Orthotropics Phase 1

imageYesterday Jax and I took the two and a half hour drive down to Joplin, Missouri to start his Orthotropics treatment.  His feelings were relatively benign about the whole thing as we talked on the way down.  When we got there Dr. Detar showed Jax the expander that he would be wearing for the next 4-6 months.  The doctor inserted it and made the adjustments needed.  It was set to the side and next they prepared and installed Jax’s braces.  A couple brackets popped off his baby teeth and had to be glued back on.  Then they put the expander in for the full effect.  Jax panicked and started gagging so we quickly removed it.  After a break we tried again which didn’t go any better.  So we decided to hold off inserting the expander until Jax adjusted to the change of having braces.  He did really great but was a little overwhelmed.  Getting the wire put on the brackets was a little rough for him.  I was worried that he may be too young to handle all of this.

imageAfter we left Detar’s office we went in search of an ice cream place.  We found Andy’s and had some delicious custard.  It was a distraction and a perk for Jax.  Being a mother of four I don’t often get to spend one on one time with my children away from my other children.  So getting custard was a special treat.  During the ride to the ice cream place we tried inserting the expander several times.  Jax showed great effort and I was really proud of him for trying.  The child has had a super sensitive gag reflex since he was born.  We headed back home and Jax kept trying to keep the expander in for longer durations.  He told me that he was fine with the braces but didn’t want to have the expander.  That it was no fun and he didn’t like having to do any of this.

imageOver the course of the next two hours he was able to keep the extender in his mouth for longer periods of time.  He did best when he wasn’t focused on it and watching a movie.  By the time he got home he was pretty proud of himself for being able to keep it in for so long.  When he saw his siblings he was super excited to show them his mouth and all the goodies he got with his Orthotropics.  A water flosser, three sided tooth brush, and some wax are awesome to a seven year old.  As the evening progressed Jax flipped his perspective.  He was no longer having any issues with his expander and kept it in all evening and all night.  The pressure of the braces on the other hand made his gums hurt and he was in pain.  He told me he’d keep the expander but didn’t like the braces.  Poor kid.  He had mushroom soup for dinner while the rest of us ate pork chops and zucchini with rice.  I gave him Ibuprofen to help him with the pain earlier in the day.  At night I gave him some melatonin to help him fall asleep faster.

This morning he struggled at breakfast eating his oatmeal so I gave him some more Ibuprofen.  He’s doing much better more.  Less complaining about the pain and more goofing around instead of doing his math sheet.  So overall it was a rough start but it’s getting better.  He adapted pretty quickly in reality.  In a few days the pain won’t be so bad.  Tonight I will start enlarging the expander by one tiny adjustment.  We will continue that each night until his next appointment in 3 weeks.  The braces make him look older to me but he’s still my baby and I have to remind myself that this is best for him in the long run.  I think he’s young enough that any teasing will be milder than in middle school, and less traumatic than in high school.  We’re trying to encourage him to feel special about having them.  He goes to enrichment one day a week starting next week.  That’s the only interaction I’m worried about since I’m not there to help.  He also has co-op but I will be around and can help him explain how neat it is that he gets to have braces.  It’s all in perspective.  Being positive is key to a happy life.  This is going to benefit his character in the long run I think.

For more details on Orthotropics and why we choose this method please read my previous post.

Missouri Health Department Employee Refusing to Give Immunization Exempt Cards to Parents

A natural parenting friend of mine posted on social media about her attorney and naturopath friend who called the Missouri health department after an altercation with Marion County health department.  State employees, at the Marion location, informed the mother that she was required to drive to Jeff City to obtain the religious immunization exempt cards needed for her child’s school records.  Employee’s would not give this mother and others the cards stating that the “State told them not to pass them out.”  Upset that the religious exemption law may have changed, the mother called the Missouri health department in Jeff City for clarification.  Jeff City assured her the law had not changed and she was to obtain the cards at her local health department.  The mother called the Marion department back to confront them about the situation.  After being transferred through several employees the mother was finally told “well we ran out of cards and people rarely take one and we are for vaccinations.”  The mother informed the state employee that she was not for vaccinations and that it was deceiving to tell parents that there was no religious exemption.  The mother asked when they would have the cards on hand in the future and was informed that there was no law that required the Marion health department to have the cards at their location.  The mother then informed the employee that she would be calling Jeff City to inform them of their refusal to carry the exemption cards.  The employee quickly backtracked her position and promised to call the state and order the cards.  The mother told her that she was happy to hear that they would no longer be misleading parents and they would supply the exemption cards.  The mother intends to check back on the status of the cards at the Marion health department and may be making some calls to friends in high places.  Marion employees might be shocked to find a huge package of religious exemption cards in the mail some day soon.

When I was in school, my parents also chose not to fully vaccinate my brother and I.  At that point in time the school nurse was the one to supply the exemption cards.  Depending on the nurse’s temperament and position on vaccinations it was either a simple exchange or altercation with her and my mother.  These employees have no rights to refuse to supply parents with these cards.  Whether it was the nurse in ’98, or the local health department employee in 2014, it is not their job to harass parents about their vaccination choices.  It’s merely their job to hand over the cards.

