Clean House Routine

8 Jan

I have been searching for a checklist/routine to help me keep my house clean. I found many in my search on Pinterest, but I really like this one from First Home…Love Life. Download the Quirky Weekly Cleaning Chart here.

I had been using this for a while and then I got busy and things got a little crazy. Anyway, on Tuesday I cleaned most of the house to prepare for company. Since I already had most of the house clean this morning, I decided to get back on track with my cleaning routine. Such a great day to start back up! Today just happened to include everything that I did not get done on Tuesday! How Awesome is that!

I love that this routine includes everything that I need to remember to do on a regular basis. I don’t worry too much if I am unable to get everything on the list done each day, but this sure helps me to get the cleaning done more often.

How do you manage to keep up with housework? Do you have a go to list for getting the house clean and keeping it clean?

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Broken Record…

4 Jan

I am feeling a little like a broken record here on the blog. I have been gone so long! And my last post was also about being absent here lately.
I had thought about writing a post for Thanksgiving, pregnancy announcement, Christmas, or the New Year. Well, obviously none of those happened!
I thought I would start off the new year by posting my Christmas Card and Letter from 2013. This will give you a glimpse at our year.
Enjoy!
Cmascard2013

Merry Christmas!

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,“ Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” John 2:13-14

January – We had purchased a house and moved in November 2012 and were still working on getting things unpacked and settled, though this house felt like home almost right away.
February – We joined Cole’s family in Bozeman Montana for the Annual Family Ski Trip. I tried to teach Sylvia how to ski, however she wasn’t quite ready. We celebrated Sylvia’s 3rd birthday with a princess castle cake at the cabin we were renting.
March – Cole went to State Bowling.
April – We enjoyed camping so much last year that we decided to purchase a new bigger camper this year. So, we sold our first camper after less than a year. :) Cole went to pick up the new camper in Fargo at the end of April.
May – We began our camping season with an impromptu trip to Sakakawea State Park at Pick City with Cole’s brother and family, and Grandma and Grandpa Johnson.
June – The real test of our new camper began at the beginning of June. We traveled to Watertown Wisconsin to spend some time with Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Tegtmeier. We camped in Casselton, ND and Menomonie, WI on the way there. Violet joined us on the way there. We spent four nights in Watertown, WI. Cole surprised me with a trip to Green Bay, WI to see Lambeau Field! Spent a night near Green Bay, WI. Then spent a couple nights in Maple Grove, MN where Luther and Julia joined us. We were also able to see a few other friends while near the cities. We also enjoyed going to the Children’s Museum.
July – The second weekend of July we all went to the cabin at Blacktail and enjoyed time with Cole’s family. We then traveled back to the cities, after leaving the kids with Grandma and Grandpa in Grandin, to take in a Twins game and watch Tough Mudder.
August - We traveled to Iowa, this time without the camper :(, to get together with Marie’s family. With Carl and Meghan living in Tennessee and us living in Hazen, Luther and Julia’s place in Iowa was about half way. It was great to see all the family and we also were able to take in the Iowa State Fair.
September – Sylvia started Playschool. She loves it and goes to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the afternoon. She is growing up so fast and wants to be a cowgirl when she grows up. September was a big month for cake! I made my cousin’s wedding cake and cupcakes. It ended up being the biggest cake that I have made to date. www.scrumptiousbymarie.com I sure enjoy making cakes!
October – October seems to be a busy month for cakes! I was kept busy with cake all month. I am on the preschool board this year and we had a busy month with our first Monster Bash – a fun night for monsters and their mummies and our wreath sales.
November - We have been in our house for a year and still have so much to do! (Mainly put things up on the walls.) We also found out that we will be adding another little one to our family in July. (We printed the cards before our 1st doctor appointment where the ultrasound told us that we weren’t as far along as we thought hence the new July due date.) Pray for a cool summer! :) I have been feeling sick, which is a welcome thing since I did not feel sick with either of the miscarriages.
December – Cole continues to stay busy with work. He was just upgraded starting the first of December. He also switched crews with this upgrade and we are beginning to get settled into the new schedule. Naomi’s 2nd Birthday! We had pizza and a Hello Kitty cake on her birthday with some of Cole’s family. We will be having Christmas early here which will be different. Sylvia will be in the Christmas Eve Service for the first time this year! We will also travel to Fargo to have Christmas with Great Grandma Eva and the extended family on Christmas Day and the day after we will have Christmas at my Parents’ farm with my family. Sylvia, Naomi and I will travel with my family to Watertown, WI to have Christmas with the extended Tegtmeier family. Because of the schedule change, Cole is unable to make the trek to WI.

