Friday, September 23, 2011

Wisconsin Judge Ruling: No Right to Raise, Grow or Consume Food of Your Choice

(Another thought-provoking post from my dear husband. --Janice)

Earlier this month, Wisconsin Judge Patrick J. Fiedler issued a response to the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund regarding the Constitutionality of food rights. In his response, Judge Fiedler stated “Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to consume the milk from their own cow.” He then went further stating, “Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice.”

So, what does this mean? You have NO right (according to Judge Fiedler) to raise animals, crops or even an orchard or backyard garden. You have NO right to choose what food you eat. The government has the right to mandate or prohibit the consumption of any food.

What would motivate Judge Fiedler to issue such a shocking ruling against food rights? Well, a quick Internet search reveals some clues. Within days of his ruling against food rights, Judge Fiedler announced he has decided to retire and will resign his position as judge September 30. He will go into private practice, as an attorney for the Axel Brynelson Law Firm.

I did some research on the Axel Brynelson Law Firm and found that in May 2010, the firm represented Monsanto in a lawsuit concerning a DNA patent. So, within days of ruling that Americans have no right to produce and consume the foods of their choice, Judge Fiedler is hired by a law firm that represents Monsanto. What a coincidence!

We Had An Earthquake Here!

Yesterday was an exciting day. Around 6:30 last night I was in the living room folding laundry and talking to Shawn. Shawn was holding David. All of a sudden we heard a loud sonic boom. I said, "What was that?" Immediately the house started to shake. I started screaming at the children to "Come here!" (They were playing in Sam's bedroom.) Shawn started yelling, "This is it! This is it!" (He thought the New Madrid fault was finally going.)

Then it was over. It really only lasted a matter of seconds, but that was plenty for me. Sarah's little heart was racing when we all congregated in the kitchen.

Shawn immediately called my parents (who live closer to the New Madrid fault) to see if they were all right. They said they hadn't felt anything. Then I called a girlfriend to see if she had felt it. She hadn't felt anything either. Then we started second-guessing ourselves..Could something have crashed out in the pasture? Why didn't anyone else seem to feel this thing that was so very, very noticeable to us?!?

We finally discovered that we did, in fact, have a 3.6 magnitude earthquake. The epicenter was only about 8 miles away from us.

When Shawn went outside last night to put up the animals he noticed a few things that were out of place in the barn. The previous homeowner had used the barn's rafters as a place to store old plastic pipe and boards. Shawn noticed that some plastic pipe had been shaken out of the rafters. He also noticed that some firewood and a stack of plastic buckets had been knocked over. The only evidence that we found inside the house was that one picture frame had fallen over in our bedroom.

Exciting, scary times. One good thing does force Shawn and I to revisit our earthquake preparedness. What do we need to improve upon? Are we adequately prepared if this quake had been larger and more damaging? Are you adequately prepared if your area starts shaking?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

20 Incredible Colleges for Special Needs Students

College is still a long way off for our children, but I've been asked to place a link here about "20 Incredible Colleges for Special Needs Students." I hope this is helpful for some that read my blog.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Great Sunflower Seed Incident

So...yesterday Andrew was at an event with other children. Of course I took a GAPS-friendly snack for him to eat, but the other children there had their snack of apples and sunflower seeds. Immediately after snacktime, Andrew started breaking out in a rash and his left ear started swelling up. His behavior was fine and he wasn't having any difficulty breathing..he just looked awful.

My first thought was, "Oh no, what did he eat?!?!" However, I was assured that he didn't put anything in his mouth other than the food that I had brought. So, next I started to wonder if he had possibly been stung by something on the ear. However, he was indoors the entire time and not one of the many adults there had noticed him crying out at any point as if he had been stung. I even asked him if a bug bit him and he told me no.

So, this is what we've finally decided is the most likely explanation...

Even though the other children were eating a healthy snack of apples and sunflower seeds, the sunflower seeds were store-bought and processed. This means that the ingredients included a lot more than just sunflower seeds. I found this list of common ingredients online:


Anyhow, the theory is that some of the artificial ingredients/oil were transferred to a toy by another child. Andrew must have somehow picked up the residue on his hands. Then he proceeded to scratch his ear, which immediately began to swell, turn red/purple, and get hot. Shortly after that exposure his face, neck, and torso began breaking out in whelps.

