Saturday, May 29, 2010

Feeding Babies

I was reading up on nutrition and some new recipes at one of my favorite blogs, Meg's Fave Recipes.  I highly recommend the nutritional guidelines set by Weston Price, which is the basis for the book "Nourishing Traditions."  If you haven't read 'Nourishing Traditions,'  I am strongly encouraging you to run to the bookstore and buy a copy RIGHT NOW.  If you want to know why, refer back to this post.

Meg posted a link on her blog to a general guideline on feeding babies.  I think the info is so important, I am sharing it myself.  The doctors and food companies are wrong, wrong, WRONG.  A baby's stomach is not ready for any type of grain until after the first birthday, and we are taught to start an infant on cereal sometimes as early as 3 months.  If you have children, or are planning to have children, PLEASE read this post.  You very well may be (unknowingly) leading your infant down the road that leads to obesity, allergies, asthma, heart disease, or diabetes.  The link is here.

Again, I am not here to tell anyone how to do anything.  "To each, his own, I say."  But I feel very strongly about several topics, and traditional nutrition is one of them.  I wouldn't feel right about keeping the information to myself.

I will post more information soon.  I recently purchased my own grains and am going to experiment with grinding them myself before soaking and using them in baking recipes.  The info on why I soak my grains before baking or cooking them is here.  I will keep you posted on how they turn out.

My mom and i are also experimenting with homemade lotion recipes.  We've already tried making our own almond oil lotion, and grapeseed oil lotion.  We've both been using the grapeseed oil lotion for over a month.  It's pretty good stuff!  :)  I also want to try making toothpaste, deodorant, and various other health and beauty staples.  I'm loving the cost savings and control over what is in the products I'm using every day.  Especially in things my kids use, like toothpaste and lotion.  I will post the recipes after I have tried them, just in case anyone is interested.

Lastly, I bought some kombucha at a nearby health food store.  Kombucha is a chinese tea (it's actually a by-product of fermenting tea and sugar that is full of lacto-bacilli).  I read that it's hard to find store-bought kombucha that is worth drinking, but home brewing is hard, dangerous, and time-consuming.  The brand I tried was GT's Raw Organic, and it is definitely potent!!  From what I've read, true kombucha should give you a "buzz' after drinking it.  Try a bottle of GT's!!  I tried almost all the flavors, and I recommend the ginger.  Good stuff.  :)  According to the bottle (and many sources I've read) kombucha supports digestion, metabolism, the immune system, appetite control, weight control, liver function, body alkalinity, anti-aging, cell integrity, and healthy skin and hair.  I don't know if it can really accomplish all of those claims, but I've heard it's very good for cleansing the body of toxins. shouldn't drink kombucha if you are pregnant or nursing, since your body may dispose of toxins in your breastmilk, and a baby may receive them through your bloodstream.  I waited until I knew Lex was through nursing before I tried it.  I'm hooked for now.  :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Farm Life

This is from a friend of mine, who is, as she puts it, 'living totally store free- on a farm, and at peace.''  I thought it would be a nice follow up to my post from yesterday, since it describes the life I want for myself and my kids PERFECTLY.  She sent this to her old homeschool group here in Michigan, just to tell them how they were all doing and describe the new life they were living.  I am so happy for her, and so jealous!!  :-)

'I want to move on a farm too and be with like minded people!!'