Missouri parents have the legal right to supply their child’s school with a religious exemption card for immunization requirements.  This card can be obtained at local county health departments or ordered from the following website.  I have had several friends order from the website and received their cards promptly and without altercations with misleading state employees.  If a state employee tells you that the state is not allowing them to hand out religious exemption cards, they are wrong.  Inform them of the law and their requirement to provide you with the card when asked.  It is not legal for them to deceive parents and refuse to supply the cards on this pretense.

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Zavien’s 8th Lego Knights Birthday Party



The Parents’ Concise Guide to Childhood Vaccinations

I strongly believe in being an educated parent.  Researching as much as you can when making decisions for your family.  And I believe that each family has to take that information and figure out what’s best for them.

In saying that I have yet to vaccinate my children for anything.  We originally just planned on delaying vaccinations until my son was two.  At that time his immune system would be better established.  Then we were only going to do a few vaccinations.  At this point we haven’t found a vaccine we are comfortable enough with that outweighs our discomfort with the disease.  Below is an excerpt from a book that I really love.  It presents both sides, the disease itself, disease complications, the vaccine, vaccine complications, modern treatments and natural treatments.  It’s really very informative in a compact book.  I keep it in my purse at all times in case I ever need it for a discussion or parenting info.

I also became aware of a vaccination alternative called Nosodes several years ago.  “Homeopathic nosodes are thought to stimulate the body to recognize a disease-causing entity, provide a level of protection, and assist in the elimination of the pathogens naturally. Nosodes may provide a template to the immune system and the cell walls, thus making an indirect attack on diseases by stimulating the immune system and white blood cell production.” Source

Excerpt From

The Parents’ Concise Guide to Childhood Vaccinations

by Lauren Feder, M.D.

“Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)

The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines are commonly given as a three-in-one trivalent vaccine of live viruses at 1 year, with a second dose given between 4 and 6 years. The vaccine should not be given to children who are allergic to gelatin, neomycin, or eggs, since it is grown on chick embryo culture.

The MMR vaccine (along with the DTaP, hepatitis B, Hib, polio, and other vaccines) has been strongly linked to autism and pervasive developmental disorders. Although mainstream medicine believes that scientific evidence does not support this theory, many reports from parents have supported this. In 1998, Dr. Andrew Wakefield of the London Royal Free Hospital and his colleagues suggested that the MMR vaccine (especially the measles vaccine) may be the cause of an inflammatory bowel condition in children, which may be linked to autism. For this reason, many parents are cautious in giving MMR and prefer that the shots be given separately.

Measles(Rubeola) What Is Measles?

Measles used to be a common childhood virus before the vaccine. It occurred primarily in children ages 2 to 6 years, and almost every child had measles by the age of 15. Measles was such a common illness that people born before 1957 are probably immune to measles, as they probably had it in childhood or were exposed. It is extremely contagious and is spread through close contact with an infected person (4 days before to 4 days after rash onset) or through touching a contaminated surfaces. The incubation period is approximately 10 to 12 days following exposure. A cyclical disease, measles outbreaks happen around the world every 2 to 3 years and more often in the late winter and early spring.

Symptoms of Measles

Most cases are mild, and begin with a high fever, then cold-like symptoms, including a runny nose, pinkeye, and a hacking cough. Within a few days, a red blotchy rash appears. It can be itchy with raised red bumps. Characteristically, Koplik spots, small white spots in the insides of the cheek, appear before the rash. The rash begins faintly behind the ears and within 24 hours becomes darker as it spread to the face, head, neck, and arms (including hands). In 2 to 3 days, the rash reaches the legs, while the rash on the face correspondingly fades. With the onset of the rash, the child begins to feel better. Additional symptoms include sore throat, muscle pains, and light sensitivity. Most children who develop measles recover fully.

Complications of Measles

Occasionally there can be complications during to secondary infections. These may include diarrhea (in 8 percent of cases), ear infections (in 7 percent of cases), croup, and, in more severe cases, deafness, blindness, pneumonia, and encephalitis. The mortality rate is 1 in 1,000 cases.

How Common Is Measles?

In 1985, the government reported 80 percent of measles cases had been vaccinated. In 2002, 44 cases of measles were reported, which is substantially low, compared to 1941 when nearly 900,000 were reported. The vaccination program began in 1963, which has caused the occurrence of measles to shift to an older population. Outbreaks also occur in vaccinated populations.

Measles is still considered a severe illness in developing nations, where living conditions, sanitation, water supply, healthcare, and nutrition are considered inadequate. In past centuries, the mortality rate in the United States was higher than it is now. The current fatality rate is t to 2 our of 1,000 cases. Complications are more frequently seen in those with weakened immune systems, children with chronic disease, babies under 1 year old, and in adults.

After a child has had measles, he or she receives lifelong immunity from it. A mother who had measles as a child passes antibodies to her baby in utero, this protecting her newborn for the first year of life. However, in the early 1990s there was a measles outbreak in the United States that included children who were younger than 1 year old, which was unusual. According to the CDC, this was due to mothers who had been vaccinated, but never had the natural disease. The CDC concluded that the protection from the vaccine decreases over time, and that the vaccinated mothers did not pass their natural maternal measles antibodies to their babies.

Treatment of Measles

Standard medicine has no treatment for measles. The symptoms of high fever and cold do not respond to antibiotics or cough medicine, though supportive treatment, such as rest and fluids, are helpful. Homeopath, naturopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, and chiropractics have all been useful in the treatment of measles and in strengthening the body’s natural ability to heal.

