Friday, April 24, 2009

Freebie Friday

Good morning to my small group of followers. I hope that each of you had a wonderful week and that you will have an even better weekend. The weather here in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia is starting to dry up and warm up. It is supposed to be in the 80's this weekend! Of course it will be hot instead of comfortable because I am taking H Girl Scout camping Saturday night! Still, no rain and that is definately a blessing. My first memory of Girl Scout camping was a week long camp in which girls set up their own tents and did their own cooking. It rained the entire week! Have you ever tried to build a campfire using damp wood in the pouring rain? Let me tell you it isn't easy, but it was a lot of fun. I don't remember if my mom (who was my leader) thought so at the time, but I do remember learning a LOT of rain songs that week. H won't be tent camping, we will be staying in the lodge at camp, and someone else is doing the cooking. If you ask me, it really isn't camping but it will be her first time staying overnight at camp so she is excited. It is a short camping excursion, 2 pm on Saturday to 9 am on Sunday. I will have just enough time to get to Sunday School. That is a good thing because I invited an AWANA missionary to come and talk to the church about starting a program. I really feel led to work with the children and to get something started for them on Wednesday night. I am hoping that we will get the volunteers we need to start AWANA in the fall, but if not I will find another program. I am looking into a few.
Monday I will be sharing a story from one of my followers that pertains to Monday's Scripture Card. She shared with me a verse that really was a blessing to her and I will be using it as the inspiration for the card and sharing her story with you. It really illustrates the peace and comfort that God can provide us.
So on to today's freebies

In honor of Earth Day, how about a sample of organic laundry detergent? The company claims it is all natural, environment friendly, and gets out tough stains.
http://www.burgiesorganics.com/RequestSample.aspx

The next freebie is kind of neat. It offers children's audio stories that you can download and burn to disk or sync with an mp3 player. That means less paper to print books, but no cute pictures either
http://storynory.com/

Huggies is offering a free sample of their Pure and Natural diapers in size newborn or size 1
http://instoresnow.walmart.com/enhancedrendercontent_ektid69678.aspx

This next one requires you to join to access the freebie, but it is worth it! Join http://www.cross-stitch-board.com/ and you will have access to beautiful complete patterns free of charge.

Finally, Mother's Day is next month, and what better gift that pictures! http://www.artscow.com/ is currently offering 400 free prints to new members. (I thought that was a lot of pictures until I realized how many pics I have floating around in my computer!)

Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dog-gone Dog Bone

As promised, here is the pattern I created for K to use to make items for the dogs at the shelter as part of her Girl Scout Silver Award. I really toyed with offering this pattern as my first pattern in an Etsy shop, but decided against it and am providing it here for free. Without further ado...

Dog-gone Dog Bone

Sample made using RedHeart Super Saver in Aran Fleck finished bone is approximately 11 1/2 inches long
You will need 2 ounces of WW yarn
Size H hook/ 5.0 mm
gauge is not important
Directions:
Do not join rounds! You may want to mark the beginning of each round to avoid confusion and to make counting easier. Begin with a magic circle.
rnd 1: Work 6 sc in circle.
rnd 2: work 2 sc in each (12 sc)
rnd 3: (2 sc in next stitch, sc in next stitch) 6 times (18 sc)
rnd 4: (2 sc in next stitch, sc in each of the next 2 stitches) 6 times (24 sc) fasten off.
repeat rounds 1-4 but do not fasten off.
rnd 5: sc in each of the next 12 stitches, sc in any sc of the first circle made, sc in next 23 stitches of the first circle, sc in the next stitch of the original circle and in the remaining 11 sc. (48 sc)


rnd 6: sc in 11, (insert hook in next stitch and pull up a loop) 3 times, pull through all 4 loops on the hook, sc in each of the next 21 stitches, (insert hook in next stitch and pull up a loop) 3 times, pull through all 4 loops on the hook, sc in last 10 stitches (44 stitches)
rnd 7: sc in 10, (insert hook in next stitch and pull up a loop) 4 times
pull through all 5 loops on the hook

sc in each of the next 18 stitches, (insert hook in next stitch and pull up a loop) 4 times, pull through all 5 loops on the hook, sc in the last 8 stitches. (38 stitches)


