Monday, November 20, 2017

Christmas Traditions: Ornaments for Every Occasion From Etsy

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.  Thanks for helping me keep this blog going!

Every year on Christmas morning, my kids know that they will find a new ornament in their stockings.  Each of their ornaments mark a milestone they experienced in the past year or note something that they're currently interested in.  This year, Katie will be receiving a basketball ornament as she just started playing basketball, Nano will get a tractor ornament because he's really getting into farming with Hubby, and Anna and Davy will each get a first year of preschool ornament as they both started school this year (Anna is in 4/5 preschool and Davy is in 3/4.)

I have a lot of fun carefully picking out a special ornament every year for each of my children.  Someday, when they move out to their own place, they will already have a collection of ornaments for their Christmas tree.  I hope this is a tradition that they will someday pass on to their own children. 

Christmas Traditions: Ornaments for Every Occasion From Etsy

One of my favorite places to get ornaments is Etsy.  I love how unique every ornament is and how easy it is to find personalized ones.  A great bonus to shopping on Etsy is being able to help support fellow small business owners like me. 

Here are some of my favorite ornaments that I found on Etsy this year...

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Best Places for You to Shop Online

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.  Thanks for helping me keep this blog going!

It's that time of year again!

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

I'm about halfway down with mine and most of it was done on my laptop after the kids went to bed.  Online shopping for the win!

The Best Places for You to Shop Online

I actually do most of my shopping online, even household supplies using Amazon subscriptions.  With four kids and a chronic illness, it's been a lifesaver for me. 

Here are just a few things I love about online shopping...

Monday, November 13, 2017

30+ Books for Kids with Special Needs Siblings: The Ultimate List

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.  Thanks for helping me keep this blog going!

When my youngest son Davy was born, my three older kids were 6, 4 and 17 months old.  The next year or so was very hard on my whole family as Davy spent countless hours at doctors' appointment, was hospitalized five times and, and required one-on-one care during most of his waking hours.  The guilt of not being able to care for all my kids' needs was crushing and made even worse when people would "helpfully" point out that I had three older kids who needed me too.  I knew that having a medically complex, special needs sibling was hard on my kids and I didn't want them to resent him or feel left out.

When Davy was around six months old, I found a book about kids with G Tubes on Amazon and got it to read to the older kids.  It helped them see that their brother's button wasn't scary and other kids had them too.  That got me thinking of how helpful books could be for kids who have siblings with special needs.

30+ Books for Kids with Special Needs Siblings: The Ultimate List

Keep reading for a list of over 30 books for kids with special needs siblings.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

10 Things Guaranteed to Cure Whatever Ails You

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As someone with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, asthma, acid reflux disease, eczema, etc, I've heard it all.  On top of that, all four of my kids have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome as well, and three of them also have asthma and eczema.  My youngest son, Davy, had to have a feeding tube until he was 18 months old due to the severity of his issues.

10 Things Guaranteed to Cure Whatever Ails You

With all that, there's no shortage of unsolicited advice and cures.

"You only have your disease because you've 'claimed' it."

"You'd feel better if you would exercise more and eat better."

"Your *insert condition here* could be cured if you tried this supplement."

"Your EDS was caused by vaccinations."

Thanks to all the helpful advice I've received, I was able to put together a list of things that will cure any problem you have.  You're welcome.

Monday, November 6, 2017

When Terror Hits Too Close to Home

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Yesterday morning was like any other Sunday morning.  I fixed a hot dish in the crockpot for the fellowship dinner that takes place at church every week, picked out a suit and tie for Hubby, fixed the girls' hair, helped Nano with the top button on his shirt so he could put his tie on, got Davy dressed in corduroy pants and a button-up shirt, and made sure everyone had their Bibles before we left the house.

There are around 40 people in our little Baptist church on a normal Sunday, and we're all like one big family.  Hubby and I both grew up in this church.  Our parents and several of our siblings along with their families still attend as well so we have a lot of relatives in the church.  It's small and close-knit, and we love it.

When Terror Hits Too Close to Home

Like usual, 3 year old Davy struggled to sit quietly during church despite the crayons, matchbox cars, and mints I plied him with.  We sat in the back row on the right side of the church to minimize the distractions to others as they listened to the sermon.

When Terror Hits Too Close to Home
All 4 kiddos ready for church on Easter Sunday

As I sat on the padded pew, trying to pay attention to the sermon while simultaneously keeping an eye on my children to make sure they were sitting quietly, I had no idea that a tiny Baptist church in Texas, very similar in size and make-up to ours, was being terrorized by a man with a gun.  In just a few minutes over 25 people, including many children, were dead, and more were wounded.  The church was decimated, with over half of its congregation dead. 

When we got home from church later that afternoon, I sat down on my bed, exhausted from the day, and mindlessly scrolled down my Facebook feed.  An article shared by one of my friends about the attack on the Texas church stopped me dead in my tracks.  Every mass shooting that takes place feels personal, such as the school shooting in Newtown, but this one hit even closer to home.  I feel safe in my small town, but I'm realizing that there is nowhere that is safe from people bent on doing evil.  Even my tiny church where we spend time every Sunday and Wednesday is not safe. 

When Terror Hits Too Close to Home
Davy enjoying dessert at the fellowship dinner at church

I'm not sure why, but it's a scenario that has played itself out in my mind since I was a little girl.  What would I do if someone came into our church with a gun?  I only hoped that I would be able to dive under a pew with one of my younger siblings pinned beneath me for protection.  As a parent, I would do whatever it takes to protect my children, but the truth is that I can only do so much.  For the congregants at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland, there was no time to react and nowhere to hide.

So, will this change anything for my family?

Not really.  We'll still go to church every time the doors are open.  The kids will still go to school.  I'll still go the grocery store.  I'll still take the kids to the library and to their doctor appointments.  As the number of mass shootings has increased over the years, so has my vigilance.  I herd my kids out the door if something seems off at all, and I find myself watching the people around us and staying aware of my surroundings.   

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When terror hits too close to home: http://bit.ly/2j8sawd
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Philippians 1:21 says, "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain."

That is how I choose to live my life and how I am teaching my children to live as well.  We have to live each day for God and not worry about when and how death will find us because dying just means going Home to be with Jesus.     






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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Bodysuit Solutions for Special Needs Kids


This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.  I was also compensated for this post, but all opinions stated are mine. Thanks for helping me keep this blog going!

Davy wore an actual shirt instead of a onesie for the first time ever when he was 18 months old.  Before that, he only wore onesies to protect his G Tube on his tummy.  They kept his Mini One button covered and protected from pull-outs.

Bodysuit Solutions for Special Needs Kids

We had planned to leave the G Tube in until after the next cold and flu season as Davy generally regressed quite a bit with his oral eating when he got sick.  However, due to recurring infections, Davy's G Tube was removed earlier than planned.  Thankfully, he continued eating 100% by mouth and didn't regress too much during cold and flu season, as we had feared he might.