Tuesday, August 31, 2010

cloth diapers 101

recently as cloth diapering gains popularity, Ive had tons of mommy friends new and old who want to get in on the fun. the problem is "where do you start"??? it seems easy until you google cloth diapering and you realize all the choices. It can be overwhelming! I was fortunate enough to have a friend who started while i was pg. I got to watch her try em all out, learned all the lingo and by the time my belly popped I knew exactly what to buy and where! but all dont have Carrie the guinea pig as their bff and everyone has to start somewhere. I decided to blog a bit about them and today I'm gonna feature the infamous prefold!

Do not run ladies and gents! stop in your tracks, this is not your grandmother's cloth diaper. for some , the prefold is not for you. Many people want their cloth diapers to be exactly like a disposable, only washable. That is not the prefold, however here are a few reasons you  might want to take a closer look at the prefold:

1. this is by far the CHEAPEST! you can get a high quality dozen prefolds for around 20 bucks. you only need about 18dipes though some choose to have more. 18 gets you to washing every other day.

2. they are the SIMPLEST! not in the action since, they do require a cover, but they are cotton, nothing more, simple, easy to clean, natural, cotton!

3. STREET CRED! some might not care about this, but let me tell you, vintage ladies love to see you using what they used, and once you master the prefold, anything found on the floor of your van can become a diaper in a snap! if need be :)

Choosing your prefold:

they come in 4 sizes. maybe more? but here are the three I own.

premie/newborn (green) : these are so small i don't think anyone should ever buy them. seriously, they are for 5lbers or less id say. i only use these for layering or butt wiping, trust me, u don't need these!

infant: PERFECT, these are the best size to start with, they will get you up to about 15lbs , give or take a lb. these are the most common and come in a few varieties. Bleached (really white) Unbleached (cream colored), egyptian or chinese, but really it doesn't matter. Ive had both, they all worked great, just buy what you find the best price on.

premium (tye dyed): usually these are white, i paid a bit extra to have some dyed which is fun but white ones are great. These are great for when you outgrow the infants or if you are starting out with a kiddo bigger than 15lbs.

toddler (not pictured): these are huge, my 2yo can still wear premiums, the toddlers have been compared to a bath mat. unless you plan to cloth diaper a really big kid, go with premiums. 

Prefolds are really a layered piece of cotton, a little thicker in the middle. Unlike the flat dipes of old there is no real folding. you might fold it down in front while your baby is a nb or fold it a bit more narrow for a skinny but truly there is nothin to it, you can do it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebhyTQvmGp0 

to hold a prefold in place, (if you clicked the video you are already in the know) pins are a thing of the past! this draws flocks of vintage ladies with pin scarred fingers to the church nursery changing table. Nowadays we use snappis! its is a Y shaped stretchy band and on each tip it sports a plastic version of an ace bandage hook. digs into the dipe and holds it in place, but will not prick your finger and more importantly your baby. they do not make good bed companions so keep em near the dipes where they belong, i have been bitten by a rogue snappi or two in the middle of the night!

to finish it off, a prefold requires a cover. these come in a ton of varieties and colors. you will be shocked. Many are PUL , a plastic waterproof cover, but trust me, it is a soft baby friendly version of plastic. these come with snaps or velcro. I like snaps for babies who like to remove their own diapers, I like velcro for crosseyed mommies at 2am. these cost about ten bucks each. some of my fave brands:

however, the prefold fits multiple sizes, the covers will need to change with your baby's size. fortunately, you do not need as many covers as dipes. you can use a cover 3 or 4 times before you switch it. more if you let it air out between changes. id recommend owning 4 or 5 covers.

I love these covers because they grow with baby from newborn to toddler http://nickisdiapers.com/catalog.php?category=610

PUL covers are the most common and prob the easiest, but there are more options. fleece covers are super cute (yes fleece is waterwicking so this keeps baby and all your stuff dry)

wool are another great option! you can get wool shorts or pants, or simply a wool diaper cover. you have to lanolize them which is really just a soak in the sink with a lanolin product, but they are your cover, and your pants. i love these because in my mind, wool was how they had to have done it back in the day. before plastic (PUL) and all the fancy stuff, there was cotton and wool.

my friend and fave spot to score super cute woolies: http://www.etsy.com/shop/KnitterKnots

I love diapering in simple prefolds made from natural cotton. they are so versatile. You can add a soaker for overnight or a heavy wetter, or simply double up (thats what i use those teeny ones for now). You can dye them however and have fun. We never have rashes and they are easy to clean! give em a try,you wont regret it!

another great spot for dipes and covers of all types : http://www.nappies-and-more.com/

Saturday, August 28, 2010

day 10 the love dare

well I'm sure youve noticed its been taking me more than a day to do a day of the love dare. mostly because it takes me more than a day to post about it. Beau still doesn't realize I'm doing the dare, I'm not sure if that means I'm not doing a good job :( but hopefully it just means things are feeling good and there is no reason to hunt for a reason :) Day 9s dare was about greetings. I never really thought of a special greeting. Its usually an event when dad gets home from work, no matter how many times that happens throughout the day. Usually the event is initiated by the kids, so i tried to be the first to initiate. Sometimes that isnt possible because they watch for him at the window, but I think the biggest change, the most noticeable to Beau will be the fact that I stop what I'm doing. Usually I'm cooking so I made it a goal to stop for a min and spend some time chatting. He hasnt complained once that dinner is 10min late at all!! Sometimes I'm at the computer and immediately i shut it. Thats hard because sometimes I'm in mid convo with someone or doing something that might get messed up if i quit, but no matter what, i just shut the comp! He hasn't mentioned it but i know he appreciates it because he hates when i talk to him from behind the screen :)

an image from way back in the day, pg with pax 6yrs ago!

God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us Romans 5:8

love is unconditional.....or rather, its intended to be!

If someone were to ask you "why do u love your man?" you could probably come up with atleast a few answers, maybe thousands. Personally, i hate questions like this! Mostly because, if I'm honest, i just make up answers i assume people expect to hear. I have my suspicions that many others do the same, but I could be wrong, wouldnt be the first time I was a wierdo :) It has made me feel guilty in the past. Ive wondered in the past if I was somehow a bad wife for not having a bunch of reasons. Sure he is great, remember, i made a list a few days ago! but i cant without a doubt say that any of those reason are why i love him. Well, today I began to feel better about myself. This day was awesome and truly helped me understand some of my own feelings , can u say LIFE CHANGER!!!!!!

Take all those reasons people normally say they love someone. Handsome, Nice, Great Dad, Awesome Helper, Smart, Rich etc...........Now consider if those reasons changed. What if he/she is burned and is no longer so cute. What if , over the course of years, they lose a little niceness, become jaded by their job or chronic pain, or simply stressed. What if he never really turns out to be the best dad in the world (every dad cant be right?). What if after a few years you find out they weren't really that smart or they lost their money. I guess the point is, when you love for a reason your love will cease when the reason does.

