God is not dead, nor doth he sleep

"Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net".

“Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Each year I pick out a Christmas song for the season.  The year that our life was in the midst of uncertainty, with my husband without work, his brother dreadfully sick, and our family of four living with my in-laws, I choose the song “So, this is Chirstmas.”  It didn’t feel like Christmas that year.  It didn’t even smell like it.  When my children started sharing my love of Christmas music we chose “Feliz Navida”  They still love that song, even thought they can’t pronounce half the words.

Last year, a couple short weeks before Christmas  20 little lives were taken much to quickly.  The world was in shock.  They were just children.  The suspect?  Barely an adult.

And in despair I bowed my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

(From I heard the Bells on Christmas day)

It seamed to fit so well.  This song that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow penned so long ago. America was in, is in despair.  What have we done with ourselves?  What have we come to?   I don’t have all the answers.  Answers to what makes a 20 year old boy, lose all hope , burn with hate so strongly that he steals the innocence of not only the lives that he took, but the lives that still have to go on.

I’ve written openly about how I’ve lost three (and now four) babies and the tears and pain that surfaces so quickly   Yet, I can’t bring myself to imagine the pain those parents are going through.  Even the thought seams too painful when it surfaces to my mind.

In only a short matter of time the internet went wild with accusations.   Who could have stopped this?  Where was God?

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

I can’t tell you why God allowed this to happen.  I’m not God.  I don’t think that is the right question anyways. The questions that keeps burning in my mind is why don’t we see that something is desperately wrong with us?  Why don’t we see that we need saved from ourselves; our own sin?

God is not dead, nor doth he sleep.  He is here, He was there. I recognize that its easy for me to spew out these words. After all, I was nowhere near Sandy Hook Elementary School, that dreadful day. Yet I do know that,  sometimes, when we don’t have answers to the questions that well up in our soul, the only option is to tell ourselves what we do know. We know that “God is love.”  We know that “God is faithful“.  With sadness,  we acknowledge that the boy who lost hope and stole it from others, has hope no more.  But just as true is the fact that we have hope right now.  We have hope of a savior-Jesus Christ, who though God, came down as man to offer his life as the sinless sacrifice for our sin.  We have hope that all who believe on him will be saved.  Romans 10:13  “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.”  Romans 5:1-3  “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance”

We have security in that God is our hope.

Psalm 62:5
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.

Psalm 65:5
By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas;

Romans 5:5
and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

We have hope that one day, the wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth good will to men.

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Summer Bucket List

Last year we had a bucket list for the summer and it was a lot of fun!  We didn’t get to do everything on the list but it was a nice reminder of all the fun that is to be had this time of year.

Here is our bucket list for this year!

 

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Super Duper, Easy to Make, Laundry Deteregent

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Well, my Spring Cleaning Challenge isn’t going exactly how I had originally planned.  That’s ok, though!  Slowly I am checking of the things that I wanted to share with each of you.  Like last week, when I share my DIY flop.

This one isn’t a flop though.  Its fabulous!  I had always wondered about making your own laundry detergent.  I mean, come on, if it was easy to make, then it probably didn’t work well.  If it worked great your probably spent all day making it.  I’m not willing to sacrifice either, yet the idea still loomed in my head that I eventually decided to give this a shot.

Boy am I glad I did.  This recipe is easy to make and works great!  Plus, it’s very cost effective!  Whoo hoo!  By George, I think I’m on to something :)

I got the recipe off my pintrest page.  (Recipe originated here).  I halved it because by golly that’s a large amount of detergent and I didn’t have anything on hand to hold it all.  Plus now I have some left overs of these other products to make something else with!

UPDATE:  I almost forgot the backing soda!  1/2 of box (of a 2lb box)

Start with 1/2 a box of borax

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Then mix in 1/2 box of super washing soda

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One small container of Oxi Clean

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1 and 1/2 Felts Napa Bars grated

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Looks like cheese, doesn’t it?  :)

UPDATE:  I almost forgot the baking soda!  1/2 of box (of a 2lb box)

Mix it all up and there you have it!

You only use one TABLESPOON per load.  Pretty awesome, huh?

I found all of the ingredients  in the laundry isle of my local Wal-mart.  I can’t remember exactly but I think I paid about $10 for all of it.   You might not be able to tell but that is a very large chip bowl and I’m guessing this amount will last me about 6 months.

How does it work?  Pretty stinking awesome.  I actually think this is working better then what I was using!

