09 January 2014

2014, finally a new post and it is all about. . .

homemade baby wipes?!
Yes, I am posting my own "recipe" for homemade baby wipes after trying and tweaking several online.

First, I don't do the cutting the paper towel roll in half nonsense, it's linty and annoying. Instead, I buy the high quality select a size and tear them off. It may take a tiny bit more time but I think it's worth it and it's a perfect size wipe. I only need one for most diaper changes and two for the bad ones.

Ingredient list includes: Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree soap (I tried lavender and it irritated my little guy), witch hazel, vitamin E oil, aloe vera gel, coconut oil, raw shea butter and purified or distilled water. All of my ingredients are organic and cheap, I get most of them at Trader Joes. (I get no money from Trader Joes, I just love the products!) It seems like more ingredients than some but it does dual duty as a sore bum protector.

I start by heating a pot of water to boiling on the stove. After turning the heat down to a simmer I add a quarter cup of the raw shea butter to a clean glass jar and put it in the pot on top of a dishtowel (I do the dishtowel because I think I am supposed to, not because of any accident I have had). I add an eighth of a cup of the aloe (the measurements are not exact, I just eye a half of my quarter cup scoop). After the aloe and shea butter seem good and melty I add a half cup of the coconut oil (the shea butter and aloe take longer to melt).

I also add a tablespoon of vitamin E oil, the Tea Tree soap and a half Tbsp of witch hazel at this point. After stirring it all up and making sure it is all blended and liquified I add 4 cups of the water (or however much mostly fills the jar if it is too much, water can always be added later).

I use the seven cup rubbermaid container. I turn it on it's side and fill it with the torn off wipes, folded in half. This is how it is possible to get the liquid on all the wipes without keeping them in the roll. It works great and little to NO PAPER LINT. Soak them all and if needed add the rest of the water.

These may not be for everyone, they are thick and leave a barrier on babies bottom and I personally LOVE them. Obviously.

And this cute, little guy is one happy camper!

07 September 2012

So, have I been sewing?

I am sure that is the question that has been plaguing everyone's mind. Right?
Well, I have been sewing for those of you who were wondering. I thought it was about time to provide some proof so here are some of the projects I have done.

This is one of the quilts I made for new baby James. Yes, just one of. . .

This is one my sister commissioned for a friends first baby.
This is a summer car seat cover I made after Kyle convinced me that if baby James was going to have a cover in summer it should be cooler.

                     How sweet is this little face?!

I have done a few other things that I do not have any pictures of yet but hope to get posted up soon. Haha, by soon do I mean a few months from now? Maybe.

Are any of these things from the list of things I was going to finish? Well, I really should answer that honestly. I am pretty sure the answer is no but I am sewing so I think that's progress.

18 June 2012

And 5 months later. . .

Wow, it has been a bit since I wrote a post. I guess that is just how it is sometimes but especially when you have a new precious one in the house. I feel I need an update to my post of January where I said I would be finishing some projects. So far, I have not been able to live up to my own expectations as my newest precious addition is quite a bit different than his brother. I am not sure why I expected anything different than a different little someone. Of course, he is sweeter than honey but he is also VERY BUSY. He came out of the womb screaming unlike his big brother who entered so quietly I was afraid something was wrong (if you know my eldest you know he is anything but quiet now). He was already rolling over from belly to back at six weeks. He is not a big fan of sleeping, EVER. Cat naps are what he thrives on (or doesn't really). He wants to be up and moving and standing but he is also a big cuddlebug and he is wary of other people outside of the family which is nothing like his big brother (that kid would go to anybody who wanted to hold him). He is pretty attached to me even more so. It's funny how I wanted a cuddly baby after big J and now I got one who wants cuddles so much I am unable to get a lot done. I LOVE IT! Of course that brings me to my goal from January of finishing my projects. I have actually done A LOT of sewing in this time but it has all been for baby J or friends and I have yet to complete one of my other projects. I am currently working on big J's quilt and a quilt for my sister for her friend AND I have completed several projects just none of the ones I listed. Oh, well I know I will get there and besides I have roughly seven months to go, right?! Incidentally aren't these the two cutest faces ever? I think so!

