this article here.) Canola oil is made from GMO products and Beets are GMO. Now this didn't mean much to me a year ago. Actually I didn't even know about the canola oil until I began this post today. I did find out about beets a month ago. Now we aren't people who really eat beets on a regular basis, so it wouldn't have mattered a few months ago. Then I found out the connection. Most granulated sugars are actually made from beets today-(not from pure cane sugar.)   I actuallymade the sugar switch a couple years ago and went to organic cane sugar. (Hoping that somehow this would be a better alternative.) Since we are going to bake and going to use sugar.

We don't own a farm, we don't have our own chickens that we raise to get eggs. We don't go out behind the house and kill and pluck our own chickens to provide dinner.  We don't raise our own beef which is fed non-organic corn. So I also made the switch to organic chicken breasts. Since they are hormone and antibiotic free. On the beef, I really don't know what I am eating. I get my meat at a local store that has it's own butcher shop. But not sure about the origin of the cow.  I buy organic corn because I can, and I pay 2 and 1/2 times more money for it. :(  So in my home the corn we eat and the chips we eat will be organic-non gmo, for the most part. It is hard to read over every ingredient in every cracker, etc. that I buy to try to make sure there isn't a trace of corn or some other GMO produced product in it.

So as I learn more-I try to make better decisions regarding the information I have. I cannot tell you I now eat everything organic. Heck I can't find everything organic. When I have a good option and it is affordable enough I weigh the options. I also have to say I cannot tell you how many articles I have read that say even organic labeled foods may not be organic or that healthy. But I can tell you that I am frustrated over it all!

Now our family doesn't eat out a lot, and we don't usually do fast food. We occasionally do Chick-Fil-A.  When we go out to eat-we eat what's on the menu. I don't know where you live, but where I live-there are no organic restaurants. So the food I am consuming, the chips and salsa I eat there most likely have GMO's.

So how do you decipher all this information? All the bad information. Do we just throw our hands up and say-"Well I could have a wreck today and die, so let's just eat, drink and be merry?" Or do we go to the other extreme? Where we no longer buy any processed foods, we eat no sugar. We check every source for every bit of food that enters our mouths? We don't eat out, because we can't trust the food or the source from which it came? Our kids go to friends' homes and then begin to tell their parents that they can only eat organic this and organic that. etc. (And those parents in turn think we are some kind of nuts!)   Really, why, with all there is to be concerned about in the world today, are we having to worry about -if we are being slowly poisoned by our food?

Really I would love some thoughts here-how do you handle all this? Do you never eat GMO foods? Do you eat them anyway in moderation? Are you trying to make small changes over time? What do you do when you eat out?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Kids and Going Steady? When should we allow love to be aroused?

