Spark Naturals Premium Oil of the Month – Cardamom

It’s been a long time since I have shared about oils, for a few reasons, but I am back to using them regularly in our home, and can’t wait to start sharing more about uses!

This month if you are a member (if you are not don’t worry you can join) of the Premium Oil of the Month with Spark Naturals, you can receive Cardamom.

Cardamom has been linked to helping reduce spasms, reduce nausea, promote clear breathing and respiratory health. It’s also a flavor spice for cooking and baking and could help ease indigestion!

You can diffuse or apply topically to promote clear breathing. For emotional balance, diffuse or massage over the energy centers of the body.

 

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Cardamom Diffuser Blend

  • 3 drops of Bergamot
  • 3 drops of Cardamom
  • 3 drops of Lemon

Add oils to your diffuser, be sure to follow the instructions for your oil diffuser. Then just sit back and let the creativity flow in.

Use coupon code: ourcrazylife247 and enjoy 10% off!

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Depression – All Smiles?

This is a more serious subject, and I think it is one that affects more people than we realize. I saw on Facebook the other a day a post showing what depression looks like, famous people who have taken their life due to being depressed, but in each of their pictures they were all smiles.

I have heard so many times that suicide is the cowards way out and they didn’t think about anyone else. While I can’t speak for everyone who struggles, I can say that this is exactly opposite for us, we came to that decision by thinking about those around us.

I have been wracking my brain with the direction to take a project in, I have felt God’s call but I got in the way and tried doing it myself. Oops. Ok, I am out of the way and now working on something, that I haven’t decided yet how I will share, eBook, videos, more on the blog, or maybe all the above.

But I wanted to get this message out regardless. The thing is, I have been to the point where I wanted to take my own life, more than once. Due to things in my past, I felt I was not worth anyone’s time, however being alive I was making the lives around me worse. I wasn’t a fit parent and by staying alive I was going to make her life worse (at the time I just had one daughter). By staying alive, I was making my husband life horrible, and being a good guy he was “stuck” with me since we were married and had a daughter. I didn’t want to be a burden anymore to him, and I wanted my daughter to have a better life.

Outside of our house, I was all smiles. I didn’t want to be a burden on anyone’s life, I didn’t want anyone to waste their time on me. I knew I wouldn’t be missed, and I knew life would go on, better in fact, without me.

After having our second daughter, and another separation, these thoughts took over my life, my daily world. I was stupid and tried taking some concoction and pills, and reached out to my still husband to let him know I was going. He got me to call for help and I was taken to the hospital. But, before the ambulance got there, they asked me if I was aware of the likely hood of my children killing themselves later, if I succeeded in killing myself. No, what? Removing myself from their life permanently could actually make it worse for them? I never did look up these stats for myself, but hearing they were 75% more likely to take their life stopped me from wanting to ever try taking mine again.

I cannot say that I have never found myself falling down that depression hole again, and even thinking those around me would be better off without me, but I have not stayed stuck in those thoughts since. I found a way that has worked for me to keep me out of depression, or quickly come out of that downward spiral when it happens. This, I will share at a later time.

But please, do not over look any signs you see, and never assume that someone who is always smiling is really happy or ok. I can say for me, if you see me smiling, I am truly happy now. I am at a place where if I need help I ask for it, and it’s usually from my husband.

Do not assume you know one thing about depression unless you have actually dealt with it. Medication is not always a good answer, and can sometimes make it worse. Please do not stop medication based on this either, I cannot give medical advice. For those who have dealt with depression, also know that it can be different for people based on the events that lead a person there. I very highly doubt that anyone took their own life as a “cowards” way out. I think for some they just snap after a series of bad events and they don’t know how to ask for help. I know I felt I wasn’t worth the time for anyone to help me so I didn’t ask. I didn’t think I needed help, I just needed to remove myself from the equation.

It is true, you never know what a person is battling. Please keep that in mind. Yes you have your own battles, but someone around has a battle they won’t ever share, and we need to keep our eyes and ears open to reach out when we can. Depression doesn’t appear to us like we would think, it could be the “happiest” person we know who was just masking their internal feelings.

Our Hearing Loss Journey Continues

I honestly am not sure, because I haven’t gone back through my posts, what I have shared or when I last shared, about our journey with our youngest who has hearing loss. I think it’s been stalled as we are still towards the beginning, and there also seems to be so many stigma’s surrounding many things in this world that opened to us.

