Friday, July 31, 2009

A sweet date

Yesterday, my husband and I went on an afternoon date. We decided that would be better so that we could keep the children in there evening routines and not have to move them sleeping.

First we went to Barnes and Nobles, where we walked around and found books that we were wanting to read, then flicked through them and discussed them over some coffee. We also shared a huge brownie with chocolate chunks.

After, we decided to go and check out the half price books clearance section where Josh found two books he had been needing for just a $1. Funnily, he was just saying how he never finds anything in the clearance section for himself whereas I always do. We had a reversal of results, I found nothing!

Wandering around and bantering, Josh pointed to a book and used its title to finish his sentence making me giggle, I quickly looked around for a title to respond with. Thus a game was born!

I know that our conversation made very little sense, but we had a great time and were giggling and smiling like a pair of teenagers on their first date!

Sometimes, the simplest, cheapest dates are the most wonderful!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Outside my window...
Dark gray clouds... its been a rainy, humid and dark week weather wise. We've had some fun 'rainy days'. A rare treat!

I am thinking... the date my husband and I are going on this afternoon! I am so excited.

I am thankful for...God's amazing provision and love for us. He cares about the details of our lives and blesses us so greatly!

From the kitchen... we ate ham sandwiches for lunch!

I am wearing... my pajamas still! Why dress to clean and play?

I am creating... decorations for Rachel's birthday party. We're going to get some poster board and have some fun with markers!

I am going... to have a wonderful week with my husband home! Looking forward to family time, growing closer to each other and the Lord.

I am reading... I just finished Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, this morning I was skimming through 'Raising your spirited child'.

I am hoping... to keep the joy of the Lord in my heat and be thankful for all things!

I am hearing... Esther is singing and swishing a blanket, Rachel is babbling sweetly!

Around the house... things are looking good, maybe I'll make some curtains for the front room?

One of my favorite things... my husband not working nights, falling to sleep together and waking up together being pounced on by small children!

I am praying... so many friends going through challenging times. Peace about the future!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Lots of visits with friends and family, various appointments, having a nice time!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Nibble Tray

I came across this idea in my reading and today, as a rummaged around for something to supplement our lunch (black beans, brown rice, tomatoes, onion, ground beef, some seasoning...yummy!), I remembered this idea. I combined 2 ideas - the nibble tray and the dipping, since my fridge needs restocking so I was limited.

Taken from the Sear's website...

Toddlers like to graze their way through a variety of foods, so why not offer them a customized smorgasbord? The first tip from the Sears' kitchen is to offer toddlers a nibble tray. Use an ice-cube tray, a muffin tin, or a compartmentalized dish, and put bite-size portions of colorful and nutritious foods in each section. Call these finger foods playful names that a two-year-old can appreciate, such as:

* apple moons (thinly sliced)
* avocado boats (a quarter of an avocado)
* banana wheels
* broccoli trees (steamed broccoli florets)
* carrot swords (cooked and thinly sliced)
* cheese building blocks
* egg canoes (hard- boiled egg wedges)
* little O's (o-shaped cereal)

Place the food on an easy-to-reach table. As your toddler makes his rounds through the house, he can stop, sit down, nibble a bit, and, when he's done, continue on his way. These foods have a table-life of an hour or two.

Dip it. Young children think that immersing foods in a tasty dip is pure fun (and delightfully messy). Some possibilities to dip into:

* cottage cheese or tofu dip
* cream cheese
* fruit juice-sweetened preserves
* guacamole
* peanut butter, thinly spread
* pureed fruits or vegetables
* yogurt, plain or sweetened with juice concentrate

Those dips serve equally well as spreads on apple or pear slices, bell-pepper strips, rice cakes, bagels, toast, or other nutritious platforms.

Today in our nibble tray was: organic Celery Sticks, organic Carrots, Blueberries, organic Bananas, Wholewheat crackers, cottage cheese, organic peanut butter, plain yoghurt sweetened with some honey.

Hopefully I can offer different things each a day and get more creative!

Raw Milk!

I had my first glass of raw milk the other day, a friend had driven out to a farm in Cleburne to buy some to try. I must saw I was a little nervous as I lifted the glass to my mouth.

My last experience with milk straight from the source, was goats milk and it tasted like the goats last meal!

However, I was pleasantly surprised! It was creamy, pure and delicious! I look forward to heading out to the farm myself soon! At $7.00 a gallon, it will be a very occasional treat.

