Archive - 2014

The Chiropractor: Popcorn Back
>> Fighting the Flu
REVIEW: Disney’s Disability Access Service Card
The Chiroprator: Lola’s Journey
#FairTuesday for Men
Advent Reading Plan
Thanksgiving 2014
REVIEW: An Amish Second Christmas (book)
Thanksgiving Recipe Round Up
The Adoption Campaign

The Chiropractor: Popcorn Back

As promised I’m continuing to document Lola’s chiropractic journey. She is now on her third week of treatment and we are seeing some positive things. We have noticed a small change in her motion level. Especially in regards to jumping up and down. In addition to the positive behavior changes, Lola has also experienced some detox symptoms such as lethargy and diarrhea. These did not last long or affect her significantly.

We continue to have a great experience with our Living Well Chiropractic friends. They are great with kids, using phrases like “time for popcorn back” or “I’m going to make you into a pretzel, do you like your pretzels with cheese or salt?” Super cute and super relaxed for kiddos. Our visits are quick and Lola enjoys her time there. Charlotte tags along for appointments and has recently decided to be a chiropractor when she grows up, she gave me a practice adjustment yesterday. Adorable.

I will keep the updates coming! We are hopeful and excited.

>> Fighting the Flu

Three days before the highly anticipated Disney trip, Elliott’s nose started to run. Charlotte was already staying home from school because she was slightly under the weather. Their symptoms were pretty mild so I honestly didn’t think the flu was the culprit (we later found out that NINE kids in her Kindergarten class were absent because of the flu). Then Calvin called from work. Again, we are three days away from the super-duper, top-secret Disney adventure. He was achy, and sneezing, and head-achy. Oh and he had a fever, too. He came home from work to rest and after mulling it over for awhile I took Elliott to the pediatrician and sent Calvin to the local Walgreens for a flu test. They both tested positive for flu type A. At this point I was feeling okay but my calves were achy. I took that as a sign to start a preventative for myself. The next morning I went for a flu test and took the rest of the kids as well. Both Charlotte and I tested positive for flu. Lola and Liam did not, but they were exhibiting some minor symptoms and we were informed that flu tests often show a false negative. Either way, Liam and Lola never went past a stuffy nose.

Within the next 12 hours we did start to feel pretty crummy. Especially Calvin and Elliott. I was feeling well enough to keep the household moving so I put everyone to bed with quiet activities and continually sanitized surfaces and finished packing, secretly in the closet. I kept worrying about the pace I was keeping, thinking I would surely crash because rest is such an important part of recovery. Thankfully I was able to take some breaks for rest while getting things done. The point of this narrative is to ultimately tell you that we were able to make a complete recovery from Influenza A in only 2 days. Our trip was not ruined, we hit the ground running when we arrived on Saturday and did not suffer any relapses or set-backs due to illness. How did we do this? Here is the protocol we followed:

1. At first sign of illness I started everyone on Boiron Oscillococcinum. This is a homeopathic treatment, but also prevention. I picked up a family pack (30 quantity) at Walgreens and we all downed a little vial every 6 hours. They are WAY cheaper on Amazon so I suggest keeping some on hand and not going broke at Walgreens or Target. I used to keep this in the medicine cabinet but it’s been almost 6 years since any of us have had the flu so I stopped stocking it. This actually makes you feel better, it’s amazing stuff.

2. We were already taking Elderberry syrup and Fermented Cod Liver oil daily so we continued to do this. I credit a large portion of our recovery to having these things in our system already. We weren’t able to prevent the flu completely but we definitely didn’t get a super bad case! I make my own elderberry but you can grab a bottle from my friend Lori’s site on Etsy, she’s a pro. Also, if you are wondering what the heck Fermented Cod Liver Oil is and why you should take it, check out the info here.

3. We continued to eat a balanced diet, lots of dark greens, oranges and broths. Lots of warm liquids, lots of water.  And lots of rest. Well, rest for everyone but me. But you know how that goes.

4. Lastly, at the recommendation of my friend Michelle, who is a certified health coach, we added 50,000 IUs of Vitamin D3 for adults and 25,000 IUs for the kids. This can be used as a preventative as well, but in a lower dose- 10,000 IUs/5,000 IUs. This is obviously a HIGH amount, you would need to discontinue once you are well.

