Pucker Up 3

Swell & Good

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Exchange students...the little moments

About 2 weeks ago we our two exchange students, Billy (China) and KJ (Iceland) arrived. These boys have quickly become a part of our family. They have taken to being brothers to RC as well as each other. In only 2 weeks our home would be empty without them. Hosting can be a challenge, especially with two, but also so rewarding and amusing. These boys keep me laughing. It's never dull around here that's for sure.

The "How can she be two years younger than me?" As one is asking about a different student arriving tomorrow...
The American Idol happening every night!...
The ironing lessons..
The tie tying each other...
 The clothes one tells the other to get the pink shirt...
The brotherly bantering...
The "Google it!" Me helping them with homework. LOL...
The "Dude just talk to her."...
The playing ball with RC...
The massive color coded calendars to keep up with everyone's schedules...

The "I got style" says our style guru that won't wear pink!...
The pitching in and watching RC for an evening...
And finally the "thanks MOM" as they get out the car every morning at school.
I can't wait to have more moments with these boys!

Billy (China), RC, and KJ (Iceland)

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Journey

The other day I wrote a bit about my recent baptism. Today, I want to share what got me to that decision. My why or how I got to my decision

As I mentioned the other day, I had joined a church about 9 years ago. At the time, it felt right. I felt like when I had prayed about it, I had received my answer. After studying the Bible with my friends and the new friends I've made, I find myself looking back and seeing that I just wasn't ready. While I believe Christ died for all our sins and is our Savior, my heart wasn't fully ready. Without a ready heart, it just means nothing.

I also found I wasn't happy. While it isn't all about the members of the church, you do have to be surrounded by others that will be there for you and you for them. I didn't have that. My job got in the way too. It really became excuse after excuse.

About 6 or so weeks ago, Travis said he wanted to find a church. A friend of mine had kept inviting me to church events and to join them on a Sunday. At first I just thought...oh she's just one of "those" Christians. You know the one, the one that actually shares their faith....over and over again. Yeah crazy thought uh? Anyhow, I texted to find out the details and we showed up.

Our first time at her church I almost told Travis I didn't want to go back. It was outside my comfort zone. You walk in the door (well really you don't even make it in the door) and everyone is grabbing you to hug you. The music was...well, I guess you could say much of it was the stereotypical for an black church. And by that I mean think of a movie that has a predominately black church and the congregation is up dancing, yelling hallelujah, etc. (Sorry I don't have a specific movie in mind and this isn't meant to be hurtful to anyone).

I thought...what have we got ourselves into.

We were then asked if we wanted to come back for Wednesday's service and every other Bible Talk on Fridays. I thought...what we have to come back more than once a week!?!?

Oh how I just didn't know at the time that this is what I would find myself wanting. The fellowship each week is amazing. Without it it's like you can't get through the week. And oh how I can't go without my hug from my brother Bruce! LOL

I went through all the Bible studies with my group. Each week I had 'homework.' One week was watching "The Passion of the Christ." Last Wednesday we started it and Thursday we finished it right before my Bible study. It was of course fresh in my head. On the way over I was listening to come of my favorite Christian songs. One of which is "White Flag" featuring Chris Tomlin.

"The battle rages on
As storms and tempest roar
We cannot win this fight
Inside our rebel hearts

We're laying down our weapons now

We raise our white flag
We surrender all to You, all for You
We raise our white flag: the war is over
Love has come, Your love has won

Here on this holy ground
You made a way for peace
Laying your body down
You took our rightful place

This freedom song is marching on

We raise our white flag
We surrender all to You, all for You
We raise our white flag: the war is over
Love has come, Your love has won

We lift the cross, lift it high, lift it high (x4)
We lift the cross, lift it high, lift it high (x4)

Chorus (x2)
We raise our white flag
We surrender all to You, all for You
We raise our white flag: the war is over
Love has come, Your love has won

We life the cross, lift it high, lift it high (x4)"

As I listened to this, I just broke down. I couldn't help myself. I knew right then, I was ready. I was ready to surrender. Ready to make the biggest change in my life.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Today is a new life

Today, I made a decision that will change the rest of my life...I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. In fact, my husband and I both did. We are both now Disciples of Christ.

My husband grew up in a church, but fell away. I really had never been part of a church until I met him. I joined his church. At the time, I felt it was right. On July 18, 2012 I started studying the Bible and letting Christ into my life. It has been an amazing 5.5 weeks. It may seem like a short time to some, but this has been something coming for years, but we just hadn't found the right church with the right doctrine. Of course many Christian churches preach the word of God, but through the various churches we have gone to, we hadn't seen one that the people ACTUALLY live out their daily lives based on the Bible (or at least most the members didn't; which turned us away), until now...

Over these last few weeks, I have learned so much about myself and my husband. By letting Christ in our lives, our relationship has already changed for the better. It will only get better from here with Christ in our lives. I am eager to continue the journey and learn how better I can be a servant of Christ.