11 January 2012

Declaration, Dedication, Intent, Moxie, Perseverence, Purpose, Tenacity

Not being one for New Years resolutions I decided to make some commitments this year (read New Years resolutions). I looked up the word resolution on Thesaurus.com and found many interesting synonyms.
Here is the entry:
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: determination, strong will
Synonyms: aim, boldness, constancy, courage, dauntlessness, decidedness, decision, declaration, dedication, doggedness, earnestness, energy, firmness, fixed purpose, fortitude, guts*, heart*, immovability, intent, intention, judgment, mettle, moxie*, obstinacy, perseverance, pluck, purpose, purposefulness, purposiveness, relentlessness, resoluteness, resolve, settlement, sincerity, spirit, spunk, staunchness, staying power, steadfastness, stubbornness, tenacity, verdict, willpower

Just read some of those words and roll them around in your head for a bit. I used my very favorites for the name of this post.

Part of the reason I wanted to blog about this is I would like to be kept accountable for my declaration. I know that bringing a new baby into the house could be used as a fairly legitimate excuse for not sticking with my commitments but I am going to persevere!
My intent this year is to finish all of the craft projects I have ever started and never finished. That includes my youngest sister's high school graduation quilt that she has been waiting for an embarrassingly long time to receive. A quilt I started for myself and (future) husband an even longer time ago (considering I have been married a decade this year and had not even met him when I started it well, that is just sad!) I also have the quilt I started for my first son last year. I have a project of a comforter that has not been started but has been promised to my other sister which I will also add to the list. I am sure there are more things I have laying around to be finished and I am determined to finish them! I plan to use all of the crafting moxie I have to stay dedicated to this commitment. So, dear readers (if you really are out there) please keep me accountable. I will post photo proof to the blog as each project gets finished.
Did any of you make any new declarations this year?

05 January 2012

The joys of pregnancy and true blessings

I am pregnant and, as if I do not already vent to anyone in earshot, I feel the need to vent it here on my blog, as well. I am thinking maybe if I vent here I will stop complaining so much to people who actually have to listen. You can stop reading now, if you like but they just have to listen or walk away.*

*this may be worth reading after all as I have had some revelations while writing it.

This is baby boy number 2

I feel somewhat guilty in hating to be pregnant for several reasons. The latest one being a sweet family who has a little 1 lb 12 oz baby boy fighting for his life on a ventilator. I have dear friends who have had miscarriages and suffer from other fertility issues. All of these are awful, there is no doubt. In fact, if I were not carrying this child to term I would feel even more awful than I do physically. I know that for certain. So, why do these things not sink into my brain when I am complaining about what realistically, is just a lot of discomfort?

I am a selfish person who has not lived with enough discomfort in life to understand what it truly is. Realize when I say this, my life has not been perfect. In fact, I dealt with a great deal of garbage in my late teens and early twenties as well as a few other things in life. But, I have a wonderful, loving and supportive family and always have had. I made a lot of stupid decisions that led to a lot of the garbage and yet through it all I still have experienced the grace and mercy of my Saviour, Jesus Christ. And a lot of other good has come from the dark places.

BUT, I do not know what it is like to be starving for days at a time or to live in a place with a dirt floor and thatch roof. I have NO idea what it feels like to hear gunfire and bombs going off in my city on a regular basis or to fear that the local police force may come into my house, kidnap my husband, hurt my children and rape me. I do not know what it is like not to have the freedom to worship my God in a public place for anyone to see for fear of being put in prison and tortured or killed. I do not know the reality of living in a country where the church you happen to be affiliated with is the one that people throw bombs into.

So, I have a child, who happens to be a blessing, stretching out his little self inside me where there is no longer room to do that. So, he feels the need to be a Kung Fu fighter in there at 2 am. I have not had a good nights sleep in a few weeks. I have heartburn almost 24/7 with no relief. My hips hurt, my back hurts, my belly hurts, and a lot of the time my behind hurts. I feel simultaneously hungry and full most of the time. In the big picture while I have a hard time seeing the "joys of pregnancy" I can not wait for the end result and as I reflect on true suffering I know I need to suck it up and realize that I have never, at this point in my life, experienced what true suffering is. And for that I am MORE than thankful. And for the blessing that this little man is and will be in my life and, I hope, the lives of others I can do nothing less than thank God for allowing me the privilege of being his and his big brother's mommy.

