Nov 29, 2016

Christmas With Chronic Illness - 5 Tips For Making it Beautiful

It's here, it's upon us! The holiday season is now in full swing.

Are you feeling it yet? Discouragement, overwhelm, frustration, defeat?

I wanted to encourage you before you go too far down that road.

I know it all to well! I've experienced it, lived it and quite frankly, I'm writing this to remind myself.

Holidays are stressful. There's so much to do and so many people to please. The Hallmark Channel portrays the perfect Christmas love stories, commercials are reminding us and our children of everything we don't have that we NEED and those posts on social media showing us perfection are glaring at us in the face every day.

Sometimes we think everyone else has it all together; their homes are perfectly decorated, their children are in every Christmas activity in town and you get to see all of those magnificent pictures coming at you every day on Facebook compounding your guilt.

My first few years of chronic illness with tick-borne diseases were devastating. Not only was I pretty much out of the game we call life but holidays were not going to happen without a miracle.

Here are some of the things we did and maybe they'll help you too.

1. Completely throw out all expectations.

I couldn't do anything but lie on the couch or in bed, I was miserable. My body was weak and wracked with pain. My husband and I decided on what was important in order to make our holiday enjoyable and memorable and we literally crossed out the rest of the list. No baking, no homemade gifts, no Christmas cards and no guilt!

2. Give everyone a job.

Now, I'm a bit particular about decorating and especially decorating the tree. During those difficult years I had to give up my type-A, OCD tendencies and allow my children and husband to take over. The lights on the bushes outside were crooked and not exactly like I would have done but they were up. The tree was a bit lopsided with too many ornaments bunched together but decorated the way my children wanted it and trust me, I had to work very hard to enjoy their creativity.

Imagine how wonderful they felt that they could decorate and help mommy out.

3. Order gifts online.

I was not strong enough to walk through the mall, much less a store to go shopping up and down the isles for the perfect gifts. Our Christmas shopping for those years was pretty much done online. Certain things that couldn't be purchased online were picked up by my husband.

4. Order a holiday meal to go.

Our Christmas meals are always spent at extended family's but there was 1 year in particular that we couldn't attend. We ordered a pre-cooked meal from the local grocery store and my husband put it all in the oven to heat. I can't say it was the most fabulous meal but we were able to keep our tradition, gather around the candle-lit table and enjoy time together celebrating the Savior's birth.

5. Focus on the real meaning of Christmas.

When you let go of your expectations, other's expectations for you and the guilt that most likely comes from inside of you; you are able to focus on what's really important.

Make memories by spending time with your loved ones, have great conversations, and ask your family to help you create a beautiful atmosphere. Play beautiful Christmas or worship music, light a candle or diffuse essential oils and enjoy each other.

My husband always asked me, "what's the most important thing you have to do today?"

So I would ask you, what's the most important thing you should do when you're sick?

When I was really sick during the holidays, I deemed the most important things to be loving my family, resting so I could get well, and worshiping the Lord.

When you let go of everything else you're truly able to enjoy the busy holiday season. I know it's still hard, I know the guilt will creep in but honestly my children don't remember anything about those years except that they had a wonderful Christmas.

Take some time today and make a list of everything you think you have to do for the season, then grab a marker and start crossing off those things that are causing you stress or that are physically not possible. Talk to your family and friends and come up with a doable plan.

Let's purpose to have a beautiful Christmas no matter how much or how little we're physically capable of doing.

Memories are made from the time we spend with others.

Nov 27, 2016

The Anxiety Summit Cyber Monday Special

"The Anxiety Summit Thanksgiving Sale" is for 3 days only!

It begins Cyber Monday, November 28 and goes until 

November 30 (U.S. Eastern Time).

For a few short day you can enjoy a whopping $60 discount on all of the Anxiety Summit products for each of the 4 seasons!  You will not want to miss this special offer. It starts on Cyber Monday, November 28, 2016 and continues for 3 days!

I listened in on The Anxiety Summit a few years back and that's how I found the help I needed for my daughter. It turns out that much of what I learned from these summits has been extremely helpful for my whole family. These tools have helped us address our emotional health as we've recovered from chronic Lyme Disease.

The Anxiety Summit: Nutritionals Solutions to End Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Panic Attacks and OCD - is a great resource to help you with:
  • Resources to feel cool, calm and collected during the holidays! (our serotonin takes a dip in the winter and you may feel more blue and even more anxious)
  • Nutritional information to help reduce stress, heal the gut, eat a low-histamine diet, balance the microbiome, figure out methylation, pyroluria and much more
  • Tools to help balance brain chemistry to keep out-of-control carb cravings in check -so no will-power is required and there are no feelings of deprivation!