I just found this website and am reading about the benefits etc.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A verse for the week and a new journey through Romans

My good friend sent this scripture to me after it spoke volumes to her heart, so I decided to make it my memory verse for the week. May it bless you also!

"Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth" 1 John 3:18

Last night I felt the Lord leading me to spend time reading through Roman's, if you would like to read along with me, please let me know, I'd love to explore it with you! I have just read 1:1-16 and am still meditating on it.

I say this, after reading Paul's salutation and being struck by the importance of fellowship, encouragement and prayer with the body of Christ as we live each day by Faith.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Daybook :-)

Outside my window...
Red blooms on the green tree, looking out of place in the Texas heat.

I am thinking... of fall, cooler, windy days and time outdoors, colorful leaf montages.

I am thankful for... A lovely morning with sweet, uplifting ladies and special little ones.

From the kitchen... Delicious pancakes for breakfast

I am wearing... My new favorite full length skirt from the Clothing Exchange this last saturday, a dark brown t-shirt and barefeet.

I am creating... there is a pattern for a little girl's capri and ruffle shirt on my table just waiting to be made!

I am going... I am home for the rest of the evening and looking forward to time with P & S tomorrow afternoon.

I am reading... The Nutrition Book but hoping to find some Christian fiction to 'relax' to!

I am hoping... to watch another sermon with my beloved tonight before he leaves for work.

I am hearing...
My A/C unit turning on, the lovely sound of my nursling enjoying mama's milk.

Around the house...
things needs to be put in order, my laundry needs to be put away, the dishes taken out the dishwasher, the floor swept and mopped and dinner cooked all before 5pm!

One of my favorite things... heartfelt hugs and I love you's from E and sweet giggles from little R.

I am praying... for a joyful, thankful and peaceful heart.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Reorganizing the girl's room, planning Rachel's first birthday party.

Babies Don't Keep by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I finally made the dress...

From the tutorial posted below! Its very cute, and Esther loves it, my sewing is not the best, mostly due to my ornery sewing machine. I didn't do the trim on the bottom because I ran out of white thread. So, here you go, made out of a man's shirt from the Metochai Clothing Exchange!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tasty Sprite Tea.

I wasn't sure whether to call it 'Tea Sprite' , makes me think of a fairytale creature that loves tea... anyway!...

You can learn how to make this delicious drink and also read about a pretty awesome family right here...

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I was sent this article after a conversation with the lovely Michelle Bullens. Its a fantastic little article on modesty. I've pasted it below for your convenience, here's the link in case you want to explore the website more, which I have not done yet!

"Truth Or Bare?" Modesty Tests

This is the much requested list of creative tests to determine whether an outfit is modest or not. We developed them so a girl can go through the thinking process by herself and let her heart be molded into modesty rather than face a legalistic set of rules. These may work for you or you may want to develop your own tests. Try them out and send us new ideas!

"Is my shirt too tight?"

Take the tips of your fingers and press into your shirt right where your ribs come together in the "valley" in the middle of your chest. When you take your fingers away does your shirt immediately spring back like a small Smurf trampoline? If so, your shirt it too tight!
SOLUTION: Get rid of the shirt. It's not going to get bigger overnight. Try a different bra first as sometimes that can make a huge difference.

"Am I showing too much belly?"

Stand and pretend you are totally going for it in worship and lift your hands up in the air with your arms fully extended to God. Is this exposing any belly skin? Even if you don't raise your hands to worship, just think of all the things you do every day that causes you to lift them up.
SOLUTION: Go for layers and put a longer shirt under a shorter one. Our secret weapon: a ribbed t-shirt or tank from the men's department. They're nice and long and stay tucked in under a cool, trendy shirt.

"Can you see my underpants?"

Can you see a distinct outline of your panties through your pants, skirt or shorts? This can happen if your pants are too tight or because your undies are too bright! And while we're on the subject, can you see any straps from your bra? That's not A-O-K! The only straps showing on a girl of God should be the straps from her cute summer sandals!
SOLUTION: Trash your tight pants. For lighter colored pants and skirts, keep a few pair of "Grannie Panties" (big plain white ones) on hand for a safe look. And as far as those bra straps...don't do it! Make sure your tank tops have nice wide straps to cover your bra.

"How short is too short?"

When you buy either shorts or a skirt, try this test. Sit in front of a full length mirror. Sit both "indian style" on the floor and with your legs crossed in a chair. What do you see? If you see too much thigh or your panties, guess what? So can everyone else. If you really want to up the ante, imagine that mirror is your dear ol' grandpa! (P.S. We stole this test from Susie Shellenberger or Brio magazine! Thanks, Susie!)
SOLUTION: Today's skirts are about extremes. Go for extremely long...extremely full...but pass on extremely short. As far as shorts go...they can be hard to find but keep looking! And check out the favorite places to shop on this blog. It'll help you find shorts with longer in-seams!