We feel blessed in 2013 and we look forward to what 2014 has in store for us! May God Bless you in the New Year!
Cole, Marie, Sylvia(3), Naomi(2) and July Baby Johnson

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Where have you been?

16 Nov

I am sure you are all wanting to ask me this question. I am not sure what I have been so busy doing for the past 2+ months, but I guess I have been quite busy.
For some reason October ends up being quite busy for cakes. I am not sure why. Though this October was a little less than the past 2 Octobers.
I have also been quite busy with the wreath fundraiser for our preschool. I am on the preschool board this year and volunteered to head up the wreath fundraiser. We received our shipment of wreaths from Mickman Brothers this week on Tuesday and Wednesday. Everything was sorted by Wednesday afternoon and most everyone got their orders picked up before 6pm! It feels so great to have all this done!! Here is a picture of all the wreaths sorted into piles ready for the parents to pick up and distribute. What a great feeling when everything arrived and was sorted! wreaths2014
We were able to use our local appliance store/service center to do our sorting. What a blessing!! I also had help with the sorting from a couple other board members. I could not have done it alone!
We have a few sprays and a 25′ garland left to sell but that is not too bad. Most of the extra things were sold within hours of posting it on a couple of local groups on Facebook. :)

Now my girls and I are visiting my family, my husband was unable to come along this time. I am enjoying not having to do much for my kids since my sisters are enjoying being aunties! I decided I better get a blog post done with some of this free time. After lunch, though, I will have to clean the house a little while my parents are busy working outside to repair the fence. I would love to help outside, but mom would rather I clean the carpets as that is her least favorite thing to do.

Thanks for sticking around. I have a few exciting reviews in the works in the next month or so! Stay Tuned!!

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What’s for Lunch? Snack? Supper? – eMeals Has it Covered!

4 Sep

At our house we are often wondering what we should have for a particular meal. More often than not we end up with something quick and not always so healthy. I am trying to change that and be more on top of meal planning and prep. However, I still seem to fall short all too often! This is where eMeals comes in!! I am so glad that my friend DakotaPam introduced me to eMeals!
tailgating_sidebar-non-customer

eMeals is the online meal planning solution with an established base of hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers. We offer a wide variety of lifestyle meal plans including Clean Eating, Paleo, Low Fat, Low Carb, Natural & Organic, Portion Control, Gluten Free, Classic, and Vegetarian meal plans.

I know most of the country has started school already but here is a great Survival Kit for back to school.

If you hurry, you can save 15% with code ‘SCHOOL15′ (ends 9/6)

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Cloth Diaper Rewind!

4 Sep if-I-could-cloth-diaper-250x250
If I could cloth diaper all over again

**This post contains Affiliate links**

Here are a few things that I would do differently if I were to start cloth diapering all over again, knowing what I know now.

I would purchase only a few pocket diapers or all in ones. Don’t get me wrong, I do like pockets and all-in-ones that I have now, especially for daycare and daddy. But, I would try to purchase ones that are made from cotton or other natural fibers. I think that the stay dry fabrics are overrated! I am sure there are some babies though that cannot stand to be the slightest bit wet or are prone to rashes when wet, making stay dry a necessity.

I wrote a post not too long ago about diaper covers. You can read it here. I would really buy mostly covers and use flats and prefolds.
I have come to like flats the best of all! Especially the ones that I have made from old cotton t-shirts. I especially like this post from Kim at Dirty Diaper Laundry explaining how to make cheap t-shirt flats. Not only is this a cheap and easy option for making diapers but it is also so easy to wash and even easier and faster to line dry!

