31 12 2007

I know I haven’t posted in a long time….so MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!  We are having so much fun in Michigan.  We spend Christmas morning with 17 people, 7 of them 5 years of age and under!  It was a BLAST!  Dave read the Christmas story and all the kids sat still and even participated.  Then each family sat in their area of the living room and opened up their Christmas gifts.  Then we did a big group gift time.  We had a wonderful breakfast, then little ones went down for naps and the big kids all played board games.  Our family then headed to Dave’s grandparents house for the afternoon and evening.

On wednesday we headed up to northern Michigan.  (Brian Cochran, Dave said he is taking you guys up here some time….you guys would be in heaven).  We stayed at my aunt and uncles 2500 sq. foot log cabin.  We snowmobiled everywhere, we played in the snow, played board games, ate good food, read books, skied, snowboard, sat around and played puzzles.  It could not have been more relaxing to say the least.  Dave and I had some great family time with our kiddos.

Now we are back at my mom’s house and hanging out here for a few days, then we head back home on Wednesday.

I had a big melt down today.  I just sat in a chair and thought about my very close friends that are leaving in the next month to go and serve God where He calls them.  I am so happy for them, but so sad at the same time.  It is hard to explain, but my heart is just feeling so empty.  I told Dave that I will be spending lots of time with them over the next few weeks, he doesn’t mind at all!  It reminds me so much of a song my Michael W. Smith called Friends are Friends for Forever.  There is a line in there that just melts my heart “friends are friends forever if the Lords the Lord of them, and a friend will not never, because the welcome will not end, though it’s hard to let them go, to the fathers hands we know, but a lifetime not to long to live as friends” 

I hope everyone enjoys this time with their families!

A Little Christmas Cheer!

20 12 2007

Kids Singing at Church

Enjoy my little man singing at church this past Wednesday. He is in the blue shirt. If you listen you will hear my little girl singing and encouraging her big brother! Enjoy!

You Tube

Why We Don’t Do Santa

17 12 2007

I know this is a topic that can get very heated and can raise some emotions, but I wanted to share why we have chosen not to do Santa with our children. This is an issue that Dave and I visited many times before making out decision. Now that Isaac is almost 4 years, Grace is 2.5 yrs and baby Owen 5 months, we are very happy with our choice.

One of the reasons we wanted to not do Santa was to be able to point our children to Christ. Now I know that can be done while still doing the pretend of Santa, but for our family we wanted it to be more. We wanted Christmas to be about how our sin caused our Savior to have to come to earth as a baby and then die on the cross so that we could spend eternity with God. We wanted Christ to be the excitement of Christmas not the “torture” of Christmas. What I mean by that is we wanted our kids to wake up on Christmas morning with such excitement that it was Jesus’s birthday! We didn’t want them to have so much excitement that Santa was coming that church and daddy reading the accounts of Christ’s birth be torture for them. We wanted Him to be the excitement all around. We wanted our kids to know more about the Christmas story than the story about Santa. This doesn’t seem to be the case in too many churches now a days. It seems that so many Christian children still don’t know basic things about the birth of Christ.

Another reason is that we wanted to instill in them the love for Jesus and not the love for the things they will receive. This has been SOOO hard on us! We have had such a hard time keeping greed from setting in on Isaac’s little heart. It is getting better everyday as we explain that Christmas is not about him, but about how God sent Jesus to die for our sins and it is His day, not ours. Isaac is doing much better about telling us that “Jesus is so nice to share his birthday with us, I even get gifts on His birthday”. He is starting to see that it is about Jesus.

Another thing that bothered us is that you can replace “Jesus” with “Santa” in many songs and they become “doctrinally sound” enough for young children. For example, You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I’m telling you why, Jesus Christ is coming to town. He know if you are sleeping, He knows if your awake, He knows if you’d been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake……etc. These songs make Santa sound like Jesus, we don’t like that.

The last reason we decided we didn’t want to do Santa was because we didn’t want to be in continual lies with our children. I heard a mom talking to her child at the YMCA the other day and it bothered me. The child was asking how Santa was going to get in their house because they didn’t have a fireplace. The mother kept making up little lies to cover another lie over and over. Her curious little girl had that mama digging herself deeper and deeper. We don’t want to lie to our children; we want them to understand that when we tell them something they can trust that we are telling them the truth.

