Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fletcher newsletter April 2011

Not sure why this won't appear bigger. The previews in Scribd show it much larger....like normal. To really read it, you'll have to click the button below that says "full screen" when you hover over it. Sorry for any inconvenience. If you'd like to receive our newsletter by email, drop me a line: gofletchblog (at) gmail (dot) com

04.11 for the blog

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

He is risen!Ahhh...trying to get a good shot with four little ones. Happy Easter indeed!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

An Afternoon Sewing Project

It's been a while since I first saw this adorable bag on someone's blog. The blog author was showing simple bags you could sew and this one caught my eye. It looked simple but functional and I loved the bold print.
One day when I was browsing through the 'as-is' section at IKEA, I came across a cushion slipcover that was black and white. I grabbed it, figuring I'd someday use the fabric for a bag.
Then, another day I was browsing through the scraps bin at JoAnn Fabrics and came across this lovely yellow and white fabric. Ahhh...the inside of a bag someday!
Well, someday finally came...yesterday.The bag was pretty easy to make. I didn't have a pattern. The above mentioned blog referred to another blog that had a tutorial on how to make the bag. However, over time the creator of the bag decided to take down the post, improve the instructions for making the bag, and begin selling the pattern. Urgh. Well, thankfully, I had sketched the pattern with measurements. So, I just did it by memory.
I ended up pulling it back apart to modify the shape slightly since my fabric wasn't as long as the pattern called for. My bag is smaller than the one pictured. But, overall, I think it turned out pretty cute!I was especially pleased that it only took me about two hours to finish the entire thing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Seven Years

Rylee Kay turns 7 years old today. It doesn't seem possible.
I'm a numbers person. I find patterns in things and like when numbers sort of make sense in patterns and such. Call me weird, whatever. So, when I was being induced on April 19th, 2004, I wasn't so crazy about that date 4/19/04. I liked the 4 of '04 part. Am I a bad mama to say I still wasn't thrilled that it wasn't a cooler day, like the 4th or 14th or 24th?
Fast forward a few years. I was cleaning out some papers and came across the certificate I signed in 1998 pledging to sexual purity (part of a program I directed called The Silver Ring Thing). My dear friend Heather had also signed it, as my accountability partner. Heather was with me in the delivery room when Rylee burst into the world. I looked at the date we signed the covenant...April 19th.
Imagine that! Rylee was born exactly six years after I signed that covenant. It was the start of a great 7th year in my book!Happy Birthday Rylee Kay Fletcher! April 19th is one of my most favorite days of the year!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sweet Faces and Local Places

It takes me a while these days to get photos downloaded, uploaded, and sorted. Wonder why?!
Sweet Auntie Pam holding Jett this Monday. We went to see Uncle Jim in the hospital...yep, all six of us went! The older three played Memory with Uncle Jim while Auntie Pam held Jett.
And, we're convinced that you can see Prestonwood (megachurch nearby) from everywhere in the metroplex. We snapped a shot just like this from our labor and delivery room in January and here we are, at a different hospital in a different direction and you can see it again!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cloth Diapers

Yeah for cloth! I cloth diapered Rylee for the first three months, using a diaper service. Our washing machine was a stacked economy thing that would wash about three pair of Joel's jeans when packed to the max. Washing our own diapers was out of the question. But...I read all sorts of things about cloth diapers being better for babies. So, we tried it. After the first three months, we decided to forgo cloth because we were using disposables when away from home. (We used prefolds with a snappi and diaper cover. I only had two diapers covers and they were UGLY! And, Rylee blew out of these diapers waaaay too often.)

Fast forward two years to the twins. Yeah, didn't even cross my mind to do anything but disposables with them! I found the best diaper deal at Costco. When they were itty bitty I liked the Costco brand diapers, and they were the cheapest. I bought a box (about 4 "packs" of diapers) at one time and I'd say we went through them in under two weeks. Thankfully, my friend Summer had initiated a diaper blessing for us and we received oodles of diapers (in various sizes) one Wednesday during youth group (Joel was the youth pastor). But, we still bought plenty of diapers from about month three through potty trained age.

Fast forward a longer period of time to this year. We are using cloth again. First of all, I know LOTS more cloth diapering mamas. Second, the web and blogs and the movement to more natural things has grown immensely in the last five years. Third, I have a sweet friend who offered me the stash of newborn cloth diapers she made for her own son, who is now a year old. Now seven years later (I know...SEVEN YEARS!), I know a whole lot more about cloth diapering than I did during my somewhat unsuccessful time of diapering Rylee.

