Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Christmas Story

We got up extra early and made it to the 9am service this morning at church. We were extra excited because we heard that we were going to be able to participate in the beginning of the service with our iphones, we did and it was so fun! We are lucky enough to go to a church who's theatrics are entertaining for those who are not religious either...their goal is to make a place where "un-church-ed" people feel comfortable, I think they have accomplished that!

After a Christmas inspired Le Mes skit and some worshiping, our pastor came out to give a Christmas devotional. Every year I heard the story of Jesus birth and every year I cry like a baby...and so do a lot of people around me. So here I sit in a church filled with thousands of people...crying....the person next to me was probably thinking "Man this lady is crying over a baby?". Man is it so much more than that.

The emotional pulls that the story about Jesus birth is more than a pregnant virgin riding on a donkey and giving birth in a stable. Its more a census being taken its about more than angles. Its about a savior ..your savior being born into this earth with a sole purpose to die for our sins. A Savior who died not only for the "Christians" or the "religious" people. But for people who think they are not good enough for church...the people that the churches people have shoved away, for the people who have never even heard Jesus name...he died even for those who don't even believe in him.

Maybe its just me....but I get this awe struck feeling in my stomach, this feeling of overwhelming thankfulness  and so much emotion arises when I hear this. Because I can see just a silver of the huge amount of love that Christ has for us...and everyone.

Here it is December 23 and we are blessed beyond measure. So blessed that we remember to thank God all the time for food, shelter, gas, our health and family. But I think people who have grown up with a family who is religious sometime forget to give thanks for one of the most important things we were ever given...Jesus. Its not about the apps, the lights, the singers, the food, the gifts, or the Grinch...its about Christ being born, born with a sole purpose to die for you and me.

When we pray the next few days lets all try and give thanks for more than just our food and gifts, lets remember to give thanks for the reason that we are here...the reason we are celebrating.



Friday, December 21, 2012

Parson-isms - Update

Parson is now 20 1/2 months old and he is speaking pretty darn well...when he wants to. So he has a few funny things that make us laugh all the time....

Parson loves wagon rides. When he wants to go on a wagon ride...he comes up to you and yells "WEE WEE PEEZZ" Now to us this means wagon any other person, they would be running him to the potty. Why he calls it a "wee wee" and not a wagon beats we are trying to gently guide him to use the proper word :P

We are getting ready to potty ready I mean reading books, practicing sitting on the potty, flushing, and our potty chart is hung. Regardless if you flush a tissue down the toilet or any other thing...Parson yells "Bye Bye Poo Poo!" Taking him to the bathroom with me in public is an adventure for sure...some people would call this pay back :)

This is not really an "ism" but it made us laugh. Parson was watching Sesame Street after his nap today and Elmo was talking about pets. Specifically rubbing his friends pet dogs belly. Well when Elmo said "I love to pet the dogs belly" Parson lifted his shirt, held it in his teeth and proceeded to rub his belly with both hands.

Parsons current favorite color is purple. He is obsessed with all things Sesame Street and is in LOVE with Elmo, cookie monster, and Grover.

He sits at the big boy table 90% of the time now...not in his high chair.

He received a big stuffed dog for a gift this Christmas and he loves to lay on it and relax.

He loves to play in clean laundry...he will take all of the clean laundry out of the basket...climb in  and then pull all of the clean laundry back into the basket with him.

The toddler life is full of things that take lots of explanation and time, things we as parents wish we could rush through. Full of tantrums and the word "NO". It is moments like this that make a parents heart smile and make all those hair pulling moments worth it.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas, Xmas, Holidays, Gifts or CHRISTmas

I was listing to the radio today when Parson and I were running some errands. When I have Parson in the car I am pretty selective about what music I play. Its either my go to favorite radio station 104.7 The Fish or some sort of kids music CD.

Today we were listing to the radio. This christian radio station plays Christmas music from Thanksgiving until the day after Christmas...which I LOVE. Today they asked the listeners a question "Do you tell your family and significant other what you want for Christmas, drop subtle hints, or just trust them." All ready I knew where the listeners were going to go with it and I was already getting kinda bugged.

People called in and said things like;

 "I write my husband a list and if I don't get whats on that list...then...well he knows to get whats on the list and nothing else"

"You know men only have the ability to remember what you tell them for a few you have to write a list or you will never get what you want"

"I just buy my gifts for myself and wrap them, put them under the tree. The only person who is surprised on Christmas is my husband...and that is  because of how much I spent."

Now don't get my wrong...I am guilty, guilty, guilty of forgetting the true meaning of the season and get caught up in Christmas cards, gifts, and decorations. But the Lord was really teaching me something today.

A few things that came into my head were;

 "Wow...I hope I never sound that ungrateful for anything that Aaron  gives me"
"I hope I don't say things like that to dis-honor my husband that way"
"Dang need to remember the real reason for this season"

So I pulled out my bible and started reading...which I am guilty of not doing enough of recently. This is what
I found...

