Tuesday, November 29, 2011

An adventerous new experience


No, this is not a picture of me :)
 What do crazy teens and young adults do in the snow and cold until 10pm just to give them a thrill and a chance to get muddy, bruised, and wet?  What extent do these wackos go to simply to get everybody together to discuss theology and the Bible and Pizza Hut and sausage? 
Well, I'm one of them for the first time in my life, and we are the cavers.  Yes, I went caving Saturday with my sister plus 9 other people, and I loved it!
Here is my adventure.

I got off of work at 2pm and hurried home, changed, and heard the doorbell.  I grabbed a change of clothes and mom's tract phone and headed out the door with my younger sister.  After actually finding the driver's Jeep - another in the party had played a practical joke and driven it out of our driveway and down the ally - we piled into a very sawdusty space, packing two of us in the trunk.  After waiting maybe 20 minutes in the church parking lot - our meeting place - the rest of our group arrived.  Then another 20 waiting for some of us to get back from Kwik Trip.  In all we had 11, so we took the 11-passenger van belonging to (wait for it) a homeschool family from our church.  Two hours of driving got us to our destination at 5pm thanks to some confused back-seat drivers, and we ran across a field, through a cold creek, and up a very slippery, muddy, and steep slope to get to... a hole in the ground.  In the dark.  In the cold of a northern November.  About half of us had been caving before.
Sending the newbies down first with lights, our insane gathering discovered that caves aren't always like in the pictures.  They are damp and dark and grey and rough, with tiny hanging bats.  The ground is anything but even and walkable, and my whole upper right shin is bruised up from the crawling.  
Not all caves look like this

The various "rooms" we went in were simply different spaces that were larger than others, and more-than-likely separated by tiny crawl spaces on multiple levels.  The one was so small we dubbed it "the birth canal", although there were spaces much smaller than that one.  I'm happy to say all of us were born without too much difficulty.  :)
Oh, and the laughs we had!  From the 12 year old constantly stating that he was "very hungry", to my near silent being, and the guy's goofy jokes.  There were many, many little crevices and holes, being a natural cave, so when Brian was trying to squeeze his slim frame into an even slimmer tunnel, we all agreed that he could make it if any of us because "he had no hips".
  "What!" exclaimed he, in good humor, "I feel like this is Insult Brian Day, or something.  How dare you hurt my feelings!"

They're more like this.
Then when Josh laid out the rule that this cave was not our property ( the cave was on a resident's land which he let people used), and not to deface it, he concluded that was a good rule for life.  We started to discuss whether wearing makeup was defacing our faces.
And then, at the end of our trail, we all sat down in a circle, turned off our lights, and passed the Mentos around.  We all bit down on them at the same time, and watched the sparks.  (You should try it sometime too!)  The marvelous singer in the group led us in some hymns, and we sat in the pitch dark for probably 5 minutes in silence, praying.  You could hear a pin drop!  Finally, something like one did, and we all started snickering when the youngest boy's stomach started making strange, hungry-sounding noises.  We put our headlights back on and headed back, making a slight detour into a little hole within the hole, and rediscovering "the mud room".  I sat outside the pit in the dark (I had no headlight) and laughed as I heard the mud slinging going on below.  And when they came back out... lets just say they looked a lot different than when they went in.  Their happy-go-lucky time turned them into glop-monsters, and they paid for it when they got out in the open again.  At the top of the cave - back on real land again - we realized it was snowing.  Back down the muddy hill we walked/slid, and back across the creek.  Along the road to the van, where one side of the huge vehicle was designated to girls, and the other to boys.  Some of us went back down to the creek to wash off our faces (completely brown), and scattered in the dark to find a place our clean clothes wouldn't get wet... which was nowhere.  Not having eaten for about 8-10 hours, we debated whether going into a restaurant with muddy face and hair and no shoes would be advisable.  Taking a leap of faith with no logic, we called around until we found out where the nearest Pizza Hut was, and put in an order for three large pizzas, one cheese, one stuffed-crust pepperoni and another Hawaiian, and a mega size bread sticks with sauce.  We all approved, since it figured to be only a little over $3 pool for each of us, not including gas for the car.  We figured that 10pm was just as good as any time to eat greasy carb-bomb, so we set out, choosing the best looking one of us to go in for our grub.  Imagine our relief when we pulled in the parking lot and saw a drive-through pick-up!  The driver's face was streaked with what was now dirt, keeping his facial expressions to a minimum because of the mud's strong plastering effect, but he was so glad to see food, he didn't care!  Neither did we, because we looked pretty much the same if not worse, except myself who didn't go into the mud pit.  Our Pizza Maker was at first very confused, and then very amused, as he heard a great commotion from the great white van, as he passed a great big stack of napkins through the window to our great load, as if we feared getting messier.  Pizza never tasted so good!  And yes, we did get messier.

