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Showing posts from October, 2012

Day 31 ~ Halloween Spiders

I have to give my cousin credit for this cute craft! I did make a few alterations to make our spiders a little easier for the preschoolers to assist me. She used a real pumpkin, I opted for foam pumpkins. She also used a hot glue gun which I don't like using around the little kiddos. 
Supplies: Small pumpkins Pipe cleaners (2 or 4 depending on length of spider legs) "Heavy-duty" glue Wiggly eyes
1. The kids painted the foam pumpkins with black acrylic paint.
2. Attach the eyes. I found some crafter's glue at Walmart and it worked!
3. Cut pipe cleaners in half and then fold in half.
4. Carve a small hole into the pumpkin to "stuff" in the spider legs (pipe cleaners).
5. Bend pipe cleaners to make legs.
The middle spiders had full length pipe cleaners folded in half but I ran out of "legs" so decided to try shorter legs, using half a pipe cleaner folded in half. The kids loved this craft! I love that these pumpkin spiders can be saved for next year…

Day 30 ~ Be thankful in everything....even spilled milk

This morning my schedule was disrupted by a cup of spilled milk. One of my girlies didn't finish her milk at breakfast so I had put it in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, an hour later, I forgot about the milk and knocked it over. I started wiping it up when I realized that the milk had dripped through the cracks of each shelf, finally draining into the crisper. If ignored, the milk-soaked vegetables would become tomorrow's problem. I guess it was time to deep clean the refrigerator.

A couple of years ago I had read (or heard) a great piece of advice; bring your daily schedule to God and pray over it every morning. While praying, tell Him what you would like to accomplish, ask for His blessings and end with "YOUR will be done". It's important that we relinquish control, even control of our days, to the one who truly is in charge. Although I've valued this advice I haven't been very good at following it. I do try to daily ask God to guide my day and to hel…

Day 29 ~ Hidden Treasures

The wrought iron fence around the graveyard beckoned me, calling me to walk through it's gardens, to pause and wonder about the lives of those buried there.

The atmosphere caused me to slow my tourist pace so that I may marvel in the beauty of the garden, the church and the monuments. With the reverence of a scared place while taking in the breathtaking architecture, and listening to breeze rustle the remaining leaves on the trees, I slowed down long enough to thank God for his many blessings. 

Just outside this fence, the sidewalks of Wall Street bustled, yet inside? Inside was a sanctuary. Quiet and peaceful. A simple fence, a garden of flowers and head stones muffled the sounds from the street.
This hidden treasure was stumbled upon as we walked from Battery Park, after touring Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, towards the 9/11 Memorial. Yes, we were taking a round-about way as we explored this area of NYC....or maybe we were lost. Regardless of circumstance we were well p…

Day 28 ~ At the Door

Revelation 3:19-21
I rebuke and punish all whom I love.  Be in earnest, then, and turn from your sins.  Listen! I stand at the door and knock; if any hear my voice and open the door, I will come into their house and eat with them, and they will eat with me.  To those who win the victory I will give the right to sit beside me on my throne, just as I have been victorious and now sit by my Father on his throne.

Day 27 ~ Italian Meatloaf in a (Freezer) Bag

Making meals ahead of time saves time, energy and stress as I discussed onDay 12. This is another meal that I prepared a few weeks ago when I made ten meals for the freezer. This recipe won my families approval so I can now share it with you! :) In a freezer bag combine: 2 lbs of ground beef (or turkey if you wish), 1/4 cup oatmeal, 2 T. Wildtree* Hearty Spaghetti Blend, 2 T. Wildtree*Rancher Steak Rub, 2 eggs. Now here's the fun part. Squish it all up to distribute the herbs into the meat. Label the bag and store in the freezer. Easy. Gathering supplies (if already on hand) and assembling this meal takes less then 15 minutes. The hard part is remembering ahead of time to take the meatloaf out of the freezer to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. This is where sticky notes on the refrigerator come in handy.  When ready to bake, form into a loaf and bake for 50-55 minutes. Add marinara sauce during last 10-15 minutes of baking. 
While baking the meatloaf prepare the "topping&qu…

Day 26 ~ Five Minute Friday ~ VOICE

Years ago, during the years of my rebellion, one of my favorite songs was "Silent All These Years" by Tori Amos. I wanted to be heard. Ironic that this was a time when I was most vocal. However at that time of my life I was better at making noise then sharing my inner voice. My deepest thoughts, dreams and desires. At that time of my life I was still searching for my voice. 

