Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I'm a Genius When it Comes to Bums {Diaper Danger and a Giveaway}...

Oh Man...I'm so punny...how do you all put up with me?

So, I have been inundated lately with "cloth diapering" questions.  So, I figured it was time for a post on the subject!

First, I need to thank my good friend, Kathy, for introducing me to cloth diapering and supplying me with my first "stash" of diapers!  {She also washed my newborn diapers for me when Isabelle was a baby! Wow!!!}

When I started out, I used cloth diapers that you put a wrap over the top. What I loved about this system, is that they never leaked!  Those wraps held in moisture like water in a bucket!

Eventually, as those diapers wore out, I started replacing my stash with All In One diapers...the only problem I found with the AIOs is that the covers on them tended to get holes, thereby causing leaks!

Finally, I found a terrific deal on Bum Genius 3.0's {one size} on Craigslist.  The lady I bought them from tried them on her newborn and after leaving him at home with her husband, and then said husband not rinsing the diapers, she said, "it's just too much of a hassle!"  Blessed me!  I purchased 3 dozen diapers with only two used at second hand prices!

I have loved Bum Genius ever since!  They are what are referred to as Pocket Diapers...where there is a pocket in the diaper cover to insert a liner.  They usually come with an additional liner for extra absorbency.

I purchase the ones with Velcro tabs...yes, they do wear out after a while, but you can purchase refresh kits that come with new Velcro and elastic for the legs for $1/each on EBay.

What about washing?  Here is what works for us:

I have two diaper pails: one upstairs next to the changing table ~ a larger one downstairs next to our hamper.

Wet diapers are put in the upstairs pail {if I'm changing upstairs}, and diapers with solids are brought downstairs, rinsed {with a diaper rinsing attachment hooked to the toilet}, and placed in the larger diaper pail.

The diaper pails DO NOT have liquid solution in them!  I do line them with a "wet bag" that I throw in with the diapers when I do a washing.

Once or twice per week, I wash the diapers:

Cold Water Rinse {no detergent}
Hot Water Wash {1/8th cup detergent,  no bleach or fabric softener, heavy cycle, and extra rinse}
Dry in dryer in winter ~ Sun dry in summer {the sun bleaches the stains naturally!}
Easy Peasy!

I recently purchased some Fuzzi Bunz diapers with snaps...I haven't had the best of luck with them, but have heard of other people who swear by them!  It could be that my girl simply has slim thighs and they tend to leak...or it could be that I don't have them adjusted right...I'm not sure!

If I were to purchase more, it would definitely be Bum Genius with Velcro!  These adjust from newborn to 35lbs., and the Velcro makes it easier to adjust the waist.  Plus, they tend to be the most like disposable diapers, so other care givers are not as intimidated by them.

So, for the giveaway:

When I purchased the Fuzzi Bunz I received two bonus diapers with my purchase:
One Pink
One White {with a logo on the back that says: Does this diaper make my butt look big?}

Leave a comment about why you would like to try cloth diapering, leave your best cloth diapering tip, or cloth diapering question and you will be entered into a drawing to receive these diapers. 
 {One winner receives both!}

Linking to Growing Home's Teach Me Tuesdays!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

"Throw off everything that hinders...

...and the sin that so easily entangles." {Hebrews 12:1}

I'm writing this post to one specific person today!  Why?  Because I can ~ it's the benefit of "owning" the blog!  It will likely apply to many of you...and I pray that others of you will also receive the message: NOTHING you have done is beyond forgiveness!

So, I have this friend who has been trapped by guilt and shame from a sin in their life.  I know, I know, we are all sinners {Romans 3:23}, but this is one of those BIG sins!  You know, the kind that you quantify as big because the majority of the population would agree that it is!

Only - there in is the lie!  Not one sin that any of us has committed is bigger than another!  They are all sin!  They all prevent us from being in the presence of a Holy God if we do not have the righteousness of Jesus!

My friend thought that if they just worked hard enough, they could overcome the entrapment of this sin! 

There is the second lie!  Our work will never make us clean enough or cleanse our hearts without the atonement of Jesus! {Ephesians 2:8-9} Besides the enemy would love to have a foothold by making us think that keeping our sins a secret is best for everyone! {That is the third lie!}

The good news is you can be free!  Come to Christ with a deep repentance for the sin that has entangled you...run from that sin...and live in His freedom!  Return to the joy of your salvation!

I am praying for you daily! 
 I love you beyond measure ~ but He loves you more!
I am celebrating in victory with you!

