You Asked it! Part 5

Did you think I forgot about the rest of your questions? Nope! Just haven't had a chance to get back to them until now.

if you're new and want to catch up on the rest of the "you asked it" series you can check them out here.

So here you go!

Q: I tried to do what you suggested to make my pictures larger but it doesn't work, what am I doing wrong?

A: It seems that quite a few of you were having trouble following my directions -- yeah -- I might not be good at explaining html code. But I'll try again! {grin}

here is exactly what I do...
upload my images from picasa
save for draft
open up post from my dashboard
go to "edit html"
look for this...

To change the size of your picture replace the s400 with s800 or s576

To make your pictures "unclickable" erase the html code highlighted in orange.

I hope that helps!

How often do you go to the grocery store? On average how much do you spend each trip? Do you go to One store, or how many? Do you take all or any of your children with you?

A: We go to the regular store weekly and spend around $150. We also go to Trader Joes 5-6 weeks and spend $200-$300. It is VERY rare to go to the store without any children.... I usually have at least 3 and sometimes all 6. We like to go to the grocery store as a family a lot... all 8 of us.

You can read about one of our crazy grocery store adventures HERE.

Q: Since you have four boys yourself, how do you feel about circomcision? I know, the spelling is wrong. This is something I feel very strongly about and, because you seem to be on the natural side of life, I am hoping you will answer you are against it.

A: Well.... all 4 of our boys are circumcised. If I could go back and do it all over again I would NOT have had any of our boys circumcised. I was young when I had our first son and I thought it HAD to be done. It broke my heart... I remember crying before, during and after it was done. When our 2nd son was born I again didn't WANT to do it but felt that we needed to because I didn't want our kids to be different in that way. Little did I know we would end up having FOUR boys. In my opinion it is completely unnecessary and holds no significant value. It is purely visual at this point. {and my pedi agrees}

Q: I know you had mentioned you use the ecostore for the alternative bleach, but what do you use for your laundry detergent? what do you use for your dishes? Do you use a dishwasher or wash by hand? what do you use to dust, clean your floors, and counter tops?

A: I have 2 favorite laundry detergents... Charlies Soap and Eco Store. I used to make my own detergent but after a while I felt that it was really fading my darks so I searched for alternatives that were still natural. I would LOVE to try soap nuts sometime.

As for dishes.... I've switched around and used a few natural soaps. I don't have any favorites. At home I have a dishwasher... but here on the farm we wash by hand! Anyone have any tips for me??? {grin}

Dusting? What is that? {grin} I use a steam cleaner on my tile floors so no cleaning solution there. For general cleaning I use water and vinegar mix. And for a little extra boost I use baking soda. I also use Charlies All purpose Soap and love it for really dirty cleaning!

Q: How old do you ween the baby from breastfeeding?

A: All of my babies have self weened around 18-20 months. It has always been very easy and natural. I think the fact that I am usually pregnant at that time plays into the timing as well. I would nurse longer... it if happened that way.

Q: I was wondering what kind if any make up do you use?

A: I wear mineral makeup {foundation and eye shadow} and regular ole' mascara. Although, as soon as I'm out I am going to try a new sugar based mascara that a friend recommended. I'll let you know when I get it... I forget the name she uses. Anyone else use this kind?

I don't wear a lot of make-up but I do like to put on mineral foundation everyday to protect my skin. I'm currently using ELF because it's cheap! :)

Q: What kind of bathing soaps and lotions do you use on your children?

A: We don't use kid specific soaps or lotions. We LOVE tea tree oil & goats milk soaps. Both of which we find at trader joes.

As for lotion- Traumeel. The BEST lotion you will EVER use. It can be a bit pricey but SOOOO worth it and you only need a very small amount. It's for so much more than dry skin, it heels your skin and tissue all around the area you apply it to. I used it daily on my chest after the accident and still do use it quite often.

For really dry skin we use coconut oil or vitamin E oil... we try to stay as pure as possible with lotions. Remember your skin is your LARGEST organ and it ABSORBS everything you put on it.

Q: can you give us a sample menu plan for the day (or even week?)? Where do you get your recipes from?

A: You can check out all the recipes I've posted here. I've shared meal plans, grocery lists and more.

I get my recipes from EVERYWHERE. Cook books, friends, family, my head, whole, all

Q: Do you do devotions? With your family? How do you find time to spend one-on-one with the Lord?