I decided that I would go one step further and guesstimate what my re-do stash would cost without any cloth diaper retailer sales. I wash about every other day. Sometimes it ends up being more like 3 days. In general, I also wash the covers with each diaper.)
6 Thirsties Duo Wrap covers @ 12.25 each = $73.50
3 Econobum covers @ 8.95 each = $26.85
2 pack Snappi Diaper Fasteners @ $7.40 each 2 pack = $7.40
1 set Dritz Diaper Pins @ $1.29 per set = $1.29
6 Flour Sack Towels @ 3/$5 = $10
5-6 old cotton t-shirts(makes up to 12 flats) @ free to $1 each = $0-$6 (The sleeves and other extra pieces can be used for Cloth wipes as seen here.)
1 kitchen scraper or old credit card or other piece of hard plastic(to scrape poo into the toilet) @ free to $1 = $0-$1
So this usable stash for one child from birth to potty training would cost about $119.04 – $126.04 + taxes and shipping. I have not tested this stash from birth but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. It would work for us right now with some extra clean diapers available at each washing. This could always be used as a bottom end base stash and then add more cotton t-shirts or flour sack towels for more diapers and reuse the covers until they are soiled. I will be testing this out on our next baby when the time comes. (Not saying that we are pregnant right now but sometime in the future :) )

What would you do differently if you were to cloth diaper all over again? or what are the essentials of your stash?

**This post contains affiliate links. I may receive minor rewards if you click on my affiliate links and make a purchase. Thank you for your support**

Please visit some of these other great bloggers discussing what they would do differently if they were to cloth diaper all over again.

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Pushing Forward

27 Aug

I was asked to write for a parenting blog by a friend. When I was first asked to write this post, I didn’t know what I could write about. I mean I had volunteered to write but had no ideas. Lately, I have been feeling like I didn’t have much to offer other parents. After all, we are in the middle of potty training with a frustrating stubborn 3 1/2 year old girl. Often times I feel so weary from all out failed attempts. I feel as though I just can’t do it anymore! Do you ever feel this way?

Well, today I want to encourage you. Encourage you to keep at it.


Continue reading at Parenting in Today’s Dynamics…

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Cloth Diaper Covers

24 Aug

I have not spent much on cloth diapers. Most of my diapers were given to me by a mom with twin girls. The diapers still had quite a bit of life in them when I got them but recently the covers have been looking a little used. I had to throw one away because the PUL was no longer working and keeping things dry. It is always sad to throw away a diaper cover.
I am fully aware that I will have to figure something out when the next baby is on his or her way. I am not sure if I will be looking to purchase new covers or fix the elastic in the old ones or make my own. I am leaning toward making my own since my husband would not be thrilled if I had to purchase new covers. The thing is though that I would just need the diaper covers since the absorbent diaper part is still good. I have even made some flats from Tshirts and flour sack towels.

Anyway, I really want to tell you about the diaper covers that we have been using to diaper our 2 girls.

1.

picture from econobum.com

First off, I really like the Econobum Diaper Cover best and it is my go to cover for night time. This diaper cover is nice and big to fit over most fitted diapers. I haven’t tried them on a new little baby yet but haven’t had any trouble with them otherwise. I just really like that they easily cover whatever absorbent diaper I need to have covered. I also enjoyed that these covers are slightly see through if you put a fun fitted diaper on underneath, you can still see the design somewhat through the Econobum cover. These also work great with prefolds and my favorite, flats.

2.

Picture from cottonbabies.com

We have a whole bunch of Flip covers. I like to use these for quick changes during the day. These pair nicely with the flip inserts! I also use my flats with these covers. Prefolds could also be used with these covers. I like these covers, however the ones I have are quite tired. The elastic is pretty streched out in most of them. I plan to replace the elastic but haven’t found the time to go down to the sewing room and work on them.

3.

Picture from thirstiesbaby.com

I dont use these any more since the ones I have are too small but I liked the Thirsties covers that I had when the girls were smaller. I liked that the gusset held everything in and kept everything (clothing) dry. I would buy more of these in the bigger sizes if I am unable to refresh my current stash.

Thanks for reading about the covers I use. I also have a few other pocket diapers that I use often and you can read more about them here and here.

What are some of your favorite diaper covers that I should try out?

