Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cooking Extravaganza!!! Amazing Product

Wow! Wow! WOW!  This about sums up my review for Cooking Extravaganza, a new product bundle offered from Eternal Encouragement.

I have waited till about the last minute to post my review because I wanted to try as much as possible in the month I've had this product.  This ranks up there with one of the best products I've ever owned.  Psalms 138:2 says that "thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be."  This is the only explanation I have for why I LOVE Cooking Extravaganza so much. I can't tell you how much satisfaction I feel as a mom to place a nice, healthy meal, prepared from scratch down in front of my family.  Almost every meal someone says, "Thanks for dinner mom." 

 If you need any help in the cooking department, Cooking Extravaganza is for you.  If you already cook alot, Cooking Extravaganza is for you as well.  If you have a family to cook for, Cooking Extravaganza is for you.

Let me just sum up some Great things I learned in Cooking Extravaganza:
* How and why I should cook in bulk and freeze meals (I can't believe I've wasted so much time in the kitchen cooking when I could have more than doubled my efforts)
* How to make pizza that looks and tastes like takeout (My family LOVED it!)
* Tips to baking with pasta (this is going to save me so much time)
* How to make the meat in my meals stretch farther and cost less (I love this tip in today's economy)
*Learned how & why pre-planning breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks saves you maximum time and money if you have children (I'm only pre-planning breakfast and dinner so far.  It's one of the BEST things I've ever done!)
* Learn how to make from scratch: onion soup mix, Alfredo sauce, "cream of" soup mixes, taco seasoning, buttermilk (Way cheaper than buying, easy to make and taste great)
* A 6 week menu plan is included if you need a starting off point
* Recipes, recipes and more recipes.  (Enough to satisfy every picky eater in your home.  I've found plenty of recipes to satisfy the taste buds for a family of 8)

What is included in the Cooking Extravaganza Bundle:
1.  "Bulk Cooking Tips & Tricks" E-Book - This E-Book explains different ideas about bulk cooking and what works for author Lorrie Flem.  You'll learn freezing tips, the many benefits of bulk cooking, sanity saving tips, what to do with a meal once you're actually ready to freeze it or unfreeze it to get it on the table for dinner (read  What's for Dinner Mom for extensive information on this topic).

2.  "Lorrie's Favorite Recipes" E-Book - This book contains her families most recent and favorite recipes.  Lorrie has 8 children and years of experience cooking for and streamlining the cooking process for her family.  I've learned so much from her! 

3.  "The Secrets of The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies Made Simple" E-Book - Who doesn't love chocolate chip cookies.  Learn how to take a bare bones recipe on the back of the chocolate chips bag and tweak it just enough to make them even more delicious. Learn how to solve common problems and the most incredible recipe ever is included in the book.  In fact my children are disappointed if I do"n't use this recipe!

4.  "Brianna's Pizza Primer" E-Book - I never knew the art of making a great pizza.  I thought homemade pizza looked and tasted like homemade pizza and if you wanted something that looks and tastes like takeout -- well then you have to order take out. WRONG!  My family of pizza eaters loved the pizza I made following the instructions in this book!  Love It!!!

5. "Fill 'Er Up - Ideas to Fill a Bottomless Pit" E-Book - This was another favorite book in the Cooking Extravaganza bundle. I've got 4 sons and one husband which at times qualify as that bottomless pit.  This book offered such simple suggestions to fill up those hungry tummies without them wanting to fill up on the main dish which is usually the most expensive part of the meal.  I've incorporated these tips and they WORK!

6.  "Sensational Salads" E-Book - I read this E-book but I haven't tried any of the recipes yet.  It includes some favorite alternatives to leafy salads.

7. "Healthy Sanity Savings Breakfast" E-Book - I know I've said this a dozen times already, but I love this E-Book.  I already own and use Lorries other breakfast books.  This is another gem to go along with those.  It's because of Lorrie's breakfast books that I have a hot meal ready for my family each morning.  The granola recipes in this book is superior and cheaper than buying granola bars.

8.   A signed copy of the printed book "What's for Dinner Mom?" - This book is the foundation of it all.  It's 196 comprehensive pages of how to really become the mom in the kitchen you always wanted to be.  It will teach you how to save time, save money, and feed your family well - Everyday!  Cooking for your family everyday is great to do, but systemizing that process will make a world of difference.  Don't re-invent the wheel, let Lorrie Flem help you bypass all of the mistakes and get straight to a system that works and works well.  It is also FULL of excellent recipes.  My family loves Lorrie's infamous Calzone recipe!  This books alone is worth the price of this bundle.

Here's how to order this amazing bundle for it's introductory sale price of ONLY $19.97 (I'm telling you it's worth a lot more!). Go here to order. 

Make sure and order by Dec 7th if you want it before Christmas. The 7 E-books are available to download right away, but the printed book, "What's For Dinner Mom" has to be shipped.

For a chance to win this bundle, go here before Dec 1st for a Giveaway on Lorrie's Blog.

Happy Cooking!!!

As a member of the Gabby Mom's Program, I've been given the Cooking Extravaganza products in return for my honest review.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Power of a Positive Attitute - A Gabby Mom's Review

This month I'm reviewing a great new product from Eternal Encouragement.  Lorrie Flem said it just right when she quoted the old saying:

The flip side of that would be if Momma IS happy than most likely everyone else in the family will be happy as well.  Who doesn't want a happy family?

The problem: Sometimes we can get stuck in a rut of negativity, even if it's just over one particular area of our lives. Sometimes being happy is just easier said than done!  I know I get that way sometimes, especially when I'm feeling overwhelmed. 