All this talk has made me think about how we are living now....I already did that-- and LOVE it. We butcher our own cows, hogs, pigs, chicken, turkeys, ducks and pheasants. We have fresh cow milk daily (and goat but none of us really like the taste too much- use it for cooking and cheeses) We make our own bread, cheese, doughs (for pizza, pies and stuff) and eat all chicken, pheasant, and duck eggs. It is sooooo easy- and waaaayyyy cheaper. All our animals are pasture (grass fed only!) with hay added. They also drink right out of the creek! Never knew they could live like that AND get fat-- but they do!! So-- no feeding or watering ever! Except for the pigs and hogs who get our table scraps. Just have to open chicken coop up in the morning than close it at night- chickens and all birds know to go in to avoid coyotes at night. Never knew farm life could be sooo easy. The neighbor butches all animals for us- and we package it up ourselves- so we just pay for original purchase of animal- and that's it. And now with baby chicks, pigs and cows- we don't even need to purchase them again! Have three freezers FULL of all cuts and kinds of meat- for about $500 total- Well worth it! EVERYONE out here does it-- they call it living on self-sufficient farms. We also have apple, plum, peach and pear trees- and now growing oranges and lemon-- hope they take! Also have strawberries, rasberries, blueberries, all kinds of beans, potatoes, corn, tomatoes, three different squashes, ect.. My sister still has a pantry full of canned stuff from last year- jellies, meats, veggies- ect... No added anything- sugar, preservatives, ect... She said her and the neighbor canned one day to get all that- it lasts over a year! And they had a fun day too! And my sister is an advid beekeeeper- so we have honey fresh every day- very beneficial to our health. She also grows all her own herbs ( the legal ones lol) pepper, parsley, sage, thyme, ect... She has over 30 of them. Including her own wheat field! We don't even grocery shop- really we don't - Well ocassionaly- when my kids whine for drinks like pop and such. (Our only guilty pleasure left. Otherwise we are pretty organic now I guess.) Tried this week to make our own butter and ice-cream-- both great! I love the health benefits- but moreso I love the cheapness of it all. I get steaks, pork chops, ribs, bacon, hamburger- for close to nothing- just the price of the animal and hay-- and not even going to a store! Really understand why people are doing this! Good luck to all of you who are trying to live this way also-- amongst "city living" I absolutely love having the space and opportunity to be able to do this!!

And since I moved her I have been feeling guilty that my children haven't done much schooling. But then I realized in one months time they have... Gathered eggs, watched baby chicks hatch and held and fed them, had baby ducks, had tadpoles turn into baby turtles, fished in the creek daily, had caterpillars turn into butterflies and let them loose, milked a cow, and fed baby cows a bottle, learned more about and cared for and fed horses, cows and pigs, gardened- and learned about spices, vegetables, fruits, cooked (learned math and science there) caught fireflies in jars at night, learned about bonfires and how air helps keep the fire going, ect... And once again I realize life is a constant lesson- and even if your not formally schooling them- they are always learning so much- just by living- and you being there right along with them. As a former homeschooler here told me- we are teaching our children life-lessons and how to be self-sufficient in life. And let me tell you- these homeschooled farm kids can and do work! It's just a "normal" way of life for them- and now us too:)
Just a little hi- to all my friends back there- and as you can see we are doing fine:) Take Care- and we'll be in touch........
I love it!!!  Farming is not for everyone, but to some there is no other way of life.  I feel it in my very soul.  I have wanted a farm since I was old enough to learn the difference between farm life and city life.  And I want THIS kind of farm.  Cows, pigs, chickens, bees, vegetable gardens, wheat fields, orchards...I could go on and on.
It seems like such a faraway dream, but Cheryl had written me to tell me that it's all possible.  God is so big!  If it is in accordance with His Will, He will make a way for a mom and her babies to live the farm life.  And then this country girl can blog all about it.  :-D 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Downsizing. :)

I have a slight disdain for the conventional American lifestyle.  I heard a statistic in church years ago that said  by simply living in America, you are richer than 80% of the world's population.  I thought on that for weeks.  And I'll admit that I was a spoiled brat and didn't even realize it.  I think we all are, even if it's just a little bit.

Have you ever skipped a meal because you didn't like what was being served?  Imagine waiting all day in line for a bowl of rice.

Have you ever run through the snow in your bare feet to get the mail or morning paper?  Imagine not having any shoes.

What about running the TV simply for noise?  Ever thought about those who've never had electricity?

