Skin-On-Skin (Kangaroo Care) Strengthens Premature Babies

Skin-On-Skin (Kangaroo Care) Strengthens Premature Babies, Kate and David Ogg, Sydney, Australia, cuddling, preterm infants, better than incubators, improved O2 levels, sleep, weight gain, alertness/brain development, and breastfeeding, infant benefits include: stabilized heart rate and breathing, mimics kangaroos with joey in pouch, Bogota, Columbia, Midwifery Today, wear your baby, bonding, decreased apnea, NICU, alpha waves, delta waves, contentment, forming new neural pathways, happy babies, motherhood, breastfeeding, parenting, Mom, Premature Baby at Kapiolani, Hawaii

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Skin-On-Skin (Kangaroo Care) Strengthens Premature Babies

I stumbled upon a remarkable story of a 27-week premature baby coming back to life after two hours of being lovingly cuddled skin-on-skin. Kate and David Ogg told how doctors gave up on saving their son after a three-hour labor in a Sydney hospital and doctors had pronounced him dead.

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Skin-On-Skin (Kangaroo Care) Strengthens Premature Babies, Kate and David Ogg, Sydney, Australia, cuddling, preterm infants, better than incubators, improved O2 levels, sleep, weight gain, alertness/brain development, and breastfeeding, infant benefits include: stabilized heart rate and breathing, mimics kangaroos with joey in pouch, Bogota, Columbia, Midwifery Today, wear your baby, bonding, decreased apnea, NICU, alpha waves, delta waves, contentment, forming new neural pathways, happy babies, motherhood, breastfeeding, parenting,

(source)

It seems kangaroo care is a practice that is coming into its own after remarkable results in places like Bogata, Columbia. Midwifery Today explains it better than I could:  

By the early 1980s, the mortality rate for premature infants in Bogota, Colombia was 70 percent. The babies were dying of infections and respiratory problems as well as lack of attention paid to them by a bonded parent. “Kangaroo care” for these infants evolved out of necessity. Mothers of premature infants were given their babies to hold twenty-four hours a day-they slept with them and tucked them under their clothing as if in a kangaroo’s pouch. If a baby needed oxygen, it was administered under an oxygen hood placed on the mother’s chest.

Doctors who conducted a concurrent study of the kangaroo care noticed a rapid drop in neonatal mortality. Babies were not only surviving, they were thriving. Currently in Bogota, babies who are born as early as ten weeks before their due date are going home within twenty-four hours! The criteria for these babies is that they be alive, able to breathe on their own, are pink and able to suck. However, their weight is followed closely, and they can be gavage-fed if necessary.

Dr. Susan Ludington is one of the people who have been most instrumental in bringing kangaroo care to the United States. She has been intimately involved in many research projects, and her work is having a powerful, positive impact on premature babies and their families. In the United States, the few hospitals that regularly use kangaroo care protocols have mothers or fathers “wear” their babies for two to three hours per day, skin-to-skin. The baby is naked except for a diaper, and something must cover his or her back—either the parent’s clothing or a receiving blanket folded in fourths. The baby is in a mostly upright position against the parent’s chest.

The benefits of kangaroo care are numerous: The baby has a stable heart rate (no bradycardia), more regular breathing (a 75 percent decrease in apneic episodes), improved oxygen saturation levels, no cold stress, longer periods of sleep, more rapid weight gain, more rapid brain development, reduction of “purposeless” activity, decreased crying, longer periods of alertness, more successful breastfeeding episodes, and earlier hospital discharge. Benefits to the parents include “closure” over having a baby in NICU; feeling close to their babies (earlier bonding); having confidence that they can care for their baby, even better than hospital staff; gaining confidence that their baby is well cared for; and feeling in control—not to mention significantly decreased cost!

Why does kangaroo care work? Why are Dr. Ludington and others seeing such phenomenal results with babies in kangaroo care? What is happening to the baby and the mother during this time?

One of the first things to happen is that maintenance of the baby’s body temperature begins to depend on the mother, requiring the baby to use fewer calories to stay warm. Mothers naturally modulate the warmth of their breasts to keep their infants at the optimal temperature where babies sleep best, have the best oxygen saturation levels, the least caloric expenditure, and so forth. Maternal breast temperature can rise rapidly, then fall off as baby is warmed. As the baby starts to cool, the breasts heat up again—as much as 2 degrees C in two minutes!

Being next to mom also helps the baby regulate his or her respiratory and heart rates. Babies experience significantly less bradycardia and often, none at all. The respiratory rate of kangaroo-ed infants becomes more stable. The depth of each breath becomes more even, and apnea (temporary suspension of breathing, occurring in some newborns) decreases four-fold and often disappears altogether. If apneic episodes do occur, the length of each episode decreases. In my own experience with a baby in NICU for bradycardia and apnea, I found that both problems disappeared completely when I was home kangaroo-ing my baby.

During kangaroo care, a premature baby’s overall growth rate increases. This is in part due to the baby’s ability to sleep, thus conserving energy and putting caloric expenditure toward growth. According to Dr. Ludington, during the last six weeks of pregnancy, babies sleep twenty to twenty-two hours per day. In a typical NICU, however, they spend less than two hours total in deep, quiet sleep. Most of that comes in ten or twenty second snatches. With kangaroo care, the infant typically snuggles into the breast and is deeply asleep within just a few minutes. These babies gain weight faster than their non-kangaroo-ed counterparts, and it is interesting to note that they usually do not lose any of their birth weight.

Researchers have gained significant insight into what happens to an infant’s brain during kangaroo care. Any baby’s heart rate and respiratory rates can be plotted as a sort of artistic drawing. Because premature infants lack the ability to coordinate their breathing and heart rates, the rates “plot out” as chaotic. This means with increased demand on the cardiovascular system, as with crying or fussing, the system does not respond with a related increase in cardiac output. In other words, the baby’s respiratory rate may increase while crying, but the heart rate does not. As premies mature, these rates become synchronized, or “coupled,” resulting in an orderly drawing when the rates are plotted together. The drawing no longer looks random.

In infants in kangaroo care, researchers found that coupling takes place after only ten minutes. This hardly seemed possible because it equaled four weeks of brain development in the “normal” premie. As researchers studied brain wave patterns of infants in kangaroo care, they found two significant things. First, there was a doubling of alpha waves—the brain wave pattern associated with contentment and bliss. Second, they found that “delta brushes” were occurring. Delta brushes happen only when new synapses are being formed. So holding the infant skin-to-skin allows his or her brain to continue its work of developing neural synapses.

Imagine the implications if all infants “at risk” were kangaroo-ed. Dr. Ludington sums up kangaroo care very aptly by saying “Separation is not biologically normal.”

Helping our clients understand their options, including risks, benefits and alternatives, is a very important part of being “with woman.” Knowing enough about kangaroo care to help them make informed decisions is another important tool for the caregiver’s birth bag. All infants benefit from skin-to-skin contact, breastfeeding, shared sleep and so forth, but some babies very seriously need kangaroo care. They include premature infants, infants with low muscle tone or disabilities, high-needs infants, those with intrauterine growth retardation or those who have a hard time gaining weight.

Remember that in some instances, kangaroo care has meant the difference between life and death.

Kangaroo care can also be done by fathers and others willing to help in the event a parent cannot. Sick and normally healthy babies benefit. Everyone benefits.

If you know of anyone who has a newborn or older baby struggling with health issues, please share this concept with them. It might make a profound difference. Also, I would try this for the colicky baby!

Have you or anyone you know well done this?

Skin-On-Skin (Kangaroo Care) Strengthens Premature Babies, Kate and David Ogg, Sydney, Australia, cuddling, preterm infants, better than incubators, improved O2 levels, sleep, weight gain, alertness/brain development, and breastfeeding, infant benefits include: stabilized heart rate and breathing, mimics kangaroos with joey in pouch, Bogota, Columbia, Midwifery Today, wear your baby, bonding, decreased apnea, NICU, alpha waves, delta waves, contentment, forming new neural pathways, happy babies, motherhood, breastfeeding, parenting,

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Dr. Susan Ludington’s book Kangaroo Care: The Best You Can Do to Help Your Preterm Infant is available for parents or caregivers of preterm infants not familiar with this wonderful ‘biologically normal’ practice.