Now, my kids know the story of Santa. We have just never talked about it as anything more than a story, just like stories about Winnie the Pooh or The Little Mermaid. They just think of Santa as a story about some kids getting presents.

I hope everyone has a very God honoring Merry Christmas, from our home to yours!
Merry Christmas!

My Diapers Stink!!!

13 12 2007

Many people have been searching my blog for “stinky diapers” and I think this topic needs a post of its own. Let me tell you I have been there! You are doing everything right, you clean them like they say to, you wash after a couple days and again they still STINK! What do I do now?

Here are some things you can do….

The #1 problem for stinky diapers is detergent build up. This is when the detergent you are using builds up in the diaper and holds in odor. The diapers are clean, but they stink after they are cleaned. What you need to do is put your diapers (clean ones) into the washer and rinse them until you don’t see anymore soap bubbles in the water. (While they are rinsing turn off the washer and let the water settle, if bubbles are on top of the water you have build up). Keep rinsing over and over until no more soap bubbles. To avoid this is the future use a little less detergent while washing your diapers, especially if you have a front loader!

2nd thing it could be is that you have used a diaper cream with COD LIVER OIL in it. Your diapers will have a faint….sometimes really strong fish odor to them. What you need to do is stop using the cream and the smell will eventually go away after lots of washes. The diapers are clean, but will just take time for the oil to wash out of them.

#3 is that you could have bacteria build up in your diapers. You will know this because your diapers will smell nice and sweet after washing and drying, but the minute your child pees or poops in the diapers they will STINK! You can’t even explain the smell, it is just horrible! If you have this problem you know what I am talking about. If it is summer time and the sun is bright you can put your diapers in the sun and that will naturally kill off the bacteria or you can put a small (1/4 cup) of bleach in the washer when you are washing them. Do this before the 2nd rinse so that you get 2 rinses to get it all out. I do this once a month to keep the bacteria gone out of my diapers and they smell wonderful and are still bright colors!

I hope this helps with the diapers that stink!

The New year and the New You!

13 12 2007

I feel that every year we get wraped up in this thinking that we have to be better looking, make more money, spend more time with family and lose more weight than the year before.  Why is that?  It would seem that it must be society that is pushing us that way or our friends.  I think it isn’t eaither of those things.

Our sinful nature makes us choose to be discontent in our current situations.  It makes us feel like we should always be more and have more than the year before.  I decided last year that whenever something came up this year (2007) I would take care of it then, not wait until January 1st of the next year.  I have to say it has made the biggest difference in my life. If I see that I haven’t been doing my quiet time during the day, instead of waiting to “start new in 2009” I just picked it back up that day.  When I felt I was ready to lose my baby weight from Owen, I started that next week.  When Dave and I decided we needed to be spending some time alone, we got a baby-sitter for that next weekend.

I challenge you to change what needs to be changed when it comes up.  So why wait for January 1st?  Why not December 13th?

Don’t let this society tell you that you need to be better in 2008, instead commit to being who you should be everyday of the  year.  I have to say, I come to 2008 with no resolutions I can think of doing because I made changes all year long.

Happy New Year

You have to check this out!

8 12 2007

I know that many of you are thinking about lead in your kids toys.  But have you thought about Mercery, Cadmium, Chlorine/PVC or Arsenic?  To be honest it didn’t even cross my mind.

Also, I found out today that all the toy recalls are voluntary!  There is no laws right now in the USA that tell companies how much lead etc. they are allowed to have in toys!

I got this info off the site Healthytoys.org.  You might find it VERY helpful like I did! 

Why Are Toxic Chemicals in Toys?

  • There is no pre-market approval process for the use of chemicals in toys or other consumer products to ensure they are safe.
  • Despite all we know about the dangers of lead and other toxic chemicals, manufacturers are allowed to use them in toys and other children’s products when safer alternatives exist.
  • Weak consumer product safety laws force the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to rely largely on voluntary consumer product standards developed by industry groups. CPSC has little authority and virtually no existing regulations to enforce chemical limits in toys. The Agency has a tiny staff that is inadequate to provide effective oversight.
  • Current laws and policies regulating toxic chemicals in toys and other products are reactive in nature. The system lacks requirements for toy and consumer product manufacturers to test products for most chemical hazards. This problem is compounded by the lack of toxicity information on most chemicals in commerce.