"Are my pants just too low?"

It 'aint cute on the plumber and it 'aint so cute on girls either. The terrible...the awful....crack view! Sit "indian style" on the floor. Bend forward as if you're about to devour a great magazine. Now, reach behind you and get a feel of what might be the featured view if your jeans are too low. (Or ask a girlfriend to check you out!)
SOLUTION: Some low riders are just too low. Find a pair that won't cause viewers to blush for you.

"Tell me my shirt too tight?"

When wearing a button down shirt, stand sideways and look in the mirror. Is the space between the buttons gaping open, even just a little bit? If it's pulling enough to cause a gap you're in danger of exposing way too much and in danger of losing a button!
SOLUTION: NO Brainer. Shirts that are too tight are a totally bad idea if you want to dress modestly. It's not JUST about how much of our beautiful epidermis is showing, but how much of our shape is showing! Try buying a size or two larger. (If that bugs you cut out the tag when you get home.) Or, try a t-shirt under the button down and leave it open for a layered look.

"Is it cold in here?"

OK, girls...hate to bring this one up but when we get cold or nervous sometimes we can "get nippy"...if you catch my drift. When this happens, it is visible to others IF our bras are not thick enough. There's no test for this least not one that I want to take! But keep in mind that when you're wearing thinner shirts, wear a thicker bra to avoid this problem. When you have on a sweater or a thicker shirt, go for a thin and cute bra if you want!

"Is my shirt too low?"

It's time for a secret weapon! A men's tank, slip this under a button down that exposes cleavage below your hand when placing your thumb on your collar bone. You can also try a trendy layering technique by putting a button down under a polo or rugby shirt that plunges too low.


Monday, July 13, 2009

What's for Dinner?

Do you ever just look at your cupboards and think 'I have no idea what to make tonight?'... sure, I try to plan my meals but sometimes I haven't been grocery shopping yet, or just want a change!

I've been really enjoying these websites lately... and

You can type in the ingredients you want to use, then search. You'll get a list of recipes using the items you have.

If you read the reviews, they will give you tips on how you can change/modify the recipe to make it better.

This is tasty, one that Ashley found for me :-D except we use a whole bottle of Wishbone Italian Robusto dressing and add chicken.

We made this last night...

And last week we had...a tasty way to enjoy spinach!

Please share your recipes!

Friday, July 3, 2009

What a great idea! Little Girl's Dress Tutorial.

I would LOVE to sew more. However, on a limited budget, its not often I can spend the money on the fabric and its not everyday you stumble on a bargain at a yard sale. So I am really excited to find this tutorial using an old shirt - maybe you can find one at Goodwill or a yard sale, or even one that your good cooking has deemed unwearable for your husband!

I hope to try it very soon! I will be sure to post pictures when I do. This is a link from a forum, I think the mommy made the pattern herself, so be sure to give credit!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Conversations with a 3 year old.

As you probably know, 3 year old children are probably the best comedians. Whether they try or not. Here are some recent conversations with Esther, who is as cheeky as she looks in the above picture!

Mommy: Esther, time to brush your hair!
Esther: I don't want to brush my hair.
Mommy: But don't you want to look like a princess, like Belle?

Later on that hour...

Mommy: Come here my little penguin!
Esther: I am not a penguin. I'm a snake.

I love this stage, she is just figuring so much out, testing social interactions, reasoning the world all around her, asking 'why?'. Its an age of wonder and beauty. If you have a cheeky chatterbox of a three year old, nurture and enjoy that little mind!

Rachel walks!

I think I can say that Rachel officially walks... I think. She can walk, she has taken as many as 8 steps in a row several times. Here is the thing though, you have to entice her to come to you with a toy or promises of milk. Otherwise she is happier crawling. If she made the choice that walking was more advantageous, she could do it, she just hasn't made that choice yet! But, I'll say 'she walks!' because I know the sweet, stubborn baby can and would, as soon as it suits her, ability is not holding her back!

Thinking about cloth diapering?

I get a lot of questions about cloth diapers. I have written a cloth diaper 101, but I figured that would be long and tedious. So, I asked some questions of some sweet mama's on, an interview of sorts, to help you navigate the world of cloth and decide whether it's right for your family.


Why do you cloth diaper?
I think it's better for my LOs skin.