I never thought myself as prideful...but I am (or at least I was). It will be a struggle to squash that pride. I struggled with submission and do still a little, but I see now why God says to submit, particularly to my husband and I'm trying...very hard. Forgiveness was something I struggled with as well, but was able to find peace in my heart and forgive those that needed to be forgiven. While I have a clean slate do they.

I thank my friends and the new ladies (and their husbands too) I have met at church for helping me find my way into the light of Christ. The fellowship has been amazing and I am so thankful to be brought into the body of Christ today.

""It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only'."" Luke 4:8

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

This week's wordless Wednesday needs a few words.

Checking out Fruit Ninja with his new big brother KJ
Being a big helper. Trying to carry KJ's bag for him.
All our boys. Billy (China), RC, and KJ (Iceland)
RC standing outside the boys' room waiting as patiently as he could for them to wake and play with him.
Being a silly boy playing inside one of his toy bins.

My thoughts

about the lunette cup and the ease of it's use!

I really can't believe I didn't try this earlier. I guess the upfront cost of a whopping $40 was keeping me from trying, but really $40 is not much at all when you look at the cost of tampons and/or pads. I scored my lunette cup fro half price from a half price deal site. It is DEFINITELY worth the $40, though I am glad I only spend $20!

There really was no learning curve for this. At least, it is very similar to using a tampon. Of course, initially for inserting it is bigger than a tampon, but once in it is super comfortable, can be worn up to 12 HOURS, and doesn't dry you out!

All those reasons are why I bought it in the first place. I was looking for another alternative. The other alternative were cloth pads or sea sponges. I wasn't digging those as options. My first preference for a menstruation alternative was a longer wearing time frame. Especially for those slow flow days, I didn't want to still be having to change it out every couple of hours. The cup will definitely help in that area.

When I tried mine, I was able to only try it on the final days of my last period, but with the little I was able to use it, I loved it! Especially since those were the days that tampons would be practically dry and just tear me up when changing them.

*Disclaimer: I bought my lunette cup. Lunette has not given or requested anything in return for this review. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Taking the plunge

Going to take the plunge. I'll let you all know what I think about it. I had been thinking for a while to try some other alternatives to tampons, but have been kind of chicken. Hopefully this works well for me. Lucky for me, I hit a deal on a half price site and got it for $20 rather than $40!!!

 *Disclaimer: I bought my lunette cup. Lunette has not given or requested anything in return for this review. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

(Not) Just a normal MOMS Club Outing

What do you get when you have 5 moms, 8 kids, 4 baby carriers, 1 stroller, 5 diaper bags, 1 market thermal, 2 about town blankets, 1 thermal tote and 3 cars?

A MOMS Club outing to Colonial Williamsburg of course! This past Wednesday I hosted an outing to Colonial Williamsburg. I have wanted to go since we moved here, but the tickets were just too expensive ($40 for a day pass/person!). Coca-Cola and Farm Fresh recently ran a promotion: buy 2 - 20 packs of Coke or Diet Coke and get two free tickets to Colonial Williamsburg. It was a total score. We were able to go and do more than just walk around for just $13/two tickets. This made for the perfect outing....or so I thought.

The beginning!
Jennifer and the food carrier....I mean stroller.
As with any MOMS Club event, we find ourselves wrangling in kids, dealing with meltdowns and a lot of potty time (between newly potty trained kids and diaper changes!). On a trip like this, the most important thing is definitely a good baby carrier! We had 4 of them. It's definitely the best way to contain new walkers and almost 4 year olds that get tired of walking. While strollers could be used, many of the exhibits we had tickets for didn't allow them inside. With the carrier, we were able to walk right in. 

All in all, it really was a good day. It might have taken us 4 hours to not do a ton, but we still saw a lot, the kids got their reward for the hunt they got to do, and we moms have some mommy time together. What more can you ask for?

Chickens...can occupy them all!
Look mom I can do it!
Yes those are two babywearing mommy's playing badminton.

RC did amazing. He rode the ENTIRE time, getting off my back to just have lunch and to get down at one of the places design. It was amazing he had ZERO complaints and even stayed awake until the very end. Pretty good for a 16.5 month old. He really seemed to enjoy looking around and checking things out. It will be fun to take our two exchange students to as well. It is definitely good family fun.
The end of our trip. We look just as good at the end as we did the beginning!

More pics will come later when, Tori, gets them too me. She took a ton and I'm sure are great shots!

For now here is a blooper of the final shot of the day!
Stupid phone froze up on the final shot and I got this instead! LOL

Wordless Wednesday (better late than never)

Chickens....that's what has them ALL occupied!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Memory Monday

Today I am in the progress of organizing our bedroom. In preparation for our exchange students to come all my stuff from the spare room had to be moved...which got dumped in our room.

While organizing I came across one of my favorite keepsakes. It's from my nephew J. I can't remember what age he was when he made this but it was probably about 3 - 4 years ago, Whig would have made him around 7.