Right away, I jumped into everything I could, I didn’t care that she was just a baby, I wanted to connect to other families, hopefully find some with babies as well so we could connect and they could be friends growing up. That didn’t exactly happen, but I did met a lot of amazing families and people along the way so far.

We found out day 1 that she failed her newborn hearing screening, and it’s been a ride since then. She started wearing hearing aids 1/24/18.

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We got set up with a hearing specialist and then we got hooked up with a Deaf mentor. SOOOOO many appointments in home and out of the home. We learned that while other kids who have normal hearing pick up many words in conservations around them, even with hearing aids, that is not possible for Arizona. So you have to repeat things to her. We have had to talk to her slightly different, like “Do you hear the water for the bath, let’s go take a bath, it’s bath time, do you hear the water?”. I don’t know about you, but I never talked that way with my other three kids lol. But with hearing loss, it’s helping them to learn the sounds and make connections to what they are for and getting as many words into her little brain as possible.

Well fast forward, and she has tubes and is now 14 months. We also moved, so I feel like we are starting all over in a sense. We just had her first appointment with her case worker here, we will start weekly therapies with a speech therapist, and will soon have a teacher of the Deaf to help us back with sign language also.

Since this journey started I have had a heart for wanting to be an advocate for hearing loss/deaf children. Advocate? What? Yes…I feel like somewhere along the way, even with all the people that are involved from finding out through 3 years, and maybe even beyond, something gets lost and never told to the parents. Not just something, multiple things! After my appointment yesterday, a fire was lit!

What wasn’t told to me at any point? That hearing aids, while the hope is that they help give as close to “normal” hearing as possible, that there are times they make things worse and it’s better to just not have them in. That even though people can be in the same hearing loss level, they can still hear slightly different, and aids can still be different for them. Some people get a ringing in their ears, some people have a different experience from one day to the next, the list goes on. There is no “fix” for everyone.

I feel like sign language is something that is left off the table. While not necessarily said, or at least not by everyone, it seems as if the goal is just to make sure they can hear and speak correctly. I have had things said by our hearing specialist, and while I truly believe she didn’t mean anything bad/negative by it, that demeans sign language or the need for it. Yes I said need and I will get there. But telling me that with her hearing loss between her aids and lip reading she will be just fine. Here is Spokane, the biggest resource is a school that focuses on spoken language. So much so in fact that they will even cover their mouth to test the kids. If you could see my face right now, or when I was told that, I just…I just can’t. Now..that being said, if a person’s choice is to help their child or test hearing as in what is being lost, I get covering a mouth. And I will leave that there.

Lip reading…oh let me count the ways. Did you know that lip reading takes a lot of work on the part of the person who is lip reading? There are so many factors, and if you talk to people who are hard of hearing and/or deaf they will tell you not everyone can do it. There are still words that will be missed, if someone has a mustache and/or beard that makes it more difficult, group settings are not ideal at all for lip reading and staying caught up in a conversation (in fact you have basically excluded them). I could go on. So to just toss it out there like it’s no big deal and something anyone can do is frustrating!

I am struggling with our daughter wearing her aids right now. Sometimes, like today, she let’s us just put them in and she will keep them in. Other times, like yesterday she fights tooth and nail the minute we even try to put one in. Sometimes as soon as one is in and we are working on the other she grabs the one out. Ugh….she has even figured out how to get them out without using her hands! Well, this got brought up in my meeting and I was told this isn’t normal since she’s worn them from a young age and I cut her off and said no, it’s normal. I confirmed with other people who have had little ones or do, and with my audiologist. Well, she still stands firm that it’s not normal and I need to make sure she wears them….I have heard from everyone whose focus is hearing/spoken language that she needs to wear them at all waking hours since we started this journey. I do understand, but again, so many factors.

Did you know just wearing hearing aids makes a person exhausted? Again, up above the same person can have a different experience for different reason two days in a row. Who knows what is bothering her the days she fights so hard, she can’t tell us yet. So no, I will not force hearing aids to be worn at all waking hours.