What cloth diapering system do you use?
Fitted + wool (for breathability) and pocket AIOs (for convenience).

What do you love about cd'ing?
I love doing laundry. There is something magical about getting stains out, putting dirty clothes in and getting clean clothes out. Washing CDs is much more rewarding than washing regular clothes, and I get to do it every day.

What is your least favorite thing about cd'ing?

Feeling like it's my fault when rashes happen.

What detergent do you use to wash?

I have tried several but keep having to go back to Tide HE powder. The others just haven't cut it for me.
If you had to tell a new cd'er just ONE piece of advice... what would it be? K.I.S.S. (keep it simple)


Why do you cloth diaper?
I cloth diaper for many reasons: 1. it was a financially cheaper choice for our family 2.cloth diapers are healthier for baby 3.cloth diapers are healthier for the environment…no disposable-polluting here 4.cloth diapers are just plain cuter than disposables!

What cloth diapering system do you use?
We use prefolds and covers, fitteds and covers, pockets, and AIOs.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of your cloth diapering system?
Advantages for us: saving lots of money, cuter diapers, healthier bottom for baby.
Disadvantages: I hate washing laundry, so washing dipes every 3 days is a chore, but it’s beginning to be less bothersome to me.

What do you love about cd'ing?
I love that my son has a cuter tushie than most other babies. LOL. I also love sewing, so making dipes is super fun for me!

What is you least favorite thing about cd'ing?

Laundry day. LOL

What detergent to you use to wash?
We use Sun free and clear…it’s cheap and it gets the dipes super clean.

If you had to tell a new cd'er just ONE piece of advice... what would it be?
Prefolds and snappis get easier with practice! I promise!

Parkers Mom

Why do you cloth diaper? Better for the enviroment is my number one reason, closely followed by cost.

What cloth diapering system do you use? A little of everything. We mostly use pockets, but also have some AIO's, and prefolds and fitteds with some fleece and PUL covers.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of your cloth diapering system?
I love having options when I am picking out a diaper. For instance, if we are just hanging around the house, prefolds are great with fitteds for naps, if we will be running around, I love Pockets or AIOs. I like having a little of everything. The disadvantage to me would be having to learn a little about all the options we have. For instance, DH just sticks with pockets because once he has learned one way of doing things he doesn't want to have to learn all about another.

What do you love about cd'ing? Mostly everything. I love knowing I am doing something to help out the environment my son is growing up in. I love not having to waste money on a disposable that I will just throw away. And mostly, I love the fun, cute diapers there are around. Nothing beats a cute CD bum.

What is you least favorite thing about cd'ing? The learning process for washing diapers. I am still trying to figure out what works best for us and I have spent more money and time on detergents/other additives than I care to think about. I really wish there were a way to make it a more simple process altogether.

What detergent to you use to wash? Purex Free and Clear at the moment, which is working okay, but I have tried several of the other popularly suggested detergents. I am still looking for the right one for us.

If you had to tell a new cd'er just ONE piece of advice... what would it be? Don't give up. It won't be the easiest thing at first, but its worth it. Don't expect that what you had completely planned on using will be what actually works best for you. Practice makes perfect so to speak, so if one diaper doesn't work, give another one a try. You will eventually find what works best for you.


1. Why do you cloth diaper? To save money and for the environment
2. What cloth diapering system do you use? Primarily prefolds and covers with a few fitted diapers and All in Ones for going out
3. What are the advantages/disadvantages of your cloth diapering system? Prefolds with a snappi are not easy for everyone to use (my mom can't get the hang of the snappi!)
4. What do you love about cd'ing? Knowing I am saving money and my daughter's diapers aren't sitting in a landfill for the next 500 years!
5. What is you least favorite thing about cd'ing? Having to carry a bigger diaper bag
6. What detergent to you use to wash? Tide HE original
7. If you had to tell a new cd'er just ONE peice of advice... what would it be? Keep it simple....remember it is just a diaper!


Why do you cloth diaper? no chemicals, less waste, fun
What cloth diapering system do you use? AIOs and pf fitteds w/wool
What are the advantages/disadvantages of your cloth diapering system? wool can be expensive, AIOs can take long to dry and fitteds need a snappi and a cover
What do you love about cd'ing? I love the softness of the dipes - I use mostly cotton, colors and prints are fun too
What is you least favorite thing about cd'ing? when I forget to use a liner and have to dunk and flush to get poo off
What detergent to you use to wash? Charlie's Soap and OxoBrite
If you had to tell a new cd'er just ONE piece of advice... what would it be? Find one thing that works well and buy that as your bulk - for me it was pfs and now pf fitteds, then have a few of some other types of things that work but give you some variety like I have a dozen of different types of AIOs and in different colors too.


