Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Watching The Sun Rise

I love sunrises and sunsets. They are a few of God's many beautiful creations that I love. We live in an area where I can easily watch the sunrise. This morning, I stood outside on our big porch and watched the sunrise. It was the first time I was able to do so since moving here four months ago. I went out around 6:45 a.m. and I took pictures as the sun rose up over the hill. If you haven't ever watched the sunrise or the sunset then I suggest you find a time when you can do so. There is something so relaxing about watching the sunrise or sunset. Not only are you in the fresh air, but you are watching something so amazing!

Let my pictures do the talking:
I am just so in awe at how beautiful God makes the sky in the morning and in the evening. As I was watching the sunrise this morning, I looked for Bible verses about the sun. Psalm 113:3 came up. It says, "From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised." I praised God for the beautiful sunrise. He spoke to me that I need to take more time to reflect and praise Him. I don't do it as often as I should. Every year my resolution is to grow closer to God. I reflected on what He has been doing in my life and I praised Him for all of it (the good and the bad). Take time to reflect on your life (the good and the bad). Be thankful for everything in your life. A great way to reflect is by watching something so amazing like a sunrise or sunset, or even looking at the stars at night.
I hope you enjoyed the picures of the sunrise. I hope you were encouraged by it in the same way I was. Take a moment and be in awe of the sunrise or sunset. Let me know what you think in the comments. Have you ever watched the sunrise or sunset?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Sunbutter Sunflower Butter

*This post does contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Sunbutter sunflower butter. What comes to mind when you see that phrase? I bet some of you may be thinking it is a makeup product or trend. I am sorry to disappoint, it is not a makeup product or trend. It is actually a food product.

Sunbutter sunflower butter is made from sunflower seeds that are grown in the United States. It is an all natural product that is free from the top 8 allergies: peanuts, tree nuts, soy, dairy, eggs, wheat, fish, and crustacean shellfish. The reason we have added it to our list of products we love is because our daughter has a peanut and tree nut allergy.

Our daughter, Leliana, is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. We found this out on her 1st birthday in May of 2018. At her 1st birthday party we served peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It was the perfect kid friendly meal to serve to our friends and their kids. Leliana had her first PB&J sandwich at her party. About an hour later her body was covered in hives. We took her to our local urgent care where she was given a round of steroids and allergy medicine. They told us to be cautious and not to give her anything containing peanuts or tree nuts.
Right before Leliana broke out into hives.
In August of 2018 we saw an allergist. Leliana was given an allergy test. An allergy test consists of several shots in the back that contain a small amount of each allergen. Then you have to wait a certain period of time to see if there is a reaction. Leliana was a trooper with those shots! Sure enough Leliana reacted to peanuts and tree nuts. Thankfully, her allergy is not airbourne. We were given a prescription for two epi-pens (epinephrine autoinjector). So far, we haven't had to use either of the epi-pens.
How she felt about the allergy testing.
Back to the product, Sunbutter sunflower butter.  In October, I found Sunbutter sunflower butter at our local Kroger. I was so excited because everywhere else only had peanut alternatives, not peanut and tree nut alternatives. As soon as I got home, I had my daughter try it and she loved it. She still loves it! While her brothers eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, she eats sunflower butter and jelly sandwiches. I also have had sunflower butter. It tastes really good. It is sweet and more creamy than regular peanut butter. The texture is thinner than peanut butter, which I like because it isn't as heavy as peanut butter.

All of the types of sunflower butter. Picture courtesy of their Facebook page.
Sunbutter's Facebook page has several recipes that sunflower butter is used in. I have not tried any of them yet, but I definitely plan to. Below is a simple breakfast that I do with the sunflower butter for our daughter. It is toast with the sunflower butter spread on to it and a smiley face made from raisins. Leliana absolutely loves it! We also do the basic sunflower butter and jelly sandwich!
If you or someone you know has an allergy to the 8 common allergies then this product is for you! Share with anybody you know that has an allergy and is looking for something that is free from the 8 common allergies. Let me know in the comments if you plan to try this product. Do you have an allergy, if so comment and tell me more about it!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Go With The Flow

This last week I got side tracked and was not able to follow the blog topic schedule that I set for myself. I got busy with some family things (family comes first) and did not have a chance to sit and write until today. Part of why I got side tracked is because I had house work to catch up on from last weekend (I wouldn't trade the events that happened last weekend for anything). My husband took me out last weekend to celebrate Valentine's Day. Yes, we got a kid free date! It was wonderful and just what we needed. We went to The Cheesecake Factory and the mall that is in Louisville, KY.
Waiting for our table.
My delicious Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake
I decided not to worry if I can't blog every single day. I just have to go with the flow of life. Our week was certainly busy so I took a time out on my blog to focus on my family and our week. On Tuesday, our youngest son started pre-school. He transitioned out of our early intervention program here in Kentucky. Kids can transition to pre-school when they turn 3. Lucas turned 3 at the end of December. Lucas could not start until he had a dental exam, eye exam, and a physical. Lucas had his eye exam (the last thing we needed in order for him to start) on Monday so he was able to start school on Tuesday. He goes to school with our middle son, Liam. Their pre-school is four days a week all day. They both ride a big bus to their school which is 30 minutes away. We live in a big county in Kentucky, so that is why their school is further out. Lucas's first week of school went very well and we know he will continue to do well.
Lucas at his eye exam appointment.
Lucas on his first day of pre-school!
Now that Lucas has started school, that means I only have our baby girl at home during the day. Leliana is definitely enjoying being the only one at home with me. It has been several years since I have had only one kid at home during the school day. I definitely plan to do more toddler/mommy activities in our new area so that I can make some friends.
Thursday was Valentine's Day. I was busy with the kids this past week making their Valentine's Day card boxes as well as their treat bags. All four boys had a wonderful Valentine's Day in their classes at school. Of course, we have a lot of Valentine's Day candy now. The boxes we made were a robot, a Pokeball (from Pokemon), and two cars.
This weekend my family came to visit us. It was their first time seeing our new house. I love when I am able to see my grandparents. My grandparents raised me so they are more like my parents. My grandma's lung cancer recently came back and she started radiation last week. Time with her now is very precious. We believe God has a plan and a purpose for my grandma and her journey with cancer.
Going into this week, the days will be less busy and I can hopefully follow the schedule I set for myself. As I said, I will just go with the flow so I don't feel pressured to put a post out everyday. I hope  you enjoyed reading about our week. I am thankful for my readers and that you all understand that I get busy. I am a mom of 5 kids! I will give myself grace if something doesn't go as planned when it comes to my blog (and anything in life). I am also letting God lead this blog in the direction that He wants me to go with it. I hope my readers see that in the way I write and the topics I write about.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Positivity Notecards

