After 11 pregnancies, birthing, raising and homeschooling 8 children, recently walking through the death of my oldest son, and starting on the road of grand parenting, you learn a thing or two along the way about health, wellness and walking through the weather patterns of life and relationships. In discussions over the years with my kids, medical professionals I have worked with, strangers I talk to in airports, or refugee woman I have taught, I have often received the same comment: “Can you send me some information on that?” – whether we were talking about fish oil and probiotics, or the theological and philosophical discussions of life. My kids have been encouraging me for some time to write down “all this stuff”, so they would have it on hand as they move on. Honestly, a great portion of what I have learned has been through so many others. So I asked a few friends, who have “fortified” me along the way, to join me, contributing their wealth of knowledge and experience. In addition, I know there are so many moms and woman in my community that know a whole lot about a whole lot of things! So the idea of collecting all that “local wisdom”, and posting local resources, was the idea behind “Forti-fy“. Although not specifically local in nature, I did something similar 7 years ago when I started a blog encouraging people who were starting the ketogenic diet for epilepsy. Our daughter, Autumn, started seizing, at times up to every 5 minutes, and she was healed using the ketogenic diet for epilepsy. She is currently seizure free, back to a normal diet and thriving! Our “Keto Joy” blog has reached many families with much needed – sometimes life changing – information. The launching of Forti-fy was actually timed to coincide with the celebration of Autumn’s 5-year anniversary of being seizure free. That anniversary was only made possible because there were people who provided resources and were committed to fortifying us, to make it happen. It is my hope that Forti-fy will bless people in that same manner.
And a shout out to the steadfast, faithful, endurance of my beloved husband- the man who has walked with me through it all – My Forti-fy’r!
Donna Reish is a homeschooling veteran of seven kids over thirty-two years, wife of thirty-eight years, curriculum author of over 100 books, weight loss coach, language arts blogger, weight/Intermittent Fasting blogger, Christian, and Nonna to six grandbabies. At her language arts blog, Learn-for-a-Month, Donna teaches teachers and parents how to teach writing and grammar and teaches students video writing and grammar lessons. She has blogged and spoken about parenting, homeschooling, and language arts for a number of years. She and her husband operate Character Ink, a small press publishing company and local teaching service where they offer classes for homeschoolers, complete educational programs those who want the academics done for them, and private tutoring for all types of schoolers in their home.
She and her husband have lost over 220 pounds together (170 of those in the past couple of years)–and love to spread the news of happy empty nesting, changing your life through changing your habits, She has a weight loss coaching through her blog called Lifestyle Weight Loss for Maturing Women—where we count habits and real foods, not calories and macros.
Donna loves to help parents in all phases of parenting and all phases of marriage! Her weight loss coaching has a strong emotional/life coaching emphasis so that we don’t just change foods, but we deal with emotional eating, cravings, overeating, over hunger, over desire, and more.
You can find Donna all over…
Language arts/teaching help at Learn-for-a-Month
Homeschooling/parenting helps at Character Ink Blog
Weight loss coaching and Intermittent Fasting help at her blog
You can also follow her on Facebook at Raising Kids With Character or Donna Reish Blogger!
Contact Donna here
She teaches weight management and coaches in her private FB group: Donna’s Intermittent Fasting Group.
If you know this woman was an only child, was rarely allowed in the kitchen, but then grew up to birth 13 of her own children and is now rarely out of the kitchen, and that she also knows just about everything you need to know about just about anything, and generously shares that knowledge with great wit, humor and charm – then you know why I call her Wonder Woman! From babies to bridal showers and Bible Study Fellowship to the best coffee and chocolates to sewing, canning and training for marathons – she is a Forti-fy’r! Along with sharing everything else Heather knows, she is our THM (Trim Healthy Mama) aficionado, and Keto and all things running. You can follow her on instagram at @lovemybigfamily. Check out her before and after picture here.
