Sunday, December 21, 2008

12.14.08 Benediction- An Advent Benediction

The benediction I wrote last week. It's ok, not great but ok. The running theme through the messages has carried over into my benedictions (this is a good thing) but they are starting to sound the same to me. Not that that's a bad thing, it is a theme that bears repeating.

In secret, gifts are given
Not wrapped to draw attention
Simple needs met in Compassion's glance
Love exhaled with weighty purpose
Joy poured forth
For the broken hearted
And lost to dispair
Virgin womb
Now ripe with Divinity incarnate
Birth's pierced hands, feet, flowing side
This is not empty promises living
This is Emmanuel, God with us.

Justice seekers growing daily
To know God more completely
Love sacrificially
For adoration requires giving your all
Life abundant to be lived fully
See as children and saints before you
Conspire to love
As your liberating Lord

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Advent Benediction

I wrote this December 2, 2007, I think it was the first Sunday in Advent but I could be mistaken. This is a very special benediction to me, written during the season of Advent and me very pregnant with Evangeline Claire, her very name meaning clear good news or gospel. Today, the second Sunday of Advent a year later I reflect and share this benediction with you here no longer pregnant and wondering what happened to the waiting as another year has flown by.

Benediction 12.02.07

Ripe expectation
In chaos ignored
Joyful suffering forgotten
For temporal desires
Hording stifles compassion's cries
Afraid to lose what we can never keep
Apathy, our subtle friend
Blinds us to complacency's clutch

Mary, full waiting
Longing for pain
For midst the lingering groans
And washing waves
The vision of promise sweet
Is for a moment lost
Consumed by the work
Of love to be born
But from wrenching pain and stinging sweat
Each determined grip
Births creation's Maker
The Word in Flesh

Release breath
Listen now
Love's cries awaken new
Eternal wealth
Living to be shared
Like pure water
Life-giving for all

Go out and share the wealth
Divine love has come

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cabbage and Sausage Stew

I'm going to write about dinner again. It was a good dinner, deserves a blog post. I'm even going to attempt to write the recipe out.

Since our trip we've been rather scarce on groceries and I've been putting it off but push came to shove and I had to go yesterday. Picked up a few things with the crew and planned a couple of meals. This one was in my head and I decided to give it a try today.


Half a head of cabbage (I used the other half for col-slaw)
3 medium/large potatoes
4 carrots
1 turkey kielbasa style sausage, sliced
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
4 bay leaves
2 tsp oregano
2 cups vegetable broth

I had decided we were having a vegetarian week to kind of cleanse ourselves from the trip, obviously fell off that wagon.

So I threw all the veggies in the crockpot first. Tip: put potatoes in first- cabbage doesn't need to be on the bottom but potatoes and carrots sure do. Throw those veggies in and then the sausage and remaining ingredients. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. I did high for 4 hours because I started late but it worked perfectly though I really had to resist the urge to open the lid and stir but it was worth it.

This was a hit, I mean a really, really big hit. The girls devoured it, Evangeline ate everything but the sausage but only because I didn't give her any, Jessi said it was really good and added her hot sauce (the girl likes her hot sauce) and the real sign was when Jeremy said we could have it once a week. I will be making this again though I doubt it will be next week. However, I do love my crockpot. Which reminds me, I need to make a breakfast casserole in it before heading to bed. I love my crock-pot. I want another one, or two, or 4.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hit the Road Jack part 2b- HOME!

Sunday, November 30, 2008
7.33 am- We left the hotel about 10 minutes ago. I’m always surprised at how long it takes us to get out of the room and eat then get back on the road. The girls just find distractions every time we turn around. There are clear skies today! It looks like the storm systems are behind us and since we’re headed west we shouldn’t run into anything else. At least not in terms of weather, there is construction ahead which will be loads of fun I’m sure.