Beautiful by Mercy Me

Listen to this song ~ absorb the lyrics ~ they are for you today!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Rain, Rain Go Away...

Last week, my friend Ashley introduced her first recording!  It was a complete hit in my house...my girls have been singing it daily!

Of course, I think it is absolutely wonderful!  As I've been repeating the chorus in my head...it has brought me to some reflection on what the lyrics mean to me.

I think the song is probably literally about the sun... but for me I've changed that "u" into an "o", and the song takes on a whole new meaning!

"Rain, rain go away. Come again another day. 'Cause it's me and the Son right now."

To me, it's speaking against the enemy and saying..."Go Away..you can't have a foothold!" "It's me and the Son right now!"

Just a great reminder to stand firm ~ letting nothing move me!
(1 Corinthians 15:58)

Now, go play the song...you're sure to be singing it!

Thanks for stopping by! Be Refreshed!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Who Are Those Winners Anyway?

Last week I had two giveaways going simultaneously ~ one for the Canyon Hills MOPS ladies, and one for everyone who wanted to be in the drawing for a Seeds Worship CD.

I bet you thought I would never announce a winner!

Blame it on this:

You'll never guess who created our snow soldier...

Hee! Hee!  For those of you reading from outside of Washington State, you might be thinking, "What, snow? Really?"  But honestly, when Seattle gets snow, the whole world comes to a screeching halt!  Seriously, our local grocery store was cleaned out of milk in our "state of emergency"!

For us, while we still homeschooled and went about our days as normal...there was snowball fights to be had ,snow angels to make, sledding, and of course a snowman and snow castle to be built.  {Conveniently, we just finished a study on medieval times, so a castle fit right into our homeschool day!}

So onto those winners!

For the MOPS giveaway:

Maria & Lisa

are my winners!

{Send me your addresses, and preference for Large Family Logistics or The Tightwad Gazette and I will pop them in the mail this week. In the case that you both pick the same book, I will draw names.}

For the Seeds CD giveaway

Blessed Mama & Keylade

are my winners!

Thanks to everyone for your comments and encouragement!  I am blessed!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Be Content!

I know ~ easier said than done!!!!
Last Friday, I spoke at a local MOPS group.  My topic was titled: Frugal Living without Fear or Frump!  Basically it was a talk on my different tidbits around money saving!

So, Friday morning I was praying for the women I was to be speaking to, and God started speaking to me!  He basically said, "Tell them that they are beautiful!"

I started thinking, "Um, ok?!?  Where does that fit into a budget speech?"  But, knowing how God works with me, I chose to obey - believing that if the message was just for one woman in that room, then I was not going to get in the way just because it didn't make sense to me!

So, first, let me say, "God has the same message for you!" 

His word says:

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

1Peter 3
3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.

God's Word is good ~ ALL THE TIME!

So, what does it look like practically? I will tell you what I told the MOPS ladies...Be Content!

Be content with what God has given you...in possessions, family members, appearance! Stop comparing your life to others around you! 

You've heard the term regarding the grass being greener on the other side, I like to say, "If the grass looks greener on the other side, there's probably a whole lot more crap over there!"

Think about how this applies in your own life! Does it mean staying out of the mall? Or, not perusing 100 different decorating websites/Pinterest pages? {These things only bring temporary happiness anyway!}

Could it mean accepting that God has a purpose and plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11), exactly where and when you live (Acts17:26), believing that He created you perfectly (Psalm 139:14).

Philippians 4:8
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. "

Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Finally ~ Pray! 
He has sent us a counselor, the Holy Spirit!  If you are struggling with contentment, God knows!  Seek him for guidance in this area...He promises to answer! (Luke 11:10)

{Having an accountability partner wouldn't hurt either!}
"As iron sharpens iron,
so one man sharpens another."
Proverbs 27:17

Praying that each of you finds contentment today!

Thanks for stopping by! Be Refreshed!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Morning Tidbit {Planting the Word in Your Heart}...

One of my all time favorite worship CD's is from these guys:

I love these guys!  All of their music is straight scripture, so while you and your kiddos are singing fun songs, you are planting verses in your heart and theirs!  Plus it's catchy!

Want to know the best part?  When you purchase a CD from Seeds Family Worship, they send you an additional one to give away!  That's a ministry living out their faith!

So ~ don't you think it's time for another giveaway?

