Monday, June 29, 2009

Greg and Jessica's Wedding

DJ's middle brother Greg got married on June 6. Makenna was the flower girl, DJ was the best man, DJ's brother Phillip was a groomsman and Whitney, Phillip's girlfriend, was a bridesmaid. I sang during the lighting of the unity candle. It was a very beautiful ceremony and Jessica's dress was absolutely gorgeous. Makenna was the cutest flower girl I have ever seen. She did pretty good that day. The wedding was at 2:00 but we had to be there at 11:00 so she didn't get a nap. She was supposed to walk down the aisle with the other flower girl but when the doors opened she just stood there. So DJ walked down the aisle and carried her down. It was so cute. Then she went back to the nursery with a friend of DJ's mom and slept the rest of the service. Of course when I took her home she was so exhausted that she wouldn't take a nap. But overall she did very well. Here are a lot of pics from the rehearsal and the wedding.

Makenna practicing walking down the aisle.





The tables at the rehearsal dinner.

















Phillip and Whitney


Groom's Cake.

Wedding cake.






DJ's parents

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Camp Formosa 2009

Last week I went to Camp Formosa. For those of you who don't know it is a church camp that I have gone to since I was a little kid. The first week is junior camp which is for 3rd-7th graders. I don't go to that one. The one I go to is senior camp. It is for 8th-12th graders. It goes by the grade you are going into. But you also go as a camper the year you graduate high school. I have been associated with this camp for a majority of my life. I absolutely love it. It is in Formosa, AR which is way out in the sticks. It isn't a fancy camp but it is wonderful. It is very inexpensive so we have a lot of poor kids that come. We also have a lot of kids who have never been to church. The goal of our camp is to help kids get saved and to teach them how to live a Christian life in a world that isn't very supportive of Christianity. I taught half of the 8th grade but I also had four 7th graders in my class because their moms were working at camp. I also had a small group at night which is a group of about 8-10 girls that me and Lisa (another member of the camp staff) met with each night to discuss different things. I've never been to another church camp before so I can't compare Camp Formosa to other places but I think this place is amazing. The Holy Spirit is so heavy in this place. It is amazing. One of the girls in my small group had never been in church before. The first few nights she was very overwhelmed with all of her emotions. She fought it very hard but after a few nights she got saved. It was awesome!!!! What an amazing feeling to have God use you to accomplish His plan. I get just as blessed as the kids do. Sometimes I think I get blessed even more than they do. The evangelist this week was Cliff Clark. I have known him since I was about 8 years old. He is the most amazing preacher I have ever listened to. He has cerebral palsy. But that doesn't stop him. He is in such close communication with God on a daily basis. I've never known anyone to have such a direct line to God. He is so awesome. My favorite thing about him is he preaches on the kids level. He is very entertaining and he talks about things that are relevant to them. He is very big on doing things that will interest the kids. He makes the kids repeat out loud a lot of what he says. He appeals to all ages and his so awesome. I've never known another preacher who the kids not only listen to his sermons but they remember them. The next day I would ask them what he preached on and they could immediately repeat all of his main points. If you've never worked with teenagers before you won't understand how amazing that is. He is one youtube if you would like to look him up. Search for boots1956 on youtube. By Thursday or Friday of this week all of his sermons from church camp should be posted. His wife videos all of his sermons to post on youtube. Our camp video will also be posted. We are very blessed with a young man named Austin who is very talented in the video field and he does a camp video for us each year. So much happened that my mind is kind of spinning right now. I can't think of everything and it would take me forever to post so I'm going to break it into a few posts over the next few weeks. Needless to say I was touched by God. It happens every year but in a different way every year. I could never thank God enough for letting me be a part of Camp Formosa.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Few Cute Pictures





Makenna's mimi bought her a very cute swim suit a few months ago. We haven't tried it on yet because she got two other swim suits for her birthday (also from her mimi) that we have been using. So, we decided to wear this one when we got in the pool the other day. It was soooooo cute!! She looks like such a big girl. Here are a few pictures.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Homemade Dishwashing Detergent

So, DJ sent me a link about some other homemade things I could make since I love the homemade laundry detergent so much. So I googled how to make homemade dishwashing detergent. I found several recipes but the most common one was this:
1 part baking soda or washing soda
1 part borax
Use 2 tablespoons in the wash per load. Put vinegar in the rinse dispenser where you would usually put jet dry.

