Monday, July 8, 2013

Q & A Answers, part 1

Thank you, everyone, for the many great questions. I enjoy getting them, and being prompted to think.

I apologize that this post is long, and contains no pictures. Hopefully the formatting will help make it more readable. 

Are your kids able to speak and read German?

They understand everyday German pretty well - well enough to tell them stuff in public I don't want others to understand :) They also read and speak German, though not nearly as good as English. My goal this summer is to only speak German with them at home, when it is just us, so that by the end of summer they can read actual chapter books in German, not just easy stuff. Of course, we have not been true to this goal as much as we should be, but are definitely talking German at home on a daily basis.

I'd love to know more about how to have eliminated teflon from your kitchen. I'd love to do this too, but I use my electric skillet and griddle all the time because I can fit more food for my family on these items (thereby saving time). So, how do you make pancakes (or something similar) in a timely fashion for such a large family?

I use mostly stainless steel pots and pans, as well as baking sheets, though I am adding more and more cast iron skillets, too.  Until this purchase, I had been using two large frying pans at the same time for making pancakes, but am totally in love with my new stove-top cast iron griddle. It cranks out 8 pancakes at a time!

In order for food not to stick in stainless steel pots, the trick is to heat the pot or pan without any butter in it first. Once the pot is hot, add butter, allow to melt, and then add the food. Hot pan + cold butter = non-stick

I think you mentioned once that you have purchased organic mattresses. This is also something we are considering. I'd love more information! 
Mattresses in America are just awful. I think the regulations stipulate that in order to be considered fire safe, they must be able to not ignite for at least 90 seconds of being torched with a 2-foot wide raging flame. Whaaaat? The concern in conventional mattress is not just the flame retardant used on them, but also the chemicals with which the foam or latex is processed. The two interact rather horribly with one another, and the deadly off-gassing is most likely one of the major causes of SIDS. We purchased our mattresses from a local store called EcoClean, and have been very thrilled with them. They currently do not seem to carry the particular brand we bought at the time. We had to wait almost 2 months for them, as they were being manufactured out East by some Amish people. 

Do you do something natural in place of food coloring (for birthday cake icing or easter eggs)? 
Yes, food-based natural food colors. I buy mine at Whole Foods, but these are also great, as are these sprinkles.

We live in Germany temporarily and I'm looking for German toys or games for our kids that can also be souvenirs. (We have several games already - Sagaland, Tempo Klein Fische, Nanu and Obstgarten.) Any ideas? 
Those all sound great. You can never go wrong with the "Spiel des Jahres" (Game of the Year) award winners. Ravensburger, Haba, and Selecta all make wonderful family and children's games.

What advice do you have for a girl who is expecting her first son after three girls? Is this a good opportunity to teach my daughters how to be a mother? How do I quell my son's rambunctious spirit as he gets older? I'm sorry, girls are so easy. I have never had a boy. I feel quite incapable right now.

You are very capable, and will do great. Your little boy will be much doted on by his big sisters!! Yes, definitely a good teaching opportunity. There is no need to quell any rambunctious  spirit - boys will be boys, as you will soon discover. Having a boy is very different from having a girl, but no less wonderful. You will soon have a very protective admirer!

Would you let any of your children (daughters included) go to college? 
By the time our children are college-aged, they will no longer be minors, so this is not a question of us "allowing" them to go to college - that would be their decision. However, it is our hope and goal to teach them that college is overrated and worthless, and that working hard and consistently will advance a career much faster than getting a degree. Our daughters will hopefully have learned that no college or career comes close to the blessing and privilege of being a wife and mother. It's like asking if I'm worried they will grow up and eat at McDonald's: I suppose it is possible, but when you are used to grass-fed steaks, that pink slime just doesn't hold any appeal. They CAN go to college if they want to,  but why would they?

Please note that I am NOT against learning. However, going to college and learning are not one and the same. Anything that is taught at college, one can learn on their own through reading or apprenticeship. Not  like going to college is a brain transplant - someone just stands in a classroom telling you things that are available elsewhere to learn on your own.

