Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ryan Michael Hawn


Ryan Michael Hawn
1/27/2009 - 7/28/2009

My heart is aching for this precious family who have lost a precious member of their family. You can click on the title to go directly to their blog and please feel free to leave your condolences there. Amy

Monday, July 27, 2009

Easy Herbal Syrup (Lavender)

You Need:
1/3 cup dried lavender
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups water

Steps:
1. Combine lavender, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan.
2. Bring to boil, turn down the heat to a simmer.
3. Simmer until syrup thickens and is bubbling in a thick frothy manner (about 45 min.).
4. Cool and strain.
5. Discard lavender.
6. Very good drizzled on soy vanilla ice cream.

*This recipe can be used with any herb of your choice.
Click on the Title to go to the website for more recipes!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Frugal & Natural Pest Control: Fruit Flies & Ants Be Gone!


Fruit Fly Trap

1 quart jar
1 piece of paper, rolled up into a funnel
tape
apple cider vinegar
small slice of banana


Fill a quart jar with a 1/2 inch of apple cider vinegar and a small piece of banana. Roll up your paper into a funnel shape (larger at the top) and tape it in place. Place the funnel into your jar and make sure all the edges are secured shut with tape. You may have to adjust the size of your funnel to make sure it fits nicely into your jar. Place the jar where the fruit flies are flying around and let it go to work. You will be amazed at how well this trap works. The fruit flies will smell the fruit and climb inside, but for some odd reason they don’t fly back up the funnel to get out. When you have caught a good supply, place the entire jar in the freezer. After a short time that flies with die and you can remove the jar from the freezer and use it again without even removing the old contents. Use repeatedly until your fruit flies are eliminated.

As you can see in my picture, this easy trap is amazingly effective!
Ant Trap

We are often plagued with ants in the Spring time as well around here. We have various sorts of carpenter and sugar ants. This little concoction does the trick! Last year we had huge carpenter ants all around our kitchen. Many were coming out of our electrical saukets in our kitchen. We were blown away by how quickly they were eradicated with this recipe.

1 tsp. borax (borax is an natural laundry boosting powder available in the laundry section of the store, normally on the top shelf)
2 cups hot water
6 Tbsp sugar
folded paper towel
small shallow cup (like a creme burlee dish)

Disolve borax in hot water. Stir in sugar. Dip the folded paper towel, using tongs, in the solution till completely saturated with solution. Cram the paper towel in the dish. Place in location where you have seen the ants. This solution will be eaten by the ants and taken back to the nest to share with the other ants and thus eradicate the entire nest. Keep away from children by placing on a countertop or cupboard, if possible.

Click on Title for my favorite Blog obtained this from!

Sidewalk Chalk Paint!


We made sidewalk paint. It was free for me because I had the stuff.
If you don't have it already it will be a cheap activity. :)
You need:
1/4 cornstarch
1/4 water
food coloring

Mix them all together. Adding as much color as you are brave.

You should try it...and be brave...it ALL washed away with the hose.
I can't wait to hear how your painting went! Be sure to post a comment and a picture!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Increasing Milk Supply: Homemade Mother’s Milk Tea


I have personally struggled with keeping up a healthy and rich milk production for my babies. I have battled with discouragement and failure when not able to satisfy my child’s need. The Lord has done a good work in my heart, calling me to trust Him that
He will provide my child with the nourishment required to grow healthy and strong. My responsibility is to do my best in eating nutritionally, nursing as frequently as my son needs it to increase my supply, but ultimately God is in control, to which I am thankful.

Here are a few resources and recipes I have found helpful in the journey of nourishing my babies…

I am currently studying herbology in my spare time, which I have found truly fascinating. There are many available herbs in creation that are galactagogues, herbs that increase breast milk supply. Once again, I am amazed at God’s glorious provisions for us. Thank you Lord!

There are several varieties of Mother’s Milk tea that include these herbs available on the market. I have tried and enjoyed Tropical Medicinals Mother’s Milk Tea and Earth Mama Angel Baby Milkmaid Tea. Milkmaid Tea is superior in flavor and effectiveness, although more expensive than Tropical Medicinals. Overall, I favor the frugal and fresher alternative in a homemade variety. I have been making my own Mother’s Milk tea for the last few weeks and have been encouraged with the results. These herbs are not only good for milk production, but also will encourage and strengthen your entire body, keeping it healthy and strong. All these herbs are available in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs, which offers the best herbs that are either organic or cultivated without chemicals.

Mother’s Milk Tea

1/2 cup nettle leaf, dried (a vitamin factory, high in calcium, iron, potassium, etc. -strengthens and tones entire system)
1/2 cup red raspberry leaf, dried (nourishing tonic for the reproductive system, high in calcium)
1/4 cup alfalfa leaf, dried (a superlative restorative tonic, rebuilding vitality and boosting milk supply)
1/4 cup dandelion leaf, dried (beneficial for all conditions due to the wonderful source of minerals, vitamins, fiber, and micronutrients)
1/4 cup fennel seed (Increase milk production and tone the digestive system, curtailing colic and indigestion) – you could also substitute fennel with any of these seeds: anise, cumin, caraway, coriander or dill
1/4 cup blessed thistle, dried (Stimulates the milk flow and helps restore vitality to weary mothers)
ground cinnamon, to flavor

You can make as little or as much as you desire. I choose to make a larger batch at once and used 1/4 cup as my 1 part measurement, but you could cut the recipe in half as desired. This produced about 1 quart full of dried herbs. Combine herbs well and cover securely with a lid. Store in a dark cupboard as light will cause nutrition lose. Use about 1 tablespoon herbs per cup of boiling water. Allow to steep covered for 15 minutes before consuming. Best results if you consumed 3-5 cups per day. You can change this recipe as desired, if you do not have access to all these herbs. The best galactic herbs are nettle, alfalfa, blessed thistle, and red raspberry leaf. The other herbs add wonderful nutrition and are healing to the body. The herbs can be rather bland and grassy tasting on their own, so I added cinnamon (about 1-2 tsp for this quantity), which provided a delightful flavoring. You could try chamomile or lemon balm as an alternative. A teaspoon of honey tops it off for a refreshing tea beverage. I use my french press for this recipe with perfect results.

Other methods of increasing milk supply include:

Oatmeal- a good bowl of oatmeal daily is an excellent means of increasing your milk supply.

Bump Up the Calcium
– Loading up on calcium is very valuable.

Water – drink lots of water!

Rest – when the body is weary, it will not be so inclined to produce milk.

Fenugreek – I have been taking a fenugreek supplement in capsule form for its helpful benefits of increasing milk supply. Fenugreek can also be added to the mother’s milk tea listed above.

Here are a few tips from A Wise Woman’s Herbal for the Childbearing Years (page 85):

Apricots, asparagus, green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, pecans and all leafy greens such a beet greens, Parsley, Watercress, and Dandelion leaves are considered helpful in increasing and sustaining lactation.

Borage leaves – The leaves of this herb are highly regarded as a tea for increasing milk flow. Half a cupful of borage tea at each nursing insures an abundant supply of milk, acts as a mild laxative, and soothes jangled nerves.

Fennel/Barley Water - Prepare barley water by soaking 1/2 cup pearled (regular) barley in 3 cups cold water overnight or by boiling for 25 minutes. Strain out barley and discard or add to a soup. Heat a cup or two of the barley water to boiling as needed, store the rest in the refrigerator. Pour 1 cup boiling barley water over 1 teaspoon fennel seeds and steep for no longer than 30 minutes. The combination not only increases the breast milk, but eases after-pains and settles the digestion of mom and babe.

What if none of these recommendations work? Here are a few resources for the safest and healthiest supplementation:

GMO-Free Infant Formula – great article on increasing your milk supply and safe infant formula alternatives. Go to: http://nourishedkitchen.com/gmo-free-infant-formula/
Recipe for Homemade Baby Formula – the best alternative if you cannot produce your own milk supply. Go to: http://www.westonaprice.org/children/recipes.html
It works for me!

