Nov 28, 2013

First Thanksgiving

If you want to know about the real first Thanksgiving on American soil, travel 1,200 miles south and more than 50 years earlier to a grassy spot on the Matanzas River in North Florida. This is where Spanish Adm. Pedro Menendez de Aviles came ashore on Sept. 8, 1565. This is where he, 500 soldiers, 200 sailors, 100 civilian families and artisans, and the Timucuan Indians who occupied the village of Seloy gathered at a makeshift altar and said the first Christian Mass. And afterward, this is where they held the first Thanksgiving feast.
Read more: First Thanksgiving

Jun 15, 2013

What I Been Doing

        It is about time to write another post here. So far summer for us is not much different than any other day. I find time to be mom, wife, question answerer, cook, maid, and anything else my family needs me to be :) I am not complaining I don't mind this is what I signed up for.

I am happy and grateful for all the time I get to spend with my family all year round! We learn from every minute of it because life is learning.

We have not gotten to the library yet which is a bummer, but hopefully soon we will. Our library has a reading log for the kids, when completed they get a prize from the box. We also could use some new books to read.

If you read my last log you know that I wanted to get the John Holt book How Children Learn. I am still planning on doing that. Lately however I have been doing some study in the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist which is really interesting.

Highly recommended topic :) For a good list of the books I like to read you see the page titled recommended reading.  .

Reading is a big part of my life which is funny because I never really liked it as a child. I found out as an adult that many of the things I want to know are contained in books, it was on from there :)

I also recently got a crock pot thanks to my Mother in law and I have been using it a lot and it really helps to make meal preparation fun and rewarding for my family. I can't believe I haven't been using one this whole time! A friend of mine gave me a really great crock pot cook book called Fix-It and Forget-It Recipes for Entertaining: Slow Cooker Favorites for All the Year Round.

I know it will really help me in a big way to use my slow cooker. The first thing I plan on making is the tapioca pudding recipe. I made tapioca pudding before but never in a crock pot so it should be interesting, fun and yummy!

Anyway just enjoying the summer getting the kids in the pool, getting together with friends and family is always nice. I hope all is well with you and your families!

Other than that we are just taking it easy. The kids have there video games to play and they love spending much time learning about video game development, especially my oldest. Just taking it easy day by day, living and learning.

Feel free to comment and share a little about your summer so far, I would love to hear about it. As always please share with your friends and don't forget to subscribe with your email that way you get first notice of new stuff posted to the Homeschooling Works blog.

I hope you all have a blessed Fathers Day this coming Sunday!

Sincerely Joanne

May 17, 2013

Every Day Is Special Holidays Around The Globe

    I wanted to do a post about a great blogger that I found. It is called Every Day Is Special, on this blog everyday is a new day to remember a new holiday, cultural tradition, someones birthday and much more. The authors of this blog does a great job at addressing several different interesting special days every day of the year. My children and I have had a great time reading the daily posts and learning about so many special days in our human history.

This is a great blog for anyone especially homeschooling/unschooling families alike. Make it a special event of your own and everyday read about the special things that are going on around the world for the given day. It helps me to do something with my kids that I have longed to do but kind of got out of. My plan was to share and learn with my children about all the major holidays that take place every month. For the most part we do, but this blog makes it a lot easier.

 I have to say this blog was a great idea and it is done very well I hope to enjoy it for a long time. I hope you can enjoy it with your family too :)

As always comments always appreciated :) Have a great day to your families success.

From Joanne

May 8, 2013

Homeschool Advice

   You may be visiting this blog for the first time, or maybe you have read some of my stuff before. I know that I am not real consistent with blogging, but I hope that what I do get out there is interesting and enjoyable to you. I love to learn and just want to share my knowledge and experiences with others. As always comments posted below each post is appreciated and feel free to tell me what you think.

I know that especially for those just starting out homeschooling it is essential to see homeschooling from other points of view as well as find out what other homeschooling families do. Learning about how others succeed and struggle is an important part of how we learn from each other, blogging is a great way to share this information with others. Like all homeschoolers we have good days and not so good days. We have the same stress as anyone else and need to find solutions to normal everyday problems. 

I hope that by sharing with you my experiences you can learn form my struggles as well as my successes. We are constantly learning everyday that is what life is all about and I will never claim to know it all. We learn with our children and everyone else we are in contact with and our children do the same. We can only do our best, when that is not good enough we must learn and grow so that our best can become even better.  

Things have been pretty tough at times and not just with homeschooling but with normal and some not normal everyday stress and issues that need to be and are being dealt with. I am not going to lie, I feel like quiting all the time especially these days. It has been five years since we have been with our charter school program for our homeschooling and we are headed to our sixth year. At this point my kids have never been to school other than some of the classes and events that are available with the charter program. 

