Family, Lifestyle, Mom Interviews

Mom Interview #3 ~ Biblical Homeschooling & Hashimoto’s

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Mom Monday’s

Welcome back to Mom Interviews!!!

Each interview will look pretty similar with the exception of a question here or there. I figured we might all want to know generally the same information about each other. The different questions will touch on their own personal mom situation. You’ll hear from stay at home moms, homeschooling moms, working moms, stepmoms… the list goes on and on. You’ll be given a chance to follow them on social media and see a few pictures to put a face with the interviewee. These are real mom’s with real struggles and I’m inspired by each one of them.

Today’s interview features Davi Todd from DaviTodd.com. Davi is a military wife and a homeschooling mama to her 3 children.

She’s a Texas girl, which I appreciate, and she’s just got a really incredible story. I won’t share all of it today but maybe we can revisit it another time. Her desire to teach her children biblical principles from an early age inspires me to do better as a Christian mom myself. Her reason behind why they chose to homeschool and why they continue doing it is truly amazing!! She also gives us some helpful information on a health situation she dealt with.

Without further adieu, here’s my interview with Davi!!
Davi Todd ~ All images used with permission from the owner.

1. Tell the blog about yourself, we’ll get to the mom part later, we want to know YOU!! {Name, where you’re from, what you did before becoming a mom, if you’re married or have a significant other and how long, hobbies, passions, what books/podcasts/music you enjoy, etc}

Hello, my name is Davi Todd.  I am originally from Texas but I currently reside in Florida.  As the saying goes, you can take the girl outta Texas, but you can’t take Texas outta the girl. {Amen sista!!}  I graduated high school in 2001 and went on to a Methodist University where I met my husband right after the start of my Sophomore year of college, October of 2002.  I had the typical college jobs with fast food, waitress, and a short stint in retail.  I also worked as an office assistant at an auto recovery shop.  This was a very interesting job since they were paid to take possession of cars that were in default.  I married my husband in May of 2003, we will soon celebrate 15 years.  Since we planned to get married, I dropped out of college and joined the Air Force.  I served for 2 years and got out of the military during the pregnancy of my second child. 

My hobbies include blogging, writing, sewing, crochet, baking, and learning new skills.  I’m pretty passionate about music!  I’ve always really loved music but I wasn’t able to learn as a child and had formed the idea in my head that since I didn’t learn it as a child I couldn’t ever learn it.  At a Christian Ladies Meeting, I met a lady from Tennessee who learned at an older age to play piano and upright bass and that really spawned my learning spree.  I watched some TED talks about adult learning and read some books on the new research of brain development.  I’ve been working on it diligently for about a year and can play a handful of songs on piano.  I still struggle on guitar and I’ve fallen in love with instruments that use a bow like violin, viola (I hope to have my own one day!) and cello. 

One of my favorite books right now is Rich Habits Poor Habits by Tom Corley and Michael Yardley 

2. When did you become a mom? How many kids do you have? You don’t need to share names but ages would be cool!

Our first child was born in 2004, the second and third soon followed.  Until recently they were all the same height and people would ask me if they were triplets or something.  Since our last name is Todd, they became know as the Toddlets.  

3. Tell us a little bit about why you chose to homeschool your child(ren). Did you start right away or did it take time for you to come to that decision?

This question is very complicated and there are many, many, MANY reasons we choose to homeschool but in short, the answer is: because God wants us to.  I was saved at the age of 19 and my husband got saved at the age of 25.  We are Christians and we really believe all the answers of life can be found in the scriptures.  (2 Peter 1:3  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue) We believe this since, from the day we got saved, our lives actually literally changed.  Our desires changed, the ways we choose to spend our time and money for example changed. 

