Health

My Daybook – November

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW I SEE….Beth and Dami playing together. That 3 year old is one lucky kid! He adores his older siblings and they are so good to him.

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I AM GIVING THANKS….. for this beautiful weather at the moment. I can’t get enough of being outside.

I AM PRAYING FOR……..family members who are ill. My Nana, who is 93, has been struggling with her health lately. She never ceases to amaze me with how switched on she is though. When you go visit her in the nursing home she gives you a running commentary  of all the old folk whose poor minds have been lost to them long ago. I think her good brain health is due to her never having her drivers licence so she would walk and take public transport everywhere.

I AM LISTENING TO…the sound of the basketball hitting the driveway – the two big boys are really enjoying shooting hoops together at the moment. They are out there at any chance they get. I can also hear the laughter from Beth and Dami.

I AM THINKING ABOUT….next year! I know it seems like a long way off but now is the time to order books.

I AM LEARNING….as always, I seem to being learning about the gut. I have loved reading ‘Brain Maker’ and now I am reading Pete Evans ‘The Complete Gut Health Cookbook’.

I AM CREATING….neat and tidy bookshelves. Not very exciting – or creative! I needed to give our playroom/schoolroom a makeover. There is still plenty of work to be done…my house looks like a bomb has gone off in it. I hate it how things always get worse before they get better 🙂

IN THE SCHOOLROOM….we are taking it very easy this term. We have enjoyed plenty of excursions, and the kids are planning their own days. All the kids know what needs to be done to finish the school year so as soon as one subject is finished, then they have less work to do. Beth, Zac and Dami are creating pretend food for their Cafe. They have finished their maths, spelling, religion and geography for the year.

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Our Zoo Excursion

COOKING IN THE KITCHEN….as always… our GAPs food and plenty of ferments.

IN THE MORNING BASKET…we are using the Baltimore Catechism each morning. I read from the text then choose one question for the kids to write in their notebooks. It has lead to many an interesting conversions about many parts of our faith.

We are also doing a fair bit of picture study. I’ll keep my method for another post, but it has been a lovely addition to the morning.

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Our morning basket time. Dami is fully dressed for the day but insisted on wearing his dressing gown.

I NEVER WANT TO FORGET….what a blessing it is to be a mother. Every day has its challenges, but also its blessings. I can choose to dwell on the bad, or I can try to see the blessings in each day. Sometimes it is as simple as a walk among the roses, or a cuddle from the three year old.

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This rose was picked and given to me 🙂

I don’t want to wish this time away because I know that in the blink of an eye they will be all grown up and left home.

The Perfect Homeschool? – or Not!

planning-shelf

It’s planning time again! It feels like only yesterday that I was planning for 2016, and here I am again thinking about what books I need to buy for next year. I was thinking the other day, for the first time since I started homeschooling 10 years ago I am not excited for the next school year. Planning and organising is my passion, so why no enthusiasm?

It took me a while to work it out, but I think it is because I feel that this year was a total flop. So many curriculums which I planned on using, just didn’t happen. Life threw me a curve ball. Term one was three broken bones in the family. Then term 2 we began our huge detox as a family.

Little did I know back then that we would go into survival mode.

Little did I know that Jay would spend most of his days unable to move off the couch. His detox was so debilitating that school was not a priority….his healing was our focus. So one by one, each subject got put completely on the back burner. Our daily plan become this;

Having a good day? Then get as much school work done as you can.

Having an average day? Then do maths and english.

Having a bad day? Then do your easy online subjects (religion, geography) and your textbooks which you can just read (science, history) –  we ditched anything that involved writing for these subjects.

Having a terrible day? Watch documentaries, listen to audio books, rest and relax. Just try to get outside for a small walk and some vitamin D. Even if you have to crawl out there….just get yourself outside.

 

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Soaking up some vitamin D, and some brotherly love.

