Monday, January 31, 2011

Charlie's Soap Review and Giveaway!


I never knew that laundry soap would get me excited! After all, it just cleans dirty clothes. You would get excited also if you had struggled for quite a while to get your cloth diapers clean, only to find out that you just needed to switch laundry soaps!

Charlie's Soaps sent me some sample laundry powder to try, and let me tell you, this stuff is great! It has worked so well to clean my cloth diapers that I have reserved it just for that. I did try it on one heavily soiled load of clothes, and they came out perfect! So what is so wonderful about this laundry powder?

This laundry soap is biodegradable, hypo-allergenic, and phosphate free. You only have to use one tablespoon for a full load. It is super concentrated, yet chemical free making it perfect for babies and those with allergies. The laundry soap is made with a coconut-based detergents and green-river baking soda.

This powder can be put in a HE washer machine. I have a front loading machine and it worked great.

You can purchase the laundry soap for as little as .13 cents a load if you buy a big bucket. If you need to purchase a smaller size container it breaks down to .20 cents a load.

Besides selling the laundry powder, they also offer a liquid laundry soap, and an all purpose spray.

If you are struggling with your laundry not coming clean, or your cloth diapers smelling even after you wash them countless times, I would suggest trying some of this detergent!


Win It!

Charlie's Soap is giving away to one reader a 17 oz bottle of all purpose spray, an 80 load bag of laundry powder, and a grocery tote bag! To enter, go to the website and leave a comment about something you learned concerning a product they sell.

EXTRA ENTRIES!


You can do any of these things for an extra entry. Make sure to leave a separate comment for EACH thing you do. Please leave a way to contact you if you win. If you currently follow in one of these ways, that still counts as an extra entry, even if you did it a while ago. Just make sure you are still following in that way (i.e via email, facebook, etc.).


1. Follow Charlie's Soap on facebook!


2. Subscribe to our blog via email.


3. Follow us on our blog using Google Friend connect!


4. Follow us on Facebook and leave a comment letting us know.


5. Share about this giveaway on your Facebook page, and leave a comment with the link.-earn 2 entries!


6. Follow us on Twitter and tweet using this link: http://clicktotweet.com/51dUb


7. Blog about this giveaway and leave the link.-2 extra entries (leave two comments saying you did this).


8. Place my blog button on your blog, leave a comment with the link and earn TWO extra entries for doing so!


This giveaway will end Monday, February 14th at midnight, and a winner will be posted the following morning. We will notify the winner and they will have 36 hours to respond! Open to US Only.


This was not a paid post and my honest opinions were used. The opinions are solely my own. Thank you to Charlie's Soap who supplied the product for the review and giveaway.



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Friday, January 28, 2011

Winner of the Health for Godly Generations Book!

We have a winner for the Health for Godly Generations book! It is #5, CJ cjpeters(at)zoho(dot)com
Congratulations! You will be receiving an email shortly!

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Zulilly $10 of $30 coupon code



Zulily is a daily deals site for Moms, Babies and Children! I recently discovered it, and while I don't support all the deals they post, you can find some great stuff for a lot less money! They have a coupon code out for $10 off your purchase of $30 or more when you use the coupon code BABIES10 at checkout. This is good until January 31, 2011. You have to sign up for a free Zulily account (which is free) to see the deals.

I wish I would have known about the coupon, as I just purchased one of their deals! I bought a single Combi Stroller, normally priced at $100.00 (even on Amazon), they had it sale for $54.99. Shipping was not that expensive either.


They put up new deals daily, so it's worth checking back until the 31 to see if there is anything that interests you.

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Review of True Treasures



My sister laughed when I told her I agreed to be a Gabby Mom. Yes I admit, I voluntarily took that title on! Teach Magazine started a blogger program and I joined up, making me a Gabby Mom. :-) Don't worry though, I'll try not to be to much of a gabby mom.

