Our Pumpkin Patch

Amber Teething Necklace (Product Review)

I am a big fan of holistic healing. If we can avoid giving the kids medications, we definitely try..especially with the boys both having CSID (Congenital Sucrase Isomaltase Deficiency) which doesn’t allow them to process sucrose. Sucrose (a form of sugar) is in almost everything, including many liquid medications. When it comes to teething, be it in an infant or a kiddo getting adult teeth, there is some pain and discomfort involved.

Jacen is getting several adult teeth now, after spending most of the fall and winter losing teeth. I already use an amber necklace with Josef, who is cutting molars right now, so I decided to try an amber necklace with Jacen to see if it would help. So far it’s cut down on his pain levels, and he’s also stopped chewing on stuff. He has sensory issues due to his autism, so chewing is a periodic problem we have here. Most of the time it’s triggered by discomfort, so I figured the amber might help him. I will have to get a pic and come back and edit it in this post so y’all can see just how beautiful this necklace is. You can find the amber necklace Jacen uses here.

One of the most important things we moms think about is safety. I know some of you might be concerned about the safety of letting small children wear amber necklaces, and I was worried too for a while. Honestly, they are the most effective closest to the site of the pain, but if you’re truly worried about them choking themselves with the necklace, you can wrap it around their ankle and cover with a snug sock. If your kiddo is like mine and doesn’t like to sleep in socks, cut the top off of a tube sock and use it like a leg warmer. Easy peasy. This necklace is also made with safety in mind. It is knotted before and after each and every bead, so even if a child manages to break the necklace there aren’t going to be beads all over the place for them to ingest. The clasp is a twist together clasp that will keep small hands from removing the necklace as well. Of course, you should always keep the following guidelines in mind when using an amber necklace (recommended safety suggestions):

  • Always supervise infants when they are wearing the necklace.
  • Remove the necklace if an infant is going to be unattended, even for a short period of time.
  • Remove the necklace when an infant sleeps, day or night.
  • Do not allow an infant to chew or mouth the necklace. These are meant to help by wearing and are not for chewing.

We wear our necklaces most of the day, only removing at bath time. We put Josef’s on his ankle at night under his sleeper, and put it back on his neck when he wakes up in the morning. I’ve read that you shouldn’t submerge the necklaces in water, and to take care to avoid getting lotions or sunscreen on them…so we remove at all baths and swimming times.

Well, I hope some of you found this informative and helpful! If you have any questions or want to leave a comment with your personal experiences using amber (for children or adults), feel free to do so in the comment section!


Disclaimer: While I did receive this item for a discount or for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review, all opinions found in this blog are mine and mine alone.



Super Cool Grilling Accessory! (Product Review)

So, the Daddyman and I love to cook outside, either on the grill or in our cast iron Dutch ovens. It’s just a fun way to spend some time together and try new stuff. Usually, I have to make the sides in the house, heating up the kitchen and dirtying up dishes. That is definitely NOT fun, especially when it comes to cleaning up. Also, it kinda stinks to have to run back and forth from the house to outside to spend time with Jim Ed while I’m trying to make the other food inside. When I saw a post about these grill mats in a group I am in, I was intrigued. I decided that we could try them out and see what we thought about them.

Cooking on our Grill Mats!

Right as we put the food on the grill. I forgot to get an after pic, the food just went too fast!

I purchased these Grill Mats on 2/15/16 after reading about them on Facebook. My husband and I often use our charcoal grill and I was looking for a product that would allow us to cook our entire meal outside, rather than having to grill the meat outside and do the sides in the house. No need to dirty up dishes and heat up the house when you can use these and cook everything outside! To be honest, these things rock! You can cook almost anything on them. We used them the first night to make grilled chicken burgers, grilled avocados, and corn fritters. None of it stuck, none of it burnt, and we still got those awesome grill marks everyone likes to see. Cleanup was a snap too. These grill mats are an awesome product. We used the XL mat that came as a bonus in the set to cook all of that food and still had room to spare. I am going to order some of these for gifts for my brother-in-laws, both of whom like to cook out! Overall, I would say that the “Wonder Grill Mat Set of 3 BBQ Grill Mats Includes 1 Bonus Exclusive XL Size Professional Highest Quality Baking and Grilling Sheets 100% Non-Stick Miracle Grill Accessories. Great as Oven Liner As Well” are a great value for the price and are a well-made product.

