The Beast We Feed


There’s a horrible multi-headed beast living in a particular region. People all around it are terrorized by it, bemoan its aggressive ways, but continue feeding it over and over again. Sometimes people at the back feed it more and it vomits on their loved ones at the front, who in turn scream at those in the back. Sometimes the people in the front feed it more and it poops on their friends and neighbors at the back, who scream at those in the front. Sometimes it’s weight becomes uneven and crushes people on the sides, who scream at those in the front and back overfeeding the beast.

When someone steps back from the crowd and says, “what the crap? I’m feeding a beast that threatens my family, friends and neighbors every day! If we all stopped feeding it, it would die!” They are ridiculed, hated, and spit at. They are told they do not care enough about each person feeding the beast and they are letting the beast have victory by not feeding it.

It’s not only okay, but good, to refuse to take part in feeding the beast that crushes all of us. Tell me (and all that refuse to vote) to F’off. Tell me I’m not a good citizen of this place or of heaven. Tell me while your face turns red, you spout hatred for your neighbors, and bemoan that others fed the beast with you. That hateful defense of feeding a beast that enslaves you in your every day marrying, eating, procreating, building, playing, working… It only shows me more and more how my not feeding a beast, even if a measly handful, is good.

I love you, even if you take my life yourself because I stopped feeding the beast.


“Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.””
~ ‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭8:9‬ ‭NIV (italics my own)


Postpartum BuJo


I guess this is going to be my announcement that little Firefly was born over the summer! It was my first painless birth and my postpartum time was relaxed and refreshing. I’ll share her birth story at some point. Right now, I’m quite excited because I’m able to accomplish quite a lot now, which means… Bullet Journaling!

Here are some images from my September BuJo and what I’ve been doing in Melody’s school BuJo!

Intro to the month

Some monthly tracking

Weekly spread. I havent put my water sticker on yet, at the bottom

Fun mistake! I tried creating a grid for a whole term of AO but that looked horrendous, so i used this free printable stationary to cover it over

Oh my gosh, I am SO excited to complete this in a decade!! 😉

Melody’s weekly schedule for AO

Placenta, Stem Cells and MTRR mutation


To save myself a little bit of time, I am going to mildly edit an email I sent to a friend, relating to why I am so much more excited about eating placenta in the postpartum time, than ever before. When a person tells me ingesting placenta postpartum has “no proven benefits,” (this is one of the far kinder renditions of the spiel!) I’ll happily send them the studies showing stem cell healing for countless serious health issues – which are proven more ample in placenta than in cord blood, aborted babies, or adult stem cells! Forget nutrients and hormones (that are present) – stem cells, people!!

“I have been researching more and more about my family’s genetic defects and successfully working to shut of these mutations through nutrigenomics following Amy Yasko’s protocol in order.
I have been hit with something that you may find interesting (or gross… or both!), so I thought I would share it with you even if you don’t use any of it!

Recently, a friend of mine who has a child on the autistic spectrum learned about stem cell therapy. She had been expecting another baby, and through her own researching learned of people whom were using placenta for stem cell therapy. She has been doing this for the last few weeks after her baby was born, with her 10 year old daughter on the spectrum and is watching her daughter improve drastically.
Her daughter could never make it past the letter H in the alphabet, but with only three prompts, made it through the entire alphabet last week. She is engaging with her siblings, something she has not done much before, trying to get them to do head/hand stands with her (also something she hasn’t tried to do before, apparently). This is with her placenta frozen in chunks then mixed in a smoothie. That’s it.

I’ve seen raw, frozen placenta work wonders in my postpartum time, giving me the most euphoric babymoon ever, with Leela.

As I was going through our genetic mutations, I was astonished to find in Dr Amy Yasko’s recommendations for supplementing the MTRR defect with these supplements (she recommends finding what works best, not all of them):

_ 1-3 VitaOrgan
_ 1-3 AminoAssist Capsules
_ 2-4 sprays AminoAssist Spray
_ 1 to 2 Placenta
_ 1 to 2 Royal Jelly *only if NO bee allergies*
_ 1 Adrenal Concentrate
_ Egg Protein 100% Powder

She sells placenta as a supplement on her site! I was amazed – I had not seen it before.
So, I am mentioning this to you for a couple of reasons.

