Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Knocked Down? Get Back Up!

I have not written a post in about a week because I got knocked down with a horrible cold/sinus infection. It really took all of my energy and made me really tired, even too tired to write. Being pregnant and sick at the same time really is no fun and of course made being sick even harder. When you are pregnant and sick, you are limited to what you can take for it. I finally was able to get some pregnancy safe medicine for my sinuses and something to also treat allergies/drainage. My sweet husband also took very good care of me while I was sick. He definitely takes the in sickness and in health parts of our vows seriously. I am now feeling a lot better!

I definitely blame the crazy weather. It was cold, then warm, then back to cold, and now it is warm again. This weather is definitely not like February Kentucky weather. Sicknesses aside, a positive out of the weather not being as bad is that there have not been very many snow days. Not very many snow days mean that the kids will get out of school on time and have a long and enjoyable summer.  Even teachers can get on board with that as well!

One thing I do like about being sick is that I have a lot of time to pray, think, seek what God wants me to learn, etc. Something I learned this time around is that even though I get knocked down physically, mentally, emotionally, etc, I don't have to stay down. I can and I must get back up and keep going.  Really, that is true about anything that may knock us down in life. We don't have to let our sicknesses take over. We don't have to let our weaknesses take over. We don't have to let our hurts take over. We don't have to let our sins of the past take over. We can find the strength, with God, to get back up and let Him take over whatever has knocked us down. He will give us the strength to rise up and not to stay down. I love that about God. I love that if I feel weak, He is strong. I love how God will carry me and hold me. He is always there to carry me and hold me. It is so easy to allow ourselves to stay knocked down because we run out of strength. Once we let God help us up, we can find that is easy to let Him help us get up, which is what God wants to do.

I don't know if you have been knocked down recently, or in the past. Don't stay down, get back up. I hope my nugget that God spoke to me while I was sick encouraged you in some way. Let God work in you, because He will work in you. He does a wonderful job at working in our lives everyday. He does a wonderful job at holding us up when we can't hold ourselves up. That is also my prayer for anyone who reads this, that God will lift you up and you can get back up from whatever may have knocked you down. Let the following verses encourage you as well.









Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentine's Day Crafts For Kids

If you read my blog regularly then you know I like to do crafts with my boys. They love doing crafts as well. I hope that as they grow up that they remember all the awesome times we have had doing crafts together. At any rate, with Valentine's Day coming up we have been doing some Valentine's Day crafts. I always look to Pinterest for ideas on crafts to do with the boys. Pinterest has some really great ideas for Valentine's Day crafts, not just for little kids but for all ages.

This post contains ideas that came from Pinterest, but with our own twist and creativity. The boys that did these crafts are Landon and Liam since our oldest is in Kindergarten and our youngest would eat the paint. Haha! Landon and Liam loved the LOVE craft the most. They loved this one because I painted one of their feet and one of their hands. Whenever we do footprint or handprint crafts they always giggle and say it tickles when I paint their foot or hand. This craft is also a great craft that you can frame and keep as a keepsake with their handprint and footprint.


Another craft that we did was the toilet paper heart stamp craft. This one was my favorite to watch them do. Landon and Liam each had a toilet paper roll and they both uniquely stamped their papers. They had fun making hearts all over their paper. Landon was the only one would let me get a picture of him. You can also see in the first picture that I taped the toilet paper roll to make the heart shape.



We also did the 'We Love You to Pieces' craft. This craft is great for teaching fine motor skill of picking up small objects. A lot of the crafts I do with the boys also double as teaching things whether it be colors, shapes, fine motor skills, problem solving, etc. Crafts aren't just art, but also other things as well. Back to this craft. Landon and Liam had fun gluing the small squares inside the heart. The best thing about this craft is that I really do love my boys to pieces and they loves mommy and daddy to pieces too.




We may squeeze in one more craft before Valentine's Day rolls around on Tuesday, but these were fun ones to do. Landon is four and Liam is two just you have an idea of the age I was working with for these crafts.

While we are on the subject of crafts, we did a Groundhog Day craft since that is February 2. They made a Groundhog with their foot and hands. It was a lot of fun teaching them about how a groundhog can 'predict' the weather. Of course winter is not over yet. Winter crafts are great to do especially on gloomy winter days.