rnd 8: sc next 2 stitches together, (sc in each of the next 4 stitches, sc next two stitches together) 6 times. (31 stitches)
rnd 9: (sc in each of the next 4 stitches, sc next two stitches together) 5 times, sc in last stitch. (26 stitches)
rnd 10: (sc in each of the next 3 stitches, sc next two stitches together) 5 times, sc in last stitch. (21 stitches)
rnd 11: (sc in each of the next 3 stitches, sc next two stitches together) 4 times, sc in last stitch. ( 17 stitches)
rnds 12-24: sc in each stitch. Fasten off.
Repeat from the beginning to make second side of the bone. Stuff each end, if desired you can place a squeaker inside at this time. Being sure to match the direction that the ends are pointing, join the two sides matching stitch for stitch. Weave in all ends securely.
Hope you like the pattern. If so, please let me know. It really is nice to know that someone out there is using these patterns and appreciates them so that I know it is worth the time to post the instructions and pictures. God blesss you!










Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wecipe Wednesday

Happy Earth Day!
Do something good for the planet today and remember who created it!
It's another edition of Wecipe Wednesday. I wasn't able to get this post done and ready so that it could be posted on time, but such is life with 4 children. I spent yesterday searching for a paisley material to make K's dress for her choir preformance. They are doing a 60's theme and she asked me to make her a dress for it. We are using a simplicity pattern 3559

I didn't realize how hard it would be to find a paisley! After 3 stores I finally found some. We ended up getting a green and turquise color. I will post a pic when we get it done. Of course I ended up buying some material for baby A as well. I guess the material I had bought for 3 other dresses for her was not enough! LOL! Oh well, busy hands make a happy heart.

On to today's recipe. We actually had this for dinner last night and I meant to snap a pic, but it disappeared to fast! It is a modification of one I found on Allrecipe.com that was submitted by Marie.

Apple Pork Chops

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 apples cored and sliced

6 center cut pork chops

salt and pepper and onion powderto taste

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp coarse ground mustard

1/8 tsp ground cloves

3/4 cup water

2 tsp cornstarch

Direction

Preheat oven to 375. Place a large skillet on the stove on medium-high. Add olive oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper and onion powder on both sides of chops. Brown in skillet on both sides. Place chops in a 10 by 13 pan. Cover with apple slices. Mix water, brown sugar, mustard, and cloves and pour over chops. Place in oven uncovered for 30-45 minutes. Pour liquid from pan into a small pot, bring to a boil. Make cornstarch slurry with cornstarch and a small amount of water. Add slurry to liquid and stir for about 1 minute or until thickened. Pour over chops.

We like to serve this with yellow jasmine rice. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Day



Tomorrow is Earth Day, a day to (as Wikipedia puts it) "inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment". While many will be focused on saving the Earth, reducing our impact on the Earth, and going green, my family will be discussing the creator that brought about the Earth we are supposed to be aware of and appreciate by speaking it into existence. That still amazes me, that God spoke the Earth and all that is in it and on it into existence, everything except man. Man was a personal project that he formed and breathed life into. (Doesn't that make you get all warm and tingly?!) We will be talking about our responsibility to what God has created. He gave us everything that has the breath of life to rule over. (Genesis 1:28)
To me that means we need to be responsible for ensuring that those things are taken care of. We need to do what we can to lessen our impact on their environments. Not out of some moral obligation to the Earth, but because God put us in charge of it. So if you and your families choose to do some Earth Day activities, please remember to stress that we protect the Earth and the creatures on it because God told us to, and that none of it would be here if not for him. That being said, here are a few things you might want to do with your children.

Recycling Project
Egg heads We used permanent markers to make the faces and instead of grass we used flower seeds this year that we picked up for 20 cents a pack. The shell is a natural source of nutrients, use the paper carton as a place to hold the egghead. You have recycled paper, composted the shell, and are now growing something green. With the flowers we plan to break off the bottom of the shell and plant it when it grows bigger so the flowers can grow. With grass seed the kids can give it hair cuts if they want as it grows. Here is a pic of H's egg head. Sad to say, but I broke mine right after it sprouted!

Paint Pot Pals These we haven't made, but they are now on my to do list. I have tons of those strips of paint in the art supplies area of my house. I never thought to use them when they dried up or were emptied. I can see these as a Girl Scout S.W.A.P., a classroom craft, a birthday party craft, a teacher gift (the flower one) and a gift for the kids to give to friends or family. One less thing in the landfill and one more cute thing in circulation!

