Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm Moving...

Good-bye Blogger...Hello Wordpress!!!

My new site is http://krankemommy.wordpress.com and I am moving for one major reason: I love to journal, but often times journalling should be a private affair. Blogger doesn't give me the option to differentiate between my posts (private and public) so it's off to wordpress. I have transferred most of my archives to the new website, so feel free to browse them. I will be continuing to adjust their format (some of the paragraphs didn't transfer over) as well as updating some content, especially the links.

Blogger has been home for a long time, I didn't even know that other "weblog" sites existed, but I am excited about learning more about Wordpress.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dressing for the Summer

So here we are, the first day of August, summer is in full bloom and women who would otherwise dress modestly are finding excuse after excuse to not wear beautiful, long, flowing garments. I think the heat issue boils down to what is socially acceptable. In the 1800s, when they had a scorching week (like those in the Pacific Northwest have been having lately) they had no alternative. They couldn't strip out of their clothes and run around half-naked so they had to figure out what to do to keep themselves cool. They could stay out of the sun, wear light colored clothes, wear a hat, and stay well hydrated. They had the joy in knowing that this too shall pass while they fanned themselves with homemade fans and ate things that cooled them off.


Today, when it gets warm, we think we need to remove clothing, because it is socially acceptable to do so. This way, we don't need to be as inconvenienced by the seasons. Unlike the extremely seasonal lives of our ancestors, our lives run year-long, not offering any variation based on the season. We are spoiled by air conditioning and heating systems as well as our recreational activities.


We assume that the only way to cool down is to remove clothing (or wear less of them)- that it is the inherent properties in clothing that are making us overly warm. This isn't always the case though. Think about it, have you ever sat in a car wearing something black? I have, I was wearing a new black skirt and the sun was shining right on my lap and I was frying. My mother offered me her white sweater and I refused saying it would just make me hotter. However, eventually I gave in and you know what? It made me cooler! Adding a white layer actually reflected the sun enough that I could feel a difference. There is a reason that you see women's clothing from older time periods in white. We rarely wear white these days, even pastels aren't really "in fashion" but for summer clothes, white is essential. Now, I am a plus sized woman and the thought of draping myself in white is not appealing, so for now, I try to stick to cotton because it breathes, and as light a color as I dare to go, especially on top. It really does help!


AND DRINK LOTS OF WATER!!! Sweat is your body's own air conditioning, if you are not hydrated, it doesn't work. Common sense applies even if you are wearing tank tops and cut-offs or a beautiful flowing dress- stay out of the sun and keep covered when you are in the sun!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What to Wear?


I have been following Lady Lydia's blog, Living at Home, for a long time but lately she has been doing a series on modest and feminine clothing reflected in older artwork and how to apply that to our daily wardrobes. It has been an excellent source of inspiration for me. I have always been dependent on current fashion to dictate both the style and fabric. I thought that I was choosing things that I liked, but really, I wasn't. Now I have several dresses to make with less than thrilling fabric, but that's okay. They are still nice and will be pretty.

So with the school year coming up, even though we are still smack dab in the middle of summer, I have been trying to figure out what dresses I am going to make for fall and winter. I will probably start with a summer weight dress, but only one. I also need to be sewing for my daughter too. Basically, I have enough sewing to keep me busy for a long time!

Here is my sewing list:

Daughter (Jordyn):
2 Summer dresses for her birthday in August
2 Corduroy dresses for fall/winter
2 Cotton long-sleeve dresses
2 Full slips
5 pairs of modesty shorts/capris
2 knee length bloomers out of flannel
3 winter nightgowns
WHEW!!!

Self:
Brown skirt (already cut out)
Blue skirt
2-3 Blouses
1 Summer Dress
3 Fall/Winter Dresses
3 Full slips
1 Half slip
5 Pairs of bloomers
1-2 Pairs of flannel bloomers
3 Nightgowns

Among all of that, I have several little projects, a handbag (or two or three...), these cute crayon roll-up bags, a couple of stuffed animals and dolls for Christmas gifts and I would also like to make my children each a new quilt for their bed for Christmas. Yes, I am already thinking about what to do for Christmas. I don't know if we'll do Santa Claus this year. It really disturbs me that I am required to do a substantial amount of lying to my children just for the "fun" of it, but we'll see what the husband thinks. Feel free to weigh in on the topic.

I suppose what I am trying to say is: I have a ton of sewing to do!! I love reading progress reports, so I will probably try to post some as well, with pictures. I doubt that those items will be enough to get us completely through the winter, but it shouldn't be too difficult to make a dress here or there once I've gotten into a good routine. I am still looking for an easier dress pattern to make for my daughter (with no buttons or zippers) because I am rarely buying everything for the dress in one stop and I don't like having to wait to find matching buttons or zippers. It's much easier if the pattern is just simple! I just found this one, which comes with two different sleeve options and looks easy.


What I really need now is to carve out some time in my schedule to sew. It shouldn't be terribly difficult because of my current living situation, but it will require me to sacrifice nights lounging around the TV and most likely, my sacrosanct naptime as well. Hopefully, it will be worth it in the end, to know that I have created two wardrobes for my family and moved on to the Christmas gifts...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fun Challenges

In church today we discussed "perfection" using the first few verses of James 1. That whole notion of counting it all joy when you face trials and tribulation wasn't what I wanted to hear this morning (err, yesterday morning...it's late!) but it was, as always, a well-timed sermon. So speaking of challenges, despite the constant turmoil of living here, which I know is producing good fruit in my life through the working of the Holy Spirit, I have decided to attempt two different challenges.

The most recent is a home cleaning challenge and you can find the initiator here. I have decided to go through and "spring clean" several areas. Living as I do, in an extended family situation, there are always other people around to help keep things tidy, but there are areas that have been neglected, so I'd like to tend to those.

1. Living room- all that unwanted stuff that collects because you forget to remove it, along with a good vacuuming and window washing.
2. Kitchen- scrubbing the floors, clean out fridge, reorganize pantry and cabinets.
3. Dining Room- mostly the downstairs bathroom and the game closet, which is a wreck.
4. Master Bedroom- suffice it to say, this is the messiest room in the house, and it should not be that way!
5. Back Room- that evil, tiny, multi-purpose room.
6. Garage- where all our leftover junk is stored. Q: Where is that thing that I had when we used to live there? A: I don't know honey, look in the garage. Q: Where is it, in that garage? A: Who knows...see ya next week though, if the spiders don't carry you off first. Sigh.

Hopefully, I will be able to take (and POST) pictures of my progress. I fully expect this challenge to take two weeks. Though my list is pretty short, some of these projects are multi-day types, like my bedroom for example. It should be really nice to get everything clean and tidy, and (gasp) keep it clean, in theory. I have a related resource that I will be reading during these next few weeks called, Home Comforts, which is really a manual on how to keep your home. I found it at my library after two different recommendations. I reserved some "crafty" books as well just to "try them out."


