Doll diaper project

I like little crafty projects that I can knock out in less than an hour with scraps I have lying around. Plus, I like crafts that are useful, not just clutter. As I was lost in the clicky-linky-magic that is the blog world, I found a tutorial on DIY doll diapers. I had all the materials on hand, and I knew Hannah would enjoy the product.

She loves to play with her baby dolls, and she tries to put her size 5 diapers on them which doesn’t work very well. These little ones with velcro seemed worth a shot.

If you have a little girl in your house, check out the tutorial because the instructions and pictures were good, and it was a fun evening project. I made two in less than an hour.

Yes, I should have checked the right-side-upness of the birds before cutting the second one. But otherwise, they turned out really cute, and Hannah is enjoying easy doll diapers that fit.

Why we eat what we eat (WWEWWE)

When my generation of women walked away from the kitchen we were escorted down that path by a profiteering industry that knew a tired, vulnerable marketing target when they saw it. ‘Hey, ladies,’ it said to us, ‘go ahead, get liberated. We’ll take care of dinner.’ They threw open the door and we walked into a nutritional crisis and genuinely toxic food supply. . . . But a devil of a bargain it has turned out to be in terms of daily life. We gave up the aroma of warm bread rising, the measured pace of nurturing routines, the creative task of molding our families’ tastes and zest for life; we received in exchange the minivan and the Lunchable.

Now I don’t make my own bread (yet) and I have honestly embraced the minivan, but I heartily agree that women made a destructive choice to punt the kitchen duties in favor of convenience and “progressiveness.”

Lest anyone think this is some sort of ultra-conservative, repressed, homemaking drivel, the quote above is actually from author Barbara Kingsolver who happens to be a liberal, feminist atheist.

In the past few years, we developed a personal family food plan based on our priorities, and when I started clicking around to blogs, I found others that shared this foodstyle, and they called it “Real Food.” Basically, this means “whole foods” – foods that grow and occur naturally and can be bought in their original form or as close as possible. This eliminates most processed foods, things with artificial sweeteners, most preservatives, and ingredients that were created in a laboratory.

Real foods take a little more preparation time since you are starting with the actual ingredients instead of a processed head-start from a box. Homemade macaroni and cheese takes about 45 minutes for me to make, the stuff in the blue box takes around 15. But I can tell you exactly what’s in mine, and I can’t pronounce a lot of things on the box (though I can pronounce Yellow 6). Oh yeah, and mine tastes better.

I certainly do not proclaim myself any kind of food expert or nutritionist, but in some following posts I’ll outline several of our intentional food goals and what that looks like on a practical level. I’m also going to have some guest posts by my awesome mom who shaped the way I look at food.

In July, Brett and I will be attending a conference in San Antonio entitled “The Reformation of Food and the Family.” We are excited to learn more about food choices and hospitality in the context of a Christian family. So I’ve got food on the brain! Stay tuned for more of Why We Eat What We Eat (WWEWWE) and more food topics in the next month.

Worth reading

Good stuff on the web lately:

Naming God’s Gifts – Doorposts of Your House – “We have a black cat that we have never named … I thought of that black cat today when I read a quote from C. S. Lewis: Now, in the Bible a name . . . reveals the very essence of a thing, or rather its essence as God’s gift. To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it as coming from God and to know its place and function within the cosmos created by God. To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in it.”

Don’t Carpe Diem – Momastery – “Every time I’m out with my kids – this seems to happen: An older woman stops us, puts her hand over her heart and says something like, ‘Oh– Enjoy every moment. This time goes by so fast.’ Everywhere I go, someone is telling me to seize the moment, raise my awareness, be happy, enjoy every second, etc, etc, etc. I know that this message is right and good. But as 2011 closes, I have finally allowed myself to admit that it just doesn’t work for me. It bugs me.”