Whenever I have seen an issue, Teach Magazine has encouraged me, and helped me to press on. I like that the magazine is not weighed down with heavy articles on issues that sometimes divide the women's Christian Community (head coverings, etc.). Rather, they simply aspire to encourage, uplift, and strengthen the Mom raising her children, the Wife trying to love her husband, and the homemaker attempting to keep her house looking clean! Actually they take the job of encouraging you so seriously, they changed the name of the magazine recently to Eternal Encouragement. Lorrie Flem is the editor of the magazine, and is the sweetest woman with a large family of her own!

I was sent a copy of True Treasure, 10 years of TEACH Magazine to review. This book is filled with gold nuggets! The titles of the chapters are enough to make you curious to read more. They are:

Jewels That Make The Heart Sparkle

Marriages of Solid Gold

Parenting Pearls: Practical and Priceless

Homemaking that Dazzles Like Diamonds

Homeschooling Nuggets of Wisdom

Godly Living That Glitters



This book is perfect to put in your bathroom to snatch little tidbits of hope and cheer throughout your day. I really enjoyed the section on creative parenting. There were some great ideas on helping your children overcome whining and bickering with each other. If I could conquer those two problems I would be elated! :-)

I was so thrilled to read her articles entitled "Boys Will Be Boys" and "But Will Girls Be Girls?"
She presented so many godly truths through what she wrote. Here are few snippets.

"As John grew up, he and his brothers began to to play with the previously-ignored stuffed animals we had. They were great for shooting at! When I had the three girls, I was reassured to find that some children do like to play with stuffed animals because they were cute and cuddly-female children at least. The girls naturally responded to them and played with them the way I thought they ought to be played with, while the boys were intent on conquering them. My children taught me something I knew, but thought I could discourage with gentle mothering. There is a clear-cut distinction between masculinity and femininity. It is the greatest of all natural differentiations."

"There is a language that everyone speaks. This is the language we speak by the clothing we wear. We can dress to portray femininity, masculinity or, as in many of today's fashionable clothing, you can dress to obscure the differences. As a Christian though, it is not the outside clothing we should be most concerned with. The inside clothing is more important and what I would like to talk about first."

This book can be purchased from www.homemakingwithteach.com for just $19.97. I have good news though! If you want to save $4.00, (who wouldn't?) just type in GABBYMOM during checkout. This is good until May 31, 2011 (One coupon code per customer please).

I received this product for honest review from TEACH Magazine as a part of The Gabby Moms blogging program. All opinions expressed are solely my own.










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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Melissa and Doug Sale




I don't remember checking this site out before, but if you are in need of some Melissa and Doug Toys, you can buy a $15 gift card to Brighter Beginning Toys that is worth $35! They sell toys from Melissa and Doug, Brainquest, Klutz and more. Click here to purchase the gift card, there are 2 days left on this deal.

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Monday, January 24, 2011



I reviewed these Undercover Nursing Shirts last year. I still really like using my undercover shirt, and would highly suggest it if you a nursing Mom. Zulily currently has these on sale for 35% off! I haven't seen a good sale on them, so I'd grab this if you need a nursing Camisole. I like that these shirts are actually long enough, unlike other nursing camisoles.

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Review and Giveaway Bulk Food!

www.morethanalive.com

I've given away a lot of things on this blog, but this is my first time to give away food, and I'm delighted to do so! More Than Alive is a fantastic company that sells bulk food and herbs, vitamins, berkey water filters, essential oils, books and more! I have ordered from this company in the past, and have always been quite pleased with how prompt the shipping was.
More Than Alive sent me some different bulk foods and herb teas to review. I wanted to highlight some of my favorite foods that they sell.

1. Baking Powder-Aluminum free - you might wonder why baking powder would be a favorite item of mine! I am very careful with the amount of aluminum products that our family either consumes or puts on our body, as my Great-Grandma had Alzheimer's for many years. She died when I was 17, and I have many memories of cleaning their house, and spending time with her, yet knowing she had no clue I was her granddaughter. My husband's Grandpa had the early stages of Alzheimer's before he passed away also. Aluminum has been suggested to have a direct link to Alzheimer's, and that is why I am so careful about it. Finding aluminum free baking powder can sometimes be a chore, so it is nice to know you can order it here! It bakes just the same as the baking powder with the aluminum in it.