Okay, so the next challenge is much more fun. It involves feminine dressing. I know that not everyone agrees on what is "modest" and what is not, but when we take the time to address modesty in light of femininity, things take an interesting turn. I have been a big fan of Mrs. Sherman's website, Living at Home, for a long time now, even though I don't always agree with everything she says, does, or suggests. However, I love what she has been doing lately. She has been taking older painting that show the feminine clothing of the past and pulling from them inspiration that she translates into something slightly more modern and wearable. Among all these posts have been little nuggets on sewing tips, dressing tips, modesty tips and so on. She prefers for her comments to be anonymous, so there is really a feeling that you can ask whatever you want and not be shamed. I have really become almost addicted to this series (hence the need for the first challenge!). So, she hasn't issued an official challenge per say, but I will endeavor to take pictures of myself during these two weeks spent cleaning so that you can see my feminine wardrobe change as I add new pieces.

One subject I need some help with is hair dressing. If anyone knows some tips or tricks on what to do with medium length thin hair, let me know! I can't stand hair in my face and it is just too hot to leave it down (we get to about 100 degrees these days...with no air conditioning!) I would love to look into older styles, but I really need simple!

***edited to add: I have found another great website for Christian women, called What Women Never Hear and it is a collection of articles geared toward the modern woman written by a man. The few things I have read are very interesting.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Check out my Reactions!

I read a little blurb on blogger about these "reactions" that you can add to your posts, and I love the idea, so I set them up. You will find them at the bottom of each post (below my signature line) and you can check the box that is the most appropriate. Just to be sure we are on the same page, some definitions for you...

Inspiring: to fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something.
Interesting: the quality of exciting curiosity or holding the attention.
Insipid: lacking flavor, vigor, or interest; boring.

*If for some reason, you find my posts offensive, please comment to me privately.

Random; Space Issues

So what have I been up to this past month? Well, I have been pretty busy falling off the "schedule" wagon, but I expected I would. Now I'm finally trying to get back ON that wagon and get back into homeschooling, cleaning, working out...the usual.

I have been working at staying productive during the day and just these past few days, I've been organizing my tiny back room space which is so multi-functional it's funny. My sister is talking about potentially moving back to Washington in the not-to-distant future and though I'd miss her, I am already planning where my stuff would go in her wonderfully large room! {sheepish grin} Her room sits in the front of the house and has a large bay window and another side window which let in all the wonderful breezes and a lot of light to go along with it. It would make an excellent multi-purpose room for my crafting, sewing, computer/office, homeschooling, toy room. It is at least three times the size of the one I'm using now, so the space would be welcome. Though, I should probably be getting used to cramped conditions because I know that this is far more space than I will have next year when we've moved into our own apartment again. Hopefully, we will find a two bedroom space that works for us. We don't have any living room furniture, so if we have two bedrooms, we could use the living room for that multi-purpose space.

Just some random thoughts. It is not nearly late enough for me to justify spending time on the computer, so I'll have to run now and get back to the cleaning. Maybe I'll post some pictures soon!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Stop in for a Long Visit

Hmm, grab a nice hot cup of coffee or tea (or just water to cool yourself down in the pre-summer heat) and spend a few minutes at my kitchen table. I have freshly baked brownies with hidden spinach and blueberries...No? Why not? Okay, I'll pull out my secret stash of Dove chocolate and we can chat? Milk or dark? 

So many things have been going on (see here or here) that I really have not had time to write. I love writing and always will, but one of my struggles has been properly using my time. I love the saying, "Idle time leads to idol time" because that is really true for me. I love my computer and my "free" time, only my free time is coming at a time that really isn't free. It belongs firstly to my Lord, then my husband and then my children. When I have fulfilled all my obligations in those three areas, then I am allowed free time...that's not what I've been doing!!! Anyway, I see myself blogging once a week or so for the next few months but hopefully, as I learn to manage my time well, I will have more time available for blogging. I have been scheduling my upcoming homeschooling year, planning out the books I'd like to go through and whatnot, establishing a new family routine and schedule along with ChorePacks which are truly awesome! I have also been trying to create a summer wardrobe for me and my daughter out of the fabric I already have and most lately, I've been searching for a job.

My homeschool plan is pretty cool, at least I'm excited about it. I kept going back and forth about early "formal" academics and reasoned that if I were to put my daughter in kindergarten (which is what I'm talking about) she would be into much heavier academics than if I were to homeschool, but, I don't think that I am a late-starter. I do acknowledge that during the first few years (from about 5-8 years old) what you are really doing is giving your children character training while teaching them to read and write and do math. I am so okay with that, but, I don't think that the fact that I will be attempting to develop character is a reason to sluff off on the work I'd like my child to do. My curriculum for kindergarten includes Saxon Math K, which is really a dumb thing to have purchased, but at the same time, I am extremely glad to have a script with which to guide me as I try to teach my kiddo about patterns, calendars, and counting (among other math concepts). Was it necessary? No, probably not. Can she learn all of those things without a text? Absolutely. Can I teach them effectively without the program? I think not, truly. I don't tend to be very good at explaining things to my children. One of my many flaws. I appreciate the book telling me what to say and when. I will add my own personality when I need to. Outside of that, I am using Sonlight's Pre-K (4/5) program except it's Bible component, I have a replacement in the Children's Illustrated Bible. I have begun to teach Jordyn to read with The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading and finally I will be using Handwriting Without Tears only because it was easy to order. I estimate that our days will be somewhere between one and one and half hours. Obviously, if my child starts freaking out and shows signs of hating school, we'll slow down and just enjoy reading, but I think she will do very well with what I have planned.

As far as schedule goes, I have found (thank you Duggar family!) Managers of Their Homes and Managers of Their Chores and ChorePacks. My kids love the ChorePacks and so do I. It is a fun, easy reminder of the tasks that need to get done and my kids love flipping the cards. I even made myself one (to demonstrate how cool it was to the kids) and I love it. It is so much easier than a list for my little morning routines, when I can easily forget to do something (like start a load of laundry!).

As for the summer wardrobe...well, that is pretty tricky. It always comes back down to several dichotomies. Modesty or fashion? Skirts or pants? Dresses or skirts? Long or short? Bathing attire or ??? And, the end result is that if I make a decision in one category, can I neglect the rest? I am doing this to please the flesh or the Lord? What is the root here?

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. I Peter 3: 1-4 KJV
I don't think that those verses say that apparel is irrelevant, but I do think that they speak to the heart of the matter. It isn't about what you wear, as much as it is about the condition of your spirit. Am I wearing dresses and skirts to feel like I am doing okay? Am I just covering up the sinful pride and ambition and yes even anger and fear that I feel? Am I behaving in a manner so as to have someone describe me as "meek" or "quiet"...I think not. I think that is why I LOVE watching the Duggars on TV. Michelle Duggar is such an example of what a meek and quiet spirit looks like. It is peaceful to witness. I have a long way to go. For now, I would like to wear primarily dresses or skirts. I can't think of a good reason to wear pants, though not standing out comes to mind, so I want to try to wear more of them.

I am making a dress from a pattern that I got when I was almost 20 pounds heavier, and it doesn't fit anymore...so I've been scaling the pattern down, which is essentially creating my own pattern and now, I have the pleasure of learning how to construct a sleeve pattern. It is really fascinating stuff and I've always wanted to know, but it is a little more than I bargained for.

And last but not least, a friend of mine has given me a contact to email about a work from home computer job. It is a good job, but it will be very difficult for me to do. I am especially worried about timelines and deadlines, but if the Lord provides this job for me, then I will know that it is in His will and I know that He (and He alone) will give me the strength to accomplish it.

