Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dryer Lint

I found this on the web. I bought one of those lint brushes last month (the really long ones for cleaning out your dryer vent) at Bed Bath and Beyond. I saw one this week at Target last week, though. So, they carry them too. Anyways, I went outside to clean the hood where my dryer vents to the outside and the flap was almost sealed shut because there was so much lint that had built up on top of the flap (in addition to a tiny dead wasps nest). So, I cleaned it up with my brush and now it opens and closes =) I'm so thankful that I thought to clean it and get the brush, because if it had sealed shut then the lint would have continued to build up and eventually wouldn't have been able to get out of the house and could have caught on fire =( !!! Ay ay ay! Below is a quick summary that I found on the web that I just thought I'd pass on to you =)

Dryer Fires

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that in 1998, clothes dryers were associated with 15,600 fires, which resulted in 20 deaths and 370 injuries. Fires can occur when lint builds up in the dryer or in the exhaust duct. Lint can block the flow of air, cause excessive heat build-up, and result in a fire in some dryers.

Clean the lint screen/filter before or after drying each load of clothes. If clothing is still damp at the end of a typical drying cycle or drying requires longer times than normal you may have a restricted vent.

Clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct at least once a year. Check the outside dryer vent while the dryer is operating to make sure exhaust air is escaping. If it is not, the vent or the exhaust duct may be blocked. To remove a blockage in the exhaust path, it may be necessary to disconnect the exhaust duct from the dryer. Remember to reconnect the ducting to the dryer and outside vent before using the dryer again.

Clean behind the dryer, where lint can build up. Have a qualified service person clean the interior of the dryer chassis periodically to minimize the amount of lint
accumulation. Keep the area around the dryer clean and free of clutter. Replace plastic or foil, accordion-type ducting material with rigid or corrugated
semi-rigid metal duct. Most manufacturers specify the use of a rigid or corrugated
semi-rigid metal duct, which provides maximum airflow. The flexible plastic or foil type duct can more easily trap lint and is more susceptible to kinks or crushing, which can greatly reduce the airflow.

Take special care when drying clothes that have been soiled with volatile chemicals such as gasoline, cooking oils, cleaning agents, or finishing oils and stains. If possible, wash the clothing more than once to minimize the amount of volatile chemicals on the clothes and, preferably, hang the clothes to dry. If using a dryer, use the lowest heat setting and a drying cycle that has a cool-down period at the end of the cycle. To prevent clothes from igniting after drying, do not leave the dried clothes in the dryer or piled in a laundry basket.

Source: CPSC Publication 502

Monday, November 10, 2008

A New Friend

Making a new friend is like getting a surprise present that you didn't expect. And today I got to make a new one! I'm such an extrovert that making a new friend really is a blessing to me. But, I do have a funny story about this new friend.

I don't know if this has happened to you, but a few years before I married my husband I dated someone that I fell in love with--but he didn't happen to fall in love with me. God taught me a lot through that relationship--most importantly that I could fall in love, which I wasn't sure I could do. God also used that relationship to really help me love and appreciate my husband because of how he's different than this other guy. Once in a while, I've wondered what happened to that guy and how things turned out for him.

Well, tonight I was telling this gal from my church about Paul and she asked what his last name was. It turns out that she knew him! It is the most wild thing to me. He is married, which I knew, and has 2 boys. I'm glad he has boys. Anyways, it was the craziest thing to me! Here I am, many states away, and I meet someone that knew him. Pretty crazy!

The gutters

So, I started today by calling someone to help me with my gutters. I feel good knowing that it will be taken care of and that I can tackle the things I need to with our house. I talked with my mom about what I felt yesterday and she shared with me that that's the way it is with most friendships. You learn over time what is best to ask of your friend and what is wise not to ask. It is a dance just like most relationships are. You have to figure out where to step so that the dance goes together and that you don't step on each other's toes. And that dance looks different with every friend. I realized that my mom is right and I am thankful that she shared that with me. So, that's what I've been thinking about today. Ultimately, God always takes care of us.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Being a friend

Today I was hit with a hard realization. My husband is away for a while The first two weeks really went quite easily even with a birthday party for the girls at the end of the first week. Then this week I worked on painting our bathroom upstairs. I'm going to do the second coat on the walls tomorrow and then that will be done. But, this weekend was hard.

Friday morning I awoke at 6:30 am feeling absolutely horrible. I went between the bathroom and the floor for half an hour. I couldn't get any farther. I lay on the floor wondering what I was going to do. I have a 6 month old, a 3 year old, and a 5 year old. None of whom know how to call 911 if I needed them to. Everyone I could think of needed to go to work or had commitments. They need to take care of their own lives and their own families. Thankfully, after a half an hour I was able to make it into the shower and recover. It was as if I had a 30 minute flu instead of the 24 hour flu.

What would I have done if it had lasted? I don't know. I've had many friends offer to help me during this time, but I realized on Autumn's birthday that my girls have really only got me and I've got them. No one could come celebrate her birthday with me. They had their own lives to live and I understand. Their friends were able to come to the girls birthday party later that week and I was so thankful for how all of that turned out.

Anyways, today I decided to try and clean out the gutters on my house. I was able to fanagle the ladder down. It was so heavy! I bonked my back in the process. I tried to be very careful. I was able to do the garage but not the rest of the house. It was just too high and I've never walked on a roof. I've asked two men to come help, but today I realized I'm asking a lot. So, I'm going to call and pay someone to do it.