I knew there would come a day when we would discus this issue as a family. I just never realized it would be so early. In fact the first time this issue came up in our family conversation was 3 years ago. My children were participating in our local Pee Wee football league. My daughter was on the Pee Wee cheer team-(age 8), and my son was on the Pee Wee Football team (age 11). Now the ages of the children in this league are K-5th grade ( 5 years-12 years old. ) It was a normal occurrence for these children to have "girlfriends" and "boyfriends". These children would tell my husband and I that "so and so" was their boyfriend or girlfriend and that they were going steady with them. These children would often ride together to games in other cities-with the family of their boyfriend or girlfriend. So one set of parents might travel to an away game by themselves, so their child could ride with their boyfriend or girlfriend. These parents even encouraged this. In fact one of my daughter's friends was given a ring by a boy who was 7 and in the same grade as she was. Both the parents thought this was really cute and they encouraged this relationship. So my children were the odd ones out here, because we explained there would not be any of this behavior going on with them. They could have friends of another gender but they would not be called "their boyfriend, girlfriend, and they would not be going steady with them". (Whatever that is supposed to mean at this early age.)
At homecoming these young boys escorted these young girls onto the field, bought them corsages etc. So as this was happening all around us-we were talking at home about what we felt was appropriate regarding boy/girl relationships among children.
Over the past few years-we have reiterated to our children-why we see things the way we do concerning romantic relationships among children. There is a place and a time for a relationship like this. The time is not now, so let's move on.
Now the issue wasn't a huge deal for us-until our children moved up into the youth group at church.
Since they are homeschooled they are not around this type of behavior that goes on daily.  It seems most of the boys in youth have girlfriends and brag about it. Some bring their boyfriends and girlfriends to youth with them, if they are not members of our church. Or perhaps they are in a relationship with someone in the youth group. Call me strange-but why can't we all just be friends? Really? Why does there seem to be this pressure-on my children to get a boyfriend, or get a girlfriend so they can be "in" like the other children. Why are they being teased because they don't engage in this behavior? I really don't get it. This is happening IN THE CHURCH and even encouraged by Christian parents. This isn't just in the school yard-or out on the streets. (Am I really from another planet here?)
I really don't see the benefit of these type of relationships. In my mind the purpose of a romantic relationship is to see if you are compatible for marriage. At age 11 and 13 -children are not ready to be considering marriage. So why can't they just be friends. Why isn't this behavior being encouraged by parents. Why do so many just go with the flow here-because that is what happens when children get to this age. I believe children can remain friends-and over years build that friendship-then when they are at a time in life where they can begin considering a long term commitment to someone else they can.
Maybe I feel this way because of my own experience at love and relationships. All the years I wasted looking for love in all the wrong places. Finding my identity in constantly having to be in a relationship in high school. If I broke up with a boy one day, then next day I had a new boyfriend. It wasn't cool, to not have a boyfriend. I constantly felt like I was ok if someone was my boyfriend. I spent most of my senior year of high school-physically sick over a romantic relationship that wasn't good for me. I had tried love- outside of God. I had not sought God, or his timing, or His will in the matter. In fact I wasn't even the type of person I needed to be-to be a blessing to someone else in a relationship.
Then I surrendered my life to Christ. I found love in the right place and got my identity in His love. God showed me to set down my relationships for a period of time.  For 3 years I did not date, etc. During this time, I just hung out with the singles at church. We did fun things in groups, but I didn't date them. Then one day, in God's perfect timing, He brought the right person into my life, and I knew it beyond a shadow of a doubt. I knew that waiting on God and His timing was the best thing for me. No more heartache.
The following verse is another translation of this verse.

The Woman Speaks to the Friends

·Women [L Daughters] of Jerusalem [1:5], ·promise me [I adjure you]
    by the gazelles and the deer of the field [C in Hebrew sounds like “by the (Lord) of Hosts” or “by God Almighty”]
not to awaken
    or ·excite [arouse] love
until it ·is ready [so desires; C likely a warning to the women to wait for love until the right person comes along; 3:5; 8:4].
So we are still teaching and mentoring our children about waiting on God and His timing for this type of relationship. There will be a time for it. But that time is not today. And just because many others are doing it, doesn't mean it is the best thing.
So I guess I will begin hunting for books on courtship and a deeper study of God's word in how we continue to handle this subject.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Apologia General Science Adventures

Peyton is taking Apologia General Science this year. He is taking it through our local homeschool co-op. He attends once a week. During class time they generally do a lab. During the week he reads the chapter, works on the study guide, does other experiments they may not have time to get to in class.

This was his first experiment he had assigned. Now the experiment called for a 2 liter bottle. But since we don't drink sodas...We did not have a 2 liter bottle. So I used a 32 oz glass bottle. Which did not yield the exact same results.

The first step was to fill the bottle with cabbage juice, vinegar mixture. Then he was to place a balloon on the top of the bottle, the balloon has baking soda in it.
Then he is to (gently) lift the balloon. Which he did it un-gently.

I don't have the picture of the balloon filling, because it filled up with the vinegar cabbage juice mixture and then exploded all over the kitchen. You can see the balloon is no longer attached to the bottle.

Good thing he had on his safety glasses. The mixture got on his glasses, not in his eyes.
New Rule-All Science experiments will now be performed outside.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Family Fun Day


This past Friday we decided to take a day and go have fun. Our first stop was in Sevierville, TN. at the Titanic Museum.


This was a really neat place. When you arrive, they give each person a boarding pass. The boarding pass has a name of a real passenger that was on the Titanic. The pass listed who they were, how old, what class they were in etc. Gary was a male crewmember. I was a female crew member-working the Turkish baths. Lexi was a 13 year old girl in 3rd class, and Peyton was a 8 year old boy in 2nd class. At the end of your tour you find out if your character lived or died. Amazingly, we all lived. Men were often needed to steer the boats, so the few that survived were rowing the boats for the women and children. You cannot take pictures inside the attraction, so this is all we have. You will have to go experience it yourself.