Finally, as you might figure, I don't think I'll be writing too much. I'll do my best, but that list is pretty long and I have even more than that to do...but it was nice visiting you for this little while. I'll stop by your place as soon as I can...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Like I Promised...

Here are the pictures of the cutest little girls in their cute little dresses. It was so hard to make those dresses, but so much fun too! They have motivated me to make more cute dresses for little girls so I am knee deep in about three new projects!!! Hurray!!! All that on top of starting homeschooling (we are doing a sort of year-round approach) and developing my character in a BIG way...it's BUSY around here!!!

This is the whole wedding party, including the little girls, minus the baby, she was sleeping in her nana's arms!!

This is the beautiful bride, my sister, Katie, and the little kiddos. The girl on the left is Meagan holding her doll (she is my youngest (half) sister), my daughter Jordyn and then my niece Bethany and of course, my son, Noah.

These are the kids walking down the "aisle" which was really a nice dirt path at this outdoor event...it was incredibly beautiful.

This is the entire wedding party again, after the wedding, and with the addition of baby Claira in her mother's arms (and eating the bouquet, yes that is what she is really doing!).

And of course, who can resist little Claira Jeaux...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Man!!!

The hits just keep on coming. I am so thankful that I know that God is sovereign otherwise I would have to be thinking by now that there was some big cosmic joke being played on my family. Interestingly enough, usually when Christians start experiencing trials and tribulation, they assume that it is spiritual warfare. I don't. See the thing is, I think that God is teaching me a lesson, quite a few of them actually and all at the same time!

Sure, it's possible that Satan is trying to get us down, in fact we know that is a fact, but at the same time, I don't attribute all these seemingly random events as a negative (spiritual warfare) but instead choose to see them as an opportunity for growth and sanctification.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. -Isaiah 41:10

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. -2 Corinthians 12:9
So what happened? We found out that Eric will likely be deploying to Iraq within the next month, but he was able to take the vacation with us. We were completely out of money when an opportunity came up for me to watch an elderly lady for two days. We visited family (which is both a positive and a negative) and even managed to reconcile differences with a brother. We drove home after being away for two weeks to find someone had broken into our home and stolen our brand new TV and our entire DVD collection (over 300 titles!), but we had been trying (unsuccessfully) to limit our hours in front of it anyway.

Really, the clear message that we have been given these past few months has been, value people, not things. We are still working through all of the various issues, including whether it is "Christian" to declare bankruptcy and whether we have a choice even if it isn't. Getting to this point is the sin. We are learning that it is essential to invest in your family and not always things to surround your family with, that 30 minutes playing a board game is infinitely better than 90 minutes watching a movie, and that poor money management skills will affect every realm of your life.

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. -Romans 13:8

These are hard lessons and they yield a significant amount of stress and self-doubt and plenty other negative feelings, but God is faithful to the end and so must we be.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Flower Girl Dresses

My sister's wedding is fast approaching (yeah!) and I was commissioned months ago to make the three little girls' dresses for the ceremony. I purchased the pretty fabric and the pattern and was ready to go, but life got in the way. We were moving, unpacking, visiting, any and all sorts of things that have kept me from my sewing room. However, the last three days have seen a complete turnaround because I have been only in my sewing room with the exception of meals. It has been at once exciting and exhilerating and engulfing and exhausting (how's that for alliteration???). But, I am seeing the end!!! They are fully lined and not as simple as I thought they'd be (perhaps because I'm fulling lining them!) Here is a picture of the fabric and the pattern, I'll show you pictures when I'm done with all the dresses!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Changing Me

Yeah!!! I'm posting again...or at least I'm posting today. Yes, life has been incredibly busy, but that really isn't the entire reason that I haven't been blogging. The bottom line really is habit and sinful ones at that. While living in Washington, I was able to do whatever I pleased and I chose to spend my time online. I could, quite literally, spend the entire day reading blogs and waiting for new posts from my favorites. I had unlimited hours to devote to my first love (the computer) and I thought that by spending time online reading about other Godly women and Godly concepts that I was somehow becoming more Godly, perhaps through osmosis, so I thought that my hours spent wasted on the computer were actually justified away. The obvious problem is that when the rubber met the road, I was the same person.

It has taken two months of staring at myself in the ever-reflecting eyes of my family to realize that I am not a changed person. I do still believe that I am a born-again believer of Christ the King, but...

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. ... Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock ... And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house: and it fell: and great was the fall of it. -Matthew 7: 18-21, 24, 26-27
I once heard an analogy about accepting Christ. Revelation 3:20- "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." The idea is that by accepting Christ, we invite Him into to the foyer of our house. Often times, when I have a guest come over, there are "forbidden rooms" that are just not presentable for strangers to view, and I leave them closed off for the duration of the visit. Sometimes I do a good job of avoiding that space and I forget that it even exists. With my Lord standing in my doorway, I scurry about trying to clean up so that I might invite Him further into the house, but it is slow going and I find myself simply moving my trash from one room of the house to the other. My Lord stops me and reminds me that I have invited Him in and He, and only He, has the power to actually remove the accumulated junk from my front room. I submit and sacrifice a portion of my life to Him and under His direction, remove the things that are in the way, but I still haven't given Him complete access...after all, who wants to see the back of my bathroom cabinets!!! I feel like a new person because my front room is clean and we settle down to have a nice chat. But, my Lord is soon thirsty and asks to dine with me. I panic, of course, because I haven't done the dishes is a while and doubt highly that there is a clean cup with which to drink from, nor is there a single thing worthy of serving to my Lord in my cabinets. But, in time, I remember that just as the Lord cleared out my front room, surely He's able to clear out my kitchen too and I surrender to His commands and care. So we go through the rest of the house, all of the bedrooms and bathrooms...except that one...my personal "dungeon" with all of my personal accumulated junk. My Lord offers, but I decline, thinking that it would be too embarrassing or too hard to parade my junk in front of His nose. So, being a gracious Lord, me pretending the room doesn't exist, my Lord waiting for me to acknowledge its presence. The rooms begins to stink and the stench of my own filth begins to infiltrate the house. The odor is so repugnant to my Lord that He is no longer comfortable in the back of the house and retreats to the front room. The smell continues to spread and suddenly my Lord tells me that He is going to go stand in the doorway until I am ready. All of those hours I have spent cleaning the rest of my house are for naught because my filth has spread even into my clean rooms. The Lord reminds me that He is ready and able to show me how to clean that last room, but I stubbornly refuse and pretend not to notice the smell. I pride myself on the appearance of my clean house, so shiny and tidy but I am still careful not to invite anyone else over, for surely they would smell it and no longer see the clean surfaces. One day, as I step out of the shower and glance at myself in the mirror, I can barely recognize myself, for I am covered in grime. On my knees I crawl to the door and beg my Lord to save me, again, to come in, again, and clean me, again, and this time, to take over my entire house, so there is never a doubt who reigns. My Lord helps me up and as we walk to the back of the house, I notice the stench begin to dissipate. We reach the door and my Lord tells me that if I can just opened it sooner to Him, it would have been much easier to clean, but now the stuff has begun to decay and fester and though the process is going to take longer, my Lord reassures me that He is capable of removing all my filth, but I need to show it to Him and I need to remove it from my house, forever. This I do and my Lord and I have constant fellowship, for nothing is hidden from Him. When I am tempted to bring home some extra junk, my Lord reminds me of how easily a little junk will soon overtake me, pushing Him out of the way, and I obey and life is sweet.