Have you ever made your own cleaning product?  Did it work?

Posted in Cleaning tips and tricks, DIY, Spring Cleaning Challenge | Leave a comment

Headlight cleaning: Tried and True or Hoax?

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You can’t tell how awful my headlights really are by this photo.  They have this yellow-y film on them,-uh, gross.   That’s why I was so glad to find this awesome pin on Pinterest a while back about cleaning your headlights with only one ingredient.  The magic ingredient?  Toothpaste.  The people who commented said it needed to be the paste and not the gel.  No exact brand was necessary, just whatever you could find.

So one sunny afternoon, I pull out our toothpaste and a rag and went to a-scrubbin.  I scrubbed and scrubbed and the toothpaste got all over the place, but who cares, because my headlights were going to work so much better after I was done, right?  After I washed it off it looked like this:

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That is so much clearer.

However, as they started to dry, they went back to looking like this:

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The water had only made them look as if they were clearer.  But they weren’t   Just to make sure I did only half of a headlight on my husbands truck.  Difference?  Nada.  Oh well, at least it only cost me a 1/2 a tube of toothpaste and some elbow grease.

This pin has been tried and the outcome is hoax.

Have you ever tried a DIY cleaning tip only to find out it didn’t work?  Share your story in the comments below!

Posted in Organizing Life, Spring Cleaning Challenge | 1 Comment

When Christ Who Is Your Life

Colossians 3:1-4 “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

 

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Look what I found in my mailbox!

I actually won something and I love it!

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After a tough week (a few weeks ago) of my family being sick, I got all these items in my mailbox.

Victoria from Snails Pace Transformations  hosted this give-a-way and she made my day!

She has some great things to say in her little corner of the web.  Go ahead a check her out!

Posted in Encouragement | Leave a comment

Preparing for sickness: How to help your family when you can’t get out of bed

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Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici and  http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/
 

No one likes being sick.  It feels terrible, you can’t do anything- ha! as if you felt like it, and as a mother, you can’t take care of your family.

As I was laying in bed sick this past week, it got me thinking, I wonder what could be done ahead of time to help my family while I’m down and out?

Here are a few things I came up with:

1. Keep things cleaned and picked up.  The day before I got sick, I knew that my chances of staying well were slim. I also knew how fast my boys could destroy a house without careful watch.  I made sure that I cleaned up the kitchen and ran the dishes through the dishwasher.  I also was keeping a close eye on the boys bathroom.  This way, I wouldn’t feel the added stress of an out-of-control house while being sick.  This isn’t a fool proof plan-  obviously you can’t always tell when your coming down with something.  Also, my kids made plenty of messes with the ridiculous amount of toys they own.  Nonetheless, it was still nice to have a clean sink:)

2. Teach your kids age appropriate meals that they can make on their own.  Both my boys can fix there own cereal, toast, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a couple other things.   They can also work (with some supervision)  the microwave.  I say with supervision because once my four year old made the house stink because he heated a muffin way to long and it burned!

3.  Have dinner in the freezer.  When I woke up and knew that I was sick, and that my husband was still sick my first thoughts were about how my boys would fend for themselves in the kitchen. As stated above I knew they would be fine for breakfast and lunch, but kids tend to want to eat dinner too- go figure! (ha!)  Thankfully my sweet mother-in-law was able to bring us some dinner.  But, just in case, I think that an already made meal can come in handy. Check out this post if you need a few more reasons why freezer cooking is a good idea.

4. Prepare stuff beside your bed.  I could tell that I may be coming down with something the night before.  So, I grabbed my kindle, it’s charger, a water bottle and my phone.  This way if I didn’t feel good enough to get out of bed I could still read and have the water I needed.

5.  Have a few education resources ready.  We didn’t have school the day that I was sick. Yet,  I was able to have my son complete some math and phonics worksheets.  Had I thought of it,  I could have had him watch some educational videos.  I wish that I had put together some pre-printed work-pages for him to do on his own too.  I’d also like to note some educational websites that he would be able to navigate on his own.  Any recommendations?

One last thing that I wanted to mention is that when my family gets a stomach bug, I tend to take some activated charcoal, just in case.  Activated charcoal has been said to help you…ahem… excrete the poisons (or virus) from your body.  (I guess I should have some sort-of disclaimer here that says you shouldn’t take anything without talking to your doctor first.  Activated charcoal can effect the use of other medications. I’m in no way trying to tell you what you should take, only sharing what works for me).  My point is, anything that you know helps your body’s immune system is helpful to start taking before you are sick.  By the way, I believe that due to the charcoal (and of course the hand of the Lord), my sickness time was cut into a third of what my husbands was.

