How to Play Pickleball Without a Pickleball Court

So my son recently left for his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What was one of his last requests for a family activity before he left?

Pickleball! (That plus bowling. We did both on the same day! Fun!)

I’ve been wanting to learn how to play it so I was happy to oblige! We had a great time! This is a great activity for ages 6 and up. It’s so much easier than tennis! I’m hooked! The learning curve is much less steep than tennis. You have all the fun of tennis without the stress. I’ll be playing this again for family time!

If you want to play it without an official court do what we did. Buy a pickleball set on amazon, then go to your nearest public school playground that has asphalt. Bring duct tape with you and use the duct tape to mark the boundaries after searching online for dimensions. Just be approximate. This is not tournament play. If you have to conserve your tape, play on the playground’s basketball court and use those lines for outer boundaries, and use the duct tape to make the kitchen line. (If we had a flat driveway we would play on that but since it’s sloped that won’t work. We’d always be chasing the ball into the street, since we’re not that good at playing yet and miss a lot of shots, LOL!)

Happy pickleballing!

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Be a Bionic Woman: Use Homeopathy

I’m still basking in the glow of the amazing Homeopathy on the Hill event I participated in on Thursday 4/22/21. Basically, 700 homeopathy advocates, both consumers and practitioners of homeopathic drugs, joined forces to have phone and online meetings with Congressional staffers. We communicated to these staffers our reasons that homeopathic drugs should be protected by the FDA and not outlawed. We asked the staffers to tell the Congress people they work with to collaborate to restore a 1979 bill to keep homeopathic drugs legal. Already, some homeopathic drugs are being blocked by the FDA, and we want to stop any more from being blocked. This is just the beginning of the campaign!

I’m grateful for Paola Brown as president of Americans for Homeopathy Choice for leading the fight. Paola accomplished a Herculean task. Kudos to her and her team!

Anyway, for the capstone of the event, we got to hear from Lindsay Wagner, the Bionic Woman. She appeared on Zoom for all of the participants to see and hear her story of using homeopathy. Wow! Can you believe she’s 71? Someone in the Zoom room showed us all her Bionic Woman lunch box. That’s the photo at the top. Lindsay looks the same on the lunch box from decades ago as she does today!

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It must be her use of homeopathy that keeps her so young! She told her story of discovering homeopathy in the early 1980s. She first used it for some emotional issues and then turned to it for her delivery of her first baby and then for her children’s health issues. She said that when her children were little, they knew if they had aches or pains to bring “the yellow book” to Lindsay to ask her for help. It’s the book above, by Stephen Cummings and Dana Ullman. It was so fun to see that Dana was in the zoom room so he could see/hear this acknowledgement from Lindsay that she relied on his book to be a Dr. Mom.

If you are curious about becoming a Dr. Mom yourself with homeopathy (HP), I encourage you to sign up for Paola Brown’s Homeopathy for Moms Book Club. I’m starting it on Tuesday May 11 so don’t delay! Go here to get all the details!

I also just discovered this wonderful resource about homeopathy here, a collection of HP videos from Paola has a video in the collection, and so does Joette Calabrese.

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Come Join Me in this Homeopathy Book Club for Moms!

Did you see the online class for moms and kids using Paola Brown’s Teach Me Health and Homeopathy curriculum over here? It’s so amazing! I’m having so much fun teaching it, learning about health, terrain theory, and how healing really works. Maybe it interests you, but you decided it’s not for you because you don’t have children.

Or maybe you’re interested in learning all these truths yourself without involving your kids in a formal class. Or you have kids, but they are too young to take the class with you.

Great news! I’m launching Paola’s Homeopathy Book Club just for moms, to study health and homeopathy, sans the kiddos, using a book club culture!

It’s Paola’s Homeopathy Book Club for Moms!

You use the same book as the kids use in the kids class, Evie and the Secret of Small Things, which Paola wrote, but you study it in a book club culture. Fun and learning at the same time without managing the kiddos!

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Here’s why it’s so cool:

-it’s for newbies to homeopathy, laying a sound foundation to learn about this completely reliable and amazing system of medicine

-it’s also for not so newbies, who want to clarify understanding of things like the law of similars, provings, using a materia medica, how to take a case, and how to use a repertory

-you learn what potency and dosing can look like for an acute case

-you learn how we need to avoid bias when taking a case

-you learn about the history of homeopathy with Samuel Hahnemann and you delve deeper into the dangers of suppressing disease.

you also learn to think about various treatments found in conventional medicine

-you learn what sources are used for homeopathy remedies

-you get to watch an interview Paola did with the director of pharmacy at Boiron

-you will learn how to find a homeopath for your family and best practices to use

-dive into terrain theory, and learn who was right? Bechamp or Pasteur?