I am sure that you can see some parallels between my story and my life. I am confident that I have invited the Lord into my house, but I am not sure how much of my house I have made available to Him. I know that I frequently ignore His voice asking me to clean out a part of my life, in fact, I've become quite good at it. I think that's what this move has done for me, open my eyes to my own filth and the realization that without God's help, I won't ever get clean and though I might feel like a Christian, my actions betray me and I am undone.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Just a Glimpse


So that is Lake Pueblo. I have known it existed for some time now, but yesterday, while the kids and I were out searching for a different library (we have found the one closest to us, but the book I wanted was at a different one and I didn't want to wait to order it) and got lost and just ran right into this little park sitting on top of the lake. You can see in the picture that there is a dam on the left side of the lake. My mom took the kids out there a few days ago and they were excited to see a nice campground (hubby loves to camp!), a swim-beach and a lot of other recreational amenities. I just thought this view was attractive...so there you have it...my new home.

(Check out my other blog for pictures of the family and our activities...)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Why I Haven't Been Writing...

I have always loved writing. It has been at times cathartic and at other times an escape from what I'm really feeling. Whenever I talk, I have this tendency to talk in circles completely contradicting myself within one monologue but for whatever reason, this is less evident when I am writing. I love the idea of preserving a heritage or a record of what has been going on in my life and how I manage to cope. Generally, I write out all my whiny and insignificant thoughts. Normally, I don't have anyone to tell me exactly how petty I am behaving. Now, I do.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. -John 16:33
The reason that I haven't been writing is because the things that I have thought to write about are all insignificant. I have been overwhelmed with facing my sin for what it is, instead of just pushing it off as "the way we do things" or "the way I was raised" or "just the way I am". Even my standard attempt at "trying" has become inconsequential. Living with my family was never going to be ideal, but the amount of accountability I endure have is extreme.

We all live in the same three rooms, my mother my youngest sister, me and my two children. Though we have an extra three and a half bedrooms upstairs, they are being mildly renovated because of the lead paint and we have not moved anything up there for our safety. The problem is...there is a LOT of lead paint. So much that we can't get rid of it. The last few days we have settled on a good containment solution (covering it with a thick coat of fresh paint), but we have done plenty of paint stripping in the meantime to get to the lead coat, just so that the details in this turn of the century home shine through. We are hoping to be moved upstairs in about a week or so. In the meantime, however, we are practically living on top of each other.

This situation has made it possible for my wise mother to critique every aspect of my life, from my diet, the way I raise (and treat) my children to my other inherent character flaws. At times my sister has contributed her opinion, but on the whole, she attempts to act as a buffer between the two of us.  The real clincher is that my mom is right. She always is and it is painful to admit it. My husband rarely calls me on my sin, partly because I have perfected my self defense (usually by shifting blame on to him...shame on me!) and often, he lets my sins go because he loves me and is always hoping for the best for me. My mother desperately wants the best for me and she is determined to point out how I am getting in my own way.

I have found myself confronting my motives for change, discovering why I have made no lasting change, and dealing with character issues of every sort. Where I thought I was on the right track, I now find that I might not be. In short, my entire life has been turned upside down. Still, those are all things I'd normally blog about...so why the silence, even in the midst of these heart-rending issues? I think it comes down to the complete lack of privacy.

I don't have the time or location to sit and mull over all these issues. Right now, it is two hours past my bedtime and my sister is sitting not five feet away typing on her computer; privacy is all but gone.

So what have I learned in my silence? To offer it up in prayer. I have recently purchased Alan Jackson's CD, Precious Memories, which is a collection of hymns. I have found it to be incredibly soothing and uplifting. One of the songs that has really caught my attention is What A Friend We Have in Jesus. I have heard this hymn before, but it never really sunk in, not until just this week. I don't know if this is the whole song (probably not) but regardless, these are the words:

What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer
Oh, what peace we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer

Have we trials and temptations
Is there trouble anywhere
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share
Jesus knows our every weakness
Take it to the Lord in prayer

I am looking forward to this time now, even as I struggle through all of this. I know where to go for help, though I am still not asking for help often enough yet. I was reminded of the beginning of James the other day.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. -James 1: 2-4

So there you have it. I have not been writing because I am dealing with deep personal issues...I'll call a spade a spade, I am not dealing with "personal issues", I am dealing with SIN and I don't have enough time these days to be online alone to hash out these issues for our mutual benefit. The other thing I have found is that a lot of the blogs I loved to follow have decided to stop blogging which is just plain discouraging and yet I understand their decisions.

So, if you think of it, say a prayer for me here in Colorado...hopefully I'll be on again long enough to write those articles I said I was going to write, but if not, just know that God is working in my life for His good purpose, and that is my greatest desire.

Love to you all, Kristi

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Upcoming Posts

Sunday is here and we are off searching for a new church to go to, so I don't have much time. HOWEVER, I did want to mention that I have a couple of posts in the works...let me know which you'd like to see first:

*The Heart of Modesty- the relationship between the internal and the external

*What the Bible Really says about Modesty and Dress

*Die, Divide, Debate, or Decide- how we value different elements of doctrine and the logical consequences

*Church or Chapel- choosing a church to make home

*Other???

Okay...we are off and running!!! Gotta go with them...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I'm Here!!!

To all you millions who wait with bated breath for my next blog post...you'll be waiting a long time...

We have finally moved to Colorado, but the house is is worse shape than I expected and right now moving is about as chaotic as it could get. There are many days hours minutes that I feel like running away...far away. As I expected, it has been very difficult to merge the households. I am, and always be, my mother's daughter and I fear that I will never be a responsible young woman in her eyes. I think we all have these "mommy issues", mine are just magnified by living in the same 300 square feet (the rest of the house is under construction, so we are all living in the same room, plus the living room...it's a wreck.) Hopefully, we can take pictures and I will show you what's been going on. The good news is that the house is going to be very cute when its all done...and I won't have to live here for that long...it's just a year...

For now, I've got to run...

Friday, February 27, 2009

Two's for the Road

Wow was today a day (or two) to remember…but we probably won’t because our brains are so addled right now that we can barely think straight.

It all started last night, Thursday. My daughter’s massive dentist appointment went perfectly and she had no problems whatsoever. Praise the Lord for this because her teeth have been a huge concern for me recently. Anyway, my husband had taken the day off which was a relief because my sister, Karee, had come down with a fever over 102 degrees! She was our designated babysitter and one of the drivers for our caravan of vehicles. When my husband and I finally arrived at my mom’s house to load her truck we saw how HUGE this truck was. It was a 26 foot truck and we were meant to share it. About halfway through the night we realized that there was NO WAY that both Mom’s stuff and our stuff would fit on the same truck as planned. We were right, Mom filled the truck with her stuff alone. This left me and Eric to rent a truck last minute which, amazingly, we were able to do, along with the towing unit for my car…which I have to drive…Yikes!!!

