Dauntless [A Book In Review]

I was really drawn into this book right away. Some books do not have that hook in the beginning, but this one did for me. It’s a sweet love story mixed with a survival and action. What I really loved about this book in particular was the way the author, Diana Sleiman was not afraid to wrestle with the doubts and fears people have about God. She goes right into the grey issues; for example, stealing food to survive. Does God look down on children that need to steal to eat and is it a sin? She balances the two opposite sides of the issue beautifully and we all wrestle with everyday issues like that. It was an easy read and an enjoyable one for Spring Break!

Sabotaged [A Book In Review]

The fifth book in the Alaskan Courage series; written by Dani Pettrey. I have also reviewed Silenced, which is the fourth book in the series. In this harrowing adventure, Kirra Jacob’s cousin Meg has been kidnapped. Her Uncle is on a mission to get his daughter back from the kidnappers and is willing to do just about anything to accomplish that goal. Kirra enlists the help of the McKenna family and as a unit they work together to catch the killers and solve the mystery.

From Maleficent to Big Hero Six: A Memoir

The movie Maleficent was released in May of 2014, but in true Hopkins’ form, we did not go to opening weekend. We waited until August after it had been released to the dollar theater. As we were driving home processing the movie and the story line in the car, it hit me; our new puppy’s name was Beasty. We had adopted him from a litter where he was the runt. Still projected to be a big guy once fully grown, he was 5 weeks old when he entered our house. We had toyed around with names and every family member had their own favorite but none of them were sticking and I knew we needed to agree on one fast.

Learning Value

The value of doula work is a highly debated topic among expecting mothers and doulas alike. How much should a doula charge? What’s a reasonable rate? Many, many blog articles have been written, eloquently breaking down the expenses that a doula incurs and how much her “bottom line” is. I agree with most of those opinions; doula work has value.

Just like any other industry in the modern United States, it is a bit of a supply and demand equation. More doulas flood the market and competition increases, but the beautiful thing about demand is that babies are always being born. There’s no stopping that train. The demand is really more specifically about the growing number of mother’s learning the value of doula work and desiring it for themselves.

Do Kids Like Fish Oil?

I’ve been trying different forms of fish oil for at least 5 years now and they all have one thing in common. Fish burps! No matter if it comes in a liquid or a capsule form, I have been dealing with the unpleasant aftertaste of fish burps for years. I knew enough about the benefits of taking fish oil that I just gritted my teeth and pressed on, but I am proud to tell you that Young Living’s version of fish oil gives no fishy after burps! Totally true.
3097OmegaGize3 is full of omega-3 fatty acids. These are the good fats that help strengthen the body and keep the brain in tip top shape. Volumes of research confirm this. OmegaGize3 fatty acids are sourced from sardine, anchovy and mackerel fish. CoQ10 and vitamin D3 is also added to this supplement. While eating more fish is one way to get Omega-3s into your diet, it can also add more toxins into the system if the fish is not wild caught. OmeGize3 also contains essential oils of course: spearmint, clove, myrrh, and German chamomile. Clove has anti-inflammatory benefits and is antibacterial. Myrrh helps stabilize the omega-3s in the supplement itself.

I love OmegaGize3 because my big kids will swallow these capsules. They aren’t too big for them, and with zero fish burp aftertaste, I don’t have to fight them on it! Do kids like fish oil? Yes.

Word of the Year 2015

Every year, instead of resolutions or goal setting, I focus on finding one word.

Just one.

It’s a word that I want to guide me through the year. Something I feel the Holy Spirit speaking directly to me, for me, about me. When I come to a decision, or a rocky place, I often go back to my word for the year and contemplate what to do form there. It’s been very helpful for the past 3 years.     201220132014… and this year’s word is…

My Money Back Guarantee

Have you heard? I offer a money back guarantee on all of the oils that you buy as part of my downline. That’s right! Whether it’s a diffuser, a premium starter kit or just a single bottle, if you don’t love it, I will buy it back from you as long as it’s relatively unused.

So, what do you have to loose? Absolutely nothing. Try the oils and see for yourself why so many people are falling in love with them without the fear of loosing money. YL_ID_alt_full_colorAnd just for that extra dose of peace of mind, Young Living also allows for returns on items. You do have to pay for the shipping to return it, but it’s an added safety net.