Skin-On-Skin (Kangaroo Care) Strengthens Premature Babies, Kate and David Ogg, Sydney, Australia, cuddling, preterm infants, better than incubators, improved O2 levels, sleep, weight gain, alertness/brain development, and breastfeeding, infant benefits include: stabilized heart rate and breathing, mimics kangaroos with joey in pouch, Bogota, Columbia, Midwifery Today, wear your baby, bonding, decreased apnea, NICU, alpha waves, delta waves, contentment, forming new neural pathways, happy babies, motherhood, breastfeeding, parenting,

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” ~Matthew 19: 14

If you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebookbut even more importantly, subscribing via Feedburner.

Skin-On-Skin (Kangaroo Care) Strengthens Premature Babies, Kate and David Ogg, Sydney, Australia, cuddling, preterm infants, better than incubators, improved O2 levels, sleep, weight gain, alertness/brain development, and breastfeeding, infant benefits include: stabilized heart rate and breathing, mimics kangaroos with joey in pouch, Bogota, Columbia, Midwifery Today, wear your baby, bonding, decreased apnea, NICU, alpha waves, delta waves, contentment, forming new neural pathways, happy babies, motherhood, breastfeeding, parenting,

Deep Roots at Home is also now on Google+!

~ Jacqueline

Posted in Breastfeeding, Encouragement for Mothers, Health, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding | 7 Comments

From The Depths Of Suffering ~ The Zeller’s Story

From The Depths Of Suffering ~ The Zeller's Story, toxicity, triggers, mental illness, brain fog, loss of memory, headaches, mysterious illness, encouragement for women, parenting, mothering, healthy living, mold exposure, Andrea Fabre's blog MomsAware, stillbirth, losing a child, grief, grieving, mycotoxins, surviving mold, mold remediation, sickness, toxicity, stachybotris, aspergillus, glorifying God in suffering, trials and pain, fibromyalgia,

From The Depths Of Suffering ~ The Zeller’s Story

If you are in the midst of terrible real-life trials, may this unique story about a strong, yet fragile faith that carries one family through from moment to moment give you courage. Despite slow poisoning from mold exposure and multiplied suffering, God is glorified through Misty Zeller’s blog Charlie’s Song, so I share it with you with permission.

I Guess I’ll Just Eat Worms
March 31st, 2014

I’ve known this post was coming, but it’s one I have dreaded writing.  We have received many emails asking what our specific symptoms are and what our treatment plan will be. I know that one of the scariest parts of our story is that it really could happen to anyone, because toxic black mold is something you almost never see.  It lurks under the surface, hidden in walls and ceilings, slowly destroying your lives.  And you never even saw it coming.  I know that our story has made other people wonder if they too are unknowingly being poisoned by toxic mold, and if we can help even one person, this post is worth it to me.

We’ve also had many questions about how we ever even figured this out in the first place.  I want to answer these questions.  Not because I feel like answering them…because a huge part of me just plain doesn’t.  This is a hard thing for me to write about.  It’s hard to write about because it feels boring and newsy, and the kind of thing you would tell your doctor or your mom, not a few thousand total strangers.  But more importantly…it’s hard to write about, because it’s extremely personal.  And strikes very close to my aching heart.

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But I really believe that there are people out there who are suffering deeply, because of unexplained illnesses that may very well be caused by toxic mold poisoning.  I believe that there are people out there who are struggling with unexpected and unexplained infertility, and it is very possibly due to toxic mold that they simply cannot see.  I had three healthy babies in four years, and then lost three babies in a row in less than eleven months time.  I know that stillbirth and miscarriage happen to a lot of people, for a lot of different reasons, and that many of them go unexplained.  But there is an explanation for mine.  And after all that we have suffered, I do not want to leave others alone in their suffering, if our story might help them in any way.

I am not a doctor.  But I am under the care of one of the best environmental doctors in the world, and I trust her implicitly.  After seeing 14 doctors in 14 months, I can spy a bad doctor from a few thousand miles away.  And I am so incredibly grateful I have finally found a good one.  I can only share our experience, and our symptoms and treatment plan.  This is not a medical journal, and if you do have concerns that you may have been exposed to toxic mold, I would encourage you to see a good doctor, who specializes in this, though they are very hard to find.

Where do I begin?  I guess I’ll start with The Worms.

About eight months after Charlie died, I felt like my body was starting to shut down. I was getting worse with each passing day, and none of my doctors seemed to know or care what was wrong with me.  The worst kind of doctor…is the one who tells you you’re “fine.” And I had lots of those in my life.  I was exhausted all of the time.  I had a deep pain in my liver every day.  I had sinus infections, one of them so bad that it caused permanent damage to my hearing. My thyroid was failing, so badly that my basal body temperature was a whopping 96.7, and I was literally freezing in July.  I had horrible brain fog, and couldn’t remember simple things in spite of the fact that I’ve always had an amazing memory.  I had a raging ear infection, and it felt like the infection was actually starting to take over my entire body.  At one point I told my doctor, “I feel like my insides are actually crawling.”  I couldn’t lift my arms above my head without them going numb.  And most of all, I couldn’t get pregnant, and then I couldn’t stay pregnant.  In spite of what my doctors said…I knew I was so entirely not “fine.”

By that point I had been struggling with horrible eczema on my hands for about a year.  It is the first symptom I can remember having, and it started when I was seven months pregnant with Charlie.  My hands would explode in a horrible, bumpy, red rash, and they would become so inflamed that I would wake up in the night in excruciating pain.  They would bleed, and scab over, and heal…and then flame up all over again.  I went to the dermatologist twice, and she just told me, “This happens sometimes during pregnancy.” But it never, ever went away.

I was so entirely fed up with all of the sub-par medical care I was getting, that I finally found a doctor in town who specialized in endocrinology.  He was my least favorite doctor of all fourteen.  And ironically, he is the one who probably saved our lives.  During my first consultation with him, he asked me if we had ever had our house tested for mold.  The only reason he thought to ask…was because a former patient of his had suffered a still birth because of mold poisoning.  He knew nothing about mold beyond that point, but I am so incredibly grateful that he mentioned mold that day.

He also mentioned about a hundred other things.  He suggested I go on a gluten-free, sugar-free diet for 12 weeks to help kill off the infection in my body.  He suggested I get all of my amalgam fillings removed from my teeth, to reduce the toxic load the mercury fillings might be having on my body.  He also suggested I take earthworms.  Yes…worms.   The worm supplement was supposed to help with blood circulation, because earth worms are experts at “breaking things down.”  I honestly have no idea if it made a bit of difference, but I took my worms religiously.

All of that to say, it was a difficult three months.  I got eight fillings removed at one time, and it was such an invasive dental procedure that I threw up three times in the dentist chair in one morning.  The dentist loved me.  I got myriads of blood tests done, and went through the entire holidays eating no sugar, and being completely gluten-free.  I was on a heavy detox program to remove toxins from my body and about 60 supplements a day, and yet my body was still failing.  It was a long and frustrating process of getting the house tested for mold and very difficult to get clear answers on what was going on in the home, and especially in my body.

And in the midst of it all, I got pregnant.  And then, less than four weeks later…another sweet baby came and went from our lives.  What was happening to my heart…completely overshadowed what was happening to my body.

But I was so incredibly sick of being sick, and I was not getting better. I remember looking in the cupboard at the 60 supplements I had to take that day, and thinking, “I am eating worms…actual worms.  How did I get to the point where I would actually say, ‘Nobody can help me…I guess I’ll just eat worms.’”

I got there…the same way everyone with unexplained, chronic pain gets there…I woke up one day, and I was suddenly no longer healthy.  One symptom creeped up, and then another, and no matter how many doctors I went to, no one could help me.  And before I knew it, I was sick, and in excruciating pain.

Even as I write this, I think to myself, “Who in the world, wants to hear about my boring list of symptoms?”  Because I don’t even want to write about it.  But there are millions of people in this world who live in chronic pain.  They spend all the money they have to spend, and even money they don’t, on doctors who simply do not help them get better. They feel trapped in a body that is betraying them on every level, every moment, of every day.  And I never really understood how paralyzing it is to live with daily, unexplained pain…until it happened to me.  So, if you’re still with me, and you’re still reading my boring symptoms list, please hear this…

If you are one of those people…I am so deeply, deeply sorry.  I am so sorry for the moments in your children’s lives that you have missed, because you were too sick to even get out of bed, let alone bake cookies for the school Christmas party.  I am so very sorry for those missed memories.  My year has been filled with missed memories.  I am so sorry that every moment of your life has been clouded by fear and uncertainty.  I am so sorry that your days have been wrecked by debilitating physical pain, and the gnawing soul pain of the “not knowing.”  And I know that for some of you, even knowing why you’re sick, doesn’t take it all away.  We finally know what is causing our sickness…and these have been some of the sickest days of my life.