I started with the program for support since I didn't know anything about homeschooling nor did I know anyone who was doing it. I only knew that I wanted to do this for my kids! We started with kindergarten and it was pretty good at first we kept up with the work and my son caught on real fast to all the lessons. He learned to read very well in Kindergarten and we were a little more structured then, as much as we were not. Sure I was still dealing with all the family stress, kid stress, and behavior problems but we were coping and learning better ways to do some things.

These days I find it very hard to keep on a schedule and even harder to get my kids to participate in workbook lessons and it boars me too so who can blame them! I think that myself and my kids are just sick and tired of workbooks and desk work. I feel that we lack the hands on stuff my kids really need. For me this is the hardest part especially when tired and the other stresses in my life just really drain me to tears. I find that I have very little left for my children's needs.

This is not a good place to be in for a homeschooling mom but personally I am working through it. I want to learn new and better ways to learn with my kids. Ways that inspire more learning that is fun and enjoyable for the whole family. After five years of homeschooling with a charter pubic school and trying to "do school" with my kids it doesn't seem like it's working anymore. For the last year I have been learning more about the unschool philosophy it seems more natural and I like that.

My kids don't love learning and that is not OK with me. They love hands on stuff and the smiles on their faces is reward enough. Many times I feel like the only home school mom that has kids who don't like school! Something is wrong with this picture. I am sure that many people can relate and I know that I am not alone in this. I guess that is why I have this blog and am writing this now.  Feel free to share in the comment area below.

I am definitely going to do more reading about unschooling and I will pass more good info along in the next blog posts.

How Children Learn (Classics in Child Development)

Learning All The Time

Here are some articles about unschooling that I read lately.

PBS Unschooling 101

Rejoicing Unschool Philosophy

Beginner's Guide To Unschooling

Until next time thank you for reading my first entry of the Home School Log here at the Homeschooling Works blog. Your time and feedback is always appreciated.

Joanne Utke

Mar 26, 2013

The Passover Holy Day

  This is Passover week of the Jewish holy day, Passover also called The Festival of Unleavened Bread. Pesach, of Passover, is one of the most important holidays in the Jewish religion. Passover usually takes place in March and or April, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan. It is a eight day celebration which is symbolic of when the Jewish people, led by Moses fled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago. Passover celebrates liberation and freedom from slavery.

Passover literally means that the Angel of Death passed over the homes of the Israelite's who had marked there doors with the blood of a lamb so that the first born of every Jewish family would be saved. During Passover the Jews eat matzoh a flat unleavened bread to remember the hardships of their ancestors in the desert during their Exodus from Egypt.

On the first two days of Passover, Jewish people prepare a special meal called a seder, meaning "order". During the meal, certain foods are eaten and prayers are said in a particular order. To explain the historical and religious meaning of the holiday, the Haggadah (from the Hebrew word "to tell") is read. Within the Haggadah, there are stories, prayers, psalms and songs that describe the exodus. 

The seder is designed to hold children's interests especially. One of the ways children participate in the seder is by making a cup for the prophet Elijah. This cup is filled with wine and placed in the center of the table. According to tradition, during the dinner Elijah enters every house, sips the wine and heralds the coming of the Messiah.  
Malachi 3:23 or Malachi 4:5
 "Behold, I will send you Eli'jah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes."

The Institution of Passover:

Exodus chapter 12 which I have outline below is the institution of Passover as well as specific rules on how the Hebrews were to celebrate it. I will give you some verses to outline it all but I recommend that you go and read the entire Exodus 12 for yourself. This is also the perfect time of year to read the whole book of Exodus. Also see Deuteronomy 16:1-7 and Deuteronomy chapter 12.

"The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,"

"This month shall be for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month they shall take every man a lamb according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household;"

"Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old; you shall take it from the sheep or from the goats; and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs in the evening. Then they shall take some of the blood, and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat them. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. 

Do not eat any of it raw or boiled with water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. And you shall let none of it remain until the morning, anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. In this manner you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste. 

It is the LORD's passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. The blood shall be a sign for you, upon the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall fall upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. 

"This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you shall observe it as an ordinance for ever. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; on the first day you shall put away leaven out of your houses, for if any one eats what is leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. 

On the first day you shall hold a holy assembly, and on the seventh day a holy assembly; no work shall be done on those days; but what every one must eat, that only may be prepared by you. And you shall observe the feast of unleavened bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt: therefore you shall observe this day, throughout your generations, as an ordinance for ever. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, and so until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 

For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses; for if any one eats what is leavened, that person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a sojourner or a native of the land. You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread." Then Moses called all the elders of Israel, and said to them, "Select lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the passover lamb. 

Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood which is in the basin; and none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to slay the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to slay you. 

You shall observe this rite as an ordinance for you and for your sons for ever. And when you come to the land which the LORD will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service. And when your children say to you, `What do you mean by this service?' you shall say, `It is the sacrifice of the LORD's passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he slew the Egyptians but spared our houses.'" 

