Purposeful Parenting

“The greatest mistake I’ve ever made in parenting was following the advice of others instead of intuitively doing what the Holy Spirit placed inside me.” –  amber j.hernandez

Today as I was reading Unschooling Rules by Clark Aldrich, I was realizing that as a mom and teacher, I don’t really know my boys. I’m good at thinking I know what’s best for them and I’m awesome in the area of telling them what to do and how it should be done, but truth be told… I don’t ‘know’ them the way I could… and should. I’m seeing how there’s so much more to each child than simply making sure they can read, write, and add. Each boy is unique and has different interests and abilities. Sure, this is most likely common knowledge to other people, but to me it didn’t come so naturally. Being an only child was my first hurdle in understanding, the second was being in unfamiliar waters of spending real  time with them. Quality time, not just physically being in the same room. As a school age child growing up,  I didn’t have a parent who was truly present. My interests and abilities were most definitely not pursued and that really affected me. I don’t want to repeat that same behavior with my boys.
  
This really is the part where I get nervous. Just the other day I fully understood how deeply rooted this fear was and what it was called: ‘fear… of… Failure’! *dun dun dun*
Ugh, Yuck! Well, NO MORE! I am refusing to be controlled by fear any longer!

I have decided to follow through with what I clearly heard God tell me what my responsibilities are with my boys:
* Love
* Serve
* Protect
* Teach
That’s it. No bossing, ordering, yelling, demanding and commanding.
    

Now,  with that tangent over with, I can get back to my purpose for writing this post. Let’s see, where was I?… Oh, right! I was talking about how it’s important to be connectedly involved with my 4 boys…
(Hmmm, I’m thinking that maybe I should have subcategories to this post, if not, I may go on and on and on. Those of you reading this may just want to get to the point instead of following all of my verbal rabbit trails.)
Yes, that’s what I’ll do… Stay tuned! O:-)

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Am I the only one…?


Crunchy? Holistic? Earthy? Healthy? Natural? Organic?

Goodnight! Which one actually classifies the way I am?? Do I even have to have such classification? I don’t think so, but if I want to be surrounded by the support of others moms like me, I’d sure better figure this out!

My “problem” is that I’m into and believe in:

♥  utilizing natural healing methods via herbs, foods, and vitamins: those which the LORD said He provided for us
♥  reading labels, eating organic fruits and veggies (and whatever else is chemical laden)
♥  eating free range eggs, drinking raw milk, and making my own kefir
♥  learning to grown my own herbs and veggies
♥  making my own laundry soap, toothpaste, and cleaning products
♥  learning and growing in my relationship with my Saviour Jesus Christ
♥  being a Biblically submissive, supportive, loving, and gentle wife
♥  female AND male modesty: which means now I only wear skirts…after all it IS Biblical to look like a woman NOT a man
♥  homeschooling my children & protecting them from the garbage that’s taught in ALL schools
♥  learning ways to be a mom who’s gentle, loving, kind, AND firm in discipline <—-tricky stuff!
♥  attachment parenting: breastfeeding, baby-wearing, co-sleeping (up to a certain point-but no family bed sharing)
♥  NON materialism and avoiding a mall at all costs
♥  no secular (worldly) media: magazines, radio, television & we highly censor all movies regardless of their rating.
This should almost cover it…almost :D
      

My thing is that “being this way” gets lonely. It would be SO nice to have other moms who share similar lifestyles and beliefs. I wasn’t always like this; I was quite the opposite actually, and I’ve come along way on this journey of mine. It sure would be nice to have some company along the way. The problem that I keep finding is that like minded moms worship, ahem…”celebrate” the creation MORE than our Creator and I’m just not going there again. Sure, if you’re into other beliefs then there’s a place for you, but I’m not about to get involved with that. I’ve explored  the search engines only to find that there’s NO physical network or group of moms like me.

So…what’s a mom to do?? My sweet hubby says, “why don’t YOU start a network?” That, in theory, sounds fantastic!!  The only problem is where do I begin? When do I find the time? (have I mentioned that I’m expecting our fourth son in about 6 weeks?!)

Some days, not all, I feel so desperate to have these relationships. Why? because quite honestly life can be challenging and a little encouraging support goes a loooooong way!