Gift Boxes from Cards We do this frequently. The boxes are small, often just the right size for a ring, gift card, homemade jewelry, or maybe one of those paint pot pals! hmmm

Litter Bugs This is a cutie when it is done. You can even make it more of a recycle project if you use the yarn from a sweater you have outgrown or that has holes in it. Just frog it (Rip It Rip It Rip It) and then cut it into the correct size strands.

Things you can do everyday to help

Start a compost pile. Not into having a big pile of rotting vegetation in your yard? Go small. Did you know that if you tuck some banana peels into your potted plants they will love it?! And then you don't waste space in the landfills.

If your trash service also has a recycling service then use it. It just takes a few seconds to look at what you are throwing away and put it into a separate can, but it really makes a difference.

If it doesn't belong there, pick it up. This was brought home to me when I was watching a Kent Hovind seminar. He had left some trash on the ground intentionally outside of his seminar. He watched to see who took the time to bend over, pick it up and place it in the trash can that was nearby. Most people did not, as a result they lost out on the paper money he had taped to the back of the trash as a reward. Seems we always seem to think someone else will get it. Why not be the someone else? You reduce the litter problem and burn a few extra calories.

Plant something. Plants produce oxygen and recycle carbon dioxide. Just 5 houseplants in a room make the air cleaner. With all of the varieties available today it isn't to hard to find something that won't die if you touch it. I don't know about you, but seeing them in a room sure brightens my day.

My last thought, spay or neuter you pet. I know it isn't free, but if you don't plan to breed them you can prevent future generations of animals ending up in a shelter and possibly being put to sleep through this simple procedure. Often communities have low cost or free clinics for lower income families.

Earth Day is tomorrow, first remember who gave us the Earth and take a moment to appreciate all of the wonderful things He spoke into existence. Second, reflect of the responsibility He gave us. Finally, do something to take care of the planet. Have a wonderful day!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Musings


I admit, when I was working on this weeks scripture card, I was tired! Baby A had slept through the night 2 days in a row and I still hadn't adjusted to sleeping. I was three days behind in my personal Bible study and I was trying to catch up all at once. Not the best circumstances to attempt to spend time with God. You see, for me Bible study isn't a "have to" it is a "want to". When it becomes a "have to" it isn't personal, it's like doing homework. I don't want that kind of relationship with God. Anyway, I began reading, intending to only read a chapter or two, and I got engrossed. I am in Numbers. Aaron's sons have died and God is laying down the laws of the land. Next thing I knew it was 1 am! So I flipped to Psalms for a happy thought to bring to bed with me and read this verse. It still amazes me how God seems to give just the right words when I need them!
I read the verse and knew I would use the picture of a sleeping child. After all, children are so trusting. They don't worry about bills, what is for dinner the next night, will they get everything done tommorrow, did the accomplish everything today. They just go to sleep. It reminded me of a verse, Matthew 18:3, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Children are so trusting. That is evident every day with Baby A.
Hold her in you lap and she dives to get on the floor. She moves without thought of getting hurt, trusting that someone will be there to save her. H and J are the same way. J begged to help daddy on the roof last year when he was cleaning the gutters. J was upset that I made daddy tie him to the roof as a safety precaution. J was with daddy, as far as he was concerned he was safe and nothing could happen to him. H likes to use the bar at the top of the swing set as a balance beam, giving no thought to falling. Then there is me, all grown up and full of fear. I can't stand to watch them as they do these things because I see them falling down and getting hurt, I see what could happen. And there is the crux of the matter. Somehow when we grow up, we grow fearful. We no longer trust that God will watch out for us. Maybe we have fallen down too many times and gotten hurt. Or maybe we only fell one time, but we never got back up again. When that happens do you blame God? I know that at times I did. Looking back now I can see what was going on.
I was walking my own path most of the time, living how I wanted to and not the way God wanted me to. I wasn't trusting God, or listening, or following Him. When we do that, we can't find the peace or the safety. God has given us free will. He allows us to choose the danger, to choose the situations that aren't safe. When we do that we negate His peace and safety. So tonight, as you lay down, remember to listen for God to lead you. For if you do, you will sleep in peace because God will keep you safe.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cat toy

