Friday, May 13, 2016

Food Allergy Awareness Week

I know I've been MIA lately... 
Honestly, I have a separate private blog for friends and family 
that isn't censored on personal information like this one is (for the most part)... 
so I spend most of my blogging time over there!

BUT, I wanted to share a few things today!

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that 
Eloise has severe food allergies to eggs and peanuts.  
I am continually surprised by how much people don't know about 
food allergies, but then... I was once that person also, 
so I'm not sure why I'm so surprised!  
My life has become totally engulfed in avoiding El's allergens
 that it's just second nature to me.  Though even at home, where we 
live in a nut-free environment, any little hive or sneeze makes me
 jump into action to make sure she didn't accidentally come
 into contact with something she is allergic to.

Normally I am not all about assigning special "weeks" or "months" for things.  
But, of course, this one is near and dear to my heart... 
so I can understand why some people are passionate about 
other specially designated days, etc.

Here is a little graphic I made with some information...

(Someone lost their first tooth!)
Did you know that 1 in 13 children now has a life threatening food allergy?  
That's roughly 2 in every classroom!  (Thankfully we homeschool - last day 
of KINDERGARTEN!!  Hooray!).  I took El to a library program this 
spring and in just the small group of children and adults that attended there 
was peanut and egg allergy (Eloise), a boy with red dye sensitivity and 
shellfish allergy, a little girl with wheat allergy, a little girl with gluten allergy, 
2 adults with several food allergies and a librarian who learned she was all 
of a sudden allergic to peanuts and milk in her early 60's!  
(Food allergies can develop at ANY time in your life!)  
That's a lot for just a small little town and a small little library!  
It's more common than people realize.  Research shows that 
allergies DOUBLED between 1997-2007.  Of course, I can speculate on 
reasons why... but I am no medical or scientific professional, so I won't 
get into all of that!  

As a mother who deals with the anxiety of food allergies every time we 
step foot out of our own home (and sometimes while in it), I would urge you 
to think a little bit about those around you when you're out and about.  
Don't touch people's babies or offer them food without checking with 
a parent first (not saying any of you do!) and if you're hosting a party 
or get-together for children, maybe inquire if there are any allergies to be aware of.  
Trust me, it will be appreciated by the parents!!  At Halloween time, 
maybe look into the Teal Pumpkin Project.  You put a teal pumpkin 
out on your porch so Food Allergy kids know that they can get safe 
(non-food) treats at your house!  (But please, don't mix them in a 
bowl with food items as even the outside of wrappers can be contaminated 
just from being in a factory with allergens).

Also consider things like bird seed that usually contain or are manufactured
around peanuts and tree nuts.  Garden/Potting soil often has peanut shells
as a filler.  And also know that company's are required by law to list
any allergens that their food products may contain, but they are NOT
required to disclose if the items are made in a nut free facility or even
manufactured on the same production lines as allergens.
If you are trying to get information just from a label, it most
likely is not complete information.  The allergy community often are
making phone calls and sending inquiry emails as to the safety of food items.
I recently learned that there are lighter fluids that many contain peanut oil
due to the fact that they use "recycled oils" from restaurants and
can't guarantee that peanut oil or other allergens weren't in the mix.
Never would've thought of that one, would ya?
Me either.

In other words, Food Allergies are not so cut and dry!!
 Taking time to educate yourself, even a little means so much!!

This summer, Eloise plans to trying to raise enough money to buy 
some Food Allergy Awareness Children's Books to donate to our local library!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Friday, March 11, 2016

Homeschool Outing!

Today was Eloise's first official homeschool outing!  
I think I may have been a tad bit more excited about it than she was...
We traveled to a local State Park to visit the Sugar Shack
where they tap and make maple syrup!
Eloise got the chance to help drill the hole and also clear the 
sawdust out of the hole.  And at the end... got a sweet taste!
Here are pictures from the day!

El and I decided that we definitely want to try to 
make our own Maple Sugar Candy!

Friday, February 26, 2016

15 Months!

This ones a rascal!
But she's a sweet rascal!

Happy 15 Months Audra!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Roasted Seeds!

Our girls LOVE spaghetti squash
roasted in the oven! 
Last year when we did our first little garden, 
we grew our own... and that was a BIG hit.
I don't know why I didn't think of it before,
but last week I decided to roast the seeds and
see what the girls thought of them.

I used THIS recipe that involves soaking
and drying them to break down the phytic acid.
(Super Easy!)

I *may* have used a little too much oil...
but they definitely turned out delicious and
got rave reviews from my older two!


Friday, February 12, 2016

Pet Rocks!

Things are getting back to normal around here after the craziness of the 
past week with funeral arrangements, etc.  Though "normal" is the word I use, 
it still doesn't seem 100% normal.  I suppose that will come with time.  
I appreciate those who took time out to comment on my last post or 
message me with words of encouragement and prayer.  Thank you!  
It will not be easy for many days to come, but we have 
wonderful memories to last a lifetime.

Eloise has been continuing on in her first year of school.  
I have to admit, math is just the PITS for her.  But we push through.  
It honestly wouldn't be so bad if I didn't get so frustrated about it
 (my stress level has been HIGH!).  This week we worked on a unit about Pets.  
So, one of the activities was to make a Pet Rock.  
Just what we need... a pet rock!  (Or three!)  
But considering we don't currently have room for a real pet at this time, 
I thought it'd be a nice project and distraction from all that's gone 
on the past week.  The girls were excited!  And we got a little fancy with 
some left over fabric and notions from Halloween!

Now, we just have to keep them away from Audra so she doesn't rip them apart!  ;)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A Sad Day

Just a quick note to let those who have followed throughout the years 
know that my father in law passed away in the wee hours this morning.  
Prayers in the days to come would be appreciated!