Bugs, Parties, and Natural Electrolyte Drinks

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So we got it. I got it. Zach got it. The 3 little ones got it. Even my poor oldest daughter who was ready to celebrate her birthday on Sunday got it. We got the dreaded stomach bug! I don’t remember sending an invitation to this unwanted guest. Let me tell you about a good party crasher.

This starts back about 2 years ago. My daughter Madeline was counting down to her decade birthday. It was all she could talk about and how excited she was. It was supposed to be huge!! Ok, well not “huge” like some parties, but in our family we take your birth-day very seriously. She even celebrates down to the time she was born. Yes, we could always celebrate it on a another day, but today is her special day picking out her favorite dinner and cake. Even this year she was going to make her cake from scratch the day before (check that off for homeschooling 😉 ). She had it all planned out. And then it happened.

It started Thursday night when Jackson was playing telling Daddy his tummy hurt. Sometimes he will say that ( he is my needs a band-aid for everything little man). So Zach just told him to go play and if it hurts some more to go into the bathroom. Well, he went in and redecorated my bathroom!! This was the down spiraling of events. It’s next victim was me, then Sarah, Madeline, and finally Zach. Solomon, who had a belly ache earlier in the week but bounced back rather quickly seemed to be the carrier. We were down for the count. We were so sick we had to call in the reserves. My father-in-law came to the rescue. He is the only one in the family that has this protective germ shield around him and never gets sick. He stayed with our family to help with the kids so we could rest. All. Night. Long. After him coming to the rescue, I will never make fun of his ” old man jokes” again! Well, maybe for awhile!!

Friday came. By then we had gotten a little better. The 3 youngest acted like nothing happened. But us parents and Madeline were having a hard time. My body hurt so bad that I hogged the water bottle all day. Madeline slept. Zach tended to the children. We spent most of Friday and Saturday sleeping the day away. That meant no cake for this birthday this year. Madeline didn’t care. The thought makes her turn green. So Zach mustered up some energy and ran to Walmart for some party supplies because my baby, the one who made me a mommy in the first place, was gonna get her party. We may have looked like zombies, but that little girls eyes lit up when she came down the stairs and saw we had decorated. And of course, got just want she wanted for her birthday (Seed starters, potting soil, and organic seeds)!! We spent the rest of the day passing off the baton for naps, but she will only be 10 once.

We use an amazing electrolyte drink to help put fluids back into our body. It’s made with natural ingredients and taste really good too! This would also be a great drink for the summer time since it almost tastes like orangeade. We used maple syrup in it this time around since I was out of raw honey. We also use our filtered water and pink Himalayan salt.  If you have kids, keep this one in your recipe box!!

I use her recipe  She has a wonderful blog and many natural ways to remedy things!!

New Year, New Beginnings.

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So it has been since October since I wrote anything!! Sometimes life just gets in the way. But, with a new year comes new beginnings. New gardens, new recipes, new ideas with vlogging, new surprises. I’m excited for what the new year is going to bring.

So what has been happening on our little homestead these past few months? Well, we have downsized a lot in the house. It feels so cleansing to donate or sell off things you are not using. We have also added things that were “wants” to our home. For example, Zach bought me a Kitchen Aid mixer to help with our food prep. Let me tell you what a time saver this has been. I keep it right on my counter and use it often. We also got new appliances. I have washed dishes by hand for 6 people for a year and I must say, I will NEVER take a dishwasher for granted again!! We also got a new stove and refrigerator. We moved our fridge that was in our kitchen downstairs for extra storage because someone got membership to Costco!! Yes, this girl! I never realized how inefficient our stove was until we got a new one. Plus, it’s finally nice to have all 4 burners working!

Our journey to going completely gluten free became real about a month ago. Zach was the first to show signs of having issues years ago. I fed him gluten free, but the rest ate wheat. I wasn’t ready to give it up because it’s convenient. Then it was me with the issues with my foot which radiated up into my leg. So I quit gluten, but honestly would cheat every now and then. But when it started to effect my two daughters, I knew I needed to make a change. We started to notice my daughter was having bowel problems and would daily find herself in the bathroom sick. She also was tired all the time (probably because she wasn’t absorbing enough vitamins and minerals from her food). Our other daughter started to experience itching after she would eat gluten. It would get so bad she would cry and scratch her skin open. So we cut out gluten and you know what happened? The bowel problems went away and the itching stopped. They were more alert and active. So, was it gluten that was doing that to my girls? Well, to see if it as really the gluten, I gave them gluten again to see. Sure enough, the bowel problems came back, and the itching came back. But this time, my daughter was not only itchy but she actually broke out in a rash! I told my husband that was the straw that broke the camels back. We cut out wheat that day from everyone’s diet and haven’t looked back. After a good cry on how the heck I was going to do this with 6 people, let along with children who I swear invented the goldfish cracker, I wiped the tears and began baking. Because as a mother who wants what is best for my family and their health, I knew gluten was not one of them.

So that leads me to our garden. We got the new Baker’s Creek Seed Catalog. We will be placing our order within the next week. Our oldest daughter has shown a huge interest in saving and growing seeds. So this year she will be in charge of that.

The chickens are well and we will be adding a few more to our laying hens this spring. We have meat birds we are raising in the garage right now as we speak. Some may say that it is cruel to raise them in the garage and not on pasture. Trust me, if we had the means  we would do the same. But with limited space, this is the best we can do. They have a lot of room to run around and two huge windows that give them light. We keep heat lamps in there to keep them warm. They are happy! We also added to rabbits to the mix. We are excited for the compost for the garden!

As for surprises this year? Well, we will have to wait and see……