On Today’s Music

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My drummer boy has been taking drum and guitar lessons for 3 years now. I would have preferred to start him in piano, as this would have appeased my classical tendencies, but since he literally came out of my womb drumming, I figured he had a different path.  His music teacher, however, was a God send. He works very well with my drummer boy’s language disability and has the same humor as my son, which I have since learned is actually a “drummer’s humor.” There is a good mix of silliness and hard work, so we are all happy.

Recently I had a conversation with my drummer boy’s music teacher in which he explained the dumbing down of today’s music and the inferior musicians being popularized in today’s culture.

To paraphrase, he explained that kids are only exposed to music played with 4 basic chords, and these are the songs they want their teacher to teach them how to play. “This is simple,” he says, “and after a few lessons, my work is done.”  He then went on to explain that quality musicians cannot be produced in this fashion. To add to the problem, boys compete by playing louder and faster, which does not surmount to good music; it is just louder and faster. This is his source of frustration, and rightly so. 


I explained to him that my son is mostly exposed to music that glorifies God; however, since we are not fans of hymns, that music is generally composed of those same four chords that cause him grief.

rush

My drummer boy does listen to Rush, and so I wondered if that is what his music teacher considered to be quality. He often has my drummer boy practice pieces by the Beatles, Elton John, and other classical rockers, as well as other forms of music such as jazz, and so he confirmed that at least Rush is one of the better ones. We only exposed our drummer boy to Rush when we were introduced to Neil Pert as a means of exposing our 6 month old drumming prodigy to another drumming sensation. In the last 10 years, my drummer boy has memorized every Rush song and can imitate each band member almost perfectly. He can also imitate our church’s worship band leader, which is much more desirable in my book; however, I am pleased that Rush maintains a higher expression of musicianship than your run of the mill four chord band.

praise with cymbalsThe conclusion of this conversation, resulted in confirmation that his teacher and I are on the same page as far as the direction his lessons should go. It is our desire that my drummer boy composes quality, cutting edge, music that glorifies The Lord. I have hopes that he will greatly influence the world of music with musical patterns and melodies that will send contemporary worship music into a new genre. That he will be the leader of a new musical sound that glorifies The Lord in a way that the world has never heard. In this way, even none believers will be drawn to him and he will point them to the gospel and true worship of The Lord. I pray that through his music many will be saved. 

The Little Bug that Bites

The other day, a little bug told me that a 6 year old was working on a higher math level than both my 7 and 10 year old. I thought it was such a cute little bug that I tucked it away in the corner of my heart, all safe and protected, appreciative of the message, for I was truly impressed with the child. Slowly, this little bug began eating away at the peace in my heart and yesterday it took a big chunk out of my patience.  cute bug

My 7 and 10 year old have been transitioning into level C of Right Start Math for what seems like forever. We are only 2 lessons away from beginning this level, which at our rate will take at least 2 weeks. Today, we spent 30 minutes on just the warm up section. They just don’t seem to be retaining the addition strategies and every time I go to review, I end up teaching it all over again. Today, I became so frustrated with them, that my voice could be heard in the basement. They were laughing and giggling while I was trying to teach something that I had taught 100 times! How dare they try to have fun while learning!

But at the heart of this frustration was this little bug. As this little bug ate at my peace and patience, it became fat with envy. I should have squashed this bug when it was small. 

We love Right Start Math. My kids are transitioning from Math U See because I felt it left a lot of holes in regards to place value, and just wasn’t enough all around practice. The mastery of one step at a time, was keeping my son at one level for entirely too long, and he became frustrated and bored. The curriculum just did not meet the needs of my intellectually disabled son. With Right Start Math, my kids are having fun playing games while learning math concepts. The math foundation they are getting is complete and solid. They really like it. But they really like it when Mom is on their side. They like it when Mom has fun with them, whatever level they are at. They like it when Mom laughs with them and does not get hung up on where they must be and how much they have accomplished. stickyegg

On my jog that day, the Lord showed me how big that little bug had gotten. It was so creepy looking that it took great courage to approach it in order to squash it. With the Lord’s strength, I was finally able to, but it had left a big hole in my heart…. a hole that only the Lord could fill, so I prayed:

Lord thank you for the children you have given me. Thank you for the gift to homeschool them, so that they can flourish at their own pace and become exactly who You have designed them to be. Lord fill this hole in my heart with an abundance of patience to work with my kids at whatever level they are on. Lord give me peace to accept each child for who they are, not comparing them with any other child, but seeing and loving who they are and the gifts you have given them. And Lord, most of all, remind me that those little bugs get big and that they bite hard. Remind me to squash it and not to feed it, so that my heart will stay Holy filled with You. Amen heart