And the people bowed their heads and worshiped. Then the people of Israel went and did so; as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did."

It has been more than 3,000 years since the institution of the Passover and it is still the most important holy day for the Jewish population. Since the first century it has also become especially important to Christians marking the days of the holy week concerning the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ

"Holy Week is the week which precedes the great festival of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, and which consequently is used to commemorate the Passion of Christ, and the event which immediately led up to it."

I hope you liked my post here about Passover. I hope it helped you to understand what the holy day is all about. It is fun to learn about all of the many different cultures that make our world so great. I feel it is especially important for kids as well. 

Until next time Happy Passover!

If you want to get email updates on up and coming posts by Homeschooling Works then please subscribe with your email located on the right side bar of this site. You can also subscribe using Netvibes, Newsgator or Yahoo also located on the right side of this blog. Thanks in advance :)

Passover crafts for kids:

DLTK's Passover crafts for kids.

You may also be interested in:

Is Easter Pagan? by Homeschooling Works with special thanks to Jimmy Akin.

Jewish Holy Days:

The Hanukkah Story by Homeschooling Works.

Mar 25, 2013

Is Easter Pagan?

  I am sure you have heard from many different people and religious groups that Easter which is a Christian Holy Day is actually Pagan. In my opinion this is an attempt to Peganize Christianity and in some cases more specifically the Catholic Church. For Christians Easter is about the resurrection of Christ who died and rose again for the sins of the world and not bunnies or goddesses. My friend Jimmy Akin has done some research on the subject in his article titled Is Easter a Pagan Holiday? He has also done a great video on the subject you can see this below.


Is Easter a Pagan Holiday?

Q: Isn’t Easter a pagan rather than a Christian holiday, as shown by its very name by the fact that its date is determined by the full moon after the Spring equinox?

A: Anyone making this charge shows a total lack of comprehension of global Christianity. In fact, only a person speaking English or German could even possibly make this charge.

First, let’s deal with the date. Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon following March 21 (historically, the Spring equinox). The reason, however, has nothing to do with paganism. It has everything to do with Judaism and with Christ’s Resurrection.

Christ was resurrected on Sunday — the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1) — thus since the First Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325 all Christians have celebrated his Resurrection on Sunday. Prior to that, most celebrated it on Sunday, but some, known as Quartodecimians (“Fourteenth-ers”) celebrated it on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Nisan, when Passover occurred. At First Nicaea all Christians agreed to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ on first Sunday after 14 Nisan because that was the day Christ was Resurrected in the first century — the Sunday after Passover...

Continue reading...

I hope you have found the info helpful and I wish everyone a blessed Ester!

Mar 15, 2013

Saint Patrick's Day

Happy Saint Patrick's Day Everyone!

I love Saint Patrick's Day! He is one of my favorite saints. I love to learn about the saints. This time of year is a great time to learn about Saint Patrick. Read or listen to Saint Patrick's Confessions his life in his own words. Link at the bottom :)


      Saint Patrick was ordained by St. Germanus, of Auxerre, whom he had studied under for years. Later, Patrick was ordained a bishop, and was sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. He arrived in Ireland March 25, 433, at Slane.

One legend says that he met a chieftain of one of the tribes, who tried to kill Patrick. Patrick converted Dichu (the chieftain) after he was unable to move his arm until he became friendly to Patrick.

Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands! They began building churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity when hearing Patrick's message.

Patrick by now had many disciples among them Beningnus, Auxilius, Iserninus, and Fiaac, (all later canonized as well). Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote about his life in his Confessions. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461. He died at Saul, where he had built the first church.

Why a shamrock? Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He explained that like the clover which is three leaves on one stem God is three persons in one God. It has been associated with him and the Irish since that time.

In His Footsteps: Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man. His love, devotion and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God.

Every year I love to listen to the audio recordings of the writings of Saint Patrick. I especially love his short bio titled Confessions. You can download the collected works of Saint Patrick audios for free at

Also check out!

Download Confessions by Saint Patrick pdf
More on the history of Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick with some additional information

An Old Irish Blessing For You!
May the road rise up to meet you. 
May the wind always be at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face, 
and rains fall soft upon your fields. 
And until we meet again, May God hold 
you in the palm of His hand.


        St. Patrick's prayer for the faithful captures the wonderful spirit that made him Ireland's patron saint, and one of the Church’s most beloved missionaries. Born in Britain shortly before the 5th century, St. Patrick, was taken captive to Ireland by raiders at the age of 16. 

In his Confessions he talks about how while on the ship of the raiders/pirates that captured him there was a harsh storm. The men said to him Christian why don't you ask your God to save us? Saint Patrick said to them if you submit to God and convert we will be saved. Long story short they all converted and submitted to the Christian God and safely landed on land.