The Measles Vaccine

The vaccine is composed of a live attenuated virus. According to a CDC published article, “Maternal Antibodies Interfere with Measles Vaccination,” some children who have received the measles vaccine or the MMR before 15 months of age may be in jeopardy of vaccine failure(in which the child fails to develop the desired immunity) because the immunity from the mother’s antibodies counteracts or neutralizes the vaccine. This can occur, especially if the mother had measles as a child. According to the CDC, many of these children were vaccinated when 1 year to 14 months old.

Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines are given as a single shot of live viruses beginning at 1 year, with a second dose given at 4 to 6 years old. The vaccine is contraindicated in children who are allergic to eggs. When giving the measles shot alone, most parents follow the recommended schedule for the MMR vaccine with the first one given at around 15 months, and the second one before kindergarten. Because of possible interactions between the measles and mumps shots, separate the two by at least 6 months.

Risks of the Vaccine

Although most children receive the MMR in combination, there are adverse effects specific to each component. The measles vaccine, in particular, has been linked to colitis and various forms of inflammatory bowel disease. A study from the New York University School of Medicine involving autistic children found that 85 percent had severe intestinal inflammation, with evidence of measles virus on the biopsies. It is theorized that this inflammation may cause changes in the intestinal barrier, allowing the virus to enter the child’s bloodstream and cause inflammation elsewhere, namely in the brain, this contributing to the development of autism.

In general, mild side effects of the MMR vaccine include pain and swelling at the injection site, cold-like symptoms, fever, swollen glands, headache, dizziness, rash, nausea, and vomiting. More moderate adverse effects are convulsions, arthritis, thrombocytopenia (bleeding disorder), and Guillain-Barre. Very rarely there may be severe allergic life-threatening reactions, including deafness, comas, and permanent brain damage. The MMR vaccine has also been linked to autism.


Before the vaccination program was licensed in 1967, nearly every American child born before 1957 had measles. Most recovered without any serious consequences. With the possible link of the vaccine to inflammatory bowel disease and autism, many parents have questioned the use of the MMR vaccine, and if considering the measles vaccine at all, choose the single separated does over the combined.”

The Busy Bag Swap Was Awesome!

We had an amazing time at the swap today!  We swapped over 600 busy bags!  I’d say that’s a big success for a first time swap.  It was really awesome and my girls have some great activities to play with!

Group 1

Jayna: Felt Fishing, Candice: Popsicle stick puzzle, Ali: Color Matching Boxes, Leslie: Paint Chips with Clothes Pins, Shannon: Letter Eggs, Julie G: Felt Build a Rainbow, Michelle: Felt Popsicle Matching, Mary: Homemade Playdough and Toys, Angeliina: Animal Habitat Match Up, Brookie-Lee:  Felt Turkey(not shown, see image down the page)

Group 2

Jennifer: Animal Matching, Johanna G.: Mr. Potato Head, Angela: Felt Pizza, Julie G: Felt Mailbox, Kimberly: Shoe Lace Boards, Megan: Watermelon Picnic (matching numbers 1-10), Caroline: Felt Clothesline, Kylia: Easy Stitch Cards, Brookie-Lee: Felt Ice Cream Patterns(not shown, see image down the page)

Group 3

Caroline: ABC Dry Erase, Nannette: Button Threading, Belinda: Discovery Bottle, Judi: Pipe Cleaners Beading, Angeliina: hot glue shape that you can rub a crayon over and reveal the shape, Johanna G.: Felt Cupcake, Julie M: race car shapes w/ a car for driving plus a dry erase marker for tracing, Julie G: Counting Caterpillar, Megan:  Letter Activity, Brookie-Lee: Cookie Counting(not shown, see image down the page)

Group 4

Belinda: large button multi use game, Johanna G.: Shades of Color, Julie M: Felt Apple Tree, Julie G: Threading on Plastic Shapes, Nannette: Spoon Matching, Johnna A.: Cardboard Stackers, Amber: Fabric Matching Blocks, Leslie: Picture Making Felt Board with Shapes, Kimberly: Button Threading, Brookie-Lee: Fine Motor Popcorn(not shown, see image down the page)

Group 5

Amber: Gel Writing, Ruth: Felt Garden, Adrianne: Stretchy Bands, Kylia: Color Wheel Matching, Shawna: Popsicle Memory, Tami: Pipe Cleaner Magnet Bottle, Julie R: Egg Matching, Julie G: Chalk Board, Jessica H: Milk Cap Numbers with Animal Counting, Brookie-Lee: 3 Letter Spinning Words(not shown, see image down the page)

Group 6

There was a group six but I didn’t participate in that swap.  We opened it up for duplicates and I will post a picture if someone sends me one.  😀

Brookie-Lee’s Bags

The five activities that I made that were included in the groups above(just not when I was taking the photos).  The turkey isn’t done in this photo but you’ve seen the finished product on my other posts.

Group 1: Felt Turkey, Group 2: Felt Ice Cream, Group 3: Cookie Counting, Group 4: Fine Motor Popcorn, Group 5: 3 Letter Spinning Words

Thank You and a Sweet Gift!

I was chatting with a mama and I caught sight of the white board at the front of the room.  There was a thank you note written from the moms and it was so sweet and made me feel great.  One of the mamas brought me a hostess gift which was extremely sweet and Tylea has been playing with it for hours.  Thank you Ali!