-you learn how to make a health and illness timeline for each member of your family

-you get to practice taking lots of cases to boost your confidence for doing it in real life

-you learn the key notes for 19 remedies each used for acute cases: Allium cepa, Nat mur, Arnica montana, Rhus tox, Bryonia alba, and Silicea, Symphytum, Ledum, Apis, Arsenicum, and Nux vomica, Cantharis, Causticum, and Urtica urens, Hypericum, Staphysagria, Belladonna, Carbo veg, Aconitum napellus

-the Online Book Club Area includes over 45 custom made or curated videos tailored to the Book Club to help you and your friends make the most of the material.

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-you get a fabulous, fun Graduation Gift! (digital, included with Handbook)

For all your dedication and hard work in completing this 8-week Book Club Program, and to support your journey of growing homeopathy knowledge, Paola is so pleased to provide you with an amazing, special digital gift. It provides you access to digital copies of several forgotten (yet truly wonderful) homeopathy books, a coupon book for homeopathy related products from several of the best homeopathy stores, access to continuing education resources from some of Paola’s favorite homeopaths, and additional printables and infographics. This is indeed a small treasure chest of value that Paola and I know you will enjoy!

Logistics of Class:

-8 weeks

-Tuesday nights, starts 5/25 and ends 7/6, 7:00 to 9:00 MDT, online

-over Zoom, so no need to pay a babysitter… put the kids in front of a screen and come in your PJs with some treats!

-tuition fee is $100, $50 early bird price if you register by Wednesday May 12, midnight. Pay by Venmo to @Celestia-Shumway. Register after May 12 and pay $100

-at least $79 materials fee, which you order here. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and order the following pictured below (these prices are the discount prices which occurs when you buy at least 2 items):

Evie and the Secret of the Small Things, for $48

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and the Book Club Handbook, for $31

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Those materials are required for the class. If you want to invest in something extra, but so lovely and infinitely handy for your family’s health life, I suggest you get the beautiful hardcover Family Homeopathy Journal. It’s $55 but It won’t ship out until after April 30th.

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You will find the family journal so convenient as a place to keep all your case taking notes for your family, as well as your notes for what remedies you gave your family.

I hope to see you in class on May 25! If you have any questions, please email me at info (at) treeoflifemothering (dot) com.

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4/23/21 Tree of Life Mama’s Podcast of the Week: Wise Traditions With Senator Dick Black on What the Future May Hold

Be Informed: What The Future May Hold
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Wow! I encourage you to listen to this thoughtful podcast by Hilda Labrada Gore, interviewing Dick Black.

You can listen to it here.

Here’s a description of the podcast from the Weston A. Price Organization’s web site for this podcast:

“What problems are restrictions and mask mandates causing? What are the side effects of the COVID-19 ‘vaccine’? What might happen to our children if we choose to have them get the shot? Senator Dick Black, a Marine and a grandfather of 16 who served in Virginia’s House of Delegates and Senate for 16 years, today draws on his experience and knowledge to shed light on how current events may impact our tomorrow. He offers insights on pharmaceutical companies’ promotion of vaccinations. He discusses the ramifications of the mask mandates and of the injection rollout on daily life. He also provides encouragement and motivation to reclaim our health rights.”

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Do You Want to Be All You Can Be or a “Could-Have”?

Remembering Len Bias - ESPN Video
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I love listening to Hank Smith and John Bytheway in their Come, Follow Him podcast and YouTube series, called “Follow Him.” They do one, sometimes two videos a week featuring a guest presenter to discuss the Come, Follow Me scripture reading assignment. When they do two it’s because they break up the discussion/presentation into two parts. Last week they featured Susan Easton Black Durrant, one of my favorite female scholars. You can read about her here and here. I love the connections they all make to help me understand the gospel better. This past week’s reading involved the story of a man named James Covel. He was a Methodist minister and a contemporary of Joseph Smith. In Doctrine and Covenants 40, he was told by the Lord Jesus Christ in a revelation to Joseph Smith to get baptized into the church that Joseph restored and move to Ohio from New York with the church members, to establish Zion.

