Monday, August 27, 2012

Moments from Motherhood Monday: God loves them more than me.

It's the first day of school today. 

Here are my 4 older children all ready to walk to school
I must admit, I was a little grumpy yesterday.  I know why, but didn't want to share with the hubby.  You see, I long to home school my children.  I did for 2 years, against my husbands wishes.  I was stubborn and refused to put them in public school.  It was always a big fight with us.  On our 7 day drive across the country from California to Maryland (thank you Marine Corps), I had lots of time to talk with God.  I'd been praying for a while that my husband would step up and take his place as head of our house.  He did just that and put his foot down on that trip. He told me that they were going to public school.  For some reason I couldn't even speak.  I cried and prayed and heard God very clearly.  "Katie," he said, "The kids will be just fine."  Peace came over me immediately.  "It's more important for them to see their mommy and daddy standing together as one.  Submit to your husband, I'll watch over the children."
I know that God loves my children more than I ever could.  And I trust Him.  I prayed this morning for peace.  As I dropped my babies off at school, I felt peace. 
Here I am with baby Abby in the carrier and my PreK boy, Eli.  He starts school the 4th of September.
It's going to be a quiet day today.
Crunchy Katie

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Help me plan my next Giveaway

I love sending out those winner emails.  I love getting them too!  I remember the first time I won a giveaway.  I had just found out we were expecting #5.  Hubby was a bit stressed about all of the baby gear we would need to buy.  I scoured the Internet to find every giveaway for every imaginable baby gear item. 

I entered so many I lost count and didn't even know when the next one ended.  I checked my email multiple times a day and nothing. 

But then I realized I had a SPAM folder.  I felt like I was Charlie Bucket opening the Wonka bar looking for the golden ticket.  Sure enough I had WON!  I WON a giveaway!!!  And it was for a $300+ Britax car seat!!!  I was on cloud 9 for days. 

I love sending my readers to cloud 9.  So please help me plan my next giveaway!!

Please tell me what your most favorite, natural baby products are.  Also let me know one thing that you wish you would have known when you had your first baby. 

I want to do a giveaway event focused on helping first time moms.  Please leave a comment below and have your friends come too.  The more comments I get the bigger the event will be. 

Ready, Set, GO!!!


Crunchy Katie


Super congrats to Roxanne DeBord.  She is the lucky winner of the Flufftastic Summer Celebration giveaway! 

Happy cloth diapering Roxanne!

Can't wait to put together another awesome giveaway for you all.  Stick around k.


Crunchy Katie

Friday, August 24, 2012

Food For The Soul Friday: Do you know who you are?

"What religion are you?"  I've heard many people answer this question by saying "I don't have a religion, I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ."  In fact, I'm quite certain I've said that before myself.  But what on earth does that mean?  One verse that is used constantly to tell people how much God loves them is John 3:16.  I love how well The Message puts it.

"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.  John 3:16-18

Insert "me" where "the world" is written.  This is how much God loved "ME".  That's right, it's personal.  He really did it for each and every person that He created. 

This became profound for me when I became a mother.  Imagine choosing to give your own child up.   Allowing him to suffer, and die, as Christ did for another person.  I cannot even fathom it.  God did that for me and for you.  I guarantee there is no person on this earth who loves you enough to do what God did for us.  I feel so special when I think of how much he loves me. 

God is the King.  He is your Father in Heaven, the Kingdom of Heaven.  And you, the children of God, are all princes and princesses.

Now that you know how much he loves you, let's get to the relationship part.  You may wonder how you can have a relationship with someone you can't see or touch.  In any relationship there is one most important thing.  Communication.  That is how to have a relationship with Christ.  Communicate with him.  You don't even have to talk out loud.  Tell him when you're sad, mad, frustrated, or excited.  Ask him for things that you want and need.  Tell him please and thank you.  Oh, and he really loves to hear how awesome he is.  Just like any person here on earth, he loves to be praised.  In fact, the Bible says that praising him allows us to enter into his presence.  Psalm 100:4, from The Message, says:

Enter with the password: "Thank you!"
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.  

When you enter into His presence everything changes.  You just feel different.  Better.  Let's try that this weekend.  Let's work on our relationship with the one who loves us most.  Much like you would go on a marriage retreat with your spouse, spend the next few days on a retreat with him.  Just simply communicate and see if you don't feel a million times better.

Princess Crunchy Katie

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thrifty, Crafty Thursday: Cheap Shoes.