Helena has learned well from Lavinia how to be an antagonist. Doesn’t matter what it is- Lavinia wants the orange pencil? Well now so does Helena and she needs it for an hour. Lavinia’s bag is behind Helena? She’s “falling asleep” on it and can’t move to get it. The rest of today could be truly magical. I’m thinking it’s time to become a creative mommy. Ok, not to creative, we’re going to sing Christmas music now for a little bit. Twelve Days of Christmas should keep us busy. But I can never remember 7-10.

8.11am- first and second stop of the day right now: starbucks (mmmmmmm, fuel, I mean, coffee) and krispykreme doughnuts. Caffeine and sugar, alright! We’re listening to Regina Spector, love her music.

9.30 am- Feels like we’ve been on the road forever, hard to believe it hasn’t really been that long yet today. We’re in Louisiana between New Orleans and Baton Rouge on I-12. I tried to nap a little in the last hour, not so successful but the girls were pretty quiet considering. Evangeline just woke up and is ready to nurse, going to have to stop for a quick feeding. No wonder it takes us so long to get anywhere! Time to knit.

10.12 am- Gas stop and time to run the kids, they were getting restless aka fighting like cats and dogs. Evangeline is nursing right now. I love how she plays with my Mother’s Heart necklace Jeremy and the girls got me for Mother’s Day this past May from James Avery. While she nurses, Evangeline turns the charm back and forth, traces the outline of the mother and the baby part of the heart, and rubs the silver almost like an athlete does for good luck. It’s so cute! And when she’s done with that she sometimes reaches over to check and make sure the other breast is still there for her, just in case I guess, lol!

12.36 am- Stretch the legs, snack, chase ducks, nurse stop. It’s windy and kind of cold, wouldn’t feel as cold if not for the wind. We stopped at an odd little tourist info. stop for a parish in Louisiana. With a eclectic assortment of playground equipment the girls ran around trying out a little bit of everything setteling with playing on a pile of mulch after Lavinia was flung off the merry-go-round. Yes, you read that correctly, Lavinia was flung off the merry-go-round and yes, the picked the pile of mulch to play on. The little tourist park has a pond with ducks, a crocodile exhibit, and the playground. Evangeline shared some cheerios with the ducks, she found that to be very exciting, I’ll post pics later.

I took a turn driving just before now and passed a truck carrying Smart cars! They look so cute all piled on the truck. I was also treated to the pleasant personalities of holiday drivers. They are patient, considerate, friendly, smart, careful, and if you believe any of that did you know that the word gullible isn’t in the dictionary? Seriously though, what’s with people? Cutting people off, riding the vehicle in front of them, whipping in and out of lanes, and just in general driving like impatient maniacs. I don’t get it. Why not be safe? Ugh, they drove me nuts.

2.19 pm- Beaumont is now behind us, Houston is 78 miles away. So maybe an hour and a half before we get home. We’re all so ready. Helena is asleep in the back row, Lavinia is making Evangeline laugh and Ophelia is playing tetrus. That music gets so annoying I must say. Evangeline is loving watching Lavinia make her Raffie dance to the Christmas music we’re still listening to on the radio. She had a good nap and is now in a great mood, a far cry from where she was two hours ago when we struggled to get her back in her car seat. Jeremy is still driving attempting to keep the van in our lane against the force of the wind. Man, Lavinia is loud! If she wakes Helena she’s going to end up grounded when we get home, honestly! We will have made it this far only to implode from Helena freaking out at being woken up too soon from a nap. Beware the moody 5 year old disturbed from her sleep. Lavinia just showed me a project she and Helena have been working on during our trip- their own book of mazes! They are so cute! They really did a good job drawing out mazes to be completed complete with themes and illustrations. I love that they found things to keep themselves busy!

2.52 pm- Lavinia just made a hat out of the box for the 100 calorie snack bags of cheetos.

All week at my parents I couldn’t find the charger for my cell phone. Jeremy looked through the van and I checked bags. It looked like we left it at home. Both of us had been fairly certain we brought it but without it turning up anywhere we gave up. Jeremy found it in the glove box today. I put it there, remember that now. Too bad I couldn’t remember that 7 days ago.

3.34 pm- traffic, our first sign we’re close to home.