Often we feel silenced.
Interruptions come in forms of people thinking they can complete your sentences and when corrected they still don't hear that your thought, your voice, was not the same thought as their own. 
Silenced when one is more interested in their agenda then your thoughts.
Questions are asked but your answer is not heard.
Then there are the Half-listeners. Those who are obviously are listening in order to appear to be listening but all the while not really caring what you have to say.
Interruptions come in simple everyday demands. The children need more milk at dinner time. The baby needs he…

Day 25 ~ All I Really Need

This morning as I pondered my topic for today, I looked at the word art from yesterday's post, "all you need is less", when I was struck with a thought. "No, all I need is Jesus!"
It doesn't matter if my house is neat and orderly. Jesus loves me anyway.

Although He would be pleased if I managed my money and my time better, I know that He still loves me.
It doesn't matter if I carry around a few extra pounds (or more). Jesus STILL loves me anyway.

My worth is not found in having it all together or in having the perfect home or in having the perfect family or , well, having a perfect anything! Among all the imperfections in my life, I only have one perfect "thing". Christ's love. Let me tell you, I'm feeling mighty blessed to be a recipient of that love. And I've done nothing to deserve this love yet He loves me. I am mighty blessed indeed!
Want proof that you are loved? 
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten …

Day 24 ~Less

The Nesting Place posted the above photo in her post today. I love its simplicity, that even the image speaks "less". It reminded me that at the beginning of the year I had declared 2012 as the Year of Less.  I think it is time for me to do a little reflection and evaluating.

Less stuff/clutter?  Well, I still have too much.
Less "body stuff" (that's a nice way of saying body fat)? Yep, too much of that too.

Less wasted time? Argh......I've found a few more favorite blogs that I like to keep up with. I'd like to argue that inspiring words from like minded women is like reading a "self-help" book. I'm improving me, right? Oh, I know I could do better at managing my time.

Less exhaustion? Oh, I'm still pretty tired but I'm learning not to feel guilty about my Sunday afternoon nap time. :)

Less stress? I think I've been successful in this only because 2012 has taught me to lean on my Savior. Giving over all my worries to Him and …

Day 23 ~ These are a few of my favorite things.......

Larabars and Naked Juice. Yummy and nutritious. When I moved into my daughter's hospital room this summer these, along with God's grace, helped energize and sustain me.

I think I've tried almost every flavor of Larabar. I'm not particularily fond of any of the chocolate flavors. I'm not sure why as I am a chocolate lover. I guess when I think of Larabars, I think of fruit and nuts......and that's what I want. Top three flavors: Pecan, Cashew and Carrot Cake.

Carrot Cake is my absolute favorite however it is difficult to find. I was so excited last week, to find that the grocery store I was shopping at not only had Larabars on sale but they also had my favorite flavor! Yep, I bought 'em all. Larabars aren't cheap but I like keeping a few on hand for afternoon "slumps" when the sugar cravings hit. MOST (read the labels as I've found a few different Larabar varieties that aren't completely sugar free) Larabars are simply made from fruits …

Day 22 ~ Lemon Rosemary Pork Tenderloin for the Freezer

2lb. pork tenderloin (I substituted chops as they were on sale) 3 T. Wildtree Garlic Grapeseed Oil 3 T. Wildree Lemon Rosemary Blend
Place all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag, seal and shake to combine. Label bag and place in the freezer. 
Remove from freezer a day before serving. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 375 degrees.
Served here with skillet potatoes, beets and sauteed asparagus with almonds. 