Wow, i was so excited to read that. Its great to know there is a reason i dont have a reason. I love my husband, because I believe he is the man God gave me and because I choose to love him unconditionally. I appreciate all the great things about him, but as he grows older and changes I assume those things will to. Some will fade, new reasons will come, people change. Fortunately my love for him is forever and will survive regardless of any reason.

The Greeks call this love Agape love. unlike other types agape is selfless and unconditional and the Bible describes the love Christ has for us as agape. This love is based on commitment, not feelings or circumstance, as the love in a successful marriage should be! this is the love that "bears all things , hopes all things, endures all things".

so from now on, i will no longer say "i love you because......" i will say, " i love your forever" period!

todays dare:     do something out of the ordinary for your spouse that shows you love them. cook their fave food, clean the kitchen , whatever that might make them smile. don't do it because they've done something to deserve it, but do it because you've decided now to do something for them regardless :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

time to get Focused!

Since receiving the announcement that I was moving to Colorado Springs, I had one thing on my mind. It wasn't the packing, the homebuying, or even how the kids would take it. Maybe it should have been, but when Beau said, They offered Colorado Springs...Courtney said, Yeah they have Focus on the Family!!

If you aren't familiar with Focus on the Family check it out online, but dont stop there. I first heard of Focus when i was living in Alaska. I was struggling to build my faith, struggling with how to parent, struggling with how to educate and a thousand other things. Many people, books, sermons etc helped me and gave me guidance, and one of those awesome many was James Dobson. He is the founder of Focus and one day I was so blessed to hear him speak. Of all the things he gave me, one was a little clarity, a little focus if u will :)
He helped solidify my decision to accept the role of stay at home mom, gave me confidence in my ability to homeschool, even a little support on leading my family as a Christian wife.

Since then Ive read his books on parenting , boys  , even the one about being a good husband. Like any book or school of thought, i pick and choose what to take with me and what works for my family. I found lots of good advice in his words and the book on boys is spot on! but the idea of Focus is what I fell in love with. A big giant place/way of thinking/group of people who believe families are important. More important than money, possessions, achievements..........soo different than what the world often tells us. focus on the Family gave me permission to ignore the world and follow my instincts and place my family and my job as a wife and mother at the top of my priority list.

now onto the fun part............lets be honest, books and parenting advice can be boring........the real fun at Focus starts in the basement.

When you drive by, you see a complex of manicured lawns and brick office buildings. A meticulously organized bookstore and free of litter and all imperfections parking lot. But hidden just underneath the surface, away from view, yet free of charge, is a dark wild unruly underworld. Where parents relax and children break free. Its a fantasyland with few rulez and fewer frowns. There is a massive airplane children are invited to climb upon, a full indoor playground, a puppet theatre, dress up and performance stage. Kids can even record their own records. they can snack at the soda shop, crawl through a cave of tunnels and its even homeschool friendly, open all hours during the week to all ages. If that wasn't great enough, there is the grand finale....the biggest freakin indoor slide ever. i forget how many stories it boasts, 150 stairs i heard to the top. It is amazing. My kids had an awesome time and for once my pocket book got a break. Once we saturated the place with giggles we spent another hour outside on the lawn chatting momstyle while the kids ran amok.

So far Ive been twice and cant wait to go again. Once with an old friend and once again with a brand new one. here is a really bad mom shot, hopefully my new friend can give me some photog tips :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

day 9 the love dare

Well due to the camping, day 8 actually took a few days. i plan on extending it a bit, simply by going down the list sending beau thankful texts on his lunch break (he cant take phones to work and loves to get texts :) . I should have brought the bad list camping, it would have been easy to burn. But in general i frown on burning things in the house so i just threw it out lol. gone is gone right.

I'm still slightly convinced that beau is doing the love dare too. I was throwing a temper tantrum because i couldn't get the baby gates to fit, and couldn't find another. Instead of scolding my temper tantrum, he just did it himself and found the gate. It has been soo nice. My day is so less stressful not worrying about the little guy falling down the stairs.

day 9   making a good impression!

Greet one another with a kiss of love- 1 Peter 5:34

looks like all my euro friends have this one right!!

Jesus noted long ago during his sermon on the mount, that all people (believers or otherwise) greet those they like kindly. That is easy. Being Godly requires showing grace and humility even in the face of your enemies. fortunately when you roll over in the morning (atleast i hope) you aren't looking at the face of your enemy, so this dare should be easy in comparison :)

When we meet a stranger, acquaintance, friend, or even someone we dont like, our typical response is to say Hi and be nice and polite. "Doesn't your spouse deserve the same, times ten.". Of course!!! To be honest, i dont always view waking up with someone as a time that requires a greeting. But what a great way to set the tone for the day. I'm lucky enough to be married to a military man, which means he sometimes comes and goes throughout the day. Off to PT , home for breakfast, off to work, home for lunch, back to work, home for dinner etc. This provides me lots of opportunities to greet him in a great way, also lots of missed opportunities if I'm not careful.....and if I'm honest, i often miss them or the kids get to him first. I am his wife so I'm setting yet another goal here!

If you are familiar with the prodigal son you have a great example there of an undeserved, but well appreciated special greeting. If your not familiar I'll give you the run down. Rebellious son takes his inheritance and wastes it partying and doing the typical young adult thing. Blows all his money and prepares his apologies, returning home ashamed. Instead of the expected scolding, he receives a warm welcome from his father. An undeserved welcome, but the father's love was always truly unconditional therefore the response makes sense. Our love for our partner should be the same. So that makes the "always greet kindly" dare a bit of a challenge. It means sometimes we are mad or irritated and we should still greet with love regardless because our love is still strong and present even when challenged with anger. A loving greeting in its simplest form, blesses your spouse and helps them feel that love u share a little bit more.

todays dare...

Think of a specific way you'd like to greet your spouse today. Do it with enthusiasm and a smile.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

its crazy to go camping

A couple weeks ago our friends the Vandewegs let it spill that they are campers. This tidbit of info got gears turning and before you know it we were planning our first camping trip. Jennifer found the spot, Eric supplied most of the gear (we didn't own a tent and weren't sure if this would ever happen again :). I had no clue what to pack so we didn't bring much. Clothing, sleeping bags, 2 baby carriers of course (my babyhawk and beau's trusty framepack), a cooler full of food and last but certainly not least diapers!! We loaded up all our stuff, 7 kids, 4 adults and a dog and headed out of town. We camped about half an hour outside of the city, a little bit passed Castle Rock, Colorado. The view was spectacular (almost as nice as ours in Colorado Springs) and there was even a train which ran across the bottom of the mountain every hour or so. This made Pearce super happy!