I have 5 kids.  4 of them wear shoes, and by wear, I mean wear them out.  I had to stop buying the cheapest shoes for them when they started riding bikes and scooters.  They seem to use the toe of their shoe as breaks, which really quickly sends us back to the shoe store.  So what's a momma to do when all of her (shoe wearing) kiddos need new shoes?  I wish I could just run out and buy them whatever ones they want.  But being a single income family, that's just not going to happen.  Here's how I am able to get 4 pairs of brand name shoes for under $100.

There are many stores out there that always offer a buy one get one at 50% off deal.  I always choose to buy their shoes there.  Skechers, Rack Room, Famous Footwear, just to name a few.  I usually hit up the Skechers store.  Sometimes they run a promotion where if you buy 3 or more pairs of shoes you get an extra $10 off.  Those days I usually shout loudly in the store "PRAISE GOD!!" 

School is starting in 4 days!!  Last week was tax free week here in Maryland.  All clothes and shoes could be purchased tax free for a whole week (most states have something like this, so go here and see what your state offers) so we jumped at the chance to save a few bucks.

This time we went to Rack Room Shoes.  We like to buy shoes with flat soles for our kids.  This allows their muscles in their feet and legs to develop naturally (more on that another day).  I sent them all off to pick out a pair.  My girly (8) chose some neon pink converse.  The little guy (4) chose converse as well, his were a little snazzy though, with some cushion around the ankle and a bit of a high top feel.  #3 and chose some really cool vans.  And the Biggest Brother chose Nike.  NIKE, seriously.  I really didn't want to get these.  They were like $45.  How on earth could I possibly allow this to happen.  The look on his face sealed the deal.  He has the sweetest smile. 

Once everyone had their shoes (like 10 hours later), we headed up to the counter.  A sign next to the register reminded me that the day before was Military Monday, 10% discount for all military ID card holders.  Bummer.  The awesome cashier let me know that if I texted a number, they would text me back a 10% off coupon.  YES!!!  Sure enough, it came right away!  She scanned every pair and I watched the total climb...$109!!!  I gave her my coupon and that brought the total down to $98 and some change.  "PRAISE GOD!"  I shouted, nearly jumping up and down.  I thought for sure those Nikes were gonna do me in . 

In the end.  Happy kids, happy momma, SUPER happy husband! 


Crunchy Katie

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What's for Dinner Wednesday: Taco Pasta

The recipe for the day is one I just threw together with what I could find in the fridge and pantry.  Tacos are one of the few meals that all of my kids will eat.  When I make them, I always make TONS of meat.  4lbs of ground turkey feeds us all for dinner, the hubby's lunch the next day, and with what's leftover I get to have fun creating a new meal!

Here are the ingredients I used:

- 1lb of leftover ground turkey seasoned with taco seasoning.
- 1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 can of black beans
- 3/4 cup of sour cream
- 8oz of Monterrey Jack Cheese
- 1 tbsp of chopped cilantro
- 1 box of rigatoni pasta

Throw the leftover meat in a pot to heat.  Once hot, mix in the tomatoes, black beans, and cilantro.  Then add the sour cream.  Cook up the pasta ( I always throw a good amount of salt in the boiling water before I add the pasta, it flavors the noodles so well).  Once the pasta is done strain it and put it in a 13x9in casserole dish.  Then add the meat mixture.  Mix well, top with the shredded Monterrey Jack.  Back in the oven at 375 degrees for 30min. 

I wish I had a picture to share with you all today.  I'll make sure to start snapping some whenever I cook a meal! 


Crunchy Katie

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Think Twice Tuesday: Think Twice before putting on your sunscreen.

Do you spend a lot of time outside in the summer?  If so, you probably always have a bottle of sunscreen handy.  These days, everyone is so scared to get some sun on them for fear they might come down with skin cancer.  But did you know that the sun is actually good for you?  Here's what I found:

First of, the sun actually helps your body produce a very much needed vitamin. Vitamin D.  This article explains in depth how vitamin D is produced by your body. This is how it works. When the sun hits your skin, a chemical reaction occurs. The light is absorbed by your skin and used to make vitamin D3. It's kind of like photosynthesis for humans. Then your kidneys and liver work to metabolize the vitamin D3 into an active hormone called 1, 25-dihydroxy vitamin D3. This vitamin plays a very important role in almost every system in your body. For example:

-Vitamin D helps build healthy bones.
-Vitamin D helps build a healthy immune system.
-Vitamin D helps your circulatory system stay strong.
-Vitamin D helps keep your cells healthy.

