Monday, February 23, 2015

How to Keep Your Kids Creative in a Technology-Crazed World (Part II)

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Video games.

Cell phones.




Our children are surrounded by so many technology temptations.  Whether you like to believe it or not, our kids really do not need all that it offers.  

If you've missed Part I in this series, I encourage you to hop on over and read it here.

I think we as parents have compromised a little too much when it comes to this whole technology issue.  After all, it is nice to take a break and have some peace and quiet everyday while they play video games.  After all, so and so has a cell phone and even though she is only 10, her parents thinks she needs it so it must be okay, right?

This is what happens when we don't set standards and stick with them.  

As I mentioned in my last post, my oldest daughter is very inquisitive.  Her occasional use on the computer for researching whatever she was somewhat obsessed with became just that, an obsession.  It was hard to pry her from the computer.  Although she was doing something kind of useful, research, she forgot about all of her awesome books she hadn't read yet.

It was born, the little craving for technology grew into an obsession that didn't just stop at the computer.  It then grew into wanting a cell phone, which then opened up a whole other obsession all in it's own.

Let me remind you that technology is not evil, but look around at the children, tweens, teens.  What do you see?  Most will have some sort of technological device.  I believe that this is a huge problem with the coming generations.  Why?

Because it is diminishing the flames of creativity.  What's creative about most video games?  What's creative about snapchat, texting, facebook, etc?  Even when they text, they don't use correct grammar, but the shortest possible spelling they can come up with.  Part of this is due to popular slang lingo, part of it is just laziness.

When our kids lose their creativity, there in it's place is a form of selfishness.  These kids need to be entertained because they forgot how to entertain themselves.  They can't just sit and read a book, draw or write because they have no desire to.  Their desire is to text someone so that they can get a text back.  Their desire is to show their friends a selfie, not because they are thinking of others, but themselves.

They don't have a desire to create an adventure outside, because they can play a video game that requires no effort.  Speaking of video games, we have had two game systems given to us because the previous owners bought newer versions.  My kids were ecstatic but they knew there were going to be limitations.

It's simple really, to set limits.  But, I think parents can cave too easily and give in to their child's wants.  That is key.  We must not compromise on this.

We give our kids one day of the week to play video games.  I let them play on Fridays only when their school is done and all of their chores are finished.  There are special circumstances, like if my husband and I go out on a date, where we allow them to play extra.

Even with that one day of video games, I notice their fixation on it.  Imagine if I let them do it daily?  If they momentarily have lost their creativity because of their once a week video game usage, I have been known to order them outside and lock the door(in warmer weather, of course!).  There is something about nature that gets those creative juices flowing.

As far as cell phones go, when our daughter was old enough to drive, we allowed her to get one.  She did become obsessed with it.  So, she was not allowed to have it in her room at night.  Once she went to college, we talked to her if we felt she was using it too much.  At 19, it's one of those things that we are more hands-off at this point.  She is in basic training right now and she is not allowed to have her phone for two months and I'm glad.

But, my other children will one day have the urge to get a cell phone.  My son is 14 and has no interest in computers or phones.  I'd like to keep it that way but also teach him the basics of computer usage.  

After seeing what cell phones are doing to other teens, we are adamant on just allowing him to use a cell phone when he can drive and is away from us.  There is no use for it when we are all together.  I think that is when the obsession starts.

And that is how it will be with my younger ones too.  

We also have to set the standards on ourselves as well.  Are we always on our phones or iPads?  If so, don't be surprised if your kids will want to follow your example.  It's easy to do, I admit.  I have a business and a blog and it requires a good bit of time on the internet.  Sometimes, I get sucked right in.

Then I remember what it must look like to my kids.  Am I constantly shoving their needs aside so that I can get something done on my website?   Granted, it is work and they know that.  If I were just sitting here playing games or scrolling through Facebook it would not be justifiable.  Sometimes work on here just needs to get done and I explain that to them, but business or not, our kids need us.

Always remember that they are watching you.  And one day they just might come back and use you as an example of why they think they can be on their phone so much.  Ouch.

So, to recap:

1.  Set limits.  Set your own standards on what you think is best for your kids.  

2.  The key is to not compromise those standards.  Things will go downhill pretty quickly if you do.

3.  Our kids need to earn their time with video games.  It's not a freebie in this house!

4.  Be their example.  

What are ways you keep the technology obsessions at bay?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How to Stop a Nosebleed with Essential Oils

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My 14 year old son is the only one in my family who tends to get nosebleeds.  Usually it's from trauma, even a light bump on the nose.  Sometimes it's the dryness in the air and other times, when he was younger, he brought it upon himself.

I don't think I need to go into detail on how he brought it upon himself, but you get the picture...ahem.

Now that I have started using essential oils, I am having so much fun experimenting!  When someone has an ailment, I jump up and say, "I've got an oil for that!"  

And so, here is my son with another nosebleed.  He played basketball all winter and got a little banged up on the court at times.  He was rockin' the defense by-the-way!  Second place in their tournament...

Anyway, nosebleeds.  They have been occurring a little more frequently due to his aggressive ball playing.  But, I am ready.

Lemon essential oil is haemostatic, meaning it helps stop bleeding by speeding up the coagulation process, while cypress essential oil has been known to promote blood clotting.  Here are some other amazing benefits of cypress essential oil from Organic Facts.