Spoiler alert: Susan said that he didn’t. As a Methodist minister, he probably knew the Bible backwards and forwards. He had the potential for great leadership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He, however, turned it down because of the “cares of the world,” no doubt his desire to stay in his current position of social esteem and church leadership. Hank compared him to Len Bias.”Hey,” I thought, “I remember hearing the story of Len when I was in high school.” Hank said that Len had better college basketball stats than Michael Jordan. He was a top pick in the NFL draft. The night after the draft he tragically died of a drug overdose. Oh, this is such a sad story! Can you imagine Len’s future? He probably could have been greater than Michael Jordan, based on his stats. To drive the point home, Hank asked, “Do you want to be like James Covel and Len Bias, someone who ‘could have been’ great?” It’s definitely something for us to each ponder, and decide what we want to change so we aren’t a “could-have,” a “would-have,” or a “has-been.”

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4/16/21 Fun Friday, Tree of Life Mama’s Game of the Week: Wingspan Board Game Review

We played this game recently as part of our Easter holiday with my firstborn in town to visit. He asked for it at Christmas so I obliged. We played it on New Year’s Day right after he got it. Then he packed it for this recent trip so we could play again. Yay! It’s a perfect game to play for Easter and springtime. Maybe this is a new Easter tradition!

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This is my prize-winning scorecard for the game! I eventually maxed out all of the nest capacities for the birds’ eggs. It was my points for eggs laid that allowed me to win the game!

I love this game so much I’m going to get my own and play it whenever I want and not just when firstborn comes to visit!

Here’s why:

-it teaches strategy and executive function. In order to win you have to constantly ask yourself, “What is the goal? What is my next best move?” It reminds me a bit of chess in that way but you don’t have to do so much defensive thinking, asking yourself, “Where am I being threatened?” It’s all offensive playing, at least as far as I can tell, after playing it twice now.

-it teaches facts about birds in a non-lecture-y way. When it’s not your turn you can read the facts and not be bored. 🙂 It has so many interesting facts to learn: a bird’s habitat, what it eats, the type of nest it lays (or not), the typical amount of eggs it lays in one nest, its wingspan, and some unique fact about the bird.

-the illustrations are just so lovely

-the quality of the pieces is high, as the cardboard pieces and cards are thick and the little pastel eggs are solid

-although it seems complicated at first, the game is simple to learn as it comes with a quick start guide where each player has an instruction sheet that tells each one exactly how to take his or her first four turns, which makes it easy-peasy to learn

-it is fun, as you feel success as you move backwards on the row, doing each step in order, activating the bird’s powers, laying eggs, etc., so for that reason it teaches one to think methodically, and in the process you learn to enjoy thinking step-by-step

-it’s also fun because of the bird feeder dice tower, I mean you could just roll the dice, but the bird feeder just makes it so much more fun

I give this game 5 out of 5 stars! I’d say it’s for ages 10 and up or 8 and up for fluent readers. It’s great for bird lovers, but you don’t have to be a bird lover to enjoy it. I plan on getting it for my bird-loving dad for Father’s Day. I can’t wait to play it with him!

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4/15/21 Tree of Life Mama Picture Book of the Week: Just Like Beverly by Vicki Conrad


Did you know that Beverly Cleary recently passed away, on March 25, 2021? She passed less than a month shy of turning 105. Her birthday was this past Monday, April 12. Wow! In honor of her recent passing and birthday, I’m featuring this picture book bio of her this week. She certainly brought me many happy moments with her Ramona books. I discovered them in second grade and read almost the whole series. I just loved the emotional realism and family life. Beverly made the everyday life of an ordinary little girl heroic. Isn’t that something we all need? To see the Hero Journey in everyday people? You might be scoffing at the idea of Ramona being heroic, but it’s true! Getting her dad to quit smoking, being a good sport when her mom goes to college and she has to be babysat at the neighbors, and learning how not to be a pest are all heroic deeds!

Image Credit: goodreads.coom

This book’s main message is that if you never try, you are sure to fail. But if you make an effort and persist, you are sure to win. Just like Beverly. She sat down and wrote, didn’t give up, and fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming a writer. I love the message and the illustrations, plus the timeline and lengthy bio at the end for older readers. It’s all lovely!

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Tree of Life Mama’s Podcast of the Week: Sally Clarkson with Jennifer Dukes Lee

I absolutely love, love the truths shared in this podcast. It involves one of my favorite homeschooling mama authors, Sally Clarkson, interviewing author and mama, Jennifer Dukes Lee. They talk about Jennifer’s new book, pictured above. You can listen to the podcast here and see the show notes here. I love the story given as an example of Growing Slow. Jennifer tells of some friends who would spend every Saturday morning making a list of friends, calling them up one by one until they could find some friends who accepted a dinner invitation for Saturday night dinner. I love that!

