Thursday, December 30, 2010
Hey y'all! Sorry for my absence but with Thanksgiving, Christmas and all of the sicknesses we have had around here blogging just hasn't been on my top priority. Anyway, I have some new things in the works that I will be sharing after the new year. I just wanted to drop in and wish everyone, all 6 of my followers-lol, a very happy 2011. I pray blessings over your lives and hope for the best for your families!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
SALSA JARS REPURPOSED!
I don't know about you, but our family eats a lot of Mexican food and that means we have lots of empty salsa jars! I refuse to toss them in the trash so I use them, and other glass jars, for different things around the house. I often buy things with the reuse of their container in mind~I reuse candle jars, baby food jars, spaghetti sauce jars, etc. Not only is this Bi-Lo brand (Southern Home) picante sauce really good and a great price, the jar is a pretty shape, too.
Being the cheapo that I am, I started thinking that I could turn these jars into drink jars for my younger children, as opposed to buying some. They also fit into the cup holder of your car quite well.
Here's how I did it: remove label then glue and the printed numbers with nail polish remover. Clean jar and lid very well, let dry. If it still smells like salsa, soak in vinegar then let air dry overnight-works like a charm! For the top, I used a hammer and large nail to make the hole, checking the size often with a straw. You want the straw to fit loosely. File down any rough edges with a nail file, then use! I would love to find a waterproof way to decorate the top but for now they will stay the same. The kids think they are cool that way, anyway. I used a glass etching tool that I found at the Dollar Tree, of all places, to put my daughter's monogram on the glass jar. For the boys' jars, I just simply put their initial to be able to tell them apart-they will fight over anything! I think that is my new favorite tool! You could also use glass etching cream, either would be a cute way to decorate a jar for a gift~fill jar with homemade bath salts then the recipient has a pretty jar to use after the bath salts are gone!
So there ya go! Have fun but whatever you do, KEEP YOUR GLASS JARS! They are too useful to throw away!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I have a recipe for caramel/mocha frappes to make at home that might just save all of you 'frappe addicts' some money...
1/3 cup strong coffee (I use cold-brewed coffee concentrate-recipe follows)
1/3 cup milk (or for a special treat, cram!)
1 Tbsp chocolate syrup for mocha frappe; caramel syrup for caramel frappe
2 tsp. sugar (you could probably omit this if you wanted, would save 15 calories)
1 cup ice cubes
*Put into blender and blend until smooth. Top with whipped cream and drizzle with syrup. (My blender bit the dust so I mix the ingredients up in a mason jar, minus ice, and freeze it for a couple hours, shaking frequently)
I make my third shift working husband one of these every night before work. He goes to the gym before work so I also add 1 scoop of protein powder (vanilla or chocolate) to the frappe so that he gets his caffeine & protein in one drink!
Pumpkin Spice Latte
makes 1-2 servings
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin OR 1 teaspoon of Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup (your choice)
2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute - you can halve this amount
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee
In a saucepan combine milk, pumpkin, coffee and sugar & cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy. If you don't have a blender, don't worry about it - just whisk the mixture really well with a wire whisk.
Pour into a large mug or two mugs.
Optional: Top with whipped cream and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, or cinnamon on top.
Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
1 Cup ground coffee
32 ounce container (1 quart)
Strainer, Large basket type coffee filters
*Place ground coffee in container, fill with cold water. Cover and let sit on kitchen counter for twelve to fifteen hours. Place strainer over large bowl and put coffee filter inside. Slowly pour over about half of the coffee and let sit until strained. Replace filter and repeat. Store coffee concentrate in fridge.
This coffee concentrate can be used in several coffee recipes that call for strong coffee, or mixed with equal parts water and heated to drink as regular coffee.
***As a homemade Christmas gift you could make this coffee concentrate up and gift it in a mason jar. Add it to a basket with some flavored syrups, the frappe recipe and a coffee cup or pretty glass and you have yourself a unique gift!
Monday, November 22, 2010
I love to burn wax tarts in my home but the really highly scented ones are generally very pricey...I'm too cheap for that. My first idea a couple years ago was to cut one in half, or even in quarters, to get more bang for my buck. Then I discovered fragrance oils and my life changed! LOL! I buy mine from www.naturesgardencandles.com. They are inexpensive, average $2-$3 per for a small bottle, and they smell really good! They even have some of the name brand 'type' scents, which works great for me!