And if you are not one of those people…please bear the burdens of those around you who cannot take a moment of heath for granted, because they are so few and far between.  I am so unspeakably grateful for the people in our lives, who took advantage of a time when they were healthy…and could have done anything with it…to love on us in our pain.

All of that to say…by the time I ended up in Dr. Hope’s office, I was so entirely weary.  But she listened to me.  She has more medical degrees on her wall than most of the doctors I’ve seen, but she didn’t treat me like I was less than her, just because I was the patient. She believed me.  And she helped me.  And why…well, because her office is filled with patient after patient who has been ignored and minimized by doctors who know absolutely nothing about toxic mold poisoning.  Her office is filled with people who have been sick for a very, very long time.

I remember hesitantly telling Dr. Hope about my “heavy arms symptom” at our first appointment.  And without a moment’s hesitation she said to me, “That…is one of the most common symptoms of mold poisoning.  Many of my patients complain of heavy arms, or even that their heads feel too heavy to lift up most days.”  The moment she said this, it was like the clouds parted and angels started singing.  There was a REASON for my pain.  I wasn’t just crazy, or delusional, or being dramatic.  Someone finally acted like it was not normal to not be able to hold my hands up to the steering wheel, or to carry my little Sophie.  Someone was familiar with this symptom.  Someone knew WHY. And someone was finally going to help me.

I cannot tell you the relief that came in the finally knowing.  I no longer had to just eat worms, and hope it was “helping.”  I was sick.  And someone believed me.  And someone could finally tell me why.

Many people have asked us how we are doing physically, and how they can be praying. Honestly, it has been a very rough couple of weeks.  The medicine we are on to remove the mold from our bodies makes us very, very sick, and I feel completely wrecked most days.

And it is an extra wound to carry that all five of us are sick at the exact same time.  The kids have been incredible.  They have done an amazing job taking their glutathione every morning, and their activated charcoal every night.  Every night Freddo says to me, “Mommy, why do we have to drink this stuff…it looks like rocks?”  And it does.  It actually looks like someone grabbed a bunch of ash from a fire pit and threw it into his cup.  But our sweet kids take their ash every single day.  It gives them tummy aches, and headaches, and it makes my heart ache just watching the mold continue to wreak havoc on their little body’s.  But there is only one way to get it out.  And they have been so incredibly brave.

In many ways, the kids are doing far better than I am.  Within a week after we moved out of the toxic house, the eczema that I had struggled with for over a year…completely went away.  But Dr. Hope had warned us that as we started to heal, our bodies would become more reactive to the mycotoxins, especially the mycotoxins on our old, exposed things.  I didn’t totally believe her, but the other day I was out in our garage going through insurance papers from our old house.  Within minutes of touching the paper from the old house…my hands became completely inflamed.  It was the worst outbreak of eczema I’ve ever had, and I woke up during the night multiple times last week, in so much pain that I couldn’t even go back to sleep.  It is so incredibly frustrating that my hands are once again inflamed.  My ear infection is back in full force. I have a headache, a sinus infection, and the worst brain fog and exhaustion of my life.  And those are just my symptoms.  We are still, very, very sick and would so appreciate your prayers.

So, that’s it.  A very long, boring symptoms story.  But all of that, brings me to the thing I really wanted to say.

I hate being sick.  I really, really hate watching the people I love most, being sick right alongside me.  And there is nothing I have hated more in this world…than having to bury three precious babies I had wanted to keep.

But I came across a quote the other day, and I can’t get it out of my mind.  It has stuck with me, and I’ve thought about it often, especially on the worst days.

I thought about it the other night at 3 am…when I sat on the bathroom floor, weeping, because my hands were so inflamed I couldn’t possibly sleep.  I thought about it as we went through our garage…and threw out even more stuff from our old house that I had hoped we would somehow get to keep.  And I thought about it as another month went by where I am so incredibly sick that the idea of trying to trust God for another baby…has to be the absolute last thing on my mind.

From The Depths Of Suffering ~ The Zeller's Story, toxicity, triggers, mental illness, brain fog, loss of memory, headaches, mysterious illness, encouragement for women, parenting, mothering, healthy living, mold exposure, Andrea Fabre's blog MomsAware, stillbirth, losing a child, grief, grieving, mycotoxins, surviving mold, mold remediation, sickness, toxicity, stachybotris, aspergillus, glorifying God in suffering, trials and pain, fibromyalgia,

The first time I read it, it made me mad.  It seemed way too trite and pat.  The word “kiss” was especially hard to take.  I don’t want to kiss the things that have made me ache so badly.  I don’t want to kiss suffering…I want to beat it up.  And mostly, I want to run as far away from sorrow as my legs can carry me.  My heart is bleeding as bad as my hands, and it’s hard to think of welcoming suffering, let alone “kissing” it.

But the more I’ve thought about it, the more Spurgeon’s words resonate with me.

I get waves.  Waves have been a familiar theme for our family over this last year of pain. Life’s sorrows totally do “like sea billows roll.”  And they more than roll.  They slam into you relentlessly, and you wonder time and time again, if you are actually just going to drown at some point under all of this pain.  Emma asks me multiple times a week, “Mommy, why does our life have to be so hard?”  Her question hurts every time.  We have felt slammed over and over again…by the sorrows that ravage our lives.

But I really think there is an eternal truth to these words…and it has breathed fresh life into my gasping soul this week.

Every single wave…has slammed us into somebody.

And not just somebody, the Somebody who we asked, long ago…to take our lives.  To save our lives.  To sustain our lives.  To use our lives.  To redeem our lives.  And most of all….to be with our lives.

I did not feel close to God as I wept over my inflammed hands the other night.  But He was with me.  I know He was with me, because the only thing on my deliriously exhausted mind at 3 am that morning were these words, “Thank you, God, for Job.”  I kept saying it, over and over again.  A little delusional, and mantra-like.

But I felt such genuine gratitude in that moment…that God did not leave me in that moment alone.  That God did not leave me in that moment, without someone who had gone before me through it.  Job’s boils hurt so much that it says he, “found a piece of pottery to scrape himself with as he sat in ashes.”

We literally sit in ashes right now.  We take 12 activated charcoal tablets a day, to help bind up the mold as the toxins are released…and it’s literally just ground up ash.  It means the world to me that Job sat in ashes.  Because right now ash is ever on my mind.

It means the world to me that Job scraped his bleeding sores in the night, just like I scrape mine.  That Job knows exactly what it felt like to have to bury the children he loved more than anything.  That Job knows what it feels like to live with prolonged, varied, and excruciating suffering.

Because in the end…after all that he had suffered…

Job still kissed the waves.

Job still believed that God was good, and that God was love, in the midst of every unlovely thing that came his way.

Job believed that being slammed against the Rock of Ages was still, in the end, everything that matters…when everything else that matters is taken away.

“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.
Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God;
Whom I myself shall behold, And whom my eyes will see and not another. My heart faints within me!” ~Job 19: 25-27

It has been a very difficult couple of weeks.  My body especially, is not responding well to the mold medicine and I have been very, very sick.  It felt like a real slap in the face that suddenly, after they had finally gone away, the boils are back in my life.  I wasn’t thinking particularly holy and glorious thoughts in the bathroom at 3 am that morning.

But I did feel a deep, holy gratitude for every detail of Job’s life.  Gratitude that God included Job’s story in the 66 books we have to cling to as we stumble through this life. Gratitude that Job walked with God to the very end of his suffering.

And most of all, gratitude that the God who sustained Job’s life, and far more importantly…his faith…is the same God who sustains both yours and mine.

I’d really like to put a bow on this post.  To say, “This is what we had…and now we are all better.”  But we’re not.  The waves crash on and on and on.

And that’s…why Job’s words give life.  Because someday, the waves will cease.

Someday…Jesus will come in power, and take His stand on the earth.

Someday…He will stand over every storm of this life,  and He will say once and for all, “Peace be, still.”  And the peace will stay.

Someday…even after my body is destroyed, I will see the Rock of Ages, with my very own eyes.

Someday…He will introduce me to my babies.

And someday, there will finally, finally, be an end to all of this pain.

And so, we wait.