Oh man!!! We have packed and packed and moved and moved these last two days and now we are so tired that we can barely see straight and we are going to be driving for three days!!! My sister likely had pneumonia, my mom is stressed to the point of throwing up and we are all stressed to snapping…

Pray for us as we take this journey. I will see ya on the other side!!! (And I will give you more details when my brain has had time to process them...)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ultimate Packing Tuesday!!!

We leave on Saturday! We load the truck on Friday! We have a massive dentist appointment (that will take at the very least all morning and most of the afternoon...that's a different story) on Thursday! We have a doctor's appointment and an oil change on Wednesday! Which leaves me with today. To pack. The whole house. Granted, I've not been idle these past few weeks, so a lot has already been done, but even more needs to be done! I'm a list maker and I packed my paper already, so here is my list of things to do today! And just for fun: a few pictures!

What has already been packed (notice the lack of couches and end tables...yup, we sold 'em!):


*Finish sorting and packing random things in living room

*Print fun paper and pack up printer

The other half of the living room...yet to be packed (hoping to sell that gigantic entertainment center too!):

*Clean out kids' room (everything except the beds!)

This was actually taken in the living room. When I had cleared out the glass door portion of my entertainment center, the kids climbed in...


*Clean out spare bedroom

*Pack books
*Pack kids toys

You can see the boxes of books in the foreground on the right, behind them is the wall full of toys and the rest of the room is mostly empty boxes and already packed stuff, ready to move out to the living room.


*Laundry Monster...need I say more?
*Finish packing up unessentials in bathroom
*Pack Master Bedroom
(this is the trickiest room because Eric is staying behind for a little bit!!!)
*Remove all removeable items, return only essentials
*Pack up the packables
*Pack a suitcase per person with the clothes for the trip
*Pack an open box with clothes for next few days
, keep it next to the larger "everything else" suitcase
*Pack the kitchen and dining room
*Finish doing dishes and clearing counters
*Clear out all cabinets
*Pack up "not-to-be-used" food
*Pack up snack food for the trip
*Pack up all dishes...moving to "cold food only week!"
*Start cleaning!!!

Okay, I have officially wasted over an hour doing this "quick" post! Gotta run!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Something Fun to Balance the Rest

These are the states I've visited. Many of them were visited while driving or "training" but I have actually been in all these states...I've impressed myself! :) I have actually lived in: California, South Carolina, Texas and Washington (soon to be Colorado too!). I have visited, as in more than just passed through, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado (I was 16!), Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Illinois, and Wisconsin! WooHoo! I would LOVE to make it to the East Coast sometime....

Apostate or Heretic?

A little internal turmoil will really get you thinking, but, before I get in to all that, perhaps a short history is required. I grew up in a Catholic church and the large majority of my large family is Catholic with varying degrees of devotion. When I was 12, my parents got a divorce and through that process, my mom left the Catholic church. We began attending a church called Inland Community Church and we were very happy there. My mom wished for more hymns instead of the praise music, but she loved the verse-by-verse teaching of the Bible. She grew as a Christian and we grew to become Christians. It was at this church that I was baptized as a believer. However, problems eventually arose (as they usually do) and we discovered the youth pastor struggled in sexual sin (with the girls of his youth group) and the associate pastor was stealing from the church. After an all out confrontation with the church leadership, my family and several others, left the church and found a Calvary Chapel. Calvary was a breath of fresh air for sermons that had gone downhill since we first began attending ICC. Calvary Chapel's are known for their verse-by-verse Bible teaching and their back to basics style. They are good, Bible believing people, but... they seem to take things a little too lax, like wearing blue jeans to church among other things. It was really the blue jeans that got to me first, which is why I mention them.

Last July, I had the opportunity to confront this ideology head-on and I started wearing skirts more often. I felt convicted to dress modestly and femininely, not something I could accomplish well wear tight blue jeans. I found an article on headcovering and tried that out, but it became too much of a challenge and I stopped. I was still wearing skirts and I still believe skirts should be the staple of a woman's wardrobe. The one MAJOR thing I was lacking was a community of like-minded believers. This is what I craved. I started looking for churches, and even found an Independent Fundamental Baptist church in town, but we were moving and I was still unsure of myself and my convictions and felt like rocking the boat wasn't the best decision for this moment in time. I am still looking for a group to belong to and that is what worries me, the fear that I will choose my beliefs based on group participation and less on what is actually correct.

Here's where I get down to the real nitty gritty. One of the most frustrating things I am dealing with right now is the name-calling. Everyone takes a stand on so many different issues, from Calvinism to Arminianism, skirt length, headcovers, beards, lifestyle (agrarianism), homeschool method, child-raising, Bible version...so on and so forth. What really gets difficult is that (particularly in the Calvinism versus Arminianism debate) we label the "opposition". The Arminians call the Calvinists heretics and the Calvinists call the Arminians apostates. All the other issues follow along with these two groups and I just get so frustrated!

What am I to be: an apostate or a heretic?  

And what concerns me even more is that, unlike my mom, who was convicted to leave the Catholic church after seeing that confession wasn't right and that Catholicism created people that "did" church on Sunday by just putting in their time (the real story is about the women chewing gum and gabbing behind my mom through the portion of the mass just after communion where the Catholic is at their most "holy" because they have just consumed the body and blood of Jesus Christ...I remember thinking that I had better pray quickly before he was digested out of me and I would be left powerless...anyway, these women got in the way of my mom's worship of her Savior (yet another aside, my mom was a Bible-reading Catholic) and we left the church.) and the failure of the priest to absolve her sin of divorce, I feel like I just want to belong to a group

Of course, I want to please God in what I do and that truly is first and foremost in my mind, but lately I have been wondering what exactly I am supposed to do. I am tired of being "tossed by the waves" and I fear for doing the wrong thing. I am okay with following whatever "rules" need to be followed, I just need to know that I am following God and not man, nor man's interpretation of God. I think at the root here is this utter frustration with who I am and where I stand in God's kingdom. Am I really a part of it? Are my actions sanctifying me? Am I truly serving God my wearing skirts, covering my head and choosing hymns over modern praise and worship? Are these things really important? And why, why do we demean other Christians? To separate ourselves from them, to define ourselves better? Does that not also cause us to puff up ourselves, just a little? We agree that Christ is the Savior of this world and that we are only saved by grace, through faith, right? Does the rest of it even matter? I imagine that the God who took the time to send His own Son to die on a cross for us would have some details about how to live and how to worship Him. Does it all really hang on Matthew 22: 37-40,
Jesus said unto him, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.'
What does that mean? Does that mean that that love really is the bottom line...that "all you need is love?" What does it mean to have the law and prophets hanging on it? I would dearly love some answers here. Nothing has tried my faith so much as this.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Simple Solution

Marriage is a great thing, but it is really hard to keep that fire lit!!! Eric and I have been dealing, for what seems like our entire marriage, the difficulty of finding time together. See, I'm a night owl and he is an early bird. I can very easily stay up past midnight on any given night, provided that I don't have to do anything before 10 in the morning! Home keeping has become an indulgent "job" for me in that no one is here to force me to rise (or set) with the sun. I just label myself as "not a morning person" and I refuse to begin my day. My children have already begun their day, so they get the square babysitter until I can function, which is usually past naptime. Obviously, this needs to change. 