This was a great experience and all the children were wonderful and everyone was very understanding when things didn’t go perfectly.  I really enjoyed it and thank you to all the wonderful women who created these fantastic busy bags!

When’s The Next Swap?!

Late Spring/Early Summer!  I’m thinking either May 4th or June 1st.  Both are Saturday’s.  I will have to check with the church but it would be great to do a 10am.  Make sure you’re subscribed to my blog and you’ve liked my facebook page so that you stay updated!

Busy Bags- Giveaway! (Closed)

Everyone wants to know… What is a busy bag? A busy bag is a gallon size plastic bag(or some other container) that holds an activity with instructions for how to do the activity. These activities are usually appropriate for ages 18 months-5 years. You can do them for older children as well. These activities usually do not require mom’s involvement or supervision. It’s an activity that will stimulate the child and keep them busy for a time. There are SO many wonderful ideas out there and there are Busy Bag Swaps popping up all over the country! A swap is where a bunch of mamas make busy bags and then swap them. So for instance I’m making 10 bags with a felt ice cream pattern activity in them. I will be taking these ten bags to a swap on 2/12/13 and giving nine of them away in exchange for nine unique and different activities. So my daughters will have ten different busy bags to try out!

Busy bags can focus on fine motor skills, learning shapes, colors, numbers, letters, matching upper and lower case, counting, to beginning reading, or just for fun.  Ideas range from play-dough, to dress up dolls, to matching word colors to paint colors.  The options are endless.  Think about how much fun our toddlers have after the presents have been opened on Christmas just playing with all the boxes that gifts were in.  Children don’t need a lot to keep them interested.  Just something different that catches their attention.

Interested in Busy Bags?  Host a swap in your area of town!

How to host a busy bag swap-

Pick a Location:  Check with your church, library, or wait for warm weather and go to the park!  Find a location that works for lots of little kids and have access to drinking water and bathrooms.  OR keep it small and have a moms night in and host it at your house!  I’m hosting my first swap at my church.  Late spring I hope to host one at a local park.  And in the heat of the summer I’m think a mom’s night in would be really nice.  😉

Rules and Restrictions:  Decide the top number of people that can be in a group.  I put a cap of ten people per group.  That means that one mom makes the same activity for her bags for ten people.  Which will include herself.  So far we have six groups in our swap.  That’s 60 unique busy bags!  For five of the groups I asked for no duplicate activities.  The sixth group we’ve had several duplicate activities.  That way if the same person signs up for two groups then they won’t have duplicate activities.  You can also decide if you are going to put age restrictions on the groups.  As my kids and the people I know mostly have multiple children I didn’t put an age range restriction.

Who to invite:  One of the great things about social media is how easy it is to connect with other mamas.  First create a facebook event with all the location and time details as well as instructions for what to do.  Then post a link on your facebook profile and invite people to your event.  I also posted on forums that I participate in.  My local homeschool group, parenting group, church group, etc.  Let the moms know if the event is kid friendly or mamas only.  Of course nursing, lap babies are always welcome.  Edit the details of the event to show what activities the moms in each group are making.  You can also keep this list on your blog like I did.  Just somewhere public and try to keep it up to date.

Activity Instructions:  Give instructions for what the activities need to include.  I asked that the activity be placed in a  gallon plastic bag with the group number, the creators name, and the name of the person it’s going to.  Also if the activity requires instructions(for mom) that those be placed inside the bag as well.  If there were a age restriction that could be written on the bag as well.

At the Swap: Setup tables or spread out blankets and place numbers for each group with the names of the people in the group listed on the same page.  I asked each participant to bring a box/basket/tote with their name on it so that it can be placed on that groups table.  I’m in five groups so I will need five boxes with my name on them to place on each group table that I’m participating in.  Then moms mingle, and kids play while we hang out and wait for everyone to show up.  The swap I’m hosting is at noon and we are bringing a sack lunch.  So we will stay and have lunch, see our busy bags, and play with friends.

Be Prepared:  Sometimes moms want to participate and can’t make it to the event.  Be flexible and try to figure out how to underground the exchange.  I’m meeting one mom at homeschool day at our local CoCo Keys indoor water park to get her bags and meeting another mom at my local La Leche League to give her her bags.  Neither activity is out of my way and more mamas are getting to participate.  Hopefully no one is sick or otherwise unable to make the swap but if they miss it, and they didn’t get their bags to me before hand, then the moms at the swap will have extra to swap with each other.  It’s too complicated to try to get the bags to everyone afterward if something wasn’t setup before hand.  Make sure your moms know that this will happen if they miss the swap.  It’s also a good idea to mention if the moms want to make extra to swap outside of a group.

The Giveaway!

In honor of the Busy Bag Swap that I am hosting in Lee’s Summit on February 12th, 2013 I want to share the Busy Bag love!  I will be giving away a busy bag to 3 lucky winners!  I’ll not sure what the bags will be yet.  Probably some from the five activities I’m making for the Feb swap.  I’ll be mailing them so you can live anywhere in the continental US to participate!  My last giveaway winner lived in Michigan!

Subscribe to Win: Amber Teething Necklace

Post Comment Below to Win: Busy Bag

Share with us in a comment below: the age of your child/children, and activities that you have them do to keep them busy while you homeschool/clean/work to enter to win: a Busy Bag!  3 winners will be picked at random and announced March 1st. Thank you for participating and sharing with us!