Do you do crafts with your kids? What crafts have you done?

Friday, February 3, 2017

One of My Cute Assistants

I am sure a lot of bloggers that write most likely have an assistant to help them out with their blog. Assistants are very helpful. I know how helpful they can because I have a few of them. Let me tell you about my assistants.

I have four assistants and I know that is a lot of assistants for one blogger. They help me by giving me a lot of inspiration for some of the material I write. My assistants help by distracting me from my work, which in some cases a distraction is a good thing. Many days a good distraction helps a lot so I find their distracting helpful for sure. 

You may be picturing four assistants dressed up in their every day best, but I have to say that they do their job in their pajamas most days. I don't have a dress code for them. A dress code for them is a little much to expect. Often times when I write, I am in my pajamas, too.

My assistants leave a lot of messes for me to clean up as well. We are still working on that part of their training. They definitely keep me busy with the cleaning and their messes are just ways to keep me working.

They don't know how to really operate a computer, but give them an iPad and they will find a game in 2.7 seconds. Not all of them speak English either, we are working on their language skills every day.

I have to brag on one of my assistants. He is always in my lap while I am writing or standing at my feet jabbering to me about his ideas.  Let me tell you, he has a lot of ideas and is very vocal about them. He definitely fusses at me if I don't use one of his ideas. He has also likes to help type and will bat at the keyboard as hard as he can. When I show you his picture, you all will wish you had a cute assistant like I do. All four of my assistants are cute and adorable. This particular assistant was just being super adorable as I was brsinstorming that I had to brag about how awesome he is. I sure don't pay him (or any of my assistants) enough. I'm thankful that my assistants accept the fruit snack and teddy graham payment methods.

Without further ado, here is one of my assistants:


See! Isn't he super adorable? Lucas just turned one a little over a month ago. He loves helping me out with my writing. As you can see he is right there at my feet giving me ideas and trying to help me type. He keeps me on my toes as a stay at home mom. He crawls and cruises everywhere in the house.  Do you have an assistant for your blog? Is he as cute as mine?
 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Coloring Project/Verse

I mentioned in a previous post how I like to color in order to relax my mind. If you haven't bought a fancy coloring book targeted for adults, then you need to go get one and buy colored pencils as well. Yesterday during nap time I did not have any housework to do. Okay, that may not be true, maybe I had housework to do, but I procrastinated on it. Ha! It was very worth procrastinating on my housework so I could spend an hour coloring a page from one of my many coloring books. When I finished coloring, I felt so relaxed. The rest of our afternoon/evening went smoothly because I was at peace.  Here is what I colored:


I colored Bible verses that hold very true in my life. These verses give me a lot of reminders of things I need to do in my life, every day.
1. These verses remind me that I need to praise Jesus everyday and worship Him in big and small ways. As a stay at home mom/blogger, it can be easy to forget to give time to God and worship His name in all that I do. I get distracted in everything I have going on. I need to remember to praise His name for giving me time to rest or for giving the boys a peaceful play time. Big and small things, I need to worship Jesus everyday.
2. I am reminded I need to make sure Jesus is my first priority in my day to day happenings. I have to make sure I wake up and proclaim this verse every morning. When I put Jesus first, everything else is peaceful. If I go about my day without praying, reading the Bible, etc., I can say that our day is a little more stressful and chaotic. When I put Jesus first, I am able to better praise His name.
3. Another reminder that this verse gives me is to make sure my life lines up with what I talk about. I believe this verse whole heartedly. I believe every word in this verse. Since I believe this, I need to strive at making sure my behavior and character line up with what I say I believe. I hope and pray that what people see in me is Jesus. I pray that because they see Jesus in me, that they too can proclaim these verses.


Something I love about coloring Bible verses is that it allows me to really study the verse. I study it, research what others have said about it, and really meditate on it. For a busy mom like me, that helps me with my Bible study time. It is one way that I praise Jesus (just like what I talked about).


I don't know if you like to color or not. If you do, share one of your coloring masterpieces or just tell me what you find relaxing about coloring.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

When A Snow Day Happens

It snowed here on Sunday night. The snow coming down was so beautiful. I couldn't help but hope and pray that my older two would get a snow day. My oldest who is in Kindergarten, definitely needed a snow day. I think my oldest has been tired and a nice little break from school would help him a lot. 


