Saturday, March 27, 2010

Good, Better, Best

This is the story of two sisters who were both excited about the guest coming to dinner at their home, but the way they showed it was different. One hurried around getting things ready, distracted by her preparations. The other sat and listened to the guest excited just to be near him. Perhaps the first sister grew a little bitter and resented the second. Here she was doing all the work, and her sister just sat! She asked that her sister help, but the guest said the sister who was sitting had chosen the one thing that was necessary.

I imagine many of you recognize the account of Martha and her sister Mary who received a visit from Jesus in Luke 10:38-42. I struggled with this story as I am sure many other women do. I think, Martha was doing good, they had to eat, isn't it important to serve. This week as I studied that passage I noticed something. Verse 38 says that Martha welcomed Jesus, she was glad he was there, she truly loved him, but later in verse 40 she became distracted by all she had to do and her focus was no longer on where it should be- her Savior and her God! Martha was not wrong in her kitchen prep, she was wrong in her attitude and her heart. She was over-occupied and too busy. Who does that happen to? Being over-occupied and too busy? Not me I am sure ;) Martha only remembered her service and forgot the One she was serving! She forgot her purpose, her one thing.

Jesus told Martha that she was worried and bothered about so many things but only one thing is necessary and Mary had chosen that! (verse 42) Mary understood the 'good, better, best' concept. Getting supper ready was good, doing it with a happy attitude would be better, meditation, devotion, and worship is the best. Mary's time spent at the feet of Jesus would last for eternity, would not be taken away from her.

Ken Guire says in his book, Intimate Moments With the Savior, "Jesus says something extraordinary about what Mary did: it would become a permanent part of her life; it would count for eternity. Quite a promise. And what did Mary do? All she did was sit. It was where she sat that made the difference."

So how do I apply good, better, best in my life? I remember that there will be time to pick up toys and vacuum another day. It means that I do not have to make every meal homemade. It is okay to miss a class or meeting. What is good and better will be different for every person, but the best always is resting at the Savior's feet. When I focus on the one relationship that matters most, mine with my Lord, the other relationships do not be come less, they become better and more fulfilling! I love better as a wife, mother, daughter, friend.

What is your One Thing? Has something 'good' has replaced the best in your life?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cloth Diaper Blogs and Helpful Sites

All About Cloth Diapers- lots of reviews and giveaways

Dirty Diaper Laundry- Video reviews and giveaways of those diapers, this is great because you can see how cloth diapers actually work!

The Cloth Diaper Report- reviews of diapers and other maternity and baby products, giveaways

The Cloth Diaper Whisperer- lots of giveaways and general info on using cloth

Diaper Pin- your cloth diaper questions are answered

Diaper Jungle- resources on 'how to' and FAQs

Washing Cloth Diapers

Washing diapers is not complicated, but it does have to be done right! And sometimes it takes a little bit to figure out what works for each person because of factors like hard or soft water, type of machine, how often one washes, etc. I can tell you what I do, but it is different from person to person. There are several websites that have tips for washing diapers.
I wash every 2 or 3 days begin with a cold rinse and a tablespoon of laundry booster like OxyClean or Tide Stain Release. Then I do a hot wash with 1/2 the detergent recommended. I use All Small and Mighty Free Clear or Purex Free and Clear. If there is any lingering scent I will do an additional rinse.
I hang dry all PUL diapers, like covers and pocket diapers. I dry inserts, fitted diapers, and wipes on hot. When the weather is nice I will hand dry everything outside and sun out stains.(Yes, the sun does take out stains!!!) Then I stuff pockets and sort wipes, covers, and fitted or extra diapers. I put everything away in one of Carmody's dresser drawers until she needs a clean diaper.
I have enough diapers to last about 5 days, but I have some I like better than others so I wash more frequently. Also, the diapers can be harder to clean if they sit too long. I store the diapers in an open pail in Carmody's room. When it is open the smell isn't bad. I have not had any problems with Eli or Carmody getting in to it, but that could change because Carmody is a moving girl!
The diaper that Carmody is wearing here is a Flip one-size cover from BumGenius with a Flip microfiber insert!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Florida Fun

We were blessed to go to Florida with my parents last week over Andy's spring break. They used their timeshare to get us a 3 bedroom condo in Panama City Beach! Our room looked out over the beach and we enjoyed the sand!

Eli would not look at the camera, but the rest of us look nice!

Carmody loved the sand! She tried to eat it...

We buried Eli in the sand many times, but he only stayed under for a few seconds!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A few things...

After Andy's basketball games we often go to Arby's. Here are a couple shots from last night. Aren't my dear children beautiful?

A tip for you! Check the back of your Arby's and Wendy's reciepts. If you call and complete a survey, you will get a code for a free sandwich on your next visit. They take about 5-10 minutes. The sandwich is worth about $3. It's a good deal!

By the way... these pictures were taken with my new camera. A Sony Cybershot DSC-W290

Book Review: The Flowering Cross

I was so excited to get this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers! We checked the mail on the way home last night and there it was! I read The Flowering Cross by Beth Ryan to Eli right before bed last night. The first thing I noticed at I removed the book from the box was that the cover was textured. I liked it! This book is hardcover with nice glossy pages.

The Flowering Cross tells the story of little Katie (about 5 years old) who teaches her grouchy neighbor, Papa Jack, about God's love! She wakes up in Easter morning and visits Jack to pick his flowers for the flowering of the cross at church. Her sweet spirit and excitement is something I want my children to emulate, so I had no problem reading the book to Eli again at naptime! One great thing about this book is the 'Faith Imprint' and accompanying verse found on many of the pages. These help parents discuss the important points in the book and character qualities displayed by the Katie and her family.

