Thursday, March 25, 2010

After Service Coffee

Oh my, this cartoon says it all.  I am reminded that as we greet at church, not to be blind to the new people around us.  If we only converse with people we know, how does that make any new people feel?  I'm so thankful to be a part of a church that welcomes.  May we never become a bubble.
Check out his other cartoons too.  He's got some good ones.  

Jason Boyett Blog

I came across a blog today.  Take it for what it is.  He's a pretty hilarious writer, yet they are serious topics.  He's not always right on with his thinking, but then again, when are any of us right on everything?  His comments are thought provoking, and others make good points in their responses.  The important thing to gleen from reading any blog like this is that this is what people are thinking about and not saying.  It should be a lesson to us.  The church is not perfect and we can't pretend that it is, or we can't get well.


Five Confessions: Annoyed by "Worship"

Church Generation Gap

 I read an article recently that talked about a very low profile issue in the church and I found it interesting.  I pray that as a body of believers, we would not see age, but rather one's spirit, and their love for the Lord.  Here's an excerpt from the article:

Churches tend to isolate the generations along peer lines. The result is often a lack of meaningful relationships between teenagers and most adults. It’s therefore no wonder that when we dismiss them from youth group following high school, young adults fail to make a positive transition into the adult ministries of the church. Their high school world featured a different program, often a different philosophy of ministry, a different meeting location, different pastors, different musical styles, and very few positive relationships with godly adults.

I appreciate the intergenerational emphasis in Gary L. McIntosh’s book One Church, Four Generations: “It is crucial that the worship team be intergenerational. The leaders who are seen on the platform influence the people who will attend the service. When people come to a church, one of the first things they do is look around to find people like themselves.” He makes a good point. Our churches must be God-honoring places where children, young people, young adults, and older adults alike serve and worship God. It is a shame if churches willingly overlook or exclude any particular age group. 

Canon - EF-S 17-55/2.8 Lens

I recently purchased a new lens for my camera, and love it!

  • Image stabilization (for shaky hands like mine)
  • USM Wide-Angle Telephoto Digital Zoom (a good "every occasion/stay on the camera" lens)
  • For APS-C Sized Digital SLR Cameras (mine is a Rebel XTi)
  • 2.8 Aperture (allows for incredible background blur)
  • Upgraded Automatic focus (super more waiting to focus!)
  • Sells new for around $1000  (I got one refurbished, cheaper)
What I love about this lens is that it takes great portraits (which I'm doing all the time with my kids), but it's also good for everything, so I don't have to change lenses ever!  If you're willing to carry a little more weight, it's the best bang for the buck.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bum Genius Diapers

I use cloth diapers with both of my girls, and I'm in love with my BumGenius all-in-ones.  The cloth diaper community calls these AIO's.  In fact, there are many things that I have learned since I started cloth diapering, and so I figured I'd share.

The most important things to consider are:
1) What kinds of cloth diapers are there?
2) How do you wash them?
3) What are you saving by doing cloth diapers?

*Pocket Diapers - these are outer covers that you insert a liner into. 
*All-in-Ones (AIO) - which means there is no's all one piece, just like a disposable diaper, but cloth.
*Old School Pre-folds - ah yes, you remember these.  They pin on the sides and you cover them with plastic underwear otherwise known as "plastic pants".

(Some diapers come in One Size Fits All, and others you buy in XS, S, M, L sizes.  That's what I have.  I prefer the different sizes even though I spent more money because the others are very bulky when your baby is smaller.  They use snaps to pleat the material, thus making the diaper smaller.  But all the material is still there that's needed to diaper a 2 year old.  Also, you end up buying inserts of all different sizes anyway.)