From: http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

GEOTRAX DVD 4 FREE!!




The GeoTrax DVD is available again. Go request yours here.

https://store.mattel.com/transition.aspx?TransitionID=155

Family Reading Time!



"A long time ago, God made the world."
So begins God’s great story, as related here in 365 Bible Stories for Young Hearts. These brief Bible stories cover important events and truths from the Old and New Testaments, together revealing God’s whole redemptive plan. They are written in straightforward, lively language that little ones can understand and are accompanied by beautiful, full-color illustrations.

These Bible stories are presented in a devotional format that allows you to share one story with your children each day for a whole year. You only need to set aside a few minutes daily to read and discuss these stories together. You’ll see how their eyes light up each time they learn something new about their Creator. You’ll share in their wonder at how awesome God is. And you’ll play an important role in preparing them for a lifetime of studying God’s Word.

* Plants foundational Christian truths in the hearts of children
* Uses vocabulary that young children can understand
* Covers important events and truths from the Old and New Testaments
* Makes it easy to integrate devotions into your family’s daily routine
* Helps you instill devotional habits in your children at a young age
* Gives your children a head start on lifelong Bible learning

I can't begin to express how important I think family reading time truly is. I would just strongly encourage you to begin if you haven't already. It is so important to take advantage of the short and valuable time you have with your children and to be sure that you are preparing their Hearts for God and giving them the tools and resources they need for the life ahead of them. You can find more resources at:
http://www.graceandtruthbooks.com/ and http://www.focusonthefamily.com/
I'd LOVE your thoughts and suggestions!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Quinoa: Creamy Quinoa Porridge & Other Recipes


Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a member of the goosefoot family and is grown in the altiplano of the Andes in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru, and some in Chile and Argentina. It has historically been the staple food of the Andes. Quinoa is a cute, light, curly grain that cooks up in approximately 20-25 minutes. It is rather nutty in flavor but is delicious in place of rice in many dishes. Quinoa is one of the most nutritious grains due to its high lysine and protein content. It is gluten-free, providing another grain choice for the gluten intolerant. It can effectively boost milk supply for nursing mothers as well. It is one of the most expensive grains, but due to its valuable nutrition we make an effort to include it in our diet.

According to Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions, “Quinoa contains 16-20 perfect protein and is high in cystine, lysine and methionine – amino acids that tend to be low in other grains. It contains iron, calcium and phosphorus, B vitamins and vitamin E, and is relatively high in fat. Like all grains, quinoa contains antinutrients and therefore requires a long soaking as part of the preparation process.” (To learn more about the benefits of soaking, visit here.)

Also, a substance on the surface of quinoa called saponins has a bitter taste and must be rinsed away. Rinse thoroughly for one minute in a strainer, soak overnight in water, drain and rinse again for another minute before use.



Creamy Quinoa is our favorite means of eating quinoa. It is a hearty breakfast porridge to boost your energy for the day!

1 cup quinoa
1 1/3 cup water (for cooking)
Additional water (for soaking)
1 Tbsp of an acid medium (for soaking) -kefir, whey, yogurt, lemon juice, etc.

Thoroughly rinse quinoa in a strainer and then cover entirely with water inside a bowl. Mix in your acid medium. Soak overnight. I usually place the strainer of rinsed quinoa into a larger bowl filled with enough water to cover (as pictured). This allows me to easily rinse the grain again in the morning.



Here is my method of soaking quinoa.

In the morning, drain and rinse thoroughly again. Blend 1/3 cup of the quinoa with 1/3 cup water in a blender for 1 minute, until smooth. Remove from blender and combine with remaining quinoa with the remaining 1 cup of water. (If you prefer a completely creamy texture, as we do, blend all the quinoa and water together. Leaving some grains in their whole form will give you more of a crunchy texture.) Add toppings as desired. We love raisins and chopped apples to ours. Bring to a boil and turn on low and simmer for 20 minutes. Top with a little honey and milk and enjoy!

Another favorite combo is blueberries and peanut butter added to the quinoa after it has completed cooking.

Here are a few other ideas for using quinoa:

Quinoa & Black Beans - a hearty side dish!

Quinoa is a wonderful grain to use in making whole grain waffles/pancakes or crepes. I love using it in combination with oats or rice.

For any casserole or dish, quinoa is an easy substitute for rice or a lovely addition to increase this nutritious grain in your diet.



Quinoa is a wonderfully nutritious non-gluten whole grain. Unfortunately, it is not our favorite…but I have been still exploring how to make it and cover its somewhat nutty taste. This is really rather tasty and the hubby liked it too!

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (I didn’t pull my broth out of the freezer in time, so I used water. I am sure it would taste even better with broth!)
1 teaspoon ground cumin (I used way more than the original recipe on cumin! Probably more like 1 Tbsp to provide sufficient flavor!)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or make a homemade batch in the crockpot)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I used dried, but fresh would be the best!)

Soaking Step (Learn more about the reasons for soaking your whole grains here): Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a strainer. Allow to sit in strainer over a large bowl and add warm filtered water to cover sufficiently. Add 1 Tbsp of an acid medium (whey, kefir, yogurt, or cultured buttermilk). Cover with plate or towel. Soak 12-24 hours. Rinse once again and add 1 cup broth, and proceed. I use less than the recipe calls for if soaking, because it absorbed water in the soaking stage, and will not need as much to cook. 1 cup was perfect.

1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
2. Thoroughly rinse quinoa. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.

All from my Fave Blog!! http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

SONIC CHILLER COUPON!!!



http://www.sonicdrivein.com/chillout


Go here to sign up for a coupon for a $0.99 Sonic Chiller available in Cherry Limemade, Classic Limemade, or Strawberry Limemade flavors. The coupon expires 10 days after it is emailed to you. These Chillers are regularly priced at $2.49 so this coupon makes for a pretty sweet deal on a refreshing Summer treat.

Family Activities with a PURPOSE!



WHAT ARE FAMILIES WITH A PURPOSE? WHAT DOES THAT LOOK LIKE?

A family with purpose is a family who knows who they are, what they stand for,what they believe in and what they know God wants from life. They have goals and dreams and plans to make them happen. They are families who live their lives with a purpose.

Family activities don't have to be elaborate, expensive planned out ideas. Sometimes, simple is better. Kids are looking for your
time and attention, so don't forget the simple things in life.


Read a book together
Fly a kite
Bake cookies
Volunteer at at food kitchen
Raise money to support local ministries and outreach groups
Pick a missionary or mission organization to support for a month
Write letters/make care packages for our Troops
Donate to local churches and charities~allow children to choose what and who
Go on "dates" with each individual child and learn more about them
Pick a family member to spoil for a day
Make a meal for a neighbor together
Help a neighbor with yard work
Clean up trash along the road together
Have a Bible Study with your kids
Go fishing
Plant flowers
Build a tent and eat lunch inside
Go for a walk
Shoot hoops or play catch
Play hide and seek
Catch Fireflies


Successful Family Activities


Planning fun and successful family activities shouldn't be a chore for busy parents. Most just require a little fore thought and a little planning to be successful. So don't get bogged down in the details or overwhelmed with the planning. The first thing to spoil family activities is a stressed parent, so go slow and ease into your routine.

Alternate between planned and unplanned family activities. Not every family activity has to be an elaborate outing. Sticking around home and just "hanging out" can be just as fun. Just don't let the TV, computer, and video games become a distraction.

Be flexible. Sometimes family activities don't go as planned. The baby is tired, the car had a flat tire, or it rained when it was supposed to be sunny and hot.

Make sure the family activity is something everyone will enjoy or at least tolerate. Talk over the family activities ahead of time and get everyone's input. This will help prevent resistance later on.

Schedule your family activities on the family calendar. Plan out for a month when the family will be together and schedule the family activities accordingly.