So, here is what I do...
~Take the wick out of an unscented tea light candle and place it in the top, yes the top, of the tart burner. You will also need one for the bottom, but you already knew that-right?!?!?! Then add 2-5 drops of your favorite fragrance oil and burn as usual. You can add a drop each time you burn it just to refresh the scent.
If you wanted to gift these you could buy bulk wax or just use the tea light method and then add fragrance oil and pour into molds. To do that, melt the wax in a clean tin can that is in a pot of simmering water; very easy clean up! Easy peasy!
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Christmas is coming...are you ready? I sure am not but I have hopes of being there pretty soon! Last Christmas I made lots of our gifts for friends and teachers, and hand scrub is just one quick and inexpensive choice. Hand scrubs are something I make quite often to use in my home, and with three teenage daughters they are used quite frequently. I make several different scents & kinds so I will post just my three favorite ones for the holidays. These will keep for several months out of direct sunlight. The amounts are not exact so you can try more or less of an ingredient to see how you like it.
I will be posting ideas of other hand made Christmas gifts in the coming weeks. If y'all have ideas to share, please do! I am always on the outlook for new gift ideas and my readers would welcome them.
PUMPKIN SPICE SUGAR SCRUB
~equal parts white and brown sugar (measure this is in the jar you will be using)
~1 to 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, more for a larger jar
~1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
~enough canola oil to make a 'wet sand' consistency
****Mix well and spoon into a lidded glass jar. Mason jars or clean candle jars are great for this. I usually make a hand-written label and tie it onto the jar with twine, that way it can be removed.
MAPLE/VANILLA SUGAR SCRUB
~equal parts white and brown sugar
~1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
~1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
~enough canola oil to make a 'wet sand' consistency
****Mix well and spoon into a lidded glass jar.
COCONUT SUGAR SCRUB (my personal favorite)
~coconut oil (sold in the baking aisle, it is a firm oil kind of like shortening-a little goes a long way)
~enough olive oil to loosen mixture
~1 teaspoon coconut extract
****Mix well and spoon into a lidded glass jar.
Another great idea is to mix any scented body soap that you like with white sugar to make a cleansing scrub.
Let me add that if you know me personally and you get one of these scrubs as a gift, just act like you never read this. K? Thanks! ;)
Saturday, November 20, 2010
I love all the vinyl wall art all over blogland but I am too cheap to have some made & I am not lucky enough to have a cricut. After seeing lots of examples of wall vinyl I decided to make 'faux vinyl' out of cardstock and high gloss paint. Maybe it's things like this that have me nicknamed the redneck Martha Stewart (I am NOT a redneck, just from a redneck town). Anyway, they have turned out really well and have gotten lots of compliments. Here's how you do it: use a stencil to trace the letters that you need for your words then cut them out, I used black cardstock. Then I tacked each letter down with that tacky gum stuff (I don't know the name of it) onto a scrap piece of cardboard and sprayed painted them with high-gloss burgundy paint~you could use any color. After the letters were dry I used the same tacky gum stuff to attach them to the walls. Easy peasy! Now, go look for cute sayings to make your own!
The picture on the top is in my living room. I though that quote was a cute way to tie in all of the pictures of my husband and I & our blended family. The picture on the bottom is in my bedroom. It is a Bible verse that I thought would be a good reminder for my husband...lol! ;)
Friday, November 19, 2010
This week has been a tough one for me; I have been sick with strep throat since Tuesday morning but now I can finally hold my head up and eat, PRAISE JESUS!! I considered a nap today to try to recover more but I am just too excited to put off this week’s study, I will nap later. I hope and pray that each of you is as excited. Let’s get week one started!
Today’s Treasure: “THERE, ABOVE THE COVER BETWEEN THE TWO CHERUBIM THAT ARE OVER THE ARK OF THE TESTIMONY, I WILL MEET WITH YOU AND GIVE YOU ALL MY COMMANDS FOR THE ISRAELITES.” Exodus 25:22
A Woman’s Heart: WEEK 1
Day 1:An Empty Garden
*According to Exodus 25:8, why were the Israelites to build the tabernacle? …so God would come dwell with them.
