Soul on Fire

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Autism Awareness Day!

It is kind of funny to think that there is one day to celebrate Autism Awareness because the saying is so true that to families with children on the spectrum we really need people to be aware everyday.  It does bring much joy to me to see all the buildings light up in blue.  Joy knowing there are people that understand and care because there are lots of other days that this does not show up.

It has been a tough go around here lately.  While we have one diagnosed with Asperger’s and he has his moments all in all he is a very bright kid who has gone leaps and bounds with his therapy.  If you walked into his classroom you would not likely notice his challenges.  He has a 504 but as I brought up to the school last week; they have not even been meeting his simple accommodations for the last three years.  He is a self-advocate and I am so proud of him everyday.

His younger brother has quite a different story.  He has not gotten the Autism diagnosis because he managed to play nicely with toys he loved for an hour with the specialist’s student.  Wow!  That does not tell me much…lets try something he does not want to do…that is a different story!  So his only diagnosis is expressive language disorder which the school completely dismisses and told us last week after fighting for a 504 or IEP that they would never service him even if he got the diagnosis because he is too smart!!!

I literally have a little Einstein that is behind in all academic areas that builds rocket ships for fun who can’t get a public education because he is “too smart.”  The school tried to dismiss his complaints that the teacher had thrown his work in the garbage (I’m guessing it had some building design on it instead of the work it was suppose to have), ripped his headphones off, and pushed him into the bus line as he was not able to express properly.   After this he refused to go to school, who would want too?  So we started our homeschool venture in hopes that we could get an education plan in the future and send him back.

So why is my soul on fire?  It is on fire for the broken systems that we are living within.  I am sitting here writing this today because I was suppose to be in Jury Duty so I had to send my little side kick out of town with his father on a job so I could serve my Jury Duty.  It was a real struggle for me not because I mind Jury Duty but because I was told I had to at the same time as our local school district is failing to follow the laws that they have too.  It is not just the DHS system we have served the last year that is broken…it is the whole system.  My soul is on fire for all the brokenness.

My Heart

I titled this my heart because my heart is what aches after this morning’s mad rush to get the Valentine’s done for the Kindergartener that had to be done today.  No help from the colored printer that decided today was the morning to not work.  We got them done quickly; it was a family event and I guess it was a good thing they did not need the students names.  Although, I feel Valentine’s without names is one step closer to loosing social connections kids need it was not the sting of the morning.

Yesterday I got the first phone call home from school.  Well I guess it was technically the second.  The first time he got in trouble for kissing.  I guess at least it was not hurting someone although I found it highly ironic that the phone call was as if he had hurt someone and the phone calls don’t come when kids get physically injured at school.  This time he had “assisted” a little girl down the fireman pole.  Yes, the same one he reportedly JUMPED off of last week sustained injury and no phone call home.  I’m sure he tried to reason with her and asked her to move or take her turn but the fear had her…he thought he was just helping her down.  So we tried to explain that it was not helpful and that he needed to wait his turn patiently next time.  It is Kinder that happens and she did not get hurt and he had his timeout at school.  Moving on.

Then the second part of the phone call.  He has been making animal noises and other noises and distracting the class.  No not my kid, annoying, all be.  My rebuttal is well that is a sensory seeking he is probably bothered by the noise in the class and the rain that has been pounding on the roof for days now.  “Well I need you to talk to him.”  I’m sure that will solve all the problems, right.  My magical super mom powers will make the noises stop just like it does at home, lol.  He has OT next week, hopefully that will help.  Well he is apparently the ONLY one in the classroom that is being distracting and making noises, everyone else was quiet.

I just have got to laugh of course to keep myself from crying.  I had no idea my kid had the potential to be annoying and not stop when asked.  I had no idea this was coming…hence my asking for an IEP before school started.  My inner voice is only cheering slightly as my outer self says, I told you so.  Maybe now that it is annoying to you we can move forward with my son’s educational needs.

Here’s the link to the cute Valentine’s.  We added his favorite Paw Patrol stickers!!

Protein Bars gone Gluten Free Cookies

After about three years of disagreement with my son’s primary care provider I decided that I needed to find someone who could help us with his GI issues.  On most days he was doing fairly well from all the changes we had made, every once in a while he would get into something that was on our list of “no-no” foods and he would have issues.  The problem now seemed as if the issues were progressing and as the holidays approached the issues were not what I considered not acceptable.  After the holidays passed I rang his primary and said here is the deal, no more games I want a referral to see a GI specialist.  I lost the battle.  I was so disappointed.

I was not going to give up.  His issues were now a health concern I was not going to avoid.  I needed answers scientific proof of what was going on in his body.  Answers we got…I still think even more than the naturopath had expected.  Now two months later we are on the road to health and healing.  The only question left was “WHAT DO I FEED THIS KID?”