We got a great spot, kinda down in a hole, nestled in some trees. We had four tents. Eric and Jenn and their girls all bunked in a big one. Beau and I and our two smallest boys had one. Paxton and Piper had another, and Parker had one we nicknamed "The Snuggletent" all to himself.

Notice there is something hanging in the tree :) That was my wet bag, I use at home to store dirty dipes, then tote them to the wash. All we had was cloth diapers, and I didn't really know how it would work out, but i planned to cloth diaper at the campsite :) Shortly before we left i discovered a side pocket on my wet bag. This was perfect for storing all the clean dipes, and of  course the main pocket has a waterproof lining to store the dirties. It was super easy, totally cute, and perfect. A must have for cloth diaper campers!!!

The guys did a great job setting up camp. We decided to go explore a bit. We found some other campers playing bingo, and joined in. We also stumbled upon a playground which of course could not go ignored! The Jellystone campground play area wins the award for the best playground view. Not only are the mountains gorgeous, but the train is a super bonus! Shortly afterwards we found a hayride and climbed on.Here is Pike, enjoying the ride from his babyhawk :) There was lots of this....leading up to alot of thiswinning Pearce the award for dirtiest kid at camp. This was one of his cleanest looks. He was drawn like a magnet to any abandoned fire pit and if you wiped him down, he only managed to use his dampness to his advantage....roll in the dirt after a good wipedown and it sticks much better. I quickly gave up lol.

We did a few smores experiments. Of course the classic hershey smore is fabulous, but a reese's peanut butter cup smore is pretty amazing!! and according to Eric, a York Peppermint patty smore is pretty good too!

We decided to ditch the hayride and walk back to our campsite. We are tough wilderness explorers after all. Baby toting fivefingered ones of course :)all in all , camping really wasnt that hard to do will all the kids. I expected much worse. It was definitely a crazy adventure, and I definitely didnt pack enough (Praise the Lord, Jennifer did!!) but there were no disasters and we even found a practical use for Beaus framepack it does a great job as a high chair, and keeps a crawler safely away from the fire pit in a pinch :)

We had an amazing time and bonded with some great friends while exploring our fabulous new state Now to begin the purchase of camping gear. After watching the family that had ten kids in their ginormous luxury tent, im thinking that is the way to go. Beau is looking more for easy assembly and votes for multiple smaller ones??? what do u think?

I always envisioned camping in a luxury RV alone on a romantic journey with the hubster. Never did i ever think id be camping tent style with 5 kiddos in tow but man .....now I cant imagine not doing it again soon!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

day 8 the love dare

Yes I'm well aware that it has been a few days but man, this one involved pen and paper and that made it soo much more like homework!! so i procrastinated, and check out my last post....I'm a busy gal :)

i was supposed to make a good/bad comparison list for my hubby and i finally finished it. ill share a bit of it with you :)

good= very kindhearted , yes even more than me
           hard worker (the lazy don't fare long in his line of work)
           spontaneous and fun
           adventuresome , id still be shopping for fun on the weekends if not for him
           never jealous
           loving, affectionate
           a non-complainer ( i cant stand complainers)
           great teeth lol no cavities in 31 years
           handsome, strong, brave
           patient, this man takes children golfing, lets them build retaining walls, always welcomes a helper
           always sees the best in others, even when i cant

bad= too into his iphone
         never helps with bathtime, well, im sure he will help with mine, but i mean the kids lol
         procrastinator, i might be projecting on this one but we are two peas in a pod
         snores, like really really LOUD, my dad did it and i never thought anyone could top him, till i met DH
         is stinky, like ever other male human
         no grill, technically its my fault because my dog killed the grill, but i do love a man with a grill
         he is currently tuning me out
         and for all my babywearing friends, he cant/wont wrap and still wears a frame pack

i suppose it is good that the good list is the longer of the two !! i sent him a text thanking him for working hard, building the 20hr 3man recommended swingset all alone. my plan is to take this dare further and text him daily with a new thing from the list that im thankful for. the book has yet to reveal what i do with the bad list hmm.....except it did say to hide it

Day 8

Love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave, It burns like blazing fire- song of Solomon 8:6

Today is about jealousy. When it is right, and when it is not so right. You see, there are two types, legitimate and illegitimate. The first is a jealousy born of love. God is described as having this for us. He isnt jealous that we are here on earth (he could be) or of our material possessions (he could have em) but he is jealous when we turn our affections away from him, just as a husband is if his wife is giving her affections to another. Im fortunate that Beau and I haven't had this issue. Long ago a friend of mine shared with me a rule between she and her husband. Neither of them are alone with a member of the opposite sex, or have opposite sex friends. Not out of mistrust, but born of accountability. Thanks to this rule she was never the victim of rumors or the gossip that run rampant in the military community, and with lengthy separations, destroy many marriages. I adopted her rule, as did my husband, and we haven't had a problem in this area. Im so thankful for this, and for that friend :)

The other type is a jealousy born of selfishness. "It has been said that people are fine with you succeeding, just as long as you don't succeed more than they have". I find this so true in so areas. My kids are jealous of who is doing better in school, who got what, who is bigger. Moms become jealous of other mothers achievements and those of their children. And of course there is always the whole "keep up with the Jones' " mentality that has driven the average american thousands of dollars into credit card debt.

Even in Biblical times, jealousy was everywhere. Sarah sent away Hagar because she could bear children while Sarah could not. Joseph's brothers sold him as a slave. Jesus was more popular than the priests, so they crucified him.

Sometimes this transfers over into a couples relationship. She is at home with the kids while he is out at golf. She spends hundreds on her hair while he struggles with the budget. But love should always put others first, and push jealousy aside. Love , humility, and gratefulness can destroy jealousy and its bff resentment. All you have to do is let it!

todays dare

Become your spouses biggest fan and reject any jealous thoughts. Burn yesterdays negative list then share with your spouse how glad you are about a recent success of theirs.

wow that sounds easy enough, i guess i know what to do with the other half of my list now lol

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

a day in my life

every now and then when I tell someone i meet that i homeschool and have 5 children at home I get a person who asks if they can come see what we do. I allways say yes and genuinely intend to let them do it, but as it happens, life usually gets in the way and it doesnt. So I chose today because we had no plans and I knew we would be home all day. In general, I want to homeschool and live life free of a strict sched. I sometimes have a plan, and there have been/will be times when things just werent getting done and I had to implement one, but I allways want to start the year out loosely and if possible stear clear of the sched while still making progress and living life. I promise to keep it real so here goes.....

6am= up to play with Pike who wakes bright eyed and bushy tailed, nurses a bit and is ready to go!