Our next stop was Gatlinburg, We went to Johnny Rockets. Now the last time I went to Johnny Rockets was in Nashville at Opry Mills Mall. I remember the burgers and shakes being delicious. Also the wait staff would sing and do a little dance number live for you.

Well things have changed. The burgers were pricey. $9.95 each. The shakes-over $5.00. But the sweet potato fries were great! Guess we will pass on this one next time. Of course there are many places to choose from in Gatlinburg.



Our last stop was at the Comedy Barn. Peyton loves comedy. He even says he wants to be a comedian when he grows up. It was a good show, very family friendly.




This place uses a lot of audience participation. So if you go, you might end up on stage.

Here is Lexi on stage. They called up all the kids age 11 and under.



The Ventrioquist and his talking dog. It was a real dog, but somehow they put a fake mouth on the dog so he could pull the string and make it seem like it was talking. The real funny part is that it is a real dog. So things like people standing up, etc. can distract the dog, he just works that into the comedy routine. Very funny!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Seizing an Opportunity

We have been so busy over the past few months. I wanted to take time to share with everyone the great adventure we have been on since March. During the winter I began considering doing a little extra something to bring extra income in to our home. Something I could do that would not require a huge lifestyle change. Something that would allow us to continue homeschooling, and keep the family life that we feel is so important.  I had been praying and asking God to show me what to do.
On March 8th, I was searching online for people we had not seen in a while, and I ran across Jeremy Fouts. We knew Jeremy and his wife, Candice when we lived in Nashville. We had not seen them in 10 years. 10 years ago they left Nashville and moved to the Dallas area, and 8 years ago we moved to East Tn. We had not kept in contact with them. When I found Jeremy-I found this video.
I watched it, and then showed it to Gary. After Gary watched it, he said “Get a message to Jeremy that I want to talk to him. “We talked to Jeremy the next morning. We asked him about the timing of this company called Genesis Pure.  If the timing was still great to get started and do something special. He said "absolutely!" We saw that the products were making an amazing difference in the lives of our friends, Jeremy and Candace, and in the many others that gotten on these products.  He asked us where we were living now and we told him we were in the Knoxville area. He said he has a great couple to hook us up with. So he got us on the phone with Jamie and Liza Dewald. We met with them later that evening and  went over a game plan to get started.
We placed our order for the 1500 point package on Saturday. We knew this would allow us to get the products that would get our health on track, and also lock us in at the highest amount of compensation available as we work this part time business. We knew it was only a one time investment and we were getting great products in return.  On Sunday we began sharing this same opportunity with friends and family. 
Our 30 day goal was to make $2500.00. We sponsored 12 people our first week and actually made $2456.00 our first week.  We didn't understand the payout plan or even how to hit a level in this company. We were just excited about the opportunity we had and the products and wanted to help as many others as we could by sharing the same thing with them. Our first week we hit a level called Gold. Gold pays out on average $34,000 a year. Our 90 day goal was to make $6,000. 6 weeks in we hit another level called Platinum-which pays on average $60,000.  So we went well beyond our 2 initial goals!

We have now been involved with Genesis Pure for over 6 months and have over 150 people on our team. One of the most exciting things about this opportunity especially in this area- is that there is only 1 Diamond IBO east of the Mississippi, and there are only 4 Platinum directors (and that is the 2nd highest rank in IBO's east of the Mississippi.) And we happen to be one of them. In fact Jeremy shared the other day that he remembers when someone east of the Mississippi hitting Silver level was a big deal. Next year-there will be people breaking higher ranks and it won't be long before we have many other Platinum, Ruby, Diamond etc. because of the growth of this area.  We are in an amazing time and place for this opportunity. I know that God brought this to us for our health and for our finances, and for all those we lives we will help change along the way!

On the products I lost 8 pounds, 8 3/4 inches and have went from a 14 to a 10 on the 7 day detox. Gary has gotten great results and one of his favorite products is the Energy-which he takes every morning.  We are also teaching our children about health and nutrition and the importance of it. I also have more energy and know that I am doing something positively life changing every day when I use GP products to Cleanse, Balance and Build my body!

Our ultimate goal with Genesis Pure is to get healthier and stay healthier and to build a 6 figure residual income.  An income that would first pay for our own product use, and second bring in an income that would allow us to pay off debt and have money coming in on a weekly basis. An income that will allow us to send the kids to college without us or them having to incur debt.  We also want to help as many people as we can better their health and their financial situation. It has been an amazing God-sent opportunity for us!