Make them a priority. Kids know when parents don't follow through with their promises and are often more hurt than they are willing to let us know. Take the time for the family activities. Your kids will thank you for those little things later.

Why is a Strong Family Life Important?

Parents often ask why its so important for parents to spend working on their family life. After all, they spend time together everyday doing homework, going to sporting events, driving places in the car, and attending school functions, isn't that enough? What's the big deal anyway? Are our kids any better off for all the effort it takes? Yes!! And here are the reasons why a strong family life is so important.

A strong family life creates a sense of belonging for parents and kids alike. Providing security and warmth in an often cool and harsh world. Feeling like you belong is a fundamental human need and when gone unfulfilled in the home, kids and parents will look elsewhere to fill the void.

A strong family life creates memories and builds a strong emotional foundation for our kids. Passing on a legacy of love, compassion, and laughter are an important part of raising a child. These are important values that can get over shadowed when we allow our family life to become disconnected. Raising a child isn't just about the grades or awards they receive. It's also about the person they become -- a person with a strong emotional maturity and intellect.

A strong family life reminds kids on a daily basis they are loved and valued. Strong families are families who take the time to listen and talk without judgment and support each other in times of need.

A strong family life allows your children to know what God intended for family to be and how to have their own strong family once they have married and started their own. Building upon the foundations that God has set into place for us is a lot of hard work and really worth the effort. Too many families are falling apart at the seems and don't have a good foundation in Christ to help keep them together. Building a firm foundation in the Lord should be first and foremost in your desire to build a strong family life.

What are the Fundamentals of a Strong Family Life?

Time Spent In the Word
- Time spent together reading the Bible, doing Devotions, and worshiping will draw your family closer together and closer to God. Developing a regular habit of spending time with God can never start to early and the rewards can't be measured.

Routines & Rituals - Routines and rituals create a sense of normalcy, belonging, and comfort.

Open Communication - Letting every family member have a voice and creating the environment and trust to let every voice be heard.

Unconditional Love - A sense and realization that you are always loved and unconditionally accepted.

Laughter
- Families who laugh together, stay together.

What are your thoughts? How do you make your family time meaningful and purposeful?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hawn Family Update!!!

Celebrate!

We learned today that Charlotte does NOT have SMA! God is great.

The Hawns

Natural Beauty!


Would you be surprised to learn that spending a small fortune on beauty products is quite unnecessary? All of the ingredients you�ll ever need are in your kitchen or pantry cabinet.
Here are two ways in which you can use natural home beauty remedies in a flash.

Olive Oil: You cook and bake with it; but did you know you can use it in a variety of other ways? Because olive oil is chemical free, it can be used on your skin; as a bath oil, moisturizer, massager, and conditioner. For example: You can apply a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice to your skin before bedtime to reduce wrinkles and, at the same time, moisturize your skin. To strengthen your nails, soak them in warm extra virgin olive oil for five minutes. Massage your sore muscles with a mixture of extra virgin olive oil and rosemary. Apply olive oil to dry hair as an overall conditioner. It will leave your hair smooth and shiny.

Oatmeal:
Wouldn't you love a facial? Get out the box of oatmeal from your cabinet and begin. This oatmeal facial will not only exfoliate, but moisturize your skin as well. Here are the steps: Take out a package of instant oatmeal; add a half a cup of water; two tablespoons yogurt; two tablespoons of honey and one egg white. Mix the water and oatmeal, then add the additional ingredients. Apply a thin layer to your face. Leave it on for about 15 minutes or until you feel tightness; then rinse your face with warm water.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

More from the Hawn Family




SMA Treatment Acceleration Act of 2009

I have become aware of a bill currently in Congress to help find a cure for SMA and fund research. This link will take you to the full text of the bill http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-s1158/text . I have created a petition as a link on our blog and am URGING you to PLEASE sign this petition and pass our link on to everyone you know to sign also. When we reach our goal of 100,000 signatures, I will send the petition to Congress so they can see how important this bill is to so many people.

When Ryan was first diagnosed with SMA, I thought it was a rare disease that didn't effect many children. Since, I have discovered hundreds of families, devastated by the disease. I have been brought to tears more times than I can count by the stories of others. Please, help us fight for these families and children. Help find a cure for SMA.

Jennifer Hawn

http://www.thehawnfamilyweekly.blogspot.com





SMA


SMA is a muscular disease passed on genetically to children by their parents. You can not "catch" SMA by being around someone who has it. It is a "Recessive" genetic disease, meaning that BOTH parents must carry a copy of the recessive SMA gene. There is only a 25% chance each pregnancy of the child having SMA and a 75% chance each pregnancy that the child will be healthy. One out of 40 people is a carrier of this recessive gene. The brain is not affected, and they have been tested to have at least average to above average intelligence. Please do not make the mistake of treating them as mentally impaired!! Their bodies may not be perfect, but their minds are, so be sure to treat them that way! SMA affects a child's muscular development, and the severity depends on what 'type' of SMA the child has. There are four "Types" of SMA, Type 1,2,3 & 4. The earlier the symptoms are noticed, the more severe the type of SMA. Type 1 is the most severe, affecting children while still in the womb or shortly after birth. Type 4 is the least severe, affecting adults.

Type 1
children are diagnosed usually before 6 months of age, more often before 3 months of age. Symptoms may even start in the womb. Many mothers later recall the baby not moving as much the last month or so of pregnancy. They are not able to hold up their heads, roll over, crawl, sit up without support, or walk. All of their muscles are extremely weak, with the weakest muscles being the legs, upper arms, and neck. Their chest may appear concave, or very skinny at the top, with a big belly. Bell-shaped. SMA affects all muscle systems as well including sucking, swallowing, digesting food, and excretion. Constipation is a common problem as is being able to control excessive drooling (secretions), and getting proper nutrition and calories for proper weight gain. A common cold can easily turn into pneumonia which is what usually takes the lives of these children, along with "respiratory failure" or when they no longer have the lung or chest muscles to be able to breathe on their own. Two major decisions must be made with Type I children...whether or not to insert a feeding tube to prevent pneumonia and prevent starvation when they have lost their ability to suck or swallow; and whether or not to put them on a ventilator or other breathing machine when they experience respiratory failure. Current statistics show that the average lifespan of a child with SMA Type I, not put on permanent ventilation or "life support", is only 8 months of age, with 80% dying by the age of one, and the majority of the rest dying by age 2. HOWEVER, these statistics are not a hard and fast rule. Each child is affected so differently by SMA that they do not all follow the same path or progression. Also, as more is learned about SMA, the lifespan of a Type 1 child can be lengthened depending on the severity of the symptoms for each particular child. Last but not least, the line between each Type of SMA is not clearly defined, and it is common for a child to exhibit patterns of two types, thus confusing the issue of "life expectancy" for that child.

Type I children most often have very little leg movement, very little upper arm movement. Many times their hands remain fisted and their hands/wrists are turned the "wrong" way. The physical characteristics that often "gives them away" to having SMA is a bell shaped body, legs that stay in the "frog" position, moving the arms from the elbows down only, and the head tilted to the side because of lack of neck muscles. They often have bright, expressive faces and eyes.

Type 2
children are diagnosed before 2 years of age, usually more like 15 months. These children are usually able to be in a sitting position without support, but often can not get there by themselves. They can sometimes crawl with bracing and therapy, and on occasion may stand with braces. Feeding and swallowing problems are not common in Type 2 children, though they are still possible. They will usually never walk. The lifespan of a Type 2 child varies so widely, there isn't one! They could pass away at an early age or they could live well into adulthood. As with all forms of SMA, weakness increases over time.

Type 3
children are diagnosed between 18 months of age and early adolescence. In the beginning these children are able to stand and walk but usually have difficulty doing so. They typically have a normal lifespan; however, as with all forms of SMA, weakness gets progressively worse and they usually will be wheelchair bound.