We got the call around 8 p.m. Sunday night that there was indeed a snow day for yesterday. We all expressed our excitement before bed and I began to plan what we would do as far as activities go.

When you get an unexpected snow day, having activities planned will help you get through the snow day so nobody gets cabin fever. Our boys definitely seem to act a little more wild on snow days, partly because a snow day means no routine, and another part is because it is a snow day. They were definitely more wild yesterday than they are when they are home on a weekend.

I planned out some fun things to do for the boys. One of the things I planned was for them to paint their own snowy scene. While we got enough snow to close schools in our area, it wasn't quite enough for them to play in. I thought I would bring the fun of the snow indoors.

They had a blast painting their own snowy scene. We talked about the color of snow, the temperature of snow, and what season it snows in. Not only was it an art activity, but I turned it into a learning activity for my two year old, four year old, and six year old.





Another activity I loved on snow days when I was growing up, was having a movie day with popcorn. We had a movie afternoon with popcorn. The main activity I planned was relaxing and catching up on rest.

I was very thankful for the snow day yesterday and we are ready to tackle what the week may bring. Getting an extra day to rest over a weekend really is a great blessing! God knew our two kids who are in school needed an extra day to their weekend


If you find yourself needing ideas for a snow day, Pinterest  has a lot of ideas for kids of all ages. Or you could just use the day to rest like we did.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

I Think I Can

Our two year old, Liam, loves books. He loves to pick a book and climb into our laps so we can read it to him. This morning while his older brothers were in school he picked the book, 'The Little Engine That Could' by Watty Piper and had me read it to him.

This is a fairly popular children's book. If you haven't read or heard of it then here is a quick snippet of what it is about. The book is about a train carrying toys/treats for kids and the train stops working. The train needs to get over a mountain to deliver the toys/treats to kids. The toys on the train ask several trains that chug by if they can help out, but they get turned down. Finally a little train that has never been over the mountain says she can help out. The train is a little doubtful that she can do it, but she thinks the positive thought of, 'I think I can, I think I can, I think I can'. Of course she makes it over the mountain and everyone is happy.

What I love about this simple children's book is it teaches kids that they can do anything they set their mind to. It teaches them courage and faith to overcome the impossible. It teaches kids to be positive in their thinking, rather than negative. It teaches kids to stop and help someone in need. Most importantly, it teaches kids to never give up. Giving up is easy, but we need to make sure as adults we don't give up and set an example for kids keep going.

Children these days need to be reminded that they just need to have faith that they can do anything. Our boys are also learning to have faith in God who can also help them overcome what may seem impossible. I pray and hope they never give up and that they will always have faith.

I know The Little Engine That Could just a children's book, but it holds a lot of lessons. I love that there are positive children's books to uplift kids. Whenever I read books to our boys, I always try to find the deeper lessons that will not only help my kids, but even me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Breathe

I have been given inspiration for some new blog post ideas. One of those inspirations is writing about worship songs/positive songs. The song choice for today is a song call Breathe by Jonny Diaz. You can listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnjeMwxFuBA.

God knows how to put something on your heart when you need it. I woke up with this song on my mind and little did I know that I truly needed it today. God knew I needed this song today. Our morning got off to a really crazy start between vehicle issues, messes to clean up, everyone going a million miles per hour first thing, etc. I am sure many of you have had crazy mornings like ours where if one thing goes wrong, everything goes wrong. I am so thankful that God catches me when I am swamped by chaos and He will can catch you too.

Back to the song, I absolutely love this song.  This is the part I absolutely relate to:
"So much to do in so little time, it’s a crazy life
It’s ready, set, go it’s another wild day
When the stress is on the rise in my heart I feel you say just
Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe"

There is only so much a mom, dad, anyone can do in 24 hours and every morning it seems like all that I have to do hits me right when I wake up. I am reminded through this song to let God take everything and He will give me the energy and peace to get done what needs done. I just need to take a deep breath, breathe, and rest at the feet of God. When I am tired, I am so glad that God gives me rest when I need it during my day. He knows as a mom of four boys that I need my rest. I use my rest time to reenergize so I can continue with my day. Even if I don't nap I will read what God wants me to read in the Bible or I will color in one of my coloring books. After those simple and important things, I feel ready to tackle what the rest of my day holds.