7am=Pax gets up on his own and enjoys his morning cup of cocoa while i have my coffee :)

7:30am= I try to sneak in some school with Pax before the others are up, Language Arts
              meanwhile Piper wakes and proudly toasts waffles for all her siblings :)

8am=time to nurse the milk man Pike

8:30am=dining room clean up to prepare for school day, kitchen clean up, dishes done!
              btw finally found a stainless steel cleaner that works, I tried it once and it was too smeary so i
              sent it to the stainless cleaner graveyard under my sink, somehow i grabbed it this morning and
              when the wipes are half dried out its awesome!

9am= Math with Pax, Piper watching Jack and the Beanstalk which we have been reading for 2 days
          made crafts, learned about beans and did comprehension questions so this was the culmination of all
         her hard work :) and i just have to add that the Kindle is amazing for homeschooling. anytime her
         curriculum suggests a story I download it right then instead of going to the library or buying it later, and
         all the classics are around a buck!!

9:30am=snack for kids, breakfast for mom
              clean up leaking camelback disaster (we got this and love it but Pearce loves to make a mess any
                     chance he gets)

9:40am=Diaper change into our new Bumgenius AIOs which i love!!!
             Nurse baby to sleep
             Wowza mom pees, for the first time since yesterday!!!!
             time for a quick sweep up!

11am=Cursive with Pax, Nurse Pike back to sleep

11:15=WATER oh yeah, i need to drink something besides coffee, who knew!
           laundry load 1 done!

11:30=start cookin lunch on my brand new pampered chef large bar pan (thanks jessica) i broke mine a
            while back and really missed him
           textin with hubby and working on love dare stuff :)

11:35=another sweep up is in order
           reading lesson for Pax (with Pearce alongside pretending, cutting, coloring etc)

12pm=Lunch is served, mom finally gets a break and grabs a bite

12:05pm= break over, baby is awake

12:10pm=whip up some babyfood

12:30pm=Dancing time ( i tried to participate but apparently only boys are allowed to have an impromptu
                dancing time)
                taking care of poor Pipers excema feet :( they are actually looking good, no big cracks just alot of
                peeling but i have to give her a foot massage daily

12:40pm=lunch cleanup
                Piper and Pax science and history (they do it together )

1pm= Piper printing practice

1:45pm=Lemonade slushees the easiest bestest treat we have ever had!!!!!! all kids loved it, including Pike

                                                   1 blender full of crushed ice
                                                   2quarts worth of country time powder
                                                   1 big T full of vanilla coffee creamer

2pm= Nurse Pike

2:35pm= 2nd load of dishes done!

2:45pm=Piper phonics

3= gotta nurse again! fwiw i dont mind, thats the only tv time i get :)

3:30pm= mommy gets a shower!! hooray, thanks Parker :)
                break over, Pike is ready for more milk!!

3:50pm=3rd load of dishes done!

4pm=start dinner

4:30pm=3rd load of laundry done!

5pm=dads home, time to eat a bite

5:30=head out the door for homeschool meeting

whew im tired, thats enough, but in reality ive been working since i got home. bathtime, bedtime, clean up. There were no bon bons, no Oprah, and come next week there will be one more homeschooler! im exhausted just thinking about it. Parker is doing an online curriculum which he is really excited about! Some days arent so busy, but those are days when we go somewhere or get a visit from someone. What a crazy awesome life, it seems jam packed but if you called and said "whatcha doing?" im certain i would have said "nothin" :)




Monday, August 16, 2010

day 7 the Love Dare

Day 6 went easily. No conflict, all was hunky dory in happy domestic suburb land. So technically I did great, I showed not one ounce of irritation to the hubster so I'm feeling pretty good. I even let it spill over to the kids and was cool and calm letting things go, and wouldn't you know we got a ton of school done, all by noon, and plenty of errands too :) Yep , being low stress was pretty great!

I tried my best to make a list of areas where I need to add margin to my schedule. I couldn't really come up with a list per se but I did decide to make more time for friends (for me and the kids). I'm often so busy cooking, cleaning, schooling etc etc to take the day to do nothing but hang with friends just enjoying ourselves and building relationships. I'm taking my first leap and on Thursday, instead of cleaning and schooling and adhering to my mom schedule, I'm hosting a babywearing playdate for my Colorado babywearing friends (Denver mamas, you are most certainly invited!). Its a start right ?

all in all a pretty easy day for the Love Dare! 

Day 7    Love Believes all things, hopes all things ...1 Corinthians 13:7

This day is all about appreciation. Everyone who loves someone has a little place in their heart where they store all the special, wonderful memories of that person. All the good things they have done, the characteristics you love about them, their talents, etc. Thinking about these attributes quickly make you grateful for your mate.

Unfortunately we also have a different place where we keep our negative thoughts and memories, their weaknesses and failures. The more time you spend in this place, the worse off your relationship becomes. This is where comebacks are stored for the next argument and divorces begin to grow.

Of course these things are real memories, and they are valid. But knowing that, Love can choose not to dwell in that place. Love doesnt run to this room looking for defense (I'm guessing this is what Beau was talking about in day 5). Love is quick to forgive knowing we are all human, all sinners, and all far from perfect in the marriage department. "Love chooses to believe the best about people".

In love we can choose to dwell on the dreams, talents, hopes and cherished memories yet to be realized. The only reason to dwell on the past is to remember how all those failures and flaws have been covered by the blood of Christ.

I believe the reason I am still married today lies in a decision I made long ago. It came about after our first argument in Alaska, over something petty im sure. We had just moved there and my husband was the only soul i knew. When we weren't speaking i quickly realized that I was alone, and it didnt feel great. Shortly afterwards I decided that unless the issue is such that would make me consider divorce, it is not worthy of an argument. Since that day of course we have disagreements, but rarely do we truly fight because we drop it pretty quickly. I literally think to myself "im not getting divorced over it so whats the point". If its important to discuss then no doubt, we still do, but no name calling, no low blows, in the end we let it go. We certainly arent perfect, but this rule definitely helps keep me in check!

Today's dare.....get two sheets of paper, write all your spouses positive attributes on one, and negatives on the other. keep both in a special place for later use. At some point throughout the day, look at your positive sheet and thank your spouse for having this characteristic! I think this will be a fun one :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

day 6 the love dare

Day 5 didn't go all that well for me. I did take a leap and ask Beau what 3 things I do to bother him, but it was kinda hard to get an answer. I informed him to "speak now or forever hold his peace" but he waited 24hrs before answering me. Hence the day late blog entry lol, but the answer was legit i suppose :) When he brings up a problem/concern/question about something i have done/am doing/will do, he doesn't like it when I immediately point out some problem i have with him that is unrelated. I started to explain why i did this on different occasions, but I bit it!! my tongue that is, and accepted his opinion and I vow to do my best to eliminate this habit. I was pretty impressed that he only had one complaint :) so i thought it would be fun to turn the tables. I told him how it is mean to eat all the salsa the day we bought it, no matter how much we buy, so when i want some i discover it all gone! he agreed, but admitted he could make no promise to stop as he suffers from severe salsa addiction. He also agree that misplacing the laundry throughout the house is an annoying habit, but again no hope for change lol!! i cant remember my third complaint but i do remember he didn't agree, i tried explaining the rule of no retort, but he said he didn't play by my rules, haaaaa!! he is still clueless about The Love Dare and thought this was simply my lame attempt at a game, but it didn't go to bad i guess so ill take it :)