You are in for a treat with this product because it doesn't just tell you that you should have a good attitude.  It doesn't just tell you how a positive attitude is Biblical.  You are going to get practical tips and action steps to help you improve your attitude. 

You can listen to these audios over and over again while you're doing your chores or driving in the car.  You'll also get a study guide to take with to your quiet time and really study in depth the principles being taught and a list of scriptures to ponder and pray over. 

I realized, while listening to these audios, why I like listening to Lorrie Flem so much.
1. She's got a great voice and I feel like I'm having an intimate discussion with a good friend about things that really matter to me.
2. She always gives me solid action steps to help me change and to help me look more like Jesus everyday.
3. She relies on the Word of God for truth.  I can study gratitude in the Bible myself by using the study guide that comes with this product.  This is SO important because Hebrews 4:12 says that God's word is quick and powerful and sharper than any 2 edged sword.  This means it cuts in front; it cuts behind, and pierces to the heart of the matter.  It cuts the lies to find truth.  It cuts through our sorrow to find faith hope, and joy.  Lorrie understand that real changes in life comes from God and His truth.
4. She gives good historical and biblical background that really helps me understand the Bible better, which in turns helps me understand the truths being taught on a much deeper level.
For example, in this audio, Lorrie gives a detailed background of leprosy before teaching the Bible story of Jesus healing the 10 lepers.  I didn't understand the depth of teachings in these verses till having that background information.  Lorrie then teaches the principle of gratitude.

Now let me give you the specifics.  Go here on Nov 1 to get your copy of this product.  It includes a 3 part audio. 
Part 1: Centered and Sane
Part 2: Growing Gratitude
Part 3: How To's of Growing Gratitude
A personal study guide to use with the audios.

I was truly encouraged by this product and I know you will be too.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Managing My Minutes: Do I Really Need to? - A Review

It's time for my monthly Gabby Mom's Review.  This product came my way in the nick of time.  I've been asking God to reveal to me what I do not know pertaining to running my household.  This product gave me some answers to my questions. 

I've used schedules before and they were very successful.  In fact I remember the year of the schedule as the BEST homeschool year we ever had.  However when my life changed drastically and my schedule stopped working, I threw it out the window (not a good idea if you don't have a better plan in mind!)

 Lorrie compared schedules in this little treasure, to being a pilot: without programming your destination in properly at the beginning, you'll never reach your destination.  However once that's done you can fiddle with and adjust your course without changing the end result. Lorrie helped me to realize how my schedule failed.  I didn't sufficiently tweak my course to reach my destination.

Next came the part of Managing My Minutes: Do I Really Need To? that I really loved.  Lorrie listed 7 detailed points that correctly identify the difference between a schedule and a routine.  It made so much sense and I see why my schedule could never give me everything that I needed.  Routines don't follow a specific short time slot, but are used daily to train children how to do things.  Routines teach habits that will help our children grow up to be responsible adults.  Managing My Minutes is more about schedules, but now that I know the difference between schedules and routines I can go here and get Lorrie's bundle on routines (Managine My Minutes: Babies, Preschoolers and Kindergartners) for her introductory price before it's gone.  Whoo Hoo, here I come!

This product has inspired me to go back to doing what works and I'm sure it will help you to.  Go here to get your own copy!  I'm so glad that women, like Lorrie Flem of Eternal Encouragement, are willing to teach us less experienced mom's the ropes. 

(I received a free copy of this product in return for my honest review)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Artists & Authors Review and Giveaway

Once a month I get the privilege of reviewing a product from Mrs. Lorrie Flem of Eternal Encouragement.  This month I was mailed the book Artist & Authors.  Before I review the book, let me just say how special I felt before I even opened the package.  It looked like a normal package till I turned it over and saw this cute sticker thanking me for my purchase and that it was "Wrapped just for you with Love & prayer!"  Wow, I really like that.  Then I open the package and the actual book is wrapped and tied up with a bow.  I'm sold and I haven't even opened the book yet.  I could feel the love that went into this product.

So what is Artists & Authors?  It's a small pocket sized book originally written for homeschooling Mom's as an easy way to incorporate daily character training into our homeschool.  There are different themes throughout the book and you can go in order or flip to whatever character trait/biblical teaching you want to focus on. 

I have 6 children ranging in ages from 17 down to 2 and I found this book to be a great tool during our daily devotional time to actually engage the younger ones.  It only added 5 minutes to our devotional time but made it much more meaningful. 

First we discussed how great God is.  He's created everything in this world which seems so big to us, yet he is so awesome that it is little to him.  Next the children illustrated how the earth is God's footstool by drawing a picture of God using the earth to rest his feet on. 

While the younger ones were drawing we then peacefully and quietly read aloud during the rest of devotional.  I can't wait to really dig into this little treasure.

Now for the giveaway!  Click on the titles to go to the direct link for the giveaways for this book and a similar book for older children who prefer writing.

Giveaway Links

As a member of the Gabby Mom's program I've been given a free copy of this product for my honest review.

Friday, July 20, 2012

"Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure" - FREE Kindle Book

As a member of the Gabby Mom's Program I've been given a free copy of Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure by Lorrie Flem, in return for my honest review.  Stay tuned and I'll tell you when and how you can get this e-book FREE!

I actually bought this e-book last year from Eternal Encouragement Magazine because I had been working on eliminating this ineffective parenting tool from my repertoire for some time. This short, concise e-book had many of the tips that I felt like God was teaching me these past 4 year as I've constantly prayed asking for help to stop yelling and to speak with kindness even when I don't feel like it.  The only thing I felt this book lacked were examples from the author, Lorrie Flem's, own struggle as she worked to overcome yelling.  But even that can't detract from the sound advice given!

In Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure, Lorrie recommends identifying the triggers.  It got this Mama to sit back and think about what has driven me to yell.    

"Keep a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips" Proverbs 141:3

As I reflected on my triggers I came up with the acronym H-A-L-T when I feel a yell coming on because these scenarios are the ones that most often tempt me to yell!

H is for Hurried or Hungry
A is for Angry
L is for Lazy and
T is for Tired

H is for hurried.  Would you believe that of all the days for me to get angry and yell was on Sunday mornings right before church.  I'd get so frustrated because we were running late and I'd start imagining that I must be the only person in the house who cared whether or not we got to church on time.  It was a mad scramble trying to find everyone's clothes and shoes, and get food into hungry stomachs.  If we needed to pull out of the driveway at 9:30 to get to church by 10:00 I'd start yelling for everyone to go to the car at 9:30.  Ten minutes later I'd be yelling at a child who still didn't have their shoes on and maybe 10 minutes after that we'd be in the car.  I'd be so mad on the way to church I would ignore everyone in the car.  I finally realized I couldn't pass the buck and blame this problem on the others.  Am I the Mom or am I not?  I got real and I got honest with myself.  First, I realized that I needed to get up earlier. My whole life I've given myself 1 hour to get ready to go somewhere and insanely kept this into practice when I was trying to get myself and my whole family ready and out the door - talk about mission impossible! Now I get everyone up 2 hours early and I've also learned that it takes my family 15-20 minutes to load into the car. That's very useful information in order to set a plan that will work.  Next I stopped blaming my husband for not setting or waking me with his alarm.  I took full responsibility and set my own alarm (sounds obvious doesn't it?). Finally I learned that my relationship with my children and husband is more important than being on time anywhere - even church!  H is also for hungry. Lorrie writes in Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure  that "mealtimes are a very important aspect of caring for a child.  Mealtimes should be set and regular so as to set up good eating habits"  This advice is equally important for parents.  Menu planning may not sound fun but it can go a long way into keeping everyone fed and chaos at a minimum.  I've been one of those mom's staring into the pantry and 6 p.m. wondering what in the world to fix for dinner.  Start the day out, ahead of the game, by having a plan for feeding your family in place.

A is for Angry.  Do you get angry when the house is a mess, when the kids are fighting, when you don't get your way, when their is too much noise, when kids seem to whine instead of talk rationally?  Lorrie recommends speaking in a whisper.  I don't know why it works but the softer I speak to my children the more they listen and obey.  If I yell at my kids I don't get satisfactory results and I haven't won their hearts.  God is the ultimate authority on this and He says, "A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger." (Proverbs 15:1)  I"ve also tackled the whining problem in the kids thanks to another product Lorrie wrote about whining.  I've told my children that a whining voice doesn't get them anything that they want cause I can't hear a voice like that.  Now I daily find myself modeling to the children the voice I want them to use. For example if the 2 yr old comes up begging for milk in a pouty voice.  I teach her how to ask by saying in a calm, pleasant voice, "milk please."  She instantly changes her tone of voice and even uses the sign  for please as she calmly says "milk please."

L is for Lazy.  I've discovered that yelling is the lazy way of parenting.  I remember a few years ago journaling my discouragment about the ongoing fighting between 2 of my little boys.  As I prayed about this situation God helped me see that I was regarding whatever I was doing as much more important than what they were doing, so when a fight would start, instead of getting up and parenting, I'd yell across the house for them to straighten up!  I was too lazy to put in the effort needed to train my children up in obedience and correct behavior.  It's a lot of work being a parent! Just today, I was visiting with my sister and brother-in-law and when a skirmish erupted in the kitchen and I did not feel like getting up to handle it.  I really wanted to yell from the couch and make the problem go away.  God knew this temptation I would face when He said a child left to himself brings his mother to shame (Proverbs 29:15).  I started to yell, but caught my self,  got up and disciplined in a calm quiet voice.   God, help me daily to be up to the task!

T is for Tired.  Have you ever been SO tired and you just knew that a nap is exactly what you needed, especially if you've been up thru the night caring for a little one night after night, or worse, your sick and need some extra sleep?  Now imagine being repeatedly awoken from your perfect slumber!  Oh, how my blood would boil when this has happened to me and I would want nothing more than to give the offending culprits a sound scolding (aka yelling)!  Having identified how this makes me feels, I can completely alter the course of events by discussing with the children what I need for the next hour:  "Mom is going to rest in the bedroom.  No one is to knock on the door unless there is an emergency. Please ask older brother or sister if you need any help or get hungry.  Big kids, please check on the little ones if they start getting real loud, or start knocking on my door"  Trust me when I say you need to review these instructions EVERY time you take a nap.  Don't assume they'll remember.

So the next time your tempted to yell, HALT, then reach for this free e-book I'm about to tell you about, to get the encouragement you need to stop yelling....

Now that I've spilt my own beans about my struggles and triumphs overcoming yelling, let me give you the exciting news!  You can get your own FREE Kindle book of Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure by going here on July 24th!  And that's not all: you're invited to a Facebook party here on July 24th from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT.  Mark your calendar or set your alarm cause it's only good for 1 day!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

How To Love Your Prince When He Isn't Charming

If God created a special woman, perfectly suited to be your husband’s helper would you top the list? Would you even make the list?  Did you realize that God created you to be a help meet for your husband?  A helper who is perfectly suited to, worthy of, and capable?
And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him (Gen 2:18)
Neither was the man created for the woman but the woman for the man; Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman; neither the woman without the man, in the Lord (1 Cor 11:9,11)
God is not looking for happy women to make them into help meets for men.  He is looking for women who are willing to be true help meets, so He can fill them full of joy.-- Debi Pearl

Do you view your activities, your talents, your time, your priorities, your wants, your wishes, your needs as more important than your husband’s?  