We also sought the Lord and his ways.  (Deuteronomy 4:9  Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons) We wanted our children to know what God has done for us and not to forget where we came from spiritually, from dead carefree people to living, loving, faithful folks. As we sought the Lord for his will for our family in prayer, just the thought of sending my children to attend a school with people I had never seen or met made my stomach churn with nausea.  When we read this verse, Deuteronomy 6:7  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up we knew, God had told us to home educate.  We did spend about 3 months in constant prayer and Bible reading (King James) however, we have also home educated from Kindergarten on. 

We were also a military family and moved frequently.  As Christians we believe in building strong family relationships.  Home education provided a constant for the children so they could have a sense of stability knowing that the house itself may change but the school would not.  All of our children have allergies as well, some worse than others.  One is particularly bad with both food allergies and allergic reactions to fire ants and some ornamental plants in our local area.  Since that child needs constant access to epi pens in the event of an allergic reaction home education was the best option for that child.  

4. From your perspective and for you personally, what are the pros and cons of homeschooling?

The pros of homeschooling are the ability to tailor a program to your child.  I have a child that loves writing and being creative.  Another child is a huge animal science buff.  The last child is very much like his “engineer” personality father.  They are able to really sink into subjects they enjoy while still learning all the required subjects for a rounded education.  

They are also not bullied on a daily basis (mind you they are still bullied at parks and such but it’s not a constant daily barrage they can’t escape from). 1 Corinthians 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. It’s perfectly normal for children to be bullied and tempted by their peers but to never have a break from a bully is not God’s will.  As parents we are told not to provoke our children to wrath. Ephesians 6:4  And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Parents that force their children to deal with constant bullying are guilty of breaking God’s command here.  It doesn’t say it’s an option, it says to not ta (Mater reference Cars). As parents it really is imperative that we follow the command of Ephesians 6:4 so that our children will not feel that 1 Corinthians 10:13 is a lie.  

They are not fed food that is considered junk food on a daily basis and certainly not foods they are allergic to.  

They are able to learn life skills for daily living that are not taught in schools such as how to do their own laundry, how to wash the dishes or load the dish washer.  They learn how to care for a sick sibling, entrepreneurship, and managing money.   

The only Con I have is limited finances.  I’d love to have the ability to have my kids take private tennis lessons.  I’d love to have an electron microscope for my science kid or a really awesome telescope.  

5. I’ve recently discovered podcasts and am OBSESSED, have you ever listened to them? If yes, what are some of the ones you’re most into right now.

I sort of go through seasons where I primarily read or watch YouTube, Ted Talks, or listen to Podcasts.  Usually if I’m listening to a Podcast, it’s something medical like Dr. Jennifer Daniels.  I don’t really have anything to carry around with me and listen with and since we homeschool, the Podcast over the speakers really distracts one of my kids.  

6. So when I was inspired to start Grace in the Wait I was in a season of waiting (and still am). What did your waiting season look like where you were just believing for something but knew it just wasn’t the right time, like something needed to be learned in this season to propel you into the next.

Oh dear, this makes me think hard. lol Well, I think the longest wait was for my husband’s salvation.  I had to learn a lot about myself in that time so that when he did get saved, I didn’t immediately discourage him.  lol 

Waiting on my babies to be born was also really difficult. 

I also suffered with Endometriosis most of my life.  I tried tons of natural things, spent thousands of dollars over the years trying to find a way to deal it.  Eventually I got to the point I could barely walk.  The Lord helped me find a Doctor that may be able to fix it.  There were a lot of obstacles in the way and being patient and waiting on God to work all this out was a learning experience.  It was really amazing to see my church family come together to help us during our time of need helping with meals and with the children

7. What motivates you to keep going on the days you really would rather not?

Short answer, Jesus.  When you read the Gospels about what He went through for us, it’s hard to let the small stuff get you down.  If that’s not enough, you can read Stephen, the first martyr or Paul and all the “marks” his body held. 