How about standing in a hot shower or bath, simply to relax after a stressful day.  Can you imagine NEVER having used indoor plumbing?

Can you?  Can you really imagine what that lifestyle would be like?  Do you ever stop and thank God for the lifestyle you were born into?  Even if you never had a tv, or fancy clothes, or gourmet meals.  You were fed every day, I assume.  Always clothed appropriately.  Probably had a warm, clean bed to sleep in.

I know that my opinions and choices are not for everyone.  I don't expect them to be.  You are you, and God made me to be me.  And these things weigh very heavy on me.

I remember when I got married, and I casually mentioned to a close family member that we weren't going to get cable.  He was shocked at the thought of an American not having a TV, and could not understand why I would give up such a standard item.  At the time, it was a money issue.  But the lack of it helped me to realize how unnecessary it was to my life.

Tonight I had an epiphany while trying to get my kids to clean up the family room.  They have so many toys! By the time we were done cleaning it all up, we had lost a half hour of our time and I was in a grumpy mood.  I would much rather have spent that time doing something else.  I spent the entire day today going through all of the boxes from Phil's house, and I can't begin to tell you how much stuff I didn't want to get rid of, but had completely forgotten I owned!!  I don't need any of it.  And i hate the space it takes up.

So I have decided to downsize.  I am getting rid of almost all of our toys.  My kids consistently play with the same few toys, so I'm giving away the rest.  I'm also getting rid of our TVs.  Yes, we have several.  And I have been getting more and more uncomfortable with the direction television is going.  I caught an episode of a Disney cartoon that showed a classroom full of children singing, "Evil!  Evil!  We want evil!!!"  Are you KIDDING me?????  I'm done.  I don't have the time or desire to watch everything my kids might see, and if I can't even trust the Disney channel to be safe, I can't trust anything. 

This is going to be a little difficult for me considering that I live in my parents house.  I can't exactly tell them that their TV's and DVR's have to go.  And I am fairly confident that I will get some opinions that say I am "sheltering" and "depriving" my children, when the word gets out about our downsizing.  But if these things are uneccessary, why do we need them?  If they distract us from the goal, why should we hold on to them?  My most important job as a parent is to teach my children to live a holy lifestyle, to consume the Bible from a very young age, and to set aside time every day for prayer and communion with Holy Spirit.  Not to learn Spanish from Dora the Explorer.

I want to tell you about a neighbor I once had.  She had a profound effect on me, and she probably never even knew it!  We lived in a second story apartment, and she lived in the apartment directly below us, with her 3 children.  She was a woman of God and I loved talking with her in passing.  One day, we were invited into her home.  The first thing I noticed upon entering was that she had no furniture!!  There were two bar stools at the kitchen counter, and an old rocking chair in a corner.  No couches, no TV.  They didn't even have a kitchen table.  I was in shock.

But then she walked me over to her dining room wall.  It was covered from floor to ceiling with scripture verses that she would write on paper and tape to the wall, and she and her children would read them over when life got too hard.

I thought on that for months. 

She had no distractions.  Maybe it was a little extreme, and probably due to financial circumstances she was in, but what a wake up call i received when i walked back up to my own apartment that night!!  I want that simplicity in my life!!  I don't want all the junk, all the distractions.  I want my time spent doing something useful, like learning scripture or telling my kids a Bible story.  Or having heart to heart with God because the kids are sleeping and I have finished my housework for the day.

Can you imagine how your life would change if you spent even one evening per week talking with God instead of sitting in front of the television??

It's not going to be easy.  This life is pretty comfortable, and when I'm tired, I love sitting in front of the tube watching my shows on the DVR.  And a part of me is afraid that I really will need the extra Christmas decorations if I get rid of them.  Or the sweatshirt I haven't worn in two years.  Or even the cd's I still have from high school.  It's my stuff, and I want to keep it.

But it's crowding my life.  I want to empty it all out so the important things takes center stage.