He lived there for six years as a shepherd under harsh conditions and became intensely devoted to God in prayer, as he puts it, “because the spirit was then fervent within me.” Tradition has it that divine dreams inspired both his escape from captivity in Ireland and his return there later in his life as a bishop.

In this prayer he asks for God’s help in various ways:

May the Strength of God pilot us. 
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Host of God guard us.
Against the snares of the evil ones.
Against temptations of the world 
May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us,
Christ be over all!
May Thy Salvation, Lord,
Always be ours,
This day, O Lord, and evermore. 

     St. Patrick's prayer no doubt helped him in his missionary efforts. Although he faced his share of resistance, St. Patrick was so successful in preaching the gospel and organizing the Church in Ireland that he is largely credited with converting the Irish to Christianity.

His emblems are the snakes that legends claim he drove out of Ireland and the Shamrock he used to great effect to explain the Holy Trinity. (This is a wonderful illustration of three distinct entities, the three leaves of the clover, making up one shamrock, much like the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit constitute One God!)

St. Patrick's prayer for the faithful, much like the famous Breastplate prayer also attributed to him, can truly inspire us to ask for divine assistance in living our faith each day.

As Our Lord said in Matthew's gospel, if our requests are in accordance with His will, “ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” Matthew (7:6). The “Strength of God” mentioned in the first line of this prayer should give us strength indeed!

Saint Patrick pray for us : )

By Joanne Utke

Mar 10, 2013

My Breastfeeding Story

  Anyone who knows me knows that I am a big supporter of breastfeeding. I feel it is very important for both mom and baby. It has been almost five years since my youngest weaned but it is still an important issue for mothers so I wanted to post about my person experiences with breastfeeding. I hope my story will encourage you to choose breastfeeding for your own children : )

This is an account of my first breastfeeding experience, with my first baby.

It all started when I gave birth to my son, my pregnancy went well. My labor was none progressive and I did not have strong enough contractions for proper dilation. After 26 hours of labor I ended up having a c section and I delivered a beautiful 8.7 lb baby boy! He was a big boy and was born two weeks prior to my due date.

I was in recovery for about 4 hours, it seemed like forever. I could think about was nursing my baby boy! I read the books and heard how important it was to get baby on the breast as soon as possible, preferably right away! That was not an option for me and I feared what may happen. I heard that many woman after a c section could not breastfeed and that if the baby wasn't nursing right after birth then there was a good chance that it would not work at all.

I kept thinking about this and just wanted to get out of that room so I could get to my baby! Prior to my being in the hospital I wrote specific instructions to the nurses about my newborn. I asked that NO bottles, pacifiers or formula be given to my baby, under any circumstances! Even still I worried that if I didn't get to him in time he would get hungry and they may give him some formula or a pacifier.

Even though I had heard and read those discouraging statements throughout my pregnancy, I knew that nothing would stop me from doing what was right for my self and baby. All my life, even as a little girl I knew I wanted to breastfeed my babies. I always felt that if I was going to have children that they would be breastfed, my goal was three years for each of my children. Finally I got out of that recovery room and made it to a regular hospital room. I got my self settled in and they had me hooked up to IV and such, it had been about 4 hours since my c section and all I wanted was to nurse my baby. I waited and waited, it seemed like a long time.

Finally I called the nurse and asked her to bring me my baby! 

Once he came in I was so happy! Since I had a c section I barely got to see him and definitely didn't get to hold him yet. Finally I had him and he was hungry so we got to work. While I was pregnant I read the book So That's What They're For!: The Definitive Breastfeeding Guide so I felt confident that I knew what I was doing and needed little help from the nurse. It was difficult at first and we had latch on problems. For me getting a good latch was very hard and I kept referring to my book for further assistance. My baby kept wanting just the nipple, the books all say that the baby must have the entire areola  in his mouth for a good latch to take place.

So I did just what the book said and I would put him on and take him off if a good latch was not established. This caused many hours and practice, practice, practice lol! As a result my nipples became sore and red, the second day my nipples had scabs on them! Ouch!! Now this is the point where many woman say forget this! and go for the bottles of formula. Not me, I was not going to let anything stop me form doing what was right for my baby. I had just had a long difficult labor then a c section, I was not going to let this discourage me! The nurse brought me some Lansinoh Breast Cream and that really helped a lot.

After a few days the scabs were gone from my nipples but we were still having latch on problems and that kept my nipples sore. I kept saying to my self over and over that this was just a learning experience for me and my baby. I knew that soon it would be perfect and the pain would be gone. Four days later we go to go home. After I got settled in, my baby and I laid down and took a nap.

When I woke up my baby felt hot! So I took his temperature and it said 101 degrees! I was freaked, why would my baby have a fever? I thought. Then I put him in his baby chair, he quickly cooled down and then I discovered that I was the one with a 101 temp. Thankfully it wasn't my baby, he had only gotten hot sleeping on my skin and I had the fever. I realized how sick I felt after that and discovered that my milk had let down but mastitis had set in! Great I thought, latch on problems and now a breast infection!