And that’s about it! To be real for a moment, it’s a LOT of work to keep up with all of this for 6 people. When you are using homeopathic meds and syrups you have to give them every 2, 4 or 6 hours depending on the dosage. You will constantly be rubbing something on someone or putting them in an Epsom salt bath. You’ll be boiling water for teas and heating soups. But you’ll also be taking charge of your health and caring for your family with your own two hands. Sickness can be a time to serve. We are evidence that supporting, rather than suppressing, the body’s function can many times lead to a much faster recovery.

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REVIEW: Disney’s Disability Access Service Card

  • Hollywood Studios Light Display
  • Carribean Beach Resort
  • Frozen!
  • Mine Train!
  • Gaston's Tavern
  • Tusker House Breakfast
  • Everest

After one year of planning, making reservations and saving money our family made a grand visit to Disney World. We knew this would come with some challenges so we did our best to plan ahead, especially where Lola’s needs were concerned. She really had a great week and we were impressed with how the Cast Members (Disney employees) responded to her.

We were given a Disability Access Card, which I will refer to as the DAS card. This is a new system for kids and adults who aren’t able to wait in lines without great distress. Lola’s blindness and sensory issues make waiting in line very difficult, meltdowns etc. Trust me, we did the 40 minute wait for Buzz Lightyear without the DAS and it was a quasi-disaster.

The DAS card is basically waiting in line while out of line. To acquire the card you simply stop by the customer service area at the front of the park, explain the disability and why it makes lines difficult. We were asked very little questions and it was a very smooth process. They took Lola’s picture and printed out a little card with her name and photo on the front.

To use the card you simply hand it to the cast member at the front of each ride and they write a return time on the card. The return time is the current wait time minus 10 minutes. So if the Mine Train wait was 70 minutes our return would be an hour later. We were able to ride other rides with short wait times, eat a meal, take in the Christmas decor or rest a little. We also utilized fast pass so DAS wasn’t necessary with all rides. The cast members were always friendly and although the pass was only for 6 people they had no problem allowing more family members to ride with Lola. We were also allowed to sit in the very front for events like the Frozen Sing Along.

In addition to finding success with the DAS card we also found the characters and cast members quick to pick up on Lola’s extra needs and respond appropriately. For example, the characters recognized Lola’s need to get super close and to touch their costumes. They would take her hand and put it on their nose (Mickey) or bend down toward her face. We typically didn’t mention her eyes, but it was clear they realized that her experience needed to be slightly different.

Lola was also chosen to take part in a few shows. We were hesitant at first but once we informed the cast members they were sure to guide her and give her extra cues, no problem. Lola even played the part of the Beast, dancing with Belle as the story was told.

IMG_0538We had a great week at Disney, celebrating our family and spending time with extended family. We hope to return again in a few years to relive all the fun and excitement. Despite the changes to the disability system I still give Disney a thumbs up in this department.

The Chiroprator: Lola’s Journey

Our Lola came home from China just over a year ago. She is legally blind due to sclerocornea which causes opaque corneas. Additionally, Lola struggles with ADHD and impulse/mood control. While Lola’s blindness doesn’t hold her back, her ADHD presents issues for her in daily life. We have used many natural items that help her significantly, like Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Natural Calm and most recently L-thiamine in the form of these cute little Dinosaur Chewables.

Additionally we use sensory therapy items like trampolines, balancers, chewable jewelry, you name it. We did try medication for a time but that sent her mood swings into overdrive. Diet and the supplements listed have been the most significant thing we’ve done to help Lola.

Recently Lola began to complain of headaches. Terrible headaches, that caused her to cry and scream out in pain. She doesn’t sleep well and her bathroom trips are not regular. I was really starting to worry. There had to be something else we could try.

The Chiropractor.

People have their own opinions about Chiropractors. I have personally utilized chiropractic care on many occasions. During pregnancy for sciatica, after pregnancy when everything was out of alignment and for the time when I bent down to pick up a kiddo and got stuck that way. Each time I’ve been cared for well in an education-driven environment. So yes, I love the chiropractor. But honestly I had not considered how it might help with other ailments, or how not being aligned could cause a mass of symptoms throughout your body.

