Are you putting ‘clean’ food in toxic cookware?

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Have you been trying to eat healthier…or maybe even convert to organic? Have you heard so much about the toxicity of food that it seems the only safe thing to eat is from your own garden or farm? Well, this post is to let you know that not only is it important what you eat, but you need to consider the actual cookware you are using to prepare your food. In other words, putting your ‘clean’ food in a dirty, toxic pot is defeating the purpose of your efforts.

Our journey to be healthier and more conscious about what we ingest began a few years ago. From food to household cleaners and even personal hygiene items, EVERYTHING in our household came under review.   However, it never dawned on me to evaluate our cookware. I tend to gravitate to shoes and not cookware, so most of our cookware dated back to when my husband and I first married 18 years ago or maybe even from my college days. So, I’m not sure what prompted my research about six months ago, but I was not a happy camper when I discovered all of the toxic chemicals the cookware that I was using contained. It felt like my efforts to find the best deals on the healthiest foods for the past few years had been a waste.

I am not interested in cancer causing, hormone affecting chemicals being leached into my family’s food.

So, my new quest was to find non-toxic cookware that met the following criteria:

  • It must be dishwasher safe (Hand washing on a long-term basis is not an option for OCD or CDO folk. LOL)
  • It must NOT be so heavy that I need two people to drain the water out of my noodles. (You know where you are trying to save on dishwashing and don’t want to bother with using a colander, so you just prop the lid over the pot and lean over with it.)
  • It must be affordable.
  • It must be easy to clean.
  • It must not be a surface that everything sticks to.
  • It must not chip or damage easily.

If this post peaks your interest, feel free to scan the web for more research. There are other non-toxic options out there. The other two that I strongly considered before my purchase were Le Creuset coated cast iron and Ceramcor. Le Creuset states that it is dishwasher safe, but it is not recommended. It will fade the color of the pot and the cost of one pot in this collection is more than what I spent on my entire set. Le Creuset is also EXTREMELY heavy. I actually tried an Xtrema Ceramcor saucepot that I bought on a Black Friday deal, but the lid chipped the first day that I used it and it took a very long time to heat up. It did retain its temperature, but it was a noticeable difference in cooking time.

My final choice was a product that you probably remember from the 1980s, called Visions by Corning. Based on my web searches, many said that Visions Cookware was no longer being produced, but I was thrilled when I found it brand new at this website, https://www.shopworldkitchen.com. They also had a buy 2 save 40% off offer on all Vision pieces, plus I signed up to receive their email newsletter and they instantly emailed me a promo code that you can stack on top of the current sale. I just checked today and they still have this promotion going on as of now.

Plastic, aluminum, Teflon and the list goes on….these are things that you really do not want in your kitchen.

Most glass is very safe and Pyrex is a very good option for bakeware. Also, Hartstone Pottery makes cookie sheets and muffin pans that are somewhat heavy but are dishwasher safe, which is rare for baking stones. You can purchase these from Bed, Bath & Beyond and use their famous 20% off coupons.

Some silicone is safe, but it has to be the right kind of silicone and I’m not sure how you can prove that.

Join me in going vintage and let’s rock that Visions Cookware.

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Safeguard you home with internet filtering

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Many of us NEED to use the internet for work, ministry or for homeschooling purposes.  However, there is so much on the internet that has no place in the home of a Christian.  If you do not put safeguards in place, then it WILL creep its way into your home.  Watch the video below and see the alarming statistics.

We have tried several different internet filtering programs in the past, but Covenant Eyes has been the best by far. This program works so well and I absolutely love the accountability reports.  Everyone should be accountable and no one in our home is exempt.  It is also one of the few programs that works on all types of devices.

Here is what Covenant Eyes can do for you:

Accountability software

  • 3 Monitors and reports Internet use 3 Each site is rated (such as T for
  • Teen, M for Mature, etc.)
  • 3 Reports are sent to a person you choose: a parent, friend, or mentor.
  • 3 Use Reports to have conversations about online temptations.
  • 3 Available for Windows and Mac computers, AndroidTM phones and tablets, iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®.