Isaiah 9:6

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Luke 2:8-14

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold,[b] an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will bethe sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”[c]

Psalm 98:4-6

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

My challenge to myself is to enjoy this season and all of its blessings...but to take time every day and reflect and study and give thanks for the true meaning of this season. Wont you take the challenge to?


Oh Christmas Tree

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree....most of us have one as part of our Christmas decor each year. Some families trees are fake, some are real. Some are themed and some are not. Some are simple and some are ornate. Some are small and some are big. Ours is kind of a hot mess...but we think it is beautiful.

Decorating the Christmas tree has always been kind of a big deal in both of our families. Aaron's family always had real trees and my family (most of it) always had fake trees. So when Aaron and I got married 4 1/2 years ago (whoa this is our 5th Christmas as a married couple!) we had to answer the big question...real or fake. I am a reduce and reuse kinda gal so we got a fake tree. It is 9 feet tall and we love it. Every year me...eerr we put the tree up and decorate it.

Confession time here...I am kind of a hopeless romantic when it comes to things like this. When I think of decorating the Christmas tree as a family I think of a 1950's family all drinking warm cocoa and working as a team to put up their beautiful decorated Christmas tree. Ha...who am I kidding...our family looks like me getting all kinds of hot and sweaty lugging the Christmas tree down and putting its million pieces together while Aaron works. Meanwhile Parson is in the Tupperware tub that we keep the tree or chasing the cat with branches that are not already put on the base of the tree.

Anyway once the task of putting the tree up is done, I really really really enjoy decorating the tree. This is because we don't just have some pretty garland and a box of generic bulbs from Target (not that that tree isnt pretty) We have ornaments from every part of our lives before we were married, when we were married, with kids and without. We also have some that have been gifts and some that have been handed down. I wanted to share just a few of the many ornaments that we treasure.

This one we bought in the Bahamas when we were one our honeymoon

This one is from one of my is Cinderellas castle. We all know how much our family loves Disney.

Aaron's Grandparents got us this one last year, Parsons first Christmas

Beautiful Mary and Joseph holding baby Jesus

We have four of these beautiful glass candy canes and they are all different colors. Greenfield Village releases a new one each year and my aunt sends one to us every Christmas.

This one is from our first Christmas together as a married couple

This is a crystal bell that we received as a wedding gift

Parsons first Christmas ornament 

This is an ornament from when Aaron was a young kid

My Grandmother got us this ornament last year and its called "Just the three of us"

This one is very special to me. This was a gift from one of the very first friends I had in GA. Sadly I don't have contact with her anymore. She is off doing amazing things and achieving an art dream. But every year I think of her as I decorate our tree. 

This is not an ornament, but it is still special. This was Parsons Christmas gift last year from his God Parents. It is his very first nativity set.

These angles came from my Grandma, she gave them to me because she had others. These will always be special to me because she handed them down to me. 

Here is our tree in all its glory.

Even though it does not look like the trees in magazines or on Pinterest and even though its not real. It is our tree and decorating it and looking at it brings to remember so many wonderful things in our lives. It reminds us to be thankful for the one true Christmas gift...Jesus.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cloth Diapers - Wash Cycle and Wipes

So in my last post I mentioned that I (and Aaron) are both obsessed with cloth diapers. Well okay...not obsessed ..but put it this way unless its completely in no washer to use. We don't use disposable diapers.

We have been cloth diapering for almost a year now and we have learned ALOT. There is so much information, brands, opinions, process, and products for cloth diapers there can be a lot to sort through.

When I tell people that we cloth diaper and we love it, their first statement is "Eww!". Then they next statement is "How to wash them" Don't get me wrong...spraying a toddlers poopie diaper is not for the faint of heart...or stomach. But the wash cycle is very easy once you get into a routine. For me throwing a load of diapers in the wash is way better than getting out my yoga pants and going to Target ;) The third question people ask me is "Hasn't your water bill gone up?" It has NOT gone up, not even a dollar. I wash diapers about every 5 days-ish. So that is about 5 or 6 times a month.

I will also say since we have been cloth diapering we have discovered some things about wipes. At first we used cloth diapers and disposable wipes. This to me was irritating. Because now not only do you need to have a diaper pail for your cloth diapers but also a trash can for the wipes. So...we use cloth wipes as well. That way you can just roll the whole thing together and throw it in the pail and not have to worry about it.

I make our wipes because it literally takes 5 min to make 4 or 5. I don't usually have to buy fabric for them because. I always have scrap flannel laying around. We are not color/print and gender oriented yes Parson does have some purple butterfly, pink hearts, and flower wipes. Anyway...I keep a stack of cloth wipes and a spray bottle of solution in Parsons room and when changing time comes I spray the wipe a few times and do the dirty business and presto you have a clean baby booty.