His allergies (or intolerances as some like to call it…my body sends its army I consider it an allergy…we are just blessed it is not life threatening) include gluten & wheat, egg whites, and citrus; we have avoided milk (except cheese) for so long that it may or may not be on that list and soy has been out for our family for a while as well.  Preservatives and food dyes have also been off our family list for some time.  There goes almost anything you might think of picking up at the store!!

Except for the blessed Go-Go Squeez’s, that is another story!!

The only recipe I had was my original bar recipe…I knew I could make that gluten free and he would not know the difference.  Mind you he was a super picky eater buy this time,  of course EVERYTHING hurt his little tummy!!

The other piece to this story is the transition from “bar” to “cookie.”  As much as my middle son liked bars my littlest loves cookies.  I worried for a while he would grow up thinking he could eat as many cookies as he wanted but since he has to be gluten free not really a worry anymore.  My daughter likes them better too because fourth graders can be mean and would tease her about her bars…nothing a cookies can’t fix.  So there you have it our Protein Bars have transformed to Gluten Free Cookies.

Protein Bars gone gluten free cookies

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup granola or rolled oats (GF)
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup milk (we use rice or almond milk because of milk allergies)
  • Optional: Chocolate chips or Craisins

Don’t forget to make sure all the ingredients you use are gluten free!!

Make a flour powder using the dry blade of a Vitamix combining the almonds, granola, and cashews. 

In large mixing bowl mix all dry ingredients.  Slowly add in milk to create a dough.  Scoop in to cookies shape.

Bake in oven 350° for 6-10 or until golden on edges.

Enjoy!  When cooled of course.

Protein Bars

I can honestly say I have never been in a Adult Bar; we frequently sit in the bar section of a restaurant while on dates, but have never been to the “local bar.”  However, my husband used to work for the lottery which is mainly located in adult bar’s.  Our son used to get so mad when my husband would talk about work and which bar he had been to the night before.  To him a bar was a protein bar, granola bar, or the best a candy bar.  Being a kid had no idea what an adult bar was but thought dad was off enjoying bars without him.  We got so many laughs about this subject.

His favorite thing to eat was bars.  A staple in his diet from the early ages.  No surprise that his younger brother took a liking to them too.  Problem was that him and big sister could not have the store bought kind.  Sister was allergic to soy…good luck finding one without.  Baby brother was allergic to the preservatives and unnecessary ingredients.

I was left to find an alternative that would make us all happy.  Just like my home made crackers the bars don’t stick around long, other than that they are great!!

Protein Bars

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup granola or rolled oats
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup milk (we use rice or almond milk because of milk allergies)
  • Optional: Chocolate chips or Craisins

Make a flour powder using the dry blade of a Vitamix combining the almonds, granola, and cashews.

In large mixing bowl mix all dry ingredients.  Slowly add in milk to create a dough.

Roll dough flat on pastry sheet and cut apart or for rounded edges make about a 1 inch snake and flatten with a rolling pin and slice into desired bar length.

Bake in oven 350° for 6-10 or until golden on edges.

Enjoy!  When cooled of course.

Homemade Deodorant

Yes I know it sounds crazy.  I hate using my old deodorant now.  Last weekend we went camping and all I had was the old stick.

I was sold on the Coconut Deodorant after about a week.  I think your body needs time to adjust to the no chemical version.  My first batch was awesome!  Second batch not so great I was frustrated with the oils I kept getting on my shirts and the stains.  Remake of the second batch has been great.

As you will read on other blogs remember it is a deodorant not an antiperspirant and must be reapplied accordingly.

My first attempt link is here.  What I found was that it really depends on your skin and your body on what ratios you need.  To much baking soda burns the skin.  To much oil and a messy liquid as coconut oil is liquid at body temperature.

Deodorant

  • 1/4 cup Coconut oil
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 3 tsp. Corn Starch
  • 5-10 drops of essential oil (I use lavender)

Melt the coconut oil, mix in other ingredients, essential oil last.  Pour into washed and dried deodorant container and place in freezer until solid. 

 

 

Dishwasher Detergent

So I have not ran out of hand wash dish soap so I have not tried it yet but plan to use my body wash recipe with the Lemon Castle soap for my future dish soap making.  That is how I kinda pace myself when I run out of the chemical version that is when I learn to make new.

I have not mastered this recipe so I am sure there will be future updates but here is where it is today.

Dishwasher Detergent

  • 1/2 Cup Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Cup Washing Soda
  • 1/4 Cup Salt
  • Vinegar in the rinse aid slot (I’m still using Jet Dry…it has not ran out yet)

Just like the laundry I use 1 Tbsp powder per wash.

I will just say I replaced Borax with the Baking Soda on the recipe I found.  The first batch I made I used the Borax and then thought to myself…we use that to kill ants.  Hum… I don’t think it needs to be in there.  The toxic levels are so high I don’t think it can be worse that what is in the store bought soaps.  BTW…What is in those soaps ever notice you can’t find the ingredients for any of them?  But if I am gonna bother making my own soap why put things I don’t want in it.