I took these photos about 2 hours after the exposure. The rash had actually improved a bit on his face and neck. At 5 hours after exposure his ear was still just as hot and red and swollen as before and the rash had continued to spread to his feet. He was obviously itchy, but otherwise acted normal. This morning, however, everything is fine. His ear and body look absolutely normal.

Sometimes I get so focused on making sure that the children don't consume processed foods. It's easy to forget that these foods can still harm sensitive children in other ways. I'm glad it wasn't any more serious, but it was a good reminder as to why we are doing what we are doing. There are very valid reasons why we avoid processed foods.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

SAHM earning $165 to use at via SwagBucks

I may not be out in the workforce earning an income, but this is my stay-at-home mom way of helping to support our family. Likewise, I think that SwagBucks would be helpful to many of those that read my blog.

Search & Win

I've been using SwagBucks for 10 months now and in that time I've accumulated $165 in Amazon gift cards. I've been able to purchase books, food, and gifts with that money. It's really come in handy. I wanted to take some time today to show you how I did this so you can see if it's something you might utilize. I started off slowly..only getting $5-$10 per month, but the past few months I've been getting $25 in gift cards each month.

When I first started using SwagBucks I installed their toolbar into my internet browser. It's just a thin little strip at the top of my screen that provides a search engine and shows my current SwagBucks total. Now, each morning when I open up my internet browser I automatically get 1 Swagbuck just for having the toolbar installed.

I utilize the toolbar's search engine as I'm on the internet throughout the day. For instance, if I want to check my email I will use SwagBuck's toolbar to search instead of directly typing it in. Several times throughout the day I'll receive SwagBucks for utilizing their search engine. I've gotten anywhere from 7-29 SwagBucks just for searching the internet. Also, you don't just get this reward once a day. If you search often enough, you can get SwagBucks for searching numerous times throughout the day.

Every day they have a different Daily Poll available. I place my vote in the poll and get 1 SwagBuck each day.

Each day I visit their No Obligation Special Offers page (NOSO). It gives a couple pages of offers and I always hit "Skip" because I'm not interested in any of the offers. After I've looked at all the offers and "skipped" them I receive 2 SwagBucks. Looking at the offers takes less than a's not very time consuming at all.

Then I go to their Trusted Surveys page. They usually have several surveys available. I usually don't meet the demographic that they're looking for so I don't qualify for most of the surveys. However I do receive 1 SwagBuck for each survey I attempt to qualify for. A time or two each week I will usually qualify for one of the surveys and I will receive anywhere from 50-200 SwagBucks for completing the survey.

SwagBucks has internet-printable coupons available as well. If you print off their coupons and redeem them at a store, you will get 10 SwagBucks for each coupon you redeem. I don't use this all that often since we don't use many of the commercial products. I have however used the coupons for things like toilet paper and facial tissue. I like it because I save money and get SwagBucks at the same time.

Finally, they have an area on their site called SwagBucks TV. It's an area that has short little (approximately 1 minute) video clips preceded by an advertisement. I get 3 SwagBucks for every 10 videos that I watch. I keep our laptop on the kitchen counter and, throughout the day as I'm working, I will keep the little video clips running. There are all kinds of different types of videos: entertainment, news, food, health, etc. I always run the Pets & Nature videos because I don't mind if the children see videos of animals on the computer.

There are other ways to acquire SwagBucks, but I don't utilize them. You can check into those yourself and see if they'd be beneficial to you.

Here's their official site on how to use SwagBucks:

Anyhow, for every 450 SwagBucks you accumulate you can redeem it for $5 to use towards a purchase at Amazon. Of course, there are other places you can redeem your SwagBucks (Barnes & Noble, Home Depot, Paypal, CVS, etc), but I've found that Amazon is the best value for us. You can get just about anything on Amazon and the credit doesn't expire in case you want to keep accumulating credit for a more expensive item. You also receive free shipping if your order is over $25. Free merchandise (using SwagBucks credit) and free shipping is a great deal for us.