Why do you cloth diaper?

Economical reasons, environmental reasons, and NO diaper rash, EVER!

What cloth diapering system do you use?

We use mostly PFs and fitteds with covers, although we have a handful of AIOs and pockets that DH prefers. We use AIOs for outings because they're easier to change, but NEVER at night. I've made almost every dipe in my stash, and love trying out new fabrics and fine-tuning my pattern to fit my DS perfectly.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of your cloth diapering system?

I love cloth so much! DS #2 had terrible raw diaper rashes with sposies. I travel a LOT for work; 150 days a year, so we didn't even consider cloth as an option back then, but if I'd known how EASY it is, I would have at least used cloth when I was not traveling. Until DS #3 I thought all CDs were the PFs with pins and seriously yucky rubber pants. I had no idea cloth had been through such an evolution. The only disadvantages would be using cloth away from home (although not as bad as the rash that ensues from sposies), and the fact that DH can't seem to learn which dipes need covers, which ones AREN'T okay for night time, etc.)

What do you love about cd'ing?

Knowing how much money I'm saving, how much better it is for the earth, how much more comfortable DS must be. Also, the one week we used sposies at MIL's we found that every third one leaked all over his clothes, and of course he developed a rash.

What is you least favorite thing about cd'ing?

It is more work. But not that much. It's one extra load of laundry every other day. Rinsing off poo is no real thrill, but not such a biggie. When people ask me: "Isn't it more work?", my answer is yes, but so is separating the recycling from the rest of the trash, and we all do that without even thinking about it.

What detergent to you use to wash?

We've used Purex Free and Clear from day one with no problems. I've never used anything else. It's inexpensive, I can use it on the rest of our laundry, and I don't have to go to Whole Foods to buy it.

If you had to tell a new cd'er just ONE piece of advice... what would it be?

Don't go out and buy a whole stash worth of one style and brand before you've tried a few different things. Not every style/brand works for every baby so try out a few options before you invest heavily in one thing.


Why do you cloth diaper?

-We choose to CD because of cost and environmental issues. The idea of spending hundreds of dollars on something you throw away really bothered me, and since we're on a single income right now, it really helps to not have that be a worry.

What cloth diapering system do you use?
-We are currently using a very mixed stash. Mostly GMD pf's and covers, with some fitteds (BG bamboo), pockets (cloth diaper wholesale stuffed with hemp babies little weeds), and AIOs (BG and Sposoeasy). I intend to add some BG organic AIOs and start using the flats I have once DS is bigger.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of your cloth diapering system?
-Advantage: It's pretty easy- since it's mostly natural fibers, the wash routine is simple, and since it's so varied, we don't get bored!
Disadvantage: pfs can get bulky at times, and jelly roll folding on a squirmy, screaming newborn can be challenging!

What do you love about cd'ing?

- I love that I'm doing something good for DS- no rashes, no horrid perfumes, no gel, no chemicals! I also love that our diapering routine is a little "unconventional." And even so, no one who's come to visit has even noticed that he's got a fluffy bum!

What is you least favorite thing about cd'ing?

- Probably the fact that people who don't do it don't get it. Members of my family are totally grossed out by it and say some pretty rude things about our choice.

What detergent to you use to wash?

-We are currently using Planet Ultra powder detergent. So far, so good... although I've only washed 4 or so times.

If you had to tell a new cd'er just ONE piece of advice... what would it be?

- Simpler is usually better when it comes to cloth diapering. You don't need to have the latest and greatest of everything IMO. If it works, stick with it!


Why do you cloth diaper? I cloth diaper to be different But really, a big advantage is that we save money and my baby's butt is healthy!
What cloth diapering system do you use? Mostly Fuzzi Bunz pockets and BGOS at night
What are the advantages/disadvantages of your cloth diapering system? Some people don't like using pockets because there's an extra step of stuffing them after they're dried, but I don't mind.
What do you love about cd'ing? Everything! I love knowing it's better for my baby. I love the colors and prints. I love not buying a box of smelly disposables every time I go out!
What is you least favorite thing about cd'ing? It's hard to find a good detergent that works with your dipes and your water and your LO.
What detergent to you use to wash? Purex F & C
If you had to tell a new cd'er just ONE piece of advice... what would it be? Don't give up, just keep trying til you find what works for you