Houston, we have a sky line!

4ish- Home sweet home! Mostly unloaded the van and then headed out to the park on our bikes and on foot for some much needed exercise. It’s good to be home.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hit the Road Jack part 2a

10 am- And we’re off! Again we got a late start, planned to leave at 8 this morning and it seemed like we were off to a good start but after taking pictures, saying good bye and tracking down a missing shoe we weren’t off until 10. Oh well. We’re in the van listening to Christmas music. I’m not a fan of the sappy contrived story type songs, they just don’t do it for me but I do like most Christmas music otherwise. Jeremy just found Journey on the radio- fun! After only 10 minutes in the van the girls were fighting, being super loud and requested the road trip games. What in the world! I don’t like to bust those out until we’ve been on the road for a couple hours. Gave in though and the backseat is all quiet. Jeremy’s driving us over a bridge, I’m going to miss the beautiful water and beaches here, TX may be on the gulf but it isn’t what I’d call the pretty side.

Looking for a grocery store, we need some junk to much! Carrots, I mean carrots.

3.27 pm- Found a grocery store and got carrots, grapes, broccoli, cauliflower, pretzels and a few not-so-good-for-you munchies. There are now Cheese Nips all over the van. It’s quiet time now, Helena and Evangeline are asleep, Lavinia and Ophelia are just barely restraining themselves from killing each other. My favorite? “Ophelia bit me!” from Lavinia followed by “On accident!” from Ophelia. How exactly do we manage that? Never mind, I don’t want to know.

Jeremy’s driving in rain outside of Tallahase. I have yet to drive today, Jeremy gets car sick easily if he’s not driving so I put aside my love for the road to keep him from barffing. It’s well worth it and I just pick up my love for knitting, writing, napping or snacking. I do wish the rain would stop, it’s slowing us down. The rain is coming down so hard it’s hard to see and what we can see looks like we’re driving on a river. My nap was interrupted first by Ophelia and Lavinia’s sweet expressions of love for one another (please read that with a sarcastic inflection) and now by the down pour. Fitful nap, car ride, week long visit with parents throwing off Evangeline’s sleep pattern and you have a recipe for a grumpy Jessica. Looking for Starbucks. I need coffee, water, and to pee. Where are the M&M’s?

4.30 pm- Quiet time is sooooooo over. Starbucks was located, good ol’ drip coffee for Jeremy and I and little hot chocolates for the three big girls. Those now consumed, Ophelia and Lavinia have created a new game using their cups to shoot the lids at each other. It’s actually very funny and they are laughing their butts off with background music provided by the African Children’s Choir. Helena has decided she needs to do school work however and is getting angry with her sisters’ noisy game. Try as we might, we can’t get her to understand that quiet time is done for now and it’s a good time to be loud. Strange, she usually thinks it’s always a good time to be loud. Hours and hours in a van with family brings out the best in everyone!

4.54 pm- Just passed the exit for Sneads. Love that, what a superb name, Sneads. Who wouldn’t want to live there. Hi, I’m from Sneads, Florida- hold the jokes please. BAHAHAHAHAHA! Someday I’m going to write a children’s fantasy book and I’m so using Sneads for a character or town.

8.08 EST/ 7.08 CST pm- We poured so much crap into our bodies for entertainment (not recommended by the way) that we just now stopped for a very late dinner. My parents eat a lot more meat than we do and Jeremy and I were craving veggies in a bad way so we jumped at the chance to eat Subway- both of us got Veggie Delights and boy, did they taste good! I forget how wonderful a pile of veggies wrapped in a tortilla really is. The girls devoured their sandwiches and had seconds. Lavinia announced that she’s finally full. That will last all of 10 minutes if we’re lucky.

Back on the road now we’re going to start looking for a hotel fairly soon I suspect, the rain and wind provided a successful delay to our mileage today, we haven’t even made it out of Florida yet. Still hoping we will but we’ve only averaged 50 mph so probably just barely. Oh well, better safe than sorry. But man, I would love to have more miles under our belt to keep tomorrow from being ridiculously long. I took my turn driving just as it got dark, super windy and rainy again. Kept me on my toes. I love driving so I really didn’t mind. Woohoo! There’s the exit for Pensacola! Not much longer and we’ll be out of Florida. Finally feels like we’re getting somewhere.