Type 4 SMA is an adult SMA, with symptoms beginning around age 35. They also usually have a normal lifespan; though, as with all forms of SMA, weakness gets progressively worse.

SMARD: Info from JTSMA
Spinal Muscular Atrophy with Respiratory Distress Type 1 (SMARD1) is a neuromuscular condition causing weakness of the muscles. It is the second anterior horn cell disease in infants in which the genetic defect has been defined. SMARD1 is not linked to the SMN1 gene locus on chromosome 5q13 (classic SMA), but is caused by mutations in the IGHMBP2 gene on chromosome 11q13. Despite a substantial overlap in clinical features, the phenotypes of SMA versus SMARD1 can be distinguished. In SMARD1, the predominating symptom is a severe respiratory distress due to a paralysis of the diaphragm. Most patients present [show symptoms] at the age of 1 to 6 months with respiratory failure and progressive muscle weakness with predominantly distal lower limb muscle involvement. Sensory and autonomic nervous systems may also be involved. Early involvement of the diaphragm and predominance of distal muscle weakness clearly distinguishes SMARD1 from Type 1 SMA. Essentially, in SMA1, symptoms manifest in reverse order. Infants with SMA1 will become floppy due to weakness of the proximal limb muscles and assume a frog leg position before they suffer from respiratory failure. In contrast to SMARD1, SMA1 infants have intercostal recessions and develop inefficient respiration due to paralysis of intercostal muscles.

Pray for the Hawn Family.

I have been following this blog for sometime now and I feel that I ought to ask for Prayer on behalf of the precious family. Little Ryan has been born with SMA-1 and Charlotte his sister has a similar neurological medical issue. You can read more on: http://thehawnfamilyweekly.blogspot.com/. I'll let them share their own story in their own words.


Prayers for Ryan(From May, 2009)


It seems impossible that we are sitting here typing this entry. But, we are and want everyone to know what is going on with our family so that all of you can stay connected with us in a time when we are not sure what the next few days may bring. We know you all care and your prayers are much needed.

Over the past several weeks, we have become increasingly more concerned about our baby boy. He was born early at 34 weeks, but sailed his way out of the NICU in 9 days and continued to grow and thrive at home for the first several weeks. We were VERY happy.

As Ryan grew a bit older and we started expecting him to begin meeting some of the basic milestones * holding his head up* and also started noticing he didn't move as much as usual babies, we also noticed that he had been breathing heavily for quite some time. The symptoms we were noticing seemed gradual and at one point we even questioned when they started?

We first turned to our cardiologist for reassurance since Ryan was born with an ASD and we wanted to be sure that his heart was not comprimising his body from working properly. From a cardiac standpoint, we were given reassuring news and told that his cardiac defect had not changed, but it was likely to resolve on it's own. This was just prior to his 2 month birthday. The Dr. also noticed that Ryan did have labored breathing, but thought he had a condition called laryngo-tracheal malacia, aka floppy airway, but that he would grow out of this condition between 6-8 months of age.

The following week, we saw his pediatrician for his 2 month check-up, discussed our concerns about his lack of movment/poor tone and discussed the cardiac findings and the probable diagnosis of larygo-tracheal malacia. At that time, we were also concerned that Ryan's feeding habits were changing... not eating as much, taking a long time to eat. At that visit, we were reassured that Ryan's difficulties could be related to his prematurity and we would reevaluate him in 1 month.

A couple of weeks went by and we realized that he was not improving despite our efforts to stimulate him more and work with him more. His feeding habits were worsening, going from taking 5 ounces, to 4, to 3 without much explanation why. We honestly thought that again, because he was breathing so hard he was just wiped out and couldn't do much else. We clearly knew that his breathing was abnormal and scheduled a visit with the pediatrician again.

When she saw him this time she agreed with our concerns. We explained that he had deteriorated more and we were told we needed to see a neurologist and to start physical therapy and probably have a brain MRI done. We scheduled a visit with the same neurologist as Charlotte has since he knew our history, but he was out of town last week and we couldn't get an appointment until 5/5.

The week went on and over the weekend, Ryan became weaker and weaker, only able to eat 1-2 ounces at a time... He was tired a lot and breathing very rapid all of the time. On Monday, I knew we couldn't wait for the neurologists appointment the following day. He needed help now. We called our pediatrician to tell her that he needed help and that we were taking him to the ER. We debated on where to take him, Children's Mercy or St. John's but ultimately chose St. John's because that is where the neurologist was.

Our trip there was full of hope, hope that we would recieve the help we needed and help calm our frears. From the moment we arrived, we were given the attention and care that Ryan needed. We were quickly told that he would be admitted to the Peds ICU and that they were very concerned about his breathing.

Immediately, blood tests began and tests were done trying to determine why Ryan was struggling so much. Dr. Mantovani, the neurologist was consulted right away and saw us first thing in the morning on Tues. 5/5. Some things were ruled out fairly quickly, and after assesing Ryan, Dr. Mantovani told us that he needed more tests to help him give us a diagnosis. He felt that the problem lie in Ryan's neuro-muscular system and that Ryan's weakness was very serious. His gag reflex was poor and his suck was also very poor. They did a test that evening called an EMG, where they attatched small electrodes to Ryan's muscles and a tiny needle was inserted into the muscle to measure the activity with stimulation. This would help tell the Dr. where the neuro-muscular dysfunction was in the pathway from the muscle to the brain. He was present with the test and came to give us results immediately following.

The news were were given was not good. There was hope in the beginning that this may be something treatable, but the test confirmed that it is not likely. Dr. Mantovani explained that Ryan's dysfunction lies in the part of the pathway where the nerves connect to the spinal cord. The disease that he may have is likely related to some genetic component. At first it was thought it was completely different than what Charlotte has, but after doing research last night, Dr. Mantovani has decided it is more likely that he has the same genetic disorder as she, just presenting in a much more serious way. Even if he has a different genetic disorder that has caused his illness, the prognosis for our son in not good.

At the present time, we are trying to support him with oxygen and he is not on any medications. He heart has become enlarged since our initial visit to the cardiologist due to his breathing efforts. We have also noticed that his blood pressures, like Charlotte's, have been slightly elevated. Currently, Dr. Mantovani is in touch with Charlotte's geneticist, Dr. Grange and is trying to put as much information together about him before he attempts to send any blood work off for a possible diagnosis, but as you know, we have not yet been able to locate the gene that has caused Charlotte's problems, and we may not ever know what it is.

As I am typing, Ryan's MRI is in progress and may take 2-4 hours. They are scanning his brain and spine. He has to be sedated for the test and will be on the ventilator for it. He will come back to the ICU with the breathing tube and hopefully they will take it out tonight, but he may have difficulty being extubated. We don't know. They will hopefully start feeding him through an NG tube tonight, and we may have results of the MRI tonight.

Right now, we do not know how long Ryan will be here. We are still at St John's and Ryan may only have a few months to live. The unknown is very very frustrating and scary, but Chris and I have watched our son deteriorate quickly in the past 1.5 months and can only hope that it doesn't continue. We are shocked, scared, numb, tired, restless, but most important, we know we are surrounded by love, friends, family and prayer. We are taking our time hour by hour, day by day and loving the little moments that we have been able to connect with our son. We will continue to update everyone through our blog as it is heartbreaking to tell our story over and over. Please email us if you have questions or just want to say hi or comment on the blog, and thank you all for your love.

Love,
Chris, Jenn, Charlotte and Ryan


I Cooked Dinner(From Today)


I am not sure how to recover from a day like today, but know that I must in order to move on to the next. Because I don't have a crystal ball to tell me what is ahead, somehow, I have to keep going to be ready...

Today, I already filled you in on the catastrophic events that unraveled as the day went on. I had no idea that there was more in store. There are a lot of details I will spare you and some I may share that make you cry with me. But, it is what happened and the reality of the life we are living.