I want so badly to launch into everything I’ve learned about chiropractic care and ADHD but I’m saving that for part 2 of the journey. I know there may be readers out there who are struggling with the same issues and I want to walk you through this whole thing. I plan to share our weekly visits and update on Lola’s progress while sharing every single thing I learn along the way. As a starting place I will share that at this point Lola has had her first set of x-rays (I included them below, because it’s fascinating) and had one adjustment. I’ll also tell you that with one adjustment she made a trip to the bathroom. Even more impressive, Dr. Ben said that would happen. Congrats Dr. Ben, you called it. For the first little bit we will be hanging out at Living Well Chiropractic 3 days per week.


By the way, Lola calls the adjustment “popcorn back.”

I’ll continue to share and update and educate about our chiropractic journey once a week. I hope you’re riveted…because I am.


#FairTuesday for Men

Let’s be honest. For most of us, the last week has been focused on how much we can get and how little we can get it for. Now, let’s be fair. As some of you may know, today is Fair Tuesday as in shop Fair Trade today. There is tons of stuff for women, but this post is focused on the stuff for guys, who are always harder to shop for.

These items focus on being fairly traded, ethically sourced, and life impacting. Here are 5 on Calvin’s list.

1. Just Porter – Piko Series Camo Backpack

Just-Porter-Backpacks-PIKO-CAMO_1The Piko is a durable lightweight bag that delivers when you need it the most. With separate laptop access and the front instant pocket, the Piko is ideal for a person that is on the move from place to place. #GiveTuesday Sale! Use Code Give20 For 20% Off At Checkout!



2. Wonderbag – Non-Electric Portable Slowcooker

The Wonderbag was developed to ease the social, economic and environment impacts of the current global circumstances. The Wonderbag is a non-electric, heat-retention cooker that allows food that has been brought to a boil, to continue cooking after it has been removed from the fuel source. All our recipes have recommended timings and simple steps to guide the Wonderbag cooking process. Production capabilities in Rwanda, Mexico and Turkey with launches in Kenya, Nigeria and Somaliland with a buy-one-give-one model to support getting Wonderbags into humanitarian relief.

3. Parker Clay – Passport Wallet

Our Passport Wallet is made out of premium quality Ethiopian leather hand selected for Parker Clay. Travel ready and features multiple card slots and compartments for a passport, credit cards, ID and cash, along with frequent flyer cards and flight tickets.

4. Invisible Children – Abidos (Tan Nubuck)

Invisble ChildrenMade in Ethiopia, the Adibo combines style with durable, lasting comfort. Each shoe is created with the goal of contributing to the development of a thriving middle class in Africa. Curated by Invisible Children in partnership with Oliberte: This is Africa. Currently on sale for $40. Free shipping for $100 orders.

5. Live FashionABLE – Kalkidan Leather Wallet

– Hand crafted in Ethiopia // 100% Ethiopian leather

– Dimensions: 3″ x 4″
– Available in 2 colors: Chocolate Brown or Cognac
– Subtle variations add to the uniqueness of each product.


Advent Reading Plan

We have made an effort to simplify our Christmas over the past few years; three gifts, focus on Jesus, and more time at home. Advent readings are a great addition, keeping our focus steady as we move through a world that constantly pulls our attention elsewhere. I was excited to find a free Advent Reading plan that corresponds with a book that many of us already have, the Jesus Storybook Bible. (use code HOLIDAY30 to get 30% off) Oh how I love this book. If you don’t have it, do yourself a favor and put it in your child’s stocking. It’s inexpensive and illustrates how the entire Bible points toward Jesus, our savior. It is captivating and beautifully written and illustrated. Our children are all young (3-7 years old) but definitely at varying developmental ages and interests, I’ve found that this book keeps them all equally engaged.

Here is the full link, including a section for notes.

What are you planning for advent this year? I would love to hear your ideas and traditions.

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving holds little tradition in the Ho family. Each celebration has looked slightly different, from celebrating Elliott’s Red Egg as an infant and enjoying dinner with seminary friends, to waiting for our children to come home and even welcoming a niece into the world while munching a quickly purchased Cracker Barrel meal. While solid traditions have not yet graced this day we are so thankful as we look back and see the many faces and places that fill our memories. Today we made a quick trip to the movies and are relaxing, just the 6 of us, as we prepare to give thanks over a meal this evening. It’s going to be a great day. Happy Thanksgiving friends, enjoy these moments.

