Thursday, December 25, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas From the Housman Family!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Brandon is 22 and is working at a Porsche dealership managing the inventory.  He often shows up in some hot, new car from the dealership that I am trying to convince Mike that I need. :) Obviously he is a well-liked and trusted employee.  In January of this year, Brandon’s heart was captured by a certain young woman. When we met his girlfriend, Sam, we understood why! :)  We all enjoy spending time with her, and we are thankful to have her in our lives.  Ben and Jonny especially enjoy one of Sam’s interests—she’s a race car driver! :)

Emily is 18 and graduated this past June.  She keeps herself very busy running a couple of businesses and managing our dog website.  Last summer, she bought her own Great Pyrenees puppy—Sasha.  She breeds Ragdoll cats and also teaches piano lessons.   Some of her other interests include skating (hockey), hunting, piano, and blogging. 
Benjamin is now 15 and excited to start driving!  He also bought a Great Pyrenees puppy this past summer.  Her name is Miska.  He worked for Mike last summer raising pastured poultry and butchering them for customers.  He is also very involved in our dog business—helping with feeding, walking, training, and grooming dogs.  Ben’s interests include computers, hunting, hockey, making movies, playing violin and piano.
Jonathan our baby is 13!  They grow too fast!  Would you believe he bought a GP puppy this past summer too? :)  Her name is Rosie.  Ben and Jonny’s puppies both came from Michigan.  They will start breeding them next spring.  Jonny also helps with the poultry business and the dog business.  When needed, both boys assist Mike in managing our rental properties which includes cleaning, painting, and sometimes construction work. Jonathan enjoys wood working.  He makes beautiful spoons, butter knives, and spatulas.  He also enjoys playing mandolin and piano, hockey, and hunting.
Mike and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this year!  We praise God for the wonderful gift of marriage!  God has been so good to us!  Mike stays busy with his many businesses—computer consulting, rental properties, breeding dogs, and selling poultry.  He also enjoys being a county commissioner.  I stay busy homeschooling Ben and Jonny, studying to become an herbalist, cooking for my crew, and managing the home on our busy farm. 
We want you to know that we love and appreciate you, and we pray that you will have a personal relationship with your Savior, Jesus Christ.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to your family! 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Health Journal - Winter Prep II

There are lots of things we can do for our families to help avoid sickness during cold and flu season.  Some suggest vaccines.  Others avoid big crowds.  Many make use of anti-bacterial soaps and gels.  Our family has never done any of those things, yet we are rarely sick.  So I will share the one secret that I do have about staying healthy in the winter (other than good nutrition) - kefir!

Kefir, which I pronounce "key fur" , but is actually pronounced "keh fear" in Europe,  is a probiotic drink that supplies your gut (immune system) with everything it needs to keep you healthy. We often think that taking a probiotic supplement will do the trick, but our gut has hundreds of bacteria in it and consuming a few of those will not do the job.  But homemade kefir is more than probiotics, it also supplies you with many vitamins and minerals.

I am not talking about store bought kefir here.  There is no comparison to store bought kefir and homemade; homemade is so much better for you!  Homemade kefir is made with grains that look similar to cottage cheese.  These grains are added to milk (raw or pasteurized) and left on the counter to culture for about 24 hours.  Once your milk is cultured you strain out the grains, add them to some fresh milk, and start the process again - and don't forget to drink your kefir! :) 

We have made kefir shakes, as we call them, everyday for years. We add the kefir to our blender along with bananas, other frozen fruit, vanilla, and milk.  The more kefir you add, the more tart it will be.  As you get used to the taste, you can handle more and more of it.

You can learn everything you want to know (and some things you don't want to know :)) about kefir if you google "Dom's Kefir".  He has an incredibly informative website! 

Kefir grains grow and multiply as you use them.  If you need some grains, contact me, and we can figure out how to get you some. :)

Good health is really simple!  More on simple health care to come... :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Health Journal - Winter Prep

This time of year, I am often asked what I do to prepare my family for cold and flu season.  While there are some herbal treatments that I do stock up on (make), herbal treatments are not what you should be looking to for good health.  Yes, whole food herbal medicines will help you recover without the risk of harmful side effects, but you should give your body more than that.

While I would prefer herbal remedies over drugs any day, they are not the key to maintaining good health - and neither are vitamins!  You must start at the foundation - food!  Food is the daily medicine that will keep your body functioning well and your immune system strong.  Yes, your food is your medicine!!  Without a good diet, you will not be able to avoid illness.  It will haunt you all winter long, week after week. 

Really you have two options.  You can spend time getting sick, running to doctors, and trying to get well or you can spend time preparing healthy food for your family.  Either way you will spend time!  You just need to decide which you prefer. :) 

I try to keep my meals healthy but simple.  I spend enough time growing, harvesting and preserving my food, I am not going spend time preparing gourmet meals too - although somehow my family thinks I feed them gourmet meals. :)  I am not into recipe hunting. I just keep it simple.

One very simple thing you can do is start making breakfast for your family.  Feed them eggs. They are SO nutritious and simple to make.  You can get creative and make a different style of eggs every day if you want.  One day make egg sandwiches, the next scramble them and put cheese on top or try an egg bake.

Just start with breakfast!  Get off the cold cereal and give your body a nutritious, health building meal first thing in the morning!

More on winter prep to come...