Eric, bless his heart, has tried to stay up a little later with me so that we can talk or spend time together but he needs to be up at 5:30am, sometimes earlier and staying up even until 10 or 11 is difficult for him. We have tried taking a date night, but that is just impractical with our time and budget to be the main thing that this couple uses to connect. While reading Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God by Stacy McDonald and Jennie Chancy, the author mentioned that she had a "tea time" with her husband in the morning before work everyday. After watching Eric struggle to read his Bible the other night because he was talking to me, I offered to wake up with him, make some coffee, and read a chapter from the Bible a day.

Today is day two and though I'm tired in the morning (I still manage to stay up later than he does...), I acknowledge that a morning routine is essential. The other advantage is that I'm up before the kids and therefore capable of being ready to start the day when they get up. I haven't managed to shower before they woke up the last two days, but that's not too terribly bad. As much as I abhor waking up early, this is my labor of love to serve my husband and children and so far, its working! I actually find myself happy to be up...now that's a shock!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sanctification?

When I had originally decided to write this post I had just finished my morning reading of The Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. It was February 8th and the title of the entry was "The Cost of Salvation". Before I go much further, I will mention that if you click on the first link above, you will get to a homepage that has the original text and KJV scriptures. You can get "today's reading" or you may browse whatever day you'd like. I did not know about this, so I purchased an "updated" version at my bookstore. It claims that it is "An Updated Edition in Today's Language" and uses the NKJV; I didn't think twice about purchasing it. Now I wished I had just purchased the original! Anyway, I wanted to quote what I had actually read, but I will just copy the original version (or what I should have read). Clear as mud?

February 8th
INSTANTANEOUS AND INSISTENT SANCTIFICATION

"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly." 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

When we pray to be sanctified, are we prepared to face the standard of these verses? We take the term sanctification much too lightly. Are we prepared for what sanctification will cost? It will cost an intense narrowing of all our interests on earth, and an immense broadening of all our interests in God. Sanctification means intense concentration on God's point of view. It means every power of body, soul and spirit chained and kept for God's purpose only. Are we prepared for God to do in us all that He separated us for? And then after His work is done in us, are we prepared to separate ourselves to God even as Jesus did? "For their sakes I sanctify Myself."[John 17:19] The reason some of us have not entered into the experience of sanctification is that we have not realized the meaning of sanctification from God's standpoint. Sanctification means being made one with Jesus so that the disposition that ruled Him will rule us. Are we prepared for what that will cost? It will cost everything that is not of God in us.

Are we prepared to be caught up into the swing of this prayer of the apostle Paul's? Are we prepared to say - "Lord, make me as holy as You can make a sinner saved by grace"? Jesus has prayed that we might be one with Him as He is one with the Father. The one and only characteristic of the Holy Ghost in a man is a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, and freedom from everything that is unlike Him. Are we prepared to set ourselves apart for the Holy Spirit's ministrations in us? [Emphasis added]
So there you have it. Need I even comment on it? When I read this the other day I just sat there, shocked. I want to go out on a limb and say that this process of sanctification is not taught anymore. I have been going to church all my life and though I hear rhetoric like, "become more like God" no one has really ever pointed me to a place where I can confront this issue. It is an unpopular one! Modern Christians are satisfied with grace by faith with the mistaken notion that we don't have to do anything else! How else do we read Philippians 2:12, "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

I have always been a little bit confused about what to do now that I am a Christian. I knew that I was supposed to do the right thing, but I have always heard it describes as something that just naturally happens, that now that you are saved, you suddenly begin to act like a Christian. I just could never understand why I didn't. Am I not really saved? Did I get saved but not receive the Holy Spirit? Why can't I do the right thing? I seriously tortured myself with these things thinking that I was a faulty Christian and that the process just didn't work for me! Of course that's not true!!! What has happened is that I've been sold a pack of lies, that the Christian life is a sudden, instant change and it's not! Salvation might happen in an instant, but it is a constant struggle then to die to your flesh and actually become more like the God you now serve.

So what does this mean for me? It is so easy to become me-centered. People have this defense mechanism that they use to ward off sanctification. They call it legalism. That somehow having to improve yourself or follow the letter of the Word is somehow adding to the gospel. In my computer's dictionary it defines legalism as, "excessive adherence to law or formula; THEOLOGY- dependence on moral law rather than on personal religious faith." Hmm, very interesting. I depend on moral law to live my life, I don't just have faith that I am doing it all right. If that were all that was required, why do have a Bible with 66 books worth of information? Obviously, God has a plan and a way of doing things. However, I can't take that Bible and do all the right things without any faith, for faith without works is dead, James 2: 14-26.

This has lately become so important to me as I read about headcover, modesty, staying at home...without these commands being from God I am wasting my time. If these commands are from God, then I am wasting every minute that I am not obeying them! I can see that my path of sanctification is going here: to learn to be a woman of God; to dress the way that God wants me to dress (even when it doesn't follow current trends), to submit where He wants me to (even though its unpopular), to live my life in a way that is, at its very heart, different. I want to call attention to God to glorify Him and His perfect order of things. My flesh gets in the way and needs to be removed. The question remains now, am I prepared for the cost?

Monday, February 16, 2009

No-Poo Challenge, Day 8

I poo-ed.

The thing I learned by doing this is that if I ever needed to, I could do this. Thing is, I don't need to right now. I am pumping my body full of Slim-Fast...not a health food there and I use deodorant and lotion. I probably wouldn't have quit, even for those reasons, if it hadn't been for the visiting of a good family friend from out of town. I just didn't want to cover my head without conviction or suffer through the evening with oily hair. So I washed it. Thus ends the no-poo challenge.

BTW, still working on that post you should have already read, but I'm packing my bedroom today, so it'll have to wait...less than two weeks to go before we move!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

No-Poo Challenge, Day 6 & 7

So far, so good. I left my hair down on day 6 just to test the waters, but I did cover it with a blue handkerchief style cover from Wal-Mart. I had a dentist appointment to go to Friday, so I knew that wearing it up would be uncomfortable. It looked just modern-country enough that I wouldn't get extra stares...my long jean skirt gets me more than enough because I cut my denim into a 6 gore skirt and that is not the typical "denim" pattern. Anyway... After my dentist appointment, I realized that though my hair probably didn't look much dirtier than normal, it just didn't feel the same and I put it into my standard ponytail with the ends not pulled through all the way.

Day 7 dawned and I didn't get in the shower right away (gotta love lazy Saturdays...okay, well I love lazy Saturdays) so I didn't even mess with it, I washed it (per the no-poo instructions) and blew-damp and put it up and covered it. I love this style!!! It is ridiculously simple, it stays put and it keeps my hands out of my hair. The only problem with it is that it doesn't look normal. (See my post to follow about sanctification...you've probably already read it if you read from my blog page...if you haven't, well maybe I got tired. I plan on writing it directly after I post this err, post.)

So after a week, I have to say that the major difference is in how my hair feels and less how it looks, though keeping it up all day long, I don't really get ample opportunity to observe this. What I did notice yesterday is the tendency of my hair to form "clumps" or groups of strands which obviously lead to the appearance of dirty (oily) hair. That I have thin hair that is prone to be oily and clump may be adding to the problem, or not. Lately, I have been feeling like I want to quit, feeling like there isn't a real purpose in me doing this. It marks be as weird, like a person who would consider cloth diapering or even worse, home-made menstrual pads (neither of which I do but both of which I am considering doing!) This really has been a challenge because even when I feel like I have give up attempting to be fashionable and instead choosing to dress modestly and femininely, my hair is something altogether different. Interesting when you throw the whole headcovering debate right into the middle of that!