Chris got home sometime around 6pm tonight after picking Charlotte up from school. Ryan had spent some time with me on the couch once he finally woke up from his long nap of the day. I bathed him and he was somewhat content until his evening nap sometime around 5 PM. I was feeling confident in myself after handling the events of the day and decided to cook dinner. I miss cooking and putting a meal together for my family and sometimes feel guilty for not taking on that responsibility in the midst of all this. Not sure why, just sometimes think I should still be able to cook a meal. So, Chris and Charlotte get home and I decide to move Ryan from the couch to his bouncy chair on his side so we can "play" as a family together until dinner finished. When the oven buzzed, I fixed our plates, set the table and we got the kids over. Chris and I just moved Ryan while he was in his chair still to the table. When he is at our level, it is our greatest chance of actually being able to eat the food in front of us.

As I turned around, I noticed Ryan's color didn't look good. I had Chris turn on the light and then go get the O2 sat machine to check him out. Sometimes I think my eyes are playing tricks on me. But, they weren't. As we put the monitor on his foot, we have to wait for it to "sink up". Usually the lower numbers will show and then it pops up to his "normal" numbers. The low numbers didn't change, O2 sat 40, heart rate 60's and I noticed that the signal on the machine was good. I had Chris run to get my stethoscope to know for sure if it was right. Time seemed to stand still, as I listened to the slow thud of his heart and instantly knew he was in trouble. The machine now read O2 sat 35, heart rate 50. It was real.

We rushed him to the couch, Chris sprinted for the suction, cough machine and cranked his oxygen up. We pushed his medication right away and worked together to bring our little boy back. He was the palest shade of gray I have ever seen and we were terrified that we were losing him... again. We got the Wing's nurse, Nikki, on the phone and told her to come as his numbers weren't improving fast enough. Somehow, amidst my silent prayer and the commotion in the room, Ryan managed to bring his O2 sat up to 85, a number at this time that we were thankful to see. He moaned for the next 30 minutes as his O2 sat and heart rate came up, breaking my heart with every whimper. His heart rate finally peaked back to 170's and his sat to 98. He has never crashed his heart rate like that before and this may be an indicator of more episodes like this to come.

We aren't sure what triggered this. He is still having loose stools and could possibly have been bearing down trying to go to the bathroom. However, there was no messy diaper and after he was stable and we helped him go (as we have to do every day) he didn't drop his heart rate when he pushed then. So, that theory is unlikely.

In the middle of everything, our poor little girl was placed on the back burner. We had already placed her in her booster seat for dinner. Chris thought enough to put a magazine in front of her and we just kept talking to her as we scurried about to save Ryan.

When it was all "over", there really weren't any words. I struggle knowing that this will happen again. In the middle of everything, you do all you can to save him, to get him to respond to something, ANYTHING. And then, when he finally does and all you can do is sit by his side and listen to him moan, I question whether this was the time we were supposed to let him go. I don't know that I will be able to do that. He is going to have to let go first... Because there is no amount of preparation or wisdom for me to know when the time is that we are supposed to let God take his hand. I just pray that when he is ready that he never forgets the way my hand felt wrapped around his too.

All we really want for him is to be well... He isn't well anymore. He hasn't been for a long time, but as parents, it is an impossible request for us not to do everything we know to do. If we have done all of that and Ryan still does not respond, then that is when we will know... to hold our little boy.
I have no words really to describe how I feel inside. I think many of you out there probably already know because your guts are aching with ours. It is a pain I pray that others never feel, but also painfully know that others do. The worst part is that each time this happens, and he thankfully comes back, I know it will happen again. How do you recover from this, just to prepare yourself for when it happens again? Tomorrow will come and the events of that day will also take me by surprise. Tonight, I just wanted to cook dinner and enjoy it with my family. But tonight, it sat cold on the table as we prayed for our son's life.
Love,
Chris, Jenn, Charlotte and Ryan

Sunday, July 5, 2009

NO TRAINING WHEELS!! (and Miles giving Wyatt rides in his little bike)




4th of July Festivities!






We had a great time playing on the 4th! We LOVED it just being "us"! I love being with family and friends, but it was really nice to have one holiday to ourselves! We let the kids pick out fireworks as rewards this year. Cora earned her fireworks by not biting her nails and Miles earned his by going to the potty like a big boy and not wearing his diaper (except for naps and bedtime). They both did very well and earned some tanks, turtles, monkeys, a chicken and a rooster, among other things! Wyatt enjoyed throwing the snapper wrappers thinking he was a big kid. It was a lot of fun watching him! I was impressed with his picking them up and then standing to throw them! He's getting braver and before I know it, he'll be running with his sister and brother!

Later that evening, we went out to Mozingo Lake to watch the fireworks show there. The Elks Lodge was providing refreshments which, for some odd reason, Clint thought was going to be FREE! :) So needless to say, he was completely caught off guard when the man stopped him and asked him if he was going to pay! Of course neither of us had cash on us, so Clint took the snacks down to where Wyatt and I were sitting and asked me to write a check! He was really embarrassed. I had to tease him about it a little! It was a fun night despite the misunderstanding. There were beautiful fireworks going off all around the lake that we were able to enjoy while waiting for the lake ones to start. The older two really loved watching them, but Wyatt was less than thrilled. It was two hours past his bed time and that was all he was concerned about! :) I hope you enjoy the pictures!



Friday, July 3, 2009

Blessed!




Cora told me today that she is so glad that God made her! How precious! I love that she acknowledges God's creation and that she is a big part of it! Miles told me, "Mom, you the best!" And gave me a big hug and kiss! It melted my heart and put a smile on my face that I couldn't erase!! Wyatt looked at me and said, "Mama! Mama! Mama!" Of course I love it! I can't believe how big he's getting!! I am so thankful for my precious and amazing children! What a blessing they are to me!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Natural Toiletries!! (From my fave blog of course!!)


Did you know you can make your own wonderful deodorant with just a few completely natural ingredients? This recipe is awesome! It is frugal and very effective! Aaron & I have been using it for over a year now, and it has worked wonders. It smells wonderful, but very faint, so the hubby does not mind! We have tried all natural brands without much success, until we tried this! It is especially important for women to take thought to the harmful aluminum materials in deodorant as it has been linked to breast cancer, being that the armpits are so close to the chest.

Ingredients:

5-6 Tbsp Coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Combine equal portions of baking soda & arrowroot powder. Then slowly add coconut oil and work it in with a spoon until it maintains the substance you desire. It should be about the same texture as the store bought kind, solid but able to be applied easily. You can either scoop this into your old dispensers or place in a small container with lid and apply with fingers with each use. After applying the product, you can just rub the remains into your hands as a lotion! This recipe lasts about 3 months for two people with regular daily use.




Shampoo – Baking Soda & water (UPDATE: 1 Tbls soda to 1 cup water)-make use of your old dispensers! Combine these two ingredients for an excellent shampoo. I make a paste with baking soda and water, massage this into my scalp and rinse well. It definitely does not have the soapy feel of your regular shampoo, but it actually feels like it is cleaning your scalp more thoroughly.

Here is another shampoo recipe using apple cider vinegar. This substance must be refrigerated between uses.

Add the following ingredients in a blender:
1 oz. Olive oil
1 egg
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ACV.
Use as you would a regular shampoo

Conditioner - Apple Cider Vinegar (UPDATE: 1-2 Tbls. cider to 1 cup water) – Spray this solution to the ends of your hair and again rinse well. Cleans and detangles. Makes hair feel very soft. I do not recommend using an old cleaning spray bottle (I washed it in the dishwasher too!). I did this at first and it added a horrible smell (probably not good for the hair, either). Use a small spray bottle. The smell takes a little getting used too, and I increased the water quantity to decrease the scent. It would be worth trying to add an essential oil of some kind to overcome the ACV smell.