So, again I ask…what’s a mom to do?? If you have any input,ANY whatsoever, I would be so grateful to hear your thoughts…

♥amber

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Black Bean Soup or Dip

Mmmmm…this is just the BEST recipe, I’ve found, for making this…


Ingredients:

1.5 cups ~ Dry Black Beans
1 ~ Whole Onion
5 inches ~ Chorizo link ( I prefer Palacios )
4 ~ Cloves Garlic
1 Tbsp. ~ Olive Oil
Salt ~ To YOUR liking
3-4 cups ~ Water

Directions:

1. Peel skin off chorizo. Cut in half lengthwise, then in half again lenthwise. Slice into pieces width wise.
2. Peel and chop entire onion.
3. Peel and chop all garlic cloves.
4. Add the above ingredients to a pot. Add the olive oil. Bring to simmer just long enough to sort through and rinse the beans.
5. Add beans, water, and salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to low. Simmer for 2 hours.

♥ You can enjoy this all by itself OR add over rice OR add just the ingredients with a little bit of the broth to make a fabulous dip for chips or veggies!! This is a very tasty way to get your protein!! ♥

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Perfect Paella

Ingredients:

2 – Thin sliced chicken breast
2 – Salmon filets
1lb – Raw shrimp (kirkland frozen brand = no chemicals)
8 inches Chorizo link (Palacio’s is nitrate free!) – skin removed & cut into thin slices
1 – Whole onion chopped
2-3 – Large cloves Garlic
4 Tablespoons – Capers *optional *
1 Tablespoon – Extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons – Caper juice
1 3/4 cup – Water
1 Cup – Brown rice – (to make “yellow rice” add Anatto to the water as it’s going to boil)
1 tsp – Ground cumin
1 tsp – Salt
2-3 slices – Purple cabbage
1/2 cup – Frozen corn
1/4 cup – Shredded carrots
1/2 jar – Diced pimientos
1/4 cup – Red salsa (Herdez from walmart is awesome)
1 stalk – Celery chopped
1 cup – Fresh spinach chopped – add LAST

Directions:
All is made in the same pan (except for the rice & shrimp, steam separately)

1. Begin with cooking the rice: 1 3/4 cups water, bring to boil with the anatto. When boiling, remove anatto and add rice, cumin, and 1 tsp salt. Turn temp to low, cover, and let cook for approx. 45 min – 1 hour.
2. Sautee: chorizo, garlic, celery, onion, cabbage and olive oil over medium-low heat till soft.
3. Remove and set aside all veggies.
4. Cook chicken and salmon till done (yes, together at the same time)
5. Remove from pan. Flake the salmon & dice chicken.
6. GENTLY steam the shrimp – ON LOW -just until pink, NO longer. Remove tails when done.
7. Sautee: capers, shredded carrot, salsa, corn, caper juice, and 1 Tbsp. olive oil about 3-5min.
8. Put EVERYTHING back into pan including the chopped spinach, stir, and serve.

Enjoy!!

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Need a “Do-over”? I sure do!

“Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don’t pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the LORD’s holy day. Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day, and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly.”
♥~ Isaiah 56:2 ~♥

Ever have one of those days? Ya know the ones…the you-should’ve-stayed-in-bed days. Well, I’m having one of those weeks, not days,  and I’m just plain done with it, or at least I’d like to be…

This all began with last Saturday, the Sabbath.
Our family has learned what God said in His Word about resting on His Sabbath day, which is the 7th day of the week, aka Saturday. Well… we didn’t obey Him or His command. We went all the way down to the Miami area and spent from 11:30 am till 10:30 pm driving around running errands and supposedly spending time with hubby’s parents. ( No, it doesn’t take that us that long to get there, but all the non-restful stuff we needed to get done kept us in the van for just about that long). *sigh*