If that wasn't enough! Since we were still having latch on problems my baby wasn't emptying my breasts enough to stop engorgement, so I had that to. I wish I could say that I wasn't freaking out but I was. I was upset, crying and taking Tylenol to help me feel better from the fever. I did go to the doctor the next day and was taking antibiotics for the breast infection. In the mean time I consulted my book and called for advice from the breastfeeding consultants at the hospital.

They told me for engorgement to soak my breasts in warm water and then nurse my baby. I was told to do this prior to each feeding, so that is what I did.  Engorgement happens within 72 hours after you give birth, your breasts start producing a lot of milk, eventually replacing the colostrum (or pre-milk) your baby has been drinking. As that happens, more blood flows to your breasts and some of the surrounding tissue swells. The result? Full, swollen breasts.

I kept doing all of that for days and every day it got better, after a full month of practice we were pros at this newly acquired skill of breastfeeding. I keep saying we because breastfeeding is just as much a learning experience for your baby as it is for you. He doesn't no any more than you do about it, all he knows is he is hungry and these things are the way to get food. I am not telling you all of this to scare you in any way.

What I do want to do is tell you what I went through and let you know that the problems and pain won't last. Just keep moving forward. The problems that I had were not unusual for a new breastfeeding mom. This is why I believe so many give up and cave in to the formula manufactures plan of scientifically engineered none breast milk.

Despite the problems that I had the first month, I continued to breastfeed my son. He never had a bottle, formula or a pacifier. I was all of these things for him and he continued to nurse until he was 2 and a half years old. I wanted to go for three years but my new pregnancy caused me to want to take a break before starting all over again. I was three months pregnant when my son weened, that means I had a whole six months to give my breasts a rest.

Don't Quit!

Yes it does take a good month to get the hang of it and for your baby to learn how to do it, but it is so worth it. Some mothers also have it very easy and have babies who just do it right the first time. Every mothers breasts and baby are different and every experience will be unique in some way. No matter what, you can do it, that is what your breasts were created for.

When I was breastfeeding I thought it was so amazing to think that I am doing something that literally mothers have been doing since the begging of human kind. Suddenly I felt connected to every mother who had lived before me. What an amazing thing!

I knew that if mothers of the ancient worlds could do it, then I could surely do it in today's world. I never gave my self a choice not to do it! That is the mind set you must have! Don't give up no matter how hard it is at first, soon you and your baby will be pros and you will be so proud that you never gave your baby formula.

By the way nothing can take place of breast milk for your baby. What nature has set in place works. It is the perfect food for your baby, it is healthy for mom to, it is always clean and never requires any bottles or any other man made thing. It bonds you to your baby like nothing else! Perfection like this can never be created in a lab and factory..

Please comment and share this info with others!

To your breastfeeding success!

By Joanne Utke

Feb 28, 2013

Eliminating Hyperthyroidism Graves Disease Additional Recommendations

 If you read my first post titled about how to treat hyperthyroidism and just about any ailment naturally, then you know the basic recommendations. Here are some additional recommendations from the Healthy Healing book. These are simple additions to your healing plan that you can start today!

If you missed the first post you can get to it fast by clicking this link. 

In the first post I already talked about how we must eat LIVING foods the majority of the time. These are foods that still contain the LIFE in them. To put it simply anything that has to be killed in order for you to eat it is a dead food and should be limited in your diet. I am not saying that all meat and fish are bad, I feel there is place for these foods and benefit to them. They just have to be limited and chosen wisely. Also keep in mind that in order to treat many ailments an avoidance of all meat products during the healing process may be very beneficial.

Typically 75% of our daily food intake should be from fresh living foods. Among the living foods are fruit, vegetables, beans, legumes, and 100% whole grains. Minimally processed and minimally cooked is best, fruits and veggies are best in their raw state. A great way to get your raw living foods intake up is to get a good juicer and use it often. You can eat a lot of raw carrots in one day when you have a juicer, more on that in a bit.

Protein is also a must if you want to treat or prevent illness, have strong bones and immune system. Great living sources of protein include, sprouts, beans, legumes, sea vegetables, soy foods, and whole grains. With a little imagination, discipline and inspiration you can learn to prepare all of these wonderful healing foods. I like to make lentil soup, whole grain muffins with carrots, apples, etc..Sprouts are great in salads and sandwiches and you can cook beans with ease with a nice pot or pressure cooker. Sea vegetables like Kombu are great in soups, stews and beans. You Tube has tons of info on healthy cooking and how to use these foods, not to mention a easy to follow cook book.


