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I have moved my blog. I wanted more freedom with customizing my page how I want, without paying for it. I will also have opportunity to make money from blogging, so I wanted to make something more professional looking. It is still in progress so please excuse the mess and please subscribe to it. I only imported the blogs from here starting in January of this year. I will leave this blog open for a few more weeks then I will be deleting it. You can start following the new blog here: New blog¬†I will be doing a new post on there today and linking it with facebook as well. And please subscribe to the new one ūüôā


the nightmare on forrest rd.

If you read the blog, you know I just wrote one about cloth diapering.  Well, today one of the worst things happened when trying to wash a load of cloth diapers.

I was going to wash my load of diapers last night and fell asleep before I got to it. They were in the washing machine, (I already dumped them in and threw the bag in as well) a full bag in fact. This morning I turned on the first rinse cycle and went to church. We came home and I opened the lid to put in the soap for the wash cycle and something caught my eye. I think that’s weird, what could it be, these are cloth diapers. There was a white globby mess on the side of the washing machine. To my dismay it was the horrible little¬†absorbent¬†crystals from none other than a disposable diaper. AAAAHHHH! I wanted to cry, I wanted to scream, I wanted to run away to Disney World and forget my troubles. My stomach sank, as I thought back to yesterday when Eleanor was playing mommy with her baby doll. When she took the diaper off her baby she put it in the cloth diaper sack, as she sees me do it many times in a day. Why didn’t I remember? How could I do this to myself? I was petrified.

I left the mess and went to have lunch at my in-laws. After consulting with my mother in law, the cloth diaper expert, I had some ideas to work with. I got home and took all the diapers out and scooped out as much of the gunk as possible about six or seven handfuls. Yuck. Then I ran the machine on hot with nothing in it except the millions of crystals. I am going to let the diapers dry out and shake them off really, really good outside then wash them and hope all is well. The washing machine is currently going so we will see what happens when I open the lid. Just another day in the life, right? ūüôā Oh, I love my two-year old.

This is another site I found where a mom gives her rendition of what to do when this happens. I laughed, a lot. Washed Diaper

Update:the tale of the redhead

Turns out the genes that Will acquired the redhead genes from was also his great-grandmother. I apologize for the confusion. Gavin still appears to have some red hair. I think he may be a strawberry blonde. I absolutely love it!

I also found a really fun website all about redheads. It has little activities and even facts and myths about redheads. They even have a book with little redheads from across the U.S. Check it out: little redheads

Enjoy your Saturday, we are bound to because Will is home all day! ūüôā

a day in the life of diapering

Over the past few months, before Gavin arrived, I decided to make the change to cloth diapers. I researched and researched and then I researched some more. The options of modern cloth diapering has skyrocketed since the days I was in cloth diapers. When I first mentioned it people who had previously used cloth were petrified for me. ¬†I then go on to explain how much simpler they have become and still have great benefits your baby’s bum. Sounds like a great deal, right? Well, it is!

After tons of research, did I mention that yet?  I finally decided to go with some FuzziBunz. I was hooked! They are so simple to stuff, then throw right on the babe. A friend of mine sent me a Thirsties duo wrap and this is also easy to use with a prefold diaper or insert.  Another thing I really like about Thirsties, is everything is American made. I would love to try more of their products.

Ok, I know, you say “What about washing? And all that poop?” ¬†Let me tell you about a wonderful little wonder called the diaper liner. Oh, yes my friend pure genius! Basically all it is, is a biodegradable liner that you lay on top of the diaper, so it goes between the diaper and baby’s bum to catch the solids. ¬†So once the little has pooped, you simply pick up the liner, with solid inside, and flush it. Yay no more poop in the trash. Come on, wouldn’t you rather pick up the liner and throw it in the toilet or have a rancid smelling house?

Then on to the washing. Now everyone has their own routine and everyone will tell you their way is best. Well, here is how I do it. Once I have a soiled diaper I throw it into my pail liner (all diaper companies have them) it is¬†porous¬†so that your diapers don’t end up moldy. Once I have a full bag I throw all the diapers, all of the inserts taken out of the diaper itself, and throw them in the wash with the bag. Then I do a rinse cycle with cold water. After the rinse cycle I put in a little bit of detergent. Now this is where you have to be very careful or you could ruin your diapers. NO FABRIC SOFTENER! I know you think, “Oh it goes on my little’s bum, just a little couldn’t hurt.” Yes it can! Would you prefer the diaper to absorb the pee or have a puddle everywhere your child plays? Fabric softener reacts with the fleece of the diaper and doesn’t make it absorbent anymore, don’t do it! Another important point is the type of detergent to use. Diaper companies have specific ones they sell, but you can also buy some familiar brands. You want to be careful of detergents with brighteners and dyes as they can bother little ones bum. A good one is ECOS a natural organic detergent and I can find it at Sams Club. ¬†An entire list of recommended detergents can be found here. So, I put in a little bit of detergent and wash them on hot. Once that cycle is done I do another cold rinse cycle and done. I hang my covers up to dry and put my inserts in the dryer. Now, if it is nice weather the best way to dry them is in the sun. Natural bleaching for your inserts is a great way to get them fresh and clean.