5/3/13  And the random winners of the Busy Bags are… Coree, Amber, & Nannette!  Thank you to everyone who contributed by sharing with us!

Also this month’s random subscriber winner of the Amber Teething Necklace is… jjbretches!  Congrats and thank you for subscribing to my blog!

Busy Bag Swap in KC area

I am homeschooling my two sons who are in kindergarten and 2nd grade.  Quite often when we are doing our lessons my two little daughters want to join us.  The girls aren’t interested in the lesson but they want to sit with us and do something entertaining.  So right now I get out the counting animals, the dry erase boards, or coloring books.  I’m looking for more activities to stimulate them and keep them occupied while we work.

I’ve heard of busy bags over the past several years, seen them mentioned on social media, and decided to look into them for the girls.  My youngest daughter is 21 months and my older daughter is 3 1/2 years old.  So we need busy bags to get them stimulated and keep them occupied while mom teaches big brothers.  As I was looking online at all the different options for busy bags I realized that having some for my kindergartener would be fantastic too.  He doesn’t spend the whole day in lessons like my 2nd grader and he would love the extra stimulation.

So I put my feelers out on my social media accounts and groups that I’m apart of to see if there was interest and I’m so happy to see that there is.  In the effort to keep things organized I’m going to use my website to post the group(s) and items.  We will be doing a maximum # of people in each group of 10.  If there is enough interest we will do more than one group.  The bags will be exchanged at noon on February 12th in the Lee’s Summit area(TBD).

You’re Invited!

What:  Busy Bag Swap!
Where:  At my church in the Lee’s Summit area off Colbern Road. (I will pm the address to those who sign up.)
When:  Tuesday, February 12th at noon (Bring a sack lunch!)
Who:  Join other mamas looking for activities to help stimulate and occupy their child.
How:  Comment below or facebook me to sign up and let me know what activity you will be creating(check the blog to make sure there aren’t duplicates).  Then create/assemble/hand make an activity that is appropriate for the age range and store it inside of a 1 gallon plastic zip loc bag.  On the bag write in permanent marker: the name of the person in the group, the age range the swap is for, and your name.  Inside the bag include instructions on how your activity is to be used.  Bring a box, basket, or large tote with your name on it for everyone to put your new busy bags in.  (Bring a sack lunch.)  Pinterest has tons of ideas for busy bags.  Here is a link to my Busy Bag board.

Note:  If you don’t make it the day of the swap and you didn’t make arrangements for the busy bags you made to get there the day of the swap, then the bags that were made for you by others will be traded among the people in attendance at the swap. It’s too hard to distribute the bags you made to nine other people after the swap.

Note:  You can make more bags than the groups you are in.  Others at the swap may make more too and you can swap outside a group.  😀

Sign Up List

Busy Bag Swap Group #1
1) Brookie-Lee:  Felt button bird with colored feathers
2) Jayna: Felt Fishing
3) Candice: Popsicle stick puzzle
4) Ali: color matching boxes
5) Leslie: Paint chips with clothes pins
6) Shannon: “Now I know my ABC’s” – matching upper and lower case letters
7) Julie G: Felt Build a Rainbow
8) Michelle: felt popsicle matching
9) Mary: Homemade playdough and toys
10) Angeliina: Animal Habitat Match Up

Busy Bag Swap Group #2
1) Brookie-Lee: Felt ice cream patterns
2) Jennifer: animal head/tail matching game
3) Pattie: clothes pin number match up
4) Johanna G.: potatoe head bags
5) Angela: Felt Pizza factory with recipe cards
6) Julie G: Felt mailbox
7) Kimberly: shoe lace boards
8) Megan: Watermelon Picnic (matching numbers 1-10)
9) Caroline: clothesline bag with felt outfits and clothespins and string
10) Kylia: Easy Stitch Cards

Busy Bag Swap Group #3
1) Brookie-Lee: Cookie counting with sprinkles
2) Caroline: ABC Dry Erase bag
3) Nannette: button threading felt snake
4) Belinda: discovery bottle
5) Judi: Pipe cleaners and beads
6) Angeliina: hot glue shape that you can rub a crayon over and reveal the shape
7) Johanna G.: cupcake activity
8) Julie M: race car shapes w/ a car for driving plus a dry erase marker for tracing
9) Julie G: counting caterpillars for one
10) Megan:  letter activity called “Jungle Fun”

Busy Bag Swap Group #4
1) Brookie-Lee: Fine motor popcorn game
2) Belinda: large button multi use game
3) Johanna G.: shades of color, a color graphing activity
4) Julie M: a felt and pompom apple tree counting game
5) Julie G: ribbon threading with plastic canvas shapes
6) Nannette: upper and lower case spoon matching
7) Johnna A.: cardboard stackers
8) Amber: fabric pattern matching game
9) Leslie: Picture Making Felt Board with Shapes
10) Kimberly: small felt squares that you thread onto a ribbon

Busy Bag Swap Group #5
1) Brookie-Lee: 3 letter spinning words
2) Amber: Gel Writing bag (Don’t worry I will use our food saver bags so they don’t open)
3) Ruth: felt button flower gardens
4) Adrianne: stretchy bands
5) Kylia: popsicle stick building
6) Shawna: Popsicle memory game
7) Tami: pipe cleaners and magnets
8) Julie R: egg matching
9) Julie G: chalk board
10) Jessica H: Milk Cap Numbers with Animal Countin