Of course,  some professions require college degrees. Should anyone want to pursue a career in one of them, it would be wise to utilize a private college, with no "diversity" training, and without incurring any student debt.

How do you pick your children's names?

We toss ideas back and forth until we find something we both like, and seems befitting the baby. We do not repeat initials of first names (Stephen was an exception because he is named after his dad, and we already had Solomon).

I have a question about the Trim Healthy Mama diet. I was wondering if you consider Stevia a form of birth control? I'd love to try the diet, but I've seen many women saying the sweetener messed up or stopped their cycle all together.I know you would never do use anything that would harm your fertility. I was thinking it might be that a woman would need very high doses, it's a myth, or you do without the sweetener all together. Thanks so much!

I had never heard of that until you mentioned it, and I am so thankful that you did. I did not feel good about using Stevia, so I used it rarely and sparingly. Even so, it made me have insane drops in my already low blood pressure, to the point where I would have tunnel vision, see black spots, and be on the verge of passing out. Clearly, some people are more affected by it than others. For me, even tiny amounts are too much to tolerate. Then I read with shock that stevia has been used by indigenous people as a form of birth control - YIKES!

So - no more stevia for me! I also do not use the erythritol or xylitol promoted in the book. The only sweeteners I can recommend are natural ones such as raw honey, coconut sugar, grade B maple syrup, etc. For the plan to work, these must be used very sparingly (I'd say no more than a tsp per meal), and only with E type meals.

I have always been wondering how and how often your church celebrates the Lord's Supper. I don't believe I have ever heard a sermon or seen a video on it from your church. Do the little children who are not saved yet able to partake in the juice and bread or it's ONLY for believers. I grew up drinking booze every Sunday at catholic church and since my pastor never says anything either way, I don't know what is truly proper.

Good question! We observe it just a couple of times each year. The passover was held once per year in the OT, so we don't think that the Lord's supper is something we have to do frequently. It is only for believers, so young children do not participate. We use unleavened bread, broken up, and pure grape juice. The leaven in both bread and alcohol is a picture of sin. Since the Lord's supper pictures the sinless body and blood of Jesus, it is free of leaven.

Zsuzsanna, I was wondering how to get one of your DVD's "After the Tribulation." I will pay for them, but I would like at least 3. I just don't know how to send a private message to you. You don't have to publish this comment if you don't want to, but maybe others would like to know also. I want to give one to our pastor and some others. Thank you. 

You can order them here. But be forewarned that your pastor is probably not going to be a fan. :)

Since you are against hormonal birth control, I was wondering how you felt about Natural Family Planning? My husband and I are trying for our first baby together (I have two from a previous marriage), and we're charting and watching fertility signs to know the best times for conception. My second child was born by an emergency C-section when his umbilical cord prolapsed, and most likely I'll have to have a repeat, due to the incision I had to have, so more children might not be in the cards for me. I'm not willing to go on hormonal birth control, but at the same time, I want the option for more children to be there, just in case.

I am against NFP for several reasons. For starters, the Bible tells us not to defraud our spouses except with consent for a season that we may give ourselves to prayer and fasting. Since I would not like to fast close to a week or more each month, I would not regularly ask my husband to go on a marital fast for that long, either. Secondly, the fertile phase in a woman's cycle is typically also the one during which she desires and enjoys relations the most - it would be incredibly harmful to make this the time where acting upon these desires is not permitted.

I took German in school and now since we homeschool our children I would like to start teaching them German this year. Do you have any curricula you would recommend?

Generally speaking, any resources purchased from Germany (I use that teach "German as a second language" are fabulous. Our kids all love the "Planetino" series.

What colour eyes do your children have?

Mostly brown, a couple are blue. 


Thank you, everyone, for being patient with me as I answer these. I am hoping to publish the answers to the second half of questions in the next couple of days.


