Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 13: A Guilty Pleasure

Today I  started on a no-extra-sugar diet and I'm SERIOUSLY craving sugary anything at this moment, so I would say that a big guilty pleasure at the top of my mind would be indulging in snacks. A lot. =)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Days 8-12: Pictures

Well, I'll just make this a combination of three days and do a picture post!
So, this a a picture I took of my dear friend Ann. 

 And this is me, about 15 years ago.

And this is one that was taken this summer!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Apple Jelly and Aloe Vera

 I was excited to venture the first time into making apple jelly. I've never canned without Mom before, so I wasn't sure how it would go, but so far it seems like it turned out good!

 Faith and Caleb dutifully stirred, and stirred, and stirred for me!
The finished product cooling! I was hoping it would set quickly so that we could have some on our bread for a tea party that we're having, but so far that hasn't happened. I'm hoping that doesn't mean it won't set period. =S

Unfortunately, our canning experience was not without incident. Any of you that have ever done anything with cooking apples know how hot apples(or apple juice) can be! I missed the jar and scalded my thumb with some nearly-boiling jelly. It provided a great opportunity to show the kids how to treat a burn with Aloe Vera. I split a leaf open and wrapped it on with a strip of cloth(we're out of gauze) and some bandage tape. Amazingly, it stopped hurting as soon as the cooling gel was on my skin! It's been a while now, so I think I'll take the wrap off soon.

All in all, a very good experience!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 7-5 Things I couldn't Live Without

1. Jesus--my life support. Without Him, I die.
2. My Family--yep, we're pretty messed up, but, hey, we're a family. =)
3. My BFFS--I love these people!!!!
4. Smiles. =)
5. A Brush. =D

Monday, January 24, 2011

Preparing to Be a Helpmeet--A Review

Per Shonya's request, and just because I love this book so much, I'd like to tell you a bit about it.
Preparing to Be A Help Meet is about exactly what it's title says, but it is about so much more. It is about getting a life, learning to not be a helpless fragile wisp of a woman(But still be feminine), about investing yourself in ministry, about acquiring skills and making the most of your time. And it's about prayer. Prayer is how the book started, and it was one of the things that stuck with me the most. Debi talked strongly about how prayer changes things (She told a  fascinating story about Daniel that I had never heard before!) and challenged girls to be praying for their future husband and for the people around them. 

Several chapters are spent on the traits of God that are reflected in men and women. Debi outlines the Kingly(Command), Prophet(Visionary), and Priestly(Steady) types of men as well as the three different types of women--Dreamers, Servants, and Go-to-Gals. This helped me to understand that some characteristics that I had previously thought of as undesirable or even wrong (Such as the commanding way of a King), are simply a different reflection of God's image that I had previously overlooked. Debi speaks strongly to the gals on submission, respect, and honor. I realized that it doesn't matter what kind of guy I marry(If I marry=) if I honor and submit to him as God designed then I don't need to worry about his faults--our marriage will be as blessed as I allow it to be. This section also helped me to understand my Dad and the guys in my life just a bit more.

I was challenged and inspired by the many chapters on gaining knowledge and character NOW. Girls are encouraged to learn, learn, learn all they can! You never know what skills you may need or that may be helpful to your husband! So, I've been learning. I'm starting in on herbs and nutrition, moving on to reflexology, after that, who know's what? I jumped at some chances to try my hand at some plumbing--what a sense of satisfaction! I found this section to be the most helpful because it is great for enriching my life now and for the rest of my life, even if my love story only includes God and me. That's one thing I really loved about this book--it's for any stage of life. I thought it was great because it was very relevant even though I'm not dating, but a friend at work laughed when I said that. She thought it was perfect for her own situation, and she was dating! Debi really encourages young women to be get a life(not focused on yourself, mind you) before you get married so that after you are married you don't sit around an empty house pining away for your man to come home and you don't expect him to focus his every moment around you. She isn't preaching an 'I-can-do-anything-a-man-can-and-by-myself!' gospel, but she does remind girls that we're supposed to be the helper! If that means taking on some things not normally designated to wives so that he can be free to work, or minister, or relax, or whatever, then we should go for it!

And a whole lot more things than everything I've said!(Yes, I know that was completely ungrammatically correct.=P) All I can say is, get it. Get it, get it, read it, apply it!

The book is easiest summarized by Debi herself on the last page.
"If I had to boil this whole book down to one sentence it would be this: Walk in truth and joy, become a servant, study and learn all manner of different skills, practice honoring those in authority over you, and pray for every man you know who seeks the Lord; pray that these men have the heart to labor for the harvest. In all this you will become a Miss Right."

If you get a chance, search the book on youtube and watch the videos that they have. Debi and her daughter Shalom are both funny and very challenging! =)

Day 6--A Moment I wish I could Relive

Welll......I can think of one or two. But there's absolutely no way I'm telling them to the whole world. Ha, nope. Sorry, they're just a little special. =)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Make My Home a Sanctuary: Shine Your Sink!