Like my neighbor and her Bible verses.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Where I am at this point in time. :)

I just had the craziest week in my life (maybe not, but it really did feel like it).  This was the first week that I worked two different jobs, plus my kids have had several end-of-the-year field trips that I've participated in.  To top it off, this was also the week that my husband filed for divorce and insisted on clearing his house of every item that is or was mine/ours.  PLUS, tomorrow is my son's 5th birthday party.  So I ran around like crazy all week, and have to get my house in order in one day.  And what am I doing?  Blogging.  :-/

If you've read my previous posts, you've heard me say that I am at peace with my divorce.  I don't understand some of the things i've received from the Lord, but I know His voice and that i need to trust and follow even when i don't understand.

One thing i really struggled with the last 6 months was the peace I am feeling.  I fought it.  I know that sounds crazy, but I did.  I love my husband very, very deeply.  I knew it was time to leave when i did, and I left with the intention to pursue a divorce.  But as time went by, I became less angry and more willing to forgive.  I've also been sensitive to the fact that I made the commitment to my marriage not only for my husband, but also for the Lord's sake.  And for that, I have always been willing to give it everything I had.

I prayed for months on behalf of my marriage.  I begged God, I pleaded.  I cried out to Him, and asked Him to help me understand.  Why did i feel such unrest when I pursued my husband?  Why did i feel such a peace when I let it go?  It didn't make sense to me.  Shouldn't God want to save every marriage?  He definitely has the power.  Why didn't He swoop in and save mine?  I thought he hated divorce??  These things ran through my mind all the time.

God definitely hates divorce, and according to Jesus, in Matthew 19, divorce is only "permissable" at times.  But not required.  And my heart was ready for whatever fight I needed to face. 

I don't understand why He told me to let it go.  I have my theories, but they're just that...theories.  I know that I was willing to do what it took to save my marriage, but God told me to be at peace with what was to come (and for the record, I never felt that I should file for a divorce myself).  On Tuesday, my husband texted me that he had finally filed for a divorce.

I have remained in prayer over the last few months, and have sought His will and desires in everything.  There are desires in my heart that I know are from Him, and when the time is right, He will bring them to pass.  I don't neccesarily understand all of it, but I have complete faith that He loves me and wants the best for me.  Today, I felt Him tell me to remove my wedding ring.  I said, "really Lord?  But I'm not divorced yet."  He told me again, "it's time."  I said, "But what will people think?  I'm still married!!"  But again, He gently said, "put it away."  So I did, even though I questioned it. 

I don't think divorce is the answer for every suffering marriage.  And I don't think removing your wedding ring before the divorce is final is the right answer for everyone.  These are things that were particular to my own personal circumstances, and even I don't understand them (have I said that enough?)  I have kept many details of my marriage and seperation/divorce private, so it's hard to share all my thoughts about it without betraying that privacy.  But the Lord hears my prayers and I seek Him daily.  I know that He has revealed to me remarriage and more children in the future, which I strongly desire.  And He has helped me get through these months full of strength and peace, when my humaness wanted to linger in depression and despair.

I put a lot of private thoughts in this post, but maybe they needed to be shared.  This is my journey, after all, and I'm completely led by Him.  These are the latest steps on that journey.  I also want to add, before I go, that because I have kept so many details private, it may be easy to misinterpret things that I do or have received through prayer.  The Lord knows my heart, and my husband's.  He knows the marriage and circumstances that I left under last August.  And because of those private details, I am where I am and the Lord has spoken what He has.  So I'm resting in the fact that anyone reading this can see my heart enough to know that I am only following Him, not myself.  :)  And that what He has revealed to me is not what He would reveal to everyone.  But He will reveal what's right for you if you seek Him.  :)

Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"My Grace is Sufficient"

I had a talk with a friend the other day (actually, it was the same friend and the same conversation about my interest in blogging).  I asked him his feelings and convictions about vaccinating his two little girls.  His answer was that he also sought the Lord about it, and the Lord kept coming back with "My grace is sufficient."  That really stuck with me.  If we lay our lives at His feet, He is going to take care of us.  If we seek Him in everything, He will guide us.  If vaccinating our children will be harmful to them, He will tell us.  If He doesn't, we need to trust in His perfect plan.  He sees the whole picture, and if we are in submission to His will, we don't need to stress over every little decision.  If we earnestly seek Him everyday, He will guide our every step.