Apple Cider Vinegar has not only proved beneficial to take internally but also offer as many topical health benefits too. When you incorporate apple cider vinegar into your body-care regimen, you will quickly find that you don’t need many of the commercial beauty aids. Many of which contain preservatives, and synthetic perfumes. Apple cider vinegar (ACV), on the other hand, is an all-natural remedy that helps the skin/scalp Ph balance. Healthy skin has a protective acid mantle that can be stripped away by overuse of alkaline body soaps. The skin is the largest organ of elimination; so maintaining an acid mantle assists the normal detoxification process.

For refreshing and deep cleansing face wash
Add 1 c. of ACV to basin of warm water to use as a refreshing face wash. For a steam deep cleanse, add 3 tablespoons of ACV to a pan of boiled water and lean your face over it. Cover your head with a towel for five minutes, allowing the steam to open up the pores and loosen any impurities from the skin’s surface.

There is one product that meets all of these needs without doing a thing, except rubbing it on! Can you guess what it is? This product is fabulous for you health both on the outside and the inside. It feels wonderful, without being too greasy or messy. It is all natural! When purchased in bulk and used for other things (listed below), it can be quite reasonable! mountainroseherbs.com

What is it?

Coconut Oil!




Lotion/Moisturizer - a little dab will do you! Scoop out and rub on your skin. Sweet fragrance as well. I have replaced all my miscellaneous lotions with this one product!

Aftershave – I told my husband he just had to try it as an aftershave, and low and behold it worked. I love using it as well after shaving those sensitive areas. Calms and refreshes.

If I can say one thing…remember to take your time in incorporating a more natural lifestyle into your home. I try to add one new thing on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, so as not to overwhelm myself. It is important to take simple steps towards improving your health and the care of the environment as well. I will not guarantee that pursuing a healthier lifestyle with your food, body products, cleaning supplies, etc. will be a piece of cake, but I will say that it is definitely worth it! Taking good care of our bodies will make us more fit for the Master’s use, and that is an important pursuit!


Some of the benefits of coconut oil:


- Promotes weight loss
- Provides an immediate source of energy
- Supplies fewer calories than other fats
- Supplies important nutrients necessary for good health
- Is highly resistant to spoilage (long shelf life)
- Is heat resistant (the healthiest oil for cooking)

Coconut oil has been called the “healthiest dietary oil on earth.” This is the item that I have just started incorporating into our diet. I have been cooking with it, adding it to smoothies, and now I am realizing the benefits to using it as a natural body product. Coconut Oil is a little more on the expensive side, but it definitely extends a long way and can be used for multiple purposes, which makes it a very valuable and worthwhile purchase in my book (I am all for all-in-one products!). Read on!

Take advantage of this awesome oil in the nourishment of your skin and hair.

Hair Conditioner – Using coconut oil for hair conditioner is a great, healthy idea. It not only softens the hair and leaves it shiny, it also leaves your scalp moisturized. It will also absorb into your skin nicely as well without leaving that greasy feeling that some moisturizers have a tendency to do. Applying coconut oil to wet hair is what works best. Make the application after you get out of the shower. Put a pea sized drop in one hand. Better to have too little than too much. Evenly coat hands by rubbing them together. Evenly run fingers through hair and rub coconut oil into hair. Using a comb to distribute oil through hair is also acceptable. Repeat if desired.

Deodorant – This has been the best thing I have discovered lately! It works wonders! I am one that has always had to use very strong deodorant because the natural stuff never worked. I have been blown away by the effectiveness of this recipe. My husband was a little skeptical at first, and didn’t necessarily like applying it with his hands, but the benefits far out way any extra effort. Ingredients: Arrowroot powder (or cornstarch), baking soda, and coconut oil. Combine equal quantities of arrowroot and baking soda (I started with ¼ cup each). Then add as much coconut oil to the mixture till you get the substance that you desire (2-3 Tbls). Replace your empty deodorant containers with the product or store it in a plastic bowl with lid.

Skin Care – Coconut oil is also an excellent massage oil for the skin as well. It is an effective moisturizer on all types of skin.

Read more about the multiple health benefits of coconut oil here.

Bath Soap – I highly recommend Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap bars. I prefer the Baby Mild brand because it works for all of us. Trader Joe’s carries the Peppermint kind for $2.50, but I find it stings the skin greatly. Azure Standard also sells these products for $2.70 per bar. In the future, I will probably try the liquid version, as I believe it would be more economical as it is a concentrate and can be used as regular hand soap, shampoo, toothpaste, cleaning, and laundry. My friend, Kimi, who originally turned me on to this product to me, uses the soap bars as a shampoo bar as well. Ingredients include: Saponified Organic Coconut, Organic Palm and Organic Olive Oils (with Retained Glycerin), Water, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Salt, Citric Acid, Vitamin E.

Natural Household Cleaning!!

Here is a list of ingredients that are environmentally friendly alternatives that are inexpensive and readily available:

All-Purpose: 1/2 c. vinegar, 1/4 c. baking soda, 1/2 gal water

Window cleaner: vinegar or the all-purpose cleaner

Disinfectant: 2 tsp borax, 4 Tbls vinegar, 3 cups hot water

Scouring powder: baking soda

Natural Abrasive: salt & toothpaste, apply to scrubby or directly on surface

Dusting powder: vinegar, olive oil

Furniture polish: vinegar, food-grade lemon oil, or 1 c. olive oil and 1/2 c lemon juice

Fabric softener: vinegar

Silver polish: baking soda, salt, toothpaste

Mold/mildew: vinegar or lemon juice at full strength, with small amount of salt

Bleach replacement: spray one coat of vinegar, followed by one coat of hydrogen
peroxide (these can not be mixed, so they have to be layered separately). Scrub and wash as desired. Works just as well as bleach without the chemicals.

Dishwashing Soap: Use baking soda and liquid soap, add 2-4 Tbls of vinegar to the warm, soapy water for though jobs. You can also use Dawn Dishwashing soap which is frugal and contains no phosphates. Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap diluted along with some vinegar and tea tree oil works as well.

Disinfectant: Mix 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar and 3 cups hot water. For stronger cleaning power add 1/4 teaspoon liquid castile soap.

Window Cleaner: Mix 2 teaspoons of white vinegar with 1 liter (qt) warm water. Use crumpled newspaper or cotton cloth to clean. Don’t clean windows if the sun is on them, or if they are warm, or streaks will show on drying. The All-Purpose Cleaner (above) also works well on windows.

Hardwood furniture: Mix 1 cup of olive oil with 1/2 cup lemon juice and you have a polish for your hardwood furniture.

Natural Cold Remedies!



Emergen-C is a great natural product to have around your house, especially during cold season. Drink a glass (one packet mixed with 8 oz of water) a day to keep your immune system built up or increase your intake at the first signs of a cold (which is what we do at our house!). Pumped full of 1000 mg of vitamin C, it also has a good portion of energy boosting B vitamins, in addition to various minerals and electrolytes. This will keep you healthy or kick out those nasty colds quickly! It is a fun and fizzy drink with a very pleasant taste. Instead of buying the children’s version, which is basically just half the vitamin C mg count, I just give Karis a half pack of this standard product, keeping the cost down. She loves it! Our favorite way of taking it is in combination with orange juice when we have that around. We buy a box for $7.99 at our local Trader Joe’s, which has the best price in my understanding, and lasts us a good few months. Our favorite flavor is raspberry. Other carriers include Fred Meyer Nutrition, or Amazon here: Emergen-C. Your local Safeway or Wal-mart also may carry it. This is definitely far more natural, frugal and effective than all those cold/flu remedies available on the marketplace. In my opinion and experience, this is far more effective than Airborne!

It is definitely worth a try, so sign up for a free sample at Emergen-C!

From my fave blog!! Passionate Homemaking!!

Natural Cold Remedies 2!





COUGH/CONGESTION: Mix 3-4 drops of Eucalyptus oil with 1 Tablespoon olive or sesame oil. Rub on back, chest and neck a few times each day.