My husband is also a great encouragement.  When I look into the faces of my children, that also pushes me on.  Hebrews 12:2 is my favorite “enduring” verse  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

8. List a few things you wish people would understand or not judge about your momming situation or lifestyle? Explain.

I recently heard a great sermon that sort of addressed this area and I’ll summarize that.  First, we need to realize that we are not the center of the world and not everyone sees the world the way we do.  Not only are there no two people that agree on everything, there are not even two Christians that agree on everything either.  Secondly, we need to step back and let God do the refining of other people’s lives and not force our box on them.  Salvation is instant but sanctification takes time.  Sanctification is more like polishing a beautiful rock however, that doesn’t mean we are the ones to turn on the tumble.  Like your blog name, we need to show grace in the wait while others grow in their relationship with God.  

Galations 6:1 ~ Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

The areas I’ve had the most misunderstanding over have actually been food and clothing.  I find this very interesting and somewhat comical since what I eat or wear shouldn’t really affect you.  

9. What challenges you are currently facing with parenting?

I’m parenting in the teenage years.  We are facing prayerful consideration of career moves and the best way to match their God given gifts with things that will help them in the real world out on their own.  I’m in a stage where I’ve got to allow them to make mistakes and see the consequences of those mistakes so they can learn how to be better adults.  It’s a real heart struggle when your child gets hurt but, if you don’t allow them to exercise their own discernment gently little by little, they won’t do well on their own.  

10. Did/do you suffer from Postpartum Depression or Anxiety? Share your story or any advice you might have that has helped you.

No, I did have some well meaning doctors try and diagnose me as such but, I was actually having a pregnancy induced Hashimoto’s thyroid attack.  Since I am adopted, I didn’t know this could be a risk factor to look for and it took me 10 years to get an accurate diagnosis and get the help my thyroid needed with a naturally dedicated thyroid hormone and for me, I also need a synthetic free T3 to feel normal and have energy. 

10a. Please educate myself and any readers out there on what Hashimoto’s is, what your specific symptoms were and how you/they finally figured it out.

I started to gain MASSIVE amounts of weight during my 3rd month of pregnancy. I went from 135 pounds to 211 and I still weighed 209 when I was released after delivery. There was seemingly nothing I could do about it.  I was REALLY tired too.  I could literally sleep for 24 complete hours get up, eat, potty, and repeat.  When I told my doctor, I was told I was trying to get out of work.  I was told by another doctor I should see a counselor for marital problems.  I’d never mentioned being sad or having marriage problems.  I had muscle pain and fatigue.  The muscle pain was mostly concentrated in my back and legs. 

I did find a doctor who believed me. She was an OB but she just tested my TSH number several times and it always came back between a 1.5 and 1.9. They don’t consider you to have a thyroid disorder based on TSH unless you have a 3.5 (which is if they are better than normal docs) or in most cases, a 4.  So, I turned to natural methods like chiropractic and juicing.  Due to some of the pain, she thought a progesterone based birth control would be a good idea.  She felt like I had PCOS since I was having some blood sugar problems.  She didn’t really run any tests and persuaded me to use it based on a hunch.  It appears that my progesterone was indeed low from what was most likely a low T4.  You see, your ovaries can actually stop making progesterone and make T2 and then your body can make T2 into T3 when your T4 is too low.  This is also why a lot of ladies go hypothyroid when they hit menapause because their ovaries are no longer making up for what the thyroid gland can’t keep up with.  Eventually I was able to get down to about 160 working out at Curves and eating a mostly raw and vegan diet.  It was really crazy. 

Later I tried the Caldwell Essylsten’s fat free and vegan diet.  Doing this I was able to get back to my normal weight. However, I was doing even worse.  I began to feel like I was freezing from the inside out.  I started tracking my morning temperatures each day to try and get my hormones balanced.  I would wake up with a temperature of like 95.6.  I finally went to a doctor that wasn’t educated in the US to see if he would do better.  He didn’t.  He said, maybe your thermometer is broken.  I was like, “uh, yeah, I think I tried that first dude.”  I told him that my heart would skip beats and that my pulse kept getting lower and lower and lower.  He said it was because I was healthy.  I told him that healthy people don’t get varicose veins in their 20’s and early 30’s.  I felt like I would choke from time to time and I couldn’t catch my breath.  He said my neck felt fine and I shouldn’t worry, my cholesterol was low.  I tried to explain that the only way I could keep weight off was to eat fat free and vegan.  My hair was falling out and my skin was dry. He said, you’re young and healthy, go home and enjoy your family. ugh.