I have been in a cloud of stress and anxiety lately.  Part of it is due to the fact that i have been staying up late, and i am very aware of the fact that I have a much harder time fighting Satan off when I am tired than when I am fully rested.  I am aware of God's promises, biblical and personal.  And yet i am stressing over the details of our lives.

I sought the Lord over tuition and enrolling my children at our Christian school.  I feel very strongly that they belong there (for personal reasons.  I am not saying that other educational options are wrong; they feel wrong for my children at this time).  But I have a very (very) small budget.  I sat down about a month ago and figured out my (potential) income vs. my expenses.  I have zero room for flexibility.  A short check, a sick day at my part-time job, or an emergency will throw off all my bills and obligations for the month.  Plus, paying tuition for two children means no fun money.  At all.  Add to that the fact that I have quite a bit of overdue tuition, since I waited many months for child support and couldn't make my payments.  I don't see any way to pay off this past year before the new one begins.

I'm also stressing about my future.  As I have said before, I am a planner.  I HAVE to have a plan!!  And I am at such a weird place in my life right now.  I am entirely in submission to the Lord and the work He wants to do in my life. I also know that His plan is FAR greater than anything i could ever come up with on my own.  But I get so much anxiety about the unknown.

Fortunately, I have learned that days like today are usually because I am tired and/or I am under attack.  So this afternoon, when my children were napping, I slipped away to my room and had a heart to heart with God.  I asked His forgiveness for my lack of trust, and also for His understanding.  He knows my heart, and that I really do want to trust in His plans.  I just get scared sometimes (and for the record, it's REALLY scary transitioning from a simple housewife/stay-at-home mom, who's husband took care of everything, to a single mother of four with no money and no idea what the future holds or how I'm going to do it all by myself).  I am also afraid that He might give me an instruction and I will be too busy to notice.  He has shown me His plans and has laid certain things on my heart.  I feel that my longing for more children and my own farm are from Him.  I feel that my new convictions are a result of seeking His Spirit.  And I am resting in His promises.

My big concerns today were tuition and the direction of my future.  During my prayer time, I sought the scriptures and several were laid before me.  I'll share a couple of them...

Zechariah 4:6
"So he said to me, 'This is the word of the Lord to Zarabbabel: Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty."
(Twice this week I was given this verse, and had never even heard it before!)

Jeremiah 29:11-13
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
(Sidenote...I love, love, LOVE that our God knows our hearts before we even come to Him.  We can't hide anything from Him, and we don't have to prove ourselves to Him.  He already KNOWS.  I feel such peace knowing that He knows that I am honestly seeking Him and I don't have to convince Him it's genuine.)

When my prayer time was over (and my kids were awake), the line that kept ringing through my head was, "My grace is sufficient."  He knows I'm trying to trust Him, even if I struggle.  He knows that tuition has to come from Him.  He knows I am trusting in Him for the future, and that I am willing to do whatever He asks of me.  And He will bless me because of my faithfulness.  I don't think that He is angry or dissapointed in me on days when i struggle, either, because I am earnestly seeking Him with my whole heart. Life is really, really hard right now, and He knows that.  But He loves me and sees my commitment to Him, and I'm sure he finds joy in it.  And He knows what needs to be done in my life.
His grace is sufficient.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Random thoughts at 11:00 pm

I cannot begin to number the amount of times I've wondered what my life will look like 20 years from now, when i can look back on it in perspective.  Will I feel I made wise choices?  Did I do the right things for my kids?  Big things AND all the little things?  Was I terribly stressed out, but way too busy to notice?  Will I still feel sad?