My choice after my research, and not just taking everything for granted that is told to me, is for a well rounded language..spoken and sign. When she is older and can tell us more of what she hears or doesn’t hear, she can decide if she wants to continue wearing the aids, if she doesn’t want to, if maybe there are days that bother her, if she wants to focus on sign only, wants to continue with both spoken and sign etc. Right now, my job as her parent is giving her every option possible that will help her keep growing and communicating with us. My job as a parent later is letting her carve her own path and supporting her.

What do I want our journey to do for others? I want others to be well educated. I want those who are involved in providing services to be well rounded and educated themselves so they understand the value of provided rounded language options and not just focusing on spoken. I want parents to be given all options, to know what their children are really going through before they choose just one path to follow.

I cannot at this point say how much, if any, spoken language Arizona is missing. I do know that there is a different in her interaction with her aids vs no aids. I know she is the happiest baby we have had. I know that she still hears us with out her aids. I know that she is finally picking up more signs and using them correctly. I know that she will be well rounded and able to make the best decision for herself later. I know she will be connected to the deaf community and not ever feel isolated like she is by herself. She will have friends she can talk to who will understand. That is one thing I can never do, I can never understand what it is like to be her, to not fully hear what is going on around me. That, is my reason for wanting to give her everything possible. I will not assume what she can and cannot hear. I will not tolerate her feeling left out, I will not allow her to ever feel like she is incapable of anything.

So there is our story to catch you up. My next posts, and maybe I will do more on youtube, will be sharing to educate more on hearing loss and the different aspects that go with hearing loss and being deaf. I will continue to share our journey and things that change etc.

While I cannot say I am an expert, I do know way more now that before we had little Arizona. Feel free to email me and ask me anything, esp if you are just starting this journey yourself. It can be overwhelming.

At the end of the day, just look at that little face, see their joy. They want nothing but to connect with us in every way, in our laughs, our sadness, our stories…make sure they can.

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What to do in Spokane WA – February 2019 Edition

I didn’t want to wait too long into the end of this month to share February events as some of them can fill up and then you can no longer register for them. there might be a few shared from my last post in this post, but only because they are ongoing and/or still open in case you haven’t signed up yet.

Also, most of the events I share will be homeschool and/or family related. 🙂 Since I am now in the homeschool world we do try to do a few things through the month that fall on week days to get us out of the house and engaged with those around us. Since starting music and dance classes back up, the first two days of the week are a blur, but I also want to have some other trips with other families/kids through the month.

The events below will be linked to the event directly, which are 99% on Facebook.

There are a series of Free Ice Skating lessons at Riverfront Park on Saturday and Sundays between now and Feb 28th.

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If you also homeschool and are in the Spokane Valley area, check out Hub Sports Center. They host a Homeschool PE Class  twice a month. Also right now you can register for the February through May semester or do a drop in when you are able to. The next dates in February are Feb. 6th, and Feb 20th at 10:30 AM.

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February 2nd at 9am you can join Home Depot for the kids to make their own Heart Candy Box. This one is at Liberty Lake, so you will need to see if there is one closer to you depending on where in Spokane you are.

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Oh my goodness and this one is just precious! Daddy Daughter Date Night at Trailhead Event Center in Post Falls on February 2nd at 6:30pm. Hurry and get your tickets!

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Wednesday February 6th take the kids to go to see The Snow Queen at the Spokane Children’s Theatre. Exploring Families is a great page to follow for homeschool events and outings as well. Tickets are $8.25 per child and $12.25 per adult.

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Go tubing Thursday afternoons at 1-3 PM on Mt. Spokane. they are offering discounts on Tubing Hill, Lift Tickets, Ski and snowboard rentals, and ski and snowboard lessons! Be sure to check out the event and get your tickets by deadlines!

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For those homeschooling in the Spokane area, if you are not already connected with Spokane Area Homeschool Community group on Facebook, connect with them now so you can join in any events they are doing. There is an upcoming Valentine’s Day Exchange and Potluck.

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If you have any Bee enthusiasts, check out The Bee Girl at Mobius Science Center on Sunday February 10th at 1 – 3.

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Do your kiddos love Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood? Check out Kin for a Day at Emporium Presents on February 22nd at 6:30 PM. Tickets are more pricey than other events, just FYI, starting at $25 and on up from there.

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February 23rd West Valley Outdoor Learning Center is hosting Scientist for a Day Open House from 10 AM – 2 PM. This will help explore careers in science. they will have activities to see what it’s like to be a botanist, geologist, hydrologist, wildlife biologist, and astronomer.