If any of your answers to these questions, pricked your conscience, then I challenge you to turn over a new leaf and rejoice as you do so, for God has decreed that He will bless us when we keep his commandments. (Leviticus 26: 3-12, 1 Peter 3:1, Revelations 22:14)

When we put our husband first, not because we are forced to, but because we choose to, we get back more of what we always wanted; we get what we didn’t even know we were missing.  As a woman myself who has been on both sides of this fence.  I can unequivocally say God’s way is a lot better than my way.
I have learned to find my life inside of his.  From the beginning, God meant for me and you to be a comfort, a blessing, a reward, a friend, an encouragement, a right-hand woman to our husband. I picture the Lord saying to me  “I speak unto you, Deanna, my daughter, and the office of thy calling shall be for a comfort unto my servant, Roger, thy husband, in his afflictions, with consoling words, in the spirit of meekness.”*

Ephesians 5:32 “And the wife see that she reverence her husband”
 I looked up reverence in Noah Websters 1828 dictionary because I wanted to read a definition written by a people who regularly read their bibles.  Reverence means to regard with reverence; with fear, with respect and affection.   
God didn’t say obey my husband only if I feel like it or reverence him only if he deserves it or has earned it, or if he’s doing everything he’s supposed to be doing, or only if he’s perfect!  I looked, God didn’t list any exceptions, buts, or what if’s. Reverence is a choice we make that isn't based on our feelings.  When we wives reverence our husbands we show reverence towards God who placed us in that role, under our husband's leadership, under his strength or even under his weakness.

Now I understand that on days when the house is a mess, the kids are fighting, everyone's hungry, dinner's not ready and you're utterly exhausted,  you may look across the room at your man snoozing in the recliner and think “How in the world does he deserve me as his help meet!?”  But who said anything about what he deserves.  You can only find joy in your womanhood when you are functioning according to your created nature. To covet the role of leadership is to covet a burden that will not make God, you, or him happy.  It is not a question of whether or not you can do a better job than he can; it is a matter of doing what you were “designed” to do.  If you successfully do the job of leading the family, you will not find satisfaction in it.  It is far better that the job be done poorly by your husband than to be done well by you. 

But let me go back and talk about those blessings for our obedience to God’s patriarchal order:  When you make being a help meet your career of choice, your passion: Your excellence as a help meet to him may very well be God’s plan for improving his leadership in the family. As a woman, you cannot take on the male role without permanent damage to the original design.   A lot of our men were not modeled Leadership within the family  when they were growing up and that’s okay.  This life is a time to learn and it’s never too late!!! I no longer get mad at my husband if he doesn’t lead us in prayer or do other things I think he "should" be doing.   Instead, I say to myself --my husband trusts me, he counts on me to make up for where he falls short.
“The heart of my husband, doth safely trust in me”
(Proverbs 31:11)
"Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her.  She will do him good, not evil all the days of her life.  Strength and honor are her clothing.  She openeth her mouth with wisdom and in her tongue is the law of kindness.  She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness." This next part is talking about those blessing we’ll get for our obedience. It says, "her children arise up and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praiseth her.”  Proverbs 31
What inspiring words.  As a woman whose been on both sides of the fence.  There is a huge difference between having a husband  who loves me because he’s supposed to; to having a husband who often says-- “I love you so much” --  “I’m so lucky to be married to you”--“You are such an awesome wife” and finally “I can’t wait to get home!”

I think of the husband God has given me to teach me how to learn unconditional love, respect, devotion, obedience, charity, kindness, and patience..  All of this even when his hair is a mess and he’s covered head to toe in oil and mud.  It’s not always pretty!  My husband has taught me what it means to be a good man who loves God and his family.  I used to think that meant you had to be a perfect man.  I’ve learned that God wants me to love him when he seems unlovable, to show kindness when I want to be selfish, to forgive when I want to be right, to give respect anyways when I feel like he should earn it first. 

My husband has taught me that he would have done better if he’d known better, that any offense taken was never intentionally given.  He’s taught me that it’s easy to say “I’m sorry” and “I love you.” Life with my husband is the best school room God could ever have put me in to teach me all the things God wants me to learn in this life.  He’s shown me by example what it’s like to never criticize or talk badly to your spouse.  He’s shown me that God uses ordinary, imperfect men to fulfill his purposes and bring us more joy and happiness in life than we ever imagined.  My husband has shown me what faith looks like when he willingly allows God to send all of the children to our family that God wants to send regardless of the enormous pressure he feels to provide  He's shown me again and again that he’ll go to any links to do so even if that means going from a white collar worker at the top of his field to a roughneck on an oil rig down at the bottom.  How I love and respect that man!
Embrace your God ordained Role.  Expect God’s Blessings.  I challenge you, every time you happen to catch your husband’s eye,  reward him with a big smile that says, “You’re the best!  I’m so glad you’re my man. Then tomorrow, do it again!!!