Busy Bag Swap Group #6- DUPLICATES OK
1) Holly: I Spy Books
2) Judi: color paint palette matching
3) Angeliina: Animal Memory Game
4) Tracie: The Early Bird Gets the Worm with a clothespin and pipe cleaners
5) Rachel: felt Popsicle color -word match
6) Rachel: felt ice-cream cone with pattern cards
7) Jessica: Upper and lower case spoon matching
8) Kimberly: TBD
9) Julie R: Number Boards
10)  Belinda: Coin money match

Comment below or join the facebook event to sign up and let me know what activity you will be creating!

Notes for myself:
Meet Shannon at enrichment on Feb 5th to get her 10 bags and then collect hers at the swap and take them to her at enrichment on Feb 19th.
Pick up Angeliina’s bags at Dionna’s.
Coordinate with Kylia to get her bags.
Meet Judi at Coco Keys on homeschool day.

Vaccination Laws in Kansas City

Below are the immunization laws for Missouri and Kansas along with the religious exemption forms or procedures for school aged children, who go to school.  As a homeschooling parent I don’t see how this applies to our family at all now.  Our children aren’t in child care and don’t attend public or private school so if I understand correctly they aren’t required, by law, to be immunized.  I had a mama ask me about the laws and forms today and thought I would post this in case anyone would like the information.  Initially my husband and I were going to do a delayed schedule of vaccinations starting when my son’s immune system was established at age 3 and then spread them out so his system wouldn’t be inundated.  That was also going to give us more time to study the diseases to see which ones we thought were worth getting the vaccine for.  My son is seven and so far we have not vaccinated any of our children.

Missouri Immunization Law Review

“Immunization of the person seeking to attend school may not be required prior to attendance at the school, if a notarized affidavit on a prescribed form stating that immunization is contrary to the religious tenets and practices of the signer is submitted to the school administrator.  A child in a day care program shall be exempt from immunization requirements if the child’s parent or guardian files a written objection to immunization with the day care administrator.  Exemptions shall be accepted by the day care administrator when the necessary information as determined by the department of health and senior services is filed with the day care administrator by the parent or guardian.  Exemption forms shall be provided by the department of health and senior services.  Medical exemptions are also allowed.”  Source

Chapter 167
Pupils and Special Services
Section 167.181 link

1. The department of health and senior services, after consultation with the department of elementary and secondary education, shall promulgate rules and regulations governing the immunization against poliomyelitis, rubella, rubeola, mumps, tetanus, pertussis, diphtheria, and hepatitis B, to be required of children attending public, private, parochial or parish schools. Such rules and regulations may modify the immunizations that are required of children in this subsection. The immunizations required and the manner and frequency of their administration shall conform to recognized standards of medical practice. The department of health and senior services shall supervise and secure the enforcement of the required immunization program.

2. It is unlawful for any student to attend school unless he has been immunized as required under the rules and regulations of the department of health and senior services, and can provide satisfactory evidence of such immunization; except that if he produces satisfactory evidence of having begun the process of immunization, he may continue to attend school as long as the immunization process is being accomplished in the prescribed manner. It is unlawful for any parent or guardian to refuse or neglect to have his child immunized as required by this section, unless the child is properly exempted.

3. This section shall not apply to any child if one parent or guardian objects in writing to his school administrator against the immunization of the child, because of religious beliefs or medical contraindications. In cases where any such objection is for reasons of medical contraindications, a statement from a duly licensed physician must also be provided to the school administrator.

Missouri Immunization Exemption Forms

Kansas Immunization Law Review

“Submit a written statement signed by a parent that the parent is an adherent of a religious denomination whose teachings are opposed to immunizations.  Medical exemptions are also allowed. ”  Source

Chapter 72
Health Programs
Section 9.72-5209 link

(a) In each school year, every pupil enrolling or enrolled in any school for the first time in this state, and each child enrolling or enrolled for the first time in a preschool or day care program operated by a school, and such other pupils as may be designated by the secretary, prior to admission to and attendance at school, shall present to the appropriate school board certification from a physician or local health department that the pupil has received such tests and inoculations as are deemed necessary by the secretary by such means as are approved by the secretary. Pupils who have not completed the required inoculations may enroll or remain enrolled while completing the required inoculations if a physician or local health department certifies that the pupil has received the most recent appropriate inoculations in all required series. Failure to timely complete all required series shall be deemed non-compliance.

(b) As an alternative to the certification required under subsection (a), a pupil shall present:

(1) An annual written statement signed by a licensed physician stating the physical condition of the child to be such that the tests or inoculations would seriously endanger the life or health of the child, or

(2) a written statement signed by one parent or guardian that the child is an adherent of a religious denomination whose religious teachings are opposed to such tests or inoculations.

The religious exemption may be signed by the parent/legal guardian on the Kansas Certificate of Immunization (KCI).

More forms and details of the laws can be found on the Vaccination Liberation website for Kansas and Missouri.

If you want to learn more about vaccinations and why people are using exemption forms there is a great vaccinations series on Modern Alternative Mama.  Check it out.  She has a lot of great tips and information.