Our day began okay; we got the van checked out, 2 boys ready and packed up, snacks made and we were off down the turnpike, YAY!
It was a beautiful day for a drive :)
The four of us were set and on our way to visit the Grandparents, everyone was happy until… we got there. *ugh*
To spare you all the details, that changed the tone for everyone’s mood, let ‘s just say there was some “fixing” my hubby had to do with the local phone/internet company that has been causing his parents grief since July! NOT fun.
While all that is happening; the boys, myself, and his mom are all growing increasingly hungry! So we wait and wait and wait and… you’ve guessed it…WAIT some more till the “problem” is solved. Finally we were ready to go get lunch/dinner and then they were arguing as to where we are going to eat! Seriously?! One parent wants Mc D’s and the other wants a nice restaurant. Me? I’m 7mo pregnant, I just want FOOOOOOD!   So, our solution? We left one parent at home and took the other to a restaurant. Mean? I think so, but welcome to the “way that it is.”  Now it’s off to find the place that’ll make the one, who’s paying, happy… and, of course,  more driving. FINALLY we get to a steak house and all is well. aahh *smile*

I would like to say that was the end of my bad day and that everything else went smoothly and we returned home, but that’s just NOT how it happened. We needed to go shopping and wouldn’t ya know, the stores were closed, and of course this added to the frustration of the day. After taking the one Grandparent home, we said our “good-bye’s” and we were headed back home!
♥  I sure am glad that the drive home was very pleasant, calm, and finally done at 10:30pm. ♥

Did the tension end that day? NOPE, sure didn’t. It has continued up until today, Thursday.
Hubby and I have experienced everything, from:
emotional: bad moods, frustration, tension, irritability, and disobedient children.
physical: unexplainable aches, pains, bruises, bumps, and swollen eyes, and lack of sleep.
spiritual: trouble taking in the Word, staying focused on scripture instead of problems, and rebuking the enemy.
mental: see all of the above…

Will it get better? ABSOLUTELY!!
I’ve come to realize that we ALL go through this. It comes down to how we handle it though. I have been doing my best, so has everyone else, but it still is a struggle. We’ve also learned that EVERY single time we’ve NOT rested on the Sabbath we go through these unwanted experiences. Therefore, we WILL BE resting this Saturday, which means; NO work, NO Facebook, NO blogging, NO running around, NO housecleaning, NO nothing except resting with family!

We’ve learned our lesson…for now.

♥ Ps: The Sabbath is mentioned 135 times in the Bible! (NLT translation)
I’m thinking God  is REALLY serious about His Sabbath, how about you? ♥

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Wonderful Wellness Tea Recipe

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth: and it was so.”
♥~ Genesis 1:11 ~♥ 

This tea is amazingly excellent for EVERYONE~

Ingredients:
♥ 1 Gallon distilled/purified water
♥ 1/4 cup Organic Red Raspberry Leaf-cut
♥ 1/4 cup Organic Tulsi/Holy Basil – cut
♥ 1/8 cup  Organic Peppermint Leaf – cut
3/4 cup Organic Agave Nectar – for sweetening
♥ Glass gallon container or 2-3 Mason canning jars

Directions:
1. Put water & all herbs into large stainless steel or glass pot.
2. Bring to just a boil, do not keep boiling, and remove from heat.
3. Allow to steep for a minimum of 10 minutes.
* I personally let it sit in the pot on the stove till it’s cooled down a little bit, approx. 30 min – 1 hour*
4.  Strain the herbs, into either another pot OR clean glass containers, using a mesh strainer.
5. Filter the tea into the final storage containers using UNbleached coffee filters. Pour tea through filter.
* a simple method is to place the filter slightly inside the container and secure it with wooden clothes pins *

These herbs aid in:

digestion ~ peppermint

  • One of the oldest and most popular remedies for simple colic and minor bloat in children and adults.
  • Good for all digestive problems, helps stomach pain caused by indigestion and is soothing to the stomach.
  • Expels stomach and colon gas.
  • Excellent for fevers, flu, diarrhea, ulcers, and colitis.
  • Strengthens nerves and heart muscles.
  • Cleanses and tones the body.
  • Can be used instead of aspirin for headaches.
  • Can take the place of coffee for a stimulant.
  • Promotes relaxation.
  • Bronchitis
  • Chills
  • Colds
  • Colic
  • Colitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestion
  • Dysentery
  • Fainting
  • Fever
  • Flatulence-gas
  • Flu-influenza
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Heart
  • Heart palpitations
  • Nausea
  • Nerves
  • Stimulant
  • Stomach
  • Vomiting

♥ illness (cold/flu)  ~ tulsi/ holy basil

Tulsi is rich in antioxidant and renowned for its restorative powers, Tulsi has several benefits:

  • Relieves stress / adaptogen
  • Bolsters immunity
  • Enhances stamina
  • Provides support during cold season
  • Promotes healthy metabolism
  • A natural immuno-modulator

♥ ALL female organs & wellness in everyone ~ red raspberry leaf

Indicated Usages – Internal:

  • Amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea
  • Diabetes
  • Canker sores, mouth ulcers
  • Diarrhea
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Indigestion
  • Menorrhagia, Excessive bleeding
  • Leukorrhea
  • Morning sickness
  • Parturient
  • Nausea (children)
  • Pregnancy
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Thrush
  • Miscarriage, labor pains (premature)
  • Menstrual cramps

Indicated Usages – External:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Eyewash
  • Hemorrhoids, piles
  • Sore throat
  • Wounds, burns

So many of us have ails and the LORD gave us His herbs to heal us. This goes all the way back to the beginning in Genesis. Take comfort in knowing that our loving Creator has always gone before us to help us & heal us.

 

♥ Here’s the disclaimer part: ♥
I can’t provide you with medical advice, dosage information, potential drug/herb reactions, or assistance with questions relating to injury, illness, etc. I am not a licensed practitioner, pharmacist, or researcher. I am legally restricted from answering your health related questions. Information on this website has not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The information provided here is not presented with the intention of diagnosing any disease or condition or prescribing any treatment. It is offered as information only, for use in the maintenance and promotion of good health in cooperation with a licensed medical practitioner.

Just because a small amount of an herb works well does NOT mean that more is better. As individuals we all have different constitutions, sensitivities, allergic reactions and possible health conditions. I am not responsible for any misuse of these plant materials. The U.S. FDA does not evaluate or test herbs. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any illness or disease. Consult with your physician for diagnosis or treatment. I thank you for understanding.

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Velvety Smooth Cheesecake

INGREDIENTS:

Crust:
9 graham crackers
1 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp melted butter
9” Springform pan (the kind that the sides release)

Filling:
2 ½ pounds (5 large packages) cream cheese, softened
1 Cup Agave
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest; a medium size lemon will produce this amount
(only use the bright yellow part of the skin NOT the white)
5 whole eggs
½  teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg yolks 
½  cup heavy (whipping) cream 

Crust directions:

1. In a food processor; combine broken up graham crackers & sugar: pulse 15 times for 2-3 sec each time.
2. When fine crumbs are achieved pour into a bowl & add the melted butter. Stir w/ a wooden spoon till fully incorporated.
3. Then pour into the bottom of the springform pan.
4. With the bottom of a small bowl/ramekin; gently press down crumbs until uniform also use a small spoon to smooth out the edges so the whole bottom looks flat and even.
5. Bake in a 350° preheated oven for 12-15 min: until slightly golden brown (watch those edges!)
6. Remove from oven, set aside to cool.

 Filling Directions:

1. Raise the oven temperature to 550° F. Butter the sides of a 9-inch spring form pan.
2. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the softened cream cheese, 1 cup Agave, 3 tablespoons flour, 1 ½  teaspoons lemon zest, and beat well (you’re looking for a texture that’s smoothing out, not clumpy; it’ll get better w/ the adding of the eggs).
3. a. Add the 5 whole eggs (one at a time, mixing as you add each).
b. Now add the remaining 2 egg yolks (one at a time, mixing as you add each)
c. and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and beat well.
(make sure you’re scraping down the sides of the bowl every time you add something!)
4. Add the heavy cream and beat well.

 Assembly and Baking Directions:

1. Oven temp should be 550° (no less or the cheesecake will be undone & then dry)
2. Butter the sides of the springform pan (forgetting this step will cause the cheesecake to stick terribly to the sides = NOT good!)
3. Pour the cream cheese mixture onto the crust. (be sure to leave about a 1 inch space above the mixture so it doesn’t overflow when baking)
4. Bake for 12-15 minutes ONLY.
(keep a close eye on it & don’t panic: the cheesecake will turn a hershey’s chocolate brown, it’s NOT burnt!)
5. Reduce the heat to 200 °F and continue baking for 1 hour.
6. Turn off the heat and keep the oven door open wide letting the cake cool in the oven for 30 minutes.

Following these directions exactly will produce a creamy smooth velvety cheesecake!! Enjoy!