So, now I'm going to shamelessly ask that, if you are interested in joining SwagBucks, you use my name as a reference. You see, I acquire SwagBucks by referring people to the site and having them utilize it. If you are interested, please use this link to sign up:

Also, if this is confusing to you, please don't hesitate to ask me to clarify.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Walk on the Property

Friday evening we went on a family walk around the property. We did this a lot last year, but haven't been as good about doing it since David came along. It was really nice to get back out there.

The first thing we discovered was a young buck that was dead out by our pond. It was still fresh enough to be stinky. That gave the children a lot to talk about for the next day or two.

Remember my last post about making elderberry tincture? Well, I'm not 100% certain, but I'm thinking that we just might have elderberries growing on our property. I need to research this some more, but I suspect that this might be elderberry. If anyone can shed some light on this, I'd appreciate the input!

Walking back to the Forbidden Meadow was especially pretty because the entire pasture there was full of these pretty yellow flowers.

I'm still really excited about having Passionfruit (Maypops) on our property. However, I have yet to actually harvest any for our own use. It seems that the deer have taken possession of them so all I ever get to see are small green fruits.

Out in the woods we were surprised to see that a tree had fallen right in the middle of the path we normally walk.

It couldn't have happened too long ago because the leaves are still green. Looks like God is providing next year's firewood!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Making Elderberry Tincture

This was my first time attempting to make elderberry tincture. It was really easy and I wanted to share it with you.

Elderberry tincture is said to be effective in treating colds and flu. There are even commercial drugs, like Sambucol, made with elderberry. However, since we try to avoid commercially-sold drugs, I made my own medicine using God's provision..the elderberry.

First, I purchased a big bottle of vodka and 1 pound of dried elderberries. The instructions I had said to split the pound of elderberries between three quart jars. Then fill the jars with vodka. (Of course, I ended up not buying enough vodka, so I could only fill two jars until we went back to the store to buy more.)

Then you place the jars in a cool, dark area and let it sit for 7-10 days, shaking the jars every day or so. Now, I found lots of different sources that say lots of different things on the amount of time the mixture should sit. I've read everywhere from 7 days to 6 weeks. I chose to let mine soak for a little over 2 weeks. Really the only reason I let it go that long was because my third jar was started at a later time and I wanted to finish all three jars at the same time. (Remember, I had to go buy more vodka...) So, my first two jars actually soaked for 16 days and that third jar only soaked for 10 days.

I kept my jars in my cabinet with our drinking glasses. It was dark and cool in that cabinet, and I opened it often enough that I would remember to shake the jars whenever I went to get glasses out of the cabinet. So, yesterday I finished the elderberry tincture. (I guess my camera date is wrong because I know that I took these next pictures yesterday, Thursday the 8th.)

Anyhow, first I put my colander over a bowl and poured out the contents of the three jars. Then I placed the strained liquid into clean jars. The strained liquid only filled up two jars since the berries were no longer taking up space.

Finally, I added labels to my jars and put them in our medicine cabinet.

If I need to use this for the children I intend to place the recommended dosage in a glass of water and maybe even add a little honey to it if the children don't want to take it.

We're very rarely ever sick so these two jars of elderberry tincture should last us a while. The vodka will keep it useful for years.

I encourage you to do some research on elderberry tincture and see if it's something you'd be interested in providing for your family.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Farm Clothes vs. Town Clothes

I was looking through some of my posts from the summer and I realized that my children are pretty much wearing the same clothing in every picture! Instead of leaving everyone to believe that I let my children wear dirty clothes day after day, I thought I would do a post on Farm Clothes vs. Town Clothes.

When we lived at our other home I had a couple pair of "play clothes" for each of the children, but the majority of their wardrobe was made up of nice little outfits. After moving out to our property though our wardrobe changed. Now the majority of the whole family's wardrobe consists of stained and ripped clothing that you probably couldn't give away at a yard sale. We all rotate through 2-3 outfits out here on the farm. What's the saying..."One to wash, one to wear, and one to spare." I just don't see the purpose in dressing everyone in decent clothing so they can get ruined by getting mud-stained or ripped on a fence. So, we look like a raggedy mess out here on the farm. Also, I will absolutely hang onto Sam's rough-looking farm clothes so that they'll be there when Andrew grows into them. I'm not going to dispose of perfectly battered and well-worn farm clothes!

