Homegrown french fries for picky eaters

Both my kids would be considered picky eaters.  And anytime you think you have it figured out that they like something they change it up on you.

But something they will both eat consistently is french fries.  With all the horrible stuff in the news about what is actually in some of our store bought food products I’m encouraged to grow more and eat healthier.

The kids dug 27 potatoes out of the garden.  They had a blast doing it.

And today we ate the fruit of our labor.  I’d say it was a good lesson in all and everything tasted so delicious!

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Hopefully this is something your picky eaters will like.

Homegrown french fries for picky eaters

  • 10 potatoes cut into whatever sort of shapes or wedges you’d like.
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 teaspoons Nutritional Yeast
  • pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Lay potatoes on lightly oiled (I use a little avocado oil or coconut oil) pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes on 400.

I don’t get any complaints about these.

Hope you enjoy!

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Official Autism diagnosis: Yes or No?

An hour and a half into our lesson I realized I had lost EBE.  His attention span was non existent, no matter what idea I tried to teach him he was gone.  Unfocused.  What we call zoned out in our house.  Even after my failed attempt at a bath to increase focus.  Pinterest fail one of my biggest pet peeves.

I know it was a lot for him having a new routine this last week, but I wish there was a way I could help him.  I’ve tried some calm down sensory strategies, tactile play in the sand table usually seems to do the trick.  But he’s emotional too.  Simply he’s on sensory overload.  He took paper and rubbed it across his lips so hard that he now as a lip full of paper cuts which today are a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10.  Anyways.  Lately I’ve been thinking wondering would he benefit from a true diagnosis of Autism.  His sister has one.  His occupational therapist without “officially diagnosing” him saw Autism displayed in both our children.

The thing is I never want to hinder him.  Or Miss H.

I’m not afraid of him getting a diagnosis although somehow I always feel like he knows it’s assessment time so he pulls himself together and nails their checklists.  Then I just appear insane.  Which is totally fine.

I just want him to succeed.

So I pose the question to parents of kids with Autism, or even those with Autism themselves.  Are you happier knowing there is a name for how you feel.  Or do you wish you hadn’t received the diagnosis?

Evan was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder.  Heidi with “Severe Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Globally Developmentally Delayed” an obnoxious mouth full for a little girl who spoke late.

Anyways I’d love if you would ask, or share this post or pose those questions.

I have my own mixed emotions about Miss H’s diagnosis, and some of the poor practices of those in the medical field as well as therapy vendors.

We do practice our own occupational therapy in home each day.  Which I feel like has really benefited the kids.

Anyways eventually I’ll come to a decision on having him assessed again.  Until then we will push through this phase and I’ll complain to my girlfriends and problem solve ideas on how to help them through this phase.

Thank God for good friends.

Happy Friday!

Pros & Cons to goat ownership

I’ve been discussing autism lately, and thought I’d switch gears for a bit and share in our homesteading journey.

I want to talk about goats.  And share just some thoughts on them.  Maybe you are a long time goat owner, maybe you are considering getting a goat (remember if you get one you should get two.)

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Goats are social animals so you should always get at least two, that’s how we ended up with Gus and Randy.  If you were a fan of Love on Netflix you might recognize the names.

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So here are just my personal pros and cons to goat ownership from my own experience.

We purchased two baby nigerian dwarf wethers.

Side note a wether is a castrated male goat.

I know I can still get confused with goat lingo.

Pros

  • They will most definitely eat your weeds.
  • Gentle animals.  Ours are so gentle with our kids.
  • They don’t cost much to feed especially if they have some where to graze.
  • You can feed a lot of your yard trimmings to them.  I’m all about recycling.
  • They don’t require much time or effort.
  • They are really cute and funny.  (The humping cracks everyone up)
  • It’s a great experience if you have kids
  • It doesn’t cost much to startup.  We built our goat house from repurposed barnwood.
  • Goat poop when added to compost is great for gardening.You can make a little extra money renting goats out to neighbors needed help with weed control.  With the recent fires in California neighborhoods are seeing an increase in rental goats to help control the brush.

     

Now let’s talk the cons.

Cons

  • They will most definitely eat something of yours that you don’t want them to.
  • They are little Houdini’s, ours eventually find a way to jail break at some point, and they let all the animals out too.
  • They poop everywhere.
  • The poop is seriously hard to rake up.  (just being honest here)
  • They beg, and beg, and I usually give in and give them a treat or two.
  • They jump on everything.
  • One of the most stubborn animals I’ve ever owned.  Have you tried pulling your goat somewhere you want him to go?  It’s harder than you’d think.
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All in all I think adding Gus and Randy to our mini farm has been great.  It’s nice to be able to throw them a lot of yard waste as we clear more areas on the farm.  They are really sweet and gentle with the kids and our other animals.  I think it teaches the kids such a valuable lesson as well.

If you are considering adding goats to your homestead do you have any questions?

I know before getting goats we researched and researched.  But overall it’s been a pretty simple adjustment and we’ve really loved having them around.  I’ve been letting them wander in the evenings while I do yoga, and I think the belly laughing has done some soul healing.  It’s not nearly magestic as people on social media would have you believe.