I still lost my patience a few times, and now that its not tied to the dare of the day, im seeing how easy it is to slip back. I guess it wasn't as much of a habit as I thought. Still im excited to see what the rest of The Love Dare has in store for me and im sure to emerge a better wifey :)

Day 7

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit , than he who captures a city ..proverbs 16:32

Minor problems should never yield major reactions...words to live by. This day is all about self control! The book lists a few reasons why we over react at times and become quick to anger (aka irritable). The main cause is stress of which there are many types...

relational causes: arguments, bitterness

excess causes: overworking, overplaying, overspending

deficiencies (my biggie): not enough rest, sleep, nutrition or exercise  (im checking yes to all of the above) so im reminding myself of exodus 18:17-23 which reminds us to delegate when you are overworked. easier said than done of course!

The Bible also reminds us to take a Sabbath day. I think im going to start trying to make this a true day of rest for myself and my fam. A day to relax and recharge for the week ahead. Usually even though Beau is off work and we go to church and do not school, it is also the day we do projects and I catch up on cleaning. If i truly take a day off, in my head i feel that everything will fall behind and nobody will get fed, nor will anything be cleaned, and no doubt the world will be over!! but i promise, this week im gonna give it a go and try to truly take Sunday off. perhaps I will really benefit from it and be less stressed, more patient, and the whole fam will benefit in turn! or perhaps I will spend the rest of the week making up  (my true fear). I guess we shall see.

Greed for more money and more possessions will frustrate you with unfulfilled desires ..1 Timothy 6:9,10

I learned a long time ago a lesson of contentment. The Lord has given me so much and Im so thankful. I honestly spend most days wanting for nothing, but every now and then I do slip. Not always with money or possessions, but often I find my greed is for time. Time to myself, time for myself, time to do this or that, instead of accepting the now and enjoying the contentment that follows. Nope, i do not have time for weekly pedicures or even to watch that new show etc, that is just not my life right now. Greed for anything = stress, and its important to let it go, keep your stress low, and you will be a nicer person to be around!

the great part about all that drama is that (if you are doing this dare atleast) you love someone. Love has the ability to forgive, turn greed to contentment, calm stresses and squash anger. When you love someone it is possible to let many things go, let love take over, and be slow to anger, and quick to forgiveness!

today's dare

Choose today to react to a touch circumstance in a loving way letting go of your irritation. Make a list of areas where you need to add margin to your schedule , then list any wrong motivations u need to release from your life.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

this weeks wrap-up :) hee hee

Ive been waiting awhile for something special to arrive. Something I probably didnt need but just had to have. Didymos (my most favorite brand of baby wrap) was set to release a new wrap. It was to be made of linen and feature some super cute fishies! Before I had a chance to resist, i had pre-ordered one and so i waited, and waited and eventually the fish swam my way. they were oh so beautiful. they were titled steel blue (to match my pike's eyes :) and when they arrived they nearly swept me off my feet. The golden threads woven throughout the blue glistened like silk, yet were as sturdy as canvas with a texture somewhere in between. The beauty was impossible for me to capture in a pic but i tried anyway lol
We decided to take him for a test drive today and wanted to check out something new in the process. Somehow we decided to visit the Shrine of the Sun. From our new house with the amazing few of the mountains, we can see the shrine every day, but it looks pretty teeny up there. It was built as a memorial to Will Rogers and houses a chapel as well as the bodies of some of Colorado Springs most famous founders. As we drove up the mountain the kids got so excited. Apparently it resembles Rapunzels tower!! who knew? Once we did the mini-hike we met ample disappointment when they realized there was no princess, only a dead guy :( but we climbed the whole tower anyway. Other than showcasing some amazing views colorado springs/ broadmoor hotel and golf course

and a few million photos of Will Rogers, there wasnt a whole lot to do up there besides a tiny Co Springs museum. We thought we would add something fun to the outing and decided to check out a movie. On the way in Beau opened the door of the theatre, not noticing the little guy running to open it first. This resulted in a collision and a pretty bad gash to my little Pearce's forehead. We immediately left and rushed home to see if it required stitches. Dr. Dad fixed it up and decided his prognosis was good and the little guy bounced back fast. He quickly realized we weren't at the movies anymore wanted to do something fun :( It was dinner time by now so we loaded back up and headed to The Airplane Restaurant. Just a normal eatery with a giant plane halfway inside the place. You can eat inside the plane as well but there was no table big enough and no highchairs allowed :( we were bummed but chose a nice table under the wing right next to the prop. The food was OK but the theme definitely was the star. We pretty much had the place to ourselves considering everyone else waits forever to eat in the plane lol. the kids ran around, did their best to turn the prob, hopped on and off the landing gear and had a blast. While I was ordering a Piper Club :) , Beau took Pearce to the potty. It featured airplane landing and take off noises, which Pearce found confusing and for the rest of the meal he kept announcing we were taking off, then crying when we didnt , but it was amusing. We ate and laughed and even Pike enjoyed itmostly because there were lots of free pickle spears, his favorite treat!! Perfect end to a not so perfect day ........now on to the next :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 5 The Love Dare

The challenge for Day 4 was to contact your mate while they were away. I thought/posted how easy this was gonna be and of course that was not the case. Yesterday Beau got a new iphone so he spent all day in phone transition. Add to that the fact that he is military intelligence ( i could be more specific but id have to kill you lol) and not allowed to bring cell phones into their dungeon. So needless to say I did not complete the Love Dare yesterday....and then (not that I'm complaining) he was off work today and well, how do you contact someone who is right beside you?

Id love to present to you a perfect world. A perfect home with a perfect marriage and perfect children, but that aint real. Things in my bubble are great but I am determined for this blog to be real, with flaws and all. A good friend once gave me advice to live by (thanks brandy:) She said "stop trying to be perfect, it only makes people hate you" and from that day forward, I've lived by those words. I think if you make the decision to put it all out there, that means ALL so I must admit the last two days werent my best. I was frustrated with starting up school and settling into routines, pike has been teething, and it seems I'm deathly allergic to the great beautiful state of Colorado so my fuse was short. I tried my best to maintain patience, but alas, i failed and got a bit snippy a time or two. the good thing is, thanks to the love dare i recognized it, attempted to explain my behavior and apologize and get back on track. proof positive that marriage/love is work :) but worth it !!

Day 5    Dont be rude!

He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be reckoned a curse to him- Proverbs 27:14

aint that the truth!