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“I Carried An Angel” — Book #Review

9 Aug

I just finished reading “I Carried An Angel” by Staci A. Luker. I received this Kindle book to review on my iPad Kindle app. Since adding the Kindle App to my iPad, I have been adding every book I can in hopes I will have some free time to read. I have only finished a handful of books that aren’t kids books. “I Carried An Angel” is one of those books that I just couldn’t put down!

Being a parent is one of the greatest blessings we are given in this life. But what happens when you have to tell your child good-bye? How do you continue on as a parent on earth when your child is apart from you in heaven? I Carried an Angel is the story of one mother finding her way as the parent of a baby who was born sleeping.

Miscarriages are difficult. I had one miscarriage after each of my girls. When the first one happened they figured that I was 11 weeks along but the baby measured only 6 weeks. I started spotting at my first appointment and thought that probably wasn’t a good sign. Then the dreaded ultrasound. well, the ultrasound wasn’t dreaded until the tech was super quiet and there was no heartbeat on the screen like there had been for our firstborn. I didn’t want to believe it and waited another 2 weeks for another ultrasound to be sure. I decided to just wait for my body to take care of it. It was tough to wait but it didn’t take too long. I just couldn’t bear the idea of having a D&C. I don’t think that anyone can comment on which way is easier, though, if they have not been through it both ways. My second miscarriage happened only 3 days after I found out I was pregnant. I hadn’t made any appointments yet. That one was in March 2013 and we are trying for another child. My miscarriages will always be a part of me! I now refer to them as my Angel Babies.
After my first miscarriage one of my friends told me that it wasn’t that there was anything wrong with my baby but rather that they were too perfect and God didn’t want them to be corrupted by the world.

I feel that I can relate to Staci’s story in some ways. Chapter 18 really resonated with me because I also struggle with the “how many children do you have?” question. I think that I struggle with that more so because both miscarriages were so early on and in today’s culture not always considered to be a baby. I try to remember to mention my Angel Babies any chance I get. I want to talk about them just so that other moms that have experienced miscarriage(s) know that they are not alone. I think that Staci has done that well with her book. I found so much encouragement from “I Carried An Angel” as I am sure many have. It is so amazing how she was able to write so well in the days and weeks immediately following Barrett’s birth.

I am beginning to be able to share my story especially when I wear my Oragami Owl necklace. My necklace contains a computer(for my blogging and websites), a cake(for my Scrumptious Creations), a January birthstone heart(for my husband), 2 birthstone girls(for my girls), and 2 round birthstones(for my Angel Babies). I love getting to explain what each of the pieces are representing. I also have a plate in there that says “blessed” on it. This one is to remind me how blessed I truly am.

This review turned into more about my miscarriages than the actual book. But, I guess its a good place to start to talk about miscarriage and stillbirth.

I just love that Staci was able to share her experience with us through this book. Please take the time to read her book and get the encouragement you need. Especially, if you have ever experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth.

Please consider sharing your story when you are ready. You never know who you may encourage.

***I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.***

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Summer Baby Loving – Juppy Baby Walker #Giveaway

8 Aug

Summer Baby Loving Blog Hop Giveaway

 

Welcome to the Summer Baby Loving Blog Hop Giveaway, hosted by Cloth Diapering Again, The Inquisitive Mom, and Our Piece of Earth, in celebration of babies and mamas! There are two grand prizes up for grabs, one open to US and Canada, and one open just to the US.

Don’t forget to enter the grand prizes!

Summer Baby Loving Grand Prize 1

Summer Baby Loving Grand Prize 2

Go here to enter to win a grand prize!

Now for my prize! I am happy to announce that, with Juppy LLC, we are able to giveaway a Blue Juppy Baby Walker Momentum to one of my blessed readers!!
If you have been following me for a while, you know that I reviewed The Juppy a few months ago. I am so glad that I was given the opportunity to try The Juppy. After using it just a few times, I was able to give my baby the confidence she needed to take those first precious steps on her own. Somedays I wish I could take it back! At 20 months she is all over the place! We lovingly refer to her as the Gnomie Nato. (Translation: Naomi Tornado). She goes from room to room moving things all around!
You can find my full review HERE!