Many wonderful practitioners have been featured experts: JJ Virgin, Izabella Wentz, Magdalena Wszelaki, Julie Matthews, Jay Davidson, Tom Malterre, Peter Osborne, Nicole Beurkens, Kelly Brogan, Mira Dessy, Margaret Floyd, Hyla Cass, Anna Cabeca, Corey Schuler, Robin Nielsen, Randy Hartnell, Tom Malterre, Mikell Parsons, Lauren Noel, Alan Christianson, Summer Bock, Kaayla Daniel, Jill Carnahan, Joe Tatta, Mira and Jayson Calton, Kim D’Eramo, Josh Axe, Steve Wright, James Maskell, Autumn Smith, Julia Ross, Daniel Amen, Ann Louise Gittleman, Ben Lynch, Liz Lipski and others

Amazing researchers have also been featured experts: Dr. Ted Dinan (psychobiotics), Dr. Felice Jacka (nutritional psychiatry and red meat) and Dr. Amanda Swart (rooibos to reduce cortisol)

There are also wonderfully uplifting and hopeful client success stories: using GABA for Lyme anxiety, using tryptophan for anxiety and insomnia, going gluten-free.

Anxiety Summit, Lyme Disease

Here are some 'features' of Anxiety Summit products:

  • Each season features 25+ hours of audio interviews (with a transcripts option) with anxiety experts and thought leaders addressing a myriad of topics related to food, biochemistry, functional medicine, toxin elimination and lifestyle changes to end anxiety, panic attacks, social anxiety and OCD
  • Our experts are respected researchers, doctors, psychiatrists, nutritionists, consumer advocates, and psychologists
  • Each interview offers valuable science-based information along with practical resources that can be used right away.
  • The interview topics include targeted amino acids such as GABA and tryptophan, psychoneuroendocrinology, adrenal health, eating for hormone balance, MTHFR and methyfolate, benzodiazepine dangers, anxiety and addictions, anxiety and autism, Lyme anxiety, mercury toxicity, mold exposure, pyroluria and social anxiety, community, the microbiome and gut health, gluten and grain issues and so much more.
  • Provides the latest studies on food-mood connection, useful to both practitioners and non-practitioners.
  • The interviews are available for purchase in 3 different formats
    • M3 (audio) downloads
    • MP3 and PDF (audio and transcript) downloads
    • data CD with MP3s and PDFs (audio and transcript)


Be sure to snag this deal while it lasts, I know you will be glad you did!

Nov 25, 2016

Young Living Black Friday Sale

DISCLAIMER: This post may contain affiliate links.

I can't wait to tell you about 

Young Living's Black Friday Sale going on right now. 

I am an independent Young Living Distributor and I love these oils and sharing all about them. We use them for everything from overall wellness to cleaning our home.

Check out this special promotion going on for just a short time.

I'm having my own Black Friday Sale with Young Living.

I am personally offering an Essential Oils Pocket Guide for anyone who signs up under me when they purchase the Premium Starter Kit. This is a $28 value.

My Black Friday sale starts today and ends on Monday December 28, 2016 at midnight Eastern Standard Time.

This Pocket Guide has everything you need to get started as you begin to use your essential oils and is small enough to carry with you wherever you need.

I've been using Young Living essential oils for over 9 years and my family and I love them.

If you want further information send me an email

Hurry though, this promo doesn't last forever.

Nov 14, 2016

Homeschool High School Record Keeping & Transcripts

Homeschool, high school, transcripts, record keeping, high school course descriptions

This post may contain affiliate links.

Are you anxious about homeschooling high school? Maybe you’re already doing it but you have no earthly idea how to keep up with the grading or record keeping.

I'm a seasoned homeschool mom of four. So far, I’ve graduated my two oldest daughters and continue to homeschool my 16yo and 9yo.

Like many, I was intimidated by the thought of homeschooling high school, especially those dreaded transcripts.

Nov 9, 2016

My Favorite Supplements for Lyme and Every Day

Favorite Supplements, Vitamins, Minerals, Detox, Lyme

DISCLAIMER: I just became an Amazon Associate and would really appreciate it if you decide to buy, that you'd use my links below. You won't pay anything extra but I might make a little bit which will help us pay off our medical debt. Thanks.

Whenever I'm with friends the subject of supplements frequently comes up. I love comparing what my other Lyme friends are taking and sharing what I've found that works.

Just as I do with my friends, I thought I'd share with you my very favorite supplements.

Perque - Mg Plus Guardâ"¢ 180 vcaps

  PERQUE MG Plus Guard is my favorite magnesium supplement.

Lidtke Technologies L-Tryptophan Capsules, 120 Count

Lidtke Technologies L-Tryptophan is an amino acid that naturally increases your serotonin and helps you to sleep.

GABA Calm Sublingual-Orange Source Naturals, Inc. 30 Lozenge
Source Naturals GABA Calm, Orange Flavored Sublingual helped my daughter with her anxiety and it's helpful for an overall calm feeling. GABA is usually something our bodies make but as we age or deal with chronic illness we may need to supplement.


Ginger is our go-to for nausea, stomach ache, and acid reflux. It also works great for motion sickness.

Nature's Way Activated Charcoal, 100 Capsules
Activated Charcoal is an amazing supplement to use when you get sick with food poisoning or a gastrointestinal viral infection. This supplement shouldn't be used at the same time as other medications because it can absorb them so seek the advice of your doctor.
Sovereign Silver Bio-Active Silver Hydrosol for Immune Support - 10 ppm, 4oz (118mL) - Dropper (FFP)

Sovereign Silver is such a helpful supplement for just about everything. We use it for the skin or we take it internally.