Filtering software

  • 3 Blocks inappropriate content.
  • 3 Customizable block/allow lists.
  • 3 Decide the amount of time the web may be accessed.
  • 3 Choose the times of day the web may be accessed.
  • 3 Available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

You can receive the first month free through this link.  https://covenanteyes.com/affiliates/idevaffiliate.php?id=839

Full-time math tutor for hire, only $80 a year

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Do you know how to explain every math problem all the way through Trigonometry and Calculus? If so, then you do not need to read any further. However, if you are like me and you have forgotten many of the math concepts and formulas you learned back in high school and college, then I will be your new best friend after you try this online, subscription-based program called CTC Math. 🙂 I will start off by saying that I do not feel that this is a stand-alone math program. It is comprehensive in the content it covers, covering everything that is covered in a traditional math curriculum. However, it is not sequential and does not offer any review or repetition. The student can navigate to any lesson or topic within the program. For this reason, in my opinion it will not build mastery or a solid foundation in the long run, but as a supplement, I think it should be an essential part of every homeschool. CTC Math is a priceless video tutorial program that is organized by course and then by various math topics. When your child has a question about a particular type of problem or you see they are struggling with a specific area of math, your child simply logs into their 24-hour a day math tutor. The student will immediately receive highly engaging, expert math instruction on the exact topic they need. Your subscription includes access to ALL courses and ALL topics. It includes the following courses:

  • Kindergarten
  • First Grade
  • Second Grade
  • Third Grade
  • Fourth Grade
  • Fifth Grade
  • Sixth Grade
  • Basic Math & Pre-Algebra
  • Elementary Measurement
  • Elementary Geometry
  • Algebra I
  • Algebra II
  • Geometry
  • Pre-Calculus
  • Calculus
  • Trigonometry

Regardless of where your child takes math or what curriculum they use, it is very easy to navigate to the type of problem they need help with, such as fractions or inverse functions, etc.. The videos are very concise and most are less than 10 minutes. The videos have colorful graphics and animations with a teacher that has a cool Australian accent and explains the problems in such a way that the student can totally understand it. The lessons also include self-grading, interactive questions or diagnostic tests to determine if the child has mastered the concept. This program has helped many children improve their math grades and standardized test scores. They have agreed to offer members of The Fervent Family a special deal of 60% off…SWEET! So, you can click the link below to sign up or they also have a free trial if you want to look around first. We started using this program this year with my oldest and we love it! Also, if you like to save money, I am working with some of my other favorites to try and offer you discounts as well. I do not want cost to be a factor for any family to not be able to homeschool, so if you want a deal wait a few weeks and don’t buy anything until you see it on The Fervent Family!! https://ctcmath.com/purchase/homeschool/?tr_id=minszu

Happy Homeschooling

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I read an article this morning that reminded me of why I started this craze on curriculum.

This article was talking about how this frustrated homeschool mom could not get her child to sit still and often he would literally fall out of his chair. For me, I would find my son gazing out the window, looking through binoculars, and searching for deer. I could not turn away for a second or my student would escape. At the end of the day, when I would grade his papers, it was as if he hadn’t watched one single video. I know he did though, because I was there and I watched him as he sat at the computer for 5 or 6 hours and unfortunately retained NOTHING. So, when it was time for us to be finished, escape this wretched school, and have dinner, I would grade his worksheets and it was an absolute train wreck. He and I were frustrated, weary, and feeling like failures. This nifty program that I paid top dollar for, left me faced with trying to teach him all of these concepts so he could complete the worksheets and ultimately pass this grade. The worst part was knowing that the next day we would have to wake up and repeat the whole process. Other than being completely drained from the full day of nagging and me reminding him to pay attention, he seemed to be able to get the concepts when I would explain them. The days seemed to drag on and I was so frustrated that I would find myself threatening public school if he didn’t shape up.