First is that I vaguely recall that possibly one of your daughter’s in on the autistic spectrum? And perhaps you would find this information, if not awe-inspiring in God’s healing through our wombs in every sense, at least intrigued at the possibilities.
Second, a different article I came across mentioned genetic blood disorders and I remembered you have _______ disease (genetic blood disorder), which is exactly what I decided to send this to you about!
So, take this or leave it, think I’m crazy or whatever, but I felt compelled to share this info with you. I am not sure if you will be having more babies, but if so, it would be a free and harmless option to try for health healing. 🙂

Here are some of the links I thought you may find useful or interesting, if you want to read them: (I LOVE this, because it makes me feel sick to think of people taking precious cord blood from the baby who needs all of that in their bodies to stay healthy as an infant, and save it for a later date when they might be sick… perhaps prevented by having all their blood allowed to them at birth… cord blood is far less ample in stem cells and less versatile than placenta stem cells! No need to keep blood from the baby!)

My friend who is doing the placenta smoothies shared this link with me and told me, ‘This one made me realize that ingesting them did not prevent them from getting in the bloodstream and honing in on damaged areas of the body.’ :

Folic Acid Needn’t Be Villainized…




Nor does folate!

I have seen many, many articles about “why folic acid is bad for you.” Basically, the articles go, the stuff is poison to your system because it is synthetic, cannot be processed effectively, and builds up in your system. AKA – it’s basically the devil. (Never mind that the folate supplement many of these articles suggest in place of folic acid is also not natural, is synthetically reproduced in a lab, and made into pill form, as well. Shh.)

Here are some good examples of this all/nothing approach to folic acid:

I always wondered then, why Dr Ben Lynch seemed to see a prevalent response to the addition of folate in his protocol. A response I had, and following his advice, began yet another supplement (“natural” … errr… synthetic niacin powder) to deal with the side effects of folate added to my supplement regimen. But, it worked for me for a time, so I didn’t wonder for long.

In his Methylfolate Side Effects article, he says there are three categories of people who take methylfolate. The first are folks who seem to do well from the beginning and always do well. The third are people who don’t do well, immediately.

The second category (this was my experience):

“A person starts methylfolate has an amazingly incredible week where they are happy, interacting and alert. Then the second week comes and they switch to wanting to hide in a room by themselves or literally throw dishes across the room out of anger. Or they may become bed ridden from muscle aches, intense headaches or joint pain.”

None of those issues seem like something good and wholesome is going on in the body. It sounds quite like your body is in revolt… because it is.

Now, I didn’t think too much about this when I moved from (the mostly synthetic) Lynch protocol and my natural thyroid treatments to Yasko’s protocol (it’s been quite easy to find food/herb sources on her list, and make natural substitutions when there have not been natural options). I was just trying to survive at that point (read the link at “my experience,” above), and couldn’t have mentally processed it at the time. I continued to think that folic acid was not good for anyone.

When I started taking Dr Amy Yasko’s All-in-One vitamin, it never occurred to me that there was folic acid in it. In fact, close to a year of taking it with no side effects, and I still didn’t realize! It wasn’t until someone told me that Yasko recommended folic acid for very specific reasons in the autistic community, that I took a look on the supplement and saw NO folate! {horror of horrors!}

They shared, basically, a clip from this article (the whole thing is really a must-read!), which says:

Now I am going to be very specific with regard to why I use low dose folic acid rather than folate. Folate is basically a chain of glutamates. The difference between folic acid and folate is the stability and the length of their glutamate chains. So, if you are MTHFR C677T++ and you take high dose folate, you potentially have a chain of unused glutamate molecules left in your system. You cannot process it efficiently to 5 methyl THF because of your SNPs. You run the risk of folate breaking down to release glutamate into your system. STEP 1 of this program is focused on glutamate/GABA balance. I have made significant progress for some individuals merely by getting their glutamate and GABA into balance. Thus, I am not choosing to add high doses of a form of folate that could break down into glutamate, especially in the population I work with.”

The Linus Pauling Institute goes over this in the “Bioavailability” section on folate/folic acid:

“Dietary folates exist predominantly in the polyglutamyl form (containing several glutamate residues), whereas folic acid—the synthetic vitamin form—is a monoglutamate, containing just one glutamate moiety. In addition, natural folates are reduced molecules, whereas folic acid is fully oxidized. These chemical differences have major implications for the bioavailability of the vitamin such that folic acid is considerably more bioavailable than naturally occurring food folates at equivalent intake levels.
The intestinal absorption of dietary folates is a two-step process that involves the hydrolysis of folate polyglutamates to the corresponding monoglutamyl derivatives, followed by their transport into intestinal cells. There, folic acid is converted into a naturally occurring folate, namely 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, which is the major circulating form of folate in the human body (see Figure 1 above).
The bioavailability of naturally occurring folates is inherently limited and variable. There is much variability in the ease with which folates are released from different food matrices, and the polyglutamyl “tail” is removed (de-conjugation) before uptake by intestinal cells. Also, other dietary constituents can contribute to instability of labile folates during the processes of digestion. As a result, naturally occurring folates show incomplete bioavailability compared with folic acid. The bioavailability of folic acid, in contrast, is assumed to be 100% when ingested as a supplement, while folic acid in fortified food is estimated to have about 85% the bioavailability of supplemental folic acid.”

