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Halloween.  Since I was a young girl, I can remember what a controversial subject Halloween was.  Every year at our Christian school, fliers would be handed out, once again explaining the history of Halloween, it’s pagan roots, and what an evil holiday it was. I am not going to go into depth in explaining the holiday – most of us have heard it all before.

By the age of 10, I could tell you where every Halloween tradition originally stemmed from – the Druids, why they dressed up, what they believed,  and the evil rituals that they participated in.  I understood that human and animal sacrifices were made, and it was the “day of the dead”.  I heard it all, every October.

Still, in my mind that was hundreds of years ago, and it didn’t have anything to do with the fun and “cuteness” of the Halloween that we know today.

When I had my first son 10 years ago, I  was faced with the decision of whether or not I was going to allow him to participate in Halloweeen.   Would I dress as him as a cute little pumpkin, bumble-bee?  There were SO many cute outfits to choose from this time of year!  We didn’t have to celebrate the “evil” part of it.  We can keep it cute, and innocent!  What can be more fun to my little guy than allowing him to dress up in one of his favorite costumes, carry a glo-stick, and have him walk around  in the dark to get lots of yummy candy?  Such excitement for a little one!

Pumpkins and spiders vs witches and ghosts.  I didn’t see the harm in it.

I didn’t want the way I felt about Halloween to be based solely on what was pounded into my brain every year as a child – that Halloween was evil, and based on a pagan holiday.  So what?  So is Christmas, the Christmas tree, coloring Easter eggs, and so on!

If I did decide to refrain from Halloween, I wanted it to be because the Holy Spirit told me it was wrong, and not man.

So, I took him trick or treating.  It was fun watching him run around, and the excitement on his face brought me great joy!  I will admit that every now and then I felt a bit guilty…. is this wrong?   Should I really be participating in this?  I dismissed those thoughts, and excused them as part of my anti-Halloween childhood.  We all know Christians can go overboard sometimes, and again I wanted to make sure I was to hear from the Holy Spirit, and not echoes of the past.

Through the years, I had another son and we continued to participate in Halloween.  As my sons got older, I took the time to explain to them that many Christians are against  Halloween for the reason that it was a  pagan holiday.  I took the time to give the evil history of the traditions of the holiday, and where it all began.  I went further to explain that I really wasn’t completely sure that participating in the holiday was the right thing to do, and that there may come a day that the Lord will tell us to stop.  If that day were to come, it would be because the Holy Spirit impressed it upon my heart, but their mommy wanted to be sure that she was not making a decision  based on man’s opinions, or approval.  They seemed to understand, and went along with our plan.

Long story short, that day DID come, but not as I expected.  The Lord convicted my children’s hearts rather than my own.  I believe He did that for me – so that I can be at total peace at withdrawing my family from all the “fun” that the world has created this day to be.

Our days of trick or treating came to an end last year, 2011.  Easton was dressed as a hunter, and Gaige was Thomas the Train.  We passed many “graves”, coffins, and ghosts in our neighborhood.  As we approached one house, we saw bloody body parts laying on the ground next to a chain saw.  Laughing and howling echoed in the background through loud speakers on the porch.

My boys are very bright, and they understood that this was all fake.  They walked right up to the girl on the porch, and got their candy.  They were not afraid – they were convicted.  Convicted by the voice of the Holy Spirit that lived inside them!  Easton, then 9 years old, looked at me and said, “mom?  I think the Holy Spirit gave us our answer and told me we were not to do this anymore.  This doesn’t feel right.’  Gaige, age 7, chimed in, “I don’t think so either!  This is too evil!”

And that was it.  I looked at their innocent faces, and I said, “Okay!  The Holy Spirit has spoken… we’re done!”
They both smiled, and looked at their bucket of candy.   Gaige (my deep thinker)  sighed and said, “I feel sad that something fun can be so evil”.

That’s how Satan works, doesn’t he?  Making evil appear to be fun, and tricking the hearts of many of us, not matter what kind of christian background we may come from.  Praise God for the tender hearts of children to keep our paths straight!