We had been doing Abeka DVDs since my oldest was in Kindergarten. This curriculum worked well for my oldest and one of my other boys, but it clearly was not working for this one. My boys are good boys, of course I’m partial, but I realized that maybe this one son needed a different option.

I decided to go to my first and only homeschool show ever. I approached each exhibitor’s booth and quickly became his or her interrogator. I wanted to know EVERYTHING and I would not leave one stone unturned. With my husband and I both being college graduates, we were almost scared to change curriculum in the fear that our boys would not be prepared for college themselves. So, for me this quest to broaden our horizons was serious business. I learned so much that day, but the one thing that was a God moment for me was when I met this attorney dad who was manning a booth while someone else took a break. As he asked me questions, I explained my dilemma. He flat out rebuked me and said, “You are focusing on the curriculum too much! It sounds like you need to focus on the METHOD.” It was like a light bulb went off and I had clear direction.

From that moment forward, I have researched and scanned the whole gamut to try and find the best curriculum with the best method of delivery. My kids have been my official product testers and they are the final vote. The climate in our home is so wonderful now. All three of my sons LOVE their school. The one son who didn’t do well with Abeka is doing extremely well and is now doing more advanced work without a hitch. Things that they learn in school are often topics of discussion at the dinner table. I feel so confident about what they are learning and how they are retaining it.

The boys are learning from the book of Proverbs this year. In Proverbs 4:7 it says, “Wisdom is the principle thing, therefore get wisdom and with all thy getting get understanding.”

In all of my years of ‘getting’ info on curriculum, I have learned that all children are unique. They learn in different ways and their interests are different. As a homeschool mom, you have a unique opportunity to custom tailor your child’s education to help them flourish into what God wants them to be. Here’s to Happy Homeschooling!

Hooked on History

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Before we learned about Veritas Press’ self-paced history, we did not enjoy history at all and honestly we felt it was just a bunch of boring memorization about wars and dates. We simply did it because we felt it was a requirement, but my boys enjoyed it about as much as taking Robitussin, the infamous ‘red medicine’.

Now, history is my kid’s favorite subject, at least for the younger two who are still doing this particular curriculum. They all agreed that this should be the first course that I reviewed as it is the unquestionable leader. I have recommended this to more families than I can count, and I have never heard anything but praise from my friends.

First and foremost, let’s cover the basics:

  • It requires ZERO parental involvement. Everything is done online, including grading and record keeping. AMEN to that!

-If Internet protection is a concern, we highly recommend a program called Covenant Eyes.

  • Veritas uses highly engaging visual and audio resources to deliver the content of each lesson.  This dramatically increases comprehension and makes learning fun. It is so much fun, you will be telling your child that they cannot do any more history until they complete all of their other subjects!

-Do you remember all of those dates that you were required to memorize in school? Well, I sure don’t. My kids do though! This curriculum teaches the timeline in a sequential way through a song. My kids can still sing their songs from previous years. According to Medical Daily, scientists have proven that music is stored in a different part of the brain. Researchers have even seen patients who lose all of their memory except the songs they had memorized.

-They have interactive games and worksheets that build the student’s mastery and keep the student engaged.

-The ‘teacher’ may be the talking Great Sphinx or an actual person dressed up as a Grecian. It is completely over the top!

  • It covers all of history from a Christian worldview and in chronological order.
  • There are five different courses that will cover from the Old Testament to present.

The breakdown is as follows:

-Old Testament and Ancient Egypt

-New Testament, Greece and Rome

-Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation

-Explorers to 1815

-1815 to Present

  • They recommend you start this course in the 2nd grade and then finish it by the 6th grade. We were older when we first learned about this program, so we allowed our boys to do this course through the 8th grade. You could still complete the entire course if you started in the 4th grade and finished by 8th grade. If you start later than the fourth grade, then you can just pick and choose which time period you want to cover. I would not recommend it for high school, as it will not meet your state’s high school requirements. Although, my oldest son almost passed a practice Western Civilization CLEP exam after just taking one year of it in the 8th grade. LOL.