A lot of people said that it caused a buildup on their dishes. Some people said that putting a few drops of dish washing liquid in with the powder fixed the build up problem. Other recipes called for this same recipe but also added 1 part cascade powder. A lot of people said this worked great. I tried it for the first time tonight but the dishwasher is still going so I'll let you know how it works.

As a side note I now a lot of people don't know much about cloth diapers and may think I'm crazy for using them because of the folding and pins and all of that. A lot of people don't understand what these new kind are so I thought I would put a link to the ones I use so everyone could see what they look like and how they work: bum genius 3.0 one size pocket diaper
I've also decided to make my own cloth wipes out of old receiving blankets. We got a ton of receiving blankets as baby gifts and we never used them because they weren't big enough to swaddle. So I thought I would cut one of them up for cloth wipes. I'm going to DJ's mom's house tomorrow for her to show me how to use the sewing machine. I don't have a clue how to sew. I can sew a button on, that is it. I have never used a sewing machine before. These wipes will be much thinner and less absorbent than the ones I bought but they are just for wiping Makenna's butty so I don't think it will be a big deal. I have some other homemade things in mind I'm going to try so I'll let you know when I decide to try them.

Cloth Diapers

A few months ago I started to realize how many diapers we have used over the course of Makenna's life. Since disposable diapers don't degrade for a long, long time then they just end up in a landfill and they just sit there. As I have gotten older I have become more aware of my ability to be impact the condition of our planet. So I started to realize how wasteful it was to use disposable diapers. However I was still being selfish in that I didn't want to have to do a lot of work. I wanted to use cloth diapers but only if it wasn't going to be a hassle. Selfish I know, but hey what can I say. I have a friend named Jessica who has always used cloth diapers for her daughter. So I knew she would be the expert on what kind I should get. I also talked to her about how much trouble it was and how she liked them. She loves cloth diapers and had a lot of good advice. It turns out that cloth diapers have come a long way since the old days. No more pins and folding diapers. Well, you can still buy that kind if you want to but they make much easier ones now. She said they have tried a lot of brands and the one she liked the best was Bumgenius. She likes the Bumgenius Organic One Size All In One diaper. It is a diaper that is just like a disposable. No folding, no inserts, no nothing. Just put it on like a disposable diaper, velcro tabs and all. When you are done with it, you take it off and wash it. No assembly, no pins, just wash as is. I looked at those for a while and actually ordered some but ended up sending them back because they are very expensive. What I ended up buying was something similar. The Bumgenius One Size Pocket diaper. It has snaps in the front so it goes from 7-35 lbs so you don't have to buy any sizes. The one diaper works from newborn to toddler. This one is very similar to a disposable diaper. Same shape, same velcro. The only difference is there is a pocket on the inside where you put an absorbable insert. You put the diaper on just like a disposable, velcro and all. When you are done you take it off, pull out the insert and wash the diaper and insert. What I do to make it easier is when they come out of the dryer, I go ahead and put the insert in the diaper. That way they are all ready to go when I need them. I love them. They are a little pricey, so it is a significant investment in the beginning. However, they save a lot of money in the long run. Not only are they good for 7-35 lbs but they last a long time so we can use them for the next child. I bought 6 of them and am going to try them for a week. If I continue to like them as much as I do then I'm going to order 6 more. They come in lots of cute colors. I also bought cloth wipes and these little squares that you dissolve in hot water. You put it in a squirt bottle or pour it over the wipes. Its easy because you are already washing diapers so you might as well wash wipes with them. The solution smells great and is made several different oils that help prevent diaper rash are good for babies skin. So far I am more than pleased I switched to cloth diapers. They are so absorbent and I feel great about the fact that we are not being as wasteful. The only thing I don't like is that they are very bulky and they take a long time to dry in the dryer. So, Makenna now has a getto butty. But that will be good when it comes to buying new clothes because we won't have such a hard time finding pants and shorts that fit her!! One more reason to use cloth diapers!! If you are interested in them I recommend a site called Nicki's Diapers. They offer free shipping on many items and any order over $75. They also have a large selection. Here is a few pictures of one of the diapers.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Museum of Discovery

