Scarlett …

Scarlett has a themed room – ‘The Sound of Music.’ I had posted several picture on instagram and then ask for someone to guess what damask and edelweiss had in common. All the guesses were right – smarty pants{es}!

Before anyone even ask – yes, the damask was hard as {beep} … the pattern was tedious, time consuming and a huge challenge.

But it it was so freakin’ worth it! I loved how it turn out! And I’m already commissioned to do them again. But be warned, you will probably see the exact pattern because I’m determined to master it before I move on. {Don’t hate me.}

But I have to say the roses mean the most to me on this one. I have won one “art” award my whole life. Just one. And it was a drawing of a single rose that I did in high school. I’ll post a picture of it one day soon. The few times I come across it, I laughed at the cheeZZZiness of it. But I loved that drawing. Unfortunately, I can’t draw worth anything now. I think my hand has become one with my paint brush! But this is the first time in my 9 years of painting, I was asked to paint roses … actually she requested rose buds. I got carried away. It happens.

The Edelweiss is a “fuzzy” flower. I tried hard to fuzz mine with the brush strokes. Tried is the key word. Have you ever seen Edelweiss?

Now, you have.

I’m proud with how it all came together!!!! If you stare at the damask, you will get stuck in a mesmerized trance. Trust me on this … don’t stare.

The Plan …

Aha! Bet you guys thought I was gone again … for a few months! But you were wrong! I’ve been trying to get my stuff together and figure out how I’m going to work on this blog amidst the other stuff that is happening in life. Yesterday was cray cray so I really couldn’t hope on here. I took Sweet Bud to the vet for just a check up {and that joker weighs 112 lbs!} He has to have minor surgery in a few weeks to remove a growth of sorts from his foot. I’ll keep you guys updated. Then, I had a crown seated today and another tooth beside it repaired. My mouth is crazy numb, but while sitting in the chair, I had plenty of time to think of what I was going to do.

I know I want to pick back up where I left off with the “clean/real food” eating. AND I definitely want to go back to where we were at in my autism posts {especially after I just read an article that Jenny McCarthy’s son never had autism.} AND I’ve had several request {no joke} on a post of hair pictures – new ones! My hairdresser, Rena’, loves that so many of you follow my hair! hah! AND of course, art. Because you know, this is the small words blog and small words is art. The rest are just freebies.

I have had so many people ask about when I’m accepting orders again. The only answer I can give is when I’m done with my current list. Below, at the bottom of this page, you will see what number I am on. I’m positive I have less than 17. But I’m trying to figure out exactly how many I have! I am currently talking to 14 people about their orders. That is right, I’m working on 14 orders/designs right now. AND you will all be happy to know, I think I got to the bottom of the inbox. There are currently 23 emails in there. Seventeen of them I have no idea what folder to put them in, but they have been addressed and the rest are current orders waiting on my response! Not too shabby! If I missed one from you, I apologize. I for realz have not seen it. Or it {quite possibly} got deleted! But that is an accident! I promise!

This year, 2014, will hopefully hold great changes. Expect to see some things happenin’ soon – I hope big things. I hate to be vague, but the minute I spill the beans, ….. it will fall apart. I am also in the process of updating my website – it will soon be visible on IPhones, IPads, etc. Clearly, I was just a little out-dated. Ugh {so embarrassing.}

And as we all know, I hate a post without pictures. I thought this one was fitting. Mainly because it is of my kids – As you can see, they act like me – This blog is a part of me – This picture of my kids belongs on my blog in today’s post. Did you see how I just worked that full circle? What can I say, I’m good. {ha!}

{Emme 5, Lawson 7, Carson 7 & Hudson 8}

Behind …

The story of my life …. behind! I had every intention of catching up this blog, emails, paintings, my website, emails, paperwork, shipments, emails, …. yeah, and it ain’t happened yet!! I’m about to tell you why I can’t seem to catch up on anything. It is going to be a longer than usual post, so sit back and get comfortable. Get ready to judge me. Call me a freak. A tree hugger. Roll your eyes and know that I’ve become “one of those people!”

Remember a year ++ ago, when I told you guys I went to clean eating?? Since then, I took it another step further and made my husband and kids go “chemical” free. I know you guys have seen 100 days of real food blog, right? It is basically like that. Only I started this before I found her blog and we spend {**cough, cough} way more than she does … or at least did in her 100 day challenge. For a while, I have been so suspicious of the dyes, preservatives, artificial ingredients and flavors, GMO surge that everyone is reading about. And especially when I started eating really clean, I kept seeing and reading all these articles that really make me question the food that everyone eats – eats without question. And the guilt that I was eating so clean, yet feeding my kids these chemically ladened foods was starting to really weigh heavy on me!

As I’ve stated before, I think the autism in our family is genetically linked. I will state it again – I saw it in both boys way early. And in Lawson’s case, before he ever had a vaccine. For us, I know, without a doubt, it is NOT vaccination related. I do, however believe there is something going on in our environment that is triggering more and more cases. And the GMOs are a red flag. There is no telling what I consumed that caused a trigger. I have never touched drugs, didn’t smoke, rarely drank – I sincerely feel like I took great care in and of myself. It could be so many different things that we probably will never know.

BUT, in my personal search for my clean eating, I discovered so much scary info. So scary, that my husband who eats hardly anything green, started to freak out with me!!! haha! My biggest issue is with GMOs. Genetically modified foods has got to be one of the most un-natuaral things we consume as humans. It seems they really hit the market in the 90’s – about the time I started popping out babies. About the same time that autism awareness started increasing at an alarming rate. Do they correlate with each other … I don’t know. Do the dyes, preservatives, pesticides and other yummy chemicals that we consume daily have anything to do with it?? I don’t know that either.

