Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The latest in our house...

Andrew decided to skateboard in the house.  He fell, and caught the skateboard (and it's sandpaper like surface) with his face.  THIS is what having a boy is like.

He also has his first loose tooth, which the silly boy is absolutely terrified of losing.  He won't let anything touch it, lest it actually fall out.  Even the promise of $1 won't persuade him to wiggle it.

And Amerie, who wants to be like her "big brodder" is insisting, "Yesaday, I gotta bwack eye but it got all better lass nite.  And I has foured loose tooses!"

Monday, November 8, 2010

Alexis Katelyn

This little girl...

has stolen my heart.

She's my baby.  Number 4.


The one who screamed her head off in the delivery room for over an hour.  :)

Sometimes, she still screams.

And cries.

And throws tantrums.  It's how she voices her opinion, apparently.  She IS number 4.  You can't survive being number 4 without some spunk.

She's also goofy.  Like when she insists on wearing her winter hat during church.  (This is her with my best friend Bethany's daughter, Kennady.)

Right now, it seems like everyone is pregnant.

Like my sister Emma, the aforementioned Bethany, and every other married woman my age.  Or so it seems.  Me?  I'm adjusting to life without an infant!!  ;-)

I look at my baby girl quite often and pray, "Lord...thank you.  THANK YOU.  You knew how much i would need her."  She has been a balm during so much hurt.  My sweet little girl.  My number 4.  My "baby" while I rejoice in everyone else having their babies.

And don't get me wrong...I love all my babies.

Every single one of them.

They are such a joy in my life.

But today, I've just happened to be thinking about this one...

And thanking the Lord for blessing me with her life.  As I type this, she's laying her head on my arm and singing along to Carrie Underwood.  I could kiss her face all day.  Sometimes, it seems like I do.  And she lets me.  :)  If I'm really lucky, she kisses me back.

I love her.

I can't help it.

She's my baby.  :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Why I use cloth diapers.

I have been blessed with four beautiful babies. 

Those babies, precious and cute as they are, came with four little butts.  And a LOT of diaper changes.  Not including the 2-3 church services per week that I'm on diaper duty in the nursery, or the 5 years I was a nanny, I would say that I have changed at least 14,000 diapers (that's 365 days X 2 years X 4 kids X an average of 5 diapers per day).  So when you factor in the nanny + nursery duty, the estimate is pretty low.

That's a LOT of diapers!!!  I wish I could tell you that I have used cloth from the beginning, or that I'm an avid environmentalist trying to reduce my carbon footprint.  I'm not.  I tried cloth diapers when my third was born.  It was pitiful.  I bought Gerber diapers with the cheap Gerber plastic covers.  And pins. 


I gave up about a month in, much to the dismay of my husband, who had reluctantly handed over the $100 we didn't have so I could purchase everything.

When my fourth child came along, I had been desperately trying to potty train my 3 year old son.  There was no way I was having 3 kids in diapers.  But he just wasn't ready.  Which meant that I had 2 girls in diapers, and a son in pull-ups.  Money was tight.  So I put my girls back in cloth, pins, and the loud, plastic covers.

At the time, I knew NO ONE who used cloth.  Anyone who found out I made the switch thought I was a complete nut.  I am.  But not just because of cloth diapers. 

Thankfully, I met my friend Ellisa, who came to my rescue a few months into the journey.  She introduced me first to Snappi's.

  No longer did I risk poking my girls in the hip, and my husband was a little more willing to change diapers.  A little while later, she went back to work, put her son in disposables, and sold me her Fuzzibunz and Knickernappies pocket diapers.

I was in LOVE!!!  They were as easy to change as a disposable!!  And they were so CUTE, even if I had purchased mostly boy colors.

I was content with my new purchase.  I loved cloth diapering, loved saving money, and would talk to anyone who was interested about cloth diapers.  I even convinced some friends to try it for their own children.  Those friends are still using cloth, so it's not just my wonderful powers of persuasion! 

A year later, after potty training Amerie and wishing I had some girly dipes, I bought some covers and switched back to my Gerber diapers with Snappi's, only now I had velcro covers (they make diapers changes SO much easier!!) in some pretty fun colors. 

Honestly, I love cloth diapers.  I think they make something mundane but neccessary a little bit more interesting.  We even have a local cloth diaper store, No Pins Required.  It's so much fun to look at all of the diapers, covers, and accessories!  Who knew diapering could be so much FUN?!?

I will admit that cloth diapering is not for everyone.  It adds a load or two to your weekly laundry.  You have to change diapers more frequently, becuase they're not ultra-absorbant like diposables.  And the start-up cost is much more than a pack or two of diapers and wipes (but overall, it ends up a fraction of the cost you would incur with disposables).  And sometimes, it's a little gross. 

But you get over it.  Just like you get over everything gross that comes with being a mom. 