I’m probably missing something, so if you think of it, please share in the comments below!

Posted in Encouragement, Organizing Life | 3 Comments

Book List for 2013

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Image courtesy of admar 

I’m a little behind is putting this up compared to others in the blog-o-sphere, but I still wanted to share it. Besides, comparing myself to others won’t do anything for me aside from make me feel inadequate.  Someone is always going to be doing something else better than I am.  The question is:  Am I making progress?  :)

I enjoy reading, but it has never been something that I’ve purposed to do.  I usually say that I  “don’t have time” which is only halfway true, because we all have the same amount of time, I’ve just chosen to use it differently (or by not choosing-  waste it differently).  I usually get my of my majority of reading done in the summer when days are less filled with homeschooling.  Even then, though I have really enjoyed the books I’ve read, they haven’t been the ones that I always say “I want to read that, one day.”   I have lots of books in the “One day” category.

Last year I read mostly Christian fiction books.  I loved reading, and was known to get totally wrapped up in them.  While there is certainly nothing wrong with reading fiction books, I really wanted to make it more of a priority to read some of the Christian Living (non-fiction) books that I’ve been collecting for quite some time.

Here are the books that I want to read in 2013:

  1. Grace by Max Lucado  (I’ve actually finished this one already)
  2. The Gospel For Real Life by Jerry Bridges
  3. Peacemaking Women 
  4. God’s Love:  How the Infinite God Cares for His Children by R.C. Sproul
  5. Man, The Dwelling Place of God by A. W. Tozer
  6. Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray

There are a few others that I would like to read, but I’m first trying to focus on these six.

Here are some other books that I want to read:  (self-help, home management, ect)

  1. Naturally Knocked Up by Donielle Baker
  2. “Do What You Can” Plan by Holley Gerth
  3. 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine
  4. One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects to Making Life Simpler by Tsh Oxenreider 
  5. Attack Your Day!: Before It Attacks You! By Mark Woods and Trapper Woods
  6. Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job and Your Dream Job by John Acuff

And finally some Fiction books that I would like to read:

  1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  2. Blue Christmas by Kiane Moody
  3. Past Suspicion by Therese Heckenkamp
  4. A Simple Amish Christmas by Vannetta Chapman
  5. A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer
  6. Stuck in the Middle by Virginia Smith

All of the fiction books are ones that I found for free on my kindle.  I’m not very familiar with the authors, so I may find that I don’t like them at all.  But for free, it’s worth a try!

What books are on your to read list?  Leave your link in the comments and I’ll be sure to take a look! :)

Posted in Organizing Life, Organizing your time | 4 Comments

Friday Favorites: Declutter your home!

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How’s your decluttering coming?  Yesterday, I found 25 things to give-a-way.  Half way to my goal of 50 things!

Here are some great, worth reading, posts about decluttering your home and life:) Hope you enjoy!

10 Creative Ways to Declutter Your Life and Home

Don’t Just Declutter.  De-Own.  

My Minimalist Wardrobe (Vlog) from MoneySavingMom

10 Questions to Help You Declutter

Hope you all have a great weekend!  Can’t wait to hear about your progress :)

Posted in Friday Favorites, Organizing Life, Spring Cleaning Challenge | Leave a comment

March Focus: Spring Cleaning

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Image courtesy of Kibsri- credit

Welcome to the March Challenge!

I’ve always loved spring.  I love the smell of the flowers, the birds chirping  and the soft daylight that comes after a gray sky winter.  I love the soft breezes and warmer temperatures.  As a kid, I love the fact that summer was just around the corner   Oh, who am I kidding, I still do!

Spring is traditionally a time to air out the house and do a little extra cleaning so for this month I will be focusing on spring cleaning tips.

  • Week One:  De-clutter Challenge
  • Week Two: Fact or Myth? Cleaning miracles
  • Week Three:  Clean Green (and save money too)
  • Week Four: It’s all in the routine

Each Wednesday will mark the start of a new week.  I hope that you will be able to join me in this challenge!!  Look for the first post later in the day! :)

Do you always have a spring cleaning day during this month?  What’s your best tip?

 

Posted in Cleaning tips and tricks, Organizing Life, Spring Cleaning Challenge | 6 Comments