Needless to say, there will be no Halloween for us this year.  We are going to shut our doors, turn off the porch light.  The Lord’s music will be playing in the background in order to defeat the “lord of the air”,  bake an apple pie and make memories as a family, as we strive to glorify the “Lord of our hearts”.

~April

‎”The one fear that America is missing is a fear of the Lord. As a people, we no longer fear God. Because we do not fear God, we no longer hate evil (Proverbs 8:13).

Instead of hating evil, Americans toy with it. We toy with holidays like Halloween that were conceived in evil and that promote the “cute-ification” of evil, whether that evil takes the form of witchcraft, sorcery, ghoulishness, or some other form of malevolent imagery paraded before our children. We laugh at the very things that the Lord describes as “abominations,” and we find ourselves obsessively fascinated by, and attracted to, all things dark.

Yet we do not fear the Lord.” ~Doug Phillips

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Today I talked to seven year old daughter about September 11. I showed her some photos on the Internet of the twin towers , the planes crashing into them and the aftermath. I explained why this tragedy happened and why it was important for us not forget about it. I told her that lots of people died in the wreckage and lots of brave people died trying to rescue the people who survived. Also many men and woman die everyday bravely fighting for our country so that stuff like this doesn’t happen anymore . I also explained that that’s why the war is going on so that we could be safe so that we can worship God, go to church, have homeschool, and play safely in our backyards.  I showed her pictures of people in Egypt who attacked the US Embassy and destroyed the American flag.  There are people out there who want to hurt America there are people out there who want to destroy our freedoms. Without these brave men and women who are fighting for their and our lives every day who knows what her country might be like. She started crying not because she was scared for herself but because it’s sad. It is sad. We should be greatful and never forget. Many Americans have become desensitized to this. People are desensitized to those who are dying every day to make sure that this does not happen to us again. Many people actively choose to forget that there is a war going on and live their happy, carefree, tolerent, everyone loves everyone little lives. This war makes these lifestyles possible. So please take this day to remember, but when tomorrow comes don’t forget. Remember those who died and their families. Continue to pray for those soldiers fighting and their families. Pray for our country and the upcoming election. Pray for our freedom. Pray.

Never forget!

Psalm 25:2

 O my God, I trust in You;

Let me not be ashamed;

Let not my enemies triumph over me.

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Fall is right around the corner, and so are the nasty little germs that come with it. It is not even September, yet my boys have managed to pick up on the sore throat bug that is going around this week. Time to start planning, and making

your home made remedies! The Lord provided so much for us to use to fight colds & sickness. Before running to the doctor, try what is in His medicine cabinet first. 🙂
This is what my boys and I are making this weekend. Thought we would share….Kids Honey Lemon Sore Throat Lollipops RecipeWhat you’ll need…
Honey: 1 cup, but use as much or as little as you like.
Essential Lemon Oil: 3-4 drops if you are comfortable with that
or pure organic lemon extract 1 teaspoon
Lollipop sticks
Candy thermometer
nonstick cookie mat or hard candy moldHow many lollipops you get will depend on what size you make them.

Have ready ahead of time your nonstick pad and lollipop sticks so that when the mixture is ready to work with, everything else is too.

Using a medium sized pot, place on the stove, add hone, lemon oil and candy thermometer. You want the honey to reach 300 degrees. Once mixture is to temperature take off the heat and work carefully and quickly to spoon out about a teaspoon size bit of honey onto the mat and then place your lollipop stick into the blob. Let honey cool completely before removing.

Wrap them in wax paper with a ribbon, saran wrap, or whatever tickles your fancy.