2. Redmond Real Salt - Redmond real salt is just that, real salt! If you have only ever had the bleached white looking salt, you are in for a treat when you taste this. Our family will never go back to any other salt now that we are used to this. It tastes SO much better, and I don't think you have to use as much since it has such a good flavor. This salt comes from an ancient salt deposit near the town Redmond Utah, more than 150 miles from the Great Salt Lake. This salt is unrefined and free from any chemicals. Don't be surprised to see little speckles in it, that comes from over 50 natural trace minerals including iodine.



3. Organic Raisins - I am amazed over the difference between organic raisins, and the raisins you can buy in the store. These raisins are so much bigger, softer, and sweeter! We really enjoy eating these for snacks, and they work great in granola!


4. SOS For PMS tea - I seem to be either pregnant or nursing a lot, so I don't have time to suffer from PMS like some women. But the stories I have heard of women who do struggle with it make me shudder! This tea sounds fantastic to try if you struggle with PMS of any sort. It is made from Red Raspberry leaf, Peppermint leaf, Nettle leaf, Oatstraw, Alfalfa, Horsetail, Chaste Tree Berries, and Cinnamon Chips. I was amazed when they sent me tea how much just 1/4 pound was. You get a lot of tea!

I would encourage you to browse around More Than Alive website, and see what they have to offer!

Win It!

More Than Alive is giving away 3 1 pound packages of bulk food of your choice. So you get a chance to try a pound of three different items, it can be bulk food or herb tea blend! To enter, tell me an item or two you would like from their website.


EXTRA ENTRIES!


You can do any of these things for an extra entry. Make sure to leave a separate comment for EACH thing you do. Please leave a way to contact you if you win. If you currently follow in one of these ways, that still counts as an extra entry, even if you did it a while ago. Just make sure you are still following in that way (i.e via email, facebook, etc.).


1. Follow More Than Alive on facebook!


2. Subscribe to More Than Alive Free Newsletter found on the right hand side of the website.


3. Subscribe to our blog via email.


4. Follow us on our blog using Google Friend connect!


5. Follow us on Facebook and leave a comment letting us know.


6. Share about this giveaway on your Facebook page, and leave a comment with the link.-earn 2 entries!


7. Follow us on Twitter and leave a comment letting us know you follow!


8. Blog about this giveaway and leave the link.-2 extra entries (leave two comments saying you did this).


9. Place our NEW Modest Mom button on your blog (please replace the old one you might have) and earn TWO extra entries for doing so!


This giveaway will end Monday, February 7th at midnight, and a winner will be posted the following morning. We will notify the winner and they will have 36 hours to respond! Open to US Only.


This was not a paid post and my honest opinions were used. The opinions are solely my own. Thank you to More Than Alive who supplied the product for the review and giveaway.


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Sowing good seeds in our children


These scriptures stood out to me in my devotion time this morning.

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity, for God loveth a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9: 6-7

While I know these verses are not applying to Motherhood, I took them to heart in that way. If I sow good seeds in my children sparingly, if I do not take the time to invest in them, cherish them, build good relationships with them, then I will sow sparingly.

The promise though which comes if we sow good seeds bountifully is that we shall reap bountifully. Oh what hope that brings me! If I pour myself into my children, praying over them, loving them, rearing them up in the ways of the Lord, my desire is that one day I shall be able to see reward for all the hard labour, and reap bountifully by seeing my children walking in light and truth.

But I cannot do it grudgingly, or of necessity, for God loveth a cheerful giver! He loves a Mother who does not sulk, and walk around her house with a bad attitude all day, only doing the motions of what is right but inwardly grumbling. Ah yes, I must admit to being such a mother at times. Wanting to escape and go do something that *I* want to do.

Let us be cheerful givers to our children today, sowing good seeds and reaping while it is yet day!

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Doorpost Coupon This Weekend Only!


Hurray! Doorpost has released an awesome coupon for this weekend only. You can get $10 off your purchase of $10 and more when you enter the coupon code "THOUSAND" at checkout! This is to celebrate them finally reaching 1000 facebook fans! What a blessing! They have so many wonderful character training materials for raising children. I purchased a CD for my children that has scriptures being sung to help them memorize God's word!