*Discover who is involved. Who is talking?…God
*Whom is He addressing?…Moses
*Who is the “them” in Ex.25:8?…the Israelites
*What is Moses to have them do? …build God a sanctuary
*How are they to construct it?…according to the plan God gave them
*What two names does God call this structure in verses 8-9?…sanctuary, tabernacle
*Review the definitions of sanctuary & tabernacle. Considering them jointly, check any of the following that apply to the tabernacle.
~a simple structure ~a dwelling place ~a holy place ~a place of purity
~devoted to sacred things ~a storehouse
*Each of these Scriptures pertains to the tabernacle: Exodus 25:22;29:42-43;30:6,36. What is the obvious purpose of the structure?…It is where God meets with His people
*Read in 2Corinthians 5:18 a beautiful definition of what the tabernacle in the wilderness represented. What has God given us? “…the privilege of urging everyone to come into His favor and be reconciled to Him.”
*Why was a place where God dwell among people necessary? …He wants us to know where to find Him.
*What had happened to separate god from man? …sin had come into the world.
*What was god doing in Genesis 3:8-9? …He was looking for Adam in the garden
*What did God do to cover Adam’s and Eve’s nakedness (Gen. 3:21)? …He clothed them with animal skins
*What must happen to an animal when it is skinned?…it must die, blood MUST be shed
*Glance ahead to Genesis 4:6-7. According to these verses, check each word that accurately describes sin.
Day 2: A Perfect Heart
Today’s Treasure: “THE EYES OF THE LORD RANDE THROUGHOUT THE EARTH TO STRENGTHEN THOSE WHOSE HEARTS ARE FULLY COMMITTED TO HIM.” 2Chronicles 16:9
*What does Matthew 6:21 tell you about God’s heart? …since we are His treasure His heart is with us!
*What does God measuring His wealth by His children mean to you?…We can break His heart when we choose anything other than a close, intimate relationship with Him.
*Psalm8:4-8 records the position of humans in comparison to all other creation. List what was over and under them. OVER: the angels, UNDER: all other things (birds, fish, animals, etc.)
* What is the human heart like apart from fellowship with God? …lonely, searching, empty, lost
*Read Genesis6:1-9 and answer the following questions.
*What did God see according to Gen. 6:5?…wicked men with evil hearts
*What was His response in verse 6?
~God regretted making man and grieved what they had become.
*What was his plan of action in verse 7? …He would destroy man and beast
*How does Genesis6:8-9 describe Noah? …He was a pleasure to the Lord; the only righteous man living on the earth at that time.
Check Noah’s response to God in Genesis 6:22.
*What did the rainbow represent? …It was a sign of His promise to never again flood the earth to destroy all flesh
*What parties were involved in the covenant? …God and all flesh that is on the earth
Day 3: A People For His Name
Today’s Treasure: “REMEMBER THE FORMER THINGS OF LONG AGO;I AM GOD, AND THERE IS NO OTHER; I AM GOD, AND THERE IS NON LIKE ME. I MAKE KNOWN THE END FROM THE BEGINNING, FROM ANCIENT TIMES, WHAT IS STILL TO COME. I SAY: MY PURPOSE WILL STAND, AND I WILL DO ALL THAT I PLEASE. FROM THE EAST I SUMMON A BIRD OF PREY; FROM A FAR-OFF LAND, A MAN TO FULFILL MY PURPOSE. WHAT I HAVE SAID, THAT I WILL BRING ABOUT; WHAT I HAVE PLANNED, THAT I WILL DO.” Isaiah 46:9-11
*Read Genesis 9:1. What command did God give Noah and his sons? …be fruitful and fill the earth
*What unified the people? …one language
*For what specific reason did they build the city and the tower?
~they wanted to make a name for themselves
*Why did the people want to build the city and make a name for themselves? …to keep them from scattering.
*Read Genesis 11:6-9. How did God respond to what He saw? …He confused their language
*In Genesis 11:7 exactly who “went down”? …the Trinity
*What action did the Lord take against the people?