So maybe I helped put some misconceptions at bay or you are even more disgusted by the thought of cloth diapering. I say it’s not for everyone, but for some it is a passion and to that I say, keep it up! If you do take a look you will find hundreds of people making the switch, it’s a growing trend. I think this is because it is beneficial to your baby, less rashes, and they are quicker to potty train. Also the fact that some of these diapers are just so darn cute! This is one I am planning to get my hands on soon

So cute!

closet case

I have been slacking on my blogging, and for this I apologize. I am quite busy with all the schooling going on in this house, not to mention the very hungry two month old. There has been quite an uproar of bad behavior as well. I am sure a lot of it has to do with how much we are cooped up in this house. Thankfully I have a coupon for Pump it up, and it will pay for all of my kids to get in. We will be visiting them soon. We also have some grand ideas for field trips, but will need some extra money. So, they may or may not happen. As for now, we have been moving right along with school. In fact Dylan finished his math book for the year so I am going to replace it with a book for him to review everything we covered. He is really quite good at math, but just doesn’t like having to sit and use his brain.

I am also doing pretty good with school as of late. I am actually very proud of myself. I have been keeping up with everything and somewhat enjoying it, surprising I know. I decided to check my Degree Completion Plan Audit yesterday and noticed that I only have four semesters of school left. Which means after this year is over, I only have two semesters left. It’s amazing how quickly it all went. Of course I have life outside of school, a full life, and that keeps me busy. So, because I am almost done with school I find myself saying, “Now what?” ¬†It’s kind of¬†a weird feeling, I keep saying,”What will I do without having school to worry about?” I know most people would say, “Use your degree! Get a job!” Easy for you to say! I have four children and I am homeschooling them. All of this to say, Will and I have been talking and I am debating starting the Masters program once I finish my Bachelors. Yeah, I know, it’s a lot of work. Trust me, I have looked into it for quite some time now. Ultimately it will give me a greater advantage when I do start my job search and I will have more options when it comes to finding a job. The biggest plus for me is the fact that with a Masters I can be a licensed counselor. That is far more appealing than anything else. I don’t care to work for it. Anyway it’s something we are praying about and I know God will direct me on what to do.

Now on to the closet! Yes, I am actually going to talk about a closet, not just myself being a closet case. The school room closet has been a thorn in my side for far too long.  Having a super messy in the school room, of all places, is a bit of an issue when you home school. So, without further adieu here is the terrifying before.

Scary, right? After just a few minute of going through the clutter, I had it licked. I was surprised that it didn’t take me long at all, and I had some little helpers. The lovely after is here

all that empty space that you see will be shelving, just haven’t purchased it yet. So much nicer!! It makes me really happy, because I love things to be clean and set just right.

We also made a family tree the other day

This was a lot of fun. ¬†The kids had a million ideas of how to make a tree and what it would look like. We decided on this and it didn’t take long to put it up. The longest part was putting all of the information. We are still working on putting all the family on, mostly because Will and I have a couple of questions. I thought in addition we could figure out all of our heritage together, basically what the kids are now, and have an appropriate dinner. I know German, Dutch and Swedish are major ones, so perhaps a dinner from one of these cultures could be a fun idea. I have English, French, and Irish (that’s just to name a few) on my side, so maybe we will have a few dinner nights to represent each one. Who doesn’t love food?

the happier side of finances

Yes, I said happy side of finances. It is achievable. I was THE most skeptical of all, but have recently discovered bill paying and saving can be easy and exciting.

Will and I married very young, we were 18 and 19 to be exact, and perhaps not exactly prepared for what was in store in life. We had some money saved up when we first married and it helped with setting up house and just to have in general. We didn’t have many bills and this made it easy to make sure everything was paid and on time for that matter.