What helps me to get through my tasks as a mom, wife, friend, etc. is knowing that God will take the chaos from my hands. I don't have to let the chaos consume me. Knowing that, gives me the peace I need to walk this life and journey that God has given me. If you are consumed with the chaos that life has, go to God and find rest in Him. Ask Him to give you peace over everything in your life and He will give you peace. Just remember to breathe. Here are some verses that I turn to as well.





Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Kindergarten Apology

I am a firm believer in apologizing when you make a mistake. I grew up that apologizing was always the right thing to do. I was taught that not only is it the right to do, it is also the polite thing to do. I believe apologizing allows you to reconcile a problem/relationship that needs to be fixed. I also believe apologizing is a way of owning up to a mistake that you made or a problem you created. I feel apologizing is a way to help you (if you are the one doing the apologizing) feel as if a burden can be lifted.

With all that said, you can bet that my husband and I are raising our children to apologize when they make a mistake, mess up, or hurt someone. We have our kids apologize to each other here at home when they do something to hurt each other. We have our kids apologize to our friends and family when they hurt them.We believe having children apologize at a young age will help them take responsibility for their actions as they grow into teenagers and into adults. Our six year old made a mistake this past week at school. He is a pretty good kid, however this past week he yelled in defiance at his teacher when his teacher asked him to stop a behavior that was not compliant with classroom rules. When Logan got home from school and I read what he had done, I asked Logan if he apologized to his teacher at all before leaving school that day. He said he did not. Since Logan is only in Kindergarten and they do not have much homework, I had Logan's homework be that he write an apology letter to his teacher.

If you are a parent, I am not sure if you would have your child do the same.  If you are a teacher, I am not sure if a kindergarten apology would mean much to you especially, since young kids at this age are still growing/aren't perfect/testing boundaries. Having Logan write an apology letter made me feel better. I believe it helped Logan acknowledge that his behavior toward his teacher was wrong and that he does not treat his teacher or future teachers the way he did. Logan's teacher was very appreciative of the apology note. Knowing Logan's teacher was appreciative of the note means a lot to me, because it was confirmation that I, as a mom, made the right choice for Logan to apologize. Logan even said he apologized as he handed the note to his teacher.

I know Logan is only six and he will probably make many more mistakes in a classroom. If he learned anything from this week, I hope he learned that he needs to apologize when he hurts someone. I hope he learned that he needs to take responsibility for his actions. I hope he learned how important it is to respect those in authority and those he is around everyday.

I also hope that Logan's teacher forgave him. An important part of apologizing is also knowing that you are forgiven. As adults it is easy to not forgive someone when they've hurt us because we would rather hold a grudge. I have held grudges before and holding grudges only makes things worse. I hope Logan knows that his teacher forgave him, that my husband and I forgave him, and I hope he forgave himself.

In doing some study on biblical apologies, these are the verses I came across that relate to what my husband and I are teaching our kids. The Bible teaches us to apologize and forgive. These verses are were taught to us when it came to apologizing and forgiving and we will be teaching the same to our kids. I am not sure on the beliefs of my readers, I hope these help you as well when it comes to apologizing/forgiving.









Friday, January 20, 2017

A Lesson on Faith From God

I know the title of my blog is Faith Hope Love. You would think with a title like that, that I would have a lot of faith, hope, and love. Over the past year, having faith and even hope has been hard. Life events (see this blog post http://junewife627.blogspot.com/2016/01/life-to-full.html) have made me question my faith, has made me question my God. I may have failed at faith and hope recently, but I have been doing my best to love with all I have because the life events (good and bad) that have happened has helped me to see that I need to love others always.

As a Christian, expressing my weaknesses is a testament my strength as well. It takes strength to admit that you have weaknesses. My weakness lately has been my lack of faith. I am not proud of my lack of faith. Where this has been my weakness lately, I've definitely been feeling a distance from God. I am writing to say that this has been my weakness, especially when hard times come.