'Cuz they're worth it.  :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Immanuel...God With Us

I was listening to the radio yesterday.  Listening to K*Love, to be exact.  And a song came on that I have heard many times.  I've probably even sang along with the lyrics (I tend to sing to the radio a lot.  My mom once saw me stopped at a red light, singing my heart out to the radio.  She found it quite funny.  Thanks mom.)  But somehow, the lyrics caught my attention in a new way.  I couldn't get them out of my head the rest of the day.

"Such a tiny offering,
Compared to Calvery
Nevertheless, we lay it at your feet"

I feel that way so many times!!  My heart feels like it will burst with love and devotion for our Lord, and yet I wish I could give Him so much more.  All I have is my very life, my future, and my children, and I have completely laid those at His feet.  It seems so small, and yet He takes it with Joy, knowing that although our gifts can never compare to the gift He so freely gave us, we give Him all we have.  He doesn't ask for any more.  I am so amazed at the God we serve. 

I ended up purchasing the song from Itunes, and listening to the entire thing.  I could swear that the songwriter looked deep into my heart when they wrote the lyrics!  I'll share them here...

God With Us – Mercy Me

Who are we, that You would be mindful of us?
What do You see, that's worth looking our way?
We are free, in ways that we never should be.
Sweet release, from the grip of these chains.
Like hinges straining from the weight, my heart no longer can keep from singing!!

All that is within me cries
For You alone be glorified!
 Emmanuel, God with us!
My heart sings a brand new song.
The debt is paid these chains are gone.
Emmanuel, God with us.

Lord You know, our hearts don't deserve Your glory.
Still You show, a love we cannot afford.
Like hinges straining from the weight, my heart no longer can keep from singing.

All that is within me cries
For You alone be glorified!
Emmanuel, God with us!
My heart sings a brand new song.
The debt is paid, these chains are gone.
Emmanuel, God with us!

Such a tiny offering, compared to Calvary,
Nevertheless, we lay it at your feet.
Such a tiny offering, compared to Calvary,
Nevertheless, we lay this at your feet.

All that is within me cries.
For You alone be glorified
Emmanuel, God with us.
My heart sings a brand new song.
My debt is paid, these chains are gone.
Emmanuel, God with us.

Good song!!!  :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Some things I've learned...

1.  Blogging is fun, hard if you're busy.  I give the Pioneer Woman a big thumbs up.

2.  Dr. Bronner's  soaps are amazing.  I'm particularly fond of the lavender scent.  Just don't use them as shampoo.  Although my hair smelled wonderful, it felt like straw and left a funky residue, despite rinsing really well.

3.  If you purchase eggs from a local farmer, be prepared to be surprised.

4.  Soaking grains before cooking is just not for me.  This disappoints me, but I'm getting over it.  I believe the theory behind the benefits, but I haven't gotten a single recipe to work.  And baking is something I am good at and really enjoy.  I'm taking that hobby back, for myself and my kids (who love my cooking).

5.  Healthy eating is important, but it's way too easy to go overboard.  Life is about serving Jesus and loving people.  Not about food obsessions.  This is hard for me to admit.  But I love food, and I love cooking.  Trying to stick to the "rules" of a certain diet has stripped all the joy and relaxation out of something I love.  I have decided that taking it down a notch is still much better than typical American fare.

6.  Children are one of God's greatest blessings and joys.  I cannot imagine my life without my 4 babies.  Sometimes they drive me CRAZY, but when I wake up in the morning with two little hands on my cheeks, and a whispered, "I wus you, mommy," I couldn't ask for anything better.

7.  Sometimes, life is just plain HARD.  But the Lord is always faithful and He will provide strength, comfort, peace, and provision in the moments you need it.  We serve an awesome God.

8.  We serve an awesome God!!

9.  Having a heart to heart with one of your pastors every once in awhile is highly recommended.  It keeps you focused, keeps you in line.  You may not always like what they say, but if you pray about it, God usually shows you that they were right.  ;)

10.  Life is stressful...don't make it more stressful than it needs to be.  I'm a phlegmatic, which means I need downtime and little stress.  My life is h.a.r.d. right now, and I have been trying to be supermom and wonder woman during a time when I have every right to take it kinda easy.  My divorce is final on November 16.  Although I have peace over the whole affair (I laid it at the Lord's feet and I have complete faith it's in His care), I am stressed.  And sad.  And emotional. And at times, I have no brain because of everything I'm dealing with.  It's not the time to volunteer for 50 different activities and make a bunch of promises.  Unfortunately, I had to figure this out through trial.  And error.  :::sigh:::

11.  God is GOOD.  I cannot say it enough.

12.  Read your bible.  Your B.I.B.L.E.  Don't become distracted by Christian books, which are fine in and of themselves.  But there is no replacement for your bible.  And no companion as important.

13.  There is a lot to be said for routines and self-discipline.  I just have to figure out how to factor exhaustion into it.

14.  I am exhausted. 

15.  Never forget that life has "seasons," just like the weather.  This too shall pass.