As much as people have good intentions and really do care about us, it takes a lot to drop everything for someone else. I wonder if people think of me that way or think that I'm too busy to help them. I hope not. This trip has made me look at a lot of things differently and the weight of life seems a lot heavier to me than it did three weeks ago.

I have a friend who I used to be really close to, but she doesn't have time for me anymore. She has other obligations and other friends who are her priorities now. Sometimes it hurts--when I think about it. It wasn't my choice. But, we don't get to choose everything in our lives. I have to be thankful for when I do get to talk to her, but the rest of the time let it go. When I talk to her, I remember how much I like talking to her and it makes me miss her. It still hurts and it's been this way for a long time.

Everyone has their priorities in their lives and they have relationships in their lives which are more important than others. It is a given. I can't choose how important my friendship is to someone else, but I can be thankful when their friendship is as important to me as it is to them. That truly is an amazing gift.

Now I understand why the Bible encourages the church to care for widows and children. I am going to be much more mindful of that as I walk forward. I have a friend here who is the single mom of 3 boys. I am going to pray about how I can help her. She has a very full plate. Well, I hear my kids waking from their naps and the tears beginning so I better go take care of them.

Life will go on and I will press on. =)

And the first thing I know I need to do is teach Autumn how to use the phone and call 911...

Friday, November 7, 2008

The test of a parenting model...

This is an excerpt from Grace-based Parenting by Tim Kimmel, pp.9-10.
"The real test of a parenting model is how well equipped the children are to move into adulthood as vital members of the human race. Notice I didn't say "as vital members of the Christian community." We need to have kids that can be sent off to the most hostile universities, toil in the greediest work environments, and raise their families in the most hedonistic communities and yet not be the least bit intimidated by their surroundings. Furthermore, they need to be engaged in the lives of people in their culture, gracefully representing Christ's love inside these desperate surroundings. The apostle Paul gave us as parents an excellent goal for our children to pursue:
"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life--in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. Philippians 2:14-16"

I was reading Michelle's comment to my last post (thanks Michelle =) ) and it brought this quote to my mind about what my yardstick should be about what I expose my children to. My goal is not to hide them away but it is also not to throw them to the wolves. I want them to be strong enough to fight and stand up, but I don't want to push it on them before they're old enough to grow. I just don't know yet, what that looks like, but I pray and hope that God will lead me.

The verse from Philippians is very challenging to me. I know that I need to live a better life and I need to be a better model to my children than I am.

High School Musical 2

Last Saturday, Focus on the Family was on the radio with thier weekend roundup show. It's sort of a summary from the week with little snippets. One of the snippets was actually on High School Musical and what a great positive influence it is. I was very skeptical.

So many young girls (ages 5-10) are big into Hannah Montana, iCarly, and High School Musical. It's so hugely commercialized. I feel like I see it everywhere--and then to hear about it from Focus on the Family. Wow!

I actually didn't get to hear what they had to say, but it made me curious and determined to make up my mind for myself what I think about the High School Musical craze. From my Netflix this week, I got High School Musical 2.

It was indeed pretty wholesome. I can't remember any language and aside from Sharpei's very revealing outfits, there wasn't any other barely clad bodies. The message was that friends are more important than everything else--I think. It made me realize how out of touch I am with fashion. It surprises me what is considered wholesome dress nowadays. All in all, I can't say that I have any huge objections--minus one very big one.

Is it age appropriate for the little girls viewing it? It definitely is appropriate for middle schoolers and high schoolers (though I think it might be too Junior Highish for them). But, do 3rd and 4th graders really need to be focused on dating and having a boyfriend and the cutest boy in school? Do they need any more encouragement in that direction than is naturally already in school.

A friend of mine used to teach 5th grade in Colorado. It was part of her curriculum to teach Sex Education. She had to push to get the okay to teach abstinence. It's so hard to believe, but true. This is what truly happened to a friend of mine. After teaching her class one day, one of the little girls said that she wished her cousin had heard that lesson before she got pregnant (as a 7th grader). And another little boy came to tell her that two children in the other 5th grade class had had sex.

I know that sex is a far cry from dating. They're truly very far apart. But, my point is, are our kids being exposed to things too young--whether it's dating or sex? Are we letting them be kids and are we even helping them stay kids? Or are we allowing the culture to send them on a wave that's going to crash very quickly onto the shore.

I'm thankful my friend had the courage to speak to her students about what they were already being exposed to. But, is it possible to stave off that exposure until they're a little older? I don't know the answer to this one.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Principles for Disciplining

I've been trying to get some reading done, so I'm making my way through Help for the Harried Homeschooler. One of the early chapters is about discipline and one of the last things she wrote in the chapter seems very wise to me. Here is the excerpt...

One of the Practical Pointers from Help for the Harried Homeschooler by Christine Field
Write out a list of principles to guide you in yoru discipline. Post it inside a kitchen or bathroom cabinet. Refer to it often. It might read something like this:
1. Effective discipline always comes from the heart.
2. It honors God; it is not for my convenience.
3. It is gentle rather than harsh.
4. It preserves my child's dignity.
5. It recognizes good behavior.
6. It inspires self-control and confidence.
7. It trains my child above all things to follow Christ.

I don't know if I'm going to post it inside my cupboard =) but I think I definitely want to write this list down and keep it in my Bible so I can pray that God will give me wisdom in how I discipline my kids.