I cannot take credit for the truths presented here, only the huge blessings received from living them. Here are a list of my mentors/books on this subject:
Created to Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl
Me? Obey Him by Elizabeth Rice Hanford
The Way of Agape: Understanding God's Love by Chuck and Nancy Missler
The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
Eternal Encouragement Magazine & The Encouraging Mom Program by Lorrie Flem
The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
The Holy Bible - by Him whose plan it was from the Beginning
*Doctrine & Covenants 25:5

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Life - More than a Review

As a Gabby Mom, in return for my honest review I've been given the Encouragement: Colorado Power Pack Audio Set to review for the month of May.  Then life threw a HUGE curve ball my way.  My father-in-law was only supposed to have the flu, but instead we found out it was lung and brain cancer.  In less than 2 months time we lost him.  He left us and went to his Heavenly home on June 5, 2012.

I'm really late getting this review out, but I owe it to Lorrie Flem and Eternal Encouragement to get this review done because of what Lorrie did for me during this difficult time.  In fact this is the very reason I signed up to be a Gabby Mom in the first place, why I buy Lorrie's products, why I subscribe to Eternal Encouragment Magazine, and why I pay to be a member of her Encouraging Mom program every year. When I hear Lorrie, she somehow brings the word of God alive in my life and gives me true encouragement, when I don't know if I have anything left.

This past month Lorrie's words kept running over and over in my mind.  I'd say to myself, "Even though my father-in-law is dying, I can have a good day today!"  Then after his death, I keep telling myself, even though he's gone and I'm so sad we didn't have more time with him, I can still have a good day today.  Lorrie knows it's possible because on a recording in the Colorado Power Pack she told me how she chose to have a good day and do the next best thing when her mom was dying of breast cancer.

Encouragement: Colorado Power Pack Audio SetI've listened to these recording again this month: Encouragement and Hope for the Weary, the 12 Habits of a Queen in Her Castle, Welcome Home Daddy and many more... and I'm so filled with encourement to do the next best thing.  Lorrie says I shouldn't be doing anything outside of my home unless I'm taking care of the basics within my home, like feeding my children every meal, everyday instead of taking the lazy way out and having them fend for themselves.  She said so much about how to be a Godly wife.  It really sunk in!  When my husband and I have been married for 51 years like my father-in-law  was to my mother-in-law, I don't want to have ANY regrets.  I want to know that I poured over God's word, found his truth and was obedient.  My marriage went from good to WOW when I stopped doing it my way a few years ago and started doing it God's way.  I've never met her in person, but I consider Lorrie Flem as my mentor to stay on this path so I won't revert to my old familiar ways.  She knows what I need to do, she has the ability to inspire, she has a passion for the Word of God, she makes me believe I can reach my goals.

So, I encourage you, if you want to find what I've found and you want an excellent teacher, then here is an excellent way to start.  Go here and let Lorrie Flem inspire you too. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Facebook Party

Mrs. Lorrie Flem of Eternal Encouragement is having another facebook party!  What a treat!  Lorrie's last party was the first Facebook Party I've ever attended and I was amazed at how inspiring it was.  I can't wait to have one again as a Mother's Day gift to myself.  She's also giving all attendees a free gift!  So put it on your calendar and I'll meet you there (click here)!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Eternal Encouragement - A Review

The day I  got my Eternal Encouragement Magazine, I was feeling just like this -

I was worn out. I wanted to go straight to bed and pretend that the house wasn't a big mess.  So I hid in my bedroom and opened my magazine because I definitely needed some encouragement.  Imagine my complete amazement as I read the major theme thru this month's edition: Chaos!  That's exactly what my life feels like right about now.

I flip thru the magazine and try to find the page with the cure for Chaos and I find an article called "Chaos, CFA, CDSAI (Can't Have Anyone Over, Can't Find Anything, Can Do Something About It)." 

Yes! I want to shout out to author Lorrie Flem, my dishes are still littering the counter and yes! my kids are running around like chickens with their head cut off and I'm hiding in my room so I don't have to face it!  I'm overwhelmed and exhausted!

In comes Eternal Encouragement Magazine with just enough encouragement to help me out of my rut.  Author Lorrie Flem, says when she's having one of those days, she'll pull out sticky notes and a marker and write one small job at a time on sticky notes.  She says, "Now, instead of chaos, we have a bunch of manageable things, each on it's own note." 

Well, I think to myself, I can do this.  It's late and we can't clean up the whole house but we can get the most important things done so that we don't have to wake up to yesterdays mess.  I run and find my sticky notes.  I look around and pick out the things I really want done and break them down into bite size chunks.  I put the 3-5 minute jobs posted on one side of the fridge and the 1 minute jobs on the other side.  I gather my children, explain the situation and ask them to come and pick a certain amount of jobs from each side of the fridge and off we go.

It worked!  In no time at all we were able to conquer the mess and I was able to go to sleep without dread of the morning monster mess!!!

I love Eternal Encouragement Magazine.  Subsciptions are available in printed and digital format and any subsciption receives the New EE Etc. Web Magazine that is published 8 times a year.  This has full magazine articles that are only available to Eternal Encouragement Subscribers.  Go here to get your own copy.

The name of the magazine says it all: Eternal Encouragement.  Not only did I get the encouragement in the area I was most discouraged in this month, but I was encouraged to be a better wife to my husband, even when it's hard.  I was encouraged to train my children in obedience and I was challenged to invite others into my home in a spirit of fellowship, even if I am a less than perfect homemaker.   