I am committing to do another week of this routine, but if I don't begin to see rapid change here, then I will probably just go back to the old song and dance. What do you think? Anybody willing to step out and do this with me?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

No-Poo Challenge, Day 4 & 5

I almost "poo-ed"!!! But, I didn't. Day 4 was difficult for me. My hair was feeling awful and it wasn't feeling "wet" in the shower. You know how oil and water don't mix? That's how it felt with my hair. By the time I got to smelling the vinegar I was just ready to quit! Instead I decided to trust the process and because I wanted to smell good, I used my wonderfully coconutty smelling conditioner on the ends of my hair and rinsed quickly. The pleasant smell was really enough to lift my spirits and once I got my hair up and off my back (and covered) I forgot about it.

Day 5: With a new resolve from my lessons learned yesterday, I am feeling surprised about my hair. I completely expected the front of my hair to be the most oily and nasty, but it is surprisingly dry...almost too dry! What is oily is the center back...and man is it oily!!! The good news is that I don't think anyone else would notice, so long as you wear it up. I didn't cover my hair today because I had errands to run and I just wanted to test it out. I put it in a claw clip in a French twist because I knew it wasn't ready to be worn down. I did just fine and I don't think anyone would have noticed, but it still feels dirty and that makes me self-conscious. Tomorrow, I want to blow-dry it straight and see how long I can last with it down. I am sure it won't be long (it wouldn't be very long if it were clean!), so I'll probably lift the front off my face with a clip but wear the back long. We'll see.

So far, I'm glad I did this experiment, though I still believe that I will be washing my hair regularly with shampoo, perhaps I will just wash it less...lots of stuff going on, hopefully I'll get a different kind of post up soon!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

No-Poo Challenge, Day 3

Not so good today, I'll just say that, right up front. My hair is definitely oily today though I took the time to blow-dry my hair and I wonder if anyone who didn't know me would think anything was up. My biggest concern about wearing it down would be that it would begin to look dirty quickly. I am still repulsed by the smell of the vinegar, even in its watered down state. My hair has been pretty "static-y" lately when I have brushed it, but it's also winter, and my hair is prone to static and frizziness.

But, lest I post an entire blog post without saying anything positive: I am enjoying being a consumer rebel by trying this. I know that, worst case scenario, I could always go back to shampooing my hair and that this is an experiment. I am really looking forward to the idea of having healthy hair so I am going to keep on plodding along! I am also still covering my head and though I think my head would look okay without the cover, I think I would be constantly feeling my hair which would only exacerbate the problem. Scarf-covers work for me!

Oh, before I forget, I did make two purchases that I wouldn't want to be without for this challenge. One, I bought a wood comb (real wood, not a plastic comb that looks like real wood) and a 100% boar hair brush. I found both at my local Wal-Mart and I love them. The hairbrush is really good at moving and redistributing the oils in your hair and the comb prevents breakage. Plastic combs are made in a factory in a mold and can have tiny points on them that can scratch your scalp. Never brush your hair when wet, only comb it. This is NOT something I have practiced in the future because I needed to get all those tangles out, before my hair dried and the tangled caused serious breakage (not to mention pain)!

On to Day 4...

No-Poo Challenge, Day 2

Day 2: My scalp itches like it normally does when it is dirty but I feel like my hair should be clean. As much as I HATE the smell of vinegar, I like the way my hair feels after the apple cider vinegar rinse. All in all, my hair is well on its way to oily. I have kept my hair covered the last two days and I would highly recommend to anyone who is attempting to do this that they invest in a few that they like that match everything. Without it, I would probably have washed my hair by now...however, my hair didn't feel too dirty today but tomorrow marks the longest I have ever gone without washing my hair. The plus side is that the oils in my hair make it really soft, but I don't want to touch it too much. I knew this was going to be a rough week or two, so I don't expect to have positive feedback for a while, but I don't know of any other blog that has chronicled the whole process, ups and downs, so I intend to.

Definitely looking forward to this process being over...I want to know what my hair really looks like.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

No-Poo Challenge, Day 1

Over the past few months, I have been reading about this "no-poo" challenge, where the "poo" stands for shampoo. The idea is that there are so many BAD chemicals in shampoo that we should not "shampoo" our hair altogether. That doesn't necessarily mean don't wash, but don't use regular shampoos. The whole idea is that today's shampoos are designed to remove oil, but much like antibiotics, they don't discriminate good from the bad and therefore strip our hairs of the natural oils that would normally be present. We then add the conditioner to attempt to replace the lost oils. Your hair is able to regulate its own oils though; its much like a supply and demand situation. The more you remove your oils, the more your hair tries to replace it. The goal, then, is to let your hair stabilize where it needs to. 

There are two ways to do this. First, you can wash with water. Yup, that's right, your hands scrub and all you put on is water. Second, you use a baking soda paste (1 tbsp baking soda plus water to form paste) and rub that in to your scalp only. Let sit for a minute and then rinse with water. You then take 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar and mix in a large cup with enough water to fill it and you rinse the ends of your hair. Let sit for a minute and then rinse out. There is actually a third, which is to just wash with conditioner (not shampoo). From the detail, you can assume that I am choosing the second option and I found details of it here.

So today was day one. I didn't plan ahead, I just jumped in and I hope to go at least 30 days. What do I have to lose? There is a "transition period" where your hair has to adjust to the oils which can take up to a month or so, but I figure that I can very easily cover my head if it becomes nasty. My biggest worry is that I won't be able to stand it. I HATE it when my hair gets dirty and won't let anyone touch it. I anticipate suffering somewhat for the first few weeks, but hopefully it won't be too bad. If I can't take it, I might just try washing with conditioner that day and hoping that the smell of the conditioner makes it feel better...so today, I washed my hair per the instructions on the website and it feels very soft and it was slightly curlier than normal. I went ahead and blew-damp (not dry) my hair because I do that normally, but I also covered it, which I usually do. There were far fewer tangles than normal because I didn't try to wash all my hair, just the roots. That was a welcome relief because I usually have very tangly hair. Stay tuned to see how long I go. Hopefully I will be able to get some pictures...pictures are really important here!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Coolest Things Ever!

I was doing my typical morning procrastination reading of my favorite blogs and Lillibeth over at The Pleasant Times (which is, by the way, a charming and entertaining blog to read) had blogged about the rabbit trails she takes while homeschooling. What was so cool is that she mentioned LibriVox's website which is an entirely free website for audio books within the public domain. They are read by volunteers and are therefore, FREE! (They also have the link to the Gutenburg website if you like reading on the screen...I don't.)

