Archives for February 2017

10 Secrets to Surviving the Long Haul of Homeschooling

I bumped into this article recently. It’s one I’d written a couple of years back, first for a home education periodical, then it made its way to a few more online sites as is often the case. As I scanned it, I was reminded of the fuel that kept me going as a homeschool mama for so many, many years as my sons were growing up. Unquestionably the most pivotal years in my season of child rearing. As a mid-life mama, I wince when I reflect on some of my parenting decisions (you, too?!), but I’ve never second-guessed my decision to home educate. Those were key years in my life and in the lives of our sons.

Perhaps you’re a homeschooler in the middle of the school year – I hope this brings you some tangible encouragement and fuels your fire to the finish line. Or, you might have a friend who home educates and could use a boost in the arm; why not shoot it over to them…



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Love Is In the Air…

Valentine’s Day honestly has no hold on me, but it is widely celebrated today and brings to mind the topic of loving relationships. Recently pondering my 36-year marriage to Gregory, I thought to myself, “love is a marathon, not a sprint.”

Love is patient.*
But everyone’s in a hurry these days. They want what they want and they want it NOW. Microwave dinners and popcorn and mac ’n cheese and double lanes in fast-food drive thru’s to keep ‘em movin’. Super blast DSL service at 3 Mbps.

STOP is a four-letter word to most of us and a 60-second traffic light creates untold angst. Two-word texts are preferred over conversations, and 140 characters is all Twitter has time for. Hurry it up!

But………you can’t hurry love.
Goosebumps are the initiation ceremony, the starting block, but they don’t last long and they certainly don’t define love.
Love demands long stretches of time, complete with perseverance and endurance, to become what it is.

The Message puts it like this

“Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.” (I Corinthians 13. The MSG)

That’s a pretty good filter to apply to our M.O. in relationships; not an easy assignment, but worth the investment.

*(I Cor. 13: 4)

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Miracle Man.

Haters gonna hate, but this guy’s got the goods. Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots, added Super Bowl ring number 5 to his trophy case as he led his team to a stunning victory Sunday night at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas in an epic contest that included an amazing comeback and overtime finish. No other quarterback in the history of the NFL can boast of 5 Super Bowl championship wins, not to mention all of his other accolades, too many to list here.

I know, #notmyteam is trending, mouths are yapping, the gossip mill is churning but you can’t deny the achievements Brady has accomplished. And, C’mon, does anyone really believe he’s got what he’s got because he’s a cheater?

I didn’t have a dog in the fight, so I’m speaking from neutral ground, but it seems to me it’s a lot easier to sit around yapping criticism about a winner than it is to become a winner.

You know what really bugs me? Millions of men sit in chairs hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year watching, cheering, believing in, supporting and living through the dreams of men like Tom Brady, instead of living their own dream. Their fantasy football is the end all. Who-hoo.

Your quarterback may not be Tom Brady; perhaps you prefer Ben, Russell, Drew, Cam, Aaron, or someone else. I don’t know and I don’t care, but what I do care about is whose quarterback are YOU?

Every week, these guys on the field are somebody’s hero, someone’s leader, someone’s dream maker, their joy and delight, even their ‘jackpot’ if money’s on the game, while wives, sons and daughters, foster kids, nieces, nephews, neighbor kids, grandkids, young men at work, lonely widowers meander through life needing you to be their quarterback on the field, their leader, dream-maker and jackpot. Rather than living inside a football fantasy imagining Tom Brady’s cush life (even that’s in large part a fantasy, have you seen what this guy eats while you’re chowing on Big Macs checking scores?)  Click HERE to see what Tom and Giselle nosh on! And that’s only food.

And all the men said, “but Denise, ‘perfect wife, perfect LIFE!'” And I say, “suckers.” Nothing’s ever as it appears, people, get a life. The public sees the surface of things through blips on a screen. Real life is lived every day behind the scenes where the human struggle that only Tom Brady knows about, plays out. On top of his personal life issues as a son, a father, a husband, etc., this guy’s the CEO of a huge empire with so much to be concerned about, I wonder if he can ever truly rest. Just worrying about weirdo stalkers would keep this couple up at night! Any hoo, how about you stop fixating on how lucky Tom is and you be that STAR for those who need you to be?

Whose Miracle Man will you be in 2017? 

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Why Do People Choose To Live Sick?

I know this conversation may be a little awkward, but I care too much to be silent and I have a question:

Why do people choose to live sick when they don’t have to live sick?

Dr. Mark Hyman, Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, says, “I use the term “diabesity” to describe the continuum of health problems ranging from mild insulin resistance and overweight to obesity and diabetes. Diabesity is the underlying cause of most heart disease, cancer, and premature death in the world.  He adds, “Tragically, these conditions are also 100% preventable and reversible.” Shocking. Read the brief, complete article with citations here!

It seems to me, many doctors help perpetuate Type 2 diabetes by their predictable protocol: ‘see your doctor for mandatory check-ups for refills/adjustments on your medications’, a 5-minute convo, a pat on the hand, a look of concern and “That’ll be $285.00 thank you very much.” Done. Until the next visit or until the patient develops far worse symptoms needing attention.

Life is busy; five, 10, 20 years fly by, and the patient is called ‘longterm.’ Take a look at the long-term complications of Type 2 diabetes: diabetic retinopathy, kidney disease (nephropathy), diabetic neuropathy, macrovascular problems, and cancer. [Macrovascular disease is a disease of any large (macro) blood vessels in the body, including the coronary arteries, the aorta, and the sizable arteries in the brain and in the limbs.]