Laundry Soap

My first experience with homemade laundry soap was at a MOPS meeting.  As our craft we made the traditional recipe that you find everywhere for homemade laundry soap.  I tried it as I was prepping to do cloth diapers and it was recommended as safe for your diapers.  I hated it!  I felt my clothes still stank after being washed.  Through that idea out the window and went back to my Tide Free and Gentle.

I used Planet laundry soap for my cloth diapers and still do it just seems to work great for the diapers but I hated it for my clothes too.  It seemed to leave the socks with a crunchy feeling.

Now about 3 1/2 years later I decided to give it another try.  I think part of the problem was the size of the shredded soap I had used the first time.  I use a fine shred for my soap making now so I thought that would help.  I started looking at recipes on Pinterest and everyone uses the Fels Naptha.  My reasons for making soap was not financial but because I am trying to eliminate the chemicals exposed to my family.  Reading the ingredients of the Fels Naptha I did not feel like I was doing any better.

One night I had a though.  Why can’t I use my regular soap the one for washing my body?  It even comes with pleasant scents.  The next morning I searched Pinterest for Dr Bronner’s Laundry Soap and I was not the only one that had thought of this and it had good reviews!!

Lavender Laundry

1 Bar Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Castle Soap

1 Cup Baking Soda

1 Cup Washing Soda

1 Cup Borax

It is so easy to make!  Fine shred the soap and mix all the ingredients up.  I use a glass jar with a lid to store it and keep moisture out.  I use 1 Tbsp per wash load with my front loader.

I love it!  No crunchy socks, and it smells like lavender!!!

Crackers


Crackers are an all time favorite of mine.  In fact the one thing I really miss with my families new organic chemical free diet is crackers.  We make our own but they DON’T LAST!!

This fall we realized that preservatives and phosphates in bread type items were a bother to our son.  We had kinda wondered about gluten as that is the big talk but as best as we can tell it really is not the gluten but what is put in those foods to preserve and keep them fresh.  If you look up what else sodium phosphate is used for you will realize why we don’t really need it in our bread.  I wont share this here…it would take away from the recipe.

I love Pinterest for researching recipes for my homemade stuff!  This one I have not really changed the basic recipe… I found it to work just great.  Simple with great taste and the ability to create a wonderful cracker!!

Basic Cracker Recipe

“2 ½ cups flour
3 teaspoons dried herbs/seasonings
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
¾ cup cold water”

 

So just follow the link above to get the recipe that is so easy.  What I have done is add to it.  I have messed with the flour and used: almond flour, cashew flour, gluten free flour, or any other flour type you like.  For the spices I always add garlic salt and usually Italian seasoning (they are my favorite) but sometimes add: cheese, flaxseed, baking soda to make thicker.  Bottom line they Always taste great!

Homemade Liquid Soap

I have had many people asking for my recipes that have changed our ways and our health.  My youngest son was showing signs of Autism and had so many allergies and sensitivities.  We have changed so many things and everyday the response is better and better.

The first big allergy was found in his soaps and baby wipes.  I’m still not sure what brought on the whole thing but in the end we found iodopropynyl butylcarbamate as our enemy and the companies that provided his baby soap included this in their products unlisted on the ingredients.  I decided after the months of suffering that we would slowly eliminate chemicals as we could learn to find something better to replace.

So the first was his body wash.  I will just say first of all I rarely use soap as his dermatologist taught me most of the time water does just fine.  As mom’s we all know there are time’s that do in fact need soap so hear is what we use.

Homemade Liquid Soap

1/3 cup shredded Castle Soap (We love Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint)

1/3 cup liquid Castle Soap ( I added this because it helps get the bubbles most of us are use to for that clean feeling.)

3 cup water

Most would probably recommend distilled water but we use it up quickly so I don’t worry about it.  I start by bringing the water to boil and let it boil for 10 mins.  Measure out the 3 cups and add the shredded soap.  Mix Well.  When it cools off a little bit I add the liquid soap.  It is very runny but works just fine with a bath poof.  For my foaming hand soap I use half the soap with half hot water.

My favorite part of this soap is how cheap it is to make so when my boys dump the whole bottle in the bath it is not a $4.00 plus bottle down the drain.  We were wasting so much money having to buy expensive soap that boys have the tendency to over use!!

Dairy Free Sugar Cookies

This recipe might be a work in progress but it got the job done.  Sugar cookies for my little guy!

 

Dairy Free Sugar Cookies

1/2  Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Sugar (Powdered with my Vitamix Dry Blade)
1/3 Cup Coconut Oil [I did not measure so might be a little less]
1 Egg
1 t Vanilla
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Salt
 

Sprinkle of Sugar on the top before baking.  Bake 375° for 6-8 min.  Enjoy!