My Girl Scouts have chosen the local animal shelter as their service project for the year. I admit, I have a soft spot for animals. Growing up there was always a pet in the house. I can remember going to the pound with my parents to rescue animals on "death row". We would adopt them and then find a home for them, or keep them ourselves. Needless to say I was tickled to death when the girls decided on the shelter as a project. The Brownies made dog treats to donate using a recipe found online. They had a blast making them and even taste tested them! I have some adventurous girls! Their project was the last thing they needed to do to complete their Brownie Quest. The Juniors and Cadettes in the troop will also be making doggy treats as part of their service project for their Bronze and Silver award. My oldest daughter, K, is also wanting to make toys for the animals. As a result I created a quick and easy project for her to do that will enable her to make quite a few toys in the time alotted. She, however, feels that I have neglected the poor puppies in the toy department so I will have to design something for them as well. Anyway, here are the instructions for the cat toy:



Krazy Kitty Toy







You will need:

a very small amount of yarn, samples were made using Simply Soft and some other unidentified thick yarn that I found in my yarn stash

size H hook for the Simply Soft or similiar WW yarn. I used a J for the other yarn as it was rather thick

1 jingle bell

stitch marker of choice (I use a safety pin)


Directions:
Chain 15

Place 3 sc in second chain from the hook and in the next 12 stitches. The chain will start to curl.

sc in the last chain, place stitch marker around this stitch. Place 5 more sc in the last chain. Join to marked stitch. This forms the cup for the jingle bell. Chain 1


Place 2 sc in each stitch around, join to first sc, chain 1 (12 sc)


Sc in each stitch around, join to first sc, chain 1 Place jingle bell in the cup now.


sc in first stitch, *skip next stitch, sc in next stitch. Repeat from *4 more times. skip next stitch, join to first sc. Fasten off leaving a long tail. Using the tail, weave it in and out of the stitches on the last round and pull tight to close around the jingle bell. Weave in the ends.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Freebie Friday

The children have been on Spring break this past week, which has made things a little hectic around here. That is why there was no Monday or Wednesday post. Today is the first time I have been on the computer this week! I have, however, written up a pattern for a cat toy for K to make as part of her Girl Scout Silver award that I will be sharing next week. I have also completed two hats for Christmas presents and will post pics next week as well as a link to the pattern for anyone interested. I plan to have a new Scripture Card for you on Monday and recipe for Wednesday. I am also working on a pattern for a dog toy as well that I will share when it is completed.
So that is the update, and here are the freebies!

Free sample of Airborne
http://airbornehealth.com/promotions_original.php

Earth Day at Disney Stores
If you bring in 3 plastic bottles to any Disney store they will exchange them for a free gift on April 22 (Earth Day)! For more information visit
http://disneyshopping.go.com/disney/store/Category_10002_10051_59503_-1_59503_____Disney-Store

This one is really cool! A paint that transforms any surface into a dry erase board! For a free sample visit
http://www.ideapaint.com/get-a-sample.aspx

If you have a little girl, Mattel is again trying to get her attention with a new line of Princess toys, Precious Places. To kick it off they are offering a free 12 minute DVD featuring the new Princess. To get your copy just visit
http://www.fisher-price.com/pages/v6/default/preciousplaces/landing.asp

and finally, 2 free Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. You will need to confirm your email address and signing up for the freebie automatically signs you up for a newsletter so this is definately one of those times you will want to use your alternate email. Sign up by visiting
http://www.cleanupthatfilthyhouse.com/aprom_01.php

Be on the lookout for some Earth Day crafts and ideas next week as well! Have a great Friday!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Freebie Friday

Another edition of Freebie Friday. So for today's freebie links, here you go!

A free sample of Rachel Ray's new dog food Nutrish can be found by clicking the below link. The good thing about this brand is that all of the proceeds go to organizations that help animals in need. Good food and good feelings, how can you beat that?
http://instoresnow.walmart.com/enhancedrendercontent_ektid69432.aspx

Grab the next one as it will go quickly! Free sample of Huggies new diapers Pure and Natural, only available in sizes newborn, 1 and 2
http://www.huggiespureandnatural.com/FreeSample.aspx

Free full size sample of Pantene's Nature Fusion while supplies last
http://www.harpersbazaar.com/sweepstakes/6741

Looking for some last minute Easter ideas - crafts, egg decorating ideas, recipes? Here is the link to a free e-book full of them
http://www.favecrafts.com/downloads/EasterCraftEbook.pdf

If you have kids, you know you can get them to eat ANYTHING if you put ketchup on it! We go through LOTs of ketchup at my house. How about a coupon by mail for a free bottle of ketchup along with lots of other coupons? If you are interested then click below
http://www.simpleanddelicious.com/special-offers/walmart-coupon-booklet.jsp

That's it for today! Hope that you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wecipe Wednesday

This week I am planning for Easter dinner. I have invited my mother over as well as my sister and her children. I haven't figured out where we are all going to sit, but there will be plenty of food to share and I am sure it will be wonderful to spend time with family.

