Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Word for 2014

A Word For 2014

Word for 2014

Well, this is something I have never done before, but I have seen others choose a word to focus on during the year and it seems like a good idea. That, and it is the Schoolhouse Review Crew January 1st Round Up and I thought it would be nice to get involved. 
I have struggled with staying organized in my homeschool, my blogging and just real life for a while now. So my word for this year is ORGANIZATION. 
Organization is something I have always struggled with. Even when I still lived at home with my mom, my desk and room were unorganized and cluttered. I tend to take after my dad more than my oh-so-tidy mom. Unfortunately, as I got older my organization skills stayed about the same. 
I started something new this school year in an attempt to stay organized. We are using workboxes to keep track of the older girls' work. Unfortunately, I haven't been keeping on top of them like I need to. In addition to that we have random papers floating here and there. 
But it isn't just our homeschool that is suffering. My blog has been less than what I want it to be. I am forgetting to get posts up on time and have gotten away from what I want this blog to be. 
I have been looking into different planners to help me stayed organized, but it is definitely going to take a lot of prayer and focusing on my part. 

So, in our homeschool, we are going to continue to use the workboxes, and I am going to make sure to get lessons planned in advance. Our clutter has got to go. I can not continue to take the time looking for pencils or glue sticks because they are not put away in the right place or are buried under clutter. 

This goes right over into the home. I am constantly spending time looking for things because I am so unorganized. I plan to spend some time getting cupboards organized again, recipes organized, and a daily, weekly and monthly schedule made for cleaning and such. It will take some work, but it will sure make things less stressful in the long run.

I have been looking into some different planners to help keep myself organized and am hoping to stay faithful this year. 

Wordless Wednesday: January 1, 2014 (w/linky)- Our Christmas in Pictures

Christmas Program at church
Tabitha as Mary in the Venture Club skit.

Amelia as a shepherd and Hannah as a sheep in the pre-K class skit.

Christmas at my mom's. 

We got to visit with my sister who was up from NYC!

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at church

Christmas morning

One of our traditions is a picture at the top of the stairs. They are not allowed downstairs until mommy is downstairs ready to take the picture.

We start our Christmas morning with lighting our Advent candles and singing some Christmas carols. Then they open their stockings.

After breakfast we open presents. They started with the big gift that was to all of them.

Sitting in their new pajamas watching daddy....

...play his new game.

It's been a while since I got to take a picture of a child sitting in a box.

Couldn't go without sharing what hubby picked for my mom to get me. He knows me so well.

Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.


New Year, New Changes Giveaway

The new year is upon us! I really can't believe it. 2013 went by so fast. But I am ready for a new start. A chance to work toward getting healthy, as it didn't happen in the past year. Are you planning any New Year's resolutions or changes in your lifestyle that are geared toward improving your health? I am so glad I am able to join in to bring you this amazing giveaway.

One change you can make in your life that could result in significant health benefits is going wheat-free. It is something I have been attempting to do and will continue in 2014. The book Weeding out Wheat is now available and we are celebrating with a BIG GIVEAWAY and SALE!
Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win $600 worth of healthy living products!

For the next two days only, the book Weeding Out Wheat is on sale!
It's a New Year! Make some new changes with this awesome giveaway. AND Pick up a DISCOUNTED copy of Weeding out Wheat to find out why taking wheat out of your diet could make a huge impact. $600 value ends 1/7/14

Bulk Herb Store

  Bulk Herb Store carries the finest organic teas, tinctures, spices, salves, and educational resources. Live and learn well with experienced herbalist, Shoshanna Easling’s free recipes, remedies, research aid, and educational DVDs at BULK HERB STORE. At the Bulk Herb Store we want to teach you what we know and inspire you to learn and research beyond that with our homemade concoctions, our experiences, and the tested wisdom of others. It is fun, easy, and above all, a great way to keep your family healthy and happy.


See package details below: $110 value NuNaturals 
  NuNaturals is an Oregon company serving our customers for 25 years with QUALITY, ALL-NATURAL products. We offer approximately 80 products from Bilberry to Xylitol. Our Flagship Brand is NuStevia. These NON-BITTER Stevia products are available in convenient Packets for your "On-The-Go" needs and a full line of Stevia Liquid Extracts you can measure by the drop. These products have ZERO calories and safe for Diabetics. NO artificial, anything, and we absolutely guarantee that what is on our label is contained in the product & NO more. We pledge the very best of customer service that matches the Quality of the products we offer.
  • 100 packet box NuStevia packets
  • Lemon NuStevia Liquid
  • Orange NuStevia Liquid
  • Peppermint NuStevia Liquid
  • Cherry Vanilla NuStevia Liquid
  • Alcohol Free Clear NuStevia Liquid
  • Cherry NuStevia Liquid
  • 2.75 oz bottle of NuStevia No Carb Powder
  • 1 pound package of NuGrains Oat Fiber
  • 8 oz package of NuNaturals PreSweet Tagatose
  • NuStevia Vanilla Stevia Liquid
NuNaturals is offering a discount to all of my readers. Use the code: BLG0614 to receive a 15% discount your entire order (expires June 30, 2014). Online ordering customers may also receive free shipping to the continental U. S. on all orders exceeding $ 35.00 after discounts.

