Our youngest son is allergic to dog dander. When he was born, he struggled with Trachea Malaysia so we never supected it for a few years. He always seemed to be catching colds that none of the family would get and because of his Trachea Malaysia we just assumed it was because of that all together. We were wrong and he was suffering without us understanding that he had an allergy to dog dander.
When someone has allergies to dog dander they experience swelling, redness, and itching around the eyes and nose. They develope a cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing.
Allergic to Dog Dander? A Natural Remedy to Keeping Your Pets
While our son was struggling with these symptoms of being allergic to dog dander, we were thinking things like our air vents needing to be clean or air conditioning was causing it. It took us some time to look at our beloved pet of thirteen years and point the finger to our son's best friend.
It was true, though. Our dog was causing our little boy to feel horrible but they were always together.
Time after time, our son would be feeling horrible and there was Shadow, by his side to comfort him and our little guy was always happiest to have his pal near him. Yet, it his symptoms would get worse and it was his best friend causing it all along.
We were loss to what we were going to do. Our son was devastated when we talked about one day Shadow wouldn't be with us because he was getting older and showing it. Our son would cry horribly and we started to look for a natural remedy to our family situation.
Then one day, I had the opportunity to review the Venta, a air purifier and humidifier all in one.
The Venta changed my son's life.
Within a few hours of it working in our home, we noticed that his symptoms improved. First his red, swollen eyes began to look better. His wheezing and coughing was improving as well.
We were quietly praying that this would be our solution and we could keep our dog until his life came to an end naturally.
Next thing we knew, our son was looking and sounding amazing! He was all over the dog more than ever and NOTHING was happening to him.
Little by little, we were growing relaxed with the Venta and allowing a few days to go without replacing the water. I would look at our son and see the redness, swollen eyes coming back and hearing some wheezing in his chest or even a couch. Immediately the Venta would get filled and it all disappeared.
Before I realized it, our son was connecting how he much better he felt with the Venta running continually. If he coughed, he would say “Mommy, the Venta needs to be filled.” He became our reminder on his own.
After our sweet Shadow passed away, our son was lost without a dog. He desperately missed his best friend and requested a new dog daily. Our hearts finally gave in and we purchased two Miniture Australian Shephards!
These three are always together and thanks to the natural remedy of the Venta, we don't have to worry about the allergy of dog dander at home.
This past Thanksgiving, we traveled to visit family. While our family celebrated, I was keeping an eye on our son because in addition to our two dogs, there was another 4 dogs that he just couldn't leave along and we didn't have our Venta with us.
It hurts my heart to see the joy of my son diminish when his allergy of dog dander hits me and we are 400 miles away from the natural remedy that we all have appreciated so much. Befor we returned home, our son was struggling horribly. His cough was out of control and his eyes looked horrible.
The first thing we did when we entered our home was filled up our Venta.
This summer when we packed up our vehicle to head back to visit family, our son grabbed his two best friends and ran for the truck yelling, “Don't forget the Venta!”
Life shouldn't require you to pick your health over your best friend. Thankfully, the Venta has given our family the freedom to have both – health and our best friends!
The Venta does more than just clean your air of pet dander. Venta says it best when they say:
“You don't know how bad your air is until you know how good it can be.”
We are a very patriotic family and I thought it would be fun to pull together some of the best patriotic activities for the family to do together. These would be perfect for Memorial Day, July 4th and Veteran's Day. Don't forget about Flag Day, and Patriot Day!
Patriotic Activities for the Family
There is nothing more patriotic to do than to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. This printable Pledge of Allegiance will help your children understand what it means while they work to memorize it.
Our family loves patriotic music. One of our favorite collection of songs is Wee Sing Book & CD. It has so many patriotic songs that kids will just love to learn how to sing about our country, flag and message.
I thought it would be fun to share some of the best tips around the web for families to do together. Patriotic holidays are days that family should be together enjoying one another and the freedoms that our past, present and future military sacrifice to uphold for all citizens.
Raising your children to have some wonderful family memories around these patriotic days are a wonderful way to raise children who are thankful for their country and their military.
Patriotic Kids Blowers Craft Idea is a fun way to get your children creating and having fun with the patriotic colors of red, white and blue.
Bald Eagle Craft is a great way to introduce your family to our national bird.
This Patriotic Cutting Practice printable is a great way to get your younger kids involved with the crafts as well.
Your toddlers may love this Patriotic Discovery Bottle.