“From the ends of the earth will I cry unto You when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.” ~Psalm 61:2

From The Depths Of Suffering ~ The Zeller's Story, toxicity, triggers, mental illness, brain fog, loss of memory, headaches, mysterious illness, encouragement for women, parenting, mothering, healthy living, mold exposure, Andrea Fabre's blog MomsAware, stillbirth, losing a child, grief, grieving, mycotoxins, surviving mold, mold remediation, sickness, toxicity, stachybotris, aspergillus, glorifying God in suffering, trials and pain, fibromyalgia,

Click image above to read Charlie’s Story

A Personal Letter From Pastor John Piper - letter to a parent grieving the loss of a child

When Rocks Speak - on grief

If you suspect mold issues in your home, Andrea Fabre’s blog MomsAware is filled with practical and sound information on mold and related health issues. Andrea has found a great passion for the subject and is dedicated to using the knowledge she has acquired to help others.

If you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebook, and even more importantly, subscribing via Feedburner.

From The Depths Of Suffering ~ The Zeller's Story, toxicity, triggers, mental illness, brain fog, loss of memory, headaches, mysterious illness, encouragement for women, parenting, mothering, healthy living, mold exposure, Andrea Fabre's blog MomsAware, stillbirth, losing a child, grief, grieving, mycotoxins, surviving mold, mold remediation, sickness, toxicity, stachybotris, aspergillus, glorifying God in suffering, trials and pain, fibromyalgia,

Deep Roots at Home is also now on Google+!

~ Jacqueline

Posted in Guest Post, Health, home management, Motherhood, The Christian Walk | 12 Comments

Boss Pickler Fermenting Review & *Giveaway*

Boss Pickler Fermenting Review & *Giveaway*, vegan, stop sinus infections, food preservation, lacto-fermentation, healthy gut, good bacteria, kimchi, healing the gut, anticancer, probiotic, Bubbies pickles, sauerkraut, brine, pickling spices, kahm yeast, slow fermentation, finger foods, old-fashioned, the way grandma used to ferment, healthy living, putting up the harvest, sea salt preservation, storing food, sustainable living, health, healing foods

Boss Pickler Fermenting Review & *Giveaway*

Today I’m doing a review and a Giveaway of the Boss Pickler from Primal Kitchen. Rochelle sent me a Boss Pickler 1.5L jar and a Crock Rock weight to review. I have already successfully fermented with it 3 times and just last week I made a Basic Kimchi. Now, it’s the first container I grab when making a new ferment, and I love its classic lines and ease of use and cleaning!

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Boss Pickler Fermenting Review & *Giveaway*, vegan, stop sinus infections, food preservation, lacto-fermentation, healthy gut, good bacteria, kimchi, healing the gut, anticancer, probiotic, Bubbies pickles, sauerkraut, brine, pickling spices, kahm yeast, slow fermentation, finger foods, old-fashioned, the way grandma used to ferment, healthy living, putting up the harvest, sea salt preservation, storing food, sustainable living, health, healing foods

Personally, I’ve had only a 75-80% success rate with mason jars and lids no matter how careful I am, so when I saw this was based on the Fido jar (and especially that it was an Italian-made Bormioli Rocco Fido!), I was pumped to try it.

The silicone one-way valve (airlock) is what makes all the difference with this container. It’s ingenious, really.

It’s a waterless airlock based something on the principle of a baby bottle nipple. It allows the fermenting product to burp out natural carbon dioxide gasses, immediately closes back up, not letting mold and bacteria-containing oxygenated air back into the container to spoil the batch.

Since one of the 5 elements to ferment foods is an oxygen-free environment, this is very important. Oxygen is the enemy of LABs. LABs (the ‘good’ lactic acid-producing bacteria) prefer an anaerobic (oxygen-less) environment, and our goal is to keep those little guys happy, right?

There are other features to like about this jar.

As the valve and gasket are silicone, so there is no worry about plastic or chemicals leaching into your acidic ferment.

Boss Pickler Fermenting Review & *Giveaway*, vegan, stop sinus infections, food preservation, lacto-fermentation, healthy gut, good bacteria, kimchi, healing the gut, anticancer, probiotic, Bubbies pickles, sauerkraut, brine, pickling spices, kahm yeast, slow fermentation, finger foods, old-fashioned, the way grandma used to ferment, healthy living, putting up the harvest, sea salt preservation, storing food, sustainable living, health, healing foods

Also, I’m pretty sure this container could never blow up because of the ability to vent when needed. This was one little nagging concern I had with a tightly sealed Ball or Mason jar

There is no need for a water lock as in some containers which needs to be removed before refrigeration and then washed and stored. This whole container is low-profile and can tuck into a dark cabinet and then the fridge when its done fermenting with ease. (If you live in a very warm or cold climate, fermenting in a dark cooler with either warm packs or ice packs is helpful. Even a big 5L jar is squatty enough to fit into a cooler.)

Lastly, a comment about the weights.  They are artisan crafted out of lead-free glass. (I’ve never used weights except a few smooth granite rocks – and even though many through history have used clean rocks to keep things under the liquid- I became uncomfortable with this practice when someone told me they might have something in them that could leach). The Crock Rock that comes with each jar is sized to fit perfectly in a Fido and is heavy enough to keep things down.

This giveaway is a bit different since YOU get to choose the size Boss Pickler YOU will really use. Choose from the 1L, 1.5L, 2L, 3L and 4L. Everyone’s needs are different. For someone who grows their own cabbage and already makes large batches like many of our great-grandmothers did, you might chose the 4L. jar. For someone just starting to ferment or making for 1 or 2 people, you might want the 1L jar. I prefer several 2L jars.

Make sure you indicate your choice in your comment or you will not be able to win!

To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below. It is easy!!! This Giveaway ends Wednesday, August 27, 2014, at MN, and the Winner will be announced right here on the Rafflecopter widget!

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This is the description of the jar from the Primal Kitchen Store:

This Italian-made Bormioli Rocco Fido Hermetic glass jar is designed to be used for fermentation. It has a platinum silicone dome valve and matching silicone gasket. The valve functions by allowing internal pressure to expand the valve to release carbon dioxide; when pressure equalizes, the valve seals shut keeping oxygen out. The spherical shape of the valve will compress and seal even better if external air pressure increases due to weather change or sudden draft. This design simplifies the process by eliminating the extra parts, hassle, and awkwardness of water filled airlocks. It also allows your ferment vessel to be transferred directly to cold storage without any extra steps, and off-gassing can still take place in the fridge. The silicone valve may be safely removed for cleaning and easily reinserted. Fermenting your foods has multiple health and flavor benefits including making vitamins and minerals more available to your body and providing a powerful punch of probiotics and enzymes. It’s a great way to preserve food while still keeping it raw and full of nutrients. Lactobacillus, the bacteria that produce your sour flavor, only thrive in an oxygen-free environment, while most molds and yeasts require oxygen to thrive. This jar provides the correct Lacto-fermenting environment for maximum growth of good bacteria while minimizing undesirable bacteria growth.

More fun things to make with the Boss Pickler:
Fermented Bread: Sourdough English Muffins
Blueberry Griddlecakes and Blueberry Sauce
Basic Full Sour Pickles (Garlic Dill)

Boss Pickler Fermenting Review & *Giveaway*, vegan, stop sinus infections, food preservation, lacto-fermentation, healthy gut, good bacteria, kimchi, healing the gut, anticancer, probiotic, Bubbies pickles, sauerkraut, brine, pickling spices, kahm yeast, slow fermentation, finger foods, old-fashioned, the way grandma used to ferment, healthy living, putting up the harvest, sea salt preservation, storing food, sustainable living, health, healing foods

I’m linked up with the The Baking Beauties and Gluten-Free Alaska.

If you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebookbut even more importantly, subscribing via Feedburner.

Boss Pickler Fermenting Review & *Giveaway*, vegan, stop sinus infections, food preservation, lacto-fermentation, healthy gut, good bacteria, kimchi, healing the gut, anticancer, probiotic, Bubbies pickles, sauerkraut, brine, pickling spices, kahm yeast, slow fermentation, finger foods, old-fashioned, the way grandma used to ferment, healthy living, putting up the harvest, sea salt preservation, storing food, sustainable living, health, healing foods

Deep Roots at Home is also now on Google+!