HYDRO THERAPY – Place child in tub of warm water, 2-3 inches. Leave water running so it’s almost hot. Saturate 4-6 wash clothes or cloth diapers in hot water. Places clothes in layers on back and chest. Keep cloth hot by re-rinsing layers and reapplying to back and front. The goal is to keep as much moist heat on child without burning the skin. Do this for 10 minutes or as long as child can tolerate. Take the cloth and rinse them in cold water. Apply to back and chest in the same manner. Keep re-rinsing and applying for as long as child can tolerate, at least 3-5 minutes. Do this 3-4 times daily until congestion is gone. (This one can be a bit of a challenge, depending on the age of the child.

EAR ACHE: This is a good recipe to use as a preventative as well! Press 2-3 garlic cloves in 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Let warm on stove for 15-20 minutes. Strain garlic from oil. Lay child on side and drop 2-3 drops of garlic oil in ear and massage lower outer ear for a few minutes. Wait for half hour or so before doing the other side so oil won’t drain out. 3-4 times daily.

STUFFY NOSE: Warm 1/2 cup filtered water with 1/8 tsp salt. Lay child across lap with face up and head tilted back. Spray salted water up each nostril. Child will think they’re drowning! Make sure they hold head back for a few seconds and then sit up and let water run from nose. 3-4 times daily.

Use a humidifier everywhere!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Organic White Chocolate Rosewater Cupcakes
Written by Laura Klein, Publisher
Organic White Chocolate Rosewater Cupcakes




Makes 12

Cupcake ingredients:

12 cupcake paper liners
8 oz of organic white chocolate chips (If can't find chips buy the bars and chop it)

1 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned unsweetened organic coconut milk
3 large egg whites

Meringue Buttercream ingredients:


1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
5 large egg whites
Pinch cream of tartar
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of rose water*

Edible flowers for garnish - like scented geraniums, violas, Johnny-Jump-Ups, lavender etc.. Caution! Confirm that the flowers you are using are edible, organic and have definitively not been treated with pesticides or sprays!

Method for Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 325°

Line two 6 - cup or 12 - cup muffin pan with paper liners. Place white chocolate in double boiler or metal bowl and set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir with a wooden spoon until melted and silky smooth.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat sugar, butter and vanilla in a large bowl until blended. Stir in warm white chocolate mixture. Alternate adding the flour mixture in three additions with the unsweetened coconut milk in two additions, mixing until combined between additions.

In a separate medium bowl, beat egg whites with perfectly clean whisks (to get whisks and a bowl perfectly clean, squeeze fresh lemon juice around bowl and run lemon along side of whisks and wipe down with a paper towel). In the clean dry bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold egg whites into cupcake batter until completely combined.

Using an ice cream scooper with a spring action lever, evenly divide batter amongst muffin cups (about 1/3 cup each).

Bake about 25-30 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely. Cupcakes can be made 1 day ahead up to this point. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Method for Meringue Buttercream:

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, brush down the sides of the saucepan to prevent crystallization. When the syrup reaches 210° begin beating the egg whites as follows.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and beat on medium high until stiff but not dry peaks form.

Simultaneously while the egg whites are being whipped, check the thermometer in the boiling syrup. Once the temperature reaches 240° or soft-ball stage, and the egg whites have reached stiff peaks, with the mixer running, pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the egg whites (to prevent splattering) in a steady stream.

Continue to beat mixture on high speed until the bowl of the mixer reaches room temperature about 5-10 minutes. Add pieces of butter one by one, with mixture running. Add vanilla and rose water. Beat mixture until smooth and has a nice sheen about 3-5 minutes. If at anytime the mixture looks curdled, continue beating until mixture is smooth.

* You can find rosewater at specialty markets or you can make your own. See our recipe for organic rose water.




Fresh Organic Lemon Verbena and Lavender Ice Cream
Written by Laura Klein, Publisher
Organic Lemon Verbena and Lavender Ice Cream


Yield: 1 quart

Ingredients:

3/4 cup granulated organic sugar
1/2 cup of fresh organic lemon verbena leaves packed (if you can't find fresh lemon verbena, use the zest of 2 lemons)
1/4 cup fresh organic lavender
2 cups whole organic milk
2 cups heavy organic cream
8 egg organic yolks

sprigs of fresh organic lavender and lemon verbena for garnish

Method:

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, lemon verbena leaves, lavender, milk and cream. Bring to a boil and steep for 20 minutes covered. Strain. In another bowl whisk together egg yolks and sugar.

Whisk one cup of hot cream into egg mixture. Slowly whisk in new mixture to sauce pan with remaining milk. Stir constantly over low heat until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Immediately remove from heat and cool in an ice water bath or refrigerator until completely cool. Strain. Add the mixture to the electric ice cream maker. Process according to the manufacturers' directions.

Note: Because you follow an organic lifestyle, OrganicAuthority.com recommends using certified organic ingredients, when available, in all recipes to maximize flavors and nutrition while minimizing your risk of exposure to pesticides, chemicals and preservatives.


Organic Rose Water

Makes 32 oz

Ingredients:

1 large handful of organically grown scented rose petals
32 oz of filtered water
1 32 oz mason jar

Method:

Bring water to a boil.

Place rose petals in mason jar. Pour hot water over rose petals and tightly close mason jar.

Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Use as desired.

For more Amazing Organic Recipes, go to: http://www.organicauthority.com/

About Our Family

My photo
Missouri, United States
Clinton and I live in Missouri. Clinton works for CED, Inc. It is an electrical distributing company. He works in Inside Sales right now and is training for Outside Sales. I am an Independent Marketing Consultant for Melaleuca. I work from home and I really love what I do. Cora is 3 years old and she is so excited about starting Preschool in the fall. She loves everything Princess and her favorite color is Pink! Miles is 2 and he loves CARS the movie and is really into Thomas the Train as well. He is a ball of Fire and keeps us on our toes! And in keeping with stereotypes, loves the color Blue. Well, Wyatt Evan Fisher is here now!! He arrived at 5:03pm on June 22, 2008!! We are so very blessed and so very excited! He's 7 pounds and 5 ounces, 20 inches long! Healthy and so very handsome! We are so blessed and so proud of our new baby boy! Precious blessing from God!

Fisher Farm Family Cookout!

Fisher Farm Family Cookout!
Cora was swinging with her cousins.

Fun Fall Pictures!

We had a blast taking the kids pictures! It was a gorgeous fall day and the kids were in great moods! We really loved Miles "cheese" face! We tried to get him to say something else so he'd actually have a smile instead of the "cheese" lips! :)

I have included some of Hannah, Major and Cannon. They are great friends of Cora, Miles and Wyatt. We have had a great time being neighbors and friends! We have been really enjoying doing things together.



Cheese Lips!

Again with the lips! :)

The Ulitmate Mud Puddle Adventure

Miles LOVES Puddles! We have had a lot of rain lately and so the dead end fills up quickly with the run off. This is such a great joy for Miles. He loves water and jumping into puddles and making quite a mess of things! Take in mind that it's October and quite chilly out~this means nothing to Miles~he feels no cold. Now, since daddy took the pictures, please excuse the fuzzy ones! :)

Painting the Pirate Ship!

Cora and Miles love painting! They had a great time painting and I had a wonderful time watching them, taking pictures, laughing, being amazed at how quickly they are growing up, in awe of their creativeness. I am so blessed to be their mom. What a precious gift God has given me. I am so thankful!

Puddin'

I decided that it would be fun to let the kids play with their snack as a sensory activity! So, we had chocolate pudding to "paint" and granola and dried fruit to "decorate the painting" and their bodies as the "canvas"! It was a hit!

Miles wasn't sure at first~he usually revels in messes, but this time Mom was "letting" him and he just didn't know what to think about that! It didn't take him long to get into it though.

Cora had a great time and she dug in right away! When Dad came home from work, she invited him to join the fun as well! He took off his shirt and soon he was the canvas that the kids were painting! Cora wanted to make sure that his entire back was covered!