Have fun competing to create the best American flag with this Red, White, and Blue Homemade Play Dough.
I love reading to my children. These are some great books to read around any patriotic day that will give them a heart for their country.
I love seeing patriotic decorations. I thought it would be fun for me to share some a few of my favorite ones that I want to do with my own family.
These are just adorable!
I could so pack these for our annual picnics at the local park.
Almost every year, we go to enjoy watching outdoor concerts and fireworks on July 4th. We take a cooler full of refreshing food, and I have been so inspired by some of my finds on Pinterest that I may just go over board this year.
You just have to love these ideas!
I have some many memories of sparklers, streamers and laughter leading up to the firework for the 4th of July. It is one of my favorite memories as a children that surrounds a holiday. My dad served in the military, as did all of his brothers and his father. Patriotic holidays were important in our family, and I have made it important in my own family, as well.
Glowsticks and Glow wands seem to be as popular today. I love that they help to keep your kids lit up when it grows dark.
Enjoy parades, concerts and fireworks, if they have them going on in your area.
My last recommendation is something that I hope you will do all year long with your family. If you come across a veteran (they often wear hats to share their service) or a solider in uniform, take a moment and thank them for their service to our country.
The recognition isn't something that they expect but when you do it, it brings pure joy to their eyes like you wouldn't expect to see. The one act of kindness can impact a veteran or current soliders life in a way that you don't even understand.
Raising siblings to love each other is very possible. It isn’t without its challenges but I promise you it is worth the effort. I remember the struggle when my older children were younger, and the normal sibling rivalry started. It wasn’t the way I wanted my children to grow up, so I decided right then that I was going to work to create an atmosphere where sibling love was part of the dynamics of our home.
Raising Siblings To Love Each Other
I grew up in a home where I was the youngest by 5 years, until my baby sister was born when I was 12.
Our family was normal by family standards. You know sibling fights, one sibling stealing your holiday candy, another one using you as a punching bag, and so on.
My husband’s growing up years had similar stories of sibling rivalry and strive.
I was determined that our family would be different.
I wanted my children to be siblings that loved each other, and it be obvious to others!
I had a bag of tricks that I worked into our day to nip bickering in the bud. They really worked well for the two children that were closest in age.
However, I had work to do when I had siblings with several years separating them, but to this day, it is easier to put the effort in early and seeing fruits of my labor than the number of challenges that we face.
I can say that our children love each other. In fact, they are true friends, even when the largest gap is 15 years.
As a parent, it is the sweetest feeling to witness a true friendship with your children and probably one of the most life giving efforts, aside from building their faith.
Raising Siblings to Love Each Other Tips
I would love to share with you some of things we did, and some resources that will help you raise siblings to love each other.
Be Intentional About Your Children’s Relationships
I knew that I didn’t want my children to deal with the sibling rivalry that most homes experience. I wanted my children to be each other’s best friends. I daily told them that they were created to be best friends, and they knew that I meant it.
We prioritized our life to demonstrate this belief by providing our children with more time together, than with other children.
They had friends, and enjoyed the times we spent with others, but on a daily basis, I wanted them to consider the friends that were sharing the same house.
Don’t Allow Bad Behavior Between Them
Growing up, I was a pushing bag for a sibling. It was all fun and games for that sibling, but not so much for me. My husband had a similar experience growing up. He even told me that at one time he grew to hate this brother. As he grew that feeling has changed, but they aren’t really close.
We were adamant about not allowing our children to hit each other, call each other names, or to be unkind in the ways siblings have done. If they did these things, they knew they had consequences.
Of course, there were times that it seemed that I was constantly correcting our children for the things that every other home seemed to allow and say was normal. It wasn’t easy, but today, I see the fruit of those hard days. If you are diligent in your training, you will too and will experience the joy that I know now.
It hurts me to see parents allowing their children to harm each other in words or in action. They are creating bullies in their own home in a way that they would never permit other children outside their home to do to their children.
Foster Love When It Isn’t Present
There are so many opportunities in a day of a family, especially a homeschool family, where love isn’t present. Having to share toys, do the same things instead of your idea, share a room or even a house when you are in a bad mood or just wanting some alone time.
We had a few things built into our day that would foster love when it wasn’t present and even help our children understand what it really looks like to love another person.
These things were in form of action.
If they were mean with their mouth or body, the two children involved would have to hug each other until love was obvious. Some times this lasted two minutes, and others times it lasted 30 minutes. It worked!