You can click here to see their website.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Slow down Mothers...life is rushing by fast

This video made me cry! Ann Voscamp just came out with a new book and this video was made from pictures that Ann took herself, and she is the one speaking.

I have been so keenly aware of how fast life is rushing by. My "baby" is seven, next year I will have been married 10 years. Sadly, my life feels like I'm in chaos, disorder, and I spend my days scrambling to catch up on housework and schoolwork, and the special moments with my children get pushed back for another day. Watching this has made me even more determined to order my life, de-clutter my house, purge closets so laundry days are not as intense, and simply live life with my children and husband. Truly build relationships with my children that are lasting and deep. Pour myself into them, give them all that I have, not just tidbits left over.

May God give us grace as Mother's to be all that we can be. Please take the time to watch this video, it is so powerful!

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Review and Giveaway: Hard Lotion Bar by MadeOn


I kept stumbling across this website that sells lotion bars, and every time I would be at the website the testimonials were amazing! Then, one of my favorite blogs kept raving about the same company, and it intrigued me even more.

MadeOn, Hard Lotion Bars and more, makes amazing lotion bars, lip balms, hair butter, and rash cream. This fantastic lotion bar was made after Renee became desperate with having dry, cracked hands. She loves to cook in her kitchen, so she decided to try and create a lotion bar that would heal her dry hands. After using the lotion bar for several days, it healed her dry hands! She also used it on her son's seasonal eczema, and that went away also.

MadeOn Lotion Bars are made with just three ingredients, beeswax, coconut oil, and shea butter. Here is how it works:


I was sent a lotion bar to try for myself. I decided to try using it on my son's knees. For months now, they have had this terrible dry, white scaly patches on them. I have tried putting my herbal salve on them that normally works for bruises and bites. It didn't help him at all. I really didn't know what it was, but now suspect that it is eczema. Once I started putting this lotion bar on his knees, they look SO much better! It is not totally gone yet, but I think if we continue to put it on eventually it will be gone. I was getting concerned as I wanted him to be able to wear shorts this coming summer, but I think it will be gone by summer time!

I also tried it on my hands which were very dry from winter weather. It worked great! I no longer am struggling with my cracked, bleeding knuckles. I am very surprised that such a simple lotion bar can work so well! I had been putting really expensive lotion on my hands, but it didn't seem to be helping.

The Lotion Bar arrives packaged nicely, and in a metal tin for you to store it in. They have a family size bar for $9.75, and a pocket size bar for $5.75. You can also order refills for your tin, which are a little cheaper, $15.00 for two family size lotion bars, or $9.00 for 2 pocket size lotion bars.

She also sells diaper rash cream which can be used with cloth diapers. The testimonials are great, and I want to give that a try also!

Win It!

You can win a family size lotion bar from MadeOn! To enter go to her website and tell me a different product you would like to try besides the Lotion Bar.


EXTRA ENTRIES!


You can do any of these things for an extra entry. Make sure to leave a separate comment for EACH thing you do. Please leave a way to contact you if you win. If you currently follow in one of these ways, that still counts as an extra entry, even if you did it a while ago. Just make sure you are still following in that way (i.e via email, facebook, etc.).


1. Subscribe to MadeOn's Free Newsletter!


2. Subscribe to our blog via email.


3. Follow us on our blog using Google Friend connect!


4. Follow us on Facebook and leave a comment letting us know.


5. Share about this giveaway on your Facebook page, and leave a comment with the link.-earn 2 entries!


6. Follow us on Twitter and leave a comment letting us know you follow!


7. Blog about this giveaway and leave the link.-2 extra entries (leave two comments saying you did this).


8. Place our NEW Modest Mom button on your blog and earn TWO extra entries for doing so!


This giveaway will end Monday, January 31th at midnight, and a winner will be posted the following morning. We will notify the winner and they will have 36 hours to respond! Open to US Only.


This was not a paid post and my honest opinions were used. The opinions are solely my own. Thank you to MadeOn Lotion Bar who supplied the product for the review and giveaway.


