Happy Easter 2017!

You know you're a mom when....

your phone gallery looks like THIS:

Can you see how he entertained himself at the doctors today?

Egg Coloring!

Easter is almost here! We love to dye our eggs, it's one of the kids favorite things to do. We used a whisking tool to make it easier for Grayson to do the coloring without breaking the egg.  I found this trick on either Facebook or Pinterest and it worked like a charm, but in the end he just ended up dipping it after awhile. Here are some cute pictures of them having fun!

Part our tradition is coloring eggs, doing egg hunts, and other related activities. They even had story time the other day with live bunnies.

Back To The Roots mushroom mini farm

The kiddos are LOVING this Back To The Roots mushroom mini farm that Paul picked up from Home Depot a week or so ago. This is our results as of 6 days, so we still have a few more days. It is amazing to watch it grow so quickly. We have it sitting on the counter near a back window so that it gets light.

The boys wake up every morning and check on the mushroom farm. I highly doubt they will actually eat them, but it is definitely cool to expose them to any aspects of gardening. They like to watch their food grow. Plus we love that they are all organic!

A little backyard photo shoot!

Look at these two cuties! I snapped a few pictures of them in the backyard, I haven't photographed them in awhile so we took advantage of a nice day. But, as they get older they definitely get tired of having their picture taken, ha.

Healthier pizza with StoneFire naan flatbreads

When you are wanting to eat healthy, eating the same foods over and over just gets old.  Plus you don't have to give up EVERYTHING, there are plenty of healthier spins on unhealthy foods that you can indulge in occasionally.

I used a whole Stonefire naan flatbread, topped it with basil paste, crushed garlic, fresh mozzarella, and tomatoes. It was so good, and definitely not greasy. To make it really healthy, you can also add veggies (I forgot to, but ate a salad with it).

For me, pizza makes me really sick due to the ingredients, and how greasy it is. This is such a great alternative that definitely didn't make me sick. The possibilities are endless.

Guest post: Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence: How You Can Help

                                          Photo courtesy of Unsplash by Alexander Ramsey

Substance abuse and domestic violence are very connected in a cycle of trauma and abuse. Drug and alcohol usage is one of the leading risk factors for domestic violence, although it is difficult to determine accurate numbers because these crimes often go unreported. Victims experience this trauma in different ways, all of which affect how they interact with their family, friends, coworkers and loved ones - including how they parent their children. Sadly, children who grow up in homes where they witness domestic violence and substance abuse are more likely to become users and abusers as well as runaways, juvenile delinquents or adult criminals. There is also evidence that the victims of domestic violence are more likely to develop substance abuse issues in an effort to deal with the trauma they experienced at the hands of their own partner.

This circular pattern of addiction or substance usage and domestic abuse leads to a cycle that is difficult to break - and heartbreakingly common. If you think you might know someone who is struggling with one or both of these issues, there are a few things you can do to help.

Witness to Violence Resources
There are several resources available for families, partners and children who have witnessed violence in their homes - regardless of whether or not the abuse was related to drugs and alcohol. Many cities now have nonprofits, women’s shelters and rape crisis centers with onsite professionals trained to offer confidential assistance to victims and their families.

Therapy and Psychiatric Counseling
A trained therapist or psychiatrist can help victims and their families work through the difficult emotions and uncontrollable thoughts that come along with domestic violence trauma. Often, the symptoms of trauma do not exhibit right away, and may show up months or even years after the trauma first occurs. In addition, many victims may deal with depression, anxiety, or longer term PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Reading Resources
To stay educated and informed on these topics in an effort to better help others, you can read any of the many books available on domestic violence and/or substance abuse. Two commonly recommended books include: When Dad Hurts Mom: Helping Your Children Heal the Wounds of Witnessing Abuse by Lundy Bancroft, and The Batterer as Parent by Lundy Bancroft and Jay G. Silverman.

Treatment for Substance Abuse
Offenders, victims and families who abuse substances like illegal drugs, prescription pills or alcohol will need proper treatment and, ideally, a twelve-step program to help end the cycle of abuse and substance usage. Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and similar groups allow addicts, alcoholics and other substance users to heal in a safe, confidential environment. In addition, the books by respected author Melody Beattie, herself a recovering alcoholic and addict, are a great resource for victims, those in recovery, and their families.

Help is available for the mothers, fathers, and children of substance abuse and domestic violence. This is not a situation that anyone has to go through alone. By working together to help others, and by always making use of our available resources and skillfully trained professionals, we can help combat domestic violence and substance abuse.

Michelle Peterson is a recovering addict. She is passionate about sharing stories and information to inspire recovering addicts.