The best way, for you to experience this curriculum, is to click on this link below and watch a sample lesson. Make sure your kids join you as you watch it!

I do not know of any better tool out there to tie history to the Word of God in a method that is unmatched.

http://www.veritaspress.com/selfpaced/history.html

Clearly growling at gossip

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Have you noticed how it seems like the world is a million shades of gray, and a clear sense of right and wrong is a fading commodity? People proudly pronounce how they are getting a divorce because they have ‘fallen out of love’, they look for ways to get assistance rather than be of assistance, or they sit around the dinner table as they criticize and gossip about the very people they claim to love or call friends.

As many of you know, our family participates in Bible Quizzing. This year, my three boys are each learning over 400 scriptures and my oldest is learning over 500. Daily, over 1200 scriptures are being recited for approximately three hours per day. My son said this year is our ninth year of quizzing. As the Word of God goes forth, faith and a resounding clarity of truth fills our home. All practicality says that doing this probably makes us more prone to discern things that are contrary to The Word, agreed?

Well, recently, my son left an event and was very disturbed. Someone had given him an earful about what someone else had done to him or her. He was genuinely concerned, and you could tell that he was a little fired up and that this person had swayed him about ‘the accused person’. We are very close, so I’m grateful he tells me everything. Now, while we are preparing to have dinner and are setting the table, here is my son telling me about what has happened. I’m sure this is a common occurrence in many family discussions, but for me it was as if an alarm was sounded and I was faced with a choice. Sure, I could have jumped on the bandwagon and been a listening ear under the auspice of ministry.

I know as parents, we spend years building our children’s confidence and self-esteem. Any parent in their right mind would not want to destroy that after years of effort, but did you know that clarity, boundaries, and even ‘no’ help define a child and make them feel more secure? After all, I do not want my children to be confident in doing wrong, or worst yet fall prey to living by the world’s definition of what is acceptable.
So, I chose to use this situation to show my son first hand that this is how gossip and division start.
In Matthew 5:23-24, it reads, “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Unfortunately, it does not say to go to everyone, except the person that you actually have the conflict. You certainly should not talk up the situation to try and build an army in your favor. It says, to go and be reconciled to your brother or to the one who you think has a problem with you.

So, I explained to our son that this was clearly gossip, and he needed to go back to this person and encourage them to go to the person with whom they have the issue.

Since that time, not only has it helped my son to detect and beware of gossip and sowing discord among the brethren, but also it has brought reconciliation and unity to all parties involved.

Again, this is scriptural and a promise in The Word of God. In Psalm 133, it clearly says, “Behold, how GOOD and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in UNITY! It continues a few verses down in chapter 133, “for THERE (IN UNITY) the Lord commanded the BLESSING, even life for evermore.”

I want my children blessed! I want them to know what true unity is and that it doesn’t come easily and sometimes you have to fight for it.

This is just one instance of how easily things can creep in and take up residence in your home. I recently had a virus attack my computer. I believe it came through a download of a template for a homeschool progress report, not your usual suspected threat. My husband to the rescue loaded anti-virus software on my system. The program scared us to death as it would literally growl each time it found something of harm.
Wouldn’t it be nice if our inner man would ‘growl’ each time something entered our minds that was harmful. Well, as parents, I think that falls under our job description.
In all of your efforts to love, it is still important to be a clear voice and sometimes even roar….