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Danielle

 

Benefits of gardening with young children with sensory challenges

Gardening is a great way for children to get the sensory input their bodies crave.

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You can’t deny all of the input you receive from being outside, digging in the dirt, (barefoot if you are related to me and my children.)

I made sure to really understand and learn from the occupational therapists about the children’s different sensory needs.

Before Miss H and EBEs diagnosis’s I didn’t understand the term; sensory seeker, undersensitive, hypersensitive, avoider, just to name a few.

But I’ve made it a priority to learn, to take notes, to ask when something isn’t working.

Anyways I am a firm believer that we do need to go back to our roots sometimes.  No you don’t need to throw out your WiFi router, or toss your computer.  But, we’ve become a society obsessed with labels, obsessed with quick fixes, overly medicated, instead of making maybe a few life changes.

This is my first big garden.  Most of it was started from seed.  It was back breaking labor, but I love seeing our progress.  I love being able to teach the kids about the importance of diet (because in our home it truly does make a difference with behaviors).

I love knowing how things were raised, no pesticides, truly organic food.

I don’t have enough this year so of course I still buy from the grocery store.

It not only teaches the importance of working hard for what we eat.  Being grateful, and not being wasteful as well.

The kids absolutely love it.

Usually they are barefoot, which I wholeheartedly support.  If you haven’t researched grounding and barefoot walking you should.  It’s pretty interesting.

I have a sensory seeker, and a sensory avoider, one loves to be barefoot and one doesn’t.

EBE is the sensory avoider.  Somehow after we had spent 30 minutes digging for potatoes he barely had dirt on his fingers and asked for it to be immediately washed off.

Miss H and I had dirt in our hair, up to our elbows and were barefoot.

EBE is the avoider, and Miss H is a sensory seeker.

Both were so excited to be picking their own food and were tasting it along the way.

EBE has a lot of food aversions, but even he was so thrilled at our garden finds that he happily ate some freshly pulled carrots.

There is so much value in teaching your kids about healthy diet choices, teaching them to grow their own food.

I know for our house food really affects the behaviors we see.  I can always tell if we’ve been a bit to relaxed on diet and snacks.

Have you noticed a change in your child with autism or sensory processing disorder depending on their diet?

I find that whole foods and non processed foods are the best way to go for us.  I tried gluten free, but it didn’t make a difference for us I didn’t see a noticeable change in behaviors like I do with whole, natural foods, and lots of water.

Thank you for reading!

Danielle

 

Autism and Essential Oils

Let’s first chat about Autism.

Maybe  you are familiar.  Maybe like myself you have one or two sensory kids in your household.

Maybe you are waiting on a diagnosis (I know the waiting can be awful)

Maybe you’ve had a child on the spectrum for years.

There is a misconception about Autism.  I know for me when I tell people my kids are on the spectrum I usually get some asinine comment.

You would never guess my kids have autism upon meeting them or seeing them.

Autism is a blanket diagnosis now, but they fall into the “higher functioning category”

Miss H actually has a severe autism diagnosis, but there are so many different things that played into that diagnosis.  She’s actually outgrown most all of the behaviors we saw when she was younger.  Now she just has different behaviors.

That’s not to downplay the time and hard work we have all put in as a family.

To an outsider you would see two typical kids ages 4 and 5.

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But they have their struggles.  We have our days with repetitive behavior, meltdowns, and zoning out.

Since my son was born he was a difficult baby.  He never slept (still has his nights)  He had so many issues with constipation.  At one point I took him to the doctor for 21 days of constipation.

That’s when I started researching diet, exercise, and oils.

It wasn’t until much later that I really started using oils consistently with the kids.

We went through phases where the kids would just eat horribly.  Goldfish, graham crackers.  Milk.  But having kids a year apart, being an exhausted mom I was just doing the best I knew how.

Once we really stepped back and researched the effects of diet and exercise everything changed for us.

We changed their diet.  We have always limited screen time.  And we started encouraging them to workout with us.  Use their obsessive behaviors for overall health.

Now oils.  I know some people think its hocus pocus.

I know others that truly believe in their ability to aid with behaviors associated with Autism.  I’m a believer.  I’d much rather try an oil potion than medication, but that’s just me.

Oils will never cure a child of Autism.  But they do have the ability to give an overly anxious child feelings of calm and peace.  They have the ability to increase mental clarity and focus.

They have a way of balancing out emotions.

If you know much about autism you know that often times studies discuss the effects of gut health.

I cannot stress enough how important gut health is speaking for my own kids.

Once we seemed to find a balance using diet, essential oils, and exercise we have noticed an amazing transformation in our kids.

Less meltdowns, more focus, less anxiety, and to be honest they love joining in with the mixing of potions.

If I had to choose three oils that we use consistently in our house they would be:

  • Lavender
  • TummyGize
  • Peppermint

If you have a sensory kid you probably know the struggle with going to the bathroom.  I rub TummyGize on their stomachs and feet as needed.