~ Jacqueline

Posted in Food & Recipes, Giveaway, Health, Raw food, Storing Food, Superfoods, Uncategorized | 94 Comments

Making Basic Kimchi

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Making Basic Kimchi

There is a short story behind our love of kimchi. Last year, our youngest son was awarded a 16-day trip to South Korea for working his way to the top national level in Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary branch of the US Air Force. He went with a long-standing sinus infection, but he came back almost totally well and full of all the stories of eating and loving the different kimchees he was graciously served while there twice a day. The amount served with each meal was rather small (~2 TBSP), but now we can achieve the same wellness here at home by duplicating those regular small amounts of kimchi.

We (my son and I) just made another basic kimchi (ˈkim-chē), and it turned out smashing!

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Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish of fermented vegetables; the most commonly used are nappa cabbage and daikon radish. It is usually served as banchan, assorted Korean side dishes presented as part of a meal, but it is versatile and can be used in everyday cooking. It is delish all by itself, as a topper on roast beef sandwiches (a bit like a Reuben), or with a summer presentation of fresh avocado and tomatoes.

Whether you suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis – or just want to increase your overall immunity and knock out a sinus infection- you know one of the best ways to keep a healthy gut flora is by following a diet rich in properly fermented foods.

Plan before making Kimchi:

1.) Kimchi needs time to ferment, so I recommend starting a batch about a week before you plan to use it.

2.) You will need a container and lid. I recommend using a jar with an airlock like The Boss Pickler from Primal Kitchen.

Making Basic Kimchi, vegan, food preservation, lacto-fermentation, healthy gut, good bacteria, kimchi, healing the gut, anticancer, probiotic, Bubbies pickles, sauerkraut, brine, pickling spices, kahm yeast, slow fermentation, finger foods, old-fashioned, the way grandma used to ferment, healthy living, putting up the harvest, sea salt preservation

3.) You will need Korean red pepper powder or gochugaru; it is what gives kimchi its spiciness. It can be found in Korean markets in large resealable plastic bags. I use coarse. We have so much fun going into our local Asian Market.

4.) You may need a food processor for some shredding, but my son always chops the crisp nappa by hand. Even for me, it is so quick and easy to do and somehow chopping with that big knife makes me feel like a chef!

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Basic Kimchi Ingredients:

  • 2 large nappa cabbages, any outer tattered leaves removed, rinsed well
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup salt (enough to contact the surface of all the leaves)
  • 10 – 12 cups cold water, plus more as needed to cover salted nappa
  • 1 – 2 cups daikon radish, peeled and shredded
  • 4 – 8 medium scallions or green onions, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces (use all parts)
  • 2-3 carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup Korean red pepper powder and 1/2 cup water to make a thick red ‘paste’
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce, optional
  • 1/4 cup peeled and minced fresh ginger (from about a 6-8″ piece)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic cloves (from 4 to 6 medium cloves)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar (traditionally added and optional)

Cook’s note: these measurements don’t need to be exact, so relax. Also, we have not ever noticed a garlic breath smell when we use garlic in this way. Maybe it is the fermenting.

Instructions:

Cut the nappa cabbages in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 2-inch pieces, discarding the last 1/2″ of the root end.

Place in a large bowl(s), sprinkle with the salt, and toss with your hands thoroughly until the cabbage is coated. Add enough cold water to cover.

Making Basic Kimchi, vegan, food preservation, lacto-fermentation, healthy gut, good bacteria, kimchi, healing the gut, anticancer, probiotic, Bubbies pickles, sauerkraut, brine, pickling spices, kahm yeast, slow fermentation, finger foods, old-fashioned, the way grandma used to ferment, healthy living, putting up the harvest, sea salt preservation
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or another inverted bowl and a pretty kitchen towel and let sit at room temperature at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. This will wilt and shrink down the nappa and begin the fermenting process in this recipe. It will not go bad during this time because of the salt.

At the end of the wilting time, rinse and drain the nappa with cold water several times to remove the excess salt. Even though you rinse the greatest part of it off, this creates a salty environment. Drain out excess liquid and leave cabbage in the same large bowl; set aside.

Add the remaining shredded ingredients into the large bowl with the nappa cabbage.

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You can add the red pepper ‘paste’ (see ingredient list) at this time or separately, but work the whole mass with gloved hands until it is all thoroughly incorporated and blended.

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You need 5 elements to ferment foods. You need an environment that is:

~Moist         ~Salty       ~Dark        ~Oxygen-free       ~Room Temperature      

Pack the mixture tightly into your clean container. I used the wide mouth Boss Pickler 1.5L jar (they have many sizes), placed the Crock Rock on top of the kimchi to weight it down under the juices. Wipe the rim so there are no bits of food to prevent a good seal and seal the wire bail lid. This creates the oxygen-free environment.

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The juices will usually rise a bit, so don’t fill the jar too full – leave at least 1″ of head space.

Making Basic Kimchi, vegan, food preservation, lacto-fermentation, healthy gut, good bacteria, kimchi, healing the gut, anticancer, probiotic, Bubbies pickles, sauerkraut, brine, pickling spices, kahm yeast, slow fermentation, finger foods, old-fashioned, the way grandma used to ferment, healthy living, putting up the harvest, sea salt preservation

Let sit in a dark place at room temperature for 24 hours. The mixture should begin to bubble. I recommend not opening the container you use or you will introduce bacteria and mold into that environment. At the end of 24 hours, refrigerate. Wait at least 48 hours in the fridge before eating (most feel kimchi is best after fermenting about 1 week). Even my meat-and-potatoes-loving husband appreciates this basic kimchi. Refrigerate for up to 45 days.

So whether you want to see if it will help you kick a sinus infection like it has helped my son or just get on the path to better health, enjoy!

Giveaway and review coming soon so stay tuned!

Making Basic Kimchi, vegan, food preservation, lacto-fermentation, healthy gut, good bacteria, kimchi, healing the gut, anticancer, probiotic, Bubbies pickles, sauerkraut, brine, pickling spices, kahm yeast, slow fermentation, finger foods, old-fashioned, the way grandma used to ferment, healthy living, putting up the harvest, sea salt preservation

I’m linked up with the The Baking Beauties and Gluten-Free Alaska.

If you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebookbut even more importantly, subscribing via Feedburner.

Making Basic Kimchi, vegan, food preservation, lacto-fermentation, healthy gut, good bacteria, kimchi, healing the gut, anticancer, probiotic, Bubbies pickles, sauerkraut, brine, pickling spices, kahm yeast, slow fermentation, finger foods, old-fashioned, the way grandma used to ferment, healthy living, putting up the harvest, sea salt preservation

Deep Roots at Home is also now on Google+!

 

 

~ Jacqueline

Posted in Favorite Products, Raw food, Tutorial | 8 Comments

How Much Is A Mother Worth Anyway?

How Much Is A Mother Worth Anyway?, Ric Edelman's Annual Mother's Day Index, Animal Caretaker, Chef, Cook, Computer Systems Analyst, Financial Manager, Food/Beverage Service Worker, General Office Clerk, Registered Nurse, Management Analyst, Child Care Worker, Housekeeper, Psychologist, Bus Driver, Elementary School Principal, Dietitian, school teacher, virtuous woman, sturdy womanhood, a Christian mother, salary calculator, working mothers, private chef, house cleaner, child care, driver/chauffeur, laundry service, lawn maintenance, nurse, manager, facilitator, teacher, godly woman, SAHM, busy mom

How Much Is A Mother Worth Anyway?

To those who struggle with infertility or must work outside of the home, I realize this is a sensitive topic. This is in no way meant to heap more guilt or pain upon you, friend. During these times, we must trust that the Lord has a plan and knows exactly what He’s doing. My heart goes out to you, dear one, and I’m specifically praying for you right now.

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Recently, I found this quote on Facebook:

“Just a Mom?…..I don’t understand it when people say, “Your just a mom.”  Yes, I am a Mom!  That makes me an alarm clock, cook, maid, waitress, teacher, nurse, referee, handyman, security officer, photographer, counselor, chauffeur, event planner, hairdresser, personal assistant, ATM, & I scare away the boogie man.  I don’t get paid holidays, sick pay, or days off.  I am on call 24/7 for the rest of my life.  And that’s just BEING A MOM!!  I may not be anything to you, but I am everything to someone!”