Nobody likes rudeness, the hard part about that is, rudeness is subjective. What I think is rude, might not be rude to you and vice versa. The great part about that is, no matter what the state of your marriage, how close or far apart you are, you know those little things that bug your spouse. If you desire to love this person, you should do your best to purposefully avoid things that frustrate them or cause discomfort. easier said than done, i know. But i believe it will make a difference if you are making the effort, even if you still fall short occasionally.

I train my kids to be polite, I put on a smile when I answer the door, in general I never want to be rude to a stranger, or anyone really. All to often we are kinder to those outside our homes/hearts than those residing in them. Its time to give our best to our own instead of everyone else. The book again has some questions for me....

1.How does your spouse feel about the way you speak to them?
2.How do you affect your mates self esteem?
3. Would your mate say you are a blessing?
4.Do you wish your spouse would stop doing things to bother you?
   (if yes, then evoke the golden rule, stop doing things to bother them lol)
5. Will you dare to be delightful?

todays dare is a little more like homework...

ask your spouse 3 things that you do that irritate them, or make them uncomfy. You then bite down hard on your own tongue. No explanations or responses allowed other than "thanks hunky husband for being honest with me". We aren't allowed to attack or justify just take it all in...........

well here goes nothin :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

its pinkalicious!

Ever since we have moved in there have been constant decorating projects going on. Backsplash, painting, levelling, there are talks of adding an exercise/weight room, shutters you name it! but by far the room I have spent the most amount of time on , and had the most fun with was Piper's Pinkalicious room! she is 5 so i didnt give her alot of choice, just went with what I knew she would love. She loves the book Pinkalicious, and all things princessy. I don't go for characters so just didnt offer or mention them. She is over the top girly and when looking at clothes for me, she chooses a sparkly pink evening gown, and that pretty much describes her style...and her room :)

First came the paint. We walked into Lowe's and let her choose. I showed her the hot pinks and rose petals and everything in between, making extreme effort to avoid pepto-ish. Of course, she marched right over to the Laura Ashley section and chose "Rosewater" which, by some, could be considered medicinal. But it has grown on me and she absolutely loved the color from day 1.

We then bought her some new white girly furniture...she had been sharing with a boy before (YUK) so now there was no consideration for the gender neutral option. I chose the stuff with the sparkly knobs....Beau asked her what she wanted and of course she chose the same...a mother knows these things.

She tags everything......like a graffiti artist...you name it, somewhere on it, there is her name. This has been happening ever since she learned to write it. The filing cabinet, the fridge, the inside of my dryer, inside cabinet doors, all of our sheets. We never catch her in the act so we just kinda let it slide cause she is careful to do it where its not noticeable. It has become a family joke, hopefully it is not indicative of the future lol. Because of this talent for tagging, i knew she would love her name on the wall.

We added some hooks out of necessity. The dress up clothes are mighty plentiful. The mirror is the perfect compliment :) and every princess forgets her crown now and then so the mirror is always equipped.

I got her the dress form, just because i found it too fabulous to pass up. I snuck it into her room and when she finally noticed she thought it was the most beautiful thing ever. she loves to dress it up, and hates for paxton to come in her room when its naked!!haaaaa

I needed something to do with her hair bows. they were taking over the fishy bathroom that she shares with the younger boys. I searched and searched and almost went with a simply ribbon bow hanger, but then i stumbled across tutu bow holders. I couldn't find just what we wanted, but fortunately there was an awesome etsyseller willing to do a custom.

We put blinds on her window but I intended to add a curtain. I just couldn't find anything i loved. It couldn't be simple, that just wasn't her. but there just wasn't anything out there that fit :( I am soo not crafty and cant make a thing but I had a vision. a feather boa valance. I thought it would be easy, id just hang some hooks and toss it up there. It turned out to require 4 boas and alot of nails but in the end she loves it. She is under strict instruction not to mess with it. She is really good at obeying (unlike her four brothers) and she loves how pretty it looks so she just admires it and rubs it occasionally haaa. Pearce is after it for sure, so we will see how long it lasts :)

She got the chandelier for her bday and it took her daddy a week or more to install but in the end it was worth it. She had wanted one forever (they are in the book) and chosen her favorites over and over. it doesn't give off a ton of light but it looks great and thats what counts :)

all thats left is some artwork. we are eyeing a few pieces, but no decision yet. hopefully by this weekend.

its soo fabulously pinkalicious i just cant stand it. if you think its a little much, your right , it is :) but thats what she loves!

day 3 of The Love Dare

Day 3 went really well. Beau was at work all day so it wasnt too hard to practice patience. It must be working a bit because I started noticing him doing a few "Love Dare" type things.

1. our trash taker outer is at camp and this is one chore I loathe. I ask beau to do it and just keep squishing down the trash. i bite my tongue and never complain just ask again a few hours later, well this morning, while i was making his fab veggie omelet...he did it!!!!!!

2. He picked up some tile I custom ordered at Lowe's, he has been reminding me to do this for weeks and he got off early and did it on his way home :)

3. He immediately asked about my day and if i missed him and thought of him while i was at Focus on the Family

4. the baby needed mom so he finished up dinner, often the norm is for this to make dinner late...but not today!!

pretty great considering ive only had about 2 hours with him!! and he still has no clue I'm doing the Love Dare. I had no prob with the patience today but i did have a prob picking out a gift. My friend Jen and I took our kids to Focus on the Family, it was amazing and the kids had a blast, all free of course :) and i knew they had a great book store. I told Jen about the Dare and asked if she thought I could find something or if she had any suggestions. She his well versed on his love for gladiator/spartan type flicks, u know, anything with men in leather skirts :) so she suggested action figures, or his very own manskirt lol!! which he prob would have liked haaaa but alas someone needs to ring James Dobson and let him know the store is deficient. The nice ladies there helped me pick him out a book instead. A nice book by Dobson of course lol. Well I showed it to beau when he asked if i had thought of him, he kinda maybe smiled and didn't pay much attention. Like the Love Dare said, he seemed pleased to be in my heart and on my mind and so who really cares that he may never read the book. He actually stacked it with the kids homeschool stuff ????  Ill heed my own advice and remember that I gave the gift, got the smile, so I'm happy with that :) so i guess the Love Dare is already starting to work, this is waaaayyy faster than the movie!!!

btw I'm thrilled so many friends are joining me, some fully , some partially, either way im happy because one day Ill tell beau about it and he will act like I'm crazy and I will inform him how im not the only one, which always helps!!

Day 4....

How precious also are your thoughts to me...How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand ....psalm 139:17-18

Today is about thoughtfulness. For men this might be a toughie but I think thoughtfulness comes second nature to women.

Love takes thought! Therefore thoughtfulness is a key part of any relationship esp a marriage. Just today my husband asked if I thought of him, which tells me it is important to him that I do! luckily i had a gift that proved i had :)  After we have been married/dating/bromancing for awhile, the thoughtfulness kinda becomes less frequent. To quote the  book "The hunt is over, pursuing done". So we have to make an effort to pick it back up, become the pursuer again and simply be thoughtful.