~He confused their language and scattered them over the earth.
*In Genesis 9:1 God told them to MULTIPLY
*In Genesis 11:4 the people built a tower and a city to make a name for themselves so that they would not…BE SCATTERED
*In Genesis 11:4 the Lord SCATTERED T HEM.
*What does Isaiah 46:9-11, Today’s Treasure, say about God’s will?
~It will be accomplished
*Recall Genesis 9:18-19. Because of God’s faithfulness to His covenant, He has never judged the whole earth again as He did in the flood, no matter how wicked and perverse people have been; therefore, all the earth’s population has descended from either SHEM, Ham, or Japheth.
*List every piece of information about Abram offered in this passage. (I just put that he is a direct descendant of Shem)
Day 4: The Original Love Story
Today's Treasure: "TAKE YOUR SON, YOUR ONLY SON, ISAAC, WHOM YOU LOVE, AND GO TO THE REGION OF MORIAH. SACRIFICE HIM THERE AS A BURNT OFFERING ON ONE OF THE MOUNTAINS I WILL TELL YOU ABOUT." Genesis 22:2
1. The Garden of Eden
2. Adam & Eve cast out
3. Noah built ark
4. people scattered
5. Call of Abram
6. substitute for Isaac
7. burning bush
8. The Tabernacle
*What did God preach to Abraham? ...the Gospel
*What action does Philippians say everyone will take? ...every knee shall bow!
*Genesis 15:18 "On the day the Lord MADE a COVENANT with Abram."
*What was Abram doing while God cut the covenant? ...sleeping
*What does Abrams' lack of participation imply to you? ...God didn't need help
*Write a sentence describing the contents of Genesis 22: ...Abraham offered his son as a sacrifice
*How was the sacrifice held in the thicket (Gen 22:13)? ...it was caught by its thorns
Day 5:On The Move
Today's Treasure: "THEY PUT SLAVE MASTERS OVER THEM TO OPPRESS THEM WITH FORCED LABOR...BUT THE MORE THEY WERE OPPRESSED, THE MORE THEY MULTIPLIED AND SPREAD." Exodus 1:11-12
~~~The heart questions are mostly personal, so we will keep them private. If you have anything you would like to discuss, please comment.~~~
*Why did the Israelites become slaves?
~they were mightier and more in number
*What impact did oppression have on the Israelites?
~they multiplied and grew
*From which house of Israel did Moses descend?
*What caused Moses to flee Midian?
`Pharaoh wanted to kill him
*Name every supernatural sight Moses beheld in Ex 3:2.
...an angel appeared in a flame, burning bush
*By what name did God tell Moses to call Him to the Israelites?
*the masses...could not go up with Moses
*Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the 70 elders...worship from afar
*Moses...come near the Lord
*number in order these events from this foundational unit
Monday, November 15, 2010
I am very often asked how I do it by other women and mothers. My answer is usually, "I don't know!" But that's not an entirely true statement. I know exactly how I do it...how I raise 6 children, how I get up before everyone (most days,LOL) and stay up later than everyone, how I cook and clean more times in a day than I can count, how I love my husband more than I knew I could love a man, how I work tirelessly for my church, how I devote my every waking thought and action to my lord Jesus~I do it ALL by His grace and for His kingdom. I am reminded daily that I cannot do 'it' without Him. You see, I didn't always have His grace. I am a new Christian, 3 years to be exact, so for the first 13 years of being a mother I didn't depend on Him, and I was miserable. I know what it's like to be at my rope's end, hanging on by the tiniest thread and having no way of escape from the frustration and stress. That was before I gave Him control over my life. Being a wife and mother is the hardest thing I have ever done, but it has been made a bit easier since that day three years ago. I still have tear-filled moments of frustration, the only difference between now and then is that I now spend those moments on my knees asking Him for a little more strength to make it. Here is a poem that I found recently that inspired this post. I pray that you read it and think of it when you feel like you cannot do 'it' one more second. Darlin', He is there with more grace each day & He knows your needs, all you need to do is receive it. Won't you let Him love on you and fill you with peace beyond all understanding?
