Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Healthy Living...Mama's Red Raspberry Brew!

Mama's Red Raspberry Brew

I am guessing that for about 4 years now I have been reading and researching the world of herbal alternatives as treatment for many things. It has been interesting and also empowering as a mom to know that I can help ease pain and discomfort and also aid in the healing process by learning what herbs help what ailments. For me, it has been affirmation in my faith in God. Just knowing that He has created all of these things with a purpose in mind for man whom He loves.

I still have a long way to go and a lot of times when something comes up that the kids or myself is dealing with I will pull out my herbal books and get online with a couple of trusted websites. One company in particular is the Bulk Herb Store. You can visit them at I have bought most of my herbs, salves, bottles, etc... from there. I enjoy their website and magazine. It is very informative for the beginner. They will teach you how to do teas, tinctures, salves, etc.

When I was pregnant with Stephen, who is our sixth child, I began to drink their herbal mix for pregnant women. I was very faithful drinking up to 4 cups a day. When I gave birth to Stephen the doctor's and nurses commented how amazing it was that I lost such little amounts of blood. I continued to drink it for a few weeks as everything healed and got back to normal. With Maleah, who is our seventh child, I was not as faithful. For me it was 3-4 cups one day and then I would go several days without drinking it. You know how you can get on to something you think works and then take it for granted and think maybe that wasn't it at all? Well, we will never really know, but I lost a lot of blood with Maleah. It quickly got under control, so I decided not to go to the hospital (we had a homebirth) for the blood to be replaced and let the body do it's thing in replenishing itself. It took a full month for complete recovery. So, what do you think I am doing this time? Drinking that tea as if there is no tomorrow!!

Ultimately my life and the life of the baby is in God's hands, but He does give us knowledge and wisdom in doing certain things that will only help us. In this mix is red raspberry leaf, alfalfa, nettle, and peppermint. It is actually refreshing to drink hot or cold with a little raw honey added for sweetness. For a more in depth study of the herbs, you can check it out here at

Blessings to you as you explore the world of herbs,


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Healthy Living....Mac and Cheese!

photography by Mallory Boggs (our 9 yr. old)

This recipe is definitely different, but was inspired by the Neely's from the Food Network.

Macaroni and Cheese

4 tablespoons butter
sea salt
1 pound elbow pasta
2 small shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour (we use unbleached organic)
4 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3- 3 1/2 cups of  sharp white cheddar cheese (reserve a little to sprinkle on top)
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley flakes (can also use dried if you don't have fresh)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente. Drain and reserve.

Saute shallots in 4 tablespoons of butter in large pan on medium heat until translucent (about 6-8 minutes). Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomato paste and flour and stir  for a couple of minutes. Slowly add milk, whisking away all lumps. Add paprika and cayenne. Bring mixture up to a simmer and then reduce heat to low. Let mixture thicken up a bit (about 5 minutes). Combine cheese, about a cup at a time, until fully incorporated. Pour over pasta. Mix well and top with a little grated cheese and chopped parsley. Bake for 25 minutes and rest for 10. Your family will love you and so will your stomach!

How do I justify this as a "healthy" dish? We use whole grain pasta. That would be with whole wheat or brown rice. We also cook with real fats, such as real butter and whole milk. We use organic raw milk and organic raw cheeses. . Obviously it will no longer be raw after so much heat and cooking time. But, I don't have to worry about the added hormones or steroids that you find in regular milk. This is a great side dish with lots of calcium and acts as a great "filler" for all the little stomachs that we feed. We do limit how much they can eat at one sitting and so I split this recipe into two dishes and we have it with two separate meals.



p.s. I thought my kids and Keith would dislike the addition of the shallots (or a mild onion) and garlic, but with chopping finely they never got a chunk in their mouth and only noticed the flavor. They all loved it and Keith asked that I make it this way every time.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

How Do We Get Our Kids To Get Along?

This is a picture that one of our daughters took of the dining room just before they called us in to eat. A couple hours earlier as it was raining and they were bored and hungry, I recommended that they should work together in the kitchen to make a side for the beef that Keith was smoking on the grill. With excitement they all agreed and the cookbooks flew open, ingredients were retrieved, and pots banged as they put them on the stove. Minutes after going into the kitchen an argument over which pot to use began. It was a battle of the will and neither girl was giving in. Oh brother, what did I get all of us into? A timeout was called and a team meeting began on our oversized ottoman in the living room.

In my mind I was thinking, "Why can't they just get along?" Well, I know the wisdom in only one chef in the kitchen, but these were my girls and they knew how to work together. I began to ask questions and then received a phone call, so I let Coach Daddy take over. The little powwow did them some good, because all began to run smoothly and they decided to not only do one side dish, but two. I took the little ones outside after the rain stopped and let them proceed.  The meal went beautifully as they went the extra mile and set up candles and table decor (Nothing like paper plates. You see, they have to wash the dishes. Very smart girls.) and the spirit was sweet. We ate in candlelight. This food was actually good. We were very proud of them.

This is not the first time they have argued and will not be the last. In fact, it seems to be more often than not lately. Being unkind and acting like a bully at our house is unacceptable and we deal with it as it arises. We can discipline and cause them to stop openly acting in such a way because of the fear of punishment, but we know that we cannot change the issue of the heart. Only God can do that. We can force the hugs and we can force the apologies, but until they sincerely do those things it amounts to basically nothing. As Keith and I have come to realize that outward behavior may be able to be controlled, if their heart is not right in accordance to God's Word, then we are in a heap of trouble. At some point this ugly heart will manifest itself and not care who it hurts in the meantime. So, how do we get our children to get along with each other?  

I have no magical answer, but I do believe I received a word this morning as I sat in Sunday School listening to the author of the book, "Transforming Prayer".  He was speaking about the church body, which is made up of the believers in Christ. He said that instead of just trying to get everyone to get along with each other, our goal should be to get the believer to draw closer to God and in return they will draw closer to one another and the issue will not be forced or insincere. It will be real and it will be unified and it will glorify the God that we serve. I thought, if I can continue to encourage and pray for and demonstrate a godly example to our children, then surely as their relationship with the Lord strengthens, so will their relationship with each other. Will we allow unkind words, unkind actions, hitting, screaming, and arguing? No, it is unacceptable. But, with.... 1-patience and coaching  2-being an active part of the cultivation of their spiritual walk with Bible reading and worship-based prayer 3- simply being a family that is real in their own walk with Christ by confessing sin and struggles and asking for forgiveness...then I believe as God begins to work our children will begin to get along.

Nothing new for most of us parents, but it is nice to be reminded.

Here are some pictures of life in the Boggs house the last few weeks.

Thankful the chickens are growing!

Thankful for canned blueberries!

Thankful for lots and lots of watermelon!

Thankful for the little girl growing into a young lady!

Thankful for corn on the cob and creamed corn!

Thankful for watermelon juice dripping off little chins!

Thankful for fresh, whole wheat cinnamon rolls!

Thankful that baby girl is writing on the paper this time!

Thankful for a mac and cheese recipe that is a keeper!

Thankful for mama's red raspberry brew. I drink 3-4 cups a day. Good for me and the baby!
Thankful to be a little over half way there. 20 wks. and 4 days!