"Thoughtlessness is a silent enemy to a loving relationship". How would the hubster feel if i just forgot to fix enough dinner for him, or forgot he was allergic to fish and baked a 50lb halibut? Neither would be malicious, but the thoughtlessness hurts nonetheless. The book states that a woman deeply longs for a husband to be thoughtful. Totally true, i love when he brings home my fave ice cream or buys me an outfit, even if it doesn't fit! its the thought that counts and it feels great to know you were thought of. Hence the ever popular facebook post "thinking of you". Its nice to know when someone is....so logically, do unto others? and i guess its time i plan some thoughtfulness into my day :) Love requires thoughtfulness on both sides, but consequently, it is my belief/hope that one follows the other. The plan....to be thoughtful starting tomorrow or maybe tonight.........the underlying plan: start planning/thinking now for the next birthday/anniversary/special day........

and then comes The Dare: Finally! an easy one, no patience involved, although by now its a tid bit of a habit so I'm certain ill have more than before i started.

Contact your loved one sometime during the day. Have no agenda other than asking how he/she is doing!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 2 of the Love Dare

Well Day 2 went a little easier than Day1. Its amazing how quickly a habit forms. I never realized how many times I probably should have been biting my tongue, until I actually made an effort to do so lol. That part was also made easier by the fact that the Hubby was at work most of the day and I genuinely am happy to see him so its pretty easy to role with the happiness. The hardest part of day 2 was trying to think of a gift to buy him. I was gonna write a letter to him thanking him for all he does (thanks Shannon) but yesterday was my first day of school for Piper and Paxton and I spent more time writing the alphabet than actual sentences. Im keeping that one in my arsenal tho! I went for cheap and easy but most definitely something he appreciates. I shouldnt even call it easy because after a long day of homeschooling a K and first grader, while cooking, cleaning, and minding a 2yo and 9mo (crawling around a living room with 3 different staircases) , the fact that I have physical energy to do anything is difficult, but i found some (via a haagen daas almond ice cream bar) and gave my man a present :)

I'm posting this so late, and tbh I didn't get my dare done today anyway so im gonna give this one two days. Beaus vehicle (the beast) was broken into this morning and we spent all day running around getting new i d cards and filing police reports etc, and you will see why this made today's dare impossible. Still maintained the patience through it all, which was easy because Beau was so upset :(

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love, give preference to one another in honor...Romans 12:10

Today's dare is about selfishness. People are selfish. Great moms and dads are selfish, kids are selfish, dogs are selfish, devoted wives and husbands are selfish, grandparents are selfish, cats are very selfish, teens are selfish, babies are selfish, sweet elderly grandmothers are selfish, the sick, the strong, the wise, we are all selfish, some more some less. But love is not selfish.

"Selfishness is a trait we hate in other people but justify in ourselves". I guess its time to look inward. Why do we expect more from our partners and friends than we do from ourselves. Id like to think im far less selfish than I was in my younger years, and i do believe thats true, but i still spend a ton at Starbucks, sneak a baby carrier into the house, hoard all the best ice cream for myself. Yep, there is definitely still some selfish hanging out but its time to take it down a notch!

"One ironic aspect of selfishness is that even generous actions can be selfish if the motive is to gain bragging rights or receive a reward". I have definitely been guilty of this. I have volunteered because of it, i have made elaborate meals for it, I have baby sat, bought gifts, and probably a thousand other things. It is a great thing to do something for another person, but its an even greater thing to go into that act selflessly. Expect nothing, not even a thank you. Make that meal because you want to help, to bring a smile, to foster enjoyment and if a thank you comes thats great, a compliment even better, but when nothing comes, be content with kindness you shared. This means, if your husband hates the new recipe you slaved over, just look for a silver lining, you'll never have to make it again lol.

As a mom I find it easy to be selfless when it comes to my children, but i do find it harder to go that route with a husband whom I see as an equal, a provider, stronger than me, etc. Most of the time I do not feel like he needs me to be selfless, but maybe he does. The book asks you to ask yourself a few questions....

Do I truly want whats best for my mate?
Do I want them to feel loved by me?
Do they believe i have their best interests at heart?
Do they believe i look out for myself first?
Do I have a reputation as a loving person?

I hope that everyone can answer yes emphatically to all of the questions, but yeah right!! this is the real world full of imperfect people just like me. The question really is, do I WANT to be able to answer emphatically YES to all these questions!!! and YES I DO!

Day 3's Dare.....Whatever you put time, energy, and money into will become more important to you. We care about things we are invested in. Along with restraining from negative comments today, buy your spouse something  that tells them you are thinking of them :)

(Beau and I were together all day so i couldnt slip away, also he had my debit card cause his was stolen, soo this dare gets tomorrow and I must think of something!! )

Monday, August 9, 2010

DAY 1 of the Love Dare

Day 1 went pretty well. I really thought at first that it would be so easy. I thought i was pretty patient, i mean, i homeschool 3 kids and don't yell a whole lot, i figured patience was my nature, but quickly i realized that I am more patient with the kids than my hubby?? who knew. I also thought that Beau would immediately notice and be overjoyed with my new found patience. Well he didn't really notice. We spent all day at the house and got nothing done. I like to get projects done on the weekend or go out and explore Colorado Springs, but Beau had a movie day in mind . It was much harder than I thought and once or twice the devil convinced me that if i continued this patience garbage we would become perpetual prisoners in our own home, a slave to the netflix. Well that didn't happen, i bite my tongue, i did not get my way, but i lived , the world is still turning and the sun rose again. He still has no clue im doing the love dare but maybe it takes patience more than one day to rub off lol!.

so begins Day 2.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you- Ephesians 4:32

today is about combining that patience with kindness. If you knew me before I was married , you might wonder if I'm aware of the definition lol but the book says kindness is love in action. That totally reigns true for me. Despite numerous examples of kindness throughout life, none sank in till I met Beau. He has one of the kindest hearts of anyone I know, and I think I can count on one hand how many times he has spoken negatively about another person, even when they deserved it. So, you try living with a person 24/7, moving to a new place where they are the only person you know, and not becoming alot more like them....it doesn't work. Shortly into my marriage I found myself a much more kind person than I ever had been before and of course God took that and ran with it!

Do not let kindness and truth leave you, bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man Proverbs 3:3-4

soo true, since Beau injected a little kindness I find myself a better mother, better friend, its easier to make friends, and only after I became a more kind version of the old me did I truly learn to be happy for others. It seriously took me more than twenty years to discover that joy! I'm hoping to work on this kindness thing because so far it seems like a pretty good deal. According to the Love Dare, kindness has 4 parts= gentleness, willingness, initiative, and helpfulness.  It then shares the story of the good samaritan (Luke ch10).  Basically a show of kindness, increased by being unexpected or even undeserved. Kindness in its sincerest form is given out of love, not in return or after the fact. So be the one to smile first, serve first, greet first and most importantly forgive first! and on that note.....