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Lavender is amazing.  I usually put it in our homemade playdough and pull that out after an overstimulating outing to help calm their senses.

Peppermint diluted with fractionated coconut oil is the perfect way to bring down a fever naturally.

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Those are only a few that I use consistently around here.  I love everything about Young Living.  I love that there is a way for me to help the kids feel regulated.  We don’t use labels in our house.  To be honest they don’t even know what Autism is yet.

I will spend my mama life helping them through their struggles but providing them with all different tools to manage any struggles.

Autism is truly life through a different lens.

Thanks for reading!

Danielle

 

From our fields to your family

Let me share with you how I became a Young Living Essential Oils Distributor.

I’ve been a closet oiler for years.

Not sure if that’s even a term.

I’ve used oils since my first son was born.  My generous mother in law and mom have always both provided me with the oils I need for each stage of my life.  From both Doterra and Young Living.  I’ve used oils for serious baby constipation, I’ve used oils for anxiety and depression.  I make a special potion for the animals when they get injured.  The list of benefits we see daily by using Young Living Essential Oils is pretty significant.

My mama decided to gift me with signing me up as a distributor for Young Living.  You see I actually use both Young Living and Doterra oils.  I know the horror!

But I truly believe in oils and so as long as the oils are pure I won’t discriminate.

I however just adore so much about Young Living.  When I received my starter kit in the mail I was beyond thrilled.

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I’ll be completely transparent.  The idea of making a little side money is nice.  I love staying home with my kids but it’s nice to get a little extra money here and there selling something I truly believe in.  Not to mention by becoming a distributor you are able to use the Young Living Essential Oils and products at a much more affordable price.

Both my kids fall onto the Autism spectrum.  We face some sensory challenges on a day to day basis.  I will never claim to say that essential oils cure behaviors associated with the spectrum.  But I will say combined with diet and exercise I do notice a lot of positive changes.

Not to mention how clean and healthy my house feels.  I ditched the chemical cleaners once I had kids  and started making my own using essential oils and other household products.

I’m not really good at selling products though.  I never want to be that friend blowing up your feed with more obnoxious sales posts.  But I do hope as I embark on this journey with Young Living that I’m able to encourage others that there is healing in oils and hopefully they fall in love with Young Living like I did.

Stick around for different potions and ideas we cook up using Young Living Essential Oils on our homestead.

If you ever have any questions please send me an email or leave a comment.

americanhomesteadco@gmail.com

Danielle

 

Considering backyard chickens?

Then welcome!  Let’s talk chickens this week.

Last year if you had asked me if we’d ever have chickens I’d have told you absolutely not.

But I was misinformed.  Hadn’t really considered all the pros to being a chicken owner just had one disgusting experience involving chicken cannibalism as a teenager house sitting.

Our decision to add chickens to our homestead sort of just came to be.  It wasn’t a monumental moment that I could really jog from my memory.  But I do remember being sick of the prices of organic happy chicken eggs from the store.  Diet is important in our house.  And organic free range eggs are a staple.

I found someone locally getting rid of a few hens.  Quickly a few hens turned into 8, oh and plus one rooster.  The luck of the draw with pullets (unsexed baby chicks) locally hatched.

Not only we were saving money on eggs immediately, but we found that the chickens were actually a great form of sensory input for our children.

Raising good humans in this worlds current climate is necessary.  Providing our kids with opportunities to learn and encouraging growth is our job as their parents.  What better way to teach them about the food we consume than having chickens in the backyard.

When our pullet turned Rooster we decided to use the fertile eggs to hatch our own babies this spring.  Out of 10 eggs, 5 hatched all natural, compliments of our broody hen Harriett Ann.

It was really simple.  Nothing to crazy.  Harriett Ann did reject her first chick, but with the advice of others and an evening chick reverse kidnapping she happily took him under her wings just a few days later.

So here it is in a bullet version why I’d encourage you to consider backyard chickens (if you’re not a lengthy article reader)

  • Cost savings (Even with the price of chicken feed I’d say it was much more cost effective then buying eggs weekly from the grocery store)
  • If you have kids it’s an excellent learning opportunityIMG-3402
  • They are really simple and don’t require much.
  • Inexpensive to start you’re own backyard chicken flock.  I think our total cost to starting our little chicken family was about $50.
  • You can build your own coop using pallets or recycled wood.IMG-7735(1)
  • Feeders can be found on sale.
  • The best eggs I’ve ever tasted and they are much cuter than store bought eggs!IMG-2031
  • Fresh, I always wondered how long have the eggs I’m purchasing actually been sitting on the shelf.  Now I know how fresh mine are.
  • Organic eggs.
  • An extra way to make money on the side by selling farm fresh organic eggs to neighbors.  Also people looking to start their own backyard flock are willing to purchase hens.  You won’t get rich quickly, but it is a nice way to make a little money on the side.

There are cons to owning chickens too.  I mean they can be stinky.  But I use essential oils and natural products to keep their coop as clean as I can.

But overall I’d say the benefits to owning our own backyard chickens has exceeded the negatives.  And I’ve found myself fond of quite a few!

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