Now fast forward to two children and a mortgage. Yikes! Now add-on car insurance, house insurance, hospital bills, much larger grocery bills. ¬†Let’s just say I didn’t have a clue! It was always just making that payment deadline here, this bill was being turned over for collections and so on. Do you see the snowball forming?

Now fast forward to 2011, our hardest financial year since we have been married. I have never been as stressed as I was last year. It was our second year in our new house, we have a rental house, 3 children and one on the way, Dylan was finishing up at Grace Academy (private school at 400 dollars a month, ouch!), and many, many other bills.

There were a few months that I wasn’t sure how we could fit in groceries, let alone a credit card bill. ¬†Thankfully God pulled us through and our marriage has never been stronger. ¬†In fact we never even fought over the finances, as most couples report, for us it was an Indiana Jones adventure of, “Ok. How are we gonna pull this one-off?” Now, do not get me wrong we had our stressful moments, who doesn’t? But I wouldn’t pick anyone else to deal with that craziness with. What I am trying to say is my husband is incredible even when I feel like the world is falling apart, he is so incredibly calm and assuring. Ok, enough gushing over my honey. ūüôā

This very month, January 2012, we started to make a plan to take back our life and pitch the stress. It all started when I was looking at one of my favorite websites, Pinterest, and saw a pin about money envelopes. ¬†Now, I have seen this particular pin twice. ¬†I said how cool it was and never looked back. ¬†The second time I saw it, I decided to do a little more research. My research led me to Dave Ramsey’s website. ¬†Oh, what a glorious day! I found some great info and started to think, “We can do this” and I printed off the Monthly cash flow budget¬†worksheet and Will and I got to work. At first it was a bit daunting writing down everything you have to pay and figuring out exactly how to execute your plan, but we were optimistic.

First we looked at what our total estimated monthly income is and wrote that down. First thing to come out every time, no matter what, is our tithe. ¬†So we wrote that total for the month, next was mortgage, groceries, so on and so forth. Then we¬†divvied¬†out of all these expenses which ones should be in the form of cash in an envelope. This is where it gets a bit tricky. ¬†You decided on the monthly amount, say for instance gasoline. We decided 100 dollars a month goes to gas, I know it doesn’t seem like much, but we don’t go too many places. Anyway, we then had to break that 100 dollars into a weekly number because we get paid weekly. So each week we get out 25 dollars and put it in the envelope. That envelope is ONLY for gas and nothing else, no matter what. This is where I get excited because I love to¬†compartmentalize¬†things. We have quite a few envelopes, so we had to figure out how much money we need each week from the bank. We even have it narrowed down to how many 20’s, 10’s, and 5’s. ¬†It works great.

The great thing about this type of budgeting is that every bit of your money is delegated to one thing each month.  We know exactly how much is going to be spent and where. Now, there are other plans we have in motion to start our savings or emergency fund, whichever you prefer. It will also help us pay off that last credit card, yay!

We hope to eventually get to the point where we have extra money leftover after all the bills and savings to start putting into a vacation fund. And we will get there, it just takes time to take back your finances. My favorite part is no more robbing Peter to pay Paul. This means no more random trips to Target and getting sucked into the “sales”. ¬†: p

Ultimately, I have been stress free about our finances for two weeks straight. We are excited about getting rid of that nasty credit so we can focus on fun things and also have money for those unexpected emergencies. I highly suggest you check out Dave Ramsey’s website and start your financial freedom too.

the tale of the redhead

So if none of you know the story; my husband has always wanted a redhead.  This seemed bleak, as you all know I have black hair.  What are the chances of us having a redhead? Well, not as rare as you think. My first three kiddos were all born with black hair, completely black. Then they all somehow acquired blond hair of sorts. Poor Cecilia had blond hair with black tips for the longest time.

Will and I also both have the recessive gene for red hair, my great-grandmother and one of his great aunt’s (I think), so not all hope was lost, but we just assumed it would never happen.

Then came Gavin. Our fourth little bundle of joy. At first we didn’t even realize what color he had, right after he was born I mean. ¬†When they began to give him his first bath I gawked and said to will “IT’S BLOND!” He said, “what?’ We were completely taken aback. So, we were just thrilled with a little blondie and kept saying ya know it sure has some red in there. ¬†This week at his one month check-up our doctor said “Oh I love his hair. My oldest daughter has red hair too.” Then we looked a bit closer and sure enough he has red hair!

Now I don’t know if you can see it very well in this picture, but I can. Especially when he is in the sunlight. To add to it, he has a bit of a raspy voice. ¬†He is my own little¬†Irish¬†man, I love it.

As for school today…

Yeah, I don’t know.