Day 2s love dare.............In addition to saying nothing neg (yesterdays dare) add an unexpected gesture of kindness.

I haven't seen my hubster much today but I did cook breakfast, which for me is kinder than the usual offer of cereal or smoothies :) I'm not going to count it tho since it was actually before i read today's dare haaaa...im still thinking of what my unexpected act will be. please share any ideas??

Sunday, August 8, 2010

love and marriage

Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love...Ephesians 4:2 niv

since the move to Colorado I have been missing something. something big, yet small, powerful, yet comforting, comfortable, yet challenging.........it is my women's Bible study. I luv luv luv studying the Word with other women, learning from their experiences and growing alongside them as we strengthen our faith. Sometimes I study at PWOC (protestant women of the chapel) a big blessing to the Christian military wife. Other times I study at my home church wherever that may be at the time. but for now Ill be going it alone. I have been reading the Bible although i must confess I haven't opened an actual Bible in weeks (thanks to Biblegateway.com and my new kindle). I once was privileged to study with an amazing mentor who shared with me the benefits of actual study vs. just opening and reading. Of course it is NEVER wrong to open the Bible looking for answers or just let God lead you through the pages, but it is important to engage often in actual study. Whether it be about a certain book or portion, or simply a certain aspect found throughout the Bible. We can read a novel, but you dont memorize or study it, so starting today I'm taking her words to heart and even though I'm away from my groups I'm gonna hit the books hard. Ill be going it alone so if anyone wants to join me, feel free :)

I have chosen to focus on Marriage. If you arent the Bible type, don't give up on this post yet.....

My marriage is going great and strengthens further with every move! but like everything, anything can be made better.stronger.more and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so I have decided to do The Love Dare. Anyone can join me even if you dont want to do the Bible study parts. In my personal studies I'm going to focus on the verses in the Bible that guide us in our marriages but The Love Dare part is for anyone whether your marriage is in trouble, at its best, or simply ho hum. Trust me, it cant hurt!

I was recently facebook chatting with a friend, who I learned, doesn't share her blog with everyone. She is a little more private. It made me stop and think, am I crazy? I put it all out there? but I've decided, while I prob am a little bit crazy, everyone is different. I pondered why I would put it all out there and what the good parts of that are. For me, esp through this study, I hope having it all out there will help keep me accountable. So if you notice im slackin and need a kickstart let me know. This is important to me and I want to finish it!!!

so back to the Love Dare.........If your not sure exactly what it is, its a book featured in the movie Fireproof (great movie starring Kirk Cameron :) in which we are taught about Love and its many facets and given challenges to help improve ours. I'm going to post the challenges and hopefully any results that come from them. Beau never reads my blog but knows i blog about him so no worries there. He also doesnt know I'm doing The Love Dare. I thought about telling him but couldnt decide if i should soo I'm gonna wait for now, if u know us irl don't spill the beans :)

Day 1 is about patience. Patience as a choice that is. For most people patience never comes easy, but like love, sometimes you have to choose to be patient even when it isnt exactly what you want, or the most fun, or even the most obvious choice. "when you choose to be patient, you respond in a positive way to a negative situation" The Love Dare. For most people, anger is the emotional default when you feel wronged or unhappy, but patience can change all that, with practice! To live completely without patience, is to live in a war zone, whether the zone be your marriage, your friendships, and most definitely parenting. Everyone around you benefits from your patience, and hopefully can pick up some of their own. The goal of today's challenge is to foster comfort and trust from your spouse/bfriend/gfriend etc. They can trust that what they say or do wont be met with a nasty response once they see patience coming from their loved one. so today's dare is simple........Resolve to demonstrate patience and say nothing negative to your spouse at all. Hold your tongue if tempted! its only 24hrs, or less really if you count sleeping. I think i can do it :) we shall see, ill let you know..............

Friday, August 6, 2010

its an etsyful day

One of my favorite things about blogging is well, my favorite things. I love to share with my blog buddies awesome things I find or learn about from friends. One of my very most favorite things is http://www.etsy.com/ mostly because it helps me find more favorite things. If you arent familiar with etsy you are missing out no longer :) Etsy is a special place where moms, artists, creative folk etc are able to sell and share their creativity with the world. I first learned about etsy through babywearing. Many of the most gorgeous carriers out there are  are mama made and sold on etsy. Then I started browsing and found handmade jewelry, art, baby clothing, cloth diapers, clothes for me, u name it, you can get it on etsy. Not only can you get it on etsy but you SHOULD get it on etsy. Lets face it, the economy still sux, people are losing jobs left and right but etsy allows many people to maintain an income and you still get what you wanted only, unlike picking it up at your local Wal-Mart, you will be purchasing it from ....for ex....a loving mother who handmade the item carefully in between feeding her baby and putting food on the table. Your cash, that you would have given to an executives 5 star hotel fund, now goes to help an artist put food on the table (they are all starving right) or a photographer mom upgrade her website for her homebased business so she can be with her kiddos after school. No etsy is not a charity, but it is about people/families helping others by supporting their business and cutting out the middle man. It is about keeping arts and crafts alive beyond elementary school. Its about using your dollars to promote love and creativity among all people......soo ...now as i step off my handmadeboughtonetsysoapbox i wanna share some of my favorite etsy finds and artists :)

this is my made for me piper tutu bow holder. my best friend as a little girl (hi haley :) had a bow holder. it was totally different than this one, but i couldnt find one like hers and fell in love with this one http://www.etsy.com/shop/addalilcharm?ref=seller_info

these are all longies (wool pants for cloth diapers) the second pair from the left isnt from etsy but all three others are from http://www.etsy.com/shop/KnitterKnots which is one of my favorites of course. 2 of the three were customs and abby is great to work with and a super great babywearing mama :)

I dont have a pic of Pipers dresses but we have bought two from Marion (another bwing mama) and loved them. they are modest and easy to play in but beware, you will get lots of attention and compliments http://www.etsy.com/shop/marionscott77

here is a great shop for unique one of a kind art. all made by a super mama whom i love :) i dont own a mlee original yet but it is on my christmas list this year for the new house http://www.etsy.com/listing/9298578/music-6x6in-original-mixed-media?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share

love love love these gorgeous carriers. if you want a stunning beauty this is where u are gonna get the most bang for your buck and they are very well made!! http://www.etsy.com/listing/52173247/standard-himmel-liesel?ref=sr_list_1&ga_search_query=himmel&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_page=&order=&includes[]=tags&includes[]=title

feel free to share with me some of your etsy faves, you can never have too many!! happy shopping :)