Reviving Motherhood

Learning on the Journey


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Welcome to Reviving Motherhood!

The MOB Society, a great blog for mothers of boys, is hosting their second annual boy mom blog hop, and this year I am participating.

So MOB Society readers, welcome to Reviving Motherhood!

I’m Stephanie.  I have two sons—9 and 1 ½ (and three daughters too.)

I’m joyfully married, and I’m a homeschool grad who now homeschools my own 5.

I LOVE to learn from wise older women who have successfully raised great kids, and to pass that knowledge on to others.  I want to be just like them when I grow up!  I just started Mentor Mondays on my blog, where I publish guest posts and quotes from godly older women we younger ladies can learn from.

You might enjoy this week’s Mentor Mondays post, 4 Ways to Raise Your Children With Honesty and Good Communication, by my friend Debbie Wilson from Marriage Matters Now. 

Debbie says this: “The most influential person in your child’s life is the parent of the opposite sex.”  Read the whole post for her wise words about raising kids!

Another passion is fearless mothering.  It can feel like there are so many things for moms to fear!  As a young mom, God helped me to overcome persistent, crippling fear and learn to walk in faith and freedom.

In fact, I’m now writing an e-book about fearless mothering (especially appropriate for those of us with wild and crazy boys, yes?) that should be available for purchase this fall.  I’ll be giving away lots of copies, so watch this space!  Feel free to like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter to get updates.

The theme of this year’s blog hop is games. My boys’ favorite games differ because of their age differences.  I have found that old-fashioned fun still trumps everything else.  My older one loves sports and whooping me at checkers, and the baby loves balls, blocks, and music.

I’m so proud of my sons, and I love being a boy mom, as well as a girl mom.

New here?  Here are a few more links to get you started.

For pregnant moms and moms of babies, check out what I’ve written on babies and birth.  These categories include posts about preparing for birth, breastfeeding, nurturing your tiny ones, and my favorite baby products.

Thinking about homeschooling?  Start here.

I bet I am not the only mom who has food sensitivities in the house.  Here’s a favorite summer recipe for dairy free ice cream.

Thanks for visiting, friends!  Please come back and see me again!

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Again, please feel free to like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter!  I would be thrilled!


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Delicious Dairy Free “Ice Cream” or Milkshakes (vegan, paleo, primal, GAPS legal)

With people in the house who can’t have dairy, we REALLY miss ice cream especially on hot summer days!

This “ice cream” has the consistency of soft serve and really helps fill the gap.  The kids ask for it almost every day!

Peel, chunk up, and freeze a bunch of very ripe bananas. I freeze them on a cookie sheet so they don’t stick together and then tranfer them to a ziploc bag.

When you’re ready to make the “ice cream,” chunk a couple frozen bananas up and blend in the blender with a little water or coconut milk or whatever liquid you have on hand. Just pulse it slowly till it’s nice and creamy, and I promise you, it will have the exact consistency of soft serve ice cream. You can eat it plain…Add a little vanilla…a glob of nut butter…a few frozen berries…a spoonful of carob or cocoa powder…Lots of possibilities. Soooo yummy.

You don’t even have to be a health food nut to enjoy this!

What’s your favorite healthy summer treat?

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Feel free to like me on Facebook!  I would be thrilled!


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Candy Free Easter Basket Ideas

On my Facebook, I asked for ideas for candy-free Easter basket fillers–just for myself.  The ideas from my friends were so good, I am passing them on to you!

stickers

pencils

water bottles

games

seeds

puzzles

books

lotions

soaps

jewelry

disposable cameras

journals

bubbles

coloring books

fruit

a small toy

yo-yos

jump ropes

marbles

jacks

nail polish

sidewalk chalk

play doh

nuts

laughing cow cheeses

goldfish crackers

fruit leather

change in different amounts

bug boxes

devotional

movies

art supplies

a kite

beach towels and swim suits

silly putty

slinky

Don’t I have smart friends?


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Blueberry Baked Oatmeal for a Crowd

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

6 eggs

1/2 c. honey

1 can coconut milk plus 1 1/2 c. water OR 3 c. whole milk

6 c. old fashioned oatmeal

1 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. vanilla

1-2 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen

Mix wet ingredients well, then add and stir dry ingredients.  Gently fold in blueberries.  Pour into oiled 9X13″ glass baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for around 35 minutes.  Enjoy with extra honey and cream!