Then sit back with a good movie, cuddle & enjoy. 🙂

*just a reminder: Do not give honey to children under the age of 1 ! 😉

~April
Photo: Fall is right around the corner, and so are the nasty little germs that come with it.  It is not even September, yet my boys have managed to pick up on the sore throat bug that is going around this week.  Time to start planning, and making your home made remedies!  The Lord provided so much for us to use to fight colds & sickness.  Before running to the doctor, try what is in His medicine cabinet first. :)<br /><br /><br />
This is what my boys and I are making this weekend.  Thought we would share....</p><br /><br />
<p>Kids Honey Lemon Sore Throat Lollipops Recipe</p><br /><br />
<p>What you'll need...<br /><br /><br />
Honey:  1 cup, but use as much or as little as you like.<br /><br /><br />
Essential Lemon Oil: 3-4 drops if you are comfortable with that<br /><br /><br />
 or pure organic lemon extract 1 teaspoon<br /><br /><br />
Lollipop sticks<br /><br /><br />
Candy thermometer<br /><br /><br />
nonstick cookie mat or hard candy mold</p><br /><br />
<p>How many lollipops you get will depend on what size you make them.</p><br /><br />
<p>Have ready ahead of time your nonstick pad and lollipop sticks so that when the mixture is ready to work with, everything else is too.</p><br /><br />
<p>Using a medium sized pot, place on the stove, add hone, lemon oil and candy thermometer. You want the honey to reach 300 degrees. Once mixture is to temperature take off the heat and work carefully and quickly to spoon out about a teaspoon size bit of honey onto the mat and then place your lollipop stick into the blob. Let honey cool completely before removing.</p><br /><br />
<p>Wrap them in wax paper with a ribbon, saran wrap, or whatever tickles your fancy.  </p><br /><br />
<p>Then sit back with a good movie, cuddle & enjoy. :)</p><br /><br />
<p>*just a reminder: Do not give honey to children under the age of 1 ! ;)

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I have always heard so many good things about lavender so when I started my herb collection earlier this summer, I bought a lavender plant.
I still am not sure quite what to do with it. To be honest, I haven’t yet taken the time to do any

 research, but I love the way it looks & smells!
I saw this recipe for Lavender Lemonade, and I knew I just had to try it. It’s so simple, how could I not? So tonight I went and snipped a few buds off of my plant, and once they are dry I will let you know how it turns out. :)Besides the fact that the fragrance of lavender is one of my favorites, lavender is an herb with many wonderful attributes! Lavender essential oil can be inhaled, added to bath water or applied to the skin to provide support for migraines, dizziness, and digestive disorders. Trials in 1980 showed that lavender is effective as a antibacterial and antimicrobial against dental decay. Research in 1976 showed that it purifies and deodorize the air, killing many microbes within 3 hours after exposure to the oil. As an antiseptic and disinfectant and with the ability to heal wounds, lavender essential oil is part of my first aid kit. Applying undiluted lavender oil to a burn and then following with cold water to remove the sting will assist in healing.

With the sedative action of lavender, a mild infusion (tea) of the lavender buds promotes natural sleep. Adding its antispasmodic action, drinking the tea supports insomnia, poor digestion, migraines, and irritability.

But now for the lemon in lavender lemonade… Of course lemon is full of vitamin C, but did you know that there are compounds in lemons called limonoids that have been shown to help fight cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon? Scientists from the US Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are now investigating the potential cholesterol-lowering effects of limonin. Another study indicates that lemons may provide humans with protection against inflammatory polyarthritis, a form of rheumatoid arthritis involving two or more joints. Lemon is also an antiseptic that can be used on insect bites and stings. It can even be used straight on warts. You probably already knew that it is great for cleaning, and home made hand sanitizer.

If you don’t have a lavender plant, you can order the buds online. Go ahead and try it! Your body will thank you. 🙂

Yields a little over one quart

4 cups of water
4 fresh organic lemons, squeezed and seeds strained out (but leave in some of the pulp)
1 tbsp dried lavender buds
1/8 cup raw blue agave nectar

Pour one cup of boiling water over lavender buds.
Cover and steep for 10 minutes.
Combine remaining 3 cups of water with lemon juice.
Mix with steeped lavender water.
Add agave nectar and stir.
Chill before serving.
The amount of agave nectar may need to be adjusted to taste.