One of our passengers needed to work at 11, so we hurried back to the most central town and he went in one of our group's houses to shower.  Mom and Dad were in bed when my sister and I finally returned home, and we quietly and efficiently showered. 
The next day at church, we all smiled knowingly at each other as we passed by in the hallways, knowing how much different we had looked only hours before.  ;)

So would I go caving again?  Yes, I honestly would!

Monday, November 28, 2011

ADHD and ADD

Have I mentioned that I now have three foster siblings of the ages 3 and under?  That explains why I don't have much time to post, but I thought this was important.  However, not important enough, apparently, to go in depth and give stats and research findings on this stuff.  I'll probably do that later, because that's what I always look for in any article.  Being a health consultant and researcher for just over two years here, I see a lot of this, and I want to share the solutions with you, because (I'll give you one stat today :) about 16% of children in America are diagnosed with ADHD alone, along with 8% of adults.  And I know for a fact that few of those suffering from these brain disorders are not clinically, officially diagnosed.  The drug intake is going up, and so are the disorder stats.  I think it's time to take initiative and responsibility and take care of our bodies, not our medication budget.

The big 3 that trigger, prolong, and feed ADHD and ADD, as well as OCD (I have that), in many cases
  1. Sugar/too many carbs
  2. Preservatives/chemicals
  3. Gluten (and possibly dairy, in some cases)
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) produce these effects:
  • Hard time focusing, concentrating and remembering obligations (the Attention Deficit part)
  • Hyperactivity beyond what is "normal"
  • Obsessive restlessness
  • Sudden strong cravings or urges
  • Defiant behavior
  • Obsessing over a subject
  • Inability to retain one thought or subject for more than a minute
  • The feeling of being "caged in", almost claustrophobic, to the point of panic
  • Emotional highs and lows in extremes
If you have been diagnosed, or suspect that you have one of these disorders, these are the steps to take!  {First make sure you are taking a balanced, food-based multi-vitamin.}
  • Cut out sugars and most simple carbohydrates
  • Take Vitamin D - 2,000 IU daily
  • Get adequate rest and exercise
  • Take a balanced fish oil supplement - make sure it's minimally processed!
  • Try going gluten-free, or reduce your gluten intake
  • Incorporate lots of good, unprocessed fats - coconut, olive, palm, fish, flax, walnut, etc.  (avoid canola oil!)
  • Reduce TV time or computer, including video games, movies, and web browsing.  This shortens drastically the attentions span, and encourages negative ADHD, ADD, and OCD behavior.  Recommended tops for "screen time", and less is encouraged, for teens and adults is one hour daily, according to Dr. Spears, pediatrician with various degrees, and his wife MD Mrs. Spears, who are approved by many doctors, parents, and teachers, and authored several books on brain development.
Other helpful supplements and tips.
  • Consider taking GABA (200-500mg for children, 700-1000mg for adults), an essential amino acid responsible for anxiety-control, calm and peace of mind and body, and a positive, focused brain.
  • Other helpful supplements include L-Triptothan (another amino acid), Magnesium (a mineral used in small amounts for restful thoughts, muscle relief, and sleep aid, also used as a laxative in the Oxide form taken in larger doses), and several herbs include Lemon Balm (different from Lemon or Lemongrass), and Holy Basil, used most often for anxiety relief and calm.
  • A Heavy Metal detox is often very helpful.
  • Raw fruits and vegetables daily
  • A raw Probiotic.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Countdown 2011 - day 11


a gift for...
The New Mother

She has received countless little wunzies, socks, outfits, and bibs from folks, but this will make momma smile all over again at the creativity and thoughtfulness of this gift.  It makes the ritual new and useful and thoughtful and
Baby bouquets on Overstock for
$42.99

, well, perfect!  So many designs and colors and arrangements to choose from with Baby Bouquets.