I am trying to get my children to focus more on the meaning of Easter and less on the Easter bunny and the cutesy portions of Easter. It seems that so many of us get caught up in hunting Easter eggs that we forget their symbolism - new life. A new life that was gifted to us through the death of Christ. We start to focus on the baskets of goodies that a rabbit leaves for us to find in the morning - not the ultimate gift of salvation and an eternity with the King of Kings. This year I think we are not doing the baskets until after the church service. No egg hunt until we remember what the day is really about. And I think we are going to start a new Easter tradition. Which brings me to this weeks Wecipe Wednesday

We are going to make resurrection cookies. I came across the recipe several years ago and said we were going to make them, but never did. This year we are and I am going to share the recipe with you in case you want to make them also.



Resurrection Cookies



You will need:

1 cup pecans, whole 1 Bible

1 tsp vinegar 1 zip top baggie

3 egg whites a wooden spoon

1 cup sugar bowl

pinch of salt piece of tape



Directions:

Preheat Oven to 300 F.

Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested he was beaten by the Roman soldiers.Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink.Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.Read Luke 23:27.

So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 c. sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us, He wants us to know that and He wants us to love Him as well.Read Psalms 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.Read Isaiah1:18 and John 3:1-3

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid.Read Matthew 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed.Read Matthew 27:65-66.

GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.Read John 16:20 and 22.

On Sunday morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On Resurrection morning, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.Read Matthew 28:1-9.



Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thoughts for Tuesday - following God

I hope that each of you are having a wonderful week. Have you been doing my challenge this week? Did you spend a few minutes each morning listening and waiting for God to lead you? In my personal studies I was reading Exodus 38 which ends with God descending like a cloud upon the Tent of Meeting that the Israelites built according to God's instructions. When the cloud was upon the tent, the Israelites stayed where they were (at this point they are still in the desert and not yet at the promised land). When the cloud lifted, signifying God's departure, the people moved on their journey. What a wonderful visual of Monday's Scripture card. The cloud was filled with fire (light) by night. They were content to stay where God was and left to search Him out when He wasn't with them. We should also be willing to drop what we are doing and search Him out when we find ourself without Him. In addition, I can't imagine the desert being a pleasant place to be under normal circumstances. The Israelites had left Egypt, a land where there was plenty of food, water, entertainment and riches, to live in a desert in which food must have been scarce if God had to provide them with quail in the evenings and manna in the mornings at one point. Granted, at this time they had herds of animals as evidenced by God's command to make sacrifices of bulls, goats, and sheep, but I doubt it was as plentiful as they may have been used to. How many times have you found yourself in a position that isn't as comfortable as you were used to?
For me it has been this past year. My husband was laid off of work at a job he really enjoyed. One that had excellent benefits, good hours, and allowed him to occassionally meet with me for a lunch date. However, due to the economy there were cutbacks, and he was one of the newest employees and as a result one of the first to go. At first I was upset. We had just found out we were expecting another baby and I didn't know how we were going to survive. I started looking for ways to make things work. Was I going to have to go back to work? Was my husband going to have to work more than one job again and put a strain on our marriage because we didn't see each other? Finally I stopped worrying and put my trust in God. I was going to be where He was. From that point on I didn't worry. I asked God to show us what He wanted and then we did what He asked. During this past year we went on more dates with each other than ever before. My marriage was strengthened. The money we had seemed to keep growing, to the point that we were not only able to take care of our own family for the year, but we were able to financially help another family as well. That could only be the work of God. I stayed where God was, in unemployment, in faith. As a result He took care of us.
Are you looking for where God is? Are you following Him? Trust me, life is much better if you are! After all, He tells us, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" (Matthew 6:25-26) If God takes care of the birds, and we are more valuable to Him than they, He will take care of us also. You just have to be where He is so that He can take care of you.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday Musings

Happy Monday! It is the beginning of a new week, a new day, and the first Monday of a new month. What a wonderful thought that so much is before us. Here in WV after an 80 degree Sunday, we are expecting snow showers this evening. It amazes me how quickly things can turn around. Seems winter isn't ready to go away just yet. I had to pull in my cucumber seeds that I had started.