Anyhow, the kids get excited when they get to put on "town clothes." Since the kids and I only leave the property about once or twice a week, it's a real treat to get "dressed up." I'll leave you with a picture of the children in their town clothes. I know I'm biased, but I think they clean up nice!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cheating on GAPS

It's a bad day. A really bad, bad day.

Last night our family went to a meeting. After the meeting there were refreshments: fruit, cake, cookies, punch, water. I watched Shawn eat his little plate of goodies and I was tempted. So I told him that I would just go look at the food table. Of course I ended up coming back with some of the fruit and a few non-GAPS treats. When the meeting wrapped up, the ladies started cleaning up and asked if anyone wanted to take any of the extra refreshments home. I grabbed a small plate for Shawn to take into work with him today.

I woke up this morning after Shawn had already left for work. Do you know what he did??? He left three of the cookies sitting on the kitchen counter! He actually left some of those things home for me to eat. So I ate them...all of them. I dunked those chocolate chip cookies in my coffee this morning and I scarfed it all down eagerly. I enjoyed it. They tasted so good. I miss cookies.

Now I hurt. My head is absolutely throbbing. I have no energy. I do not want to cook. I do not want to clean. I do not want ANY noise. I have no patience. I feel like I am barely functioning through a mental fog. My vision is literally a bit foggy too. I also feel engorged today (which is not normal) and David isn't nursing well. Apparently he doesn't care for cookie-infected milk.

Was it the grain from the cookies..or the sugar...or the artificial additives? I don't have a clue what exactly in the cookies is bothering me, but it has hit me hard. What's even worse is that I KNEW that I would be paying for giving into the cookie temptation, but I did it anyway.

I don't know if this post will do any good for others on GAPS, but it is something I need to go back and read each time I'm faced with temptation. Cheating on GAPS makes me hurt. It's not worth it.

This post is linked up to Real Food Wednesday with Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Our New Rabbit Shelter

I don't know about you, but our family spent Labor Day weekend by doing an immense amount of labor on the farm. This weekend we completed a lot of projects.

The first thing Shawn wanted to complete was our new permanent rabbit shelter in the garden. We previously had the rabbits in the chicken run with a tarp set up over them for shade. The tarp was a very temporary solution though. It shredded quickly, so Shawn went to work building an actual shed to house the rabbits. We decided to put it in the garden so that their droppings were right where they would do the most good.

The rabbit cages that Shawn built were extremely heavy. So this is the way that he came up with to move them. Sam was a big help to Shawn.

Here's the new rabbit shed out in the garden. The only part to complete is that small bit of guttering on the end.

This is the water catchment system that Shawn set up at the far end of the shed. It'll be nice having that water nearby for the rabbits and some garden usage.

We also managed to rebreed on of the does this weekend and clean up the barn and chicken run area where the rabbits used to be. Then we spent the rest of the weekend weeding the garden.

Since I was busy being pregnant and dealing with a newborn, I really let the garden go this summer. This weekend was when we made up for lost time. It felt so good to be working outside again! We found that our carrots managed to survive their weed-infestation and we picked the first of our green beans. I'm pleased to see that our green pepper and tomato plants look like thet're actually going to produce something. I had almost given up hope that we'd get anything from them.

The weather was absolutely perfect for working outside. It was hard work, but it was also very enjoyable.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Jimmy Hoffa Openly Calls For Violence

(Another post from Shawn today...See what happens when he gets a three-day weekend! --Janice)

Are there any union members living near your home or at your place of work? If so, I’d suggest you watch your back around them and be sure not to divulge any personal information to them. Their Marxist mobster leader Jimmy Hoffa has declared war on us, literally.

While delivering an opening speech for Obama at a Labor Day union rally in Detroit, Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa declared that union members are at “war” with the Tea Party (a common name now given to Americans who want smaller government). His thirst for violence and plans for the future were revealed in this speech.

“President Obama, this is your army,” stated Hoffa. “We are ready to march. Let’s take these sons of bitches out!” Of course, "taking a person out" is the common mafia term for murder. The socialists attending the rally cheered at his declaration of war. As you can see, complete government domination of our lives is not enough for them. They must eliminate anyone who does not support their socialist agenda.