I have found this amazing website you have to visit.  HealthyToys.org They have taken the time to test toys right off the shelves of the stores and listed what a toys has in it and gave it a rating of Low, Medium or High.  I was happy to see many of our toys have a Low rating, but a few have a Medium rating. 

Just passing along some helpful stuff I hope!

Cloth Diapers: Some things I want to add

3 12 2007

If this is your first time reading my blog and you want to know more about cloth diapers click on the side bar “cloth diapers”.  I am just going to add a couple things about some diapers for you guys.

I have bought a new diaper by bum-ware called the Extreme AIO.  I have to say I really like this diaper a lot.  It is so soft, absorbant and is as a great as the original Bum-Ware AIO.  The only thing about this diaper is that the rise is over an inch longer than on the size medium original AIO diaper.  This isn’t a problem for Owen because he has pretty chubby legs, but Grace would have had a problem with that diaper for a while.  She didn’t get her cubby legs for a while LOL.  The other thing about the diaper that is aweseome is that it is lined with suedecloth, which keeps baby VERY dry.  I love this feature right now for Owen.  The only down side to that is that as  your baby grows the baby won’t feel the wetness, making it harder for them to know when they have peed, making toilet training a little harder.

For now, I am going to buy a few more of the original AIO’s by bum-ware.  I always add the fleece covering on the doubler for an additional charge to keep the baby dry.  Then when they get a little older I just turn the doubler over so that the fleece is not touching their skin and they can feel themselves wet. 

Another thing I wanted to add about diapers is wipes!  Many cloth diapering mamas I know you cloth wipes.  I am not one of those mamas.  I use wipes for a lot of things, not just for their bottoms so that would make it really hard for me.  Also, if you buy Huggies wipes you can wash them with your diapers, dry them with them, then just pull out all the wipes when folding the diapers and throw them away then.  This keeps you from having to run to the bathroom after diaper changes to throw out a wipe.  *Yes you read that right, you can wash and dry Huggies wipes without them falling apart in the washer or dryer!*

 I buy my Huggies wipes at Sam’s Club for cheap, cheap, cheap!!!  This box lasts me over 4 months with one child, 3 months with two children and about 2 months with the three of them now.  It is GREAT!  Worth the membership for that alone.

Happy Diapering!

Christmas Shopping is DONE!

1 12 2007

Did you all hear that?  I am DONE!  Okay I am a little excited about that.  Dave and I did a kids free shopping day today and finished it all up.  Dave starts working 6 days a week (about 50-54 hours a week) starting tomorrow so we needed to have everything done.  This is such a blessing that he is working!  Many of you know that we live on one part-time income while he is in school.  With 5 mouths to feed (and Isaac eats like an adult these days) we need Dave to work as many hours as he can do while school is out.  We have been praying that God would provide a way for us to pay our bills and for me to continue to stay at home and He faithfully provided again. 

God is so good at providing what we need everyday.  Sometimes I am just so busy thinking I am the “center of the World” that I over look His Greatness.  What a sin that is.

This Christmas is a little tighter this year then in the past.  Dave is finishing up with Seminary next December and we wanted to have all school loans payed off so we don’t get hit with interest when he Graduates.  So we have been putting most of our extra money toward debt etc.  So I had to come up with some really planned Christmas list for the kids.  After a lot of planning, price watching and praying we came up with our kids lists!  I am happy to say that each one will get a couple toys, some needed clothes and a big smile.  This year really made me consider what I am most excited about with my kids….the gifs or the joy of celebrating Christ’s birth?  Which one is my heart leaning toward?  At first all I wanted to do was shop for my little ones (hey, I don’t get to shop much so I love having a little money to spend on them).  Then it hit me…. this is about God and what He did for me, not about my kids like the World wants me to believe.

Now I am happy to wrap the gifts my kiddos will get, but more excited about the next 24 days I will get to spend with them showing them God’s love for us and the importance of the time of year!