Health & Wellness
  • Children's Book Recommendations

    A friend and I were texting the other day about children's books as she is expecting her first grandchild soon. I was excited to send her my recommended pregnancy books and told her when I had time I would send her our favorite children's books too. When I was taking pictures today, I thought I should write a blog about them and share them with all of you too! 

    I've made it a point to buy Aila and Avie books that are focused on character-building and learning about Jesus and His truths. I've even went as far as to pass along or donate most of our books that didn't really go along with that focus. So many kids books don't seem to have much point other than to tell a random story about princess or an animal on an adventure, for example. If it is extra educational (involving math, learning letters/grammar or facts about science, history, etc), promotes building character (kindness, patience, or emotional intelligence), or if it speaks truth about the Godhead, then it stays. Pretty much anything else gets passed along. 

    So here are thirteen of our favorite books in our house: 

    1. It Will Be Okay, by Lysa TerKeurst

    The first time I read this book to our girls I lost it--full blown crying and my girls were turning and looking at me like I was...well, their momma (because this happens quite frequently when you fill your house with books about Jesus). It's just really good-- it's about trusting God to take care of us, even when life gets scary.

    2. Does God Know How To Tie Shoes, by Nancy White Carlstrom

    This books is a little different in that I think of it as very abstract, or maybe imaginative? But I love that it incorporates scripture in conversational form as we do with our kids every day.

     Here's a sample:

    3. Next up, Just In Case You Ever Wonder, by Max Lucado

    This one I cried the first time reading too-- it is heart wrenching in a "I just want my girls to know about God more than anything else in the world and know I love them and am here for them no matter what" kind of way! We love this one. 

    See what I mean? 

    4. In My Heart, by Jo Witek

    This one is focused on teaching kids about their feelings. It doesn't mention God in it, but I think it's a great tool for increasing emotional intelligence. 

    5. I Talk To God About How I Feel, by Stormie Omartian

    This one takes emotional intelligence to the next level by inviting the Lord into those turbulent emotions. The pages of this book take kids through lonliness, fear, worry, anger and hurt. It teaches how to tell God about those emotions and tells of what God does and says in response. 

    6. Psalm 23, by Richard Jesse Watson

    This one is nothing but Psalm 23. I love that the girls can learn scripture and have a mental image to help with that memorization process. 

    7. Have You Filled A Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud

    This book shines in the concept and is a little lacking on the design and wording. I think it rambles a little and could be shortened by about half, but the idea that everyone carries an invisible bucket and it's up to us whether we fill each other up or tear them down is great. It dives into bullying and how people who "dip" into other people's buckets in an attempt to fill their own end up sad and empty. I would be so happy if Aila and Avie got this concept into their hearts forever and they strive to always be "bucket fillers".

    8. The Tale of Three Trees, retold by Angela Elwell Hunt

    Oh, this is a sweet story of dreams, patience, sacrifice and perspective. This one may make you tear up too, if you're anything like me. 

    9. Win Or Lose I Love You, by Lysa TerKeurst

    10. Thank You, God, For Everything, by August Gold

    This one truly is golden for walking alongside 'Daisy' through her journey of learning all she can be thankful for to God. Young and old will benefit from reading this book of gratitude.

    11. If Jesus Lived Inside My Heart, by Jill Roman Lord

    This sweet hardback book has been perfect for beginner babies learning about God. It's short, rhymes, and talks all about what it looks like if Jesus has set up residence in our hearts. 

    12. What Happens When I Talk To God? by Stormie Omartian

    This book is all about prayer! It is a little long (as I have found all my children's books are by Stormie Omartian), but it covers so many aspects of prayer--where and when you can pray, if you have to speak out loud, what to say and more. Let's teach our kids to pray when they're young so when they are older their prayers will be natural, confident and unashamed of talking to God in private or in public!

    13. His Little Princess, by Sheri Rose Shepherd

    Lastly, this book is one of favorties and we've started giving it as a gift along with one of these glittery, stretchy crowns at birthday parties. It is for little girls and speaks of their true value and identity as a daughter of the Most High King. I believe little girls would grow up to be less insecure, less shame-filled and more dependent upon the Lord if they confidently knew of their true identity. It is written for God's real princesses and is not a fiction, fairy tale book--genius. 

    Just look at this sample: 

    Well, those are some of our favorites! I didn't include any of our children's Bibles because there are so many out there. If you have any character-building and/or God-filled books you and your little ones love, please share them in the comments!

    Happy and healthy reading, 


  • What I've been doing

    It just so happened that family wanted to babysit Aila this morning and I suddenly received the gift of a free morning! Yessss. I decided it was time to update my blog and let you all know just what all has been going on in my world over the last several months. The laundry, dishes and cleaning can wait. 