I was so worried when it was time for our moderator to come (in Western Australia we have a person come out from the Education department to see how our homeschooling is going). Jay said to me, “Mum, I have nothing to put in my portfolio!” After having a little panic, I realised that although we had no concrete proof of learning, I know that he has still been learning and expanding his mind.

I decided to look at each individual subject and list every book that he has read. We also noted down all the tests he has had and what he learnt from them (DNA tests, bacteria tests). He has also learnt a huge amount about the body and how it functions. He is even now thinking when he finished school he would like to be a chiropractor and functional doctor.

So this year was not a waste. His portfolio still looked great, even though it was very different to each of his past 8 years portfolios.

So while I sit here sifting through curriculums, talking to the kids about what their interests are for next year, and thinking about what worked and didn’t work this year, I have to keep in mind that you never know what another year will bring. What challenges will you face? How will your goals and plans change? As I have done for the last ten years, I will search for curriculum that meet the needs of my kids but I will be prepared to change whatever I must as life always takes us in directions which we cannot control.

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The path is long….and hard

What never changes though is the fact that God is by our side. With the help of Mary our mother, the angels and saints we will continue to strive to do our best and even though we fail many times we pick ourselves up and keep trying. Will we ever have the perfect homeschool? No, but we will continue to do our best and that is what we are expected to do.

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My biggest achievement this year, climbing Bluff Knoll

 

Be grateful, pray and give thanks

Life has been pretty hectic lately. Blogging has certainly had to take a back-seat. It’s a pity really because the whole reason for starting a blog in the first place was to have as a keepsake the things that we do in our home-school.

Lately, all I have managed is cooking for our very strict diet, and getting small amounts of school done. I have even been quiet on the Instagram front too. Jay’s health has taken a turn for the worse. Even though it is entirely ‘normal’ when going through a detox program such as this, it doesn’t make it any easier.

As toxins leave the body they initially make you feel a lot worse. This is difficult because you are putting so much work into trying to heal the body and all you feel like you are doing is making things worse!

As we peel back the layers of Jay’s problems I feel we are gradually getting towards finding out what is going on in his body. His ileocecal valve is not shutting and it looks like it suffered some trauma from having his appendix out 4 years ago. Other problems are surfacing too, but at least this gives us an idea as to what we can do to help him heal.

I want to begin blogging more again. I will be trying to document what we are doing for school. Jay isn’t managing much school work. His work load depends on how he is feeling each day. On a good day he focuses on getting some maths and english done. If he is able to do more, he reads his textbooks for history and science. He also has the option of religion and geography which are online courses. When unwell he spends lots of time on the couch listening to audio books and reading. He also watches documentaries. I have faith that he will catch up and I am so grateful that we homeschool and we can adapt his school as we need to each day.

So I won’t bore you with any more ‘health talk’. I will be posting more about what’s happening around our home. And I will be focussing on all our achievements of the week (even if very small). When things are difficult I believe the only way to survive is to celebrate the success and be grateful for the little things. Be grateful, pray and give thanks!

Thess quote

My Daybook – May

This month of May has been so busy. I am only squeezing ‘My Daybook’ post just in time before winter begins tomorrow. The little three kids are in bed and I can sit and reflect on what has been a particularly crazy month of May.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW I SEE…. Nothing….it’s dark! But when the sun is shining our rose bushes look beautiful at the moment.

roses May 2016

I AM GIVING THANKS…..that I get to go out with my hubby Friday night. We are going to see one of our favourite bands “The Idea of North.” I can’t wait!!!!

I AM PRAYING FOR……..so many people at the moment. Mostly at the moment I am praying that this diet we are on will make our sick kids better.

I AM LISTENING TO…. Jay playing some Spanish music on his guitar. The heater is also whirring away trying to dry my bedding so I can get it back on my bed tonight.