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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Timberdoodle Review!




I was so excited last year to be accepted into the Timberdoodle Blog Review program! I grew up with Timberdoodle catalogs coming to our house, and I always loved to look through the neat homeschool supplies they carried. Now that I have started homeschooling my own children, we all get excited whenever a catalog is delivered to our mailbox. We had a late Christmas with my Dad today, and several items given to my boys were purchased from Timberdoodle. Hurray for educational games!

I was sent some books published by Critical Thinking Press to review. My children are ages 7 and under, and I know now is the perfect time to start teaching them how to solve problems and verbally communicate what an object is. It is one thing to look at a square and call it a square, it is another thing for a child to explain that a square is an object with four sides, four corners, with four equal sides, etc.



I was sent three books to review - one for each of my children who are old enough to use workbooks! My oldest son (who is 7) was sent the Building Thinking Skills Level One book. It says grades 2-3 on the book, but he has been able to do it really well! I have made some adjustments and not had him do as much writing as the book calls for. I have been very pleased with the progress I see in his thinking skills. It is stretching him beyond how he normally processes things in his brain.

In this book a child can learn:

Logical Thinking
Similarities & Differences
Sequences
Classifications
Analogies
Antonyms & Synonyms
Spatial Awareness
Vocabulary Development
Following & Writing Directions
Descriptive Writing
Geometry Concepts
Map Reading
Graphic Organizers, and more!

I know many moms dread the thought of adding one more book to the school load. This really doesn't take long to do. We normally sit at the couch together, and just pull the workbook out before reading aloud. My oldest really enjoys doing it. When I first received it, I was disappointed that the content was not in color (the other two books that I was sent were in color). After using it though, I think the color would be too busy for what he is doing and might actually distract him. Overall, I think this is a simple, quick workbook that is ideal for training your child to think on a higher level! I look forward to us continuing it.




My second son (a 5 year old boy) was sent the Can You Find me? Building Thinking Skills, Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies. This book is for kindergarten or first grade level students. I was delighted when I opened the book to see simple color pictures (I am not a fan of flashy, busy color workbooks for little ones). Israel struggled through parts of this book which clearly showed me that we have some areas we need to work on. Thankfully though, he enjoys doing it so the challenge doesn't bother him. If you have a child who really struggles with solving problems read out loud to him, than this book would be excellent at helping strengthen them in that area. One section of the book includes four different pictures. The child is expected to tell you chronologically what comes first, second, etc. in the scene. I found that to be very good for Israel to think through those problems. He liked the reading part, putting the ABC's in order, finding out what comes first, listening for the sounds, etc. We will continue working through this book, as I still see some areas that need to be improved upon before moving on. I think this book could be revisited several times if needed in order to brush up on the problems the child struggled solving a few months earlier.




The third book I was sent was for my daughter (who will turn 3 in March). She LOVES her workbooks! The Building Thinking Skills Beginner book has made her so happy! She gets a book just like her big brothers, and she gets her own special time of sitting on the couch with her Mama. This has been very helpful in reinforcing colors, as she does not know her colors as well as I would like. Because of her age, I have not given her a pencil to trace anything in the book. We simply use her finger to trace the page, and it works great. I have been instructing her how to answer questions, listen to the problems, and look carefully at the page for the answer. This book is great at developing reading, writing, and math skills. I wish I would have known about this book with my older two!

As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger ReviewTeam I received a free copy of these Critical
Thinking Press Books in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Adrenal Fatigue: My own personal story part 2


*If you missed the first part of this series you can read it here.


I learned that your adrenal glands keep your body working properly to handle the stress in your life. That when you are overtaxed whether it be by working lots of hours, eating really bad food, not getting proper rest, or emotional stress, it can finally wear your adrenal glands out where you can’t handle stress of any sort anymore. Even just normal stress that you don’t think of as stress, such as shopping, driving, etc. becomes too much for your body to handle and it views it as stress. This diagnose made perfect sense as I grew up in a household where I was at times under a tremendous amount of family stress. When I finally got married and was away from the stress, my body totally crashed.