Best eaten raw these foods will help to restore balance to your thyroid.

brussel sprouts

Healing grains include, brown rice, oats, millet, buckwheat and quinoa. Some other grains include corn meal, amaranth, and wild rice. You can get all of these in flour form for all of your baking needs. Hot cereals, pancakes and muffins are also great using these grains in the whole or flour form. Just got to try different recipes and keep using the ones you and your family like.

B Vitamins: Many of the foods already mentioned are good sources of B vitamins which is a super vitamin that you will need not lack during a healing or prevention program. B vitamins are also a must in treating hyperthyroidism eating the foods listed often will ensure your proper levels of B vitamins. You can also get a good B supplement from any health food store.

In the book Healthy Healing the author recommends drinking a potassium juice or broth daily for the treatment of hyperthyroidism and many other ailments. You can easily make your own at home every few days and store it in the fridge. It is also recommended to drink a green juice drink daily as well this is also easily made at home see recipes below.

Also important to your health especially the elimination of hyperthyroidism is eating cultured food such as yogurt, Keefer and the like. These foods contain living organisms essential to your over all health! Make sure to get a good healthy brand of yogurt. You can get the plain yogurt and use fresh fruit and honey to sweeten it, that way you are eliminating that harmful White sugar from your diet. Just make sure it is all natural, organic is best.

As already states in the first post, we must make sure to drink plenty of water and it has to be pure clean water without chemicals. Reverse osmosis or distilled is best. The rule typically is your wight divided by 2 and this will tell you the minimum amount of water you should be drinking. Also very important during any healing program is plenty of fresh carrot juice at least three times per week as well as papaya juice for adrenal support.

You can make these healing juices often with a good juicer right in your kitchen. I like to juice about 3 carrots, 1 apple and 1 orange. This will provide you with a single serving of a very healthy and yummy drink that your whole family will love! Use these juices in stead of coffee and soda which I already stated in the first post that we should avoid.

It is also recommended to make a mixture of brewers yeast, wheat germ, and lecithin. Take 2 tablespoons daily to help eliminate hyperthyroidism.

POTASSIUM JUICE: The single most effective juice for cleansing, neutralizing acids, and rebuilding the body! It is a blood and body tonic to provide rapid energy and system balance. Drink once per day for most benefit. This juice would make a great mid day pick me up.

For a 12 OZ serving.

Juice in a juicer.

3 carrots
3 stalks celery
1/2 bunch of spinach
1/2 bunch parsley

ADD: 1 to 2 teaspoons of Braggs Liquid Aminos if desired (this stuff taste like weak soy sauce and can be purchased at any health food store)

It wouldn't hurt to add one apple to the mix for a sweeter taste.

EVER GREEN ENZYME DRINK: For mucus release and enzymatic action. Drink once per day, this would make a great breakfast juice first thing in the morning.

Makes 1 drink

Juice in a good juicer.

1 apple, cored
1 tub alfalfa sprouts
1/2 fresh pineapple, skinned and cored
3 to 4 sprigs fresh mint
1 teaspoon spirulina or chlorella granules. (any health food store should have this)

These juices and more are found in the Healthy Healing book by Linda Page. Below is a link to her cook book as well which is full of wonderful recipes using all of the foods that I have discussed in these posts.

Diets for Healthy Healing: Dr. Linda Page's Natural Solutions to America's 10 Biggest Health Problems

I hope you have enjoyed the information that I have put on my blog. This is info that anyone can benefit from especially those suffering with thyroid conditions. As always please comment and share this with your friends. You can easily share on facebook just by clicking the icon below.

Thank you for your support and taking the time to ready my posts : )

To your health!
From Joanne Utke

Feb 23, 2013

Eliminating Hyperthyroidism/Graves Disease

 Although this post is focused on my own experiences of hyperthyroidism the information contained here will benefit anyone for any health issue that you may be having. This is common sense information that anyone can and should use. You will feel better, look better and just be healthier!

I wanted to do a post about an issue that I have been learning a lot about. Two years ago or so I was tested and my TSH  thyroid stimulating hormone was way low but my thyroid hormone was fine so their was no sign of imminent danger. I did what I usually do lol! And I ignored it. I couldn't get over some symptoms that I was having like being sleepy all the time, depression, mood swings, enlarged thyroid, trouble organizing thoughts, anxiety real bad at times, heart beating fast and just going insane lol! I don't  know why I am feeling this way or if it has anything to do with the low TSH, as it goes my actual thyroid hormone is normal. While trying to figure all this out I have been doing a lot of research about hyperthyroid or Graves disease especially about how to treat it naturally.

I wanted to post about it because I know that this is something I have seen in my own family and many others and we need to know how to treat it without drugs and anything else that is ailing us for that matter. After reading this you will have a good handle on what to do at least to get started healing your self and getting back to your old self again!