REVIEW: An Amish Second Christmas (book)

About Tricia:
This is my second season reading and promoting with Tricia Goyer. I have grown to love not only her books, but her story. Tricia is mom to 6 children and has 2 grandchildren as well. Her heart for mentoring teen moms and families has led her to encouraging and supporting women via her books and speaking engagements. The love and support she felt from those around her gave her the fuel to eventually co-found Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Montana.

An Amish Second Christmas:
I am currently reading An Amish Second Christmas which is a series of 4 novellas folded neatly into one beautiful book. Tricia’s contribution is the fourth novella, Christmas Aprons. Each story features strong women, faith and a little bit of romance as well. As an extra touch there are recipes that accompany the book, making this an excellent book club option. Full of interesting and accurate details about Amish life and beautifully described snowy settings, An Amish Second Christmas is the perfect book to usher in the Holiday season.

You can find An Amish Second Christmas at Amazon (kindle version for those who love e-reading!) and other major retailers.

An Amish Second ChristmasThanks to Tricia you also have the opportunity to win either An Amish Second Christmas OR A Christmas Gift for Rose. Two winners will be chosen at random and announced on Thanksgiving day. Comment and share in the box below to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway







UPDATE: Winners have been picked at random. Congratulations to Angela Huber, winner of An Amish Second Christmas and Jennifer Smith winner of A Christmas Gift for Rose.

Thanksgiving Recipe Round Up

With our beloved day of Thanks fast approaching many of us are diligently searching for healthier, whole food alternatives to the traditional fare. No cans of Campbells, no French’s crispy fries (I know, I’m ruining everything here), no jello salad. How many of you just stopped reading?

I realize we have our traditions. But here are some recipes, tried and true, that might help you start some new ones.

Green Bean Casserole from Eat the Love

Sweet Potato (Butternut Squash) Casserole from Our Nourishing Roots

Mashed Potato and Cauliflower Gratin from Epicurious

Broccoli Salad from California Country Gal

Pumpkin Pie from the Simple Moms

Notice there are not any bread recipes above. Because, well, bread is hard. And if you’re making Thanksgiving changes for the first time creating an amazing homemade bread might just do you in. Like really send you over the edge and then everyone will be hungry and cranky and spiteful instead of Thankful. So let’s skip the bread or go to a bakery this year. The Thanksgiving meal is NOT for the weak in spirit.

However, if you are really awesome and ambitious check out this recipe for maple sourdough rolls from the Nourished Kitchen.

Happy Thanks and Cooking Y’all.


The Adoption Campaign

I wrote about kindness yesterday. Which is helpful because posts like this need to come from a heart FULL of kindness and a desire to educate rather than rant.

The Holiday season ushers in many opportunities to help families and individuals in need. It’s a beautiful thing as many families are struggling rather than celebrating. However, organizations that aim to help these families, individuals and kids have chosen to use the word adoption in their campaigns. The word adoption has been made synonymous  with the word help, sponsor and support. While this seems harmless to the general population, we’ve somehow forgotten that the general population contains thousands upon thousands of adoptees.

I realize that there is no way to make everyone happy. And many who read this will think, “oh great, another PC term I have to remember.” But this is more than not being politically correct. It’s downright INCORRECT. Adoption doesn’t mean helping. Adoption is permanent. Adoption is creating a family. Adoption is hard. Adoption can be painful. Adoption is beautiful.

If you’re wondering how common the issue is, here are just a few organizations using this wording.

Schools in Sumner County- Salvation Army- Churches EVERYWHERE- City Team- Wal Mart- Boys and Girls Club of America

 I respect my children who entered our family via adoption. I respect their right to grieve, to ask questions, to be confused. I will walk with them through every step of every mess that comes our way. I will be their voice when they come home and ask if the 3-year old girl their class is “adopting” will live in their classroom. True story.

That is what happens when adoption is used incorrectly. A child who understands that adoption is forever is now being told that adoption can mean other things as well, like buying underwear for a child in need. Additionally, those kiddos we are sponsoring have PARENTS. Parents who love them enough to seek out assistance. Adoption does not pertain to these families.

Churches, organizations, schools and Friends: Please consider replacing the word Adoption in your Christmas campaigns. There are wonderful words such as help, sponsor, support and bless that will accurately express the program. Take a chance, rebrand, the results will be respectful and wonderful.


All Content © Erica Ho, Goodbye Normal