Monday, March 26, 2012

Finding Facebook Freedom

There is something about unplugging for 4 days that brings things back into focus.

I spent the last 4 days with no technology.  Just spending time with family.  Relaxing.  Playing games.  Eating good food.  The trifecta baby.  The place where you thrive.  The place where real life takes place.

Today after a conversation with a friend I am thinking about blogs and Facebook.  The technology that I hate.  That I love.  That I hate that I love.

Thinking about the lack of accountability for time spent on these two things. 

Do you and I have the freedom to as much access to technology as our little hearts desire?

Is it OK that there is no filter on time spent browsing the web?

When we shoo our kids away because we're "busy", does that bring honor into our home?

I'm thinking through accountability in this area. 

When I came to my computer there were 97 emails waiting me.  It took about 5 minutes to delete most of them and respond to the most pressing.  What I would normally spend hours a week on took 5 minutes when dealt with in condensed form.

The rest of my time has been spent in life giving activities.

So the thing I am pondering.  Having Shane have my password to Facebook and only checking it once a week when he logs me in.  Boo.  Yay.  No interaction with the world.  Important interaction with those that matter most.  Seeing what you are doing.  Actually doing something in my realm.

What do you think?  If Facebook and Internet robbing you of real life?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Are You Waiting?

Are you waiting on God for something?

Has He whispered something to you about who you are and what He intends for your life and now you are in a waiting period where He seems silent?

His silence is for your preparation.  He is calling you to something and you have to be prepared.

The waiting time is a good thing.  Like most disciplines, waiting does not feel good.  In God's hands though, waiting is a fruitful thing.

I am reading the book, Visioneering, by Andy Stanley.  If God has given you a vision for your life, read this book.  If you feel you lack vision but want to live life on purpose, read this book.

One thing I am learning is that a good idea can be accomplished from my own strength, knowledge and resources.

A GOD IDEA, the divine kind, well that is limited only by God's potential and resources.

"We must focus on what God has called us to do, not on how he is going to pull it off.  Staying vision focused keeps us God focused.  The vision is a reminder of our dependency.  We remain aware that if God doesn't do something, there is no going forward.  For that reason, people with vision live with a sense of expectancy.  They look for God to do something.  They live by faith in the truest sense of the word.  That is, they are living as if God is going to do what they believe he has promised to do!

In light of a divine vision, our daily faithfulness takes on new significance and importance.  It is no longer faithfulness for faithfulness' sake.  There is something important at stake.  If a visionary doesn't act, something significant won't get done.  Believers with vision live with the knowledge that how may come about independently from their planningBut it will not come about apart from their faithfulness.  Faithfulness is critical to success." 

-excerpt from Visioneering pg 57-58

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Here is an example of my list-the number beside each thing represents how many I want to have on hand at all times.  Grocery stores use FIFO (first in, first out).  It's a technique used to manage your inventory.   If you use 2 cans of Rotel and you always want 4 cans on hand remember FIFO.  When you get home from the store, don't just put your Rotel in the front.  Move the older cans to the front and put the new cans in the back.  That way your canned goods will not loose expiration because they got lost in the mix.

Canned Goods
tomato paste 6
tomato juice 4
large Campbell's tomato juice 2
whole tomatoes 2
black beans 4
pinto beans 6
green chilis 4
cream of chicken 4
cream of potato 4
cream of mushroom 2
golden mushroom soup 4
french onion soup 2
beef consumme' 4
corn 6
green beans 6
rotel 6
chili beans 2

taco seasoning packets4
Lipton Onion Soup mix 4
Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix 4
chili powder
beef broth powder
chicken broth powder

(I am new to the beef broth powder and chicken broth powder but they are great flavor enhancers and are only $2.69 on sale at Kroger.  They are by the broths.  You can toss some into your rice or add water to make quick broth.  A lot cheaper than a can of broth!)

baking soda
baking powder
chocolate chips
all purpose flour
self-rising flour
sweetened condensed milk
brownie mix
cake mix

sour cream
cream cheese
cheddar cheese

(I've got to interrupt here to say it never occured to me until yesterday to keep dairy stocked in my fridge. I typically only buy sour cream if we are for sure having Mexican that week...but there are times I wish I had it. Keeping it stocked is such a simple solution! If you have sour cream, cheddar and cream cheese there are TONS of things you can create.  The expiration date is pretty far away on these things so think about that as you buy.  Even if you're not using it in the next week or two, chances are the date will give you several months to work with)

peas and carrots 2
green beans 2
pie crust 2
boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 lb ground chuck packages 5
miniature Reese Cups (for MAMA!)

