Friday, August 29, 2008

Rick Warren: Obama & McCain

Here is a link to the interview that Pastor Rick Warren, of Saddleback Church, conducted with Obama and McCain. They were two seperate interviews, both consisting of the same questions.

You Decide 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Are we DONE yet?

I get this question a lot in regards to us having more children. My advice "stick a fork in us to find out". We don't know. We tried the fork test ourselves but it hurt to much to wait for the results. I can tell you that our baby bottles were packed up to give away and Kya cried. She insisted we keep them for our next baby. We took her advice. :-)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

You know you are too frugal when...

...you wash off the morning paper plates to use for lunch....

And, now, I finally think there really is something wrong with me!

*kudos to Autumn for the photo

Friday, August 22, 2008

Academy of Silliness

Since we homeschool, we decided to give our school a name. Kya likes Academy of Silliness. I thought it a little long, but she proceeded to argue with me. Well, here at Academy of Silliness, we have finished our first two week of Kindergarten. Part of our school work was creating a Numbers book and a Creation Book. The girls loved showing off their books.

Kya took this photo of Autumn and I think it is so precious. What a sweetie.

Since we finished up the first two weeks of school on Thursday and on Friday, we celebrated by making homemade playdough. I have to give this project a "Mom's Two Thumbs Up". I think it was my favorite project with the kids so far.

Here are the girls getting ready to start mixing and cooking.

The playdough cooks until it's sort of rubbery.

After cooking, you knead the dough for about 5 minutes. We under-cooked ours the first time, thus the mess on our hands. We had to re-cook it.

The girls playing with the final product, which last in a plastic bag for a long time.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Fay Nasties

Well, YUCK, that is how it is around our county today. Tropical Storm Fay started bringing high winds and lots and lots of rain about 5am Tuesday and continued for over 24hrs. Needless to say, our town is flooded. People that did leave home before the floods came, many of them had to be transported back home by school bus or trash trucks. Even the water was going inside the door of the school bus. Fun! Dale tried to get out today but was not able to go across the street to even Walmart. He found a little gas station store on one of the back roads he could access, so at least the babies have milk. So here we are, just huddled in our home waiting to see what more Fay has in store for the Sunshine State and the Carolina's.

Fay Fay Go Away, Don't come back another day!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Autumn's Favorite Things

Here is our 3rd post about our favorite things. This is Autumn's photo list. She chose each of these items herself and took all the photos (with some assistance to keep her hands steady.)

Like Kya, she also chose to take photos of her family first. I was thankful for that but again, it was early morning and I didn't want to post the pictures. :-)

These are her favorite toys: her favorite bath toy, her piggy bank, the play kitchen in their room, and finally her bear & her bean bag chair. (We sent her that bear for Christmas when she was still in China, before we had travel approval. We made it at Build a Bear and recorded our voices inside of it.)

One of her most favorite toys is her hand-me-down school bus from Ethan Garcia.

This picture is the combo of several items (1)her guitar - She spends hours playing us songs on her guitar. We get bed time shows several times a week. They have to set up their "stage" and all. (2) Her "blankie" that she STILL sleeps with and watches movies cuddling (3) her Leapster and (4)her bed.

Autumn also loves playing Blues Clues Kindergarten on the computer. And she loves the website Starfall. She uses the computer a few times a week and it's one of her favorite activities.

Then, there is her very best friend in all the world....Frosty.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Light House

"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." - John 8:12

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." - Matthew 19:14

I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. - Psalm 119:45

He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of (MANY!) children. Praise the LORD. - Psalm 113:9

“And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. - Matthew 18:5

For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete. - Deuteronomy 16:15

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Aaron's First Haircut

Admittedly, it's not really his first hair cut. I have tried to cut it myself a few times here at home but the last time I did a really bad job, so Dad finally took him to the salon for me. Dad and son both received a haircut that day. The salon had a special card they filled out with Aaron's date of his first hair cut, how old he was and then put clippings of his hair in it. Very cute.

Lily Models

Here is Lily in her new Thirsties Cloth Diapers. We think these are really cute and so is the model.

Oh I'm So Tired!

Friday, August 8, 2008

First Trial with the Diapers

By yesterday I had 6 of my trial diapers in and all pre-washed and ready to use. We started with the Hemp fitted and a Diaper Cover .We put these on before lunch and they wore them through nap time. With a soiled diaper and all, no leaks.