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NO BAKE ~ Mango Key Lime Pie

INGREDIENTS:

 

Crust:
1-2 Graham cracker crusts (store bought)

Filling:
2 packages of Cream Cheese, softened (don’t use Neufatchel!)
4 jars of mango baby food (beechnut)
½ – ¾ Cup agave (depends on how sweet you prefer it)
3 medium limes or 12-13 key limes: juiced: DON’T strain the pulp, just the seeds.
you’re looking for approximately ¼ cup of juice, more if you prefer. (key limes DO taste better!)
½ cup boiling water
1 ½ packages of Knox gelatin

Directions:

1. In bowl using hand mixer: mix cream cheese till smooth.
2. Add agave – mix
3. Add mango – mix
4. Add lime juice – mix
5. In small pan; bring water to a boil and WHISK in the gelatin till completely dissolved.
6. With the mixer running on low speed; pouring through a mesh strainer, add the liquid gelatin mix (this eliminates funky clumps)
7.  Quickly pour the filling into the pie crusts, place in fridge till set = approx. 1-2 hours.

All done! Enjoy !!

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Padawan Training: Lightsaber Duels & Sharp Corners

“…and {their} mother stored all these things in her heart.”
♥ Luke 2:51b ♥ (emphasis mine)

*whoam whoam cish cish*    “Take that!”  “No, you take that!”

Ah, the endless sounds of lightsaber duels…treasured moments of intergalactic bedroom battles. Fight the dark side they will, mMmM.

Both of my boys received the coolest and most realistic toy lightsabers as Christmas presents this year. They can hardly put them down. They eat with them at the table, take them into the bathroom (in the dark, of course), and yes, even to sleep with!
These are by far the coolest toys we’ve ever had! Sooo cool that they actually fight OVER them, not just WITH them...imagine that.

During one of their intense bedroom battles, my 5 year old decided that it was time to switch sabers and play with his 2 year old brothers’. Now, do you think my little one actually wanted to give up his green saber for his brother’s blue one…?   Um, NO!
Well of course the battle of wills was ON!
*I must briefly note that both of my boys are EXCEPTIONALLY strong, near Samson-ite strong!*
This naturally translates into: someone is about to get hurt. Not a few moments into the power struggle; I hear the horrified screams of my sweet 2 year old while he’s trying to catch his breath. Yes, that’s right…he got hurt. This wasn’t a simple fall-down-onto-the-floor injury, this was a unkind collision with their wooden-cornered train table (that the cushioned pads had been ripped off from) and his sweet little cheek. I’m so grateful that it missed his eye…barely.

Of course you can only imagine what MY reaction was, right?! Sure I would like to say that I very calmly, without a raised voice, said, “come here sweetie; now you see why Mommy & Daddy explained why we should play carefully with those toys?”  Yeah right! Not this time folks…What came out was, not a scream but a heatedly raised tone of, “THAT’S IT! THEY’RE GONE! G.O.N.E!”

And this is where my grace and mercy fly out the window and the LORD’s flies right in.
Only because God is patient with me, and constantly refining me, did I manage to let out the few words that I did say and hold back the others. In the past I wouldn’t have been so “gentle”.
That’s how I know that He’s working on me…

Thank you Yeshua!…Please don’t stop molding me…

PS: Azriel, my 2 year old, is perfectly fine. So is his brother. And no, they still don’t have the lightsabers back yet, maybe one day once I’ve figured out how to permanently affix those cushions back onto the train table ;P

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God’s reminder to me about My children

During my morning time with Jehovah, I asked Him for grace and mercy to flow threw me towards my boys. Here’s the short, sweet, and very simple information that He gave me:

♥~ They are NOT adults; they do not think like adults – no matter how much wisdom is seen in their eyes OR how maturely they behave.

♥~ They MUST be treated as children:

♥  gently
♥  kindly
♥  humbly
♥ affectionately
♥ compassionately

This may not only seem completely obvious to some and quite possibly easy to others, but to me this must be learned. I was never treated this way as a child and had no role model to guide me in this way. My heavenly Father has allowed me to walk a very difficult path for a reason. I know it’s to bring Him honor & glory. I also know that I must be willing to be molded into the image of His Son, Yeshua (Jesus). Does this come easily? OH NO!…this process takes       t…i…m…e
And, praise the LORD, He’s not done with me yet :D

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