A: We do! We love to sit down and do Bible stories and devotionals with the kids after dinner. We have a few books that we use but one of our favorites is- Bible Teaching for kids.
They have awesome studies that you can do with your whole family. There is a verse to read, a story and then they have study questions to answer after you're done. We've had a lot of fun on their site- you can search by topic too so if you're looking for something in particular to talk about with your kids it's easy to find.

As for me, I am bad about doing my own bible studies- I read books- ones that don't require homework. {Grin} My favorite right now are 'Sacred marriage' and 'Value driven life'. I DO spend one-on-one time with the Lord every night. That is our time. I usually lay in bed and pray - talk to God - for 30-45 minutes before I fall asleep. I like to say God tucks me in and puts me to sleep every night because I usually fall asleep praying. {grin}

Q: Do you ever feel that your life and time on the Internet is detracting too much from the life and time spent off it?

A: Honestly, No! Not usually.... I've had my moments in time when my blog becomes more time consuming than it should be. But I try very hard to keep balance. The Internet can suck you in if you let it... but it can be a great outlet and tool if you use it wisely.

Some tips that work for me-
1. I try to only be online blogging, reading, ect. when the kids are asleep or out of the house. With the occasional blogging with them or getting online to do the bible studies ect.

I do stop by the computer to check my email through the day- but I like to keep my chair away from the desk so I am not tempted to sit down and stay on. {grin}

2. use igoogle and google reader to maximize your time online. I do almost everything from my igoogle page... read blogs, twitter, facebook {which I never use}, read my health articles, weather and more.

3. limit the blogs you read... it's hard but you can't read every ones blog. I decided which blogs to add to my reader by asking myself this questions- "is this blog a healthy encouragement to me and my family?" There are many ways to be encouraged. {grin}

4. Schedule your posts- I tend to write 3-4 posts at a time and schedule them out. I also usually have 2-4 in drafts. I simply do not have enough time to sit and write lengthy posts all in one sitting. At least not usually!

5. If you have a blog idea... write it down on a notepad so you don't forget! I use my calendar a lot.

I do think blogging is healthy and a valid use of my time. I encourage my children to blog and journal also. Writing down your thoughts is a great way to learn from yourself and save memories.

Q: So, when do your kids start eating hummus? At the bean stage?

A: I start giving the kids hummus when they are able to dip veggies in it... probably around 1 1/2 years old.

Q: i'm wondering what your "standard" answer is to all those questions/comments you probably get when you're out with your large, young family??

A: Oh my, this could be a post all on it's own..... oh wait... I did start one of these posts MONTHS ago and never finished! Ha! It was a list of comments we receive. I should try to finish that sometimes SOON.

I usually smile and say "thanks" or "we are indeed blessed" or "God is great". If it's a negative comment I usually just smile and walk away.

Q: Why do you always dress Eliza and Nolia the same? Do you ever dress them different? Where do you find their clothes and what are some of your favorite stores to shop for them at?

A: I LOVE dressing the girls the same. It's fun, it's cute, it's special, it's unique & we all enjoy seeing them dressed the same. Something about the double effect. {grin} I DO dress them differently sometimes, mostly at night or if we aren't going anywhere. I have a few favorite outfits that are different but go together really well. Those outfits are all hand me-downs that were too cute to not wear!

I do still try to shop at Goodwill and thrift stores but it's hard to find matching. I've also had some luck finding a match to a hand me-down at Goodwill... but that's rare. I like etsy, Carters, Old Navy, Jumping beans from Kohl's and believe it or not Walmart {even though I don't like to shop at Walmart for lots of reasons} oh and Target too. We don't have a lot of money to spend on clothes so I usually buy everything on sale or already cheap. {grin}

Q: How do you feel about children going to the dentist. I am concerned about xrays for kids and fluoride. What are your opinions on it?

A: We DO take our children to the dentist. Healthy teeth and gums are very important! We start taking our kids in for cleanings around 3 years old. We do not do fluoride treatments but have done x-rays. Although I do believe they can be harmful I also believe they can be beneficial if not over used. Grayson is the only one who has had 1 set of x-rays done. Even without fluoride treatments it is in our water, our produce, meats, ect. Fluoride is a toxic chemical that should not be consumed. And it's not just fluoride that we should be worried about. Please read this article if you'd like to learn more about the dangers of regular toothpaste.