How Much Is A Mother Worth Anyway?, Ric Edelman's Annual Mother's Day Index, Animal Caretaker, Chef, Cook, Computer Systems Analyst, Financial Manager, Food/Beverage Service Worker, General Office Clerk, Registered Nurse, Management Analyst, Child Care Worker, Housekeeper, Psychologist, Bus Driver, Elementary School Principal, Dietitian, school teacher, virtuous woman, sturdy womanhood, a Christian mother, salary calculator, working mothers, private chef, house cleaner, child care, driver/chauffeur, laundry service, lawn maintenance, nurse, manager, facilitator, teacher, godly woman, SAHM, busy mom

After not being able to conceive until I was 39, it really hurt to have to explain to my co-workers why I wanted to be ‘just a Mom’!

“Why are you quitting nursing and throwing away all that education? You’re dumping such a wonderful job! Certainly you will want to come back to work…”

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the only photo I know of the OR years (taken in the 70s)

My whole body ached for children, and my biological clock was ticking away. Our home was so quiet, and though we would have been ‘OK’ if it was truly not the Lord’s will for us to have children, I couldn’t deny the deep desire to use the gifts of nurturing and teaching that He had placed in my heart.

I’d already been working 20 years in the medical field before I left to try to carry our first child to term – we’d just lost this babe’s twin half way through the pregnancy, and I needed to get off my feet. Somehow, I knew I wouldn’t go back.

Compared to what I earned as a well-paid surgical, and later, private nurse, I believe being a mother is worth infinitely more than any money I could have earned in my ‘professional’ working years.  I am 60 something now, my earning days are over, but the worth of being a Mother just doesn’t stop!

The annual job-market value of the role of a mother has increased to nearly $803,000, according to financial advisor Ric Edelman’s Annual Mother’s Day Index. Edelman has been compiling the annual study for ten years. The basis of the index is that the typical mom actually does many jobs: 17 of them.

The average multi-tasking mom routinely is expected to:

- provide transportation, help with and direct yard work, assist with homework (include lesson planning and teaching if you home-educate), and develop relationships with individual children

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- do laundry, facilitate ministry, support the family economy, be there in big and little ways

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- train in personal habits, order and clean the house, provide outside enrichment and socialization

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- cook meals, facilitate time with grandparents, maintain order and discipline, keep family on schedule

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…not to mention dispensing homemade remedies and nursing care, attend meetings and functions, listening to and resolving family problems, helping manage family finances, and caring for pets!

The occupations which compose the Annual Mother’s Day Index and their corresponding median annual salaries are:

a. Animal Caretaker $29,920
b. Chef $37,880
c. Computer Systems Analyst $72,230
d. Financial Manager $101,450
e. Food/Beverage Service Worker $19,360
f. General Office Clerk $25,200
g. Registered Nurse $59,730
h. Management Analyst $77,270
i. Child Care Worker $18,820
j. Housekeeper $18,700
k. Psychologist $66,110
l. Bus Driver $33,050
m. Elementary School Principal $79,200
n. Dietitian/Nutritionist $47,890
o. Property Manager $52,290
p. Social Worker $40,640
q. Recreation Worker $22,950
_____________________
TOTAL $802,690

So don’t call your husband over to the computer screen to see how much you’re really worth financially. A good employee doesn’t tout their worth to the company executives. Allow the Lord to show your husband your true worth, both financially and spiritually.

Now, let’s see what the mother’s spiritual worth is. If you are striving to live these out with the help of the Lord, you are even more valuable – priceless beyond telling and worth more than any amount of money or things. Here are a noteworthy few from Proverbs 31 :

She brings her husband confidence and good, not harm (vs. 11, 12)  

She endures labor and weariness. She is a sturdy woman (vs. 13, 15, 17)

She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy (vs. 20)

She ‘wears’ strength and dignity – she smiles (joyful?) at the future (vs. 25)

She has wisdom and faithful instruction – spoken and unspoken (vs. 26, 27)

She inspires her children, her husband to praise her (vs. 28)

She fears the Lord (vs. 30)

So instead of believing that you are ‘just a Mom’, I pray that you, dear Mother, would see the priceless treasure you are and the opportunity that you hold in your hands before it is too late.  You may not believe it or see it now, but trusting God through the struggle will ultimately bless your family more than any other single thing you could ever do!  Stand firm and do not fear!

“Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her…” ~Proverbs 31: 28

Oh, Mothers of young children, I bow before you in reverence. Your work is most holy. You are fashioning the destinies of immortal souls. The powers folded up in the little ones that you hushed to sleep in your bosoms last night, are powers that shall exist forever. You are preparing them for their immortal destiny and influence. Be faithful. Take up your sacred burden reverently. Be sure that your  life is sweet and clean.  ~  JR Miller

How Much Is A Mother Worth Anyway?, Ric Edelman's Annual Mother's Day Index, Animal Caretaker, Chef, Cook, Computer Systems Analyst, Financial Manager, Food/Beverage Service Worker, General Office Clerk, Registered Nurse, Management Analyst, Child Care Worker, Housekeeper, Psychologist, Bus Driver, Elementary School Principal, Dietitian, school teacher, virtuous woman, sturdy womanhood, a Christian mother, salary calculator, working mothers, private chef, house cleaner, child care, driver/chauffeur, laundry service, lawn maintenance, nurse, manager, facilitator, teacher, godly woman, SAHM, busy mom

If you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebookbut even more importantly, subscribing via Feedburner.

How Much Is A Mother Worth Anyway?, Ric Edelman's Annual Mother's Day Index, Animal Caretaker, Chef, Cook, Computer Systems Analyst, Financial Manager, Food/Beverage Service Worker, General Office Clerk, Registered Nurse, Management Analyst, Child Care Worker, Housekeeper, Psychologist, Bus Driver, Elementary School Principal, Dietitian, school teacher, virtuous woman, sturdy womanhood, a Christian mother, salary calculator, working mothers, private chef, house cleaner, child care, driver/chauffeur, laundry service, lawn maintenance, nurse, manager, facilitator, teacher, godly woman, SAHM, busy mom

Deep Roots at Home is also now on Google+!

~ Jacqueline

Posted in Children, Family, Home-schooling, Motherhood, The Christian Walk | 20 Comments

The Gift of Time ~ A Mother’s Treasure

The Gift of Time ~ A Mother's Treasure, parenting, the art of homemaking, keeper at home, protecting children's hearts, raising children, investment of time, binding heartstrings, bonding, mother-daughter relationships, mother-son relationships, healthy parenting, best gift you can give, eternity, kisses, womanhood, encouragement for mothers, making cookies, best use, affection, modeling, training in character, values, gifts, embrace family, Ephesians 5: 15-16

The Gift of Time ~ A Mother’s Treasure 

(Guest post by JES)

The best gifts in life are made up of minutes and seconds.

It is the time and energy you give to your children.

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It is the moments poured from your soul and into their little hearts. It is something that money can never replace and gifts can never satisfy.

It is you, dear mother.

It is those mornings you sit with your child as you read together from books. It is those afternoons spent stirring a batch of cookies. It is the evenings spent embracing them, showering them with kisses.

It is your investment of time.

It is precious, invaluable.  Just like your children… for they are your gems.

They are the only treasure that you may take with you to heaven.

Forego the fancy toys and the glittering electronics… It is the memories spent with you that will always be cherished.

Won’t you wrap yourself up these next few years in a box with pretty string and offer yourself to your family?

Your time, dear mother, is the best gift that you can ever give.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time…” ~ Ephesians 5:15-16

I hope you will take a moment to visit JES at Strangers and Pilgrims On Earth. I believe it is one place you will want to return to time and time again. Also, she has a dear link-up, and I would encourage you to share your posts there if you blog.

The Gift of Time ~ A Mother's Treasure, parenting, protecting children's hearts, raising children, investment of time, binding heartstrings, bonding, mother-daughter relationships, mother-son relationships, healthy parenting, best gift you can give, eternity, kisses, womanhood, encouragement for mothers, making cookies, best use, affection, modeling, training in character, values, gifts, embrace family, Ephesians 5: 15-16

And if you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebookbut even more importantly, subscribing via Feedburner.

The Gift of Time ~ A Mother's Treasure, parenting, protecting children's hearts, raising children, investment of time, binding heartstrings, bonding, mother-daughter relationships, mother-son relationships, healthy parenting, best gift you can give, eternity, kisses, womanhood, encouragement for mothers, making cookies, best use, affection, modeling, training in character, values, gifts, embrace family, Ephesians 5: 15-16

Deep Roots at Home is also now on Google+!