Wipe Solution Recipe

2 C. Water
1 Tsp of your favorite baby shampoo
3 Drops of tea tree oil (Anti-fungal)
5 Drops of lavender oil (Anti-fugal)

Cloth Diaper Wash Cycle

1.) Pull any inserts out of pocket diapers

2.) Spray any diapers that have excess yucky stuff that you may have missed the first time. If your child is exclusively breastfed and not on solids you can skip this step. Breast milk poopie is water soluble. 

3.) Dump diapers in washer (sorry for the sideways pic)

4.) Run a hot rinse. Make sure you use the largest setting your washer has, the more water the better

While my first rinse is going, I always disinfect my diaper pail. 

5.) Add you cloth diaper safe detergent. We use Rockin Green.

6.) Run your longest, hottest, largest wash cycle. With 1 rinse.

7.) When this wash cycle is done, run a single cold rinse

8.) Hang your diapers to dry. Hanging them outside in the direct sun is best. The sun has an amazing bleaching effect that will take out any stains you may have gotten. 

9.) Stuff your pocket diapers and wear!

See its under ten steps and does not take that long. I know because we started cloth diapering when I worked full time. :)

If you have questions feel free to ask :)


Monday, November 26, 2012

Lets get honest...

So I have a few confessions that I think are  kind of embarrassing or I thought I would share :)

1.) I love to in Parsons Elmo coloring book with old school crayola crayons ...I wonder often who likes coloring more...Parson or Mommy

2.) When Aaron is not working from home, Parson and I don't get out of our jammies until about 3pm when its outside play time...even then I will not be wearing makeup :P My thought on this is I have no one to impress if the hubs isn't around :P

3.) I am addicted to cloth diapers...I know it sounds strange. But man there are some really cute ones out there. I got Parson a 1 Fish, 2 Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish doctor sues one a few weeks ago on Zulily. The nice thing about cloth diapers...the cost is generally pretty low and you can reuse them :)

4.) I LOVE reading other peoples much so...I have to not do it because I will waste a whole 2 hour nap session not being productive.

5.) This is it...the really strange one and I guess you can call it my type A personality. Everything must be in even numbers, how many spoonfuls of veggies at dinner or the amount of M&M's I has to be even. Ask Aaron he has a grand time trying to flip me out over it.

What are your silly confessions?


Friday, November 16, 2012

November in pictures

 Our November in pictures...

Messy Breakfast

Family Dates

Hot Air Balloons

Bath time fun

Playing in the leaves

Walks with Mom

Grandma and Grandpa Jones visit

Thanksgiving with buddies

Fun with Kelen

Monday, November 12, 2012

Quick Update!

Sorry I am neglecting you again....I guess life is busy and you have to prioritize tasks. :(

1.) Whole30 is more of a Whole8 that turned into a Whole30-ish days. More on that later.
2.) We had company in town from Monday till Thursday and from Friday till this morning.
3.) I am opening an Etsy store I am sewing like a madwomen
4.) I am doing data entery on the side for some extra green
5.) Oh and being a wife, mommy and whatever other titles I need to be at any moment.

Its been crazy....but its been great!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Whole30 Day 1

Today is the first day of Whole30. You would be surprised the habits that you have with food that you don't even realize. Now, I did kind of set myself up for failure by choosing the day after Halloween to have my first Whole30 day...oh and it helped that Parson let mommy sleep like 3 hours last night. Anyway, here is what I have eaten and plan to eat the rest of the day.

Breakfast - 2 egg muffin cups with breakfast sausage, black coffee, and a plum

Snack - 2 mini Hershey crackle bars...this is that habit I mentioned. I walked past  the left over candy and just grabbed a piece without even thinking... I swallowed and though...CRAP Whole30! The left over candy has been hidden in the back of the pantry :(

Lunch - 4 spinach nuggets (these had breadcrumbs on not all the way approved...but its progress), 1/2 Cup pomegranate seeds, 1 Lara bar, water.

Snack - Baked Root Veggie Fries

Dinner - Tortilla-less Chicken Tortilla Soup and salad.

Day far so good minus the chocolate mishap. I think we can do this...if I can just stop craving a icy cold diet coke :)


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Picture Post

Parson had lots of fun helping Daddy with the yard work last weekend

Having a snack with Dad while watching "The Men Who Built America"

Mommy's first knitting project...a to big hat. Hey at least it keeps his head warm!

Parson LOVES his dog

He has recently become a "climber"  :/

He LOVES to read books... especially new ones from the library.

He really loves getting to go to story time with Dad at the library to. This was this morning before they left.

Happy Halloween from Secret Agent P

Who needs toys when there is the Tupperware cupboard?

Greek yogurt is his new found love.

Working on the "car"

What I am currently reading...SO GOOD! Next on my list is "French kids eat everything"