Though that it cool enough, it doesn't necessarily explain the need for a post except that we are moving and will be travelling a long distance with one adult per car. That means that I need to have a good supply of music and something entertaining to listen to while I drive...or I fall asleep! I have been looking for inexpensive versions of some of my favorite classics, but I just can't find them. The one copy of Pride and Prejudice that I found was $45.00!!! For an audio book??? I had just about given up because I didn't want to pay for a monthly membership or anything like that. I am not normally in my car for long hours, so listening to audio books isn't in my normal routine...though it might become part of it now! As we speak err, write/read, I am downloading two versions (of P & P) into my iTunes as a podcast and I plan on downloading everything else written by Jane Austen and then I will go exploring. Lillibeth had mentioned Dickens, which would be interesting since Dickens was meant to be read aloud so perhaps I'll try Oliver Twist or something. Anyway, lots of fun on that website! Check it out!!!

The second coolest thing I found the other day....I know, how on earth do I have time for such things? It's a mystery to me as well...is this Modest Clothing Directory. It is a really good website that caters to all different groups searching for modest clothing (Jewish, Islamic, Mormon, Plain, and Christians). They have links for headcovers and for clothing. I haven't even been able to explore the whole thing, but I am looking around for something special to fit into once I lose all this weight and though my sister's choice of bridesmaid dress is there as well, I still want something of my own choosing to use as a reward. So, I have been searching for something pretty and modest that I can buy when I have lost this extra weight. (There are also pregnancy sites and plus size sites too...). All in all, it's worthy of a bookmark and I will be using it in the future for my clothing and my daughter's as well!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

And the Race is On

What we have been waiting for has finally happened! Almost.
We are moving! Almost.

We have been delaying our move, which should have already happened by now because our moving plan is somewhat wacky. The plan is that my sister, Kelly and her husband Jared, will be purchasing a house in Pueblo, Colorado. This house will need some work, but they are getting a great deal on it because of that. Jared is a high-school teacher in New Mexico right now, where they live. The promotion ladder requires them to stay in NM for another year, at least, but Kelly is planning on attending the Botany program in Pueblo soon. So, the house will be vacant, but they will "technically" be CO residents, therefore giving Kelly a less expensive tuition rate. Now the question became, "what to do with a vacant house?" That's where we come in.

My family is flat broke and would very likely be unable to qualify for an apartment that meets our needs. My mom is extremely frugal and not exactly rolling in the dough, if you know what I mean. However, she manages her money properly and is not exactly under the same duress that my family is in. One of my other sisters, Karee, currently lives with my mom and will continue to do so. She is also looking forward to going to college in Colorado. Put three frugal (whether by choice or circumstances) together add a vacant house and you might infer what the plan is: we will all combine and share Kelly's house (that she's not living in) for as long as it takes. The plan is weak at best, since we are all of different minds and habits, but it is the best choice for now...you can't beat a $500 mortgage split three ways!

So what has happened to warrant this post? Kelly has heard from the realtor and she should be closing within two or three weeks. Then there is some plumbing and a furnace that needs replacing and we will be moving in! My house hasn't sold yet, but my husband was already going to stay behind temporarily because he is in a deployed National Guard unit and won't be able to move until this summer. He will stay behind and finish up the sale of our house. The debate going on is what will happen once he moves to Colorado. Will we get our own apartment or rough it with my mother? What we will have to do, is play it based on the job availability. Kelly's house is in Pueblo, CO and we want to live in Colorado Springs, which is 45 minutes north. If Eric gets a job in Colorado Springs, we will most likely be moving there. If he is unable to find a job there, he will extend his search to the Pueblo area, but Springs is our first choice. Our tentative move date is the tail end of February to the beginning of March, with dental appointments and moving costs complicating things.

Now the objective is to get packed ASAP and to sell (or give away) whatever we won't need. This has become slightly harry because we will be combining two households and there is no need for two living room furniture sets. Our furniture is definitely in BAD shape, so we will be getting rid of most of it (all of it). This leaves a whole in our living room if we do end up getting an apartment of our own, but we will just carefully add to our house what we need slowly. It should be fun!

Over the next three weeks, I need to:

*organize the entire house, decluttering and collecting "like objects" together.
*sell (or list for sale) most of the furniture. We were thinking that we would try to sell things like our children's bedroom sets for very close to what we paid for them and if we don't get what we were asking for, then we will keep them. We would like to be able to purchase bunk beds for them because we will need to rent only a two-bedroom apartment and both bed sets make for a room that is far too crowded.
*pack everything...carefully! Space is at a premium, so I need to be extremely careful about what I choose to pack and how I choose to pack it. I am pretty handicapped when it comes to organizing things spatially, so this is going to take some serious planning on my part. I am employing the use of those vacuum bags for larger items like blankets and whatnot and will probably use them to pack boxes with clothes in them. I am putting away a lot of toys, since I can't give them away anymore.
*cook from my pantry! I have a large store of things in my pantry and I am going to need to organize and declutter that as well.

Blogging will have to move to a back burner, but hopefully I will be able to post pictures and stuff every week or so. I am looking forward to having this move over with!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Whoops!

So, that's what I get when practicing in my blog- a phantom post. I just love looking at Mary's blog and seeing my own link. It makes me feel so special! However, when I popped over today I was surprised to see the post I had deleted. Apparently, if you post anything, the RSS feeder will update, but it isn't updating your blog, it is updating your "posts" so deleting a post didn't register. Oh well.

Must See Movies

I saw this movie on Team Bettendorf's blog and just thought it was amazing!!! It would not be a good thing to preface it too highly, but just know that this movie is an essential movie to watch. I have included a link for both parts 1 & 2, but you can very easily link to part 2 after viewing view 1. It is about a hour total and worth every minute.



Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ugh...Antibiotics...

So I have some serious dental work coming up next week. What I thought was a root canal is now an extraction and then I have another root canal on the opposite side. Then (after our move) I will be getting braces to pull my wisdom teeth forward to cover up the gap left by the extraction...what a mess!

Anyway, because my cheeks are tender, they thought I was getting an infection and anxious to keep my mouth as healthy as possible, they decided to blast everything inside me with a week's worth of Clindamycin. Oh, joy. I have only taken one and I am starting to feel nauseous already...next time, I am taking it with crackers! In between doses I am eating yogurt. Any other suggestions on how to not destroy my body while still taking this poison?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Not Blogging Break

I am not taking a blogging break. I hate it when bloggers that I love take a break and leave me, their loyal reader, without my favorite fix! :) Obviously, I understand that blogging just doesn't come first for some people and, if you twist my arm hard enough, I might even agree that it is wrong to put a blog first, but stop twisting already, I am feeling guilty enough!

The plan that I am hoping to follow is a simple reduction in the time I spend on the computer, reducing it to only TWO HOURS A DAY. Think I can manage it? I don't either, but I have to. For too long, I have been stalking blogs, waiting for them to post something new so I can read it. I have taken to reading archives of my favorite blogs to see what happened before I found them. The problem is, the computer doesn't make for a good multi-tasker, at least not when it comes to housework. Not too long ago, I posted pictures of my perfectly clean house...it's not clean anymore! How pathetic? Can't even last a month? Granted, it is better than before, but not by much...

So, the deal I am making with myself is one hour during naptime and another hour in the evening. I will even splurge and allow myself an extra evening hour if I have everything done. I have a never-ending pile of sewing that I want to sew and yet the computer just absorbs me. It has to stop. I know that I can still enjoy things like TV and blogging, but they have to be in the correct order, they have to come after the productive hobbies.

Well, there you have it. And now on to clean up the living room before hubby comes in for the night!