DJ found out that there is a Museum of Discovery in Little Rock. As a kid I loved the one in Hot Springs. For those of you who are out of town and don't know what this is let me explain. It is a very cool museum with lots of hands on things for kids. Everything is educational and science based. It is very cool and it shows kids how science works and that science can be fun. There used to be only one in Hot Springs but apparently there is one downtown now. So DJ and I decided to take Makenna there on Sunday because DJ found out that admission is free the second Sunday of every month. For the most part we were disappointed. We didn't think it was that great. But there were a lot of fun things for older kids to do. There were only two play areas for little kids. However one of them was pretty cool. Makenna had a great time! She played and played and played. She wore herself out. We had a great time watching her play. I didn't take very many pictures but I did take some video. This is her playing with blocks with her dad. She had a great time. I hope you can hear her squeal. It was really loud in there. He would stack the blocks up and she would knock them down and squeal. It was so cute!!





video

Monday, June 15, 2009

Laundry Detergent

Over the last year DJ has suggested a few times that we should make our own laundry detergent. He visits a web site run by a guy who has a lot of ideas of how to be frugal. So DJ sent me a link the other day to his post about making your own laundry detergent. I was never too keen on the idea but I decided to visit the link and see what it was all about. Once I read the post I really wanted to try it. So, I decided to use his recipe and make my own laundry detergent. It was very easy and only took about 20 minutes to do. And it really works just as well as Tide which is what we used to use. It also saves a lot of money. So, for now on we will be making our own laundry detergent. It may sound silly but it saves a lot of money for a little effort. And it helps the environment by us using one less plastic container. So here is the recipe for the homemade laundry detergent.

1 5 gallon bucket with lid
1 bar soap (I use Ivory)
1 cup washing soda (not baking soda but it is made by Arm & Hammer)
1/2 cup borax (I use the brand 20 mule)

Grate bar of soap with a box grater. Grate very thin. Boil 4 cups of water. Add one hand full at a time of the grater soap. Stir until it is mostly dissolved. Continue to add one hand full at a time of the soap until it is all dissolved in the boiling water. Fill the 5 gallon bucket with 3 gallons of warm water. Add the soapy water and smash up any chunks with a big spatula or spoon. Add the washing soda and stir until it dissolves. Add the borax and stir until it dissolves. Put the lid on the bucket loosely and let it sit for 24 hours. Now it is ready to use. Just add one cup to every load. It works great!!
It may be a strange consistency. Mine is a mix of lumpy, jello like stuff and a watery substance. I just use the measuring cup to mix it up and then make sure when I scoop I get some of the jello and liquid. The consistency will depend on the type of soap you use.

Here is the link to the web site. It has a picture of all the ingredients and a video demonstrating how to make it. It is very helpful
http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2008/04/09/making-your-own-laundry-detergent-a-detailed-visual-guide/

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Nash's Birthday Party

Saturday was Nash Horton's birthday party. Nash's dad is Chris, DJ's best friend since forever. Nash is 3 months younger than Makenna. Makenna had so much fun at his birthday party. She is so much like her dad. She wants to observe the action but she doesn't want to participate. She went right over to where all of the kids were playing and she picked up a toy. But then she just stood there and watched all of the other kids. She is so observant. She loves to watch other children. She's not like the other kids. She doesn't just jump in and start playing. She just stands there and analyzes the other children. She did that the whole time we were there. Nash got a swing just like Makenna's. Makenna knew exactly what it was and she climbed in it. She wanted to swing. It was so cute. She spent most of the time playing in that swing. I think Nash had a good time but he was really tired. His cake was very cute and it tasted wonderful. I got the ladie's card so we can use her next time we need a cake. We all had a good time. Here are some pictures.

Makenna and Nash playing with Nash's toys.

The birthday boy (Nash) playing with a spoon.

He is too cute.

Nash opening the music set we bought him.

Nash eating his cake. He was so funny, he just poked at it just like Makenna did at her birthday. But after a while he dove in.

Makenna climbed into Nash's swing. That's where she spent a big part of the party. She's so silly.

Makenna loved Nash's motorized four wheeler. We may be buying one of those soon.

Makenna and Nash hugging. So sweet!