Post a comment about your favorite worship music, or a trick on how you get the word in your heart, or just say hello, and Friday I will pick two winners to send a Seeds CD too!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Linking to: The Better Mom

Friday, January 13, 2012

Canyon Hills MOPS ladies...

Here's the post for the CHCC MOPS ladies!

Feel free to comment on whatever you like:

Share A Tip
Ask A Question
Let me know where you think I could improve!

I love feedback! Come back for a Friday Fast Tip that I will post this afternoon!

Remember He clothes the Lillies of the Field!  {Luke 12:27}

Great to see all of you lovely ladies and all of those sweet blessings!

Thanks for stopping by! Be Refreshed!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lullabye and Goodnight...

So a while ago, I was asked about my philosophies on babies and sleep ~ do I let them cry it out, do I co-sleep, etc.?

I know this is a very controversial subject, so I want to go into this conversation saying, "We need sleep! We all do, babies, children, teenagers {though mine might beg to differ}, adults.  When our sleep banks are empty, we can experience all sorts of ailments, including mental health issues.  So, sometimes you have to do what is right for your family."

OK - that said, here is what it looks like in our family!

When our babies are brand new and until they are about 6 months {give or take} old we co-sleep with them.  Now, I can hear some of you saying, "that is so dangerous!" and "Don't you worry about you or your husband rolling over on the baby?"  Remember...we are doing what works for us!

I discovered co-sleeping long before the term was popular, when our 22 year, Tristen, was a baby.  At that point in my life, I was a die hard, "they should be in their own bed" person.  Then one night, in a state of sheer exhaustion, I brought her to bed to nurse.  While nursing her, I ended up falling asleep!  The next morning, I awoke completely refreshed with her by my side and she didn't sleep in her own bed another night until she was about 6 months old.

Now, we usually have a bassinet in our room.  I will change the baby and nurse him or her, and put them to bed in the bassinet.  When they wake up, I bring them to bed with me, and we spend the rest of the night together.  When the baby is between my husband and I, I put my arm around the baby so that if he were to begin to roll our way, I simply swat him a couple of times and he rolls back.

This method has worked for 8 babies.  We have never even had a close call with one of us rolling over onto the baby.  (I do want to caution, that if you use any sort of drugs, including prescription, or alcohol - you SHOULD NOT co-sleep!)

This has worked for every baby but one ~ Hudson!  From day one, Hudson would not nurse in a lying down position!  I spent our first night home with him sleeping in a rocking chair while he nursed in a more upright position.  It wasn't until he was a year old that we discovered he had acid reflux...but that is a story for another day.

So, how do we transition?

Somewhere around the 6 month mark,  I start finding that the tossing and turning of the baby causes less sleep than getting up with them in the middle of the night would.  So, they get the privilege of sleeping in their own cribs!

This has looked different for different children!  I AM NOT a "cry it out" mom!  My husband feels even stronger than I do about this!  Honestly, I have asked myself, "would Mary have allowed Jesus to cry it out?"  To which my heart tells me, "no"! 

Does this mean that my kiddos don't do a bit of crying in their cribs?  Well, sometimes...  Sometimes I have had a kiddo that is obviously fit throwing and not simply needing food or comfort.  Sometimes I have turned down the monitor intending to get out of bed and then find myself waking later with a baby that went back to sleep.  Sometimes I have allowed a few short minutes of crying to see if my child will settle themselves.

Some of my children have been champion sleepers!  Some of my children have needed Mama multiple times in the night.  I go with my heart!

There are some tips for getting children to be more on your schedule than their own:

Routine, routine, routine!  I am not saying, "schedule, schedule, schedule!"  {In my experience, mommies who have strict eat/sleep schedules for their babies end up losing their milk supply early.}  But, a routine is important.  We all have natural routines that bring us comfort and will awaken our systems - the morning shower, coffee, breakfast - or tell our systems it's time for sleep - changing into jammies, reading for a short while, prayer.

The same goes for children.  They will know when it is bedtime if you have the same routine every night.  Currently with Claire {11months} we get in our jammies, nurse, read a few stories, sing the same three songs, then lie down in the crib {with her dolly and the same blanket every night}.  She rarely fusses!  While I am working through this routine, I say, "it's time to go nigh - nigh" multiple times. 

My older "littles" get a similar routine - except they don't nurse! Papa usually does their stories while Mama is putting baby down.

Remember ~ "Longest days, shortest years!"  Try to keep your lack of sleep in perspective!  When my "olders" were little, I was constantly working for them to sleep through the night! I longed for it!  I felt like a bad mom if I couldn't get them on my schedule.  As I have had more babies and more years to work through it, I realize that this time passes so quickly and those middle of the night moments are fleeting! 