Healing the GAPS

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We (my kids really) have been on the GAPS diet now for a year and a half.  The diet was introduced to me by a friend who was reading the book as a possible cure for her husband’s IBS problem. As she was reading it, my drummer boy came to her mind, so she shared the book with me. The book was written by Dr. Natasha Campbell, a neurologist, who gave birth to an autistic son. In all her medical knowledge, she could not heal her autistic son, so she studied nutrition. Through nutrition, her son is now healed, or as she calls it “recovered” from his autism. As I read the book, the Lord gave me such a great conviction to implement this diet that I could barely stand not to do it. My husband and I decided to put all of the kids on it and eat it ourselves (when we are with them). Implementing this diet has been quite a challenge in discipline, organization, and self control.

The diet consists of 3 phases: the introduction, the full diet, and coming off the diet. In a nut shell, the full diet does not allow processed food, sugar, or grains of any kind. The bulk of the diet is soup made of homemade broth, boiled meats and animal fats, and vegetables fermented and raw. Eggs, dairy, and nuts may also be eaten if there is no allergy.

We started implementing the diet slowly so as to get our kids used to the new flavors of food they were going to have to eat. I simply did not purchase any more non-GAPS food items, and once all of the non-GAPS food ran out, we were on the full GAPS diet.  After the kids were used to the full GAPS diet, I put them on the introductory diet for 3 days. Then, we slowly moved back into the full GAPS diet.

Implementing this diet, was probably one of the toughest things I have ever done. The twins were especially resistant to the chicken broth and I literally thought all of my kids were going to starve. Thankfully, hunger overrides. It also took a lot of organization on my part. We live 20 minutes from town and most of our errands happen in the city which is a good 45 minutes away. I have to always have food prepared to take with us when we leave the house. This means that I always need to know where we are going and when we were going.

Here is an example of our daily menu:

4 out of 5 kids are, thankfully, happy to have the same breakfast each morning. Pancakes, consisting of bananas, or squash, eggs, and peanut butter all mixed together in the vita mix and poured onto the hot griddle. The other kid usually has left over meat with homemade GAPS ketchup.

Lunch always consists of the soup: homemade bone broth with cabbage, carrots, onion, and left over meat. At this time I start boiling whatever meat we may be having for dinner. I often will start this before breakfast in the crockpot as well.

Snacks: Nuts, fruit and raw veges, as well as freshly made juice from the juicer (carrots, apples and greens).

Dinner: Lettuce wraps or salads with the meat I have boiled. Bones are usually always boiling in water for the broth by this time.

Desert: Peanut butter or yogurt with honey or strawberry ice cream made in the vita mix with frozen strawberries, honey, and milk. I always make peanut butter cookies made with honey and coconut flour to take to birthday parties.

Outings: Banana muffins, or pumpkin bread, both made with coconut and almond flour. And of course, nuts, raisins and fruit are quick to go items.

I am amazed at how the Lord has provided for our family to eat this diet, which consists of food priced well beyond our means. We have an organic produce farmer just around the corner from us who sells us bulk veges at an incredibly low cost for organic food. A friend from church raises, and processes, all of our meat: lamb, beef, goat, pork, and chicken as well as goat milk, also for an incredibly low price. Probably our most expensive items are the nuts and the out of season fruit.

And the healing has been incredible! My drummer boy, who could barely speak a coherent sentence, is now hearing himself, hearing me, correcting himself, and asking for corrections. He is thinking and learning better than ever before. He is able to sit still and concentrate for longer periods of time and he hasn’t had a migraine in 5 months (He used to get two to four a month, since birth!) His face is rounder, not gaunt, and his stomach is no longer distended.  My ballerina no longer snores (I had no idea this diet will cure that) and she also concentrates better with a longer attention span than before. The twins are calmer and generally healthier. And they all look amazingly healthy and have a great amount of healthy energy. Everyone that knows our drummer boy has commented on the tremendous improvements he has made on this diet.

I highly recommend this diet for anyone with an autistic child or any child with learning disabilities. The book is full of scientific  proof that bad stomach bacteria will block learning and actually causes an opium effect in the brain. Grains and starches are a drug to these children. Heal the gut, heal the mind. It is our duty as parents to be diligent in providing the best for our children. It is hard, but it does work!