It has become more apparent in these past few years that Americans are suffering greatly from vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency can be cause the following diseases:

-Unhealthy teeth
-Autoimmune conditions like Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
-Heart disease
-Links between vitamin D deficiency and several deadly cancers have been made.

Studies have proven that the best source of vitamin D is the sun. So why then are we constantly being told to stay inside out of the sun, or cover our bodies completely while out with either clothes and hats or chemical sunscreens? If Vitamin D from the sun is so good for us, then why are we being scared out of spending time in it?
Obviously, studies have been done that show that spending too much time in the sun can lead to serious fatal skin cancers. So how do we protect ourselves from the dangers of the sun while still reaping the great benefits from it? 

An article I found on said this,

“A natural alternative to vitamin D supplementation is exposure to sunlight, but how much sunlight? To make enough vitamin D, a baby in a diaper needs a total of only 30 minutes of sunlight a week-less than five minutes a day. Fully clothed and without a hat, a baby would need two hours of sunlight a week, or about 20 minutes a day. Medium to darker skin tones need a little more time in the sun.”

My children are all half Filipino. They have darker skin. During the summer months when we are spending lots of time at the pool I usually let them play for up to 30 minutes without sunscreens. Then we'll take a break for a snack and they get lathered up with a waterproof natural sunscreen. They don't tend to get sunburned, just darker. The benefits of allowing them that time are amazing. They are much healthier in the summer due to all that time outside!
We just had our 5the baby in February, and I was shocked when the pediatrician prescribed a vitamin D3 supplement for me to give to her at her first check-up. I always listen intently to their recommendations then I head home and research for myself the pros and cons of their recommendations and also natural alternatives.  What I discovered, and pretty much already believed, was that limited sun exposure daily to produce natural vitamin D would be great for my baby and much more beneficial than artificial vitamin D.  When we go to the pool, I will take baby in the sun for about 10 minutes, which according to the mothering article is plenty for my darker skinned baby.  I put a sun hat on her but still allow her body to be exposed to the sun.  After her 10 minutes, we sit in the shade while the other children play. 

So I bet you're asking yourself what kind of sunscreen I use for myself and my kiddos.  I always have a good natural form of sunscreen in my pool bag. With so many options out there, making a safe, non-toxic choice can be hard. Here's a few things you should know about sunscreens.

Sunscreens include some of the following dangerous chemicals:
-Benzophenones (dixoybenzone, oxybenzone): These are among the most powerful free radical generators known.
-PABA and PABA esters (ethyl dihydroxy propyl PAB, glyceryl PABA, p-aminobenzoic acid, padimate-O or octyl dimethyl PABA)
-Cinnamates (cinoxate, ethylhexyl p-methoxycinnamate, octocrylene, octyl methoxycinnamate): Are known to be dangerous if they enter the bloodstream. In the 1970's Professor Howard Maibach discovered that as much as 35% of sunscreen enters the bloodstream and the longer it's on the skin, the more absorbed.
-Triethanolamine (TEA): When this chemical was applied topically to female mice an increase in liver tumors was detected. When applied to male mice a smaller increase in liver tumors was noticed, but there was an increase in kidney tumors.
-2-Phenylben zimidazole-5-sulfonic acid (PBSA): This sunscreen ingredient has been shown to damage DNA when exposed to light.
-Benzphenone-3, homosalate octyl-methoxycinnimate, 4-methylbenzlidene (4mbc) camphor and octyldimethyl-PABA (o-d-PABAestrogenics make contact with the hormone receptors, they are interpreted as the real thing (estrogen) and the results are the feminization of tissue. This can lead to endometriosis, uterine and breast cancers, disruption of the menstrual cycle and other problems for women. In men, it can lead to testicular cancer, breast enlargement, lower sperm counts, loss of sex drive and more.

So, what's a mother to do with all of this information? Here are some helpful tips to help keep you and your family healthy and safely protected from the sun.
  1. Please do make sure your child gets daily exposure to the sun.
  2. Gradually expose your children to the suns rays-especially in the summer months.
  3. Avoid sun exposure during the strongest hours of the day: between 11:00am and 3:00pm.
  4. Be aware that snow and water intensify sun radiation, so adjust exposure accordingly.
  5. Use protective clothing, hats, umbrellas, and sunglasses to minimize exposure.
  6. Carefully select a mineral based sunscreen that is non-toxic and does NOT contain synthetic ingredients or preservatives. You can find sunscreens like this at your local health food store

    All of this info can be overwhelming at first. Just remember, the suns rays are actually good for us!  So think twice before lathering the sunscreen on.


Crunchy Katie