My wonderful husband installed my new front door over the weekend. I absolutely LOVE it. It took much longer to install than we had thought it would, but it totally changes the way my house looks and adds an entirely new feel to it. Now I really want to get all of the work done on the inside that we plan to do. The new door makes the rest of it look drab and dirty. Looks like I am finally going to have to sand and finish the stairs that I had him pull the carpet off of. They have been sitting bare, waiting, longing for me to work on them. I guess that I had better get busy with them!

Baby A is teething again. This will be tooth number4. She is just growing and growing! She is 8 months old now and so curious and into everything! She now chases my hubby and I around the house and boy is she quick! Still not walking on her own, but she acts like she will be soon!

K has decided to try out for basketball and choir next year in high school. I hope to get her some voice lessons as she has a beautiful voice. She wants to be on Gospel Dream, the Christian version of American Idol. Her fall back plan is to be an otolyrangologist. She wants to be able to help children with ear problems like she had when she was younger that led to a 50% hearing loss in one ear and requires her to wear ear plugs any time her ear could come in contact with water, incuding in the shower. She can't dive off a diving board or swim under water.

So there is today's musings, and here is this weeks scripture card:


I have been trying to listen to what God is telling me more and less on what I want to do or say or feel. I want to let him lead and for me to follow so that I can be in His will. as Hebrews 13:20-21 says, "may the God of peace... equip (me) with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in (me) what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ..." God gives us what we need to be in his will, all we have to do is accept the gift that was upon that cross. Next, once we have been equipped, we have to "not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed through the renewing of (our) mind..." (Romans 12:2). I can't try to do it my way, or the way of the world. that is not God's will. He has set me apart (Levitcus 20:24) from the world, I am supposed to be different. This is a hard one for me, and is the reason I often do not allow God's light and truth to guide me. I don't always want to look different, I often want to fit in with the crowd. However, this is where He needs us to look different the most.

In a crowd, do you notice the persons who look similiar? Will you remember that person an hour later? or a day? or a week? Probably not. So if we look like everyone else, and talk like everyone else, and act like everyone else, what will the world see in us? Will the world see us? If the world sees no different then why would they want what we have? I know before I was saved by God's grace I often wondered why a person would want to follow all of the rules that I thought a Christian had to follow. It made no sense to me. Mostly it made no sense because I had not seen a Christian that acted like he or she was set apart. I did not see the joy they felt, the peace that surrounded them, the happiness that God's love brought to their lives. The Christians I saw were not trying to be different, they also were not following God's light and truth.

So here is my challenge to you. This week, set aside some time at the beginning of every day to listen to God. You can read your Bible, listen to music, pray, or just sit quietly. I like to sit on my back porch and watch the sun rise, to literally look for God's light. Listening is the easy part though; the hard part is to do what He says. I have a hard time sharing my faith with people that I know are angry at God, or just totally don't believe He exists. However, lately God has been using me to talk to someone who feels God has forgotten her. It isn't easy to bring up the subject with her. Nor is it easy to keep inviting her to church or share God's message with her. However I keep doing it, because I am allowing Him to guide me. So when you hear God directing your path, or you feel a nudge to do something, DO IT! Let him guide your actions this week and see just how much He can do through you. Remember, he doesn't need you to listen, or do even follow through. He could have used anyone to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, but look at how much Moses grew as a person for finally letting God guide him! Imagine what God can work in us if we just allow him to guide our actions as well.

That is it for this Monday' musings. If you decide to take part in the challenge this week, take a moment and let me know. I would love to read your stories and to see how God is working in your lives also!