~ Jacqueline

Posted in Encouragement for Mothers, Guest Post, Motherhood, Parenting, Relationships, The Christian Walk | 8 Comments

3 Ingredient Kool-Aid Recipe

3 Ingredient Kool-Aid Recipe, food dyes and hyperactivity, Artificial Color, Red 40, Blue 1, Acesulfame Potassium (aspartame), Center for Science in the Public Interest, CSPI, food dyes, carcinogenic, food research firm Corvus Blue, American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), ADHD, ADD, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention-deficit disorder, children, drinking soft drinks, candy with red coloring, blue coloring, yellow, orange, green coloring, addictive chemicals,

3 Ingredient Kool-Aid Recipe

Did you know you could make a beautiful “Kool-Aid’ alternative with hibiscus flowers that tastes like ‘Kool-Aid’, too? With the downside of dyes and aspartame in Kool-Aid, many people are going to safer more natural drinks.

I just saw hibiscus flowers are on sale at the Bulk Herb Store for the last few days of July at a really good price, and thought I would share this Cool Recipe as we reach the height of summer. This is a really great price given that you can also dye cloth and yarn with red hibiscus flowers. Their sale ends July 31st.

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My ‘Better Than Kool-Aid’ recipe is made like a tea using three herbs and served cold on ice:

Stevia leaf is known for its amazing sweetness and smoothness~

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Hibiscus flower gives off its bright red color and has a sweet tart taste that really quenches your thirst~

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…and Peppermint leaf is so cooling on a hot summer’s day~

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Besides tasting terrific, a great thing about my alternative is that it is sugar-free and dye-free. It has a lot of extra healthy benefits as it’s loaded with Vitamin C and bioflavonoids.

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Here is the simple recipe:

Pour 2 cups of boiling water over:

~2 TBSP Hibiscus flowers
~1 to 1 1/2 tsp Stevia leaves depending on desired sweetness (fresh or dried herb)
~1 tsp Peppermint leaves (fresh or dried herb)

Let steep for 15 to 20 minutes then strain into a 1/2 gallon pitcher. Add several cups of ice and fill the rest of the way with cold water. Stir and enjoy!

3 Ingredient Kool-Aid Recipe, food dyes and hyperactivity, Artificial Color, Red 40, Blue 1, Acesulfame Potassium (aspartame), Center for Science in the Public Interest, CSPI, food dyes, carcinogenic, food research firm Corvus Blue, American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), ADHD, ADD, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention-deficit disorder, children, drinking soft drinks, candy with red coloring, blue coloring, yellow, orange, green coloring, addictive chemicals,

And if you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebookbut even more importantly, subscribing via Feedburner.

3 Ingredient Kool-Aid Recipe, food dyes and hyperactivity, Artificial Color, Red 40, Blue 1, Acesulfame Potassium (aspartame), Center for Science in the Public Interest, CSPI, food dyes, carcinogenic, food research firm Corvus Blue, American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), ADHD, ADD, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention-deficit disorder, children, drinking soft drinks, candy with red coloring, blue coloring, yellow, orange, green coloring, addictive chemicals,

Deep Roots at Home is also now on Google+!

~ Jacqueline

Posted in Bulk Herb Store, Food & Recipes, Health, Herbs, Sweet Treats | 1 Comment

Haytime Switchel: The First ‘Gatorade’ Thirst Quencher?

Haytime Switchel: The First 'Gatorade' Thirst Quencher?, health, healthy living, Bulk Herb Store, healthy alternative, Gatorade, Pedialyte, dehydration, DIY, homemade, grass farming, winter cattle feed, homesteading, baling hay, Ma Ingalls, energy drinks, hydrating athletes, runners, running Good Girl Moonshine, rehydrant, no chemicals, recipes, haymaker's punch, electrolyte drink, The Long Winter, book, quote, Laura Ingalls Wilder, sugar, sweet tea, workout, apple cider vinegar, blackstrap molasses,

Haytime Switchel: The First ‘Gatorade’ Thirst Quencher?

Summertime is HAYTIME for many of our rural farm friends. Mmmmm…can you smell the fresh cut hay?

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Taken here at Berry Hill last July – Thank you, Amy!

We just completed our second cutting here at Berry Hill Farm. Keeping hydrated is a priority, and I was reminded that Ma Ingalls made them ginger-water also known as ‘switchel‘.  

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Nothing was ever so good as that cool wetness going down her throat.  At the taste of it she stopped in surprise and Carrie clapped her hands and cried out, laughing, “don’t tell, Laura, don’t tell till Pa tastes it!”

Ma had sent them ginger-water.  She had sweetened the cool well-water with sugar, flavored it with vinegar, and put in plenty of ginger to warm their stomachs so they could drink till they were not thirsty.  Ginger-water would not make them sick, as plain cold water would when they were so hot.  Such a treat made that ordinary day into a special day, the first day that Laura helped in the haying. ~The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Haytime Switchel: The First 'Gatorade' Thirst Quencher?, Bulk Herb Store, healthy alternative, Gatorade, Pedialyte, dehydration, DIY, homemade, grass farming, winter cattle feed, homesteading, baling hay, Ma Ingalls, energy drinks, hydrating athletes, runners, running Good Girl Moonshine, rehydrant, no chemicals, recipes, haymaker's punch, electrolyte drink, The Long Winter, book, quote, Laura Ingalls Wilder, sugar, sweet tea, workout, apple cider vinegar, blackstrap molasses, When your body is really working hard, is hot and sweaty, and the sun is beating down, it craves nothing more than a deep, cool drink of real water. Adding a natural unrefined sweetener, electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals can reverse dehydration on a cellular level and supply just what is needed to keep you going strong. Not much is more restorative and well-received, except for maybe cold watermelon!

This haytime, I decided to make switchel with black strap molasses, a bit different but similar to My Version of Good Girl Moonshine. The molasses makes it a lovely rich mahogany color but also is a great source of iron.

According to Wikipedia, switchel came to the colonies by way of the Caribbean.  It was a very popular summertime drink, and by the 19th century it was known as haymaker’s punch because of its frequent use during hay harvest.

The sweetener Laura wrote about her Ma using was ‘sugar’, but she does not mention if it was brown or white. Switchel can also be sweetened with honey, molasses, or even maple syrup for a healthier alternative.

The homemade recipes likely varied with what the farm women had on hand, but the goal was the same…to get keep the hard-working men well-hydrated to get the hay in. The hay was vital to feed their animals during the winters when grass was not available. Switchel may well have been the first form of Pedialyte or Gatorade. Switchel and Good Girl Moonshine would make awesome alternatives for runners, athletes, and active families.

Basic recipe:

4 cups of cold water (~1 quart)

2 TBSP raw honey (for all the live raw enzymes that bring vitality to a working body)(real raw honey often needs mixed into warm water first to help it mix into cold drinks)

2 TBSP molasses, optional

1/4 cup of cider vinegar (see health benefits)

1 teaspoon of ginger (see health benefits)

1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon sea salt (to replace electrolytes -sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium- lost in heavy sweating)

Add all the ingredients except the water to a quart jar, cap tightly, and shake to mix thoroughly. Top up with cold water and serve. Enjoy a glass yourself; your body will love what it does for you as you serve and bless your family with the work of your hands!

“The LORD will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands.”
~Deuteronomy 28: 12

By doubling and tripling the recipe it’s an easy-to-make replacement for expensive, mass-produced, and worrisome chemical-laced commercial ‘energy drinks’, many of which are downright dangerous! So forget the Gatorade! Keep it simple and safe, staying cool and hydrated with real food and water.

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And if you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebookbut even more importantly, subscribing via Feedburner.

Haytime Switchel: The First 'Gatorade' Thirst Quencher?, Bulk Herb Store, healthy alternative, Gatorade, Pedialyte, dehydration, DIY, homemade, grass farming, winter cattle feed, homesteading, baling hay, Ma Ingalls, energy drinks, hydrating athletes, runners, running Good Girl Moonshine, rehydrant, no chemicals, recipes, haymaker's punch, electrolyte drink, The Long Winter, book, quote, Laura Ingalls Wilder, sugar, sweet tea, workout, apple cider vinegar, blackstrap molasses,

Deep Roots at Home is also now on Google+!