These posts are going to be in no order whatsoever. So don't think that I think making your home a sanctuary is more important than making your heart a sanctuary. It's not, it's just easier. =)
 And single gals (Like me!!=), this is most assuredly for you. NOW is when you need to be taking charge of the atmosphere of your home and learning to make it a sanctuary. You'll be amazed what a difference you can make in your home's atmosphere even if you are not the main caretaker and you have five littles running around like a whirlwind after you. =) My Mom works a couple days a week and has plenty to do when she is home, so I get plenty of practice! I really have fun on the day that she is at work and I'm not. It's a great feeling to have my home to take care of all by myself, and to get to see how I can make it a sanctuary.

That said, one thing that I've found makes a HUGE difference in my home is simply shining my sink! Any of you that read FLYlady know about this great trick!

The FIRST and FOREMOST thing to remember when shining your sink is that you must wash all your dirty dishes and put them all away first. Also clear the clutter off your counters. If you do this every day(or, better yet, after or before every meal) it won't take long.

The first time you shine your sink there are a few extra steps.

1. First of all, fill your sink full of hot water and add bleach. Let it sit for one hour. If you have a bleach spray cleaner(Like Clorox), you can skip this step. Rinse!

2. Using baking soda, scrub your sink! Get a scratchy and a toothbrush and get in the cracks. If you skipped the first step, then after you think you have it clean, spray bleach all over and do it again!  It will be SO MUCH FUN,  I promise! Scrub in your drain and around your handle, on your handle, around the outside edges of your sink. Until I did this, I never realized how much of my sink wasn't supposed to be that brown color! =D

3. RINSE! Do not let any bleach remain! You're going to use Windex in the next step, and if it combines with the bleach you will have a nasty headache!

4. This is the step that you do every night(Or every meal!). After rinsing your sink out, dry it out with a rag or dish towel. Then grab a paper towel and some Windex. Squirt Windex all over and clean the sink like you would a window. You will  be so surprised!! I read what FLYlady said about this and didn't believe that I really would be able to see my reflection, but if you have a stainless steel sink(Like me!) you really will!

Doesn't it look so nice??
See it sparkle?? See it shine??!

Now, the reason that this makes such a difference is because it cleans your kitchen! Really! Once you do it the first time you will be addicted to it! (Really!) So then your cupboards are clean, your dishes are clean and put away, and your sink sparkles! What an amazing feeling! This adds a lot to the feel of our home because the kitchen is the first room of the house and the hub of activity. If the kitchen is a mess, no Sanctuary!

All that said, I'm noticing a drainer piled full, so I better get it unfull and get my sink shined! =)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 3 - Favorite Book

Lol, so you can see where I got the picture. =) But yeah, this book is pretty much awesome. But my all time favorite book of the past year was this--

Love, Love, LOVE.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry.
E.B. White

Day 1 - Favorite Song

Blessed Be Your Name--This is MY song. =)

Giving this Blog some Life

 A friend of mine started doing this on her blog and I thought it was a neat idea! I'm not on the computer every day, so I guess on the days I am I'll just pick and choose from the days that I miss. =)
Day 1: A favorite song.
Day 2: A favorite movie.
Day 3: A favorite book.
Day 4: A favorite television program.
Day 5: A favorite quote.
Day 6: A moment you wish you could relive.
Day 7: Five things you couldn't possibly live without.
Day 8: A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life.
Day 9: A photo you took.
Day 10: A photo of you taken over ten years ago.
Day 11: A photo of you taken recently.
Day 12: A song that you want played at your wedding(or was played).
Day 13: A guilty pleasure.
Day 14: A vacation you would like to take.
Day 15: A person you admire.
Day 16: A song that makes you cry.
Day 17: An art piece.
Day 18: A time when you felt passionate and alive.
Day 19: A talent of yours.
Day 20: A hobby of yours.
Day 21: Something you know you do differently than most people.
Day 22: A website.
Day 23: A way in which you want to be remembered.
Day 24: A movie no one would expect you to love.
Day 25: A recipe.
Day 26: A childhood memory.
Day 27: A physical feature you love.
Day 28: A scar you have and it's story.
Day 29: Hopes, dreams and plans you have for the next 365 days.
Day 30: A motto or philosophy of yours

Make My Life a Sanctuary

Prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy,
Tried and true
And with thanksgiving
I will be a living
Sanctuary, Lord for you.
 What does it look like to be a Sanctuary? For Jesus and for the people around me? A place where God is glorified and where others find compassion, rest, and peace. Not in chaos or distress, having a soul at rest. Oh yes, then what about the space I have? Is it a Sanctuary? Do the people that enter it feel like a tornado just wrecked the place? Do I feel like I can rest in Jesus and not be distracted? Please join me for this series on making my life a Sanctuary. Perhaps you can go away with some ideas and encouragement for making your own life a Sanctuary!
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