As I said in a previous post of mine, I will be using Mondays as the day that I write about my faith or something inspirational. Today, I want to write about how we, as a family, try to keep a positive and God centered home. A few years ago, a friend told me to write Bible verses on notecards and put them in every room in our home.
The Bible I got for Christmas.
When we moved out of that house I took the verses down. In our past two homes I didn't put verses up on the wall. I so wish I had because in the first home that I did this with, we all felt peaceful and calm. At the beginning of this year I made a family goal for the New Year to keep the energy positive and peaceful. With a family of 7, things can get chaotic. We are not a perfect family by any means. We make mistakes. We also love each other no matter what. It is because we have God at the center of our chaotic moments and He is the center of our home. We are raising our kids to know that God comes first, above all else. I also made a personal commitment to study God's word more than ever before. I want to be the wife and mother that God created me to be. I know I have been slacking and it shows through our attitudes (especially mine). I think these notecards will help keep our family accountable to staying true to our goals and commitments.
Simple Dollar Tree index cards.
The Bible verses I have started to put up around our home remind us where we need to keep our focus as a family. If God is not first, everything crumbles around us. The verses also remind me to keep studying God's word and be a light, not just for my family, but for my community and those that read my blog. I pray that we can shift our energy in our home back to being peaceful and positive, and most of all loving. I know a peaceful and calm home brings out the best in all of us. As for my personal commitment to study God's word more, I want my kids to see that I turn to God for everything. I want them to see the passion I have for God's word and see that I believe it can change people. Most of all I want them to see my faith in God no matter what our circumstances are.
For those that don't believe the way I do, you can find positive quotes and write those down. There are many positive quotes out there. You can even write affirming words on notecards and put those around your home. Having positive quotes and affirming words around your house can change the mood and atmosphere in your home. Please understand that I am in no way pushing my beliefs on you. I am simply hoping to inspire you to keep the positivty in  your environment. In our world, we need more positivity and less negativity. We need more love from everyone.

If I want a better atmosphere in my home, it starts with my husband and I digging deep into God's word and being an example to our kids. I hope this post inspired and encouraged someone in the fact that you can make a difference in your home and community. You can start today. You don't have to invite negativty into your life. You can invite positivity and peacefulness. You can be a radiant light so others can see that negativity doesn't stand a chance in the world. There will be days that are hard, but the positive words from God's word will carry you through. God's love will carry you through.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Books for Valentine's Day

*This post does contain affiliate links. 

Valentine's Day is less than a week away! If you don't have a gift for your boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife the the clock is definitely ticking down. I have my gift for my husband and he also has his gift for me. We did not procrastinate this year in getting gifts for each other. Valentine's Day is special for my husband and I because it was when we had our first date 11 years ago.

If you are a parent who has to supply your kids with Valentine's cards/treat bags/boxes, the clock is also ticking down for you. We will have 4 kids in school this year for Valentine's Day so we will be working on their cards for their class card exchange this weekend as well as their 'mailboxes' for the cards and treat bags.

Not only is it a special day for my husband and I, but it is also a fun day for our kids. We like to do Valentine's related crafts (look for that post this weekend) and read Valentine's books. One reason why we do this is because Valentine's Day is such a special day for my husband and I. We want our kids to grow up knowing how special the day is for us.

Our kids love to read. I love to collect books for our kids that pertain to each holiday we celebrate. Of course, one of those holidays is Valentine's Day. There are so many books for kids that are related to Valentine's Day. We are lucky to have a few in our book collection. I have picked five books that we own to share with you. I hope, if you purchase the books, that your kids will enjoy them as well.

Here are five books that we like to read every year (links to purchase them are also included):

 Guess How Much I Love You
This book shares the love between a parent and a child and exactly how much love there is.
I Love You, Too
This book is so special because it displays the love between a mother and her child. It is one we enjoy snuggling up to.
 The Story Of Valentine's Day
I love how well this book gives a short history lesson on what Valentine's Day is.
 Where Do Kisses Come From?
This books explains very well for children to understand where kisses come from. There are many different animals portrayed in which they give kisses to their kids. Your child can learn names of animals while snuggling up and giving you kisses.
 There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Rose
Taken from the back cover: "You won't believe why this old lady swallowed a rose, some lace, some glitter, candy, a jewel, some hearts, and a card."
If you love the original book, 'There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly' then you will love this book for your kids.
Do any of these books sound interesting for you and your child? What are some of your favorite Valentine's Day traditions?

Stay tuned for a Valentine's Day craft post!