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Easy Dairy Free, Sugar Free Hot Chocolate

Dairy Free Sugar Free Hot Chocolate

1.  Heat one can coconut milk plus 3 cans water till steaming.

2.  Place 1 T. cocoa powder and 12 drops stevia into 6 mugs.

3.  Add hot coconut milk to each mug and stir well.

We have really enjoyed this recipe this winter!  I know spring is just around the corner, but maybe we can squeeze in a few more days of hot chocolate drinking!

~linking~

Delightfully Inspiring Thursdays

Simple Lives Thursday




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Dairy Free Sugar Free Fluffy Chocolate Mousse

I’m such a sucker for creamy, fluffy desserts.  It’s the thing I miss most since we don’t keep dairy products in the house any more.  So this one thrilled me!

I found this recipe on Pinterest and now it seems to no longer be linked to the original blog.  I wish I could give credit to the recipe inventor, who called these “frosting shots.”  (Edit: In the comments, Leah pointed  me to Chocolate Covered Katie as the inventor.  Thanks, Leah!) It would make good icing, but it makes a really great mousse!

Basically, it’s this.

Put  cans of coconut milk in the refrigerator so the coconut cream will rise to the top and get thick.  (I use Golden Star, which is the cheapest and doesn’t contain emulsifiers that prevent the milk from separating.)

Open the cans and scoop out the cream, leaving the liquid in the can.

Place cream in mixer bowl and whip until fluffy, just like whipped cream.  Along the way, add cocoa powder and liquid stevia to taste.  (I use GNC liquid stevia.  I have heard that it has the least offensive aftertaste.  I think it tastes nice.)

My proportions were 4 cans of coconut milk, approximately 2 t. of cocoa powder and around 60 drops of stevia, give or take.

Spoon into dessert cups and refrigerate awhile longer.  It will get very thick.

So decadent and delicious!  Just in time for Valentine’s Day!


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Non-food Treats

image: pinterest

Whether you have food limitations or you just don’t want to focus too much on food as a reward, it’s always great to have some treats that aren’t to eat.  Here is a list the kids and I came up with.

A walk or bike ride

Library

Bubble bath

Read aloud

Board game

Soccer or other outdoor game

Coloring page

Dance party

New iTunes

Sing-along

Dollars in the movie jar (add money as a reward, and then go see a movie when there is enough)

Craft

Have a friend over

Thrift store or garage sale trip

Picnic

Water games

Tea

Hide and Seek

Make Art

Back rub

Bird watching/nature walk

Fishing

Gardening

Painting nails

Any other ideas?


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The Emotional Aspects of Food Allergies, Part 2

{Cute pic, not sure WHAT THE HECK the caption means though!}

If you are the one with new food allergies, my heart goes out to you. Hopefully your family is doing all they can to make this transition as easy as possible for you. It can be hard for them too. Here are a few ways you can show love to those who care for you and live with you as you deal with food allergies.

 Express thanks. Most likely the person who does the shopping and cooking is pouring a lot of time and energy into helping you. Sometimes they will try a new food or recipe with good intentions and it will fail, you won’t like it, or it feels like you are eating the same thing a lot. Thank them for their effort anyway. It will get better, and feeling appreciated is a great motivator to your caregiver. When my husband affirmed my efforts, I felt like a boulder had rolled off my shoulders just to know he could tell I was trying my best to help.

 Offer input; communicate. Be part of the solution. Look for recipes, be willing to try new things, ask if the family could look for a safe option for your favorite foods. Let them know what you miss the most or what you’d like to try.

 Check your attitude. You have suffered a loss—not like a death, but still a loss. There is a lot of emotion tied up in foods (especially celebration foods), so let yourself go through the grieving process as you let go of those old things and learn to enjoy new ones. Hopefully your family will honor your feelings. However, also focus on all you can eat and the yummy options that are available. Seek to be positive as much as you can. The world is still a delicious place! You will have times of sadness and even anger, but try not to take them out on your family who loves you most.  And don’t begrudge your family members foods they can have that you can’t. One of the sweetest and most mature things my daughter does is to let her siblings enjoy an occasional treat without making them feel guilty.