As I wrote in my last post (http://junewife627.blogspot.com/2017/01/our-5th-pregnancy-journey-so-far.html), God worked a miracle in our life. I believe that God worked that miracle to give myself, and even my family, hope and faith again. I feel like God wanted me to learn a lesson about faith and learn that He is still faithful, even when it is hard to see. In the past two months, my faith is stronger again. My hope is stronger again. I'm seeing God in a whole new way that I haven't before.



I don't know if you have ever lacked faith, gotten mad at God, or even questioned him. All three I have done this past year. God can handle it. He is God, he is bigger than what we can even imagine. The best thing about him handling our lack of faith, anger at him, and questioning is that he forgives us. I am so thankful that he forgives us when we lose faith, get mad at him, and question him.

I am so thankful God has forgiven me for my lack of faith and hope recently. I am thankful that these experiences, good and bad, are drawing me closer to God. All I want to be is close to God. I could feel myself drifting away from God and there was a period in the past year where my heart just felt empty. Now, my heart feels full again. I know there will still be times ahead that aren't easy. I know there will be life events that will make me want to lose faith and hope. I am going to use this blog post to look back on when more bad times come as a reminder to lean on God and not grow apart from God.





God has used my pregnancy to teach me some lessons and he is continuing to use my pregnancy to teach me some lessons. I am sure many of you can relate to having a life experience in which God taught you some valuable lessons (if you feel comfortable, I would love for you to share what they are with me via a private message on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/faithhopelove627).


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Our 5th Pregnancy Journey (So Far)

In the middle of October I took a pregnancy and it was positive. It was a little bit of a surprise, but a welcomed one. Each baby and child is a blessing from God. The morning sickness hit right away. I was in the hospital for a few days at the end of October with a UTI, dehydration from morning sickness, and a slight flare of my Crohns Disease because of the UTI and dehydration. I was given Zofran and Phenergan for the nausea and it definitely seemed to help for a little bit.

At the beginning of November, we were excitedly counting down to our first ultrasound on November 17th. November 17th came and we invited my sweet mother in law to go with us. This is the first time with any of our pregnancies that we have one of our moms/grandmothers close by to share in the excitement so we thought it would be an awesome experience for her to be apart of.

Little did we know that we would be given news that would upset us all. At the appointment, we were told I likely had a blighted ovum and the nurse practitioner wanted me to come back the next Tuesday for a repeat ultrasound just to be sure before scheduling anything. , The day of our first ultrasound the nurse practitioner looked and looked for a baby, but it was clear that the gestational sac was empty. We left that appointment heart broken. I had a rough weekend after that appointment, because I was experiencing pregnancy symptoms. For any one that has had an early miscarriage, you know the heartache I was feeling. Family and friends prayed for us, some prayers were for healing through this while others were for a miracle. My husband and I prayed for a miracle all while keeping in mind that there may not be a baby at the next ultrasound.

Fast forward to the day of our follow up ultrasound. I dreaded the appointment because unless God worked a miracle things probably would be the same as the first appointment. Over that weekend, like I said, I prayed and hoped God would work a miracle. At the same time, I also accepted the answer from a few days before of 'there is no baby'.

I had a friend of mine accompany me to this appointment because Rob (my amazing husband) had to work. My friend is definitely a witness to this next part. As soon as the ultrasound tech put the wand on my stomach, there immediately was a baby in what we thought was an empty gestational sac. The heartbeat was 167 and my due date is June 17th (right around where I thought it would be originally). 



Those five to six days were an emotional rollercoaster for us. We praised God and are still praising God for how great and wonderful He is. Only God could have worked a miracle. Only God could have put a baby in what was an empty womb.

I believe in miracles and I believe God worked a miracle! God is amazing! The power of prayer is also amazing!



Fast forward to today. I had a routine appointment at the end of December where they did the Panorama test and we found out the gender of our 5th addition. After four boys, we are having a GIRL! Not only did God work a miracle with our baby girl, but He is blessing us with a baby girl. My husband and I have four boys and my husband is one of three boys so we were sure that his family could not make girls. We are all surprised and excited! We go for my anatomy scan on Monday and we are excited to see my baby girl.


I still have some morning sickness here and there, but has gotten better! Our baby girl is very picky with what I eat, more so than any of the boys were. Aside from the morning sickness, I'm feeling great and I am beginning to feel her move and kick every day. As June approaches, we are very excited to meet Leliana Rose!