8.20 EST/7.20 CST- Lavinia just declared that she found a hotel with hot breakfast, we should stop there. She was crushed when Jeremy informed her we aren’t stopping yet. Thanks to the time change we’ve gained an hour. The tired family says yay.

8.10 central- I wrote a song! It’s been a while, for some reason it just hasn’t been flowing and this song idea I’ve been turning over in my head for months finally wrote itself and got out of my head. Such a good feeling.

We’re near Pascagoula, not sure if we’re stopping now or not. It is still raining but not as hard as it was and Jeremy’s going at a descent clip. I get the feeling he doesn’t want to stop until we’ve made it a little further. The car is quiet, I can’t see but I think the girls passed out. The peace broken only by the swish of the windshield wipers is a refreshing change from the chaos that has been in our confined quarters all day. I’ll try not to think about how crabby they will be when we do finally stop to go to bed. Waking up children is always just such a joy.

8.29 pm- just crossed the Mississippi state line. Another state gone! Headway is being made.

9.03 pm- stopped at the same hotel we did last week. Super tired children have crashed on comfy hotel beds watching elf and cheery hyper baby is all over the room with smiles, laughs and adorable antics. As soon as everyone settles down it’s lights out!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

11.02.08 Benediction

I write poems and benedictions pretty regularly. Here's one from earlier this month, I shared it at Huntsville Community Church and our home church, Ecclesia, Houston.

Cast-off bandages of wounds healed
Litter suffering's path
Balm and honey provided
From Divinity's hands, feet and side
Predictions grim clouded recovery's promise
Not through
Personal strength
Or private battle
But burned off by the rays of warm, Love-filled Grace
Healed ones, healed fully or still in part,
Tread expeditions grand
Carrying salve
Fresh cool water from Living Springs deep
And strong arms to lift those broken down and lost
Yours now the gift to love
From the Great Physician
Not to journey only for self
For many suffer from festering wounds
Only One can heal
Lift up that beam
You are equipped and not alone
Breathe Love, bring bread, serve water
You have been healed
You have been called.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hit the Road Jack

The following is something I wrote over the weekend as we drove from Houston, TX to St. Pete Fl. Just now got to post it. This is a snapshot of a road trip with our family of 6.

We’re going to Florida for Thanksgiving. Time for family, catching up with friends and a 15+ hour trip in the car with 4 children ages 10 months to 10 years. It’s the first time in so long I can’t remember that we are spending Thanksgiving with my family. In fact, we’re so rarely with any family on the holidays, we’ve just had the kind of jobs that make traveling around the holidays practically impossible.

Day 1
1.54 p.m.- We’ve made it 100 miles. Contemplating making this a 3 day trip instead of 2 but holding onto hope we’ll encounter small miracles without drugging the girls. We left Houston late, big surprise, and then sat in traffic thanks to construction. Just as we got out of that we had hungry kids and potty breaks being called for all around. Shouldn’t be long, construction and traffic precluded, before we’re in Louisiana. The girls are singing and coloring now, distractions are good.

4.11 p.m. Now we’re 275 miles out, we were making better time but we’ve hit traffic again right around Baton Rouge. Just about desperate for fuel we’re looking for a gas station and Starbucks, hopefully we’ll find one soon and be able to continue on our merry way without a break down. I do mean that literally and figuratively. The girls seem to have found their stride hanging out in the van. Jeremy has a tradition of making People Puppy Chow a.k.a. Muddy Buddies, a sugary crunchy concoction of chocolate, peanut butter, Chex cereal, and powdered sugar. Yes, a big batch of that made the night before our trip and we munch in the van until our tummies hurt. Brilliant plan, right? Give 3 kids pure sugar and then trap them in a smallish moving vehicle for hours. Yes, truly brilliant. What wouldn’t be absolutely fantastic about that! Now on the other side of sugar highs, the girls are reading, playing digital connect four, and drawing fancy letters quietly. I can’t get them this quiet at home EVER and they don’t get sugar at home most of the time. Tempted to rethink my home strategies. So far, the highlight for me as been having the sound track to Mama Mia cranked up and the girls singing “Dancing Queen” at the top of their lungs to help settle a cranky Evangeline. It totally worked so we sang it again, two more times. Jeremy was thrilled.