I created an hour a day in the afternoon where all of my children had to do something with each other. We called it sibling time. My children still do this today, but with the adults, they don’t do as often but it is still a priority.
My children have learned how important it is to spend time together and to grow a relationship.
I know that this has not only helped them in other relationships, but will aid them in their marriages, as well.
Resources for Raising Siblings to Love Each Other
My good friend, Kimberly Sorgius from Not Consumed, has a heart for sibling relationships. She has a resource that will be a great way to study about sibling relationship called My Brother’s Keeper.
My Brother’s Keeper comes in YOUTH and in JUNIOR, so you can use it for multiple ages.
Cruising with kids can be one of your best vacations. At least that has been our experience, and I would love to share with you just how we took advantaged of a wonderful opportunity with our family.
Cruising With Kids
Most people think Disney when they think about cruising with kids, but our family went on Royal Caribbean Allure of the Sea and had the time of our life.
In fact, while snorkeling, we talked with a family on a Disney cruise, and we were comparing things to do on each of the ships. The family on the Disney cruise were really disappointed, and we were thrilled with our choice. I share some tips in my cruise guide that may help when planning a cruise.
Royal Caribbean are affiliated with Dreamworks, so they have character opportunities just like Disney but so many things to do while cruising that out ways the options on the most popular Disney cruises.
Once you choose the ship that fits your family best, these additional tips will help you make your vacation filled with memories and absolutely wonderful.
Pack Toys for Kids
Pack a child’s bag of toys that can be used in the kiddie pool, sand and in dry play. Your kids can use them the entire vacation, but in different ways.
Be sure to pack a watering can that they can play with, but you can also use to do their bathing with, since there is no bathtub in the cabins.
Unless your child is use to showers, this can be difficult to get them clean. Using a child friendly watering can will help in so many ways that you will want to be sure to pack it!
Plan On Using the Buffets
When our family when on our cruise, we planned on eating formally twice during that week, and enjoying the formal dinning room each night.
That quickly changed, when our dinner time was scheduled past our son’s normal bed time and dinner from start to finish took two hours.
It was the buffet for every meal from that one forward and we couldn’t have been happier, and neither were our children.
Pack Snacks for Kids
Yes, food is endless on a cruise, but unless you want to be walking the ship the entire day, I highly recommend that you bring some sandwich bags, and pack a snack for between meals or when you are at the pool side. Having their own cups would be really smart too, because little ones get thirsty often.
If you kids are picky eaters, and have a favorite snack I would recommend packing some of their favorites in your luggage, to help your child adjust to a different schedule by having familiar things at hand.
Pack Favorite Blanket for Kids
You will love to enjoy the pool side, entertainment or just sitting looking out over the ocean while your little one catches a nap, instead of in your small cabin. Taking their favorite blanket with you in a bag will help you to just enjoy the day without having to go back to your cabin and miss out on the fun.
I love to use essential oils whenever I can, so I love packing Counting Sleep, roll on oil for kids to help them relax and catch some rest when they need it most.
Plan As You Go
Excursions are expensive, and depending on the ages of your kids, you may find that they provide more stress than you really want on a vacation.
When we cruised with our children, we purchased each of us our own color coordinated snorkeling set, and snorkeling vest for a Christmas gift before we went on our cruise. This allowed us to just enjoy free beaches, or take a taxi to a nearby beach without the cost or stress of excursions.
Often times, we waited until we got to a port and asked the local people for the best snorkeling beaches for families. We were always given great advice and just went with the flow.
Put Away Your Regular Rules
Parents always have rules for their kids. Don’t eat this, go to bed at this time, limited sugar, etc. Unless there is a health reason why you need these rules, I encourage you to throw them overboard, and just take in the full experience.
There are so many opportunities on board, and off shore that you don’t want to miss. Your kids will fall asleep when they are tired. Trust me!
Stay up late, and eat the things you normally wouldn’t eat. That is what vacations are about!
There is always time to catch up from sleep and get back to regular routines when the vacation comes to an end.
Put Your Kids in the Kid’s Program
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it is so true! NOTE: I’m not speaking about the teen programs because we didn’t do these, but the free programs available for younger kids.
I was so nervous to even try to do this, but I also wanted to do something fun with my older kids, so I gave it a try.
I let them know that I was nervous, and that he had never done anything like this before and I wasn’t sure how he would do be separated from us with perfect strangers. They gave me a cell phone so if he needed me, I could be called and get to him right away.