After nap time, I put on the Thirsties (which is an All in One, same idea as a disposable). You can add an insert to double the absorbancy, but since it was daytime, I did not. These were worn for 4hrs. From after nap, until bed time. Aaron IS a heavey wetter and by bedtime, he had a little 1 inch size leak on each side. Lily had no leaks and she is NOT a heavey wetter. I was VERY impressed with this because I usually change their disposable diapers much more frequently.

At night time, we used the Hemp with the snap-in insert for extra absorbancy. This made them particularly bulky but it was bedtime and I didn't care. My babies DID leak through my morning. The link was minimal compared to what we have been experiencing with disposables. He's been leaking every night. I was hoping for no leaks with these. However, I'm not really sure it was a fair test. They had a considerable amount to drink before bed, as we had a very late dinner AND they slept in 1 extra hour today. I am going to give this same diaper another try tonight without the extra water and without the extra hour of sleep and see how it goes.

So far, I love the absorbency of both and the Thirsties AOI is a bit easier for Dad, but the reviews on Cricketts Hemp are so incredible that I have to keep trying them.

As far as washing, they all washed up incredibly well. I did not have a wet pail, so I stored them in the washing machine when they got dirty and then this morning washed them all.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Kya and Autumn's been Tagged!

Krista and Bella from Bits and Pieces tagged Kya and Autumn. What fun!

Autumn Xian Fei ___________
Kya Xia Yu ___________

4 and 4

Favorite thing to do:
Autumn: (This is funny) Autumn answered "I like to eat" and "be on the puter"
Kya: Painting and Dancing

Favorite Food:
Autumn: Grapes, Noodles and Ceaser Salad
Kya: Watermelon

Least Favorite Food:
Autumn: Celery
Kya: Green Peppers

Favorite Toy:
Autumn: "My Lightning McQeen car"
Kya: "My new ball I made today at VBS" and my Cars toys, Mater

Favorite book:
Autumn: Her set of "Manners" books (www.pilbooks.com)
Kya: Play Nice (from the Manners set)
(Okay, I don't beleive them on this one because they rarely ask me to read them. They always want to read the following - so this is Mom's opinion -
Autumn: her new book from Bella, Arthur's Word Book
Kya: Cat in the Hat)

Favorite item of clothing:
Autumn: the very old and very stained, Mickey Mouse shirt Ms Kimberly gave to Kya for Kya's 1st birthday
Kya: her Owl shirt with her blue jean shorts

What makes you happy?:
Autumn: "When I tickle Lily Bug" (her baby sister). "When I hug my mom and kiss my mom, when our family eats together" (which we do every night). Okay these blew me away. How very sweet. I had no idea.
Kya: Going to see Meema, being at Disney and staying at a hotel (the hotel she loves because she can sleep in the same room as mom and dad)

What makes you sad?:
Autumn: When I am in trouble for not staying in my bed at night and "when mommy hugs daddy instead of me"
Kya: Leaving my Meema, when Mom or Dad leave the house

That was fun!!!! And revealing.

Now it is our turn to pass on the fun. We tag Abby and Jadyn (and Tiff too if she wants!) and also Joel and Hope.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Kya's Favorite Things

A while back, the girls and I spent a morning taking pictures of our favorite things. It took me some time to get them all on the computer and get the actual post completed. But, here is Kya's list of favorite things: (She took everyone of these pictures totally by herself and made her own decisions of what to shoot without any prompting or suggesting from Mom.

She first chose her family, that is an obvious one, and I didn't feel the need to post the morning pictures she took of us, so I have skipped posting them.

The very next thing she chose was her Daddy's guitar, because they spend countless hours singing, playing and dancing with the help of that guitar.

The other pictures are in no particular order.

These are the butterflies (supposedly) handmade in Guangzhou, China that we purchased in 2004 on her adoption trip.

Her Princess Wand

Her bed, the top bunk.
This is 2 of her favorite things: Her Sand Dollars and Her Bean Bag Chair. (Of course, I had to take this one for her but I was instructed where to stand and how I was supposed to keep taking the pictures until she got just the one she wanted.)

Her Computer.

Frosty, our dog.