Hyperthyroidism also known as Graves Disease is a autoimmune problem, meaning the immune system is attacking the thyroid and causing it not to function properly. Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid produces to much hormone, Hypothyroid being when the thyroid produces to little hormone. Your thyroid is a gland in the front of your neck . It controls your metabolism, which is how your body turns food into energy. It also affects your heart, muscles, bones, and cholesterol.

Having too much thyroid hormone can make a lot of things in your body speed up. You may lose weight quickly, have a fast heartbeat, sweat a lot, or feel nervous and moody. Or you may have no symptoms at all. While your doctor is doing a test for another reason, he or she may discover that you have hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is easily treated. With treatment, you can lead a healthy life. Without treatment, hyperthyroidism can lead to serious heart problems, bone problems, and a dangerous condition called thyroid storm.

Being someone who has read a lot about natural health I new that anything that my body was experiencing was due to what was going into it. Since I was a teenager I have been health conscious but after my first pregnancy a lot of that went out the window and I just ate a lot and stopped exercising. After my first and second child I still was not doing what I knew I should.

I focused on my kids and husband and that is pretty much it although cooking healthy foods is important to me so I try to do that most of the time and always have for the most part. I went back for more blood work and found my TSH still very low! I guess it is time to start doing something about it :)

The Dr said I was a puzzle and he wanted me to do the thyroid uptake scan with radio active medication. I have not done this yet however and canceled the appointment. I don't know about you but taking radio active medication before having an x ray is not something I feel to good about. I will do it if it is absolutely necessary but for now I just don't know about it.

I know that my issues what ever they are, are do to my immune system not functioning at optimal performance and it is do to the things that I have done to my body and not done to it. You may not agree but being a person partial to nature this is just what I believe. According to a report by the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment only 10-20% of standard medical procedures are effective.

When applied natural means far out way the doctors way. There is a reason why many doctors are turning to more natural treatments once again for there patients although they are hindered by pharmaceutical companies, insurance and the government from doing so. Although I understand the need for emergency care and other treatments I prefer a natural method better. In fact in this country we are the best when it comes to emergency trauma care.

One of the reasons for this is simply because many of the treatments that we have were developed in times of war and are best when used quickly for emergency care. The rest of the time we should be following a natural approach and resisting the run to the Dr for every little ailment.

With all of that being said I wanted to share with you about how to treat Graves Disease or Hyperthyroidism  naturally. Now I am not saying that it will work for everyone and as always consult your doctor for his medical opinion, he or she may even learn something lol! If you are receiving medical treatments or taking medication don't stop unless your doctor says it is OK, but apply the recommendations outlined here and in the Healthy Healing book. When conditions improve act accordingly.

With any natural treatment no matter what the issue is that you are having following a good natural life style is key to overcoming anything that is not functioning properly in your body. There are many books on natural health that you can buy and you should have at least one good, natural health how to book in your home. The one that I have is called Healthy Healing by Linda Page, N.D., Ph.D.. I will be giving recommendations from this book.

No matter what you are experiencing with your health it is do to your immune system not functioning at optimal performance this is caused by what we have done or not done, plain and simple! In other words the chemicals that we are exposed to, the chemicals that we willingly put into our bodies and all of the wonderful healing foods that we have not eaten, as well as our bad health habits, are the cause of our damaged immune system.

In the book Healthy Healing Linda Page says that for every one year of illness we must apply one month of healing. This is good new and bad news! The good news is that we can turn our health around in just a few short months! The bad news is that it won't happen just by taking a pill or having some procedure. It will take work on my part, on your part to make this happen.We live in a take a pill for every problem society and for the most part this has caused a population that is sicker than ever before! You just can't fix a over toxic system by putting more toxic stuff into it!

So what can we do to combat Hyperthyroidism or Graves Disease and just about anything else naturally? The first step to any healing program is just living a healthier life style by eliminating as many chemicals from your environment as possible, because you are worth it, your family is worth it!

Remember this: If you want to live, eat living foods! There are essentially two kinds of food, living and dead. Anything that you have to kill to eat is a dead food, likewise foods that still contain LIFE is what you want to eat the majority of the time. This is why a vegetarian or vegan diet is one of the healthiest providing that the person is eating lots of fresh foods and not packaged novelty foods from health food stores.

Follow the steps below: Please note that it is quality not quantity of the foods you eat that makes a difference. If you follow the food choices outlined in the steps below and in the Healthy Healing book you will not have to count calories, or read food labels unless you really want to lol! For the most part the food choices outlined here require eating foods that don't have labels :)

1. Avoid all processed foods. This means avoiding fast food, pre packaged foods and anything that lists ingredients that sound like a science experiment! You may have heard this before if you can't even read it you probably don't want it in your body. These foods contain chemicals in them that hinder immune function and don't contain fresh living healing foods in them. 75% of our daily intake should be from living fresh foods.