I can’t wait to try it!
~April

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Hello! It’s April. 🙂 I have had some of you ask questions as to where we get our RAW milk. As most of you know, RAW milk is none other than milk that is… well… straight from the cow! It has never been pasteurized or homogenized – just the way our creator intended. The cows that we get our milk from are grass fed, rather than grain fed. Some believe raw milk to be very good for you while others believe that raw milk consumption is not healthy. My family has had only good results. Please educate yourself on raw milk to be responsible and make your best decision. A search on the Internet should give you much information. Virginia Law only allows human consumption of raw milk from your own cow, therefore my family and I have purchased a “COW SHARE”. We are part owners of a sweet cow that goes by the name of “Bossy”. Bossy lives on a little farm in Ivor, Virginia, and her milk is delivered to us every Sunday. Her fresh milk produces a lot of cream, that can either be mixed in to your milk to give it a creamy taste, or it can be skimmed off and used for butter, ice cream, and even coffee creamer. We usually make butter out of ours – just put it in the blender, add a little salt if you like, and in just a few short minutes you will have your own butter. As I mentioned, Bossy is a grass fed cow, rather than grain fed. Here are some of the great health benefits of grass fed, over grain fed:

The difference between grainfed and grassfed animal products is dramatic. First of all, grassfed products tend to be much lower in total fat than grainfed products. For example, a sirloin steak from a grassfed steer has about one half to one third the amount of fat as a similar cut from a grainfed steer.

In fact, grassfed meat has about the same amount of fat as skinless chicken or wild deer or elk.1  When meat is this lean, it actually lowers your LDL cholesterol levels.2  

 

benefits of grass fed beef
Because grassfed meat is so lean, it is also lower in calories.  Fat has 9 calories per gram, compared with only 4 calories for protein and carbohydrates.  The greater the fat content, the greater the number of calories.

A 6-ounce steak from a grass-finished steer has almost 100 fewer calories than a 6-ounce steak from a grainfed steer. 

If you eat a typical amount of beef (66.5 pounds a year), switching to grassfed beef will save you 17,733 calories a year—without requiring any willpower or change in eating habits.  If everything else in your diet remains constant, you’ll lose about six pounds a year.  If all Americans switched to grassfed meat, our national epidemic of obesity would begin to diminish.

Extra Omega-3s

Although grassfed meat is low in “bad” fat (including saturated fat), it gives you from two to six times more of a type of “good” fat called “omega-3 fatty acids.” 

Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in every cell and system in your body.  For example, of all the fats, they are the most “heart friendly.” People who have ample amounts of omega-3s in their diet are less likely to have high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat.  Remarkably, they are 50 percent less likely to have a serious heart attack.3

Omega-3s are essential for your brain as well.  People with a diet rich in omega-3s are less likely to be afflicted with depression,  schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder (hyperactivity), or Alzheimer’s disease.4

Another benefit of omega-3s is that they may reduce your risk of cancer.  

In animal studies, these essential fatty acids have slowed the growth of a wide array of cancers and kept them from spreading.Although the human research is in its infancy, researchers have shown that omega-3s can slow or even reverse the extreme weight loss that accompanies advanced cancer. They can also hasten recovery from cancer surgery.7  

Furthermore, animal studies suggest that people with cancer who have high levels of omega-3s in their tissues may respond better to chemotherapy than people with low levels.8 Omega-3s are most abundant in seafood and certain nuts and seeds such as flaxseeds and walnuts, but they are also found in grassfed animal products.

The reason that grassfed animals have more omega-3s than grainfed animals is that omega-3s are formed in the green leaves (specifically the chloroplasts) of plants. Sixty percent of the fat content of grass is a type of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic or LNA.

When cattle are taken off grass and shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on grain, they lose their valuable store of LNA as well as two other types of omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA.  Each day that an animal spends in the feedlot, its supply of omega-3s is diminished.9  

The graph below illustrates this rapid decline.

 

grass fed beef health benefits
When chickens are housed indoors and deprived of greens, their meat and eggs also become artificially low in omega-3s.10

Eggs from pastured hens can contain as much as 20 times more omega-3s than eggs from factory hens. 