After using them, I can’t wait to come up with something else to use them for! We might even make breakfast outside this weekend. I’m also thinking about cutting one to fit the bottom of our cast iron Dutch oven (they’re able to be cut to size to fit whatever use you want them for!) so that I can make some recipes I’ve been hesitant to make because I’m worried it will stick to the bottom of the oven.

Disclaimer: I received this item at a reduced cost for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are mine and mine alone.

Day 4- Husband Encouragement Challenge 2015
November 4, 2015, 19:29
Filed under: Family Dynamics | Tags: ,

Today was a busy day. The smallest two pumpkins got to go see their Mimi in Jayton today, always a favorite pastime of Ailah. We are working on Josef’s ongoing fear of all furry animals (Mimi has a cat) and so that was pretty interesting. He’s just recently developed this fear…of dogs, cats, rabbits, squirrels, anything with fur. Poor bubba has a complete meltdown and usually falls over in fear. It’s been kinda rough the past few weeks for him with that, especially since we have dogs and a rabbit. Other than college stuff, normal homework and papers and PTO stuff for Jacen’s school, and having to track down a package in our neighborhood this afternoon, laundry and playing is about all we’ve gotten accomplished. As soon as I’m done here, it’s time for dinner, baths, and bed. This mama is exhausted. I’ve been up since 4:30 this morning, after finally getting to sleep around 1:30 am. Bleh. Ok, back on subject…mama needs caffeine (haha!).

Day 4

“Let him labor, working with his hands what is good.” (Eph. 4:28b)

I cannot say this enough, I am so proud of Jim Ed and his work. He’s gotten a promotion (back in May) that makes him the supervisor on the weekends (and some weekdays if his supervisor is out-of-town). It opens up some new opportunities for him to advance, so that’s always exciting. I know it’s super stressful at times, but he handles it so well. It has been so cool to see him working at something new.

Jim Ed, I am so proud of you for all the work and initiative you put into your job. You can do anything you set your mind to. I do want to apologize for kinda dumping stuff in your lap when you get home. It gets kinda chaotic here at times during the day. I am going to try to give you a bit of time to decompress and relax before needing you in “Daddy mode” for the nightly routine. Just know that you are loved, and you are appreciated, and we are all SO proud of you. You have lots of cheerleaders waiting at home for their favorite person to come home every night. I love you, my love. Be safe and come home to us soon!

30-Day Challenge 2015, Day 3
November 3, 2015, 18:00
Filed under: Encouragement, Family Dynamics | Tags: ,

Today has been quite the “Monday” of a Tuesday, complete with the stomach bug returning for round two in our house. Yuck! While the Daddyman has been at work, Momma and the little two have slept and recuperated most of the day. Absolutely nothing besides cartoon watching and sleep has been accomplished today, with the exception of food (for some reason Jacen thought he needed to eat when he got home from school haha). Well, without further ado…here’s Day 3 of the Husband Encouragement Challenge.

Day Three:

“Love suffers long, and is kind.” (1 Cor. 13:4)

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19)

I have to say, that I have the most considerate husband in the world when it comes to anticipating my needs and helping me out. I usually don’t even have to ask him to help out with chores around the house or to do homework with Jacen. He takes the initiative to be there, and to be involved and aware of our needs. It is more than that though, he’s also gentle and kind (with the exception of rough housing with the kids…which gives momma heart attacks, but that’s a whole different story, haha).

I can honestly admit that the skill of delegating does not come easily to me, as I am a bit of a control freak about how things are done. Yes, that whole mental image of the mom nagging everyone about how to load the dishwasher, the correct way to fold clothes, making sure the shower curtain gets closed and the toilet seat is always put down…that’s me. However, I am working on “letting go”…it’s a work in progress.

All this to say…thank you, Jim Ed, for putting up with my craziness and tuning me out when I get irritated and anxious about how things are getting done. You were right when you told me that it’s not HOW it gets done, but that it gets done in the end…and that I cannot expect to do everything myself, or have everyone get things done the way I want them to. It’s okay to do things differently. And thank you for not running away screaming when you saw my five page long to-do list that has to be conquered before Aspen gets here. I love you, my love.