Around a year later we got a dog and house and I was working in the garden with my collards. My husband knew how I’d changed over time and was careful to make sure I got rest. He asked me to come inside because it was nearly dark and I should rest. I stood up and felt dizzy. I thought, oh great, vertigo again. I better not walk until I get steady. Well then my husband said, “are you ok?” I said, “I feel like I can’t breathe.” Rick said, “baby, your speaking clearly, you’ve got to be breathing.” As I looked back at him, he began to walk to me, I said, “oh, then it’s my heart. I’m so sorry babe.” As I was saying this my peripheral vision began to black out and the darkness closed in circular. I passed out. Praise God Rick caught me and laid me on the patio. We are both military. His training kicked in and he began to check my vitals. I was breathing but I had no pulse for 14 seconds. Just as he was about to compress my chest, I came back.

I finally found a doctor that tested everything. She found a TSH of 1.7, a low free T4 and a nearly nonexistent free T3 and a really high reverse T3. Your body won’t use reverse T3 and when high, it blocks the good free T3 from bonding. I had low testosterone, ok-ish estrogen, and high testosterone. I didn’t have any antibodies but based on the swallow issues I had off and on she decided to do an ultrasound. I have a giant mass on the left side of the thyroid exactly where I complained of swallow pain. The destruction goes inwards toward my esophagus which is why they can’t feel it by palpation. The right side has a small nodule exactly where I complained of pain and exactly the size I described, as large as the head of a ball point pin.

All the women in my maternal line as far as we can trace have thyroid disease. I’m SO much better on Thyrogold, a naturally desiccated thyroid hormone from cows. I also take a synthetic free T3 since I don’t convert well. I take a bio identical progesterone too.

All of the endocrine systems are closely connected. My adrenal glands were damaged. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get them back. They are better but not healed.

11. What do you think makes your parenting style different from other parents?

Parenting lifestyles are just as different as lifestyles in general.  No two people agree exactly on every single thing.   I think tailoring your parenting to each child’s unique situation is vital.  Probably the biggest difference is that we homeschool so we can teach education as a lifestyle, you never quit learning, never quit bettering yourself, and we use the King James Bible as a compass to direct our lifestyle.  

12.  If there was one thing you could tell your younger self what would it be and why?

To open a Roth IRA now! Compound Interest is your friend.  Start your blog when your husband buys the domain name for you, not 4 or 5 years later. Learn about thyroid disease much earlier in your life so you can get an accurate diagnosis much sooner. Always listen to that still small voice on the inside!  It will save you lots of heart ache. 

DaviTodd.com ~ All images used with permission from the owner.

13. Tell us how we can keep up with you. Website, FB, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube.

Facebook is www.facebook.com/JoyfulMotherandWife

Website is www.davitodd.com

Twitter is https://twitter.com/DaviTodd

Instagram is https://www.instagram.com/davijotodd/

14. This last thing is an idea I got from a podcast I love. Share with us your 3 favorite things right now. This could be anything, a book, a favorite restaurant, your favorite coffee flavor, your favorite song, your PJ’s, TV show, laundry detergent lol… anything at all.

My favorite color is blue.

My favorite Church is Gulf Coast Baptist!

My favorite elementary English curriculum is Shurley English.

 

{{Y’all if you didn’t just feel like you needed to pull your Bible out by the end of this interview, you might need to help me out!!!  lol Wasn’t that just awesome?! She really just got in there didn’t she? }}

 

As always don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.

Have an amazing day y’all, see ya next time!!

Ruth 1:16 ~ But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.
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