(I buy my meat at Kroger in a 5 pound package, bring it home and divide it up into 5 smaller portions and freeze them)

peanut butter
flour tortillas
tortilla chips
angel hair pasta 2
bowtie pasta 2
elbow macaroni 2
Jiffy corn muffins
crystal lite lemonade
Ramen noodles

I'm keeping this list in my kitchen to make revisions over the next week or so.  In my next post I'm going to share some of these recipes.

Are there some staples I am missing?  My next post I'm sharing some "Pantry Recipes".

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

List Recipes

If there is one thing I want to be it is prepared.  If you stop by unexpectedly for a visit, I want to be able to ask you to stay for dinner.  I want to be able to share a fun drink and snack with you while we chat.  Today's post is Part 2 of talking about having a well- stocked pantry.  (You can click here to read Part 1)

After you get your pantry organized you get to do the fun part!
You get to make a list!  I know, it's getting too exciting!  Jot down what kind of recipes your family likes that has ingredients you could keep on hand all the time.  For example, my homemade spaghetti sauce calls for 3 cans of tomato paste plus some spices.  I can keep 3 cans of tomato paste, pasta and Parmesan on hand and we'd always be able to have a great Italian dinner.  We have a killer awesome Chili recipe.  Again, with some canned goods, spices and frozen meat we'd have the fixin's for a great dinner.
In my next post I will share my list of staples I came up with.  Your list may look different than mine and that is OK.  Once you make a list of some dishes you always have ingredients for, post it to the inside of your pantry.

So your homework today is to write down the names of some meals that don't necessarily require fresh produce.  In other words, you could have all the ingredients on hand at all times to pull from the pantry/fridge/freezer.

Categories to think about include:  Main Dishes, Sides, Bread Options, Desserts, Drinks, Snacks, did I mention Dessert? :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Well-Stocked Pantry

The last couple of weeks my grocery store runs have been sporadic. Life happens, and when it does, having a well-stocked pantry can save the day! One small change I've been making is buying an extra gallon of bread and milk at the store each week.  That way if I get caught and can't make my weekly trip to the store, we've got enough to hold us over until I can go.
This yummy creation is one I made strictly from things I pulled from the freezer/pantry.  That got the wheels turning on being proactive at keeping a list of meals/desserts/fun appetizers for unexpected company on hand so I will be prepared all the time.

If this is an interesting idea to you, I'd say the first step is organizing your pantry area. Mine was in a chaotic mess.  I bought bread crumbs 2 weeks ago but in the process of organizing I realized I already had bread crumbs.  Having a systematic approach to your pantry will save you time and money when you go to cook.

If you want to jump on the well-stocked pantry bandwagon with me, Come On!  After you read this, take 15 minutes and go organize your pantry to get an idea of what you have on hand. 

In my next post, I'll tell you how to figure out what you need.  Bon Appetit!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Green Walls, Linen, Seagrass

I love Hancock Fabrics. 



I have a dream of re-doing my front room.  Painting the walls green.  White accents on the wall.  Seagrass lamp shades.  Framed old sheet music in weathered frames.  Linen colored curtains.

Today at Hancock's I asked the sweet lady if she'd clip me off a sample of fabric.  She clipped me off a quarter size piece (that is a VERY SMALL sample people).  It fell out of my pocket when I got home.  I had no idea.  Until.  Shane started vacuuming.

All of a sudden everything went slow-mo and Chariots of Fire started playing as I looked down and saw my pitiful sample lying on the floor about to get sucked up by the vacuum.

It was too late.

I suppose there is only one solution.  Go back to Hancock's tomorrow.  That is the right thing to do?  Right?

(Shhh, I also NEED the burlap lamp shade I found today.  My brass lamp isn't going to
know what hit it after I slap some white paint on it and give it the new shade.  Such love.)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Finer Things

I've been thinking about riches and the finer things. For me that equals Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Williams-Sonoma, Crate and Barrel, Country Curtains, and all things French Country.

Gold Buffalo Check

French Tables

Beautiful Hand Towels

Persian Rugs

Linen Furnishings

Weekend Breakfast Tables

To me, these pictures represent the most beautiful this world has to offer.  The finest my earthly eyes have ever seen.  The most expensive and the best.  This week I've been reading Ephesians 1.  My Spiritual Treasure Chest, as my Bible study teacher called it yesterday. 