So, what is happening for those that cannot handle an overload of glutamates and not enough GABA? Why is that pertinent for Dr Yasko, and in the context of the discussion of healing genetic issues?

Well, here are some symptoms of a GABA/glutamate imbalance:

  • Hyperalgesia (pain amplification)
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • ADHD-like symptoms, such as inability to focus

Huh. That sounds similar to Dr Lynch’s observations of people when using folate… with it’s long chain of glutamates.
Both Dr Yasko and Dr Lynch have areas of lacking knowledge – not only is it impossible to know all things, nutrigenomics is still a fairly new and growing field of science and understanding. We know very little.

It just seems odd that one can see a reaction to folate and dismiss that for some, it is harming, not helping that individual. Instead of opening up discussion about why synthetic folate supplementation may be the wrong choice for some people and synthetic folic acid supplementation is needed instead, Dr Lynch’s advocacy is to add yet another supplement to cover over the symptoms of the problem… all the while, glutamate is literally killing your neurotransmitters, killing your brain cells. Now, it’s just doing it quietly under the covers.

I don’t think either folate or folic acid needs to be villainized. I think we need to make as much information available as possible to the community that is struggling health wise, and remember that a one-size health plan only fits… one.

Folate supplementation can harm or it can heal – but it’s obviously not healing when taking it causes you to recluse, lose eye contact, have intense bouts with pain, or rage for no reason.

If you want to dig into more about GABA/glutamate, this is a very readable article, How to Increase GABA and Balance Glutamate.


Learning about the different chemical makeups of folate and folic acid has been very good for me as a Type 4. While I know there are many issues in life that are black/white, right/wrong, all/nothing… there’s generally more we can know about a situation before figuring out exactly what that is. Jumping at the first bit of data and making a conclusion helps no one. I need to take my time and continue researching, acknowledging that something as complicated as genetics has more options for healing, than one.

CM Open House – Form 1 Exams


This is another often-requested video! I am very excited for this, but especially because its another one of my favorite people sharing their lives with us.

We have today, Amy and her family, giving us a peek into how they use Charlotte’s methods for exams. This is not just Form 1, it’s Year 1. So exciting! Thank you, Amy and family!

If you’d like to get to know her better, join her at her online home, Urban Pioneer Woman.

Here’s Amy, with a bit to say before I share the video:


Jessica LOVES making videos, but part way through it she got a bit bashful. We went ahead and finished videoing them, but there are some parts where she is pretty quiet. One thing I did not put in the video that I felt like I should make note of somewhere is where we deviated from the AO curriculum. For the most part we used the stock curriculum and questions; however, there are a few places in the video where you will notice we deviate. 1. We had already finished The Blue and Red Fairy books, so we are currently reading a book of Jewish fairy tales. 2. We have not started following the schedule yet for composer study, artist study, nature study, folk songs, or hymn study. 3. We are doing two foreign languages: Hebrew and American Sign Language. As it turns out, one of my kids does MUCH better with Hebrew, and one of my kids does MUCH better with ASL (Jessica)…so we have continued with both…

I did not note the fairy tale book in the video, but it is Jewish Fairy Tales by Aunt Naomi. It is a British translation of Jewish fairy tales from 1919.

CM Open House – Elementary Math


Helena offers us today a great glimpse into her family’s math lessons. If you’d like to visit her in her online home, you can read her blog, Spreading The Feast.

I feel so lucky for a few reasons, first and foremost is that it’s such a privilege to be welcomed into these families homes… but, I also have a not-so-secret adoration of accents, so Helena’s soft, gentle voice is a true delight!

Join us as we get to see how Charlotte Mason’s methods for mathematics lessons can be lived out in a normal family’s life.

CM Open House – Poetry, Forms 1-3


Wow! What a wonderful time I am having with these Open Homes. Are you feeling the blessing as much as I am??

Today, Del invites us into her home so we can see how she weaves Charlotte Mason methods into her family’s poetry time. Beautiful. If you’d like to take a visit to her online home, go on over to Kroemer Kidz Home Academy.

Here’s Del in all her word-loving glory!


I’ve been a lover of words for as long as I can remember and poetry, specifically, since
I was 9 and tried my hand at it – which resulted in me winning 2nd place in a statewide contest.
As I grew older, I’d fill many composition notebooks with poetry and pour my emotions onto the page. Sharing my poetry brought about some wonderful opportunities, including trips, publications and awards and what I loved best, connecting with and entertaining others.

Naturally, I wanted to share this love of poetry with my own children. Ambleside Online has made it incredibly simple to do so. With a poet already picked for us each term, my limited knowledge of great poets is of no harm.