So, we are using cloth. We are still only using cloth at home. We do this because it just seems easier to us. The diapers we're using right now are all fitted diapers with covers. The fitted diapers all have snaps and there are two kinds of covers. I know one style of covers was purchased, but I think the others were made by Bonnie. You can go here to see the stash. Bonnie wrote a post when she was still expecting her baby boy to arrive. (There's one stack of quick snap flat wraps that I used a little when Jett was first born, but I stopped using because they seemed to leak more than the fitteds.)

Maybe you think I'm crazy for using cloth diapers. Just to prove I haven't added a ton of work to our lives, I'll answer a few common questions about cloth diapering.

1. Isn't it a lot more work to have to wash diapers all the time?

No. I do about one extra load of laundry every 3 days or so.

2. Don't they stink? Aren't they messy? Do you dunk them in the toilet? etc...

No. I use a diaper pail with a washable waterproof liner. When I change a diaper, pee or poo, I simply take off the fitted diaper and toss it into the pail. I put on a clean fitted diaper and reuse the cover (unless it got soiled, in which case I just throw it in the pail too and get a clean one). Because Jett doesn't eat any solid food, I don't have to rinse the diapers at all. When the pail gets full, I pull out the liner and head to the washing machine. I empty the liner and then throw it in as well. I rinse the load once and then run a hot wash cycle. I use a cloth diaper-friendly laundry soap called Charlie's Soap and always use the large load setting. Then, I throw them in my dryer. That's it!

I've been pleasantly surprised just how easy these cloth diapers are to use. And, I've been even more impressed with how well they contain messes. The style we used with Rylee leaked a lot. These diapers Bonnie made are awesome in quality and they're cute, to boot!

We aren't sure yet what we're going to do once Jett outgrows this stash. I'd love to have some cloth diapers to use at home until he's potty trained. But, we'll see. Last week I scored a MAJOR deal on disposables...$1.99 per package. I don't think I could buy thread for that cheap.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Who Does Jett Look Like?

Aside from the infamous "how's he sleeping for you?" question, we are asked most often "who does he look like?"
Well...he looks like a Fletcher baby!
I think he looks like all three of my older kids, depending on what he's doing.
You tell me...who does he look like?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Some Sweet Faces

The month of March came and went so quickly! In fact, I was just typing this and started to say "February" when I realized, March was now done!
We began the month with Joel traveling. He went to two conferences, almost back to back. He was missed by all of us. The kids made signs to welcome him home.
Upon return from his second trip, we took the kids to the Nature Preserve in McKinney. We bought a membership pass on Groupon. We weren't all that impressed with the Nature Preserve here, but the pass gives us reciprocity at lots of places we want to go when we visit family and friends (SciPort in Shreveport, Whitaker Center in Harrisburg, and museums near other friends)
That evening, my sweet friend Kristin and her hubby Chris took our three big kids for an overnight playdate with their four kids (yep, they had SEVEN kids for the evening/morning; they are wonderful). Joel and I enjoyed a wonderful date--dinner at Spaghetti Warehouse, a quick visit to Kohl's to return something, dessert at Panera Bread, and walking/music at Watters Creek.
This place, Watters Creek, is fabulous. It's in Allen, TX (just up the 75, to the east of us). We passed it earlier in the day when we went to McKinney. We sort of "happened upon" it during our date. We were looking for a place to get dessert so I could nurse Jett. I looked on Joel's iPhone and Panera came up as being close.
As a bonus, we enjoyed walking around this place. For locals, it's similar to Shops at Legacy. It was dark, so the photos are edited by me and a little weird. But, I like 'em. They had a band playing cover songs (classic rock, mostly). There is an outdoor fireplace, trees are all lit up, a creek, kids playing, couples dancing, some restaurants with patios overlooking the area where the band played... it was great!)Since that next week was Spring Break, I tried to do fun things with the kids. Jenna was sick the first day, but we figured out it was an ear infection and she was good by Tuesday! yeah for amoxicillin. I took them to Chuck E. Cheese's on Tuesday. We don't eat there and I buy coins when I have a super coupon. We rationed the coins and on this trip we just used the 1/2 we had saved from Christmas-time.
On Thursday we checked out a zoo (new to us) in Gainesville, Texas. It was a special celebration day so it was just $2 admission and there's no charge for parking. A packed lunch, all the work of my amazing hubby, made for a cheap day of fun!
On Friday, Joel took the three big kids to a flight museum nearby.
As you can see from the pictures thrown in here and there, Jett was still snuggled up sleeping through lots of the action. He's so cute! When he isn't sleeping, he enjoys watching his siblings try to make him laugh.