  1. Great post, thank you for answering my question!

  2. I am just aghast at the topic of birth control and Stevia! Never in a million years would I have guessed such a thing was used as birth control! I have a distaste for it, but my husband does not, but we both agreed that the bag was going into the trash after finding out such information! And who knows what on earth else is does to the human body! Thank you to both the original question asker and Zsuzsanna for making this information known to us!

    God bless you, Dad, and the seven!


  3. Great answers! I love your Q&A sessions! :)

    You are very right about NFP. We used it for many years, and though it is the ONLY birth control without side-effects of some sort, it requires a huge amount of abstinence. With my cycles we had to be abstinent (cycle time + fertile time) for 20+ days every month - and, as you say, a good part of that time is during the time when the woman is most desirous of intimacy. The "okay" times are when marital intimacy is about as interesting as scrubbing the patio! (Okay, it's not that bad, but you get the point!)

  4. Hi,

    I am intrigued by your perception of college as "unnecessary". Perhaps this is a difference in our locations (I live in Canada), but where I live the only jobs that would be available to someone without post secondary education would be factory jobs or retail.
    Would you not encourage your sons to get at least a practical college diploma (to become, for example, an electrician or carpenter? So the focus is on internship and practical courses, rather than academic debates}
    Or do you plan for your sons to join your husband in business since then they can have practical experience without the (formal) education?
    I guess I am most confused about the practical application of advising your sons to not pursue a well paid position when the ultimate goal is to provide for a large family. I'm not saying that this can't be done without a high level of (formal) education, but just that it might be more challenging (especially in the changing world). Also, by the time they reach that age, I don't completely understand the need to be sheltered from university academia.

    Also, what is your opinion on your daughters' role once they complete their schooling? If the man they are to marry has not appeared yet would you encourage them to pursue a career until that time, or do you consider their role to be preparing full-time for their future as a help meet? Would a job within the home (piano teacher, seamstress, etc.) be acceptable to your world view? I am not talking about what you would "allow" them to do, since as you said they would be adults by this point. I am wondering what your personal preference would be and how you would guide them should they honour and respect your opinions on the subject.

    Thanks for sharing your opinions!

  5. I've been wondering what is your opinion on Pensacola Christian College? They are Independent Baptist, and seem to share many of your values.


  6. Something I don't get, with NFP how it is detrimentally for couples to stay apart during those fertile times when it is most enjoyable for the woman but when you breast feed and then are pregnant for about 2 years not having many cycle's it's not? You don't have a fertile time because breast feeding delays your cycles. By that logic why is that not detrimental? I know that is natural with breast feeding on demand but if it was so detrimental to the marriage then those 2 years would be too right?

  7. Hi Zsuzsanna -- I hear what you are saying. You want a safer home. Because there's so much misinformation out there about the Teflon® brand, I'm not surprised that you are confused. I'm a representative of DuPont, and want to share some information with you and your readers so that everyone can make truly informed decisions.

    Global regulatory agencies have affirmed that Teflon® nonstick are safe for their intended use at Here’s another article - and the bottom line is that you can use Teflon® nonstick coatings without worry.

    I'd truly be glad to share additional information if you are interested, and appreciate your consideration of this comment. Cheers, Sara.

    1. I'll pass, thank you. If the EPA approves of it, it must be deadly.

  8. I've got a question for your next Q and A.

    This goes with 'natural shopping'...what do you do for paper products?

    Such as napkins, paper towel, tissues, toilet paper? Are 'normal' brands such as Puffs or Charmin okay to use, or do you prefer different brands? If so what kind? I've been looking into some of the Seventh Generation products which I seem to like, but I wondered if there were other brands. Tissues are hard to find and they are never really 'soft'.

  9. Hi Sis,

    Just consider that most Information on the web is tainted or biased and this is also true for Stevia. Of course there is a well-established sugar Lobby and also the typical, irrational, habitual objection raisers.
    So to come to the point - since 2011 this sweetener is EU approved. You might consider the de.wp (the en.wp is worthless on this Topic):
    Another link - SZ:

    Gruß, L.


Your KINDLY WORDED, constructive comments are welcome, whether or not they express a differing opinion. All others will be deleted without second thought.