He Giveth More Grace~ Annie J Flint
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
As a mother of 6, I can honestly say that I have lots to remember and also lots to forget. That's where this command center comes in. It stares at me from directly to my right while I stand at the stove and feed the masses! I look at it numerous times during the day so I cannot use the excuse, "I forgot." But I still forget! Moving on...
I will explain each item in the command center from left to right...
BOTTOM LEFT: I made each child a folder with his/her name on it where I put papers after I have signed them, as well as any other papers they may need for school. I made mine out of card stock but you could use actual file folders, which may work better~I was too impatient, and cheap, so I used what I had. They are to check their folder each morning before leaving for school; that way I am not responsible for putting things in their bookbags. Lord knows I have enough to remember!
TOP LEFT: This is where our school district yearly calendar is. I think that's a necessity when you have 6 children in public school!
MIDDLE TOP: Ok, I made a 'dry erase' calendar out of a 10x13 frame. On the under side of the glass I made my calendar grid with a sharpie marker, along with anything that I wanted to remain there. You can use any paper you like as a background. I put white tissue paper directly under the grid so I could still see the printed paper and see my daily appointments at the same time. You can write the month, dates, and daily appointments directly on the glass with a dry erase marker & just wipe it clean each month! It has been a lifesaver!
MIDDLE BOTTOM: I made this file box out of an empty cereal box. I hot-glued the top closed, turned the box on its side and cut the side off to make an opening. After some spray paint it was ready for its purpose. I don't know how things go in your house but in mine the kids always bring me papers to sign while I'm doing 5 other things. In times past I would have taken said paper & put it on the kitchen counter where it would have either gotten wet, thrown away, or forgotten. Now when they give me a paper, either to read or sign, I tell them to put it in the box. At the end of each night I check the box and put each child's paper in their folder. Problem solved...now if I could get them to be sure to put a name on the paper so I would know which folder to put it in! One thing at a time, I guess!
***I have added something since this pic was taken. I painted another cereal box and placed it under the 'please sign these' box. It is used for any other important school papers that we may need to keep on hand for future needs.
TOP RIGHT: This is our church's Bible reading schedule. In 2010 we have been reading the New Testament together as a congregation and having this schedule up and visible has helped my husband and I keep on track!
MIDDLE RIGHT: This is where we keep the school breakfast/lunch menu. I check this as much as the kids because I try my best not to make something for dinner that they may have had for lunch.
BOTTOM RIGHT: This is our family home dry erase menu that I again made it out of an 8x10 frame. I normally only post dinners through the week, unless there is a day without school.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
My first post will be the first in an 11 week series of Bible Studies where I recap the weekly sessions I have done with our ladies' group on Beth Moore~A Woman's Heart~God's Dwelling Place. I will be adding a new post on this topic each Friday (and possibly once more through the week~so check back often) but the good thing about this approach is that you have the luxury of doing it as your time & life allows with the only drawbacks being that you won't be watching the accompanying videos by Beth Moore, which are AWESOME, or discussing the homework with a group of ladies. I plan on posting the answers I have gotten to each day's work as well as the answers to the blanks on each viewer guide. This is an awesome study on the tabernacle that taught me a lot and I am delighted to share it with y'all! Please share all the ideas and comments that you want because this is best when discussed amongst others, I believe. This particular study requires a commitment and some homework, as well as a workbook (you can buy the workbook from Lifeway online here: http://www.lifeway.com/e8/shop/?id=005076821), but all of the time you will put in it is well worth it, and it will put a smile on God's face! I don't know about you, but that is my main goal each day~He loves when we, His children, study His Word! I am looking forward to going through this study again and seeing what new things I can learn, because there is always something new to learn in God's Word! As women of God, we should never stop learning about Him! I have prayed that God would pour out His Spirit upon each of you and open your ears and minds to His glory! Thank you for allowing me to go through this study again with you~GOD BLESS! Let's get started...
VIEWER GUIDE~PAGE 7
Read Exodus 25:1-2, 8-9
1. wonder, pursuit
where are you
2. beauty, consistency
*verses, devoted, object
*caused to see
*copy, heavenly, exhibit, imitation, sketch, tracing
3. glory, Son
~Use these points to help you as you enter into this week's study. Open yourselves to Him and allow Him to circumcise your heart...