Keepers Of The Covenant [Book In Review]

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It is a page turner. Lynn Austin does an amazing job weaving the Old Testament verses concerning Ezra and Queen Ester with a fictional recount of how those events may have played out in the lives of the Jewish captives. She moves the timeline fast enough that the reader does not get bored with the details. At the end of the book, she mentions the Jewish customs of marriage and it parallels the relationship we have with Christ as His bridegroom so beautifully.
I have read some of her other published works of fiction and this one lives up to her standard of quality writing. I highly recommend her books.

Conquering the Sugar Cravings

SUGAR!!! Oh, it’s been quite the journey friends. First, I want to say that we didn’t follow any specific program and we are not 100% free of cravings. Up front honesty is good right? Since August we have been living a “sugar free” lifestyle. Everyone has their standards as to how much sugar they will allow in their diet, so let me explain what this means for us.
     We basically started out wanting to fast it for a month, and then after 3 weeks into the fast decided, why go back? We could see the results in how we felt and they were good. ***Fair warning, you will be detoxing sugar, and there’s definitely detox symptoms that accompany this.*** Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
     We started with a gentle colon cleanse in our first couple of weeks, just to allow the bowels to move all of the toxins that we were detoxing from out of the body rapidly. You just don’t want anything stuck, when your body is releasing toxins. Also, I don’t recommend  detoxing while breastfeeding.  
                                                                                                                                     There are a couple products from Young Living that we used.               3204
ComfortTone supports the health of the digestive system by eliminating residues from the colon and enhancing its natural ability to function optimally. Because it supports normal peristalsis (the wave-like contractions that move food through the intestines), ComforTone is ideal for strengthening the system that delivers nutrients to the rest of the body.
ICP™ helps keep your colon clean with an advanced mix of fibers that scour out residues.3208Essentialzyme are enzymes that balance digestive health and to stimulate overall enzyme activity to combat the modern diet. 3272 They help your body digest the good nutrients you are giving it to utilize the vitamins and minerals it needs.
     Then we just went cold turkey- together. I couldn’t have done it without Jesse, and he was strong when I was weak… and vice versa.
     We started by just getting rid of processed sugar, and the blatant, blaring things like desserts. We didn’t worry about all of the little places it gets snuck into our foods.
Desserts were my biggest challenge because there was an emotional tie to them. I grew up with my grandparents- that’s how they show love. It was our tradition after dinner every night and I’ve carried that pattern into my own children’s lives. It was quite emotional. After some introspection, I realized I felt like I wasn’t rewarding myself after a long days worth of work if I deprived myself of sugar.
     You have to do the emotional work alongside the physical discipline and treat your body as a whole.
     Also, I read a lot of chapters, or rather, they popped up in my One Year Study Bible about the body being a temple of the Holy Spirit. Places where Paul talks about eating what is beneficial for the body. It really lined up well with what I was trying to accomplish physically. (We started in August if you have one of those Bibles, so just read each day’s passage and you will see what I mean.)
     As I started gaining some ground, I gave myself alternatives to snack on when the cravings were intense, like dried fruit. Sprouts makes mangoes without added sugar and that’s the key to eating dried fruit. Most have added sugar so check the label. My husband liked honey on some toast when he craved sugar. We let ourselves eat the natural sugars, like stevia in our tea so that it wasn’t totally unachievable.
      We had the overall goal in mind, while giving ourselves some wiggle room to avoid quitting altogether. The goal is to wean slowly and remove the glaring ones first and then weed out the small hidden sugars later.
     I also gave myself permission to eat sugar on special occasions- birthdays, Christmas ect. I had a dreaded thought that I was never going to enjoy life again one night early on, so I gave myself some grace. I figured those special days only happen roughly 25 times out of the year, so it’s still a small percentage compared to the bulk of the year. 14%  if you want to be exact.  A cheat day of sorts that doesn’t come very often. Honestly, the only thing that’s getting me through October is that my birthday is coming and I get to have cake! HA
     I’m not craving free by any means, and the social pressures when we are in a group are hard, but not impossible. The benefits we’ve seen thus far are:
  • less gas and bloating  (I even ate some milk based soup last weekend that traditionally would have blown up my stomach, but I digested it just fine.) Most of the processed desserts have a load of soy, gluten, and artificial dairy in them.