Tuesday, May 25

Why Knitting?

It kinda astounds me how few Christian knit.  For me knitting brings me to a still quiet place that allows me to hear God.  I often think: "God knit me in my Mothers womb".

If you are not a knitter you can't begin to understand that statement and how big that is.

As a knitter I discover the perfect yarn or pattern.  I study it, look over it... contemplate it and finally either reject or decide on it.  If it is a yarn I find first, I must now find a pattern.  The perfect pattern, the pattern that will show off how this yarn drapes in this way if it is wool, or stretch if it is cotton.  Then one must also think of how the colors will play with each other if it variegated.  If you find the pattern first, you must then locate the prefect yarn.  Alpaca?  Silk?  Linen? Each will make the finished garment wear differently.  Perfectly.

Then comes the knitting.  The hours of knitting, days on end.  And of course God is perfect, so no mistakes... oh no... no ripping (knitters term for unraveling) that garment because of a dropped stitch or a missed cable.

And then, it is finished.  Bound off, blocked and all the ends sewn in... lovely and made to just your size, the right weight and color that brings out your hair and eyes like no other color can and makes you feel like a million bucks...

I also think I can understand how sad God is with us as well.  A knitter doesn't make a sweater, or a shawl to be put into a box and never seen or worn... God doesn't give us things so we may hide them either.  A knitter may feel sad and angry if the gift that was given was something tossed aside and allowed to be moth eaten.  God wants us to see the things he gives as gifts.  Most knitters love when the recipient gushes over the gift, uses it proudly and proclaims who made it when compliments come.  God too wants us to use the gifts he has given us and wants us to tell the world who gave those gifts to you.

But most of all I think of the fall from Eden.  The stain on the garment that inevitably happens, the shrinking in the dryer or bleach in the wash after you told them how to care for it so painstakingly.  Something that you can't fix or repair, and how the recipient trys to hide it.  How when you ask "why don't you wear it anymore?" they hem and haw and finally tell you what you already knew in your heart.  And in some cases you know a trick, wash the stain out and the garment is as good as new, and sometimes you just have to forgive them and know the garment will have to live with the aftermath... because you know they didn't mean for it to happen.   God is like that too.  We ate the fruit and stained our soul and regardless of what we do we can't keep ourselves from sinning.  We hide in shame, for it but hiding doesn't fix it.  God can forgive us and sometimes he can fix it as good as new and sometimes he won't, but he can do more... better than a knitter he can transform us.  That is not to say he will restore us and make us into what we were before... no.  But you know, if you take that garment and cut here, sew here and add a button here... look!  Isn't this the cutest little tote!

edit to add: I am featured in this weeks Christian blog Carnival!

Monday, May 24

Parenting by The Book... by John Rosemond

The Book being the Bible.  Ok, I got this book via a Bible study at church.  We would read a chapter every weeks and then talk about it the next week.  It was very good and made me realize why I was having all the parenting issues I was having and how to fix them!  It has recommendations from ages newborn to out of the house and is more a philosophy than an actual step by step guide.  This would be a great gift to a parent that you know has had struggles with their child or is just getting to the terrible twos.  In fact I suggest grandparents read it because many first time parents go to mom/dad/mother in law/father in law for advice (at least I do!).

The book is an easy read and really gets into the "how" in the last 2 chapters.  All the rest of the book is a "why" with back ups from the Bible, just plain old common sense and history.  The author actually has all those fancy letters behind his name and is an expert in his field which is family psychology. 

So do like to write book reviews, or just have a book you love or hate and just want to tell the world?  How about you join my Blog-hop?

Thursday, May 20

Pampers is dumb....

They have posted on Pampers a list of reasons why cloth diapering is "bad".  I cloth diaper.  I will continue to do so... in fact I have doctors notes stating I have to cloth diaper my kids and that they have an allergy to the absorbency stuff  in things like Pampers.

To read other peoples post on it click below as this is part of a blog hop of POed cloth diaperers.

So here are my list of myths on disposable vs cloth:

Myth: cloth diapering is "dirtier" and unhygienic. (from a "friendly" neighbor that later called Child Protective Services on me for cloth diapering, don't worry nothing came of it other than a POed cloth diaper and a pissy neighbor that my kids were not removed.)

My Fact:  They get washed!  You use soap on them!  Like your clothing!  In fact you can even Bleach them if you really want to, though I find boiling them better as bleach leaves enough chemicals for my kids to get burns.

Myth: Cloth diapers are better for my baby.

My Fact:  Consider the fact that disposables have similar chemicals as female pads...  not the same, but close.  Now consider the fact that when I changed to cloth pads I physically got healthier.  That is right, I had skin problems that I though were hormonal, but no, it was pad induced, I had cramping, again hormonal? no pad induced!, and then my fav.  my sex drive and sensitivity improved... I won't go into details... but come on!  Who doesn't want that improved!  And if a pads only worn for 1 week of the month do that to me (and who knows what to you!)... what are disposable diapers that are being worn 24/7 by your baby doing to them?  Are you so sure that your child has eczema?  I got some "eczema" while using pads but it would go away as soon as I stopped using the pads... I am not cloth padded and "eczema" free... and if pads gave me cramps, could that colic be caused by something? Perhaps... So yes, I would say cloth is better for my baby.

Myth: Disposable diapers are easier than cloth.

My Fact:  Ummm, NO.  I worked child care for 6 years prior to having children and can tell you that they are the SAME amount of work, just different work involved.  How can I say this?  Because it is true!