6ish Stopped for dinner at the “fancy fast food joint” known as Chic Fil-A and my favorite fried crap to consume. It was good but only to a point- it’s hard to enjoy deep fried food items when all you’ve been doing all day long is sitting on your rump. I could feel it go straight towards gravity’s pull and there’s nothing I can do to stop it since I’m not going to be very physically active over the next few days. Oh well. Evangeline enjoyed munching on a French fry, I mean, Waffle fry or what ever they call their fried potatoes. I tried not to think about all that going into her little body so young. The girls burned off their dinner on the small indoor play ground, that was far more the point than the food and I’m kind of glad for that too. We got back on 10 to sit some more. Lovely traffic.

8.15 My heart is pounding in my throat. With my attention on knitting I was caught off guard when we suddenly swerved sharply to the left. Not that you can swerve and have it not be suddenly. Anyway, I looked up in time to see something large, white and boxed shaped in the middle of the lane as we careened wildly past it. The girls all raised a chorus of freaked out cries, startled from their reading, writing and game playing, the only one that didn’t seem to notice was Evangeline fast asleep and secure in her car seat. Jeremy said he saw the car in front of us swerve to avoid the cooler and it’s contents sprawled all over the middle lane we were in and then had just enough time to do the same. What freaked him out the most was that it felt to him as though he may have made to sharp of a motion and it felt like we were going to roll. That’s just my biggest concern with a mini-van. Now we get to go another 600 odd miles to Florida with me contemplating that possibility.

8.49 Had hoped to stop by now but we lost so much time with our late start and sitting in traffic that we’re pushing on to get at least 450 miles under our belt today. The plan had been to camp, you know, pitch a tent, grill some food, make smores and cuddle up and go to bed. Though we’ve never been camping as a family I went a lot growing up and was certain I could handle a simple over night stay in a basic camp ground. Until the forecast this morning- 32 degrees. Yeah, I’m not taking my family, including a 10 month old baby, camping for the first time ever in freezing weather. I suspect Jeremy is relieved, he’s looking forward to a bed in the climate controlled setting of a hotel and given my tired rear end, so am I. We’re on the look out now for hotels with promising billboards and free wireless internet. Cranky kids in the back, it’s time to stop and get to bed.

10.18 p.m. In a hotel room in Mississippi- I love spelling that state, it’s so much fun. Our second one tonight in fact but we’re staying in this one. The first one was at a different establishment, which shall remain unnamed unless you talk to me in person and I’m ranting about it, and the free wireless internet they promised wasn’t working. I wanted it. So after going around with them on that we called the Holiday In immediately next door and got a nicer room with a lower price AND working internet. We’re beat. Going to read some bedtime stories and pass out.

Day 2
8.06 a.m. Just crossed the Mississippi/Alabama state line and we’re on the look out for Starbucks (again) and KrispyKreme doughnuts. Jeremy looked up coffee stops before we left and we were so excited to see KrispyKreme pop up. Haven’t had KrispyKreme in ages since they left Houston after growing too fast. It will be so exciting to sink our teeth in to warm doughnutty goodness. Yum!