The book also includes instructions for making your own flowering cross which we have not done. I think it will be a great craft project that teaches too!
I was not reimbursed for my opinion, but was provided a complimentary copy of the book. I gave my honest opinion.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Clutter Control

Do you see that pillow? The orange and blue one? It says "DREAMY" and is covered in stars? Yes, that's it, the one that matches nothing in any one's house and serves no useful purpose.
I won that pillow for Andy and a theme park or carnival when we were dating. It has sentimental value. It also left little furry orange fluff around the house. We needed to get rid of it, but I like it...
Thanks to a wonderful tip from my mother, we took a picture and trashed the pillow! Now I can remember how mushy I felt about Andy, but not have excess things in my home!
Do you have things like this in your house? A necklace your son made for you when he was 5. He's 30 now. A ridiculous sombrero from your favorite vacation, but you need room for kids clothes now. A set of drinking glasses your sister gave you and you never use.
You know what organizing experts say- if you don't love it or use it regularly, get rid of it! But there are somethings that mean so much to us because of the giver who means so much to us! Take a picture of yourself using those items, then get 'em out of your house!
I am getting rid of 730 things this year as part of Amy's challenge!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cloth Diaper Stash

To see my first cloth diaper post with some basic descriptions go here.

These are the diapers I have and how I like them...

15 infant prefolds- very absorbent, I used these with the thirsties covers when Carmody was very small. I usually just trifolded them and stuck them in a cover. Later I used them as inserts for my pocket diapers and for various mess clean ups.

2 econobum prefolds- these are large and would even fit Eli (my big 2 y/o) if needed.

4 xsmall thirsties covers- Thirsties are my favorite covers. They velcro and have leg gussets. These babies do not leak! They have a dip in the front for the umbilical cord. I used these when Carmody was a newborn.
1 small thirsties cover- I did not use this as much. I used pocket diapers as Carmody fit into them. Thirsties are made of PUL.

2 medium kushies covers- these were hand-me-downs and I don't love them. They are vinyl and do not breathe as well, but they work! I use them over my fitted diapers.

7 small cot'n wrap covers- also hand-me-downs, these have stretched out elastic and some leaking.

15 small fuzzibunz w/ 2 fb inserts- FuzziBunz are pocket diapers. They have a PUL outer and microfleece on the inside. It pulls moisture away from the babies skin to help them feel dry. I do like these, but I don't think I get as good a fit as with the bumgenuis. These fasten with snaps so they don't wear out.

5 BumGenius 3.0 one size w/ onesize and newborn inserts- My night time diaper! I stuff these with a onesize microfiber insert and a hemp insert and never have any leaks. This diaper fits from about 8 pounds until 35 pounds. These do not fit Eli who is 35 pounds, but they are close! They can be snapped down to fit babies from shortly after birth until potty training. BumGenius velcro close. The velcro tabs are starting to wear out, but can be replaced if you are a sewer. (I'm not, but I'm learning!)

4 medium thirsties fitteds- super soft! These are pretty absorbent and fit under all the covers I have. These have velcro.

6 medium happy heinys sherpa fitteds- VERY absorbant and soft, I can use these for a couple hours without a cover, to 'air out' Carmody. They use 4 snaps to fasten. These do not fit under every cover. I have to use certain ones. I love them though!

3 medium swaddlebees fitteds- There are sidesnapping, which is not my favorite, but they do their job! They can be used with any cover.

2 small WAHM fitteds- beautiful designs, but not as functional as I had hoped. They are very trim fitting and fit under any cover.

2 econobum covers- one size PUL cover, can be sized for 7-35 lbs. Uses snaps to close. These are more cheaply made, but have been working for now. They contain messes! I cannot use these covers with the Happy Heiny's diapers.

2 flip covers and inserts- These are also onesize PUL covers that fasten with snaps. They feel more durable and will cover any of my fitted diapers. I have discovered that I prefer velcro covers.

20ish random inserts- hemp, microfiber cotton, various sizes

Cloth Diapers: Part 1

I have been using cloth diapers for Carmody since she was just a few days old and I LOVE them! I want to share with you the kinds of diapers I use (yes, there are many kinds), what I like and don't like about them, how I wash them, using cloth away from home, and any other questions you may have.

I researched for HOURS and HOURS when I was pregnant. I read reviews and 'how to' guides. I scoured Craigslist to find good deals on used cloth diapers because the upfront cost of diapers is a little high.

Cloth diapers are no longer flats and prefolds, pins and plastic pants, although you can still use those. Diapers are modern! I'll tell you about the options out there.

All in Ones (AIO): These go on just like a disposable. They have a waterproof outer layer and an absorbent layer (cotton, bamboo, hemp, microfiber) sewn in. You fasten them with snaps or velcro.

Pockets: The waterproof outer layer snaps or velcros on and you stuff absorbency into the pocket. These can be customized to be more absorbent. They also dry faster than AIOs because they have 2 parts.

Fitteds: There is no waterproof layer with these and they need a cover. They are made of an absorbent, soft material like cotton, bamboo, hemp, etc. Fitteds fasten with snaps or velcro or can be just placed in the cover. They are shaped like a diaper.

Covers: These are made of a waterproof material like PUL (polyurithane laminate), wool, fleece, vinyl, etc. They are shaped like a diaper and go over fitteds or prefolds. Covers can have snaps, velcro, or pull on.

These are the main options, but there are variations within the catagories.