Thursday, April 18, 2013

I'm THMing it {plus a cheat sheet!}

I mentioned in this weeks Torah Momma Journal that I was starting Trim Healthy Mama and I figured I might as well do an official post for it. It'll be nice to track my progress and I'm sure there are others that this could help. I was hesitant to post a before picture, but I must if I want this to be beneficial soooo we'll get to that eventually lol.

I started the plan on Shabbat (4-13-13) so I'm currently 5 days in. I've seen some amazing success stories and am really motivated to make this work. The program is so much more than another fad diet. It really teaches you about nutrition and how to eat for optimal health. This book is great if you need to loose weight, gain weight, maintain weight, get healthy, or stay healthy. I didn't realize how much havoc I was wreaking on my body, until reading it! Diabetes runs in my family and a I was putting myself at risk for developing it unknowingly. So this book truly is a blessing for me!

I don't want to over load you with information, but I want you to get a feel for the what the plan is. Pretty much it's a low glycemic plan, that helps you understand how your body reacts to food. The book is kind of long (650 pages!) but it's really light hearted and fun. It's like sitting down with the sisters who wrote the book (Serene and Pearl), while they explain how to implement the plan.

Once you get the hang of how you should be eating it's actually really simple to navigate and there are TONS of recipes to get you going. So you're not left floundering in the wilderness trying to figure out what to eat. It's not a shed 30lbs in a month type of plan, so if you're in a hurry to loose weight you might need to readjust your thinking. This is a steady, HEATHY, approach to weight management that you can do happily for the rest of your life.

I think my favorite part about the plan is that I never leave a meal feeling hungry! Plus I get to have dessert when ever I want; and I mean good deserts, like ice cream and cake! It's not about deprivation, but about balance.

Ok well enough of me gushing over this awesome book! Here is my before picture and a link to my cheat sheet! Print it out and put it some place handy, like the fridge :o)

If you want to learn even more you can buy the book, like the facebook fan page, join the facebook group, or join the forum!

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Set-apart Spirit which is in you, which ye have of Elohim, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify Elohim in your body, and in your spirit, which are Elohim's. -1 Corinthians 6:19-20


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Torah Momma Journal

What did I…

Offer thanks for?
My family. We've been making a lot of changes lately but we're at peace so life is good. Abba has been richly blessing us!

I started the Trim Healthy Mama weight loss plan and it's been going well. I was a little nervous at first but it's actually pretty easy and I don't end a meal feeling hungry.

Struggle with?
Allergies! This week has been so rough for me allergy wise :o(

Teach my children?
We are working on our memory verses and lot's of character building.  My oldest is still learning to read but we're taking the approach right now of me reading to her and just getting her familiar with letter sounds. I've tried so many different things and this is what keeps us both from getting stressed out.

Study and learn?
I've been learning about nutrition and health the most lately. Between the THM plan and my herbal pursuits I haven't really been studying anything else.

Laugh about?
My girls have taken to telling knock knock jokes... enough said lol

Pray about?
Being a good wife, and momma. I really struggle but I know that YHVH knew what He was doing when He gave me this family and in His strength I can be who He has called me to be.

What is this week’s Torah portion and what did I learn from it?
Since I'm doing the 90 day plan I don't read the portions. In my plan this week I started reading about Solomon. So far this week I've read 1 Chron 26-29, 2 Chron 1, 1 Kings 1-4, a bunch of psalms including 119, Song of Solomon, and Proverbs 1-24. So I can't even begin to sum it all up but I will say that I am really loving reading in this order. There is so much that you can only see when you understand why certain things were written. You can understand the way the writer was thinking because you know what they were going through. It's awesome.


I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. -3 John 1:4


If you're interested in linking up with TMJ go to Torah Family Living

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Messiah Honoring DVDs

I posted earlier about how we like to watch certain preapproved shows but I realized I didn't mention how we acquire them. Well I recently found this great little gem called Christian Cinemas. They offer thousands of faith centered DVDs to purchase or to rent! We signed up for their rental program and are able to screen any of the DVDs we're interested in before we purchase them. We just started using this resource so we haven't seen very many movies yet, but there are SO many to choose from. They have DVDs that range from comedies to documentaries.

Their DVD rentals usually arrive within 3 days of submitting a request and you can keep them for as long as you like. They have different levels to the plan so you can choose to rent one or more DVDs at a time (they are currently offering a free two week trial). You can also purchase DVDs that you already know your family will love.  

In addition we use Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video in order to stream things direct. But the amount of faith based movies and shows are very limited.