Big brother

Isn't he just the sweetest little thing?!

30 November 2011

King James: 400 years old but is he still the "only one"?

I was ruminating with my dad today about Bibles. A while back he introduced me to a neat website you can check out here which led to our discussion. He asked if I have a translation of choice and in thinking about it I realized that I really do not. I grew up on the New International Version and so a lot of the verses I have memorized are that translation though I do not tend to read that one much anymore. I sometimes prefer my New Living Translation, sometimes I want to read my New King James and other times I wish I had a New American Standard because I enjoy that when looking up certain text online. I do however have a translation I DO NOT prefer and in fact, it tends to turn me off. That is the old King James. I believe the reason for the King James Bible at the time was great. He wanted the common man to be able to read The Word in the language of the people. What has always bothered me as an adult is the great "hanging onto", so to speak, of this translation. King James wanted the Bible to be read AND understood by the common person and we do not speak the same way as they did 400 years ago. Therefore why do so many adhere to this translation as "the only one"?
I also must defer to Jesus on this point because, of course, His opinion on the subject is really the most important. Did He say anything that I could relate to this matter? Did He do anything that causes me to believe He may just agree with me on this point? Let me see what I can find. . .
Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?
Matthew 15.1-3 NASB

To me this is a wonderful example of the "hanging onto" of the King James Bible. If we are so bent on not allowing a modern translation to be used by our pastor, church or congregation for the sake of tradition that we alienate people who do not understand the language how are we following the command of the Great Commission?

What else might Jesus say that relates to this subject?
But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. One of them, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 22.34-40 NASB

To me this relates in that He is explaining what is most important. More important than what translation we read, what type of music we sing, whether the sermon is topical, expository or a bit of both. What is important is that we allow ourselves to be tools of Christ's love in order to reach the lost of the world. If that means putting our King James Bible aside and pulling out our New Living Translation to be better understood by one who has never read the Bible how can this be a bad thing?! I have heard the arguments that Bible translations have been "watered down" and "meanings get changed". I think that is all a bunch of nonsense, if the Holy Spirit is working we could really be reading (please read with exaggeration and humor) Dr. Seuss and the person would be hearing about Jesus and His love. I am not suggesting we be foolish but instead that we have already been foolish in the "hanging onto" of the old King James. Of course, this Bible had it's place in our history and it was and is a wonderful thing but we must be reasonable and practical, as well. It is not the only Bible that has been God-breathed:
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
II Timothy 3.16 NASB

*On another note regarding Bibles in general I highly recommend this particular entry from the aforementioned blog.

15 November 2011

One of those trimesters. . .

I am feeling frustrated by mommyhood. Yeah, I admitted it. I am currently hugely pregnant with heartburn almost all day long, pain in my knees, my back and my sciatic nerve on both sides (and those are only the "regular" pains). And I have a child who now wants to end every day with a fit. I am fairly certain a lot of his fit throwing has to do with the baby that is coming. I am sure he has figured out that he is not going to get mommy's full, undivided attention any more but I would rather he get it out in the middle of the day or the morning. By the end of the day I feel so horrible I have a hard time enjoying our quiet, reading, getting ready for bed time but I do it. He is usually so very pleasant up until the time I actually leave the room and then it all begins. I was responding the first few nights and now I do not. As a result the fits have become shorter but still have not disappeared. Am I asking too much for it to just stop? I want our end of day to be pleasant and wonderful like it always has been before. I know he is probably thinking, I know this is going to change when baby comes.
Life is changing and since I hate being pregnant I can not wait until the day this child comes into the world but life will change. I know this child is and will be a blessing as my older one is but change is still change and we are all going to have to learn to adjust to this and adapt and make it all work. Have I mentioned I have friends with four, six, seven kids? What were THEY thinking?!

I am sure they were thinking what a joy and blessing from the Lord that children are. And I agree wholeheartedly but for the moment I am just going to have to remind myself of that every five seconds. And when I finally meet this new little one and I see his brother be a GREAT big brother I will be reminded why we do this. And on other days I will just have to remind myself a little bit more.

Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19.14 NASB

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children." Matthew 11.25 NIV

Isaac pleaded with the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children. The Lord answered Isaac’s prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant with twins.
Genesis 25.21 NLT

So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him from the LORD.”
1 Samuel 1.20 NKJV

12 November 2011

Alas, not another list but. . .

just some books worth mentioning I am reading.

I am currently reading Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand and I recommend it to anyone and everyone! I can not believe it sat on my shelf for so long.

"I had the grace to be one of the chosen of God for reasons that I don't understand. These reasons had nothing to do with my character because [it] was very bad."

". . .after having seen the Bride of Christ in prison, I . . .love the Underground Church almost as much as I love Christ Himself. I have seen her beauty, her spirit of sacrifice."
~Richard Wurmbrand

Here is a link to the Voice of the Martyrs website where you can actually request a free copy and explore and support the outreach the Underground Church is doing.

I am also currently reading My Utmost for His Highest. Another classic that I have never read completely. I have picked it up here and there and just read some entries but I have now started from the beginning. It is interesting, I am only on day five and it already seems like several people might have written it and not just one. I have already been uplifted and yet also questioned one passage. I have decided to read five passages every day, a new one and the previous four. It helps me digest them better and already I am finding new things in each passage as I re-read it.
Here are some examples of things that have struck me so far. I pray that I may be able to heed Mr. Chambers words as I pray I continue to grow in the knowledge, grace and love of Christ.

Here is a link to a blog about Oswald Chambers and it includes devotionals.

"Let the attitude of the life be a continual 'going out' in dependance upon God, and your life will have an ineffable charm about it which is a satisfaction to Jesus."

"When it is a question of the providential will of God, wait for God to move." ~Oswald Chambers

07 October 2011

Sweet big brother

You have to love a boy who always wants to smell the flowers. . .

Since telling our little man he is getting a brother he has, of course, had many questions and comments that only a kid his age could come up with. And some that have been a bit shocking for his age. I am sharing them as much for myself and his history as with you.

:Mom, when you have heartburn does baby [brother] have it too?

:Mom, did I have that thing on my wrist already when I came out? You know the thing that didn't get me mixed up with the other babies?

:Mom, can I hold baby [brother] into church every Sunday?
What do you mean, bud?
:I can hold him into church and then give him to you when I need to go in my class.
{mama's heart melts}

{He always, very quietly, comes in my room in the morning to wake me up. We are so fortunate, I know. On this particular morning. . .}
:{whispering} Mom, can I see if your belly is bigger than yesterday?

:Mom, I'm not scared anymore.
Not scared of what, bud?
:Scared of talking to [baby] in your tummy.

:Mom, I am just sooo acited for baby [brother] to get here!

:Mom, can I go in when they are gonna take baby [brother] out of you?
{yikes and not sure how to answer pause}
:Acause I wanna see the special knife they use to cut him out.
{I know it sounds gross but he is fascinated with the whole process and I think that is super cool}

{The day we told him he kept getting the giggles. It was so great! Then this. . .}
:Mom, I really wanted a baby sister.
Really, why?
:I just don't want you to be mad all the time that you live with only boys!

I am sure there have been more I (sadly) can not remember but I also know there will be more to come. Maybe I will have a part deux to this post.

21 September 2011

Thankful for Mount Washmore

I often wonder how you know how much clothing is too much for a family of three. Recently I think I discovered the answer. If one does laundry all day long and can separate loads by COLOR I think that means we have too much. Please understand me when I say color, NOT COLORS, COLOR. Not only can I separate by color, in a few instances it includes hues. I have entire loads of laundry in light blues, medium blues and dark blues. Black is popular as I can actually do two loads and light grey is a separate color with it's very own load from dark grey. I think we have a problem.
I have friends who have four, six and seven children who may not have the amount of clothing we have. On the one hand, I do come by it honestly but on the other it is a bit shameful. Not having a working washer and dryer at the moment is making me thankful for the piles of clothing we have. It has also shown me it is time to cut down a bit once the washer and dryer are fixed. Salvation Army, here we come!
I have discovered as long as we have enough underwear we will be just fine!