All her bath toys, they spend large amounts of time playing in the bathtub.

And, finally her new Hopscotch Tinker Bell Rug.

Friday, August 1, 2008

More Cloth Diaper Shopping

Okay, I figured out how to purchase the dipes from Primmnproperbaby.com. Thanks to the owner and to Courtney. Email the owner, Meghan, for help on sizing. Then what Courtney ordered was the '2 mil PUL outer', with microfeece outer, $1 extra for Hemp soaker, touch tape closures and any leg gathering. I ordered yellow and green. Here is a picture she has on the site of these cute dipes.

Going What? Yes, Cloth! I think!

Before the babies came home, I had considered and researched a bit about cloth diapers. We have a fantastic lady at our Church that uses them and she shared TONS of information with me. Thank you Kelli! I was excited and ready to go and then, the inevitable happened, I chickened out. The research is really what overwhelmed me at a very emotional time in my life and I just could not think about it. I couldn't think about the products, the stuff I needed, what do you do with the DO? (the pooh?!), what about MORE laundry? All those things consumed me and I ran to Walmart and bought my standard LUVS.

And, then I thought it's too late. I have used LUVS for so long now that the initial investment for cloth will be too much. But I was still interested. The more I read, the more convicted I became and it had nothing to do with cost. It has everything, for me, to do with 2 things (1) I hold the LUVS in my hand and they are scratchy and harsh. This may be sharing too much for some, but I think would I really want to wear a maxi pad all day, every day? NO! And then (2) was the bigger factor, honestly, the mounds of diapers I dispose of every week. 2 LARGE STUFFED 13 gallon trash bags full!!!! Every Tuesday night and every Friday night. Multiply that times 52. Every year I am putting 104 stuffed full 13 gallon trash bags into the local city dump.

So, for the earth and for my babies, NOT FOR ME, I am going to try it. My DH is oh so hesitant but on board if I think it's important.

I spent some time researching and I will most more as I go on this trial journey. But so far, here is what I am trying for step 1.

I bought 2 of these lovely little dipes. They are so very cute and they are called All In Ones (AIO). I bought this exact color, Celery, because it's unisex. You treat it as a normal disposable diaper, nothing special except washing it.

For night time, I bought these to go with it, called "doublers", meaning they double the absorbency.

These THIRSTIES brands are all over the Internet. I found the best sale yesterday at Mom and Baby Naturally.

And, then while researching I was also convicted that I wanted to buy the best material possible, at the most affordable rate. From everything I read, HEMP, seems to be the best material for Cloth Diapers. So, after researching the brands, I decided on what's called a Fitted Diaper from Cricketts. They are made of a Hemp blend, have the best reviews of any CD I read about so far and I have high hopes for them. The reason they are called a Fitted instead of an AIO is because fitted requires that you put on a diaper cover over them. A diaper cover is waterproof and there are tons to choose from. I bought both from Crickett.
Here is the Hemp fitted diaper. Looks comfy. She sells each of them with a snap in insert for extra absorbency. (I bought 4 of these.)

This is the diaper cover she recommends and sells on her site. It's the Bummis Snap. I bought 2 of these, 1 for each baby. As, you do not need 1 cover per dipe. I read you can sometimes use the same cover for up to 4 diapers.

For more on the other products you will need, check out Kelli's information. She has now posted it on her web. She really is the original person who inspired me and she has used them for 3 babies now. So she knows the routine well and is a trusted source. Plus, I have cared for her babies in the nursery at Church and am familiar with her products. But, she likes Fuzzi Bums and they were a bit out of my pocket book range. I would have bought them though had I started with child 1 or 2 instead of the last year with children 3 and 4.

You can also read up on my friend, Courtney's, blog. She is the one I read up on the Thirsties from. She also recommends another one from Primm N Proper, that I researched but was confused on how to order, so I might try to those when I can figure it out (they are made custom and I'm not familiar enough with all the terms to know what I would want in a custom diaper).

And, if you are considering cloth, remember the MOST important 2 things are (1) the quality and fit of the diaper you are buying and (2) the washing instructions. If you care for them wrong, they will not work. Things like perfumes in detergent and fabric softener will basically ruin them, making them non-absorbent.

So, wish me LUCK. I will update more when I get them in and actually try them.