My little guy loved it, and still talks about it a year later!
They have adventure times every day, several times a day, and you can take advantage of these anytime you want for free.
This time away for 2 hours allowed our son to really have age appropriate fun, while I was able to enjoy my older children, and even my husband.
Oh, and it also provided me with a lot of exercise since I went from one end of the ship to the other during his two hour visits.
Plan Cruising With Kids Right Away
Yes, cruises are expensive but if you watch for deals, you can get up to 30-60% off a person. When you consider that the cost includes room, board and entertainment it becomes one of the cheapest ways to travel with your children.
Consider making this a Christmas gift for your family (I don’t recommend going during Christmas because it is packed, and not so much fun) instead of adding more toys to their overflowing rooms. Ask grandparents, and other family members to give cash for gifts toward the cruise, verses giving gifts.
Raise the money together as a family, but doing a yard sale together.
Where there is a will, there is a way!
Don’t overpack for a cruise, especially when you are cruising with kids! Learn what is important to pack for your cruise, and enjoy it better.
Christmas spirit. We heard this term often, but do we really stop to consider what it looks like or feels like? I know that for most people, the Christmas season is spent with shopping lists, purchases, parties, wrapping and longing for the season to pass to get back to a normalcy to live.
Several years ago, our family took a step back and evaluated the Christmas season and what it looked like to our family. It was during that time that we replaced our tree with a manger. It seemed like a perfect solution for our young family to keep the reason of the season in front of us, as we made some transitions.
7 Ways to Spread the Christmas Spirit
I don’t know many people who don’t love Christmas. In fact, I know quite a few that get so excited about decorations, lights, baking, gift giving and more long before the weather even really changes.
As a Christian, I love to see people getting excited about the season that is related to the birth of our Savior, but many times He is forgotten in the celebrations.
It is a family focus of ours to do what we can do to help spread the Christmas spirit, you know the reason of the season, to those that are within our path to reach.
If you are like our family, and you desire to really make the most of this season to bring joy into other’s lives, you will love these family fun ideas to spread the Christmas spirit each holiday.
Give Baked Goods to Your Neighbors
As long as I can remember, making baked goods for others is a part of my history. When we bought our first home, I was eager to pass on this tradition with our own neighbors and share some of the goodness of the season with those that often times can be strangers.
It is simple to do.
Just purchase some heavy duty red plastic plates and plastic wrap, and added a few types of baked goods to each plate for the number of houses that you want to bless. Add a little note to each, and deliver it. There is no need for them to return any dishes!
Go Christmas Caroling
I remember Christmas caroling when I was a teenager. I loved it!
A few years ago, my family church went caroling in our neighbor. We delivered baked goods at the same time, along with an invite to join us for church.
We actually have good friends because of it!
I remember one family actually said, “I didn’t realize people actually do this!” Then they tipped up. We just added it to the church funds.
Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen
Our daughter cooks for the homeless once a month, and loves it. There are always opportunities to volunteer within your community. Seek out a church that does outreach opportunities and ask for referrals for places you, too, can serve.
Donate Toys, Food or Clothes to the Needy
Donating is a wonderful way to spread the Christmas spirit. There are a lot of ministries that do this thing, but if you know of someone personally, why not just purchase them somethings and drop it off on their porch in a box, without a note.
We did this before, and it was one of the best things we did as a family.
Visit an Elderly Person Your Family Knows
We are blessed to be in a church that has many older people in the congregation.
Our culture is so busy for them, and they love how much we enjoy to just sit and visit with them. Hearing stories of their childhood, and hardships are the highlight of our time together.
You may be surprised just how much spirit this one thing can give to you, and to them!
Invite Your Friends, Family and Neighbors to Church
I’m often convicted that I don’t enough to spread His joy to others. Christmas is the perfect time to invite others to church, because it is the one time of the year where Christ gets some thought. The season alone often softens the hardest of hearts.
Did you know that most people who don’t attend church would be open to attending but they often don’t know where to go, or feel welcomed?
You can make a big difference with an invite!
Acknowledge Those that Keep Christ in Christmas
Our family enjoys a Nativity Scavenger Hunt each year (I share the printable for free). A reader emailed me and told me that they have a tradition of acknowledging those who keep Christ in Christmas by displaying a manger, or nativity scene. She was sweet enough to let me share this idea with you.
I created a free printable for you to carry on this wonderful tradition with your own family! Get yours here: Christ In Christmas!