We use Trader Joes toothpaste and LOVE it!


  1. thank you for doing this series! I have really enjoyed reading your responses :)

  2. Thank you for doing more "You Asked it" I love these and SOO many of my questions have been answered!! Thank you!!

  3. i love these posts!! thank you so much for another set of questions/answers. you are always so informative and i learn so much from you! :)

  4. Was wondering what all you order from Elf? It is all 1 dollar right now?!?!

  5. Just wanted to let you know that I LOVE your blog! I have three little boys and one girl (so far), and I really enjoy reading about your life! You have a beautiful family!!

  6. This post is one of my favorites on all the questions you are answering! So much good information to learn form... thanks!:)

  7. "We like to go to the grocery store as a family a lot."

    Oh my gosh, my three drive me nuts in the store. You are so much more patient than I am. *grin*

  8. Thanks for the tip about ELF make up. I had never heard of them before. I have been wanting to switch to more natural make up, but just don't have the money to spend. This is SO affordable, and after doing a search, I found that they sell it at the K-Mart just up the street : )

  9. Thanks for all the great answers. I can't believe you only spend $150 at the grocery store a week!!! How do I spend double that with only half number of family members that you have!!!

    I keep trying to figure out the picture thing. My code look nothing like that though. It is 3 times as long as that. Hmmm...not sure how to make it work. When I change the numbers my pics are all distorted. Bummer!

  10. Girl, you need to hit up a multiples consignment sale! I can get an entire 2 season wardrobe fr my twin girls (matching, of course!) for next to nothing. I'm talking Gymboree too- name brands! We buy/sell every spring/fall and I use the $ from selling to buy their new clothes. I buy almost all of our twin clothes there!

  11. WoW...I LOVE this post for a few reasons. You are answering questions, being honest, and are just down to earth (that is a GREAT thing.)
    Wishing there was a TJ near us!

  12. why don't you like wal-mart? just curious.

  13. Hey Brittany! First of all, I want to tell you thank you for being such an inspiration! I've been following your blog for a few months now and this is my first time to comment :) Thank you for sharing so much wonderful advice. My husband and I try to live as naturally as possible and we eat very similarly to your family and we're trying to get better about all of our personal care and household cleaning products (I'll be going to Trader Joe's this weekend for some of the items you mentioned in this post).

    We don't have any kids yet, but hope to start our family in the not too distant future, so thank you for all of your parenting and pregnancy advice/sharing, too!

    A couple of questions: What do you use to clean and moisturize your face? Also, have you ever read the book The Maker's Diet by Jordan Rubin? It's about following a biblically based nutrition and hygiene plan. I know some of the ideas you won't 100% agree with, but I'm reading it now and it may be something of interest to you.

    Sorry for such the long comment :)

    Thanks, again!

  14. Hey Brit

    Who is your pedi?

    I need a new one.

    Right there with you on the circ- we did boy one and then didn't do the other two but it was tough call. I really wish we didn't do #1

  15. Hi, I really enjoy reading your blog! I've got a question...I have tried your directions for the 'big' pictures several time. And I can't get it to work. I see on this post you said you upload your pictures from picasa. Is that the key? I don't do that. I just get them from my pictures. Does it not work that way? And how does picasa work anyway? One more question...Where do you store all your pictures you take? I have a Canon 30D and I save the pictures on my computer and my hard drive is almost full!! Any suggestions?

  16. Do a little research on using tea tree oil soap with with your boys. I love it too but I don't let my boys use it.

  17. Hi-- I am having a hard time finding a doctor that is willing to do immunizations differently. Do you have any suggestions?

    We don't have kids yet but I wanted to have one in mind when the time comes (hopefully in the next year)

    I am actually in the medical profession (an occupational therapist) so I think it is harder because I get a lot of resistance with anyone I talk to at work.

    Thanks- Beth

  18. (boring question :)) What steam cleaner do you use? Would you recommend it?

  19. I LOVE this post. I felt the same way when my little man was circumcised. I thought that it would feel natural and normal to have my son circumcised, just like his daddy. If I could do it over again I wouldn't have done it.

    I also love what your wrote about blogging - it's such a great creative outlet, I can become obsessive about it - scheduling posts out and keeping ideas in drafts helps.


Thank you for blessing me with your words!