Curcumin 185x 40 mg Solgar 60 Softgel

Solgar Curcumin is a product I'm just recently trying. I am really impressed with how quickly it worked to alleviate my joint and muscle pain. I much prefer to use natural pain management products. This one doesn't cause stomach upset, it's highly absorbable and it lasts for 24 hours. My only caution is that it does contain Polysorbate-80, so if you have leaky gut or a sensitive gut from antibiotic use, check with your doctor first or use with caution. Personally, I'm very sensitive but after a few doses, I've been doing just fine.

Yerba Prima Psyllium Husks, 180  Veg Capsules
Yerba Prima Psyllium Husk Capsules are an easy way to increase your fiber intake. This was very helpful for me when on high doses of antibiotics. Just don't take it at the same time.

Nutramedix Inc, - Burbur Detox 1 ozNutramedix Burbur is our favorite detox herb. We love to add Burbur to a little tea or juice when we're having any Lyme related symptoms and it works great with Sarsaparilla.

Herb Pharm Sarsaparilla Extract for Cleansing and Detoxification - 1 Ounce Herb Pharm Sarsaparilla is a detox and cleansing herb that we like to add along with the Burbur. This combination is really helpful for herxes.

Be Sure to bookmark this page and check back frequently. I plan to add to my list of favorite supplements.

Nov 2, 2016

Should You Homeschool if You Have a Chronic Illness?

Deciding to homeschool is a deeply personal choice, but if you have a chronic illness or serious medical condition that choice becomes a very complicated matter.

Homeschooling isn't supposed to be bringing "school" into the home. The purpose of homeschooling has always been to keep the family together, to make learning a part of every day life, and to nurture a child's natural desire to learn about spirituality, nature and all the things that he or she encounters on a daily basis.

Regardless of the method or style a family chooses, homeschooling has proven to be a successful way to educate ones children. Generally, homeschooling families enjoy learning and exploring together in a more relaxed and nurturing way.

I homeschooled for 6 years before I started having Lyme symptoms. By that time we had found our favorite ways of learning and were comfortable with our routines both for education and home life.

Once I became sick our entire homeschool changed, our methods changed, our curriculum changed and our schedules changed.  You can read my post Chronically Ill Homeschooling Part 2 - When Mom Is Sick.

Shortly after I was diagnosed with chronic tick-borne infections my children were also diagnosed. Continuing to homeschool was the best option for us because my kids were too sick to go to school. Our reasons and goals for homeschooling hadn't changed either so we felt it was the best option for us.

While I can't speak so much about the choice to begin your homeschooling journey due to an illness, I can share my experience and perspective of actually living this lifestyle. Obviously, this is a deeply personal choice either way and one that requires a lot of prayer and consideration.

If you're trying to decide whether or not homeschooling would work for you, spend some time thinking about these questions.

1. Why do I want to homeschool or continue to homeschool if I'm already doing it?
2. Have I prayed about this with my spouse?
3. How does my spouse feel about this?
4. How much time will be required to homeschool my child or children?
5. Am I capable of spending the time needed to oversee my children's day to day learning and if not, is there someone else who can?
6. Will I have the support of my husband, family member or trusted friend if my health declines?
7. Will my children be able to emotionally handle being with me if I'm always sick.
8. Will my children be able to spend time outdoors, on field trips or in any other outside activity?
9. Will it be easier to homeschool than to get my child to school, attend activities, field trips, and help with their homework and projects assigned by a school teacher?
10. How does your child feel about being homeschooled or attending school outside the home?
11. Is there a co-op or a friend that could take some of the burden off by teaching a few classes?
12. Is your child old enough to work independently?

These questions are important to consider especially if you are very sick and the child is not.

Sometimes we don't consider how our sickness impacts our children. Their personality may make it better for them to be close to you through this time or they may really need to have time to be out of the house. This doesn't necessarily mean they should go to school, just that they will need more time to be with friends or in outside activities.

Children can easily participate in online classes with a virtual teacher who does all the lesson planning and grading but homeschooling is much more than textbook learning.

It's so important for our children to have balanced relationships with their family and with others, to be able to explore and to have time to try new things. Don't forget that the Internet allows for virtual experiences that greatly impact your children.

Sometimes a health crisis is only temporary but when it's long term homeschooling could be difficult and finding ways to provide enriching activities can be a little more challenging but it can be done.

When children reach middle and high school years some children want to be on the move, they have a deeper desire to explore the world around them. This doesn't always mean they should, again, that is a decision for each family.

Some children feel that being home all the time with a sick mom is a burden they can't carry, so making opportunities for them to be with others is important. When they're older you might allow them to serve in the community or get christian service hours. Many teens are ready for a part time job and these are all great ways to ensure they are getting the experiences they need. 

You can homeschool when you're sick but make sure your children are being nourished in every area of their lives, not just educational book work.

Remember, God is faithful in our homeschool but He is also faithful if you choose to place your children in a school outside of your home.

The most important advice I can give is to pray and seek God's will for your family, your children and your marriage.