In the end, it is people who carry the Christmas spirit and it is our responsibility to demonstrate the love, joy and peace that makes this season so special.
The more we do for others, the more His light will shine during this season and the rest of the year.
Parenting is a hard job. Parenting as a couple can be even harder. Most days may be easy, but we all know that from time to time, a couples has a hard time seeing eye to eye and struggle to parent together without conflict. I know we have had these times in our parenting of our children. It doesn't really have to be as difficult as we make it, but it does take a little work.
5 Tips to End Parenting Arguments
Creating a children together is a beautiful thing. Anticipating your child to become a part of your family is exciting, as you discuss names and colors for the babies room. You both joyfully gather around your baby for the first time with wonder, while love just flowing freely from your heart.
It doesn't take long after you bring your bundle of joy home to realize that you both have some different ideas about how this parenting thing should look like in your home. If you haven't put a lot of time into discussing what parenting would look like and how you both would work together as a couple to reach the goals you set for your parenting, you may struggle to remember the love that was the reason for your larger family.
There are 5 main areas that parents seem to have conflict when raising children, so I will highlight those and offer some suggestions of how to you can find a way to build communication and structure you both can do happily together.
It is really important to discuss your disagreements in private, to work through where you disagree and work to find common ground to build off from and more importantly to be united in front of your children.
- Discipline – I'm sure this has been something that each couple has had to face together. I know we have had to many times. I remember the first time, our daughter was about 6 months old and we were training her to sleep in her own bed, in our new apartment. We both had different ideas to do this successfully and that stress only added to the training of our daughter. Thankfully, that only lasted for a few nights. Once we took a parenting class together, discussed our desires on how we were going to discipline, and discipline our children, were we able to make any progress. As our children went into different stages, we had to revisit this and work through our disagreements and find a common ground to build from. The more we agreed on this subject and were consistent in front of our children, presenting ourselves as a strong unit, we made more and more progress. It was easier for us to do this when we decided on consequences for actions for our children. I would highly recommend that each couple have this on paper, to refer to when they need to be reminded what they agreed upon and work to enforce together.
- Diet – This is a hard one for a lot of couples. Many moms work hard to keep their children's diet healthy and dad's seem to be more relaxed. Of course, the opposite can be said in some families as well, but because mom's are the main caregiver in most families, this seems to be more of the case. What we have found to help us when we disagreed, was to have science back up our concerns and then find healthier alternatives that would make everyone happy.
- Routines – Thankfully, this hasn't been that hard of one for our parenting, but there was a time that bedtime became a conflict for my husband and I when my older children were young. I was so tired at night and my husband loved to fool around with them just as they were getting into bed. It was our daily routine for all of us to pray together when we were tucking our kids into bed, and in fact, we still do it today, twenty years later. However, for a season in our life, this caused major conflict for us because I no longer had any patience at that time of day and I just desired silence. However, my husband just wanted to play with our children and hear their laughter before they went to sleep. Neither of us were wrong with what we wanted, but one of us had to compromise or continue to have conflict every night. I had decided that I would sit out of this routine and give it completely to my husband to enjoy with our children. About 3 or 4 months later, I realized how much joy I was missing out of and started joining in on my family's special time again and it has never stopped. However, some nights, my husband knows mommy needs less of the silliness and will keep it minimum for my benefit as well. You may have other routines that are really important to you or your spouse, so be sure to discuss them all.
- Responsibility – I have been surprised by some of the conflict that I have heard in other families about having the children help around the house, but that is probably because this has never been an issue in our home, really. We both believe our children should be helping around the house and the older the get, the more they should be responsible for around the house. However, this isn't the case in many homes. I would recommend that as a couple, you discuss this early, before your children are old enough for responsibilities and decide what chores your children can and will do in your home. If you aren't sure what chores your children can do at what age, you may find this free printable useful when you are discussing this as a couple.
- Privileges – In our culture of electronics and children do more and more activities, couples find it harder to agree on what kind of privileges their children should have and when, especially when they have close relationships with others whose children have a lot when they don't have a lot of responsibilities. Having a reward system in place based on the children's responsibilities and attitude around the home. Taking time to discuss this together as a couple, knowing what you expect for your children and how this will look for their privileges, giving them things to work and strive to accomplish, while removing conflict from your marriage.
If you found this post helpful, you may also benefit from 6 Steps to Successfully Break the Pacifier Habit…