Biblical reasons not to vaccinate are listed on this website.

Dr. Alyssa Rae Zonarich does a vaccination talk locally every few months.  Here is the August 2012 registration form to give you details.  Like her facebook page to hear when the next talk is.  Very informative and always booked.  A great way to be informed on vaccines and diseases.

Amber Teething Necklace-Giveaway! (Closed)

What is an Amber Teething Necklace?

Amber has been a natural source for traditional healing that has been passed on through the generations.  This alternative medicine has proven health benefits and amazing properties that offer a drug-free alternative for relief of teething pain for infants.  This homeopathic product has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that benefit children and adults alike.

Amber is a fossilized resin from trees from thousands of years ago.  Resin is a natural antibiotic for trees, protecting it from infection or injury.  Amber has been worn for centuries as a natural remedy for pain relief, it promotes fast healing and boosts the immune system.  Amber is worn on the skin, and once warmed by the skin releases tiny amounts of healing oils which are adsorbed into the bloodstream.  In war times doctors were known to slap tree resin on a wound as a disinfectant and saved lives that way.  Scientists have also shown that amber produces organic, purely natural energy and is electromagnetically alive.  It protects from negative influences of electrical equipment like computers, televisions, mobile phones and microwave ovens.

Baltic amber contains anywhere from 3-8% of succinic acid, a scientifically examined medical substance used in contemporary medicine. The highest content of the acid is found in the amber cortex – the external layer of the stone. Nobel-prize winner Robert Koch (1886), the pioneer of modern bacteriology, proved that succinic acid has a very positive influence on the human body. In the 1930’s and 40’s, European biochemists discovered that succinic acid is an amino acid created naturally in every cell of the body capable of aerobic respiration, participating in the citric acid – or Krebs cycle. This is how carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are metabolized into energy.

Amber teething necklaces are sold in pharmacies in many countries including Switzerland, Germany and Austria where amber has been respected for its medicinal qualities for centuries.  These necklaces are knotted by hand in between each and every bead, so that if the necklace breaks (which it should if necessary), the beads won’t scatter.  It fastens with a breakaway screw clasp that will break if too much pressure is applied to prevent choking.  Amber teething necklaces and bracelets are made to wear but not to chew! Teething necklaces and bracelets should be removed when child is sleeping or unattended!

Brookie-Lee’s Review

We LOVE our amber!  We didn’t know about the wonderful amber necklaces with our first child and we all suffered through teething.  His poor swollen gums kept us up many a night and the drool was insane.  We would change outfits because the drool would have him sopping wet.  And occasionally we would try something like oral gel with no relief and baby Tylenol for temporary relief.  And just so you know I am NOT a fan of using Tylenol for children, but he was miserable and we were desperate.

When I discovered amber teething necklaces my second child was 1 year old.  We put it on him and didn’t notice a radical change.  He still wanted to chew on everything and would whine a little here and there.  I took it off a few days later to give him a bath and forgot to put the necklace back on him.  The next morning I had a super drooly, extremely fussy, little terror on my hands.  He was a totally different child from the day before and I was at a loss.  What changed overnight?  Why was my child so completely changed?  I wanted my cheerful child back!  I walked through our day and diet and discovered the only thing different was that I had taken the necklace off.  I put the necklace back on and I never took it off again.  My third and fourth children received their necklaces on their birth days and wear them until they take them off themselves(around age 3).  We have never had a recap of teething like with my first son.  Molars and canines with my second, third, and fourth child have been a breeze in comparison.

The Giveaway!

I love this product and I believe so strongly in it’s effectiveness.  I’ve been recommending it to customers and giving it away as baby shower gifts for years.  Each of my children has one, as do my husband and I.  They are amazing and I highly recommend them for teething and other chronic pain in children and adults alike.  It’s amazing, all natural, and safe.

I am giving away an amber teething necklace!  This natural teething pain reliever is the best natural solution on the market.  It is genuine Baltic amber jewelry using only AAA class, jewelry grade, raw amber material.  These can also be purchased online and in Lee’s Summit, MO from Happybottomus for only $18.95(which is the most affordable I’ve ever seen it).

Share with us your teething pain stories and what you do to give relief to enter to win!  A winner will be picked at random and announced September 1st.  Thank you for participating and sharing with our community!

Also subscribe(top right on website) to receive emails when there is a new post on brookie-lee.com to enter to win another amber teething necklace in the month of August!

9/1/12  And the random winner of the amber teething necklace is… Jill!  Thank you to everyone who contributed by sharing with us!

Also this month’s random subscriber winner is… Rodney!  Congrats and thank you for subscribing to my blog!

Safely Detox with Chlorella

Earlier this year my adrenal glands were fatigued and my immune system was shot.  My chiropractor was very worried and I took a urine analysis and it came back extremely toxic and very acidic.  I needed to make some changes and detox my body.  While my diet mainly consisted of whole foods I would still go out to eat and I had stashes of sugary snacks for my midnight cravings.  I needed to detox my body, change the contents of my midnight snacks, and provide my body with the ammunition it needed to protect itself.  So I’ve been on a road to health and discovery beyond my comfort zone.