Day 21 ~ Jesus, You Are All I Need

Music moves me and often time speaks to my heart. I love our time of worship during church. Hearing hundreds of people lift their praise to God in song is so awesome and often rocks me to the core. Today, I'm letting someone else's words express the words on my heart.
Precious cornerstone, sure foundation You are faithful to the end
We are waiting, on You, Jesus We believe You're all to us
Let the glory of Your name be the passion of the Church Let the righteousness of God be a holy flame that burns Let the saving love of Christ be the measure of our lives We believe You're all to us
Only Son of God sent from Heaven Hope and mercy at the cross

You are everything, You're the Promise
Jesus, You are all to us
You're all to us You're all to us You're all to us Yes, You are
When this passing world is over We will see You face to face And forever we will worship Jesus, You are all to us

Dear Jesus, may I build my life on you, the only firm foundation. Thank you for …

Day 20 ~ Give Thanks

On our way to church this evening I was thinking about being thankful in all things when I realized that, although I praised God for many things on June 4 and the days that followed, I had never thanked God for that day. I mean, why would I? It was the scariest day of my life. Yet tonight I did just that. I thanked God for June 4, 2012. I thanked Him not only for the way that He cared for my daughter, the way in which He gave me strength and comfort, but I thanked Him for drawing me close to Him. I thanked Him for the compassion and love that I gained from an otherwise horrible experience. I thanked Him for what He has made from that day. 
Once we arrived at church, I noticed a woman and her family that our women's bible study group had been praying for. Her daughter was recently diagnosed with cancer. I met this woman once, years ago, yet my heart went out to her. I wanted to rush over, hug her and tell her of His goodness. I don't know exactly what she is going through but I …

Day 19 ~ LOOK

On Fridays I like to do two things. Sing my Friday song and write for five minutes. The five minute writing exercise is inspired by Lisa-Jo who hosts Five Minute Fridays for a fast growing number of bloggers who join in on the fun. We simply write for five minutes (no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking) on the prompt word of Lisa-Jo's choosing. Today's prompt word is LOOK

When I take the daycare children on walks we have a rule about crossing streets. STOP! LOOK! LISTEN! We all cross together and before we do I call out, "Look to your left! Look to your right! Let's do it again! Left? Right? CLEAR! GO!" I also discuss using our ears to keep us safe by listening. We make a game out of listening for cars and finding them. 

Our tour guide at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art taught our group the value of really looking at a piece of art. She provided history, shedding light on the time period and culture that influenced each piece. It was amazing what…

Day 18 ~ Exhaustion

Last week I frantically prepared for my five days away from my computer. I edited photos, made photo collages, wrote my posts and scheduled one for each day that I would be gone. I then spent five days in NYC walking many steps and exploring the fabulous city, from Central Park to Battery Park. We'd arrive back to the hotel each night with sore feet and achy legs ready to collapse exhausted on our beds. Tuesday night we arrived home in time to show the boys (hubs and son) a few of the 700 photos that I had taken during our trip and headed to bed so that I would be ready to wake for my 6 am daycare kids. After work I made my family dinner and went out for coffee with some ladies from bible study, followed by grocery shopping. Home again in time for bed.
I tell you this in hopes that the next statement can be understood. I'm tired. I have the "I don't wanna's". I see the laundry in the dryer and I don't wanna fold the clothes. The suitcase laying open with o…

Day 17 ~ Journey

Day 16 ~ Recycled Candles

Ever have candles that don't seem to light well (or stay lit)? How about all the candle wax that is left over after a candle runs out of wick? As you may know, I don't like throwing anything away that could possibly be useful. I'm also cheap frugal so I don't like spending money on "extras" (candles really aren't a necessity) but I do love candles. Solution? I make my own candles.  
Top Photos: Collecting my materials. Old candle jars, jelly jars and even a salsa jar! 
Middle Photos: Chopping up a candle that would never light and pulling the wick - melting the recycled wax - holding the wick in place by wrapping it around a wooden spoon.
Bottom Photo: Completed candles. Many home candle makers would suggest covering your work you can see I didn't bother with this step. Clean up would have been much easier if I had taken a moment to cover the counter with a piece of wax paper. 
Years ago I invested in a "wax melter-pourer" thing…