Tag Archives: healthy


Last night was one of those teary eyed, proud mama moments as my boys crossed the finish line in their first competitive race. There was community event last night for a 1 mile cross country course (in the rain, which they didn’t mind a bit). We didn’t know what to expect as far as participation or how our boys would compete, but all four ended up placing in the Top 10.


I’m a pretty enthusiastic sideline mama when it comes to sports. I’m competitive by nature and I’m not able to hold it back in the moment. I’d like to think I don’t push it to the super annoying level, but it’s probably borderline. Last night was no exception, as I was yelling, cheering, and bursting with joy with their accomplishments.


I couldn’t help but think as they approached the finish line that these are “my preemies”. God has been so kind to give them abilities, drive, and strength!

It’s something I don’t want to get over, overlook, or loose the awe of the gratitude I have for their lives. I’m part of a mom’s support group of quadruplet moms from all over the world, and reminded weekly that we’re not “typical” by any stretch. There are prayers for mamas delivering too early for survival, preemies fighting for life, and kids with life-long struggles (and parents who battle with an enormous amount of courage).


I’m thankful for the encouragement these dudes are to persevere and finish hard things.

More than the race, the place, or the finish, I’m so thankful to be able to be on the sideline with them through the milestones and the mundane. Even if I yell too loudly or pretend jump with a pregnant belly.


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My Favorite Cookbooks for Answering the “What’s For Dinner?” Question


I LOVE cookbooks!  I especially love when the author shares the stories behind the recipe, the traditions around their table, how they enjoy the meal, etc.

Some of my favorites for this have been Pioneer Woman’s and Shauna Niequists‘ cookbooks. It’s so much more than just ingredients, it’s like sharing the table with them.

On my continued quest to feed my {growing in size and number} family with healthy meals, I’ve invested in a few cookbooks over the past few months that I have absolutely LOVED!  They are new, but they are already getting creased, drip marks, and flagged with post-its.

Here are three that are becoming some of my most loved in my collection:


The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime

This is my favorite PDub Cookbook so far! I love that it’s practical meals and ideas for what I struggle with most: “Whats for Dinner????” I also like that she included lots of 16 Minute Meals and Freezer Meals recipes too! My favorites so far that I’ve tried: Classic Pulled Pork, Potato Soup, and Fudge (what Fudge is TOTALLY dinner food!).


100 Days of Real Food

I’ve found recipes on this blog in the past, but I really enjoyed it in cookbook form. Although we are already on board with a lot of the real food movement, it furthered my understanding and how to navigate making healthy choices for our family. I like that the recipes aren’t difficult or made with crazy ingredients just because they are healthy. Favorites so far: Cinnamon Apple Chips, Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, and Homemade Chicken Nuggets.


Great Food Fast

I became an Instant-Pot Head this month. Have you heard of an Instant Pot? I hadn’t either until several friends started posting about their obsession with theirs and all of these recipes they had made in 1/2 the time. You can make hard boiled eggs in 6 minutes that peel perfectly!

It’s not your grandma’s pressure cooker, plus it holds in the flavor much better than a slow-cooker. It’s super simple to operate. Here’s what mine looks like:


I’m still definitely still an Instant-Newbie, but I’m looking forward to this cookbook to help me figure out some weekly dinner favorites that I can make quickly! Ones I’ve heard great things about and can’t wait to try: Perfect Pot Roast, Best Ever Macaroni and Cheese, and Real-Steel Cut Oatmeal.


How about YOU? Any cookbooks you can’t live without? Do you have these three? What’s for dinner at your house this week? 


*The above has links to Amazon affiliates. If I make any loose change off of your purchases, it will go into the diaper fund, so thank you! 


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Snake Oils? A Dude’s Perspective on Essential Oils



A year ago, I made fun of Jen’s “Snake Oils“. Today, I use them literally daily. When I am wrong, I am wrong.  I’m man enough to admit it.

I was honestly the biggest skeptic around when we started this stuff.  Jen was trying it, and I was laughing at her.  Honestly, I owe her an apology for my pride and my tendency to think I know everything.  I was being “logical”, and just didn’t think it made any sense.  Well, once I saw some results, it made me curious.  Since then, I have educated myself on the body and it’s ability to absorb things from the skin.  We do ingest some of the oils, but most of the time it’s applied to the skin.  Turns out, many pharmaceuticals are applied through the skin as well, it’s a scientific fact that this is an effective way to get things into our blood stream.

What has convinced me more than anything is results.  I didn’t want to believe it and be wrong, but I am practical like most other guys.  It works, and that’s enough evidence for me.

>>>A word to suspicious husbands out there:  I know it seems crazy, but if you will just give it a fair shot, you’ll be convinced too.

What I have learned this past year:

Pounding Head:

Not 100% of the time, but I have had at least 10 occasions that I’ve found relief almost instantly when applying Peppermint oil to my head.

Kids with Hot Foreheads:

When I feel a kid with a warm forehead, it cools dramatically and quickly with Peppermint almost every time with the kids

Work Tension:

This one is weird, but when I get that knot in my stomach from all of my work pressures, I pray first and ask the Lord to take my anxious thoughts, but I use Stress Away oils to remove the physical knot in my stomach. Works most of the time and helps me stay focused on what is important.

Skin Imperfections:

One of the kids has a tiny wart on the inner rim of his nose. Poor kid. Theives Oil and Frankincense (yes, the biblical stuff) has been helping dry it up this week.

Crawling Noses + Seasonal Discomforts:

This was near the beginning when I was really skeptical. Brooks had a reaction to something in his pillow we later figured out. He would go to bed and come right out with a sniffle, terribly itchy nose and eyes, and sneezing. I was amazed that when Jen rubbed Lemon and Lavendar oil on his chest, it ceased and he settled down to sleep.

Fire Throat/Belly:

I don’t get it often, but it hits once in a while without mercy. A couple drops of peppermint oil in my water to drink. It literally feels like ice rolling into my stomach. Its awesome.

Stinky Feet and Clothes:

We have stinky kids with stinky shoes and stinky laundry. Purification is amazing at removing stink. One drop in my running shoes removes at least 70% of the smell. Perfect for adding to your laundry if your towels smell stale or you forget to transfer it to the dryer. It removes environmental smells like pets, smoke, etc. when diffused as well.


I’m Sold on Young Living Essential Oils!

I can’t believe I can say that honestly, but it’s the truth.  Ladies, do you have a husband who thinks you’re nuts for wanting to try them?  I would advise you to hang in there and give him time.  Guys typically think logically about things, and he will see them at work. Contact me if you want more details or convincing at {brad at 4tunate dot net}

So thankful to Jen for sticking with them, they have blessed my life greatly!

~ Brad (the oily guy)

*** Don’t forget Jen has FREEBIES for new sign-ups this month!  One of my personal favs Thieves soap – It even takes the fish smell off your hands after fishing! That’s soap good enough for a dude! Check out the All You Need to Know About Getting Started With Essential Oils Page.  



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