So through different research I’ve learned of this magical supplement- Chlorella!  Chlorella is a single-cell green algae that is high in protein and essential nutrients.  Earlier this year I was introduced to Chlorella through Dr. Schulze’s detox programs.  It’s a main ingredient in his Super Foods Plus multi-vitamin.  When I researched it a little bit farther I discovered Chlorella’s ability to keep breastmilk free of toxins.  Doing a bowel detox at the time, with a nursing baby, I was able to test this out first hand.  I did a dose of bowel detox formula and 12 hours later I saw the results in myself as well as in my nursing baby.  I had avoided detoxing for year while being pregnant or nursing but after seeing my baby get sick as often as I was I knew that my high levels of toxicity needed to change for the both of us.  After that first dose my large order of supplements arrived in the mail and I did the second bowel detox dose while also taking the Chlorella in the Super Foods Plus supplement.  Guess what?!  I saw the same results in myself as I saw the first time, BUT no changes in my baby!  Meaning her stools stayed the same!  She wasn’t detoxing with me and she wasn’t getting any extra toxins in my body in the breastmilk!  I was so thrilled!  I found something I could take while breastfeeding and pregnancy!

So now that I’ve been taking Chlorella on a daily basis to keep my breastmilk clean of toxins and to help heal my body.  I suffer from short term memory loss.  Some people call it mommy brain.  I call it ridiculous!  I had a cavity filling when I was a child, a few vaccines as a child, and 5 shots for being Rh- as an adult(mercury content questionable).  I have a feeling that I have a build up of mercury in my system that may be effecting my ability to retain information.  So in my search for a heavy metal detox I again came across information on Chlorella.  Below is an excerpt from Dietrich Klinghardt M.D., Ph.D.


Both C. pyreneidosa (better absorption of toxins, but harder to digest) and C. vulgaris (higher CGF content – see below, easier to digest, less metal-absorbing capability) are available. Chlorella has multiple health-inducing effects:

  • Antiviral (especially effective against the cytomegaly virus from the herpes family)
  • Toxin binding (mucopolysaccharide membrane)
    all known toxic metals, environmental toxins such as dioxin and others
  • Repairs and activates the body’s detoxification functions:
    Dramatically increases reduced glutathione, Sporopollein is as effective as cholestyramin in binding neurotoxins and more effective in binding toxic metals than any other natural substance found.
    Various peptides restore coeruloplasmin and metallothioneine,
  • Lipids (12.4 %) alpha-and gamma-linoleic acid help to balance the increased intake of fish oil during our detox program and are necessary for a multitude of functions, including formation of ther peroxisomes.
  • Methyl-cobolamine is food for the nervous system, restores damaged neurons and has its own detoxifying effect.
  • Chlorella growth factor helps the body detoxify itself in a yet not understood profound way. It appears that over millions of years chlorella has developed specific detoxifying proteins and peptides for every existing toxic metal.
  • The porphyrins in chlorophyll have their own strong metal-binding effect. Chlorophyll also activates the PPAR-receptor on the nucleus of the cell which is responsible for the transcription of DNA and coding the formation of the peroxisomes (see fish oil), opening of the cell wall (unknown mechanism) which is necessary for all detox procedures, normalizes insulin resistance and much more. Medical drugs that activate the PPAR receptor (such as pioglitazone) have been effective in the treatment of breast and prostate cancer.
  • Super nutrient: 50-60% amino acid content, ideal nutrient for vegetarians, methylcobalamin – the most easily absorbed and utilized form of B12, B6, minerals, chlorophyll, beta carotene etc.
  • Immune system strengthening
  • Restores bowel flora
  • Digestive aid (bulking agent)
  • Alkalinizing agent (important for patients with malignancies)

Dosage: start with 1 gram (= 4 tabl) 3-4 times/day. This is the standard maintenance dosage for grown-ups for the 6-24 months of active detox. During the more active phase of the detox (every 2-4 weeks for 1 week), whenever cilantro is given, the dose can be increased to 3 grams 3-4 times per day (1 week on, 2-4 weeks back down to the maintenance dosage). Take 30 minutes before the main meals and at bedtime. This way chlorella is exactly in that portion of the small intestine where the bile squirts into the gut at the beginning of the meal, carrying with it toxic metals and other toxic waste. These are bound by the chlorella cell wall and carried out via the digestive tract. When amalgam fillings are removed, the higher dose should be given for 2 days before and 2-5 days after the procedure (the more fillings are removed, the longer the higher dose should be given). No cilantro should be given around the time of dental work. During this time we do not want to mobilize deeply stored metals in addition to the expected new exposure. If you take Vitamin C during your detox program, take it as far away from Chlorella as possible (best after meals).

Side effects: most side effects reflect the toxic effect of the mobilized metals which are shuttled through the organism. This problem is instantly avoided by significantly increasing the chlorella dosage, not by reducing it, which would worsen the problem (small chlorella doses mobilize more metals than are bound in the gut, large chlorella doses bind more toxins than are mobilized). Some people have problems digesting the cell membrane of chlorella. The enzyme cellulase resolves this problem. Cellulase is available in many health food stores in digestive enzyme products. Taking chlorella together with food also helps in some cases, even though it is less effective that way. C. vulgaris has a thinner cell wall and is better tolerated by people with digestive problems.”Source

My personal experience has been very positive with Chlorella in the Super Foods Plus supplement and I also have a powder version from my local health food store that I will put in smoothies.  I will be looking into purchasing more to be able to do a metal detox in the near future and will share any memory improvement with you in the future!