Here is what you need:

2 drops lemon essential oil
2 drops cypress essential oil
1 cup of water

Put the water in a bowl, add the essential oils and dip the whole papertowel in the water.  Wring out the papertowel and place over the whole nose and apply pressure to the midsection to help speed up coagulation.  It only took a couple of minutes if that, to stop the bleeding.  Usually with my son, it normally takes up to ten minutes.

I have also read that helichrysum can do the trick even better, but I did not have it on hand.  Saturate a q-tip with the essential oil and apply to the interior of the nostril or simply use a tissue with helichrysum drops and hold over the nose.  This oil is next on my purchase list!

I have done this twice now, and the results are obvious compared to how long it normally takes his nose to stop bleeding.

This is just one out of a plethora of ways to use lemon and cypress essential oils.  

If you are interested in using these oils along with many others, you can sign up for a wholesale account and get 25% off of your future oil purchases.

Or you can buy a kit and you will automatically receive a wholesale account plus free products!

For more information about the kits or doTerra essential oils, go here.

Monday, February 9, 2015

My Soap Business Name Change

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I have been contemplating changing the name of my soap business for awhile.  It was Eden Natural Skincare and Cosmetics, but Eden is so overused now in everything.  Plus, it just sounds so formal.

And I am so not formal.

Thanks to a branding guru who gave me some advice, I have now changed it to Girl and Her Goats.

My 12 year old daughter is one of my right hand kiddos who helps milk the goats.  My 14 and 10 year old sons do as well, but my daughter has really taken an interest in helping me market my products.  I can leave her at a craft fair all by herself and she could sell more than me!

After seeing my daughter at a Master Gardening show, this branding guru just adored her and how she is my helper on the farm.  Thus, we threw around the name until we found one that wasn't already taken.

And here we are.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Why This Frugal Farmgal Has Chosen doTerra Essential Oils

For the past year, I have been mulling over getting more involved with essential oils.  I use them in my goat's milk soaps and lotions and have always been intrigued by using them therapeutically.  I'm into herbs and natural healing.  I'm into keeping it simple by using what God has given us here.  So, why not essential oils?

Let me share with you what my reservations were concerning doTerra oils at first.  You just might be thinking the same thing!

1.  I'm pretty frugal.  I live on a homestead for goodness sake, who isn't frugal on the farm?  I have a group called, Replacing the Grocery Store, where we share ways to reduce our grocery store expenses as much as possible, which means growing our own food, making as much as we can from scratch, etc.  So, the thought of spending more on essential oils was kind of my first turn off.

But, after learning a bit more about these oils, I realized that a little bit goes a long way. I'm talking 250 doses in each 15ml bottle!  I also learned that they have up to a ten year shelf life.  Okay, now I can deal with that.

2.  I was also concerned about quality.  I use essential oils in my soaps.  I can get them in bulk for a lot cheaper.  So, what in the world makes these stand out from the rest?

doTerra oils are CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade oils.  They go above and beyond just organic.  I found this information from the doTerra website fascinating:

 In addition to being pure and natural, dōTERRA's Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils are subjected to further quality testing that ensures the correct composition of the active natural compounds found in each oil. Even though an essential oil may be pure, if the right species or part of a plant has not been used, or if the plant has not been grown in the right environment or harvested at the right time, or if it has not been distilled under the right conditions, the natural chemical makeup of the extraction will not provide as predictable and powerful a benefit. In some cases, the wrong plant harvested at the wrong time may result in an extract that contains harmful levels of some constituents.

I did some tests of my own, using my bulk essential oils for soap and doTerra essential oils.  Because, I just like to see things for myself.  I can sometimes be that annoying person who keeps asking questions until I get a good answer.  I won't share something unless I know for sure it's a good thing!

Pure therapeutic grade essential oils should not feel oily or slick and they should absorb easily into the skin, leaving no residue.  I didn't have to go far in my bulk oils to find out that they were in fact oily and slick.  I pulled out my tea tree oil, lemongrass and spearmint, all of which were oily feeling.  They did not absorb quickly either, leaving a slight residue on my fingers.

The doTerra oils on the other hand, were not oily at all.  They absorbed nicely into the skin, not leaving any residue.  I was kind of shocked to be honest with you.  A huge difference!

Some therapeutic grade essential oils can be taken internally and all can be used for aromatherapy.  Bulk essential oils can be used for cosmetic purposes only.

3.  I am reading about using essential oils on the farm animals.  This has always been an interest of mine and I am thrilled that I can use these oils to help alleviate and/or treat certain ailments.  And, we all know what that means.....

Saving money by cutting down on vet bills!

So, yes, I'm sold on doTerra essential oils.  Being able to use them to help my family and my farm animals in so many different ways will not only keep veterinarian and doctor expenses down, but we will be using God's 'gifts of the earth'(doTerra's latin meaning) which is so much better for us!  From healing a wound, to aiding in digestion. From helping relieve pain to boosting our immune system, essential oils really have so much to offer!  And being able to stretch them for all of these uses is just icing on the cake.

I want to share what I've been learning with you!  If you would like to know more about these oils or how you can purchase them, go HERE.

Let's do this together!

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