10 Ways to Re-purpose Old T-shirts – Frugally Sustainable – “T-shirts, t-shirts everywhere! You have them lying on the floors, hanging in your closet, and stuffed into your drawers. Now, all that clutter is starting to irritate you! But wait…don’t throw them out…because with these 10 super easy tutorials you can repurpose those old t-shirts into useful everyday items.”

Quiche CupsCutting Back Kitchen – “I discovered these delicious quiche cups! Not only are they quite tasty, but freeze wonderfully, and are low in calories.  It’s so nice to have a healthy breakfast on the go!  Just warm them up and top with a little green tobasco sauce!!”

50 Tips for Saving on GroceriesFrugally Sustainable – “As is the case with most growing families, we go through an awful lot of food. In fact, behind the mortgage and transportation costs (car and gas) groceries can be one of our biggest regular monthly expenses. I have a feeling that this may be the case for many of you too. So today I want to pass on some of my most helpful money saving tips.”

5 Frugal Real Food Meal Ideas – Keeper of the Home – “Without proper planning, a whole foods diet can be more draining on your wallet than you might expect! … Here are five of my favorite meal ideas for keeping our grocery budget under control.”

An Experimental Mutiny Against ExcessJen Hatmaker – “For some time, I’ve had this feeling messing with my faith. That one when you’re trying really hard and adhering to most of the rules and checking a lot of boxes, I mean, some boxes that seem really important, legit boxes, and yet…I don’t know. Something feels wrong. The mechanism is off. The parts are not creating the whole like people said it would … A bunch of my generation, millions if you want to get nitpicky, up and left the church over it, because the template didn’t end up changing the world or even changing lives. It left us with a laundry list of behaviors but conspicuously ignored way too many elephants in the room to be taken seriously.”

Just get dancy

My newest pair of shoes! I just started taking a weekly adult ballet class. It has been 15 years since I was plié-ing, so I was a little concerned about jumping into a 90-minute class mid-year.

My concerns were justified. I am soooo sore today. But it weirdly feels good.

The class is taught by a homeschooling mom of three who was hired by a nearby Baptist church to do their dance ministry (yeah, Baptist church with a dance ministry? what?). She teaches classes in a large room in the church’s education building; the church even purchased several free-standing barres and giant portable mirrors for her to use.

The other three students in my intermediate/advanced adult class are college students. So I feel a little old, even for the adult class. But I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.

I was talking with the teacher, Meredith, at the end about why I’m excited about doing the class. She mentioned an article she read recently entitled The Best Exercise. Instead of a hot tip of the latest fitness trend, the article said the best exercise is whatever you actually enjoy doing. I think I found it.

“I like it!”

Balance bikes are a relatively new item. They are very small bicycles that can be used by kids as young as 18 months. They’re different because they have no training wheels and no pedals. The kid propels himself with his feet, then he learns that once he has enough momentum, he can pick his feet up, and suddenly he’s balancing on a bike. As young as two years old. When he has the coordination to pedal, he can move up to a “real” bike easily.

I have a lot of friends who got balance bikes for their kids (all happen to be boys), and they raved about them. Then Hannah got the bug.

She is usually an easy shopper. She doesn’t have fits in stores and doesn’t even express a desire for anything that we see. Until recently. We found ourselves exiting REI with a toddler dramatically sobbing, “I need bicycle! I need bicycle!” (her Uncle Dave and Aunt Kris would be so proud).

So after lots of research, we shelled out for the name brand, “Strider,” in a gender-neutral color on the justification that we’re hoping it will get many years of use.



She is soooo happy. She kept saying, “Ride bicycle like big kids. I like it!” The helmet was also very exciting. She goes very slow right now, but I’m a little worried that I’ll have to take up jogging when she gets the hang of it.

We’ll post video eventually, but our hard drive is being weird. To summarize: Hannah gets right on the bike and takes off, then she gets distracted by an airplane overhead, then she realizes the tires spin when you lay the bike on its side, then she rides some more. Life is fun.