The raw truth about raw milk

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It’s Tuesday! Today, the boys and I become the ‘milk man’. We head up a raw milk co-op in our neighborhood. It is a little bit of work, but we are happy to do it because it allows us to have fresh raw milk delivered to our door straight from the farm! And unfortunately, we cannot get a pet cow at this point.
We started drinking raw milk over a year ago. Even though I had researched and read about the many benefits, at first I was still skeptical and almost leery. The first time I drove out to the farm and saw the little store right next to the actual cows, I had a reality check and caught a lady as she was getting into her BMW with her small child. I said, “Is this your first time?” She went on to explain how her child had some sort of disorder with her teeth and also digestive issues that could not be cured. However, they had been drinking raw milk for quite some time and her child was now healed. So, that helped me to override my germ consciousness and muster up enough courage to try it.
At the time, we were spending several HUNDRED dollars a month on asthma medications for my oldest son. So, buying a $10 gallon of milk seemed like a bargain if it would work. Well, it did work! There is a lot to RAW MILK, too much for one post, but we are believers in this house because we know first hand it works unbelievably for asthma and allergies. I know some have the opinion that we are the only living creatures that continue to drink milk after we are weaned from our mothers. There are also some statistics about the detriments of pasteurized dairy, which I wholeheartedly agree probably can cause issues because it has been boiled and tampered with beyond how God created it. I just know for our family we feel better about giving our kids raw milk than loading them on steroids and antibiotics. Raw, grass-fed, organic, unpasteurized milk has been the ONLY thing that has helped. So, for us it is hard to argue with real RESULTS.

If you decide to try it, then it is important to get your raw milk from a farm that uses organic practices. We have tried other farms, but did not see the results. If you live within an hour of Tomball, Texas, then we use Gramen Dairy Farm and now they will deliver within an hour drive from the farm. I started a co-op in our subdivision so that my neighbors can help me share in meeting the $40 minimum order and split the $7 delivery fee.

This is a bit of a long read, but it is a good article on the benefits of raw milk.
http://raw-milk-facts.com/raw_milk_health_benefits.html

Lessons in OWNERSHIP from my 8-year-old neighbor…

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Kenzie is a special girl who lives across the street. She has the appearance of a typical little girl, but when she opens her mouth, you quickly realize she is no ordinary girl. She is energetic, bright, bold, and can’t help but make her presence known.
T’was the night before the garage sale and we had a garage full of items that needed to be unpacked and priced before the big day. We told the boys that the proceeds of this garage sale would fund our vacation, so our family was full throttle OPERATION GARAGE SALE. Typically, if we are outside, then Kenzie will come over and today was no different. At first, I thought to myself, now is not a good time. In a matter of minutes and without being asked, Kenzie was unpacking boxes and saying, “Which table does this go on?” She helped us for several hours until her parents called her inside. The next morning, we awake at some dreadful hour to begin showcasing our treasures in hopes for a big turnout. Around 8 or so, Miss Kenzie comes over and says, “Good Morning Mrs. Tim, I’m here!” (She always calls me Mrs. Tim and I think it is so cute and besides I dearly love being Mrs. Tim.) She quickly appoints herself as the greeter and welcomes everyone at the end of the driveway, “Welcome to OUR garage sale!” She would help the customers and say, “Oh, you like OUR XYZ?” “Mrs. Tim, how much is OUR XYZ?” At some point in the day, Goldie escapes the house to join the sale and Kenzie exclaims, “Please excuse OUR dog.” From that point on, without being asked, Kenzie is Goldie’s playmate and sitter. “Goldie, come back to OUR yard!” OUR, OUR, OUR…… It seems like every other word that left Kenzie’s mouth was ‘our’. As we came inside and counted our cash, I could not help but think about what an amazing sense of OWNERSHIP this girl had. I thought to myself, she will make an excellent employee one day and I can’t even imagine what a great asset she would be to the church. These days when something is wrong, tendency is to point out the error or even worse…point fingers at one of our brothers or sisters. Why can’t THEY? Well, if THEY would just…
JUST Imagine…
Welcome to OUR church!
Please excuse OUR construction, or OUR Sunday School rooms. WE are growing!!
This is OUR awesome Sunday School teacher.
We love OUR children. We love OUR music.
You get the picture. The truth is ownership makes things happen much quicker than diverting or the alternative.
I’m going to try to be more like OUR Kenzie. Love and blessings, Mrs. Tim