2. Avoid sugar and sugar containing foods. It is no surprise that Americans are eating way to much sugar and this is contributing the the rise in illness especially in children who's immune systems are still developing. Soda is actually one of the most consumed "food" by Americans including children! Sugar is a immune suppressors, causes a false energy in the body and is the favorite food of cancer and yeast! It is wise to avoid all sugar while undergoing a healing program. You may want to make an exception for raw honey which has healing and nutritional benefits but this also must be kept in moderation. There are also many other natural sweet choices that you can use in moderation.

Going along with the first two steps is step three: Avoiding all artificial foods. You may be thinking, if I can't have sugar I will have some other sugar substitute. Not at all artificial sweeteners like aspartame are in many cases more harmful to your body than real sugar! The FDA has received more complaints about adverse reactions to aspartame then any other food additive! Aspartame major brand names include NutraSweet and Equal. Just because it is not Aspartame does not mean it is safe, you should avoid unnatural sweeteners. It is just not good policy for your body to eat something that had to be created in a laboratory.

3. Avoid white four and white rice. These foods have no nutritional benefits and have had the life stripped from them, they are essentially dead foods and just don't work in a healing program. Much better choices are whole grains like brown rice, wild rice, millet, buckwheat, quinoa, corn meal, oats, etc.. You can find these grains in flour form as well for healthy baking. Learn how to use these grains and you and your family will be healthier for it!

4. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and other drugs. These things just aren't healthy for you and may contain lots of chemicals, and over stimulate the body and can supply the body with more sugar as in alcohol, soda and coffee consumption. Of course in moderation they probably won't hurt much, it is the overuse of these things that are bad. If you smoke, stop. If you are a soda and coffee drinker stop that as well. You can replace coffee with green tea which has healing and detoxification benefits. Use the steps above for further recommendations for these things.

5. Drink purified or distilled water. You must drink lots of water daily. Think about it, you use water to wash your car, clean your house, etc.. Why wouldn't you use water to clean your insides? I am amazed to meet people who don't drink water or only drink tap water! Many Americans get their water from coffee, soda, juice, and energy drinks. We need pure water that is lacking in chemicals like lead, arsenic and fluoride. This is why filtered by reverse osmosis and or distilled water are best, spring water is also fine. In our home we just by water that we trust and don't worry to much about it. But we don't drink tap water!

I think that I have given you something great recommendations to get you started on a healing program for your hyperthyroidism or Graves disease and just about anything else that is ailing you. I am in the same boat as you, I know it is not always easy to choose the healthiest foods, however it does get easier. This is something for the whole family, including your family will make it easier, maybe not at first but like everything it takes time. Chronic illness didn't just pop up out of nowhere it takes a lifetime for these things like hyperthyroidism to develop and it will take time to eliminate them as well.

For more information I suggest that you have in your home the Healthy Healing book which will give you more detailed info then what I can write on this blog. If you want to buy it please use the link contained in this post you will get a good deal, health foods stores sell this book for about $40-50 dollars, you can get this book at any health food store.

I will be doing a part two of this post for an outline of some other things that you can do daily during a healing, cleansing program. I will also do a post about pantry basics. Stay tuned for that!

In the meantime remember that you are worth doing what has been said here and you don't need the "foods" of this modern age. If you just take the time to plan meals, stock your pantry and include your family in meal preparation and health education it can become second nature to you.

I promise it is about loving yourself, changing your mindset, habits and just eating to live, thrive and be healthy, not eating to survive! Many Americans today just eat enough food and drink enough beverage so they don't die right away but this is a slow death and is lacking the quality of life that we all deserve.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about what you can do for your health and the elimination of your ailments.

To learn more about what foods to eat, as well as some additional recommendations for eliminating hyperthyroidism or graves disease please go to the companion post for this one by clicking the link below.

Additional information

To your health!
From Joanne Utke

Healthy Healing 14th Edition

Feb 20, 2013

Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger is a popular video game created in Japan. My children love the characters and story line. The main character is Crono spelled without the h as in the tile. Here are some cool drawings of Crono made by my children.

Crono by my 9 year old Hayden 2-19-13

Crono by my 6 year old Logan 2-19-13

Jan 20, 2013

I Do It All For Love

    When things get tough I am tempted to send the kids to school, I will admit. Then I come to my senses and I can't see how that would be better than what we are doing now. We are a family, we must stay together and learn, live, thrive together no matter how hard it may be sometimes. I also know that when I learn how to cope in a healthy way I can teach it to my children and we all win. Never stop learning don't give up like most people do when things get to hard, that is the best advice anyone can give. "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." that is what we are called to do. 

Eclectic Homeschooling on facebook because it is good to learn from others, keep in touch!

Jan 10, 2013

What Does Frankincense and Myrrh Look Like?

Cool info by Jimmy Akin. He has a really cool blog with tons of great info. I am learning from him every day.. Please check it out!

What Frankincense and Myrrh Look Like