In essence, people are trading their eyesight, their limbs, their organs, their sex lives, their mobility, their heart health and the breath in their body for a shortened, miserable, sedentary life of swallowing expensive pills and enjoying unlimited sugar consumption. Yippee!
That sucks.

The greatest kindnesses can seem harsh and cruel and the cruelest comfort can seem like kindness. This minute 1 of every 2 people is pre-diabetic. May physicians become brave enough to show true kindness to their patients by speaking these ‘cruel’ truths.

Bazillions of people are being robbed of their vibrant, abundant lives every single day, cutting decades off their lifespan which could be spent serving others, loving their families, nurturing their grandchildren, enjoying their friends, traveling the world to see and appreciate God’s creation, expressing the gift God put in them, changing the world with their impact…by illnesses that could be reversed through lifestyle changes. It breaks my heart.

In light of these facts, are people uninformed, misled, or…………….have they just given up?
Has their illness become a comfortable place to dwell? Their default mode?
Their conversation box?
An sort of twisted, attention-getting ploy?
A tool to control their loved ones through guilt and manipulation?
An excuse to eat and drink what they want, do or don’t do what they want, be sedentary (aka LAZY), while following standard medical system practices of only treating their symptoms?

Is their socially acceptable disease their shield against sound advice that would call them higher to become accountable, make lifestyle adjustments and realize real change, to really live?
Has their illness subtly become their identity?
Their ‘pill routine’ a big part of their everyday lives? Kind of a blankie to snuggle?

I’m suddenly reminded of my favorite childhood novel, Pollyanna, (yes, again!) and the ailing character whom she befriends, Mrs. Snow. Here’s a movie clip to close out today’s blog with a bit of lighthearted humor after our not-so-humorous or lighthearted discussion today. Watch Pollyanna and Mrs Snow HERE.

Thank you for reading and let’s #conquer2017 and realize that our #healthiswealth and share this vital message with those you love so they, too, can have an opportunity to hear the truth that could save them. #amonthoflove #february #truelove
*IMPORTANT NOTE: Type 1 Diabetes is an entirely different condition.

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My Unconventional, Pretty Miserable Birthday.

My birthday was two days ago. I felt like C$@! Couldn’t go swimsuit shopping like I’d planned, hadn’t slept a wink the night before. And, THAT was my cake. Yep, that big blue mug filled with organic herbal cinnamon orange tea, coconut cream and unsweetened vanilla almond milk. mmmhuh. Yum, right? (But not the deep, dark, dense flourless chocolate cake I would have loved.) Why?

Let me explain. As a part of the ‘Kick off the New Year with Inspiration and Tools to Change!’ theme of my January blog, I wanted to address those nagging health issues that keep holding us back from abundant living! So on January 23rd I posted an interview I came across that knocked my socks off. It was the one I begged you to watch. A tiny little 30-minute interview (click here to watch!) with one more health specialist talking, as if there aren’t enough of those people chattering all day long, blah blah blah. But this guy, Dr. Mark Hyman, wasn’t just one more talking head. He had a message that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go! (See, you should have watched it. It’s not too late, it’s still there : ) nudge, nudge, wink, wink.)

His credentials are impressive, of course; he’s written multiple NYT bestsellers, and when asked if he had to recommend just one to the listeners, he answered: The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet: Activate Your Body’s Natural Ability to Burn Fat and Lose Weight Fast. I couldn’t get it off my mind; and not particularly because of the ‘lose weight’ part – although it’s true, you’ll definitely lose weight, that’s just the click bait – there are infinitely more benefits to this Detox and he lays it out in the interview and those were the details that got stuck in my head. Each of us is dealing with our own set of physical issues and I don’t want to be the victim of mine. Never surrender – there’s always hope! (And I was secretly hoping my hubby would join me on this detox adventure!)

So I got on the library app and downloaded it along with the accompanying cookbook – free! [Just get the app called Overdrive, then get a library card at your local public library and you’re in business.] You can read on your iPad, Kindle, laptop or smartphone. You can’t get every book, but you can get a whole bunch.

Did you know that 1 out of every two Americans is pre-diabetic? Crazy. Crazier still? They don’t even know it. (It could be YOU. Or your child. Or your spouse. Or…you get the picture. This is an epidemic.) The 10-day Detox is described by the author, Dr. Mark Hyman (click here to meet him), as “a ten-day reboot for your entire system. It will re-set your biology and metabolism, enabling you to reverse chronic symptoms and effortlessly break free of your cravings and lose weight.”

He goes on to say that “this is a chance to heal your body on every level. Not only will you drop pounds, you will also find that your energy, sleep, and mood improve; that chronic problems including joint pain, digestive problems and brain fog, sinus and allergy issues, even acne, eczema, and psoriasis will improve or disappear and that sexual desire and function may even improve, because what makes you sick also makes you fat and what makes you fat makes you sick.”

My birthday landed on day 5. (Thus, no traditional desserts and some pretty miserable detox symptoms, which, although not fun, were apparently a good thing. It’s like cleaning out your cluttered spaces at home; everything gets messier before it gets better!) I’m on Day 7. I have experienced so much in just 7 days; the recipes and food options are vast and kind of a game I’m playing with myself! (How many ways can I use this cauliflower?! LOL) Pounds are falling off. But the best part of it all: hubby courageously joined me, trusting me to guide him along the way. He’s on Day 5 and I think he’s secretly tickled pink to be seeing how this simple plan is affecting him 24/7. That was my best birthday gift <3

I’ll keep you posted on some highlights, and a few recipe successes, even as we shift gears and head into our February theme…to be announced shortly :D. (Oh, yeah, sidenote: game-changing video is still here(click HERE to watch!) and it’s half the time you’ll spend on any worthless Netflix sitcom. Just sayin’) xo Denise


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