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Be sure to check out your local libraries and what events they offer!

Hope this helps keep you busy in February! I will do my best to post some March events about the middle of February so you have time to register/signup.

Unschooling – What is it?

I am not an expert in any area of homeschooling or unschooling. I do not have a degree in child development, nor teaching. But I am an expert in my own children, and I have talked to various friends about their homeschooling methods or curriculum and what they have learned.

I should also say before we get too far into this, though I don’t plan on this being a long post, is that each state has their own laws and regulations around homeschooling, so be sure to check those out before you jump into anything.

The basic principle of unschooling, is not doing a structure school teaching process. Your child(ren) will lead by their interest in how they want to learn, which actually helps them learn more and could, in the long run, even help them in knowing what they want to do when they are ready for work/college.

So much has changed in school. There is no longer a home economics class. Seems like PE is something that has become more of a playtime instead of actually working the students with physical activity. Depending on the type of school your child goes to means even more classes have disappeared and possibly even sports/extras.

In class they are so focused on making sure students pass certain tests they cram so much into the learning time it just falls right back out of the students heads. they can’t hold it all, not to mention they miss prime learning time for that subject by overdoing it. If children are falling behind, they meet with the parents to lower their child’s educations instead of challenging and finding out why your child is not learning with the rest.

In unschooling, there is no set standard on your child. I have seen both of my daughters learn more math in 20 minutes or less a day then they have in a traditional school setting. They are learning more about history being able to dive deeper in eras that catch their interest than being force feed based on the chapter that has to be done by the end of the week. Their interest in baking and cooking has sparked up more with more time to devote to that.

As a parent, who has gone to school and has had my girls in a school system, it’s hard to wrap my head around not having set subjects every days. That’s ok. But really think about it. When they are babies, they are learning every day through experiences, and we accept that. they learn that crying means they will get a diaper change, bottle, cuddles etc. As they get older they learn to use their muscles to help them hold their own bottle, crawl, sit, walk etc. Once they start playing with toys they learn about colors, shapes, problem solving comes natural in their playtime with toys, siblings, playdates with friends. This continues until society has deemed them appropriate age for school. Then we force a standard way of learning/teaching on them.

Just like we are unique, our children are unique. They each learn differently and have different interests. They still learn every day in what they are doing. It’s ok to break the mold on how to school and do it your way.

While I am not fully following the unschooling method, I am fully following our method lol. I am learning how my two girls best learn, what they are interested in, and how to ensure they keep growing by their interest and not killing their interest by force feeding them something else.

I use Kahn Academy to make sure they are progressing in areas like math and grammar. These are big areas that kids can fall behind on in the school system. Why is this a concern to me? Because while I am working from home right now, if anything should change causing me to have to physically go into an office again, I want to know that they can fall right back into their grade. Of course reading is something else they can also fall behind in, but, they are reading everyday. Their bible, anytime they do anything online, books of their choosing, books for history, you get the point. So outside of math and grammar my focus is them finding what they are interested in learning about and getting whatever I can, be it a book or activity, to help them learn more about it.

There are so many great resources out there, and some are even local. Check out library events, set up tours of local businesses, connect with homeschool families in your area, and don’t forget about kits. Our newest addition right now is Eat 2 Explore. It combines some geography with a little history on the country, and hello, cooking and baking are both scientific and you need to use math for how much of what you are adding. I will throw in questions like how much of a cup is 1/4 cup? How many 1/4 cups would it take to make 1 cup etc.

Make learning fun, help them grow their interest. You might end up with a Doctor, engineer, culinary chef, who knows! Just focus on your child as an individual, and don’t force learning. It happens naturally, I promise. Just be there to encourage and build on it.

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It is What it is

I had pushed myself to finish something that had been on my heart and I fear I went to fast and didn’t produce quality. It can’t hit the people it was meant to if I don’t wait for the timing and the right words. I got excited at the possibility of putting an eBook out there and starting to earn something extra. However, I don’t think that is the right venue for me, at least not at this time. I do have a vision, for an eBook, but when I sit down to start on it, my mind keeps going blank. So maybe that is a vision I need to let go of.

So in the mean time, since words usually flow to me as I am working on my blog, I will just keep sharing here.