Things didn’t get better overnight. The Dr I went to put me on very mild herbs as I was breastfeeding at the time, and so I still struggled a lot. It was helpful to know what was wrong, and to know over time it would get better. My second pregnancy was difficult as my body was under a lot of strain still. I almost miscarriage at 14 weeks, and went into preterm labour at 32 weeks. They were able to stop the labour with medicine, and I made it until 37 weeks and had a home birth. Later I was told I had such problems because my adrenal glands were worn out still.


I finally found a different Dr. who put me on Cortef (hydrocortisone), a prescription medicine. Our adrenal glands make cortisol, and Cortef mimics the cortisol our body makes. It is a strong medicine, and so most Drs. would not consider putting me on it knowing I was in a cycle of nursing and getting pregnant. When I saw this Dr. for the first time, she told me I was not in a state to get pregnant again for at least another year. I left in tears at the thought, and my husband and I had made the decision for the sake of my health to wait on having another baby to let my body have time to heal. God knows better than us though, as I was already pregnant and didn’t even know it when I had went to the Dr!


I called the Dr back, and as she was a former OBGYN for years before switching to dealing with natural hormones, she felt it was safe for me to stay on the Cortef during my pregnancy. If your adrenal glands get to low during pregnancy, your body will actually start to use your baby’s adrenal gland, which obviously isn’t healthy for your baby! I was also put on Prometrium, to help me stay pregnant this time around. The only issue I had during that pregnancy was my heart would race really fast. I slowly became much healthier, and when I delivered our third child, and first daughter, my midwife said it was one of the best births she had ever been to. I felt so blessed.


For the past two years now, my life has pretty much been back to normal. I haven’t had to take any supplements, and I have been able to handle everyday stresses much better. Before having our fourth child, I had enough energy to start my own business from home, making and selling custom made maternity and women’s skirts. In July of 2010 my mother passed away after a long struggle with Lupus, and dealing with all of that has been a strain on my health. I am blessed to know why I am tired though, and have started on some supplements again to boost my adrenal glands. I have also just gone through another 24 hour adrenal test to get a better idea of what state my adrenals are in.


If you feel like this might be an issue that you struggle with, here are some important things to know:


*Most Drs. only believe in Cushings disease, the complete and total death of your adrenal gland. You have no option at that point but to take medicine the rest of your life. If you feel like you might have low adrenal glands, you really need to find a natural MD, or a naturopath


*A simple blood test will not be enough to tell if your adrenal glands are really low. You need a 24 hour saliva test. My tests have always come back with my adrenals up at certain points, and really low at other times. A blood test would not be able to test your adrenals all throughout the day, just the one time you go into the Drs. office.


*Your adrenals and Thyroid are very closely related. Many times if one is down the other will be weak also. So make sure that you have both tested, and you need a complete Thyroid test done, not just a basic T3 test.


*If you want to study further about this, or read more about symptoms of weak adrenals, you can go to www.stopthethyroidmadness.com


*If for various reasons you can not, or do not want to go on Cortef, a good alternative would be Isocort. You can take up to 8 a day if your adrenals are really low.


Finally, be gentle with yourself. There may be things you have to start saying no to, because you are either so fatigued, anxious, or just overwhelmed. I have had to say no at seasons in my life to being on the Music Schedule at church, shopping by myself, planning day long activities for the children, going certain places, etc. It just wasn't worth the strain it would bring. I am tempted to beat myself up over this, or feel stupid. It doesn't help at all, and it doesn't change the fact that you still have this issue of adrenal problems. Give yourself time, and just spend this season staying home, and learning to be content.


I have also spent many hours pleading with the Lord, and praying during these seasons of fatigue. Trials do bring you closer to God, if you let them.


I do not recommend treating yourself for your adrenals before being tested to make sure that is what is wrong with you. I am not a health professional, I just simply wanted to share what I have learned over researching for the past six years now on adrenal glands. While having a large family and children close together is a blessing, it can also be taxing on your health at times. We need to make sure we take care of ourselves so we can continue to be the wife and mother we all want to be!

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