This week I am asking God to show me his riches.  I'm not looking for material things, but I want to see the spiritual riches available to me.  Not only do I want to see them, but I want to live and enjoy them Today.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Just Do It

Do you have an area in your home you've been needing to tackle?

The dreaded thought of it just makes you sit down and do absolutely nothing?

You are overwhelmed so you do nothing.  Day after day after day.

Here is how you start.

Get 3 trash bags or boxes.

Label them Keep, Sell, Trash.

Set the timer.

10-15 minutes is all you have to start with.  It is small and manageable.


Move as fast as you can.

Handle everything once.

Work left to right, top to bottom in the room.

See how much progress 10 minutes can make.

When the timer dings give yourself 5 more minutes to put the Keep things in their proper place.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Laundry Soap-$16.00

I went to this site and got a new recipe for laundry soap.  The grand total rang up to under $20 for all the ingredients needed.  This girl did 8 loads of laundry a week and it this batch lasted her 9 months.  For under $20!  I timed myself and it took me under 15 minutes to mix the powders and grate the soap.

Our local Wal-Mart has been carrying all these ingredients on the laundry soap aisle.  BUT, they were out of Borax and Fels-Naptha today.  Seems we're all going granola around here.  They'll be getting more ingredients in within the week.

Grating your soap is the most time consuming part.  The soaps recommended were Fels-Naptha, Zote or Ivory.  I chose 3 bars of Fels-Naptha.  It smells GREAT.  You literally mix a box of Super Washing Soda,  a big box of Baking Soda, a box of Borax, 2 boxes of Oxyclean (I used off brand), and 3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap (grated).

A little scoop came in my Oxyclean (1 Tablespoon).  You put 1 TBSP into each load and that is it.

I used 2 big bowls to mix my powders and soap, then put it into my empty Tide box.

This is what it looked like in the water.

Not soapy or sudsy.  I wandered how I would feel about that but after putting in all the Oxyclean and baking soda it feels like it is going to be awesome!

1 4 lb 12 oz box Borax (2.15 kg or 76 oz) found in the detergent isle
1 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (1.81 kg) found in the cooking isle
1 box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz (3 lb 7 oz) found in the detergent isle
3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap, found in the detergent isle
2 small containers of Oxy Clean or store brand Oxy Clean (try to get about 3.5 lbs total (1.58 kg)) found in the detergent isle.

(this is optional, I added it into mine because I have pretty messy kids and the cleaner the better)

(you can also use pink Zote soap instead of Fels-Naptha. I had really wanted to but could not find it anywhere) **Update: My sister found pink Zote soap at Home Depot**

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Be Careful What You Read

I have had this "coffee table" book for a couple of years.  I probably bought it because the cover was pretty and I like simplicity.

Several nights ago I decided to dust it off and actually start reading it.

Something in my spirit was not feeling right as I read.  Red flags were going up as I read but I could not discern why.  Some of the things I was reading felt right, there are Bible verses in the book, but I was unsettled as I read.

Today I decided to Google the author to see if I could find out why the flags were going up inside of me.

Here is what part of the author's bio said, "Candy’s open approach to spirituality draws insight and wisdom from many spiritual traditions."

Dadgumit, I knew it.  I knew something was not right about this book.  There are some treasures I uncovered.  BUT, even though I'm just in the beginning stages of a beautiful covered book that has some truth in it, I'm throwing the book away.

We live in a world where the enemy wants to clutter our minds with things that are not truth.  I'm not willing to finish this book (even though part of me wants to and I hate to throw a pretty book away), but it is not a chance I am willing to take.

We need to fill our minds only with things that are truth.  Some would accuse me of being narrow minded and I am OK with that.

The Truth, found in The Word (John 14) clearly says that Jesus is the only way.  The only way to get to the heart of God.  Jesus is the only way to have relationship with God.  The world says let's draw a little from here and a little from there.  That is not what God calls us to.

So, be careful what you are reading.  Be careful what you are letting your babies read.  And, if you have to throw away a pretty book in the process, do it.

I'd rather err on the side of only filling my mind with truth.  The world and its influence is already loud enough around me, I don't need to willfully add to it by reading something that is not fully pointing me toward the one and only God.

So long book.  We're going to try to fill our home with only things that honor God and point us towards His Heart alone.  There is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved than Jesus.

(p.s. spell check is telling me I have misspelled Dadgumit, how do you spell it?)