Now for my rant on Pampers and all diaper companies: WHY do you not put your ingerdents on the side of the package?  You have to with shampoo, cleaning supplies, food or anything else a child might eat so you can tell poison control just in case.  So why is it that something PUT on a childs body doesn't need that?  It is much more unlikely a child will get into shampoo and eat it than take off something they are ALWAYS wearing and eat part of that.  Are you telling me it is ok for a child to eat a whole diaper and that nothing would happen to them?  Please.  I don't beleive it.  I am sure those chemicals are not safe to eat. 

I have a theory as to WHY they won't tell you what is in there or make it easily found by consumers...  it is because if you google searched the ingredients you would get lots of links to cancer or mood swings or some other health/environmental issue.  I have found that companies like Pampers usually advertise what is good and will hide at all cost what is bad.  If they feel the need to hid what is in the diapers you know it can't be good... because if it were good it would be a marketing ploy...

If I could ask God anything...

This is a children book and I would think can range from ages of 3 to 12 mattering on how curious your child is (though I know some new Christians that would really benefit from this book too!).  It is a wonderful resource for all those questions that have big lofty answers but you need to explain to a child in a non threating or confusing way.

This book though geared for children, is not for children... it is for mom or dad or some other adult to read to a child or read and then explain to the child.   As such it is set up well, but no pictures to speak of.  The questions range from the mundane to the VERY deep but are all answered as if you are going to talk to a small child (I am sure my 4 1/2 year old would understand this whole book... even the answer to "If God loves people, Why do bad things happen?").  Though this book is geared to children I think it would be a great resource for people that are new Christians or often work with new Christians. 

I am a member of something called BooksSneeze and request books I think I will like, read them, and then get to write a review for them on what I think of them. I am not paid to do this, though I do get a free book.  I am also not told what to write so this review is only my reaction to the book.

Tuesday, May 18

Money... how we lived under the poverty line

Well, since Melanie commented that she would like to know how we saved money, I thought I would write on it.  Mind you that there is a reason that Christ is 1st in my list of things that keep me sane.  He and his Father really have a part to play in my daily life.  And a serious part at that.

Before I begin I would like to say we did (and still do) tithe every month.  It is amazing the things that happen when you tithe.  In fact, months we forgot to tithe (hubby was the one with the check book so I didn't even know we were not tithing) we were ALWAYS over budget.  Something would always happen.  Once we caught up... strangely we would not only be in the black but we had excess.  Logically it makes no sense, but God doesn't follow earthly logic.

On that note I am going to give my biggest money saving advice ever.  Ready?  I am sure you are not but here it goes anyway... Pray before you buy ANYTHING.  That is right.  Before you even make your list for the store, pray about what you should buy.  Ask God to help you save in your shopping and don't buy it unless you have peace about it.  If the Lord doesn't give you peace... well, don't buy it. This goes for food, clothing, shoes... or my main splurge... yarn.  You will get REALLY good at listening to God too.  I remember a time I was flat out told to go shopping for flour at Sam's Club.  So we did... and guess what, they were having a 50% off sale on flour that day only because they had gotten 1 flat of the wrong sized bags (100 pounders vs the normal 50 pounder) and were just selling them like they were 50 pound bags.  You know what... God delivered. 

The next thing we did was only use cash.  When you were as tight as we were, pennies mattered and going over was not an option.  You will find that you can feed yourself on very little if you need to.  If you feel the need to whittle down your food money go all cash.  No credit, or debit.  For some reason when the cash leaves your hands it feels... different... than swiping a card.  You spend less. 

Now some practical advise on how to get the food (or any category) budget lower.  You take your cash and then you take an envelope and put 25 to 50 dollars in the envelope.  Now go hide the envelope in the freezer, a shoe box, or anywhere where you will remember it.  Now go for the month and if you need to raid the money do so, but really try not to.  Do this for several months and you will find yourself raiding less and less.  When you can do this for about 3 month straight just take that amount out of the budget for that area of spending.  And start all over again.  Now this doesn't help you when you are in the hole already and have to make a quick buck this is more a lifestyle change and it happens slowly.

I hope anyone who reads this finds it useful.  If you have any questions just ask below.

Monday, May 10

Money I can do, Housework... not so much

Ok, for those that know me in real life, you know that money is not an issue for us.  Not that we are rich but that I am so thrifty that I can make pennies bleed.  We lived under the poverty line for 4 years with 2 kids and didn't take ANY government help.  We could have gotten foodstamps, WIC, and Medicaid, but we didn't.  In fact we paid off debt... and paid for a birth (if you prepaid the midwife it was under 5000 dollars for all the prenatal, birth and post stuff).  Anyway, I am going into this because we whipped our money into shape and controlled it, we didn't let it run us and our lives. 

On the other hand, my house.... yea, it runs me.  I have clutter EVERYWHERE.... really.  It is piled up next to this computer, in the corners of the rooms and basically anywhere we have a flat area... well had... and lets not even get into daily cleaning stuff either.  I am always behind on laundry, the floors always need to be swept and mopped, and the toilets... yea, lets not go there...  Now I would love to blame my parents for this saying "I was raised with a cluttered home and was never taught to keep house" and that would be true.  (I mean I had to have my roommate teach me to do my laundry when I went to college... no joke.)  But I need to just grow up and face the fact that I am an adult and just learn how to do this stuff. 

So here it is, I am a bad house keeper and don't know how to fix it.  I don't know where to start in my house so I am making a game plan.  I am looking up websites on how to declutter.  I figure that one I have the house uncluttered I will be better able to clean on a regular basis.  Wish me luck...