As a member of the Gabby Mom's program, I was given a copy of this month's magazine in return for my honest review.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Daily Treasures

You are the trip I did not take;
You are the pearls I cannot buy;
You are my blue Italian lake;
You are my piece of foreign sky.
("To My Child," quoted in Charles L. Wallis, ed., The Treasure Chest [1965], 54.)
This simple verse of Anne Campbell’s, written in behalf of her child says a lot about my life.  I recorded it in my journal years ago as a reminder of the promise my husband and I made to God to happily, prayerfully and willingly allow God to send to our family as many children as he wanted to send. Surprisingly this promise isn't limited to biological children. After taking in 4 exchange students, we hosted 2 more because God asked us to.

At first this promise scared me a little.  I wrote in my journal, "What if I’m still having children in my 40’s?  What if God sends me multiples?"  But God is faithful when we honor Him.  He has enlarged my heart, my understanding, my willingness, my capacity and even my ability.  Now I understand the scripture “Children are an heritage of the Lord: and.. . happy is the man [and woman] that hath [their] quiver full of them" (Psalm 127:3-5)  And I laugh as I read what I wrote, for now I would feel blessed to continue having children in my 40's and doubly blessed if I had twins.
When I received the mp3 audio, Daily Treasures, from EternalEncouragement in return for my honest review, it reminded me of this promise.  I was surprised that Lorrie Flem’s message really dug deep inside to shed light on what that promise really means.
What are my treasures? Here’s all 6 of ‘em.

"Daily Treasures" helped me realize it’s one thing to have children at the expense of or sacrificing worldly treasures but a completely different thing to actually view my children as THE Treasure! We don’t travel the world or buy extravagant things because that’s not where our hearts are.  We happily use our resources to raise a growing family on one income. 

 Wow Lorrie, you’ve hit the nail right on the head.

The sacrifice of the “Treasures” is not enough; it’s actually what I view as the “Treasures.”   I’ll be chewing on this for months to come. 

If you would like to get your own copy of Daily Treasure, then head on over to Eternal Encouragement.  Lorrie gives lots of practical ways to help us view our children as the treasure they are.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Herbal Remedy for Threatened Miscarriage

Thanksgiving morning I had just dropped off some of my children to play in the “Turkey Bowl” (football game) and I was listening to a recording of A Healthier You radio show. David Christopher was discussing miscarriage.  I believe God, thru His Holy Spirit, spoke to my mind and said, “If your friend ______ starts having a miscarriage, you are going to have to help her.”  Wow, that came out of nowhere!

I've been studying natural healing for over 10 years and it has blessed my family so many times.  Especially during the many years we did not have insurance.  More recently I began studying at The School of Natural Healing to become a Master Herbalist and know that the late Dr. Christopher put together an Anti Miscarriage formula in the 60’s which has been used successfully to save lots of babies.  As this thought came to my mind, I said, of course I would help my dear friend save her baby.  She was about 7 weeks pregnant at the time.

I know how to make this anti miscarriage formula but  I also know that a lot of herb shops don’t carry false unicorn, one of the ingredients. So I was mentally going over in my head how I may need to make calls to herb shops and drive out of town to find what I would need.  Then I put it out of my mind so I could focus on Thanksgiving plans.  I actually forgot about it after that. 

Then, the following Tuesday, I get a call from this friend saying she can’t come over for our home school PE because she’s bleeding a lot and cramping and is losing the baby.  I say, “I may be able to help you herbally, do you want me to come over?”  No, she says, I’m bleeding a lot, it’s too late.”  I tell her that with my first pregnancy, I had an episode where I bled a LOT and did not lose the baby.  This information renewed her hope so I said, let me call you right back, I’m going to look up something about miscarriage.  After I get off the phone, I remember my God moment the week before.  I call her back and tell her, I think God wants me to help you, so I’m going to gather the herbs I have and try to find an herb I need and I’ll be over as fast as possible.  In the meantime, she is to go straight to bed.

Here is the link to miscarriage on the herbal educational site sponsored by The School of Natural Healing:

One miscarriage preventative that I had on hand was red raspberry leaf tea with Composition Powder [Chest Comfort Formula] to take with it.  So I grabbed these and headed over.  At the same time, my sister who lives an hour away, was picking up the false unicorn herb and driving it over.

When I arrived, I immediately started mixing the red raspberry leaf tea.  When it was done I gave it to her to drink with 2 Chest Comfort formula capsules.  Within 20 minutes she stopped bleeding. My sister arrived within another hour with the False Unicorn herb and we mixed up 6 cups of tea with the false unicorn and lobelia  (anti miscarriage formula).

We followed these instruction which can be found on the herbal legacy website  and in the following books: Herbal Home Health Care, Every Woman’s Herbal & Dr. Mom’s Healthy Living:

It reads: False Unicorn & Lobelia: Dr. Christopher's Anti-Miscarriage Formula: False Unicorn, 3 parts, and Lobelia, one part, constitute this combination. Unless otherwise specified, teas are always made with one teaspoon of herbs to a cup of distilled water (if obtainable). If hemorrhaging starts during pregnancy, stay in bed, and use 1/2 cup of this tea each 1/2 hour until bleeding stops, then each waking hour for one day, while in bed as much as possible and then three times in a day for three weeks.  If bleeding continues instead of decreasing, see a doctor. Lobelia is also an important herb in the anti-miscarriage formula. It will do such wonders as seal up a tear in the bag of waters in an instance of a threatened miscarriage.

I had a powder of one herb and tincture of another so I made a tea making sure I had the ratio of 3 parts False Unicorn and 1 part lobelia.  My friend’s cramping stopped not too long after the bleeding stopped.After about 2 hours of no bleeding, she had some blood show when she went to the bathroom but it appeared to be old blood not new blood.  We put the timer on to make sure she took the tea on schedule.  It did make her a bit nauseated but she said she could suffer a little to try to save her little one.  We also made a point to pray each hour. 