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge 2015
November 2, 2015, 18:38
Filed under: Encouragement, Family Dynamics | Tags: ,

I’ve decided that for the month of November, I’m going to do the 30-Day Encouragement Challenge. I did the same challenge back in 2012 after Ailah was born and it was such a blessing to Jim Ed​ and myself. Since there are 30 days in November, it’s the perfect time to do a “reboot” of the same challenge.  I am starting a day late, so today’s post will have both day 1 and day 2 on it. The basic premise of the “Husband Challenge” as I am shortening it from now on, is that:

  • You can’t say anything bad about your husband…to him, or to anyone else
  • The goal is to say something that you admire or appreciate about your husband, both to him and to someone else, about your husband.

So, without further ado…here are my Day 1 and 2 entries.

My sweet, sweet hubby and myself

My sweet, sweet hubby and myself

Day 1: The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. (Proverbs 31:11-12)

My dear, sweet husband chose me…horribly flawed, moody, notoriously bossy me…to be his wife, to mother his children, to be his helpmate and love him every day of our life together. There are honestly so many days that I have no idea why. I am not the easiest person to live with and have a stubborn streak a mile wide, but he has chosen me…and he is mine, and so we muddle on through this crazy life together. I cannot thank God enough for bringing us together so many years ago. It seems like so long ago, yet time has flown. Just yesterday we celebrated the seven-year anniversary of our engagement! Hard to believe that it’s been so long.

So, speaking directly to you my love…thank you for choosing me. Thank you for putting up with all of my flaws and encouraging me to be the best person I can be. Thank you for making me a mommy and a wife…for totally changing my life. I couldn’t ask for a better husband and father to our growing family. We are all so unbelievably blessed to have you. I love you, my love.

Day 2: Through love serve one another. (Gal. 5:13b)

Today is all about the little things. My husband has been amazing during our whole marriage, but especially when I’m pregnant and sick. For those that don’t know, I have horrible sickness during pregnancy (have been diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum during three of my pregnancies) and require medications to have a healthy pregnancy. Jim Ed is so understanding and helpful, taking over most of the household responsibilities while I am unable to do them. Even when we aren’t facing that particular set of challenges, he is never opposed to lending a hand with things around the house–even if he’s just gotten off of work (sometimes putting in 12-18 hours at work). He always comes home with cheer and love and joy to play and interact with the kids, to help with supper and baths and homework, and is the kids’ favorite person to tuck them in at night. Even after all that, he is my sounding board and my rock. He maintains flexibility in his schedule to allow me to volunteer at Jacen’s school, to come with us to Jacen’s therapy sessions weekly, and to enable me to finish my degree.

My love, thank you so much for being that amazingly selfless man you are. No matter the situation, if you can help or make it better…you do, without question or complaint. I know I don’t tell or show you enough, but you are my rock…and you treat your family with the kind of respect and love that I can only hope to. We are all so blessed and so grateful to have you in our lives. I love you, my love. And now it’s time to go spend some quality time as a family. I’ve been hiding away in the bedroom after my school work so that I could work on this. I hope it blesses your evening just as much as you bless all of our lives.


For more information about HG, visit the Help HER website at http://www.helpher.org/

Our Fall Family Newsletter!
September 30, 2015, 13:18
Filed under: Family Dynamics

Fall 2015 Newsletter

I have attached a link to our Cowen Family newsletter, Fall 2015 edition. It’s full of great stuff (and some pretty exciting news!). If you haven’t already seen a paper copy, you should definitely check it out!

–The Cowens

Horrible Blogger…
November 28, 2014, 20:14
Filed under: Coming Soon! | Tags: , ,

So I’ve come to the conclusion that I am just really horrible at keeping up with my blog. This is the first time I’ve touched this thing in over a year. Yikes! So I am determined to try to get one post a week up on here from now on. I will update y’all on all the things that have happened in the past year and start doing some arts & crafts, recipe, and special needs mama posts. I also have a few posts on Advent and having a Catholic Christmas season planned. Stay tuned! I’m excited to get my blog revamped and started back up!

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