~ Jacqueline

Posted in DIY, Farming, Food & Recipes, Healthy Living | 10 Comments

The Secret To Enjoying Herbs All Year

The Secret To Enjoying Herbs All Year, gourmet cooking, seasoning with fresh herbs, preserving herbs, herb oil, herb butter, locking in flavor, basil, parsley, dill, chervil, cilantro, chives, garlic, aromatic oils, drying, freezing in ice cube trays, olive oil, DIY, homemaking, recipes, cooking, storing food, DSCN0766

The Secret To Enjoying Herbs All Year

What’s the very best way to preserve fresh herbs? It’s taken me a long while to find out! Growing herbs such as parsley, basil, chives, tarragon, cilantro, garlic, and dill in my garden since before we were married, but I’ve had to fail many times in order to learn how to preserve those marvelous flavors before the chills and bluster of winter could damage their tender leaves.

Freezing makes them un-recognizable with no texture; drying takes away much of their flavor, and putting them into ice cubes with water? What an unappetizing mess!

What Is the Secret?

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The secret is preserving the essential oils of the herbs.

The biggest reason for these herb’s distinctive aroma and taste is the essential oil content in their leaves. Simply drying or freezing them destroys the oils, but freezing them *in oil or butter* (fat, which is like the essential oils of each herb) preserves them beautifully with texture, flavor, and color intact! And storage of your herb butters and oils is made easy when packaged in thin, flat layers in a quart Ziplock freezer bag.

A particular herb’s powerful yet fabulous flavor can make an ordinary dish spectacular. Simply break off the approximate amount of herb the recipe calls for, no thawing necessary.

Here are a few ideas of how to use them:

Add cilantro in olive oil to Southwestern Corn and black bean salad~

The Secret To Enjoying Herbs All Year, gourmet cooking, seasoning with fresh herbs, preserving herbs, herb oil, herb butter, locking in flavor, basil, parsley, dill, chervil, cilantro, chives, aromatic oils, drying, freezing in ice cube trays, olive oil, DIY, homemaking, recipes, cooking, storing food, southwestern corn black bean salsa

Salmon with lemon and dill~

The Secret To Enjoying Herbs All Year, gourmet cooking, seasoning with fresh herbs, preserving herbs, herb oil, herb butter, locking in flavor, basil, parsley, dill, chervil, cilantro, chives, aromatic oils, drying, freezing in ice cube trays, olive oil, DIY, homemaking, recipes, cooking, storing food,

Baked potatoes with Parmesan chive butter~

The Secret To Enjoying Herbs All Year, gourmet cooking, seasoning with fresh herbs, preserving herbs, herb oil, herb butter, locking in flavor, basil, parsley, dill, chervil, cilantro, chives, aromatic oils, drying, freezing in ice cube trays, olive oil, DIY, homemaking, recipes, cooking, storing food,

Throw a wedge of tarragon butter into green beans.

The Secret To Enjoying Herbs All Year, gourmet cooking, seasoning with fresh herbs, preserving herbs, herb oil, herb butter, locking in flavor, basil, parsley, dill, chervil, cilantro, chives, aromatic oils, drying, freezing in ice cube trays, olive oil, DIY, homemaking, recipes, cooking, storing food,

Herb butters are also versatile because you can spread them on sandwiches, melt on pasta, or drizzle on popcorn – anything that tastes good with butter and herbs! You can even replace plain butter with herb butter when making savory quick breads or muffins.

Plan to whirr up a few batches of herb butters and oils; you’ll be extravagantly rewarded all winter long with flavorful meals, salad dressings, or even cheesy herb breads or crackers. Oh, how our families will appreciate our good planning. Hm…I think I have a few more ideas for next years herb garden.

How to Preserve Fresh Herbs in Oil or Butter

  • Rinse or wash herbs and remove heavy or thick stems. Pat dry with paper towels.
  • Place herbs in food processor with 1/3 cup olive oil or coconut oil for every 2 cups leaves, OR 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) per 2 -4 cups of leaves.
  • For either oils or butters, add garlic or a second compatible herb for extra flavor (ex. parsley and dill).
  • In your food processor pulse everything together, scraping down sides of bowl from time to time, until all leaves are chopped and you have a nice consistency.
  • Package up 1 cup herb oil or herb butter in a 1-quart freezer bags, burp to remove trapped air, and then flatten. Freeze flat.
  • For best flavor, use within 6 months.

And if you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebookbut even more importantly, subscribing via Feedburner.

The Secret To Enjoying Herbs All Year, gourmet cooking, seasoning with fresh herbs, preserving herbs, herb oil, herb butter, locking in flavor, basil, parsley, dill, chervil, cilantro, chives, aromatic oils, drying, freezing in ice cube trays, olive oil, DIY, homemaking, recipes, cooking, storing food,

Deep Roots at Home is also now on Google+!

~ Jacqueline

Posted in DIY, Food & Recipes, Garden, Herbs, Raw food, Storing Food | 13 Comments

Deborah & Co. Halftee /Cami Review

Deborah & Co. Halftee /Cami Review

Deborah & Co. Halftee /Cami Review

Hello there! I’m Jacqueline’s daughter. Mother and I have a wardrobe-extender to shout-out about today that may or may not be on your radar. We’ve been eyeing 2 of Deborah & Co.’s halftees (aka a cami or shell) and are thrilled with the opportunity to review both!

We had so much fun trying on different outfits with our new halftees and posing with Mother’s little Nikon Coolpix S6400 point-and-shoot camera

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The cropped halftee above (on Mother) and the full length halftee (on me) met all our expectations. The sizing was exact, not running too large or small, and the fit was ultra comfortable. We have always been impressed with the quality of Caroline’s products.

Deborah & Co. Halftee /Cami Review

“Higher Neckline? I’m reversible!”

The difficult thing about layering to make things modest is the extra bulk that it creates. You can eliminate unflattering bunching with the halftee. (This is not a replacement for a bra!) It fits snugly – never, ever have we had a problem with one riding up or moving without our consent. Both halftees open up a whole world of options.

The cropped halftee does away with the heat and bunching of a full t-shirt. Now Mother can layer tops that she wouldn’t wear before because of a too wide or too low neckline, or even wear it under a sweater without having to add the bulk of a whole cami.

The full-length halftee can double as a tank or a tee with cap sleeves. My favorite way to put this layering piece to good use is to use it under sweaters or shirts that you don’t want buttoned.

Deborah & Co. Halftee /Cami Review

Maybe you know we love to bargain shop for clothes. We have lots of separates that we love to pull together and the basic shell is how we do it. Deborah and Co.’s cami selection, including nursing tanks shells, will keep you covered all year round!

For our Deep Roots at Home readers, we have a special discount for you! Coupon code: DeepRoots to save $5.00 off a $50.00 order. It expires the end of July.

Deborah & Co. Halftee /Cami Review//what i wore//

Straw hat: Ann Taylor, $1- thrifted

Cardigan: Cable & Gauge, FREE using thredUP referral credits

White halftee: compliments of Deborah and Co.

Skirt: 6 Degrees, FREE, thredUP

ThredUP is an online consignment shop, selling used and new clothes as low as $4.99!

For a limited time, get $20 to spend on your first order. No purchase minimum! Credit will appear during checkout if you follow this link:

http://www.thredup.com/r/ZHCMTE
Deborah & Co. Halftee /Cami Review

My father took me to a Joshua Bell concert as a gift for my college graduation. Being the frugal man that he is, he wore his tuxedo from almost 30 years ago, and bought tickets from the nose-bleed section of the theater. We enjoyed our evening so much!

I had so much fun planning my outfit to match my Dad!

Black Shrug: White House Black Market, FREE from thredUP

Floral Dress: White House Black Market, FREE from thredUP

Black clutch: $1- thrift store

Black velvet flats: Crocs, $??, bought on Ebay four years ago

I have been blessed by thredUP, hardly spending any money on clothes since I heard about the company. For a limited time, get $20 to spend on your first order. Using the links provided in this post, your $20 credit will appear in your account at checkout. When you cash in your free $20, you bless me with referral credits. You can then refer your friends, and you get blessed with referral credit to spend! It’s a wonderful way to refresh your closet. Read more about the process here. We hope that you will take advantage of these ways to make your wardrobe modest and beautiful for very little money!

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” ~Audrey Hepburn

Deborah & Co. Halftee /Cami Review

P.S. I love Mother so much!

And if you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebookbut even more importantly, subscribing via Feedburner.

Deborah & Co. Halftee /Cami Review

Deep Roots at Home is also now on Google+!

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~ Jacqueline

Posted in Fashion, Favorite Products, Meditations Of My Heart, Modesty | 18 Comments