Saturday, Phil and I walked through his house (which used to be ours) and split our stuff.  I think it was one of the most emotional things I've ever done.  It was horrible.  I didn't know whether to feel sad, angry, or both.  I didn't know if i should stand strong and hold my head high, or beg him to agree to try again.  Even typing this now is bringing all the emotions back to the surface.

I feel so confused.  I said i had peace over it, and I did.  But i feel so sad at the same time.  And i keep thinking that if I pray hard enough, or long enough, maybe I can save my marriage.  But at the same time, I wonder if i should.  Or if I even want to.  I don't know.

I have always obsessed over decisions.  And usually, as soon as i make up my mind, i start to doubt myself and I have to start all over again.  But lately, I'm thinking that i need to stop trying to make all the decisions.  I feel like the Lord wants me to let it all go (big and little things) and trust in Him.  It doesn't matter how school tuition gets paid, He said He'd cover it.  It doesn't matter right now how I get my farm, or how big it will be, or how i can use it for His purposes.  He's got it in His hands.  Right now, I need to concentrate on each day as it comes.  And when the day is over, I need to go to bed, knowing that tomorrow is in His hands, too, and that He will guide each step.  It's not neccessary that I see every step of the way, just the step that i'm on.  :)

It's really hard for me to give up my worry.  I am a planner, a dreamer.  I like to figure it all out, and have a plan for every possible scenario.  But I can't do that right now.  My life has gone in a direction that I never thought it would, and i don't know what the future holds.  It's really scary for me.  But I know that my God is a big, big God.  And that He's done some pretty incredible stuff.  I think He can take care of the lives of a single mom and her four precious babies.  And that His plan is far better than anything i could ever dream up myself.  So as hard as it is for me, I'm going to trust in Him.  I'm going to surrender each day as it comes, and when i look back 20 years from now, I will see His hand in my life and the direction that He took me.  And I will be very blessed.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Somehow this post turned into my testimony...

So...I had some friends tell me this week that they had read my blog.  I admitted that I was surprised, since silly me thinks that no one ever reads it.  :)  They asked me if I am really into blogging.  My answer?  No.  I am so terrible at this.  I was never one for remembering to journal, either.  :-P  But I think it's starting to grow on me.

I've really been amazed lately at the work the Lord has been doing in my life.  I'm almost starting to feel spoiled.  He is so gracious and loving.  I pray constantly that I can please Him and bless Him in return.

I'm one of those Christians who's "been a Christian forever."  I can't tell you when I was saved.  I was probably a young child.  I grew up in the same church that I now attend with my children (it's been 28 years this past March).  I'm not the rebellious type, so making the decision to "be good" and follow Christ was easy for me all 28 of those years.  But I was never passionate about it.  I never woke with praise on my lips, never laid myself at Christ's feet and submitted myself completely as His servant.  But how I wish I could tell you the joy of coming to that place!!!  This has probably been the hardest year of my life, but also the most wonderful.  They say that when you go through life's storms, you either cling to the Lord, or turn from Him.  I clung to Him with everything I had.  I know that He does not cause the bad, but He can use it.  He used it to set me free from my complacency and grow me into maturity.  And I now know the feeling of being in the presence of His Spirit, and also the peace of coming to that place where you submit yourself to Him and ask Him to fill you up with that same Spirit.  And I don't have to worry anymore.  I know that He loves me and that He is watching over me, and my children.  I know that everything is in His hands.  And I know that He is pleased with me, because I have given Him everything I can.  Do you know how wonderful it is to know that GOD is pleased with ME???  I love Him so much.

There is a lot going on in our lives right now.  Tomorrow, Aimee has an interview for a potential (big) scholarship for next year (my kids attend our church's Christian school, and I am relying on the Lord to provide the tuition.  He told me He would, and I trust that this scholarship is in His Hands).  After the interview, I am going (alone, of course) to Phil's and we are physically dividing up our stuff.