One last thought!  I do believe the Bible speaks to some of these topics! 

Regarding co-sleeping: Luke 11:7 "Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed."  {Ken tells me it's because they didn't all have beds to sleep in - it still sounds like co-sleeping to me!}

And of course there are multiple references to "the night watches":

“Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord” (Lamentations 2:19a)

“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word. My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises” (Psalm 119:147-148)

Embrace the night watches! Use the time to pray and meditate on His word!  See what God may have to speak to your heart as you are comforting your precious blessings!

Please, please send me your questions!  Surely many have arisen!  I will answer them in the comments section!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fast Tip Friday (Pie Crust)

Maybe this post should be under the Confessions page, but I do have to admit that one of the areas I just can't get the hang of is the edges on pie crust!  For years I have simply tucked the excess crust over and pinched haphazardly until it was sealed all the way around. The result was very...let's say...rustic!

Then my fabulous husband bought me a set of "crust cutters"!  Now I simply role out the dough and cut the excess off the edges. I then roll the excess out and cut little decorations to trim the edge of my crust!


Tonight's dinner was Chicken Pot Pie!

Here's my "no fail" crust recipe (the secret is the vinegar, so don't leave it out!):

3 Cups Flour
1 1/2 teas. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 cups shortening
1/2 cup cold water (add last a little bit at a time)
1 egg beaten
1 Tbsp. vinegar

OK, I'm lazy, so honestly I just mix all of the ingredients together adding the water last until it is the consistency I like.  You are supposed to refrigerate it, then roll it out - but again, I never plan that far ahead so I just roll it out right away.

This makes a double pie crust for a 10" pie!  Yummy!  

Thanks for stopping by! Be Refreshed!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Year of Jubilee!

OK! OK!  You can call off the search and rescue team...I haven't disappeared completely!

With the holiday season, my sweet husband took some much deserved time off - and being the woman I am, I HAD to honor his time at home!  Which means no blogging, no Facebook, no emails...

But now I'm back!  Thanks to all who put out the All Points Bulletin for me - sorry to leave with no notice! {As it turns out, the length of this post will make up for my absence!}

So anyone who has been around here for a while knows that late November/early December met our family with some very difficult situations to trudge through...though I have left no details (to protect my loved ones) let me say it has been one of the most difficult end of years that I have seen in a long time! 

God has already brought us a long way...and I trust He will bring us to completion!  Tomorrow I will post a page {listed as Confessions above} describing one area where He has brought unbelievable refinement!  I won't be linking to this page via Facebook - it's a personal, deep waters, kind of issue.  Feel free to visit here to read, but I'm not "advertising" per se!

As Christmas drew near, I found myself walking through the season with a less than motivated spirit!  Still celebrating all that Christ is to me, but the extras just weren't there!  Praying and praying and praying for renewal - but God intended more! 

Then this morning - with the downpour of the earthly rain, I felt the downpour of God's sovereignty!  On my way to Bible Study {the one I honestly had to convince myself to get out of bed for} our local radio station announced my daughter Stephanie's name as the name to call in to win the Name Game!  With a frantic search for my phone, I sent up a "please let us win" prayer!  Dial...busy!  Dial...busy! Dial...pause..."please let us win", I implored...ring..."Hi!  Who's this?"

We won!!

As I described my sweet Stephanie, I couldn't help but cry!  God, in one of the littlest things, let us win!  He answered my prayer!  I know - pretty insignificant, right?  Not this time!  Words cannot explain how it felt to feel Him say, "I hear your prayers Lora.  I hear you!"  {To be honest - I don't even know what we won...just that God had heard and answered...}

Fast forward to worship time during our Bible Study and what song begins to play?

{Click here to hear the song!}

In this song there is a great verse that says: "Lift your voice, it's the year of Jubilee!"  YES!!!  It's the year of Jubilee!!!!  It was all I could do to contain myself in this group of put together women! 

2012 is my year of Jubilee!!!  Bring it on!!!

So to start off the New Year I'd like to introduce to you the newest addition in our family!

On January 3rd @ 9:23AM - River Evelyn Haertel was born! 

Here's Papa holding his sweet grand baby!
{His shirt reads: Changing The World One Diaper At A Time}

Praying for all of you that this is also your year of Jubilee!

Thanks for stopping by! Be Refreshed!