Switching our livestock from their natural diet of grass to large amounts of grain is one of the reasons our modern diet is deficient in these essential fats.  It has been estimated that only 40 percent of Americans consume a sufficient supply of these nutrients.  Twenty percent have levels so low that they cannot be detected.11  Switching to grassfed animal products is one way to restore this vital nutrient to your diet.
The CLA Bonus   The meat and milk from grassfed ruminants are the richest known source of another type of good fat called “conjugated linoleic acid” or CLA.  When ruminants are raised on fresh pasture alone, their milk and meat contain as much as five times more CLA than products from animals fed conventional diets.12

CLA may be one of our most potent defenses against cancer.

In laboratory animals, a very small percentage of CLA — a mere 0.1 percent of total calories —greatly reduced tumor growth.13 Researcher Tilak Dhiman from Utah State University estimates that you may be able to lower your risk of cancer simply by eating the following grassfed products each day: one glass of whole milk, one ounce of cheese, and one serving of meat. You would have to eat five times that amount of grainfed meat and dairy products to get the same level of protection.

There is new evidence suggesting that CLA does reduce cancer risk in humans. 

In a Finnish study, women who had the highest levels of CLA in their diet, had a 60 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest levels of CLA.

Switching from grainfed to grassfed meat and dairy products places women in this lowest risk category.14 Vitamin E In addition to being higher in omega-3s and CLA, meat from grassfed animals is higher in vitamin E.

The graph below shows vitamin E levels in meat from: 1) feedlot cattle, 2) feedlot cattle given high doses of synthetic vitamin E (1,000 IU per day), and 3) cattle raised on fresh pasture with no added supplements.  The meat from the pastured cattle is four times higher in vitamin E than the meat from the feedlot cattle and, interestingly, almost twice as high as the meat from the feedlot cattle given vitamin E supplements.15 

In humans, vitamin E is linked with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer.  This potent antioxidant may also have anti-aging properties.  Most Americans are deficient in vitamin E.

 

grass fed beef health benefits
   My family and I are thoroughly enjoying our raw milk from Bossy, our grass fed cow.  Just let her roam the pasture, eat her fresh, green grass and collect her milk – her non-homogenized, pasteurized God-given milk.  There is beauty & health in the simplicity of our food that our creator has provided for us. How much healthier would we be if we just left everything the way He intended?  Raw.  Fresh. Whole.”Whatever you eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all for the glory of God.” -1 Cor. 10:31Image

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Hi!  My name is April.  I am a military wife, and mother of two precious boys.  My sister in-law, Theresa, asked me to team up and do a blog with her.  I was very touched that she has chosen me!

Theresa and I have many differences… she is naturally sweet (unlike me – I have to work at it!), likes to be on the go (I’m more of a home body, and can get easily overwhelmed), lives on the opposite coast, and has a lot God’s resources in her own backyard!  Being in the military we live in the city, but my husband, Jim, and I are both country at heart.   I do pray that some day we will be blessed with a home in the country where we, too, can have chickens, fresh eggs, and a big ol’ garden!  It is a dream we both share.

God’s blessings come in all shapes and sizes, and He cares about the little desires of our hearts, as well as the big.  In February, He lead us to a small country church.  Our church family there is wonderful!  The church is on a farm that has beautiful gardens bursting with fresh vegetables, greenhouses full of green herbs, pigs, goats, turkeys, you name it!  It is so neat to look out the window during church and see chickens walking by, or have a rooster drown out the sound of a prayer request.  Everyone gets a chuckle.  

I am very passionate about eating whole foods – foods straight from our creator.  Because of the generosity of our church family, my family is blessed with fresh goats milk, fresh eggs, vegetables, and home made, organic soaps and lotions.  It has been such a blessing to our family!

I love my God, my family, and my country.   I have the privilege of home schooling our two boys, so I’m sure a lot of my posts will be about what God is teaching me through the process of learning to be a godly wife, mother, and teacher.  

I am not a natural writer, so please be patient in the way I present my thoughts, and share my heart.  I pray that I may somehow be a blessing through Him who gives me strength as we travel on this journey called life, and continue to be molded by our Master’s hand.   Without Him, I am nothing!  2 Cor. 12:9

God bless!

April

 

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