Girls bouquet on Etsey for $12.99 

Baby bouquets on Amazon for
$39.97


More on Amazon for $49.99


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Christmas Countdown 2011 - day 10


a gift for...
The Photographer or Graphic Artist

So they have a camera, but what else do they need?  An upgrade at Picnik, the Internet stop for picture perfection, offering thousands of options to change, tint, add to, crop, text, border, and more, to your pictures. Great for scrapbookers, too!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thinking

Pastor was preaching about Postmodernism and the Bible, and this came to me right there, sitting in th pew.  Thanks God!                                               {and thank you Picnik}

Great Christmas reads

Looking for a read this holiday season?

A Love Worth Giving to You at Christmas by Max Lucado - CBD $1.99
Great for a co-workers or friend!

The Case for Christmas by Lee Strobel - Amazon $2.99

Advent Conspiracy by Rick McKinley and Chris Seay - CBD $9.99

Christmas Coundown 2011 - day 9



a gift for...
The Gamer

Show the... um... scientific side sitting in front of a TV or computer.  Sure to get them laughing, and sure to use.  The Gameologist mouspad is a great pick for that fun-loving techie at Zazzle.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas Countdown 2011 - day 8


a gift for...
The Neat Freak

She has calenders and cubbies and cleaning closets, but does she have a peel and stick white board?  Chances is, she doesn't, but whould appreciate and use one.  Easy to apply, and stylishly modern-looking and versetile, these make a great stocking stuffer.  And if she doesnt have wall-space to spare, she can file it away under A, for awesome.
Browse sizes and styles at ThinkGeek(dot)com, here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Christmas Countdown 2011 - day 7



a gift for...
The creative artist

The budding artist or the seasoned art seller - both will appreciate this sleek, modern looking watch they can design however they want to!  Using your average pencil, pen, or marker.
Most all style-conscious girls love jewelry, and what could be better than an all-occasion time-teller to show their handiwork and unique skill.  Flames, flowers, birds, solids, swirls?  It's all available in one package at ThinkGeek, here.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Set Apart Girl online magazine - Awesome!


Searching for good articles and sites on godly girlhood for all my sisters out there, I came across Leslie Ludy's Set apart girl completely free, extensive, online magazine for girls.  Jam packed with amazing insight from girls and guys all over the world of all ages, this is really the best!  The best I've found in my 17 years, that is.  So check out the site and read all about the pure passion we so often forget we share with thousands; be encouraged and spurred on to delve into an amazing relationship with Jesus.
The range of interest includes prayer, missions, love, self-esteem, the Gospel, relationships, style, modesty, full purity, and all around life-issues.  Delivered from real people with real lives and a real faith that are not ashamed to speak the truth in love.

Christmas Countdown 2011 - day 6



a gift for...
The Music-Lover

You know who.  The one who can't go without their ipod, talks constantly about the latest album, and is always drumming a beat on the table.  Chances are they'll take every chance they can get to show off their passion, and what is more fun than refurbished retro with a practical side.  Cute and convenient, this is a great stocking stuffer they will enjoy all year long.  Only $4.99 plus shipping. See the styles and details at PerpetualKid(dot)com here.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Christmas Countdown 2011 - day 5



a gift for...
The Greenpeace

Made by Survivors is a Worldwide organization rescuing women and children from the prolific and horrendous sex trade, showing them the redeeming love of Christ, and helps them to start a succesful and healing life by getting an education and working with their hands for income for their familes and themselves.  These amazing women saved by grace need your help.  Give a three-fold gift this year to everyone!  Their products include - handmade - breathtaking jewelry, recycled bags and jewelry, blankets, rugs, notebooks, cards, totes, purses, clothing, cards, beautiful pillows and throws, scarves, ties, wallets, adorable toys, and rings.  Below are just a few of the many.  View their entire stock here.