But I do know that in January, I sit all 4 of my kids down and explained to them what we, as a family, were about to do. There would be no more McDonald’s. No more Sonic. No more Little Caesars. White Cheddar Cheeze-Its – gone. Goldfish – bye-bye. All the chemically based and fake foods were going to leave our house. They understood that meant candy, too. But I promised them that I would find something equivalent to their current favorites. They all 4 were completely okay with it – such big changes in their lives and they seemed to understand – especially when we said it was for health reasons. I was really concerned with Hudson – remember, he really ate only a handful of things. He lived on white cheddar Cheeze-its. Fortunately, Annie’s brand carries alternatives to all my kids favorite snacks.

But this also means there are foods that I must make from scratch. Waffles for instance. Hudson eats a waffle every single morning. Except Fridays. He eats 4 pieces of bacon on Friday mornings. {And you think I’m kidding?} I went through about 7 recipes before I found the “perfect” waffle recipe for Hudson. And once I found it, he told me to never make another kind but this one! I usually make up 2 batches at one time and freeze them. It makes it super easy to heat up in the mornings. And I always find the time on slower days to make up the next batch or two when I see we are getting low. Now, if you do follow the link and try these, I’ll tell you that I do substitute the 1/2 cup of oil for 1/2 cup of applesauce instead. Anyway I can throw in a fruit or vegetable, I’m going to.

I also bought a dehydrator. And Oh. My. Word … I dehydrate just about every THANG! Hudson’s favorite thing is “apple chips”. I can fill my dehydrator with 2 bags of apples. You can see my little set up above. Years before my kids, I had bought an apple corer, peeler, slicer from Pampered chef. At one time, I think I owned that entire catalog – which is funny, because I’ve always hated to cook!!! haha! But I core, peel, slice. Then cut the pieces in half, soak them in lemon juice, dry them on a paper towel, then slap those jokers in the dehydrator. Half a day later, they are done, bagged up and will last us about 2 weeks – basically till the next pay day.

And you read that correctly, I hate to cook. Really, I do. But I really love to eat. And my love to eat far out weighs my hate to cook – so cooking is a must. I try hard to make several batches of meals at one time. You can freeze just about anything. And this really makes it easy to pull food out and just heat it up on those “I really don’t feel like cooking” days.

Every year we have always had a small garden for me and Emme. We have always eaten the “real” food around this joint. But this year, we went big. Okay, really, we went ridiculous bigger! Lonnie built me a cute fence. And my gate slams shut when I walk through it! I have all intentions to plant berry bushes in front of the fence and we will eventually put wire on the back side of the wood – we have since realized we have a rabbit problem.

This is an older picture of my tomatoes – they have grown 3 times this size now! And for the moment, they are covered in green fruit and blooms. Yes, that is 50 plants! haha!! First off, I didn’t expect that many to make it. Second, we really eat a LOT of tomato based foods – pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, ketch-up {for cooking with – I found a good one for the kids that is all organic to eat as a condiment,} to name a few! If they all bare fruit like they look to be, I might get sick of tomatoes! There is other stuff behind my garden fence – I will try to post a new picture in a few days!

So, I know you guys want me to get to the skinny of it all – have we noticed a difference in anything??

Amazingly, yes. Of all the kids, Emme’s behavior has had the most change. Get that – the one that has always eaten really good before the change. When she does eat something other than our food, there is for sure, without a doubt, definitely, behavior issues. Uhmm, wow – and I am dead serious. Didn’t really know we had a problem, till we fixed it! Once a week, my mother in law comes over and brings over food/a meal. She is trying so hard to fit into the criteria, but she usually always has something that doesn’t …. “all natural” doesn’t necessarily mean real food. A perfect example is “Vanillin” – it is a by product of crude oil {you know, the stuff you put in your car to make it go.} Vanillin is an artificial flavoring they ’substitute’ for real vanilla flavor. Well, crude oil is natural. But do you want to eat it? Yeah, check the back of that candy bar – guarantee the ingredient list will include vanillin. Yummy!

Lonnie has noticed a huge difference. He started going to real food while he was away starting last August. So, he is really reaping benefits. He no longer takes prescribed heart burn meds. He also dropped the two different allergy nasal sprays he had to use because of his “allergies.” He no longer wakes up hacking up nasty, thick stuff {sorry, that is gross, but the truth.} And hasn’t suffered from any allergy problems what-so-ever since last year. Seriously people, this is all nuts!!!

Actually, none of us have been sick. That was probably the kiss of doom as soon as I post this. We will all come down with some crazy ailment! But we usually are not sick people anyways. Unfortunately, we did see one flare up so far this year with Hudson’s kidney’s and he did briefly test positive for protein in his urine. BUT I didn’t maximize his steroid dose and he came down with a higher, but not SUPER high dose {awesome!} That is first for us!

I am beginning to wonder if his kidneys are not damaged because of his past food habits. Where he did only eat a few, select things, there is a chance that his concentrated dose of a certain chemical/preservative/artificial flavor/dye caused the damage. The fact is he wasn’t born with his kidney issue. It happened sometime during his 3rd year of life – so who’s to say it wasn’t that. At this point, I just want to fix it.

I’m not going to judge anyone who eats at McDonald’s or Sonic. I don’t care which of my friends eat what crackers, if they don’t buy organic, if they use Crisco or whatever. Seriously, I don’t care. But I can tell you that there is NO WAY I can continue to feed my family the junk that is out there. I did our change over some what slow so that it didn’t shock any of the kids. And so we didn’t just go broke  throwing everything out and buying all new foods. If anyone wants to know the specifics of how we made the switch, let me know and I will do an easy post of how we did it.

Yes, cooking takes time. All the food prep takes up even more time. But I will still be here filling in all the holes with this blog, emails, paintings, my website, emails, paperwork, shipments and emails!!