The videos (and pictures) I’m sharing in this post show some of the ways we incorporate poetry
into our homeschool, rather effortlessly. I hope to give a varied look at how it’s done.

Introducing a Poet/Poetry Time

This first video will show me introducing a new poet (Eugene Field). I do a bit of research on a poet and share anything interesting about them with the children before we begin reading their poetry. If there is a children’s biography about them I’d use it, but I have only found these kinds of books for our artists and composers so far. So, as I do in this video, I may just end up sharing the poet’s name and what they are famous for. This video is also a good showing of what a normal poetry time looks like for us. Obviously, if we are into a term then we simply skip the intro and get right to the poem.

Delivery of a Poem

As with literature reading, I emphasize reading poetry beautifully and in an entertaining way.
Poetry is perfect for performing. I’ve delighted in slam poetry by modern poets but also in
olden poems that I could picture being recited at an 18th century party for entertainment.
Learning to recite poems well takes practice and emotion and at times, your whole body is involved.
I’m no expert, but I do love reciting poems for my girls and we enjoy videos of others doing so.

AO recommended this video of Kent Risley reciting “When the Frost is On the Punkin” by one of our current poets, James Whitcomb Riley. Mr. Risley has been reciting this poem all his life and does it so well his father told him he had a duty to perform it for people. We watched the video and then the girls took a shot at reciting a poem with an audience in mind. We used Whitcomb Riley’s The Jaybird, just the first few lines, for practice.

Kent Risley showing ’em recitation done right!

Recitation/Memory Work

We love using poetry for memory work. My girls enjoy reciting poems and even incorporating movements. So, for your enjoyment, here’s The rainbow by Walter De La Mare.

A Check List of How We Get Poetry Checked Off the List

Poetry is so easy and takes so little time that we always get it done and in fact, reading just one poem a day can be quite challenging for us. I don’t really have to prepare for poetry, but here are some things I’d like to share.
  • I will check out multiple books from the library of the poet’s works or a collection of his complete works, but we’ll also read the recommended poems on AO. We figure they included those poems for a reason and we don’t want to miss out.
  • If an age appropriate bio is available, we’ll read it. If not, we’re good with just a few fun facts or as simple an introduction as their name and most famous writings.
  • If there’s a picture book for a particular poem, we’ll check it out. We love to look at lovely pictures and the youngest of my bunch are even more drawn to them. They are always in earshot when we are reading poetry, but they are more likely to climb onto a lap and listen intently when a big, colorful book is involved.
  • Poetry can simply be enjoyed and not discussed. Particularly with young children.
  • We rotate between reading a poem from the AO list (in order) and choosing one from a book of our poet’s writings.
  • We rotate between readers. I always read the first poem when introducing a new poet. After that, we take turns. The girls love having a turn to choose a poem. Typically, this is a coveted assignment in our homeschool and the future reader picks her poem the night before. At poetry time the next day, she’ll stand up and read it as clearly and beautifully as she can. Often, we’ll discuss why she chose it.
  • Sometimes we will simply flip through the pages of a book rapidly until the girls yell stop – then I have to read the poem we landed on.
  • Poetry and tea go perfectly together. I’ve learned that tea doesn’t have to mean a full blown tea time with all the frills. If that were so, it would happen even more rarely than it does now. Sometimes we just drink tea while snuggling on the couch and reading (we read our poem after bible, so we have some time to get through our tea). Sometimes we actually have a tea party and the girls may or may not wear dresses and invite their dolls.
Poetry tea time. One child wore a dress. So, you see, they are optional.
Apparently, so are pants, according to our 2 year old.
  • I keep a list of all of the poems we read. Just to remember them.I do this in Google docs but may print them someday.
  • At the end of the term, I asked if the girls had any favorite poems and allowed them to draw an illustration to accompany their favorite and share while telling about it.
Ally, my 9 year old’s illustration of De La Mare’s The Horseman.
  • Poems make great copy and memory work. When we have a favorite poem, we love to use it for both. Reading and writing it really helps with committing it to memory.
  • There’s a poem for every occasion, just as there’s a scripture verse for every occasion, and I think it’s great to have as many as you can of both living in your mind and heart. They’ll come in handy. The first poem I ever memorized was Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” I haven’t forgotten a line. Recently, while on a wintery nature walk, one of my girls mentioned that what we were doing reminded her of the poem – which I’ve shared with them many times – then asked if I would “read” it to them. Each child walked closer to me, to hear the words slowly roll off my tongue. Each one entranced. It made that chilly walk a bit warmer.
So, there you have it. That’s how we “do” poetry. It’s too easy and enjoyable not to do it.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into the poetry side of our homeschool!