Trisch is a very active mom of 10 – and her skills also include being a goat herder and lama chaser! Trisch is an exceptional encourager! She always has an encouraging word to share about the truth of God in our lives. She also helps woman achieve their health goals through her website Be Youthful ‘N Fit. Here, she encourages woman to be their own version of fit, not trying to fit into anyone else’s version.
You can also check out her daughters’ blog at Seven Farm Sisters where you can see the harvest of fruit of all her years of motherhood!
Local Contributors to the Forti-fy site include:
Hello there! My name is Kelsey, I am a follower of Jesus Christ. My husband and I are trying our hand at homesteading in rural Indiana while raising a growing brood of lively children with big personalities. We have five children, one of them still a ‘bun in the oven’. I love to garden, raise chickens, hike, camp, knit, water colour paint, drink tea, make my home cozy, impromptu visitors, read, cook and bake, home can delicious food and above all spend time with our family. We really love a simple life that exemplifies beauty and goodness in the midst of a broken world. One of my long term goals is to one day own a quaint knitting shop in the middle of our orchard with a couple of sheep grazing on fallen apples nearby…if I could just convince my husband about the sheep. 🙂
By God’s great love and grace, Denise Snyder is a Christian, wife, mother, and grandmother! She retired as a homeschool mom in 2014 after successfully graduating each of her four students. Trained as a registered nurse, she has utilized that skill set in volunteer roles at Miracle Mountain Ranch, Matthew 25, and A Hope Center. In her spare time, Denise enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, and cycling on a tandem with her husband, Jim. She has recently developed a passion for growing in intentional, gospel-centered, long-distance grandparenting, as God has placed her in that honored, yet, challenging position.
Our two “Local Faves” writers who keep us posted on all things fun and yum in area!
My name is Abigail Snyder. I’m originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, though I spent four years (from 2013-2017) living in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where I taught high school English, middle school P.E., and primary swimming at Haven of Peace Academy, worked as a YoungLife leader, and loved life on the coast of the Indian Ocean. I moved back to Fort Wayne in 2017, and recently bought a house in the North Highlands area. Currently, I race mountain bikes for Team Neighborlink, AMP Human, and Osmo Hydration, as well as being a 6th grade English teacher at Maple Creek Middle School. I also work part-time as an Assistant Sales Manager and Marketing Content Creator at Summit City Bicycles & Fitness.
Hey! I’m Alaina. I am a girl passionate about photography, blogging, trying new things, and making everyday life an adventure. Here, I’ll show you some of my favorite places and things to do around Fort Wayne and share with you some photos and stories from my favorite events & activities
The woman who keeps us all up and running…..
Hi! I’m Trisch’s third oldest daughter and I am a fourth-year student midwife which makes this job perfect for me because I can work from anywhere that has WiFi. I started designing websites and doing online Virtual Assistant work a couple of years ago when I was looking for a way to work from home due to being on call 24/7. It is nearly impossible to predict where I might be due to the wide radius of my clinical locations and the number of home births I attend, but there is a high chance you’ll find me at Panera Bread or Starbucks between classes or clinic with a stack of text books, my laptop, and a large cup of coffee. Want help with your website or business? Contact me here!
About the “Forti-fy” logo:
Forti is my last name. The etymology of “Forti” is: Brave, strong, powerful, and courageous; just what we can become – not merely on our own – but by being fortified by others around us, as well.
I chose a strawberry because we have been trying to grow the perfect organic strawberry for years, so it has just been part of our family. I thought it would be fun to dot the “i” with one – and if we ever grow enough of them to sell – the logo works for the business!
After the logo was done, one night I was doing some research and I read this:
“The strawberry is a berry that is attached to many positive things through symbolism and folklore. In Victorian flower language, the berry symbolizes perfection and “sweetness in life and character”. The flowers and berries together symbolize righteousness and spiritual merit in Christian art. The structure of the leaves, being trifoliate, represents the trinity.”
I just smiled after I read that. I am follower of Christ, a sinner saved by grace, trying to walk in the sweetness of life – resting in the strength of the triune God, who fortifies me daily with His righteousness, loving kindness and holiness of spirit.