Opportunity isn’t missed…It is just passed onto someone else. I’m not letting this one pass me by! 
If you want more info just leave a comment with a way to get  in contact with you.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

To Co-Op or Not to Co-Op?



Peyton and Lexi’s first day at Homeschool Co-Op.

Over our 8 years of homeschooling we have had seasons where we attended a co-op and other seasons where we chose not to. There were pros to being involved and cons to being involved. But with the right attitude it can be a great blessing.  Much of it also depends upon where we were as a family (in what season) and what sort of co-op it is and what kind of offering it has.

In the past we have attended co-ops that were really more enrichment opportunities and they were great for getting the kids out, and into the community and meeting new friends.

This year we had the opportunity to join a new local homeschool co-op. I considered our involvement in it. Now I happen to be a person who likes structure, and rules, and set expectations. And I really believe that for a co-op to be successful it needs people in place that can make it function according to those rules. I am happy to say that after a few weeks of being involved that I see that.

Another thing I had to consider was how many classes was I going to put the kids in? What mattered most to our family? How could this co-op help me meet my educational goals for my children this year? So I planned accordingly. For Peyton, I planned all major classes to be through the co-op. This wasn’t easy because as a homeschool mom, I think I tended to baby him more than I should have. I knew it was time for him to really step up and learn to be responsible for his own work, and to someone else besides mom. He is in 8th grade this year. Next year he will be taking High School courses.

I have to say that the first few weeks were a shock for him. Lots of work assignments, each class sent home a syllabus, etc. Every week they go over stuff in class (for one hour) then he goes home and studies on his own, works through problems etc. and then goes back the following week. Sort of like mini college. Or since I went to public school, I could compare it to going to public school one day, letting the teacher teach you, sending you home with a weeks worth of work and expecting it to be done when you come back. And their may be a quiz over the material.  Talk about stepping it up….Wow. this year he is taking Pre-Algebra. So imagine your public school child going to Pre-Algebra class for 1 hour-then going home and working through the rest of the chapter himself. Traditional public school kids would have 45 minutes a day of class room time/instruction and then have homework.

What It is teaching Peyton is that you are responsible for your learning. The teacher and parent is there to guide you on that path. But truthfully, it is not their job to TEACH you. God designed us to learn. We don’t have to have information spoon fed to us. If we don’t understand how to do something we need to gather the resources so we can get it figured out.

I am proud of him, he has really stepped up to the work load. Though he still says his favorite subject is Lunch, and second favorite is PE. LOL

We are still getting in the groove of how to do this, but I am liking the reward so far. And it is also helping me become a better parent, by helping me to let go. We as parents are to facilitate our children’s education. However we decide to educate our children. Whether it is through home educating, private educating, or public education. The parents are the ones responsible for making sure the child gets educated.

Peyton in one of his classes. The boys grouped together, the girls grouped together. I have to admit they don’t look real excited to be there. But after a few weeks I can tell he is adjusting to it.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Homeschooling Perk-Dollywood to ourselves

One of the things I love about learning at home is having time flexibility. I love not having a controlling organization dictating my day, week, month, life.

Last week on September 11th we decided to take the day off from the text books and go to Dollywood with some friends. We had a great time, and I have to say that the crowd that day was so low. So unlike the last time we went during the prime time in July. Such a contrast of days. In July when we went, we encountered long lines, it was relatively hotter then too. We never even got to ride the Thunder River, because we were unwilling to wait in the long lines.

Last week however, we made up for it. Riding Thunder River multiple times, as well as other rides. On some rides the attendants even let us just stay on the ride. (Not having to get off, re-enter through the entrance and come back.) It was really great, getting the special treatment.

Peyton rode the Wild Eagle for the first time too!

At the County Fair

Dueling Daredevils
Peyton's first time on this ride too.

Daredevil Falls

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Drive through Safari

In August we visited a Drive through Safari.



Not heeding the advice we got when we entered the park. (“When you get to the Zebras, roll up your window, and drive on. They can be aggressive.”)


Luckily,, not one got bit!!


But Kyle almost got licked!


A little slobber and drool, never hurt anyone. Yuk



Very pretty!IMG_2426

Kylan was more fascinated with helping Papaw drive than the animals.


He was fascinated with the AC too. He kept turning it off and on.


The Petting Zoo


Yeah this one we didn’t pet. We just looked at it.IMG_2515IMG_2488

Camel Rides



We really enjoyed our visit!