J made the keepsake below. When he gave it to me he said "Aunt Becky, when you put your fingers like so, you'll remember me!" His keepsake was simply two colors of playdough squished together. And to this day when I put my fingers in just like he showed me, I always think of him!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Good times

This weekend we hosted a cook out. That cook out turned out to be inside due to a rainy day. Luckily the rain cleared out long enough for Travis to grill without being poured on. He is definitely a die hard griller....rain & snow won't stop him!

We ended up having somewhere around 11 adults and 8 - 9 kids at any given time. Let's just say our apartment gets tiny fast and we have a fairly large apartment! It was a blast though.

We had a mixture of friends that Travis works with, friends from my MOMS club, and friends from the church we started going to. Travis cooked enough food for a small army. We will be eating hamburgers, hot dogs, and brats probably for the entire week!!! LOL When the man grills....he GRILLS!

I'm so thankful that we have made some great friends here in Virginia. I will be sad when we have to move or if any of them move before we do. :(

Friday, August 10, 2012

The party of all parties!

Last night I hosted a Thirty-One Tailgate party at my place. Three of my friends were able to come. It was probably the insanest party I have ever had Thirty-One wise. My friends had to bring their friends, which was totally fine, especially seeing as two of them have their husbands still deployed, so their kids are pretty much always with them!

For the most part the kids played in RC's room with Travis watching them all. (I wonder if after last night, if he still wants four kids! LOL)

It really was a good thing my friends are familiar with the catalog. It really is never a dull moment with my friends from MOMS Club!!! Another potty mishap...stinky and RC's car rug had to be rolled up and cleaned. Potty training is a tough time. Another is working on loosing her first tooth and it was bothering her last night. Hopefully it falls out soon.

Even though there was tons of drama and more last night, I think all the kids had fun and that my friends had fun. The food was yummy (pigs in a blanket and turkey crescent pinwheels, plus cookie dough dip and graham crackers!) so that's really what matters right? ;)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Girls Day Out!

First, I apologize this is posted so late! We have been out of internet for FIVE DAYS!

4 moms, 4 kids, 2 cars, 3 hour drive, 2 stores, one fabulous day! That's what last Saturday was like! The main purpose of this trip was to go trying baby carriers at Abby's Lane. It's my favorite cloth diaper and accessories store. We have a store closer to us...much closer actually, but the girls at Abby's Lane are AMAZING! Their customer service and combined knowledge is well worth the three hour drive.

We started off at well more like 7:30ish after a Starbucks run! IKEA was first on the list. I was the only one that had been to the store. In fact, I had a list already made. The girls, Jennifer, Kim, and Stacey were introduced to a whole new store with great products. It took us around FOUR hours to get through the store. This included sitting down for lunch after ONLY finishing the top floor!
First potty break. We were terrible at remembering to take pictures! So this was the first of all us girls. Jennifer, Kim, Stacey, and Me!
My list though didn't get checked off which was a bit disappointing, but then I found some other great products too. RC got an awesome play mat for his cars. It's HUGE! I also picked up a potty chair for whenever he decides to potty train. Five bucks is hard to pass up!

IKEA was definitely an experience for us all. Kim was introduced to tandem babywearing as her 3.5 year old wanted to be carried as well as her 13 month old! It's a good think Stacey brought multiple carriers with her!!! Since I was able to leave RC home, I didn't even think to bring any of my carriers with me. The shopping trip also wasn't complete with a baby bloody nose, chocolate milk down the front of a shirt (because we didn't see the straws to begin with!), and potty accidents (while babywearing. Been there been peed on too! Poor Stacey!)

I was very thankful for all my Large Utility Totes (and Jennifer's too!) We had FOUR of them with us and used them all! Made shopping super easy, especially when we couldn't find the carts!

Kim find out her son likes being worn! This was before her 13 month old decided she wanted to be worn too!

Finally it was time to head to Abby's Lane. When we arrived, we basically had the place to ourselves! That was a good thing as we are a bit of a crazy group. We spent THREE hours testing carriers, looking at cloth diaper accessories, and having a great time. It literally was crazy as we all tried various carriers. The one I wanted wasn't in stock, but the other girls each found one they loved and that their kid(s) loved too!

The outing ended with dinner next door to Abby's Lane and taking pictures in front of Abby's Lane. We weren't smart enough to take pictures IN Abby's Lane.

Jennifer with her Beco Gemini, Kim with her Boba 3G, me with my wet bag and teething pads!, and Stacey with her Ergo!
Jennifer and Me
Stacey and Me
All and all it was a great day. The only sad part was that I did miss any ENTIRE day with RC. There will be many more, but everyday is precious and I do hate to miss them. Mom does need a time out occasionally too though. :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My favorite new product

I am in love with the Retro Metro Tote! Back in April I purchased one in Dark Denim, but hadn't got a chance to use it yet. I broke it out this weekend and it is FABULOUS! Perfect size for me to add all my stuff...Timeless Wallet, Fold-and-Go, Double Pinch Coin Purse, Pinch Top Eye Glass Case and more!

This tote also makes a great diaper bag or that in transition bag from having to carry tons of diapers to maybe one or two plus a few toys.

Check it out!