She continued to do well and I left that evening when her mother-in-law was there to help her.  She said the next morning, when she went to the bathroom, she had a cramp that lasted just seconds and she passed a blood clot.  She said she didn’t know what to think, was she still pregnant or not?  She called a midwife who said she’d only had one previous patient with that much bleeding that early in pregnancy,  who stayed pregnant.  My friend continued to feel nauseated for days, so she stopped taking the false unicorn/lobelia to see if the nausea would go away.  It didn’t.  A few day after that she was able to see the midwife for the first time and they were overjoyed to hear the baby’s heartbeat.  God is so good!  He prepared the way ahead of time.

For a little more information on this herbal combination, Dr. Christopher considered this a tonic which would help the body go the way it needed to go.  Midwife Sandra Ellis in her book, Dr. Mom’s Healthy Living puts it this way:

“Be aware (not beware), when using the following formula (false unicorn/lobelia), it is going to help the body accomplish whatever it needs to do.  If the baby is healthy and the pregnancy is viable, then it will stop the miscarriage.  However, if there is something wrong with the baby or the pregnancy is not viable, then it will help the body to abort the fetus.  It is important to understand this principle because if you are using this formula to stop miscarriage from happening – you need to understand it may have the opposite effect.  It may help the body to flush the pregnancy because there is something wrong...I have used this formula successfully with many women who were spotting and cramping with threatened miscarriage.”

I wish I had known years ago what I know now..  I have 6 children now but with my first I had unknown bleeding in the first trimester, preterm labor and leaking amniotic fluid which resulted in delivery at 31 weeks, followed by placenta acreta after he was delivered.  My second baby I had leaking amniotic fluid at 20 weeks but didn’t delivery till 36 weeks. and my 3rd pregnancy I lost in miscarriage caused by partial sac separation.  All of my pregnancies I had an infection  which is known to cause all of these pregnancy problems. 

Now I feed my body a good diet with no refined flour or sugar,and lots of fruits and/or veggies every meal.   I take herbs packed full of nutrients, and in a form easy to assimilate by the body, that may be missing in my diet.  When I give my body what it needs it has the building blocks to do what God created it to do.  My last subsequent baby’s have been full term with no complications.

I’m not giving medical advice, I’m just sharing this experience because I feel very blessed to have been able to help my friend when God wanted me to and I feel blessed to have the information I have.

Update:  My friend had a baby boy!  After this episode she had no other complications.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Laundry Cure

I’m so glad I’m not the only one who prays over housework!  Yes, I admit it.  I pray over my messes and more than one person has laughed at me for admitting such a thing.  Then the first week of January my favorite weekly e-newsletter, “Serenity for your Soul” appears in my inbox.  The writer, Lorrie Flem, of Eternal Encouragement always seem to say exactly what I need to hear.

Here is what Lorrie wrote:  “When I was newly married, I was not quite a pretty picture of Suzy Homemaker.  Truth be told. I more closely resembled the Horrid Homemaker or Psycho Suzy.”  Wow, Lorrie, we must be twins separated at birth!  That’s exactly how I felt during my newlywed years.  It amazed me how much mess 2 adults could generate and this brain of mine could not wrap my head around a system to clean it up.  Let me clarify:  Yes I knew how to wash dishes, wash laundry and scrub toilets, but doing them sporadically without some type of system is not going to keep your house clean! 

I did the best I could till baby number 3.  Oh no, that means we’ll now have 5 mess makers in the family.  I can’t even keep up with 4!  Lorrie’s answer in her free weekly newsletter is the same answer I found 12 years ago: Lorrie writes “In Philippians 4:13, God says some words that should give all homemakers hope: ‘I can do all things thru Him who gives me strength.’”  She even told me why I couldn’t seem to get things right the first 6 years of marriage.  She said, “If you put a period after ‘all things,’ this statement is wrong. ‘I can do all things.’  YOU can’t…what blows the lid off our limitations is the rest of the verse: Thru Christ who gives me strength.”  Thanks Lorrie, I really needed this timely reminder!

I’ve had these words bouncing around in my head all month as I’ve prayed over my housework and a couple of amazing things happened.  First, I realized that, my kids needed their chores changed up.  They were unmotivated to complete their normal chores and the mess was threatening to take over.  Second, God used my 16 year old daughter, to deliver something BIG!!! Are you ready --- The Laundry Cure!!!

First let me explain.  We have 5 large dirty clothes hampers in our house. We barely keep the hampers from turning into mountains, most of the time.  For the past year our routine has been like this:  I’ll wash a couple loads a day, then at chore time my 16 year old daughter is in charge of folding all clean laundry, then all children help put them away.  That sort of worked for a little while.  Problems: 1 - it took too long to fold so many clothes so only part of them would be folded 2 - she couldn’t get full cooperation from her brothers to put their assigned clothes away when folded 3 - the unfolded portion from each day started backing up the flow because I stop washing if there is nowhere to put clean laundry, and 4 - this defeating cycle started wearing the kids out and it was getting to the point where I was having to take over every aspect of laundry because mountains were forming. 