Young Living Oils

Thieves Giveaway
Bottle of Thieves Essential Oil and Essential Chefs: A Beginner's Guide to Using Essential Oils in Your Kitchen: $73.00 value
Young Living Essential Oils is a leader in providing quality, therapeutic grade essential oils. They have helped to bring essential oil use back to modern times. There is almost an essential oil for anything and they can be used for health, cleaning, pet care and more. It is a comfort to have something on hand to deal with nearly any situation.

Redmond Trading Co.

Variety Pack from Redmond Trading (see details below): $64.00 value


Real products for real people. At Redmond we believe nature has it right with products–and that we can’t improve upon nature. This principle, and a passion for wellness, is the philosophy behind all of our Redmond products. We keep them simple, clean, and real–just the way nature intended.
  • 10 oz. Real Salt shaker
  • 4 oz. Real Salt Organic Seasoning shaker
  • Tube of Peppermint Earthpaste
  • Bottle of Redmond Clay Daily Detox
  • Tube of Redmond Clay Facial Mud


Button (1) 6 month subscription to Fit2B: $59.94 value Fit2B offers wholesome workouts to the whole family. Stream affordable TummySafe™ fitness anywhere, anytime! With members worldwide, we provide unlimited access to almost 100 routines, and our family-friendly focus keeps things modest, safe and fun for all ages. We are passionate about standing in the gap for those who have been led to believe that they will always look pregnant or will always leak when exercising. We are here to let people know how to heal their split tummy muscles while offering ways to workout if you have a gap in your gut.

Artisana from Premier Organics

2 full sized jars of nut butters and an assortment of pouches: $55.00 value logo 
  Premier Organics, headquartered in Oakland, California and the makers of Artisana organic foods, was founded in 2002. With devotion to sustainable living and our community, we support the organic and living foods movement, the Earth and her forests. We try to buy our ingredients as close to the farmer as possible. In many cases we are able to buy straight from the organic farmers. It's a choice. It's how we operate. It’s how we live our lives. The facility is free of peanuts, gluten, soy, and dairy and operates under strict food safety protocol.

Simple Mills

Variety pack of 2 of each of their 3 mixes (banana, pumpkin, and chocolate): $53.50 value Banana 
  Simple Mills is a small business out of Atlanta that makes Almond Flour Muffin Mixes. Unlike traditional gluten-free baked goods that are loaded with sugar or flours with a large blood sugar impact, Simple Mills products are made with low-glycemic flours and sweeteners (almond flour and coconut nectar). The products are also gluten-free, grain-free, non-GMO, soy-free, and dairy-free! In fact, the only ingredients in the mixes are almond flour, arrowroot powder, coconut nectar, aluminum-free baking soda, celtic sea salt, and a base (fair-trade cocoa, dried banana, or dried pumpkin – depending on the mix flavor). No funny, hard-to-pronounce additives or unnatural ingredients! And because the ingredients are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and nutrition, the products not only taste great, they also make you feel great!

Bloom Naturals

Nourish body moisturizers and hand relief: $40 value
wpslider1 (1)
Welcome to Bloom Naturals, health food for skin! I am a homeschooling mother of 4 boys who was amazed to learn of all the harmful and useless ingredients found skin care. In my years of research to understand how ingredients are manufactured, extracted, and refined, I found a disconnect between the message companies were trying to send me with ingredients listed on their bottles. Many claim the safety of products but in most cases that is far from the truth. Out of frustration, I began to make my own products committing to being a company where my message of safe, healthy & effective aligns with each of the ingredients I use. My soapbox is a passion for providing the healthiest, most effective products by using only ingredients found in nature, never a laboratory. Because I never add fillers (like water) or toxins, you are only paying for safe, beneficial & nourishing ingredients. Who doesn't want that! Begin the journey of restoring dull, tired, aging, and irritated skin while enjoying 20% off your order as our gift to you. Use coupon code WOWBOOKLAUNCH for a 20% discount (expires January 15th).