Last night Evangeline was so excited to be freed from her car seat and crawling around the room. She needed some nekkie time thanks to a bit of a rash on her bottom so I think the two freedoms (no diaper and no car/car seat) made her rather giddy. Crawling and giggling all over the room, she loved to make us laugh, talk to the baby she found in the mirror and explore every nook and cranny she could find. A new found skill she has developed is getting reactions from all of us, particularly her big sisters. Using a forced, cough-like, look-at-me laugh she goes until we’re all laughing with her and then flaps her arms and gasps with excitement. When we stop she calms down and then starts her silly little laugh again repeating the experience. Over and over, she doesn’t seem to tire of it. When we placed her in the pack-n-play and told her goodnight she laid down for just a moment and then remembered the fun she had been having before, stood up and started the whole thing all over again. It was hard to get everyone to stop responding and laughing with her, she’s just so darn cute! Eventually though sleep began to claim her sisters and she gave up trying to get us to react, fussed for a moment (“but I don’t want to go to sleep!”) and then sat down, grabbed her Raffie, and fell over to lay down and cuddle with him to fall asleep. I was so proud of her, she put herself to sleep fairly easily when it was time and figured out how to intentionally make her family laugh. She’s growing up so fast!

All that and we still haven’t found KrispyKreme or Starbucks. Which ever we find first is fine with me, I just need coffee!

8.32 the doughnuts have landed! And the HOT NOW sign is on! Woohoo! I’m having hot KrispyKreme right now people! Oh yeah, life is good. Totally worth driving 500 miles. I think I love Alabama.

12.34/1.34 p.m. We crossed into EST just a little bit ago and have stopped at a beautiful rest stop. Officially in Florida the girls are a little more energized that we’re in the right state at least but no matter how many times we explain that it is still a long way they anticipate grandma and grandpa’s house around every corner. We’ve told them there’s no point asking us if we’re almost there because the answer will be no until we’re pulling into their driveway. Peanut butter and honey sandwiches for lunch, trips to the potty and we’ll be back on the road again. My stomach hurts a little bit from eating so much People Puppy chow but crunching really helps me stay awake when it’s my turn to drive. Really should pack carrots and celery, wouldn’t be so detrimental to my buttocks.

4.33 p.m. EST stopped for gas and coffee- basic fuel requirements for a long road trip. This was a break through stop, we had made it 2 hours without stopping, the first all day. Feels like quite the accomplishment! I hoped online and chatted with a friend while nursing at the Starbucks, checked e-mail, looked for construction the rest of our way, and replied to a few Facebook messages about appointments this week. Very productive 10 minutes or so. Before getting back on the interstate we started a new family tradition: ordering frosties from Wendy’s. The tradition is less the frosties, more how they are ordered and it all began several months ago on a trip home from Dallas when we stopped for Frosties but couldn’t put down the driver’s side window in that car and Ophelia had to order them from the back seat. Struck with nervousness, she froze for a moment until Jeremy reminded her to order 5 small frosties. “Smy Small Smosties!” she blurted and we all busted out laughing with Jeremy yelling over his shoulder through his laughter out her window the correct order. The story has been a family favorite since. Today, Jeremy placed the order at the drive through with complete clarity and a straight face for “smy small smosties!” Laughter and shouts of the correct order erupted from our back seat as the Wendy’s employee asked him to repeat his order, which he did exactly the same way. Lavinia got a little upset, I think she was worried that we wouldn’t be getting our frosties if they couldn’t understand us but the employee guessed the order correctly and we drove away with giggles and our frozen chocolate non-dairy desserts.

6.30 EST Potty break at a rest stop. I think we were next to someone important with the FL Gators, either that or they are just some serious die hard fans with a black RV thing, big screen TV and blue and orange wardrobes.

The girls and I raced to the restrooms and I was so relieved to see it wasn’t an open one this time. Every rest stop we’ve been to up until now was an open one with ventilation from outside. Good for the smell I guess but not so good for bare butts when you have to put your hiney down on a cold hard plastic seat. Even with a toilet paper dress on the seat it was like sitting down on an ice cube of sorts every time, not the most conducive for going number 1. I know, TMI.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hello my name is Jessica and I'm addicted to... cloth diapers.

Ok, laugh. Laugh so hard your sides hurt and you snort. Or are you just thinking I'm crazy? It's possible you're not thinking anything at all since, well, I may be the only person reading this anyway. But you know you have your odd addiction too. Besides, I'm not the only one. There are entire online communities of CDing (Cloth Diapering) addicts. Yes, I belong to a couple and yes, we really do get online and chat about diapers and what goes in them. I'll let you ponder that for a moment.