Wyatt remained an outsider to the event~which I am sure he appreciated! He really enjoys watching his brother and sister play. He smiled and laughed and cooed a lot! It was a really enjoyable time for us all! If you haven't had fun with pudding, I suggest you try!

Cora and her "Pudding Art Creation"

Cora and her "Pudding Art Creation"
We have chocolate pudding, granola, and dried fruit!

Puddin' face!

Puddin' face!

Miles was just getting started!

Miles was just getting started!

Now we are getting the hang of it!

Now we are getting the hang of it!

Cora loved the feel of the "squishy" pudding in her fingers!

Cora loved the feel of the "squishy" pudding in her fingers!

Daddy jumping in the fun!

Daddy jumping in the fun!

HMMMM......

HMMMM......

Almost got it all......

Almost got it all......

The Finished Paintings!

The Finished Paintings!

Now with silly faces!

Now with silly faces!

Cora's First Day of School!

Cora's First Day of School!

It was chilly morning.

At School

At School
In front on her school.

Her Cubby

Mrs. Creason~Cora's Teacher

Mrs. Creason~Cora's Teacher

Oh bath time!

Oh bath time!

May I Help You?

May I Help You?

Here's lookin' at you kid!

Here's lookin' at you kid!

Wondering if we could just go on our walk already!

Please???

Please???

Wyatt always falls asleep in his backpack on our walks!

Playing in the sprinkler!

Playing in the sprinkler!

Hannah, Grant, and Cora~Umbrellas to "save them" from getting wet....didn't work out so well!

Hannah, Grant, and Cora~Umbrellas to "save them" from getting wet....didn't work out so well!
Hannah and Grant are our neighbors. Hannah lives next door and Grant lives caddy corner across the street.

Hannah's brother Major.

Hannah's brother Major.
Major and Miles are good friends~they love to play together!

Fort Umbrella~all the kids are inside.

Fort Umbrella~all the kids are inside.

Miles coming to join the Umbrella Crew.

Miles coming to join the Umbrella Crew.

Cora Loves Playing With Finn!

Cora Loves Playing With Finn!

Clinton Jumping Over Cora!

Clinton Jumping Over Cora!

We take Jason's Dog Disel, for a walk everyday! Cora likes to hold the leash by herself.

We take Jason's Dog Disel, for a walk everyday! Cora likes to hold the leash by herself.

Cora LOVES to ride her bike! Everytime we are outside, she's on her bike!

Cora LOVES to ride her bike! Everytime we are outside, she's on her bike!

Miles Messes

Miles loves to make messes! This montage of cereal was waiting for me one morning and boy was I happy about it..... This isn't the first (or the last ~ I'm sure) time this has happened. If you don't get him food the moment you hear him wake up~BEWARE! Oh the joys of parenthood!

Miles Helping Himself to Breakfast.....

Miles Helping Himself to Breakfast.....

Cora and Aunty A making Cheese Cake!

Cora and Aunty A making Cheese Cake!

BIG SISTER

BIG SISTER

Cora is always asking to hold Wyatt

Cora is always asking to hold Wyatt

How Sweet

How Sweet

Into the face paint from halloween.....

Into the face paint from halloween.....

Miles thought Wyatt needed some too!

Miles thought Wyatt needed some too!

Bath Time

Bath Time

4th of July

4th of July

Four Wheelin' Anyone?

Miles loves Uncle Paul's four wheeler! He just loves to run to the shed, get the helmet on (which used to terrify him) and climb on! If he can talk daddy into it (which isn't a hard thing), he gets to ride all over the farm!

Clinton Painting Cora's Nails

Clinton Painting Cora's Nails

Angela and Jeremy Reynolds

Angela and Jeremy Reynolds
This is my best friend and her husband.

Wyatt's first week!

We had so much fun spending Wyatt's First Week of life with Nani and Pop Pop! We drove down right after we were released from the hospital and Wyatt proved to be a great little traveler! He never made a peep! Cora and Miles were great helpers and loved having their baby brother in between them. Every time we got out of the car, Cora would say,"Mom! Don't forget our baby!" It was really cute. It was a lot of fun for the cousins to get a chance to spend time together too. It was a great week!

Our First Family Pic!

Our First Family Pic!

Playing Time

Playing Time
In Nani and Pop Pop's basement playing!

Balloon Swords!

Balloon Swords!
Safe Play?

Ping Pong anyone?

Ping Pong anyone?
Miles couldn't wait for his turn to play ping pong

Nani and Cora

Nani and Cora
They had matching hats! It was so much fun!

Proud Grandparents!

Proud Grandparents!

All the Kids with Nani and Pop Pop!

All the Kids with Nani and Pop Pop!

Diaper Head!

Diaper Head!
He decided that it would be fun to put his swim diaper on his head! He made the return trip home a funny affair!

Cora wanted to do diaper head too!

Cora wanted to do diaper head too!

The Arrival of Wyatt!

We were so very excited for the arrival of Wyatt! He arrived two weeks early, much to everyone's surprise! On June 22, 2008, at 6:30am, I noticed that it was going to be a very special day! I woke Clinton up and we began the "run around". We had to get everything cleaned and packed and ready for the next week. We arrived at the hospital and everything took off from there! He arrived at 5:03pm and was 7 pounds 5 ounces , 20 inches long. Just perfect! He was our smallest baby, but the size of a regular full term baby! He just seemed so tiny to us! And to think that most people have babies his size! We couldn't be more thrilled with our new little man! He is so precious to us! He is very content and sleeps very well! You can't ask for more than that!

Baby Wyatt is coming!

Baby Wyatt is coming!
I wanted a picture before Wyatt made his grand entrance!

Our Precious Little Man!

Our Precious Little Man!
Just a few minutes after he was born!

Mom and Baby!

Mom and Baby!
I couldn't be more thrilled with him!

Dad and his Son

Dad and his Son
He is so proud of his boy!

Big Sis and Wyatt!

Big Sis and Wyatt!
She sang "Mary had a little lamb" to him! It was so cute!

Wyatt Evan Fisher!

Wyatt Evan Fisher!
Our Precious Baby Boy! Loves to look around!

Nani and Pop Pop!

Nani and Pop Pop!
Happy Family!

Pop Pop and Wyatt!

Pop Pop and Wyatt!
Pop Pop was able to cut the cord! How cool!

Wyatt and Nani!

Wyatt and Nani!
We loved having Nani there for the Birth!

Uncle Jason!

Uncle Jason!
It was great to have Uncle Jason come and visit!

Summer 2008!

We are having a lot of fun this summer right in our own back yard! We got the kids a little pool that they love and a swing that I (Amy) love so that we could enjoy being outside together as a family! God has blessed us with great children, great weather, and so much love for each other. I am always thankful for how well the kids get along. I am looking forward to seeing how Wyatt will fit with our little family.

Cora is growing up so fast and she is "teaching" Miles new things all the time! Miles grows so fast "learning" from his big sister and he loves to copy her. He follows her and repeats what she says and does what she does. It is really sweet to see them playing together and learning from each other.

Umbrella Time

Umbrella Time
Cora loves her little umbrella!

Fun in the Summer Sun!

Fun in the Summer Sun!
They love their little pool!

Pool Time!

Pool Time!
They love Splashing in the Pool!!

Eatting Pluots!

Eatting Pluots!
Snack time in the pool! Can't get any better than that!

We love eachother!

We love eachother!
They are best friends!

Cora and Miles Club House!

Cora and Miles Club House!
They love this little house!

Painting!

Painting!
The kids discovered that if you get chalk wet, it makes "paint"!

Coloring!

Coloring!
Cora loves to color.

My yellow picture!

My yellow picture!
Cora wanted to make sure that I took a picture of her with her picture!

My Favorite Cuties!

My Favorite Cuties!
They are such posers!

My Studly Man!

My Studly Man!
Miles is such a big boy!

Precious Princess!

Precious Princess!
Cora is such a Princess!