In comes God’s gift: The Laundry Cure!  We had a family meeting to discuss why everyone was struggling with chores and and to get input from the kids to find out which chores they would and would not like to do.  We were just about done making new assignments when my sweet daughter said, “Mom, why don’t we just throw all the clean clothes in a pile and let everyone grab and put up their own.  That’s what so-and-so does.  Besides, the boys clothes never stay folded in their drawers, so why fold them.”  My first thought was shock, “What, don’t fold the clothes!?!”  This was followed by the realization that she was right. At least half of the clothes folded in this house are unfolded almost immediately after being put away.  So we decided to try an experiment.  We  got all the clean laundry in the house, which at that time was about 5-7 loads and timed how long it would take to sort it.  It took 7 minutes!  Then it took about 25 more minutes to fold non-clothes items, like towels and sheets, and to put everything away.  Wow! That’s about how long it normally takes for just the folding of 1-2 loads. 

I’ve been washing like a maniac this past week.  I’ve emptied all the dirty clothes hampers.  If I run out of baskets to put clothes in out of the dryer, I find empty boxes.  Then every other day I call everyone to the living room, dump the laundry in a big pile in the middle of the floor and in about 30 minutes all the laundry is put away!  Talk about freedom!  Thank you Lorrie of Eternal Encouragement. Laundry was too much for me, but it wasn’t for God.

Lorrie’s free newsletter is dedicated to women who hunger and search for righteousness where the fruit is peace, quietness, confident trust and a sparkle in her eye.  If that sounds like you then sign up here.  I'm part of the Gabby Mom's Program and have been asked to give my honest review of the Serenity for your Soul newsletter.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Part 4: Setting Goals~ Don’t waste another minute!

Years ago a friend taught me the power of goal setting.  She said that if you write your goals down, your subconscious will be working on it even when you’re not thinking about it.  She told me a story of when her family was broke and her husband was only making about $600 a month.  They borrowed money from a family member to attend a seminar where they learned the power of goal setting.  On day one they were given a homework assignment to set a goal.  Not just any ol’ goal they could accomplish on their own, something HUGE, beyond their own ability.   You know, the “Dream big” philosophy.

This is how that conversation went:

Oh, wouldn’t it be amazing to make $2,000 a month!  Well, maybe we could make $3,000. That would be awesome!  Hmm…should we even dare to dream it?  Why don’t we go for it? Let’s write down $5,000 a month!!!! 

It was mind boggling, but that’s what they wrote down.  Fast forward a few months.  Her husband is offered a job.  They ask him how much he wants to make.  He immediately remembers this seminar experience, so of course he says $5,000 a month. Guess what?  They gave it to him.  That’s not the end of the story though.  Achieving goals is not usually so cut and dry like that.  Something fell thru, he never got paid by this boss and the job fell apart, BUT it opened a new door in his career, which over time, did create and surpass this income.

Next, this friend taught me how to create a vision board, a poster board with pictures of things she desired (a baby boy, a minivan, a computer among other things).  They moved house, the poster got packed away somewhere and she forgot all about it. Sometime later she found it.  She had another baby by this time; It was a boy.  She had the exact minivan on her poster.  She did not have the same computer from her vision board, but would you believe she had the exact desk that the computer was sitting on! 

I didn’t understand any spiritual principles behind setting goals, but she convinced me to give it a try. 

I’ve had my own similar experiences, in big ways, like getting out of debt, and little ways, like writing a book outline.  I believe this blog only exists because of the goal I made in 2008 to write a book for my children.  “Embracing My Mission” is a goal that started small; to leave my story for our children.   I have no idea what God has in store for it.  I never intended to bear my soul to the world wide web, but here I am!

How to set a goal: 

First, you must, must, must…WRITE it down.  I’m sure you’ve heard that before and for good reason.  This doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy.  In fact you may never do it if you think you have to do it perfectly.  Get a piece of paper.  Take 10 minutes, brainstorm, and write down every goal you can think of.  Write everything that’s important to you and everything you want.   I write spiritual goals, family goals, educational goals, parenting goals, homemaking goals… and anything that falls under dreams & hopes.  Hang this goal list in a place you can see it often. 

Second (this is optional), create a vision board. Get a poster and paste/tape/staple pictures that represent everything you want.  For example, I have a picture of myself smiling to remind myself to smile often thru the day.

Are you done yet!  If so you’ve done the most important part.  You’ve set your feet on the beginning of the path that will take you where you want to go.  I’ve heard it said, “Those who aim for nothing, hit it with amazing accuracy!”  God has bigger plans for you!  Aim for something! 

I find that if I meet with my children regularly (monthly/bi-monthly) and go over our goals, they happen faster.  Even goals we seem to have no control over.  Like the time my daughter wanted to go to Japan (we’ve hosted 5 Japanese exchange students over the years).  We didn’t have extra money laying around for airfare to foreign lands, but we trust God and the goal setting process.   Guess what?  We won an airline ticket from the exchange student organization.  My daughter had her ticket purchased and was schedule to go less than a week before last year’s earthquake and tsunami devastated parts of Japan.  No, she didn’t go.  I’ve learned that goals don’t always exactly happen like we imagine they will, but they usually happen in some form or other. 

This year I’m going to spend more time writing out each goal in more explicit detail to get a better vision of what I really want.  Sometimes I put something on my goal or vision board and when I get it or almost get it, I discover I didn’t really want it.  Like the time I had a cruise posted on my vision board.  Some friends, out of the blue with no knowledge of my goal, offered my husband and I a half priced cruise they were not going to use.  We turned it down.  I realized I didn’t really want to go on a cruise.  I took it off my vision board. 

 “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (Proverbs 29:18)  I likewise believe that if I set no vision or goals before me, than the abundant life I could have had, will perish before me.  What are you waiting for? Set goals and go for it!

This is a 6 part series:
Part 5 Daily Spiritual Checkpoints
Part 6 Prayer