I keep a dry diaper pale (cleverly hidden in a basket that I got at TJMax) in our bathroom.  I say dry, because some people do wet pales.  Diapers with newborn poop (you know, the runny stuff) get rinsed in the sink before I throw them into the pale.  You can omit this step by putting a piece of rice paper on the diaper which you can then flush.  They are inexpensive.  I got mine in a roll of 100 for $10 at Bambini.  Anywho, non-infant poop (the solid stuff) just gets plopped in the toilet and the diaper goes in the pale.  No rinsing.  YAY!  Pee diapers can stink after awhile, so I spray them with BumGenius all natural odor remover that I get at Fletchers.  This is only really necessary if you're letting your diapers sit longer than a day.  As for washing, I do a wash on cold to get all the pee out, and I use half the amount of soap (very little).  Then I wash them on hot with the other half of the soap.  Then I do an extra rinse.  Then I dry them.  I have to dry them twice because my washer doesn't spin them very well.  The reason for the cold wash first is that diapers soaked in pee smell terrible when mixed with hot water.  It's a good way to stink up your whole house. Oh and they don't stain at all.  I use Arm-n-Hammer with OxyClean.  You can't use detergent with any additives or it will ruin the diapers.

You'll need about 12 diapers if you're going to do laundry every day at the same time.  If you're like me, you'll need 20 so you can forget about them.  My diapers were about $15 per diaper.  And I have 12-20 diapers in each size; S, M, and L.  So all in all, they cost about $750.  I have spent $20 on rice paper, and $30 on spray.  So, the grand total is about:  $800.  I have used these for 2 kids, and plan to use them on any future kids.  Disposable diapers cost about $60-80 a month.  It would take you roughly a year to spend $800 on disposable diapers...for one kid.  So, unless you're planning on potty training your only child at 12months of age, even the fanciest of cloth diapers will be cheaper.  Our water and electric bills cost us around $10 more a month (but that's including just having another member of the family's clothing, burp cloths, sheets, towels..etc to wash).  Even with that cost, now it would take you 16 months of disposables to equal your cost of cloth ones.  Not to mention you'll probably have to pay for a bigger trash can (added expense) and they stink worse.  Oh, and yeah, yeah...the environment stuff too.

So, happy cloth diapering.  I promise I'm a normal person...not a hippie...I shave my armpits.  :)  You will love it, and your baby's bum will too.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fisher Price Baby Toys

My stepmom, Shirley, is the voice on some new Fisher Price toys.  They are so cute, and of course the singing is great!  Check them out at

Brilliant Basics Nursery Rhyme Keys by Fisher Price

Brilliant Basics Musical Pop up Bus

Carpet Cleaner Sticky Residue!

 I borrowed my dad's steam cleaner the other day and was pleased when my carpets looked so clean afterward.  But now, 3 days later, the carpets feel sticky and grimey.  What's the deal?  Well, here's the answer:  (Found at

"Does it get the job done right
Because the cleaning solutions are fully dissolved in the hot water, two problems are created. The dirty water recovery process cannot pick up all the solution so the carpet fibers, backing, and even the under pad remains damp. Depending on the ambient air humidity levels and the amount of water sprayed on, it can take as much as three or four days for your carpet to dry out. That is sufficient time for odor causing bacteria and unhealthy mildew to begin growing.
The second part of the problem of leaving moisture behind is that dissolved cleaning chemicals are being left on the carpet as well. When they dry, the detergent residue becomes sticky, and sticky carpet fibers will attract dirt and hold on to it. What this means is that you could have a nice clean looking carpet that is going to quickly become dirtier than it was before steam cleaning.
Most of the producers of steam cleaning chemicals and the service companies that use them have been working to develop cleaners with improved rinsing agents to overcome the sticky residue problem. Others look to ways of using less cleaning solution and therefore less moisture to pick up. Short of using trial and error, just who among them has made the greatest strides is difficult to determine."

I guess Stanley Steamers is getting my business next time.  Bring on the $99 special Stanley!  :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Leah Lou Frantz

Born:  February 16th, 2010 @ 6:30am
Weight:  8lbs 6oz
Length:  19.75"
Birth Time:  12hrs (I was induced)
Nicknames:  "Bee-uh" - By Emma, trying to say "Baby Leah"