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Freebie Friday

It's Friday again! I don't really know where this week went. Seems like it just flew by and somehow I missed most of it. So here we are ready for another list of freebies to scoop up. I just wanted to tell everyone that I received my free sippy cup for baby A from Juicy Juice that I listed as a freebie last week and was pleasantly surprised. It is a spill proof cup with a screw on lid and it looks like the one pictured on their site. Baby A seems pleased with it as well, even though it is her first cup without handles. If you didn't scoop that one up yet, it is still available as of the writing of this post. Onto the freebies:


Free Letter Opener - now I know that the price of snail mail is going up and most of us are paying bills electronically so that means fewer letters to open. However, a letter opener is also good for cutting wrapping paper and is a relatively safe cutting instrument for children to use. Anyway, here is the link
http://mailfinity.net/letter-opener.html


Allergy season is upon us. To reward you, how about a free sample of Zyrtec
http://instoresnow.walmart.com/enhancedrendercontent_ektid68226.aspx


Summer is almost here. Time to start working on that healthy looking glow. For those of you like me, not enough time to tan or concerned about tanning risks, try some of the gradual self tanning lotions out there. I used one last year and the results weren't to bad once I got the hang of it. Here is a link for a free sample
http://instoresnow.walmart.com/enhancedrendercontent_ektid67378.aspx


Free ticket to see the Ringling Bros. Circus for your baby. I have gotten one of these for each of my children. There is no expiration date so the child can use it once at any time in their life.
http://www.ringling.com/TextContent.aspx?id=11738&parentID=348&assetFolderID=352


Spring is finally here and with it is planting time. I just put broccolli (I know I can't spell, deal with it!) in the ground and planted some flower bulbs and violets. While I don't have a big garden, I have planted seeds before and when they started to come up I had my very own surprise garden because I had forgotten what I had planted where. Well, apparently I am not the only one who does that and there must be people out there who don't like that element of surprise because a company has come up with a solution...agrimarks. They are offering free samples of this plant marker that allows you to insert the empty seed packet into it and then use it to mark you planting. You can check it out and get the sample here
http://agrimarks.com/sample.html


Well, that is it for today. Hope you found something that interests you and saves you a few coins. I am off to shop for the Girl Scout meeting tonight. The girls are planting in homemade recycled containers. Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wesipe Wednesday

Baby A got her third tooth in as of this morning. It was her top center right tooth. That explains why she didn't want to sleep last night until almost 11:30 pm! Boy was that a long night as she didn't sleep well and I didn't give her any Tylenol as I didn't realize she was teething. Today she is in a much better mood and is currently happily playing on the floor.

Photobucket

H performed in her school talent show last night. I almost missed it as we were shopping in the school book fair and lost track of time. She sang "Shout to the Lord" and did a beatiful job if I do say so myself. She was a little disappointed as she had also worked on a separate routine with another little girl and unfortunately the other girl was not able to come and perform that evening. The good news is that it was nothing that a new book, Dear Dumb Diary, wasn't able to fix!

I also finally got around to uploading J's favorite song from his All-County performance last week. Take a listen if you are interested.





And finally the wecipe err.... recipe. With it being almost Easter I decided to make Easter eggs. I typically make the peanut butter eggs, and I plan to again this year, but I love the coconut ones! So this year I am going to make some of them as well. You are welcome to join me. Below is the recipe:


Easter Coconut Eggs


1 stick butter, softened

3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

2 tsp coconut extract

1 Tbsp whole milk

2 1/2 cups coconut flakes

Chocolate flavored almond bark or chocolate chips

Mix first four ingredients in a stand mixer on low until combined. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl frequently. Also, be careful when starting it up or your whole kitchen will be white. Trust me on this one! Once they are combined, all coconut flakes and mix thouroughly.

Divide the mix into 6 equal portions. Form each portion into an egg shape and place on a plate covered with wax paper. Freeze for approximately 30 minutes or place in refridgerator overnight.
(I know! What an ugly puke yellow color for a countertop but it came with the house so what can I say?)
Melt approximately 1/2 of the package of almond bark or chocolate chips. Place cold coconut eggs on a wire rack and spoon the melted chocolate over them to cover the top and sides. Remove from rack once chocolate has hardened enough to be handled. Now dip the bottoms of the eggs in the melted chocolate. Place them on a piece of wax paper to harden. Enjoy!
Word of advice...don't let the eggs completely freeze. If you do then you will end up with huge cracks in the chocolate as the coconut warms up! Don't ask me how I know. All I will say is that baby A was fussing, I was trying to get laundry done, and the phone kept ringing. The next thing I knew LOTS more than 30 minutes had passed since I had put the eggs in the freezer. They still taste gret though! Oh, no finished egg pics because...well just because. If you make up a batch why not post a pic of your own for everyone to see?




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