    Within a few days of our fifth wedding anniversary, Ryan, Aila and I moved into a new home! 

    We saw the heartbeat of the newest member of the Buttrey family.

    We found a new gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate chip cookie recipe that is DELICIOUS. 

    We didn't waste any time on ripping out the upper cabinents in our new kitchen and installing open shelving, beadboard and a much needed {huge} island. 

    Aila fell asleep in my arms for the first time in about nine months--it was glorious.

    It didn't last long, but she sure is a happy girl. 

    I learned how to cut watermelon in a new, fun way. 

    I have missed our clothesline at our previous house so much I decided to hang Aila's diapers on the string of lights on our back porch--our poor neighbors. Since this picture, I invested in a fold away laundry rack from Costco that I LOVE. 

    I revamped my mom's turkey casserole recipe to make it gluten-free and dairy-free! AMAZING!

    Aila and I have snuggled.

    We've hiked.

    And we've let Papa take pictures of us after we found out we are going to have ANOTHER little girl in our family. She hopefully will make her appearance this coming December--the perfect Christmas gift!

    Hopefully you enjoyed this very short recap of my last few months. It's been different. The Lord has led me through the stress of moving and a very different first trimester with this second baby. It has been much more of an emotional roller coaster than I experienced with Aila's pregnancy. I have had moments of peace and joy and other moments {more like days} of depression and unlogical hopelessness. Since I've moved into the second trimester, it has evened out a little and I feel more like myself--thank you, God. 

    My doctor also suspected, ran blood tests for and diagnosed me with Lyme disease last month. That has been a roller coaster in itself--one that I will have to expound on another day. 

    It really has been a busy, stressful, intermittently joyous and painful last few months. I am so thankful Ryan, family, friends, Aila and my sweet Lord has been supporting me and walking beside me through it all!

  • Can One Make a Difference?

    My husband and I sold our house and are in the process of packing. I love packing and really anything that has to do with organizing. The thought of finding a home for all of our stuff in our new house is crazy exciting--now if I could just convince someone with great style to come decorate it for us! 

    While sorting through books to box up or give away, I came across this book someone gave me years ago when I was first starting to claw my way out of my chains of insecurity. On the second page, I read this:

    "How many people does it take to make a difference?    ONE.

    One song can spark a moment
    One flower can wake the dream
    One tree can start a forest
    One bird can herald spring
    One smile begins a friendship
    One handclasp lifts a soul
    One star can guide a ship at sea
    One word can frame the goal
    One vote can change a nation
    One sunbeam lights a room
    One candle wipes out darkness
    One laugh will conquer gloom
    One step must start each journey
    One word must start a prayer
    One hope will raise our spirits
    One touch can show you care
    One voice can speak with wisdom
    One heart can know what's true
    One life can make a difference
    That difference starts with you."

    Isn't that beautiful? I love the variety of hope in each line. It's encouraging to know I can make a difference, even if it doesn't seem like a big difference in the grand scheme of things. God thinks it is a big deal when I act out of love or obedience to Him, no matter how small the act. I serve a God who sees me, who percieves every deed, hears every word, knows every thought and He is rooting for me to succeed and change the world, even one smile at a time.  

    My life goal is to know Him more every day and to live out of the result. 

    "...the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits." Daniel 11:32

    I love the idea that I am carrying out great exploits for God, even in the smallest of ways in my everyday life. Every word matters to Him. Every thought, every action, every detail--He cares deeply about it all. I want to acknowledge His love for detail and His love for me and invite Him in to my everyday life so He can make every word and action count. 

    I don't believe in myself, because myself alone is a crazy, jumbled mess, but I believe in the God who is inside of me. Without His grace coming through me, I am judgemental. Without His patience, I am hurried and irritated. Without His peace, I am uncertain and worried. Do you see the me without Him? Without Him in me, I am all things yucky. He is everything good in me. 

    "Every good and perfect gift is from above..." James 1:17

    So God, with You in me, I can make a difference. And with Him in you, you can make a difference too!

  • A Face & Body Moisturizer We Love

    Recently I whipped up a few jars of moisturizer that we three Buttreys use on a regular basis. It's safe, natural and best of all, effective! It has three ingredients, only costs about $3.50 a batch, takes less than ten minutes to make and lasts for a long time! 

    Looking for an inexpensive gift idea? I purchased these cute jars and simply wrote on a tag the ingredients and preparation instructions, just in case the friend I was gifting it to wanted to make more herself. I then tied the tag around the neck of the jar with a pretty ribbon and voilà!

    What prompted me to look for a homemade moisturizer recipe? Read why here and make some for you and your family!