Vision Herbs and Gifts

4 oz lotion of winner choice, 4 oz skin relief cream,1 lip balm of winners choice: $12.00 value VH logo
  Vision Herbs and Gifts is a small business run by a mother and daughter team located in small town Pennsylvania. They make good for your skin lotions, creams, salves, lip balms, and herbal tea blends.

Whole New Mom

4 oz bag of soap nuts: $8.10 value
  Soap Nuts 
  Whole New Mom - No Nonsense Health in Today's Toxic World with Special Diets, Whole Living, Autism, Autoimmune, and More.

Facebook Party: January, 6 2014

Join us on Monday, January 6th for a Facebook party and more chances to win prizes! We'll be talking about the health changes you may see from taking wheat out of your diet as well as the challenges this may present. Be sure to follow Whole New Mom on Facebook and join us for conversation and prizes from 7:30pm - 9:00pm. Weeding Out Wheat Book Launch Facebook Party

Looking for Support & Encouragement in Wheat-Free Living?

Weeding Out Wheat Facebook Group
Join the Weeding out Wheat facebook group. We offer encouragement, support, recipes, and information for those who are wheat-free veterans, newbies, and those who are just looking for information before diving in.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up- December 31, 2013

Tots and Me
Welcome to Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me and Emily @ Emily Reviews

So glad you could join us as we share our giveaways on  Tuesday's Giveaway Link Ups. 

Our co-hosts this week are Sue from My Photopage and Shelly from The Attic Girl.

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Make sure you stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.
Featured Giveaway
Hexbug V2 Nano Sky Max Set US only Ends 1/14

Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me & Emily @ Emily Reviews along with Sue from My Photopage and Shelly from The Attic Girl.

Weeding Out Wheat: A Review

*This post contains my affiliate link*

Luke and Trisha Gilkerson are the husband/wife team who authored the book Weeding Out Wheat: A Simple, Scientific, Faith-Based Guide. They have "a passion for truth in all aspects of life" and desire to share that with their readers over at Intoxicated On Life, their blog which they describe as "a one-stop-shop for learning about living a healthy home life."

Weeding Out Wheat is a wonderful book on the topic of eating wheat-free. I had been thinking of trying a wheat-free diet because of the way my health has been. I know people who have to eat gluten-free diets because of Celiac disease and wheat sensitivities. However, I wasn't sure if this was truly something that would be causing me my discomfort. I am so glad I took the time to read this book. The authors spent quite a bit of time studying and reading up on what some probably consider a new fad and they are sharing it with us in this resource.

I think one of the most important things they share in the book is why modern wheat is so different from ancient wheat. I know I had questioned why, if wheat has been around since the beginning of creation, so many people are finding themselves sensitive to wheat in modern times. And if I am questioning why, I am sure there are many others that are confused by this as well. As I was reading I was constantly stopping to reread important points to my husband. The authors start with a short discussion of how ancient wheat, called einkorn wheat, became emmer wheat which naturally mixed with Triticum tauschii, and created Triticum aestivum, the bread wheat family from Biblical times through the beginning of the 20th century. Then they share how wheat has been manipulated during the last half of the 20th century into something that is so different the reader can see how consumption of it can be questioned. The thing is, these changes took place with good intentions, increasing the yield to feed people; however, because the scientists didn't realize the changes were so huge they never tested the effect on human beings' health.

In the sub-section called Glutenstein's Monster the authors share that, "one experiment found fourteen new gluten proteins in the offspring that were not found in parent wheat plants." To me, this shows very simply how sensitivities to gluten could have sprung up in recent times and definitely raises a red flag. In fact, they share how there has been a 400% increase in Celiac Disease in the last 50 years.

In addition to seemingly innocent things like the hybridization (which changed the wheat so drastically) and the way it the wheat is now processed, I was appalled to discover that our wheat is being treated with toxic pesticides and irradiation.  So many concerns over something as simple and seemingly necessary as bread.