Obama then took the stage, stating he was proud of Hoffa and called for “shared prosperity.” Of course, “shared prosperity” is just another way of calling for redistribution of wealth, a founding principle of socialism.

We are living in very dangerous and frightening times. I encourage every freedom-loving American to prepare for what is coming. The socialists are no longer behind closed doors plotting away and working behind the scenes to destroy our freedoms. They are now in the open. They have a president who publicly supports their agenda and they are admitting they are declaring war on us.

It will be up to us to win this war and protect the Constitutional liberties so many have fought and died for over the past 235 years. The union thugs should be careful what they wish for, because there are millions of Americans who will not lie down and be "taken out." If this army of Chicago mobsters marches up to the gates of my farm, the next gates they will enter will be the gates of Hell.

I’d suggest Hoffa and his band of thugs rethink their ill-conceived suicide mission. The mafia should stay in Chicago and continue shaking down local business owners for protection money. They may control certain cities in this country, but the mob doesn’t have the numbers to declare war on the entire United States population.

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun”. Isn’t that what you mobsters like to say? Well, fine. You’ve set the rules for this war, you better be prepared to live (or die) by them. Hoffa, you have called on your army to take my family out. You have my attention. You are a coward who calls on others to do your dirty work. May God have mercy on any fool who comes to my home following your orders!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wood Is Now Illegal In The United States

(Shawn was inspired to write a post today...enjoy! -Janice)

Just when I thought the government controlled every single aspect of our lives imaginable, a new shocker comes along. The government has yet a new enemy, people who have property made of wood. There are already cases of people having wooden guitars seized if they can’t produce documentation proving the origin of every piece of wood within the instrument. The feds are even conducting SWAT raids to seize contraband wood. Hitler and Stalin didn’t even seize wood from the people.

Henry Juszkiewicz, CEO of Gibson Guitar, reports that his manufacturing plants in Nashville and Memphis were raided by federal agents on August 24, 2011. The feds are claiming Gibson violated an Indian law that requires wood from that country to be assembled there. However, Gibson has written authorization from the government of India to export their wood to American to be manufactured in Tennessee.

Interestingly, only Gibson Guitar, owned by a Republican, has been raided. Other guitar manufacturers using the same wood, owned by Democrats, have not been raided. This follows the Obama Justice Department’s track record of targeting political enemies. The feds even had the nerve to inform Gibson Guitar, in writing, that their company should leave the United States and suggested they move their manufacturing to Madagascar. Apparently the Obama Administration is actively supporting job growth in Madagascar, while working to eliminate American jobs.

This story is so bizarre, you have to see it for yourself. Please visit the website below and view an interview with the CEO of Gibson Guitar as he describes the SWAT raid and the government’s war against personal property made of wood:

If you own ANYTHING made of wood (which we all do), then you need to take this VERY seriously. Of course, this actually has nothing to do with wood. The government is finding every excuse to dominate our lives and bully us into submission. Since everyone owns furniture, guns, tools, crafts, and even the materials which make up your home that contain wood, this is another justification to raid your home, seize your property, and levy fines against you when Big Brother decides you need to be reminded who owns you.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Amazed at the Blog Visits

I continue to be amazed at the number of people that are visiting my blog in order to see the videos of Sam's autism improvement. Just yesterday I had visitors come here from:

British Columbia, Canada
Newfoundland, Canada
Alabama, U.S.
Illinois, U.S.
Makkah, Saudi Arabia
Georgia, U.S.
Ar Riyad, Saudi Arabia
Virginia, U.S.
Ash Sharqiyah, Saudi Arabia
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Buskerud, Norway
Gullbringusysla, Iceland
Texas, U.S.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Wisconsin, U.S.
New Hampshire, U.S.
Budapest, Hungary

All of the above visitors looked at the posts of Sam's autism videos. In addition to that, in the past week I've had visitors from Brazil, Denmark, India, Australia, Netherlands, Poland, Philippines, Hong Kong, London, California, Washington, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Ohio come here looking for GAPS recipes and autism resources.

It's neat to see the international autism sites that have posted Sam's videos. The only words I can read on the sites are "autism" and "SAHMville," but then I see Sam's smiling face on there as well. He doesn't realize how big of an impact he's having on people around the world.