I AM THINKING ABOUT…starting a journal to document how we are progressing each week on the diet. Each week there is new developments and I think I will never forget them, but I am sure I will  😉

I AM LEARNING….how to experiment with recipes to make them ketogenic/GAPS friendly. Prior to this diet I could only cook from a recipe. I am finding more and more that I can adapt recipes to suit our needs and even make up a few of my own.

I AM READING….’Gene Genius.’ It is a fascinating book about how our genes influence our health.

IN THE SCHOOLROOM….we are much more on track now after having a rough few weeks. Firstly, it was the adjustment to the diet, then we had our National testing, NAPLAN.

naplan

COOKING IN THE KITCHEN….coconut yoghurt, fermented apples, fermented carrots, kefir, lots of slow cooked meat and veggies, broth and a couple of fermented drinks. One yummy drink I made was a kefir beetroot and ginger juice – yum!

Here are some that I made with the kids on the weekend….

fermenting weekend

IN THE MORNING BASKET… On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness and lots of Zentangles.

 

morning basket May

 

I NEVER WANT TO FORGET….our trip to the hills last week. We went to Mundaring Weir. It was a beautiful autumn day and the scenery was lovely. The whinging 3 year old in the back of the car on the way there wasn’t so lovely (he was crying that his foot was ‘wobbly’ – we think he might have had pins and needles!). Nevertheless, we arrived after 50 minutes of driving. We had a lovely walk and then cooked a BBQ lunch. We then got back in the car and drove to the other side of the Weir, had a walk across the dam wall and then made ourselves comfortable and began some nature journalling. It was a day to remember. Even Dami keeps asking me if we can go back to the hills.

Mundaring Weir nature journalling

PLANNING FOR THE WEEK AHEAD….appointments, a coffee night with a dear friend, lots of school and no doubt lots of cooking!

Katie’s Home – GAPS style

Gee it’s been a while since my last post. I don’t think my feet have touched the ground since then! We have embarked on a new health journey. It is one which is currently taking up a LOT of my time, but one which we feel is entirely necessary.

My eldest, Jay, has had migraines since the age of four and has had a constant headache for four years now. He also suffers from frequent tummy aches. He has numerous food intolerances and the food on the ‘can’t have’ list seems to be growing by the day.

Thankfully, after searching for years in the mainstream medical world, we stumbled across someone who can help us to get Jay back to full health. It will be a long, hard road to healing but we are committed to join him as a family for the ride.

The diet we have taken on is basically GAPS/ketogenic style diet. We starve our bodies of carbs and sugar and pack it full of fermented food for good bacteria, bone broths and meat and veggies which are gentle on our tummies.

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Prepping veggies for breakfast and lunch

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Fermented Jelly

During these first few weeks it takes a while for our bodies to adapt. Some of the kids have a larger toxic load than others and are taking longer to adjust. Vomiting and lethargy are common during these early stages. Thankfully, we are over the vomiting part.

 

A large part of my day is spent in the kitchen, as there is NOTHING at the shops that we can just buy and eat. EVERYTHING must be cooked or fermented. This takes
a lot of forward planning and time. Ferments can take anywhere from 8 hours to three days. For example, fermented apples take three days, as do carrots. Coconut yoghurt takes 8 hours and kefir takes about 24hours.

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Coconut Kefir needs to be drunk every day

 

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Fermenting Apples

 

Epsom salt baths or magnesium spray is important as is bentonite clay drinks or baths. Jay also takes charcoal tablets which soak up toxins and eliminate them from the body.

 

This protocol is HUGE and the benefits may not ben seen for a while, but we are committed and are determined. The kids have been amazing so far. I have been so proud of them. They only eat the foods they are allowed, even when being offered sweets by their friends! It has been wonderful for their self control. They are maturing before my eyes and I have been impressed by their obedience and their understanding of what it will take for them to  get to full health. They are also getting really good at helping in the kitchen.

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Coconut Yoghurt Starter

 

I am confident that we will pull out of this in the end better, healthier people. And we will be glad that we have taken the difficult, yet more rewarding path.