One of these days I'll post a full list of the movies and shows we've seen but for now I just wanted to tell you about this awesome resource :o)

I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes... Psalm 101:3

*post contains affiliate links

Keeping little hands busy

I've mentioned before that we're cutting down on watching TV. But as we walk this out there are certain struggles that have come up. One of these is keeping my girls busy! Because they are used to watching tv they tend to come to me saying "momma I'm bored". You'd think at 4 and 2 they wouldn't even know to say that! But sure enough after awhile it seems we run out of things to do and then the tv comes on.

What I've started doing is keeping an arsenal of shows that are approved, but that I know they won't just sit and watch. That way even though the tv is on they'll still be playing or even maybe trying to do what they see. One GREAT show for this purpose are the Homestead Blessings DVDs. There are a bunch in the collection and each video teaches different homesteading skills. The women in the videos are a mother and her three daughters. They are all modestly dressed and are a great example for showing that modesty doesn't have to ever be compromised, even with farm chores. (to find out where to purchase these and other dvds see this post)

Here is a sample video:

And here's a whole video:

Another thing that I'm starting to realize I MUST do is, include them more. I grew up with children being shewed out of the kitchen, so this is totally different than what I'm used to. But having my girls in the kitchen will keep them busy, while also training them for the future. So I've decided to take on certain projects to not only include them but also encourage learning a skill.

This week we made some raspberry jam and baked bread! For the jam I just took a bag of frozen berries cooked them down and added some sugar. That is my normal method mostly because we eat it right away. If I was canning them I'd use pectin. I let my 4 year old pour the berries and stir everything up.
The bread we baked is a quick bread recipe, because telling my girlies they have to wait 2 hours for the dough to rise just didn't seem like it would be a good idea lol. We bake bread weekly for Shabbat so they are pretty familiar with the process, but this time I let them help with everything not just the shaping.

showing all the ingredients

watching the yeast work

kneading the dough

getting to enjoy the fruit of their labor

The recipe (this makes 3 or 4 loaves):
2 1/2 cups warm water
6 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp oil
3 tbsp yeast
6 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 400*. Mix the oil, sugar, water, and yeast then let sit for 5 minutes. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix, knead (about 5-10 minutes), and shape. Bake for about 30-40 minutes. Enjoy!
...with quietness they work, and eat their own bread... -2 Thesalonians 3:12


Linking up with Eco Kids Tuesday

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bloom where ever you're planted

Abba has been really been dealing with me about something. I was thinking it over and felt like I should share, so I pray it's a blessing to someone...

We all have plans and ideas of what we want for ourselves and our families. We pray about them, and we line things up to get to that place. There's nothings "wrong" with doing that. We should have a vision. After all the Scriptures say "where there is no vision, the people perish"! {Prov 29:18} But the danger comes in when that is our only focus. When we look forward so much that we forget to look around.

I was having one of those periods where I was ONLY looking forward, and quickly got discouraged because we are so far from the goal. I spoke to two good friends about how I was feeling and they both gave me advice that I mulled over and committed to prayer.

One of them told me that it's a daily journey to that goal and that I just need to take it one day at a time. As I was praying YHVH was showing me that I need to bloom where I am planted and work with what I have. I can't expect to be in the same place as someone who has been walking this road for 20+ years when I've only just begun. He is faithful and if I continue on He will continue on. I just have to focus on the now and plant the seeds so that one day there will be fruit.

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. -2 Cor 9:6

Just like a tree takes years to grow, so do we and our families. It takes time, water (the Word), and sun (love). If we put in the time then He will put in the blessing to allow for a great reward. It's about the little choices you make, every single day. Keep your goal in mind and make the little changes necessary to get there. Seek YHVH and ask for His help.

 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith YHVH, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. -Jer29:11-13


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Scripture Memorization Idea and a Printable!


I've blogged before about the importance of planting seeds of YHVH's Word in our children's hearts. But our family is trying a few new things so I thought I'd share them with you.

The first thing that we are trying is the scripture memorization technique from Simply Charlotte Mason. This technique will ensure that we are constantly memorizing new scriptures as well as going over the ones we've previously learned. To use this method you need a index card box, 41 dividers, and index cards. You label the dividers: daily, odd, even, Sunday-Saturday, and 1-31. Then you put the dividers in the box IN THAT ORDER. Place the cards you want to work on in the front and then your first card in the daily section.


As you memorize passages then you can move the cards back replacing older cards, with new cards. You will work on 4 different cards each day. So let's say today is Monday the 3rd you'd review your daily card, odd card, Monday card, and the 3 card. I know that might be a little confusing so here is a video that explains it way better :o)

In addition to working on the verses in our box we are learning the Shema (and it's blessing) in Hebrew and in English. The girls pretty much know it but I want them to understand it, so we will be singing (and discussing) it at the start of each school session. To help me (and you) out I created this printable of the Shema and Blessing! I'm hoping to move forward with more verses of this passage but right now I feel like there are some other verses I want to work on. Praying this will be a blessing to you as you hide Yah's word in the heart of your child.  