After explaining the problems with the wheat itself, the authors start digging in to all the problems that may be associated with modern wheat, and it is not just the intestinal problems that people have come to link with Celiac Disease. In the section called "Wheat Gone Wild: Understanding Wheat's Connection to Deteriorating Health" you will find the following chapters:
  • Some Necessary Definitions where the authors discuss the difference between wheat allergies, gluten intolerance, gluten sensitivity and Celiac Disease.
  • Is Wheat-Free Right For You where the authors share some indications to help you decide whether you should consider a wheat-free diet. By the way, because of all the different conditions that are discussed in this chapter as being possibly linked to wheat and gluten, the authors actually suggest that everyone should at least try a wheat-free diet. However, they also admit that going wheat-free is not a "cure-all."
  • Delete the Wheat where the authors share 7 reasons to go wheat-free based on a slew of problems that can be found due to the three anti-nutrients found in wheat (gluten, lectins, and phytates).
  • Wheat's The Problem? where the authors share different tests that can be used to determine wheat-sensitivity. However, with all those tests, I chose to use the last one suggested, Give up Wheat. A minimum of 2 months is suggested as that is how long it may take for the toxins to leave your body so a difference can be seen.
  • FAQ where you will find answers to frequently asked questions about wheat.

Another thing that I appreciate about this book is that they do not just focus on the scientific aspects of giving up wheat. Twenty-five pages (about 1/4 of the book) are focused on the Biblical concerns with going wheat-free. This section is called "Is Wheat-Free Biblical: Reconciling a Wheat-Free Diet With a Bread-Filled Faith" and in it you will find the following chapters:

  • Wheat and Bread in the Bible where the authors discuss the references to wheat in the Bible, as a staple of life, used in worship, in the life of Jesus and how it is not always associated with abundance.
  • Wheat is a Provision, Not an Obligation where the authors ask, not whether God endorses eating wheat, but whether God obligates us to eat wheat.
  • Does God Have a Diet Plan where they discuss health and the kosher diet. They discuss whether God in the Bible states that physical health is the reason for a kosher diet and whether or not there is a biblically nutritional diet.
  • The Bread of Life where the concerns of having communion with wheat-free bread are addressed.
  • In Conclusion: What Does Wheat Free Living Have to Do With Our Faith? brings this section to a conclusion.
The book concludes with the section "Moving Forward: Making the Wheat-Free Transition." In this section you will discover the importance of choosing the right foods and making nutritionally sound choices in what to place in your body. There are guidelines on what to eat once one gives up wheat. The focus is on eating healthy and not substituting junk for the wheat that has been given up. They have included a list of books and other resources on their Weeding Out Wheat Resources Page to help readers along on their journey.  They also invite those who are embarking on a wheat-free journey to join them at their Weeding Out Wheat: Encouragement and Support Facebook Group.

I have truly enjoyed having the opportunity to be on this launch team and to get a chance to read this book. They have done a wonderful job describing in simple terms the importance of a wheat-free diet. They have convinced me of the problems with modern-day wheat and reassured me that living wheat-free is not anti-Biblical. The authors shared many different conditions that can be linked to wheat consumption. I know my oldest daughter has suffered migraines for a while and to find out they can be possibly linked to wheat was something that had never been mentioned. It is definitely something I want her father to look into. Additionally, who would have thought that skin problems could be linked to eating wheat. With my skin rashes and Amelia's itchy's I am so curious to see whether eliminating the wheat will help. 

It is my goal to purge the house of wheat, but for now I have gone wheat-free myself and have been restricting it in Amelia's diet. I have to tell you I could tell a difference in my health within a week of going wheat-free. My tummy was feeling better (let's leave it at that, shall we?) and I had more energy and less "brain fog." And if that was not enough proof for me, I boo-booed during the holidays and ate some foods that had wheat in them. I did NOT feel well at all. I was curled up on the love seat Thanksgiving night. However, I didn't learn my lesson and gave in again at Christmas time. Again, the tummy aches came back, along with more gas and diarrhea. I am hoping to be able to stick with this new lifestyle in the new year and once the holidays roll around I will have some great gluten-free recipes in my recipe drawer.

You don't have to believe just my testimony. I love that the authors included testimonies throughout the book. People shared how they saw vast improvements in their health, from stomach aches going away, to skin problems disappearing, to "brain fog" being lifted. So many benefits seem to be linked to following a wheat-free lifestyle.

You can also check out my fellow launch team members' reviews of the book by going here

Right now you can purchase the book at the special Launch Price. You can purchase the Kindle version for just $1.99 from Amazon from now through January 1st. The paperback version can be purchased for $9.95 from here, through January 1st. After that time the price will revert to the normal price, $9.95 for Kindle and $14.95 for paperback.

And stay tuned for this great giveaway going live soon. A great package to win to help in your healthy living lifestyle.

It's a New Year! Make some new changes with this awesome giveaway. AND Pick up a DISCOUNTED copy of Weeding out Wheat to find out why taking wheat out of your diet could make a huge impact. $600 value ends 1/7/14

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book Weeding Out Wheat as a part of the Launch Team to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. This post contains my affiliate link.

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