 Don’t complain. Have you ever been around an old person who wants to tell you about her blood pressure, her gout, the corn on her foot, the latest visit to the doctor, and every detail of every health problem? No one enjoys that conversation. No one wants to hear about all the things you can’t eat either. I hope I don’t sound heartless here, but there are many other things to focus on in conversation besides your health problems. Unless the person asks, has similar issues, or offers you an unsafe food, it’s best to keep talk about your allergies to yourself (especially in social situations). Constantly bringing up your allergies makes others uncomfortable. It’s socially unacceptable, just as it’s unacceptable for me to bring up health problems I may have. Find other things to talk about.

 Have hope. At first it seems hard, but you will eventually find food options you enjoy. If you are young, you may outgrow your allergies. Also, some people claim to have overcome food allergies with special diets. Maybe that is an option for you. This trial did not take God by surprise. He wants to do great things through it. Look forward with hope!

Find Part 1 here

Join me on Facebook!  {Reviving Motherhood}


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The Emotional Aspects of Food Allergies, Part 1

I’m sure anyone with limitations of some kind finds that there are specific emotional issues that come into play in addition to logistical ones. I’m starting a 3-part mini series about how to deal with the emotional aspects of food restrictions. Just remember, I’m right in the throes of figuring this out, but here’s what I’ve discovered so far. 10 years from now hopefully I’ll know a lot more.

 First I’d like to address the caregiver, since that’s the perspective I deal with on a daily basis. As caregiver, you probably don’t know exactly what your family member is going through unless you have been there, no matter how you try to empathize. So don’t act as if you do. But here are a few things you can do to help.

 Be positive. Try not to act inconvenienced by having to prepare special foods or change the way you cook to accommodate those with allergies. I’ve succeeded at this some of the time and failed some of the time.

 Be as creative as you can with the resources you have. Just keep trying things within your family members’ limitations. Don’t become discouraged if something is a bust or if no one likes it. Pick yourself up and try again. I have a (albeit short) running list of foods that were a big hit. I’m rotating them back through the meal plan. I also have a list of things they don’t like or are tired of. I’m always on the lookout for new things to try. I keep a list of those on my fridge, along with where I found the recipe for future reference. This is constantly at the forefront of my mind when I plan meals, shop, and think about food.

 Offer non-food rewards and treats. The kids and I came up with a long list the other day, which I’ll post this week. Gently move your family away from the idea that celebration always means food.

 Honor the grieving process. Your family member hasn’t lost a loved one, so of course it’s not that kind of grief, but they have experienced a loss. Throughout history and cultures, food has held an important place in memory, celebration, and tradition. There’s so much emotion tied to food memories and experiences. When your child realizes that he’ll never again be able to enjoy Grandma’s famous peanut brittle or eat cousin Johnny’s birthday cake, it brings feelings of isolation and loss. Be gentle and understanding. Don’t take it personally if your family member is angry or sad. This doesn’t mean you have to coddle them, just respect their feelings.

 Focus on atmosphere. You might not have a lot of variety on your table, but you can still clean the dining room, light a candle, put on some soft music, add a pretty centerpiece, and use real dishes. Offer a blessing. Guide the family toward uplifting conversation at the table. At our house we each share the best thing that happened that day. We’ve also enjoyed conversation starter games. Good conversation and a pleasing atmosphere can make even a simple meal fun. The table should be a safe and positive place. Will this happen 100% of the time? No, but it’s something to shoot for. Remember Proverbs 17:1: “Better a dry crust eaten in peace than a house filled with feasting—and conflict.”

Find Part 2 here

Join me on Facebook!  {Reviving Motherhood}


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Dark Chocolate Clusters-Dairy Free, No Refined Sugar

1 box Baker’s unsweetened baking chocolate

1/4 c. coconut oil

1/2 c. honey

4 cups any combination of dried fruits, nuts, and seeds.  (Our current fave is coconut and craisins–I know, craisins have some sugar…boo!)

Place chocolate in microwaveable bowl.  Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.  Add coconut oil and honey.  Microwave for another minute.  Stir until chocolate is smooth.  Stir in dried fruit/nuts/seeds.  Drop onto wax paper and freeze.  When they are hard, you can put them in a container.  They hold their shape at room temperature but get a little soft.  I like to keep mine in the fridge or freezer.  Makes about 16.

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