I have a peace about my divorce.  It took me forever to surrender to that peace (because I didn't understand the "why" of it), but it is from the Lord and I need to rest in that.  I know that God has a plan, and He knows I am in agreement to it, whatever it may be.  And He's even been gracious enough to give me little glimpses into the future.  But no matter where He takes me, I know that I will be happy.  I know that I will be cared for.  And I know that I have His Love.  And I look forward to serving Him, and one day standing before Him and meeting Him face to face.  But for now, I am living every day as His servant.  And I'm loving every step of the journey.  :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

To be honest...

It's almost midnight.  I have been sitting at this computer for almost 3 hours, trying desperately to write a post about vaccines.  I have struggled with it since my last post.  

One week ago, I took my oldest in for a well-check.  After promising her all day that she had no reason to fear the needle because she was done with her shots, we were informed that she needed the Hepatitis A booster.  I gave the okay and bought her McDonald's after so she wouldn't hate me.

I also discussed with the pediatrician my fears about vaccines and my struggle with the decision to vaccinate Lexi.  Although she was incredibly patient, she was very much for vaccinations and clearly frustrated with parents who are uneducated but opinionated.  I was not opinionated.  Nor uneducated.  But there seem to be many parents who are jumping on the "anti-vaccine" bandwagon without really knowing why, and they are giving us genuinely concerned parents a bad name.

In the end, Lexi recieved 3 shots.  MMR, and two that I cannot remember because it is midnight and my brain is exhausted.  The pediatrician suggested 6 different vaccines she was due for, but I was struggling with the 3 (at one time) and put my foot down.

I do not know what the best answer is.  If Lex was my first child, I probably would not vaccinate her or any subsequent children.  I am uncomfortable with what I am finding.  But I also struggle with putting her at risk for now-preventable diseases that her siblings are vaccinated against. 

As for the rumors, they seem to hold some weight.  There are cells from aborted children used in manufacturing several of the vaccines, MMR being the worst offender (I did not realize this last Friday).  The abortions were done in the 60's and as far as I have discovered, they are still using cells from the same babies.  Although the cells are not in the actual vaccine, they do require the fetal tissue to grow the viruses.  Please forgive me, but I do not know where I stand on this.  If aborted fetal tissue were continually needed for vaccines (therefor continually funding the abortion industry) I can tell you that I would be 100% against it.  But 40+ years ago?  Which now protects millions of children from vaccine-preventable diseases?  I do not know if I find it morally wrong.  I just don't know.

As for the "autism/ADHD" scare, looking back I think I let the pediatrician change my mind and I really regret that now.  MMR is a scary vaccine.  I wish I had said no.  

I cannot give you my opinion right now.  There's too much out there.  When I started this post tonight, I was for them, with caution.  But as I looked back over my research, I remembered my reservations.  To read about the aborted fetal tissue, you can simply Google "fetal tissue vaccines."  

I do not believe the truth can honestly be sought.  The drug companies have mucho $$ and they make lots of it off of vaccines.  I am not against our goverment, but I do not believe that decisions are made with our best interest in mind.  I believe mistakes are covered up, especially when money (and lots of it) comes into play.  Even if vaccines DO cause autism, I do not believe that a simple stay-at-home mom could prove it.  Especially off the internet.  :-/

So I close with not cast me off.  There is much truth, and I seek to find it.  But I started with the wrong topic.  :-(  I do not know where I stand on this issue, and may not for a while.  But food?  Aluminum? Diabetes and heart disease?  These are topics with which I have much to say.  :)  Also, I cannot simply limit my blog to my "research papers." I'm really not that opinionated of a girl.  I'm more along the lines of "curious" and "cautious."  And I have a growing fascination with finding out who I am and where I stand.  I was once a simple wife and mother, without her own mind.  Now I am a soon-to-be divorced mother of four, just trying to find her place in this world.  Come with me if you want.  :)