 


Christmas Countdown 2011 - day 4


a gift for...
The Fun-loving Foodie

The Foodie Fight Calendar for 2012 will usher in a year of fun with trivia, games, and ideas.  Loved by chefs such as Jacques Pepin, and designed by Joyce Lock this is sure to be a hit!  See samples on Calenders(dot com) here.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

PK � � ���!�ð!ì}Ž �� �� � [Content_Types].xml ¢ ( ������������&
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0ð¨¬IY7é° Œ´™2Ó"½Ÿã{ a & …5²5 ô¯¯zãµ ŒHm0e³ Ü ç(g &ց¡•Üz-½ú)wB~Š)ðÛNçŽKk˜ ‡Òƒõ{O‹y ¢áŠ>×$-
dÑc½±ÌJ™p®PR "å
"ýH‰7 )«=8S o ƒñ½ åÊဍî•JãU ÑHøð"4að¥õ Ϭœk:CrÜf §Ís%¡Ñ—nÎ[ ˆTs]$ÍŠ Êlù r˜¹ž€'ååA ëV

This is just an example of what I got when I reopened my YBI (Youth Bible Institute) assignment I had just taken an hour to write.  What's up with the "converter box"?  I don't know what I'm talking about, but it's due tomorrow at 8:45am.
Anyone good at foreign language decoding?

My new favorite singer - Jotta A.

Jotta A. is amazing!  Here he is singing with Michely Manuely


Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas Countdown 2011 - day 3


a gift for...
The Young Electrician

Every boy wants a robot, and what is better than building and designing your own, and discovering how they work?!  Like a school assignment for Christmas any 9+ year old will love.
Read about it at YoungExplorers (here)

Christmas Countdown 2011 - day 2


a gift for...
Extended family

Does the annual plate of cookies and fudge for aunts and grandparents seem a little too cliche'?  Need something simple but from-the-heart?  Personalized treat tins may be the ticket!  With several designs, shapes, and options to choose from, this top rated product at PersonalizationMall (here) is both practical and special - something they can use over and over again and always think of you.

More styles and shapes

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What's up with America?! Comedy with a point







Christmas Countdown 2011 - day 1


a gift for...
The Magna Comic Kid

Does your child, grandson, niece, or cousin love Magna or Japanese action comics and epics?  These are perfect!  Share God's amazing story and history of the world - plus how it applies to them - in an exciting magna outline they will be sure to love.
Check it out at Christianbook.com here

Birthday and science

I'll be 17 at 7:30pm!

And now for an interesting stat - 16% of science school teachers believe in the Creation account.
Check out Ken Ham's get answers on Answers in Genesis (dot com) for just a few of the hundreds of defenses and scientific studies of the Creation world-view.

And you may be wondering "Why is that weirdo Valary-Mac talking about science on her birthday?!"  Well, it happens to be one of my favorite subjects.  Whats wrong with being different?!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Watch for Christmas Countdown 2011

Yup, it's that time of year again.  When we realize that Christmas is really really close and we still have quite a long list.  Some of us simply need more ideas on what to get than time to shop, with our convenient Internet shopping and paying systems.  Last year about in December, I started up the Christmas Countdown starring 24 days of gift ideas, and this year I'll start it up on the 17th of November, so there is some time before Christmas to wrap and crimp bows.
Watch for this tag on my posts. >

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bramblewood Fashion week

Ashley from Bramblewood Fashion - a modest homeschool blogger - is having a modest fashion week with 7 challenges.  The thing is, it's more than half over, since I don't seem to have a very good handle on time. (Yes, that slippery little thing).





Here are the challenges:

Sunday - There is no challenge for this day. You can do what ever you want.

Monday - Black & Brown/ Red & Pink / any color combinations that don't normally go together.

Tuesday - Bold Tights {color, prints, patterns, lace-y...}

Wednesday - Dress like your favorite era. {1910s, 1940s, 1970s, etc...}

Thursday - Polka dots. {If you don't have polka dots, you can do another print you own.}

Friday - Your favorite Fall trend.

Saturday - Wear a hat.

Here are my modest models for the occasion:


Sunday
name: Maustem


Monday
name: Pearl


Tuesday
name: Imari


Wednesday
name: Nan
{1950's era}


Thursday
name: Allana

Friday
name: Michelle


Saturday
name: Rayne