The law of YHVH is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of YHVH is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of YHVH are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of YHVH is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of YHVH is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of YHVH are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. -Psalm 19:7-10


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Make Your Own Glycerine Tincture

Now that we've switched completely to natural medicine I thought it fitting that I learn to make tinctures. Because running out to the store to buy tinctures and syrups for $15 (or more) a piece just wasn't working out for us. I was a little nervous about tincture making at first, but now that I've given it a go I've learned that it's easy peasy! I personally prefer glycerin tinctures but you can use alcohol or even vinegar. I'm going to share with you the sealed simmer glycerite method. Hopefully after seeing how easy it is you'll be making tinctures yourself.

First we need the herbs that you will be using, a jar to put the herbs in, and a 40/60 mixture of water and vegetable glycerin. (this mix is your menstruum)

The general rule of thumb is  to use about one ounce of dry herbs per pint of liquid, and to fill the jar if using fresh herbs. I made mine with less than a pint of liquid so I adjusted accordingly. 

I made two tinctures at once. My "Be Well" blend and a Nettle tincture. After putting the herbs into the jar I added the water/glycerin mixture. I put the tops on and then shook them up. The shaking isn't really necessary I just wanted to make sure that everything was mixed up well. :o)

Next you put the jars in to a pot and fill it with water. You want the sides of the jar totally covered with water. Then you put them on the stove and allow it to boil for 20-40 minutes, or you can simmer them for 2-3 hours. 

Once the mixture is finished you will need tincture jars, a container to hold the liquid and a cotton cloth or a cheese cloth. 

Strain off the liquid, squeezing any excess out of the herbs. Then pour the liquid into a tincture bottle, put a lid on it, and store in the fridge. That's it! It's so simple and easy to make a glycerin tincture. It doesn't take much and you can do it, from start to finish, in an hour or so!  

So what do you think are you going to give it a try?

And Elohim said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. -Genesis 1:29


Thursday, April 4, 2013

My how time flies...

Wow time as really zoomed by! Chag haMatzot (feast of unleavened bread) is over, and we're already on day 5 of counting the omer. These last few weeks have been pretty exciting. Our family has been enjoying fellowship with some new friends that have become very dear to us, and just getting to experience all that YHVH has in store for us. The next feast is Shavuot/Pentecost which will be at the end of the Omer count. But until then it's back to business as usual.

This last year has been a bit odd since my hubby has been home with us. But he has started back working again! HalleluYah!!! We are very excited and I'm getting readjusted to being home alone with the girls. The first day was a bit crazy but we're getting used to it slowly but surely.

Lately I have been in serious prayer about being a mom. This job is SO important and I really don't want to mess it up. So I've been spending lot's of time on my knees. With that YHVH has been showing me some things that have been a HUGE help.

One of the things that I'm working on is secular TV. We don't have cable but we use services like Netflix, and Hulu, so the girls have been able to watch different children's shows. But I've seen weeds that are sprouting up in them from these things so we are totally removing it with the exception of Shalom Sesame which we have on DVD so we get to avoid commercials. This isn't the first time we've done something like this but I think this is the most drastic change we've undergone.

Initially I tried to just keep the tv off but I noticed that it was a real struggle for us all. So now the plan is to just replace the "bad" with "good". We watch documentaries about families, or nature, as well as shows like 19 Kids and Counting. That's pretty much it, unless hubby decides to get a movie or something. It's been working for right now, and the ultimate goal is to cut down to practically no tv at all.

The other area that I'm working on is homeschooling. I am so guilty of expecting too much and then getting discouraged when it doesn't happen. If you remember at the start of the "school year" I had a great plan of action, but then when reading wasn't working out I got frustrated and then started trying other curricula. I didn't stick to my convictions and the plans that I had laid out.

That's not a cycle I'd like to continue, so I've been asking Elohim to show me the best way to teach the girls, so that my expectations don't hinder them. He has been leading me towards the Charlotte Masson approach, which is summed up in this quote: “Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.”

With using this approach there is A LOT of reading. Instead of texts books and worksheets, we read and learn through "living books" which are books that are usually a first hand account of some thing. Also we will be working on character traits (called habits by CM). I posted once before about our training Bible, and that will be our main text for all character lessons, copy work, and reading lessons. In addition we will be reading other books that reinforce what we are attempting to learn. Math skills will be taught using manipulatives.

I'm really excited about trying this new approach and I'm seeing that it really is very compatible with Deuteronomy 6:7 which is our personal education approach.

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. -Deut 6:7

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