My oldest daughter, who is no out of the house, was a struggle for us. I am sure we were a struggle for her and there will be different stories you hear depending on who you talk to. Being past that now, I can look back and I see a point in time where I just stopped living stressed. I am fairly sure that my husband and kiddos might have a different story ha! But I had a friend who asked me at the time what happened, did everything just start going right in my life because I didn’t seem bothered anymore.

I cannot pinpoint exactly when it all clicked for me, but I try very hard telling everyone if you cannot change don’t hang on to it. We can only control ourselves. How we react to something, how we move on from something, how we feel, etc. We can spin our minds all day long about the actions of others and get lost in the emotional roller coaster of those thoughts trying to figure out a fix, or figure out why. What does this do for, or rather, to you? It steals time from us.

Time is so valuable. We cannot get time back once it’s gone. Sometimes the only thing we have to give to someone else, is our time, and that can be the most valuable thing we can do for them. Be careful how you spend it, who you spend it with, and who you spend it on.

The biggest thing that has helped me when something happens is “It is what it is”. I have used that in my work life and personal life. When I calm down from something, I remind myself it is what it is. Then I figure out if I can do anything about it, if not, I have to let it go and move on. If I can do something, I need to make sure it’s positive, helpful, and moving in the right direction.

So I did mention a difficult child, and that is something I will dive into in later posts. Just know that if you are dealing with a difficult child, stay strong, don’t give in, pray, and remind yourself it is what it is. They are choosing their actions and you need to be careful in choosing yours. Pay attention to who their time is being spent with. You have every right to change who they spend their time with and if you need to then do it. Just don’t stay caught in that seasons because you are letting emotions control you and causing you to loose valuable time.

I think more than anything else, saying “It is what it is” helps me accept what I cannot change. Try it if you need to. Keep yourself moving forward and spending every bit of that precious time on people and things that matter, that you can control.

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What to do in Spokane WA

So, for those who know me, you know I have a hard time not overbooking myself, all in the name of keeping the kids active lol. They are only with us for a short time, then they want to do their own thing, and then they are out of the house. Waaahhhh…..It goes by so fast.

We moved back to Spokane at the end of November, but haven’t lived here or in this area for about 17 years. So I am getting reconnected to some family and friends in this area. I am also figuring out what goes on, when and where.

With homeschooling the girls now, I try to get us out of the house so we are not just home 24/7. Starting this week the girls will be back in dance classes and I have added a voice class for Arianna and Guitar lessons for Makaylah. They are both excited this.

We haven’t done too many events since moving, which I think my husband is thankful for lol. After being here a little while though, more events are popping up in my FB feed, oops! So I thought I would share a few things for anyone else who is looking and is unaware of some of the upcoming events. Please comment with more family events if I have missed anything! I know this isn’t a complete list, but more of what works for us.

The events below will be linked to the event directly, which are 99% on Facebook.

There are a series of Free Ice Skating lessons at Riverfront Park on Saturday and Sundays between now and Feb 28th.

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West Valley Outdoor Learning Center is hosting a Winter Survival Open House on Jan 12th at 10am.

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If you also homeschool and are in the Spokane Valley area, check out Hub Sports Center. They host a Homeschool PE Class twice a month. The next one we are signed up for is on Jan 16th at 10:30.

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Umm….Yummm! There is a Mac & Cheese Festival on January 19th in Coeur d’Alene.

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Oh here is another homeschool event. I recommend you follow Exploring Families if you do not already for more fun events.

This one is Outdoor Education at Lutherhaven. The kids will play some broomball on the ice January 18th at 10am.

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Christian Family Home Educators is another great page to follow!

There is a field trip to Spokane County Water Resource Center January 25th at 10am.

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One of our favorites is Monster Jam! This is going to be at the Spokane Arena Saturday January 26th at 1PM. I have not looked to see if tickets are sold out, so hurry and grab them if they are still available!

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February 2nd at 9am you can join Home Depot for the kids to make their own Heart Candy Box. This one is at Liberty Lake, so you will need to see if there is one closer to you depending on where in Spokane you are.

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Oh my goodness and this one is just precious! Daddy Daughter Date Night at Trailhead Event Center in Post Falls on February 2nd at 6:30pm. Hurry and get your tickets!

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I will create another post later this month for more February events. I hope this helps you get out with family!