Without further ado, here is the giveaway tools entry form.

Each blogger has a prize worth at least $25 on their blog, so hop around on the linky and enter to win some summer baby loving.

Cloth Diapering Again, The Inquisitive Mom, Our Piece of Earth, and Summer Baby Loving Blog Hop Giveaway participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

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Woolzies Dryer Balls – Awesome Natural Fabric Softener #Review and #Giveaway

29 Jul

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I am sure that those of you that have not yet seen or heard of dryer balls are wondering what I am talking about. Or maybe you are having the same reaction my mother did when I gave her a set of plastic ones as a gift. She laughed and thought it was a joke! This is no joke my friends!! If you have heard of dryer balls, do you have some?
Woolzies Dryer Balls are perfect for everyone, especially those looking to reduce the chemicals they use in the laundry. Traditional fabric softeners are full of harsh chemicals. Just think, fabric softener sheets can be used as insect repellent if put in your pockets or for deterring mice and moths when placed inside storage boxes. The insects and mice can detect the chemicals that we so easily allow in our homes and on our clothes that we wear every day.
I have been using dryer balls in our dryer for probably close to 4 years. (or more – I can’t really remember when I started.) First, I started with some cheap hard blue plastic ones. I found some pink plastic ones that had a static control patch on them (these are the ones that I had given to my mom for Christmas one year. you know, the ones she laughed about and thought were a joke.) Needless to say, I inherited them when she didn’t use them. I then heard about wool dryer balls and thought I would try and make my own from wool yarn. I still use the wool ones that I made but they have been modified. (check out my next post for more information about said modifications.) I had been wanting to try some professionally made ones and was very excited for the opportunity to try Woolzies! They really are awesome!

Here is a little from their About Us page:

This set of six handmade pure wool dryer balls are special in several ways. They deliver the same benefits for laundry as conventional fabric softeners WITHOUT all the nasty chemicals. They save everyone a lot of money by eliminating the need to continuously spend on fabric softener liquid and sheets. They cut down on the time it takes to dry a typical load by at least 25% thereby saving everyone even more money and cutting down on fossil fuel usage. Finally, being as that they are handmade in the democratic republic of Nepal, they provide a steady source of income to the desperately needy women of that developing nation.
So smile when you purchase a set of WOOLZIES®, because you know you’re helping to make the world a more pleasant place for yourself, your family and future generations!

Here are some of the reasons I love my set of 6 Woolzies:

  • leave my clothes soft fresh and residue free! – The natural tumbling action of the dryer and dryer balls separates the clothes and helps them dry faster and makes the clothes so soft and fluffy! Especially the towels
  • so easy to use – just leave them in the dryer. When I take my clothes out of the dryer, I just throw the dryer balls right back into the dryer so they are ready for next time.
  • provide entrainment for my preschooler and toddler – sometimes a dryer ball or 2 will get trapped in the clean clothes. My girls love to play with them while I fold the rest of the laundry. Then they {sometimes} help me put them back into the dryer so they are ready for the next load.
  • hypoalergenic – Woolzies don’t shed fibers in the dryer so someone allergic to wool can still use them.
  • handmade from fine New Zealand wool – 100% pure wool with no added chemicals or dyes
  • Quiet – They are quiter in the dryer than the plastic ones. More of a thud than a clank. :) Of course, hey are louder than a dryer sheet but not unbearable. My dryer is on the main floor and we rarely shut the door to the laundry room, but also rarely notice too much extra dryer noise.
  • They last a really long time – The Woolzies box and website states they will last through 1,000 loads. I am not sure how many loads I have used them for, but I know they have many more left and I am excited to see how long they actually last!

I am sure there are plenty of other great things about them that I could list, but you can check them out for yourself at Woolzies.com

This is what my Woolzies look like after 2 months+ of use.

This is what my Woolzies look like after 2 months+ of use.

Buy some for your family or for a gift! Visit Woolzies.com and order your Woolzies Dryer Balls today!

Win a set for yourself or as a gift for a friend I am thrilled to be able to host a giveaway for a set of 6 Woolzies Dryer Balls on my blog! Enter Below! You only have until 9am, Monday, August 12th to enter!

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