My addiction started innocuously enough, it certainly wasn't intentional. In fact, I had thought my diapering days were over when, surprise! We got to give it a go again. I had encouraged friends that were having babies to go green, save the earth, do baby's bum a favor and forgo the disposible diapers in favor of cotton but me, well, it was too late. Cloth hadn't even been on the radar with my first three so I confessed the thousands of diapers I dumped in a landfill and moved on after a moment of silence. Until that line showed up on the stick I peed on. It wasn't long after that positive test result that I moved from "Oh my gosh, we're having another baby" to "Oh no! I have to cloth diaper it!" So between puking and IVs I reached for the computer and began my research. That's when I discovered the online communities dedicated to just cloth diapers! Crazy? Possibly. Fun, oh yeah! At first I had sticker shock but that faded after a little bit of math (hello, disposable diapers aren't CHEAP!) and I started thinking how cute and soft it would be. I became educated in the health benefits as well and considered that if we had used cloth with Lavinia and Helena perhaps our rash issues wouldn't have been such a battle. I'll never know of course but so far, Evangeline's bum has been much less red than her big sisters' rear ends ever were in their diapering days. Then I started picturing a cute little baby bottom swathed in soft fabrics with darling prints. Someone introduced me to the wonders of wool as a natural cover for cloth diapers and after puzzling over that one for a little bit I was completely hooked. Aside: yes, wool would seem like a hot option, after all we don't even own any wool for ourselves here in Houston but when someone asked me if I'd rather wear wool or a plastic bag and I got my hands on some amazingly soft, not itchy wool I saw their point. Back to my story. So I bought a few diapers. They came, we opened the packages and the girls and I oh'd and ah'd. I practiced on baby dolls and teddy bears and settled on prefolds (the kind my mom used but not the big flat ones that you have to fold, the ones that are, well, pre-folded) and some fitteds. We choose a combination of PUL and wool for covers but it wasn't long before we realized we liked wool the best. Yes folks, Evangeline really did wear wool all summer long and you know what? Not one rash. We LOVE our cloth. It's fun, cute, healthy, and good for the earth. There's all kind of info out there on cloth, I'll come back later with some of that but for now, I just wanted to share; I'm a cloth diapering addict. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

So for dinner...

I warned you, I'll talk about dinner.

We had this. It was made by 11am this morning, using the left over coffee in our French press from breakfast and I ran the dish washer and that was it. Except for slicing some cream cheese into the pot about 20 minutes before eating. It was so good! Granted, it has coffee, cream cheese, red wine, and a roast, how could it not be good but when all three of the big girls, Jeremy and I both clean our plates you celebrate a hit meal. Stephanie, AKA the crockpot lady is my new best friend even though she doesn't know it. Thanks to her blog I'm pulling out my crockpot more and my family gets to eat decent hot meals far more frequently than normal not counting Mac and Cheese. So far we've made Jamaican Pumpkin Soup, CrockPot Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole, and of course the Java Roast tonight. I've also tried my hand at a few of my own recipies and they've not been shabby either. Tomorrow might be my mom's recipe for Italian chicken stew. Maybe... Potato Leek Soup, Harvest Stew Recipe, and the Bean Stew Recipe, are looking good. Noticing a trend with soup/stew cravings. It's fall! ish.

Why the need for a new blog?

Because I want to. Yeah, I want to write whatever I want to write, theme or no theme, news or no news. Random works for me and I want to write about dinner sometimes, that worship is still a favorite subject, politics excite me, sometimes it will be about homeschooling, other times how I love my new grocery store, theology and doctrine could pop up and likely will, or maybe I'll write about how art moves me, the joys of cloth diapering, my latest knitting, and then there are things like the first time I saw a Battledore Placenta and of course poetry, film, music, literature, shows, etc. There's just no telling really.

There you have it.