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Naturally Yeasted Resurrection/Empty Tomb Rolls

I know Easter 2021 is over, but I just have to share and celebrate! I’m sharing about these Empty Tomb/Resurrection Rolls I made for this most recent Easter that fell on General Conference. See the pic above? Doesn’t it look just like an empty tomb? I made it out of sourdough, aka naturally yeasted whole wheat dough. Yesss, success, with real food, and digestible whole grains! This roll doesn’t look as pretty and puffy as its white flour counterpart, but it’s much better for you. I usually make cinnamon rolls for General Conference to eat on Sunday. I wan’t going to make them this year, just because of the work involved on top of everything I’m doing. I didn’t say anything, but two of my boys asked if I was going to do it, so I decided to continue with my attempt to establish a tradition with puristy food, even though it’s late in the game in my establishing-traditions- mothering career and I’m still perfecting my purist recipe.

Last year’s attempt was a fail, but this year it worked! The difference was two fold: instead of homemade marshmallows, I abandoned my purist foody principles and used commercial marshmallows. The other different factor was that I let the dough rise for 6 hours before I shaped the rolls.

Here’s the recipe: just go over here and use my natural yeast breadmachine bread recipe. Use the dough setting and let it rise at least 6 hours. Set out some butter to soften at room temperature, if you don’t have it out already. Then divide the dough into two halves. Roll out each half into a big circle until it’s about 1/4 inch thick, or thinner if you like a thinner doughed-roll. Spread butter with a butter knife onto the circle of dough to the edge. Fill up a little bowl with equal parts cinnamon and sucanat or coconut sugar. Then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the butter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each circle into 8 triangle pieces, as if you were cutting a pizza. Take marshmallow and roll it in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Put the marshmallow on the wide end and roll up. Place your rolled up rolls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Roll up all the rolls and then bake for at least 30 minutes or until golden brown. Eat warm if you like the taste of warm cinnamon-y sugary, yeasted rolls. I do! Or wait until cool. Add frosting made out of cream cheese and sugar thinned with water to desired consistency if you prefer. The marshmallows will have melted and will leave an empty space inside the roll.

Here’s how one of the rolls looked before I cut it open.

Here’s what it looked like after I cut it open. So cool! If you can’t be there to see the real empty tomb, it’s great to make your own, especially to make it more real for you and your kiddos.

This is my new tradition to do every spring General Conference, since that event is always close to Easter or on Easter. Then for fall General Conference I’ll stick to my regular natural yeast cinnamon rolls.

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4/12/21 Montessori Monday: My Grandson’s Play Kitchen

Wow, pictured above is is my grandson’s play kitchen. What I would have given for something like this when I was a kid! He’s only 2! It’s inspired by my daughter’s desire to give him a Montessori education. Check out her blog here.

Here’s what she says about the kitchen (copied and pasted with her permission from Instagram):

“I posted Clark’s play kitchen with running water a long time ago, but it didn’t end up working out very well. Basically Clark would fill the sink up very quickly and then put things in it that weren’t supposed to get wet. It took a few iterations to find something that is child proofed in the ways we needed it to be. I also didn’t get around to revamping this latest edition until being on maternity leave, so Clark’s been without a water source for quite a while.

“Here’s what this version incorporates:

“The sink basin has drainage holes that we drilled into the plastic. I did the first two manually with a screw driver. It took a little longer but honestly the plastic is pretty soft. So no drill required.

“Under the sink basin there is a shoe box sized plastic bin to catch the drainage. This is a 99 cent Sterilite bin from Target.

“The door to the cupboard with the drainage reservoir has a child cabinet lock on it.

“The water dispenser has two separate cords tying it to the side post to keep it much more stationary than I could configure it to be with one cord.

“Next to the sink there’s a plastic tray. I just added this and I haven’t seen Clark use it yet, but I’m hoping he can do his pouring transfer work here instead of on the wood counter and that that will minimize mess.

“I put a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar in the water to keep microbes from growing if the water sits for a while.


“What it still needs:

“Lacquer to prevent the counter top surface from further water damage. The water consistently gets splashed out of the sink and has started cracking the wood.

“I wish the dispenser was shorter and could sit on top of a stand so that he could put his mop bucket and watering can under the faucet.”



So there you have it, just in case any of you were hankering to make a play kitchen that has a functional running water sink. Not something I will ever do but it’s nice to know that my daughter has created something so wonderful for my grandson. I love it!

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