Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Tire Swing

Yesterday was a pretty big day for Ryan and Addie. Their fabulous daddy decided he was going to put a tire swing in the front yard! The idea came from Ryan who, in his desperate attempts to reenact Spiderman, was caught several times trying to "swing" from one of the low hanging branches of the large tree in the front yard. Unfortunately, Ryan wasn't tall enough to reach and the branch (that was really a small twig) wasn't strong enough to hold him, so what's a boy to do?

David found some chain at Walmart and got the tire for free from the Walmart Tire Recycling Guy, so the whole thing cost $20. When Ryan woke up from his nap and learned that the tire swing was indeed functional, he raced outside. Unfortunately, he was crushed because Daddy had used a chain instead of a rope. He was s-c-r-e-a-m-i-n-g because rope is more Spiderman-ish than chain is! (I had to leave Ryan's presence; I was furious at how spoiled he was acting!) Addie didn't care what the darn thing was made of; she was THRILLED! It took Ryan about an hour to warm up to the idea of swinging from a chain instead of a rope, but when he did, oh man! We couldn't get him back in the house.

They loved riding together. Even when they could've ridden alone, they chose to go at the same time.

If the truth were told, Daddy and Mommy had a pretty swell time too. In fact, the kids were screaming at us to get off so they could have a turn!

What a great memory we made yesterday!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Homemade Laundry Soap

For several months now, I have been wanting to make my own laundry soap; and today, I DID IT! I can honestly tell you that I was a bit intimidated by the idea of making my own soap. After all, laundry soap is so darn expensive, one would logically think that it must be a terribly difficult process to make. Or perhaps the average size bottle of detergent runs anywhere between $4.99 and $8.99 because the ingredients that go into it are so expensive. Nope, neither is true. Making my own detergent was so simple and took such little time, that I am embarrassed to have waited so long to try it!

Well, I wish I could say I came up with this recipe, but I must admit I did not. I found it on my friend Emily's blog.

Warm water
1 bar of your choice of soap
(I used Dove Fresh Burst, and the smell is just that...fresh.)
1 cup of baking soda (washing soda is preferable, but no one seems to be able to find it.)
1/2 cup of Borax
a five-gallon container with lid (I used an extra Rubbermaid storage tote that I had lying around.)

Baking soda: $1 Borax: $2.68 Dove Soap: $2.64 Knowing I'm going to save lots of money for the rest of my life on laundry soap: Priceless

First, bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. While you wait for the water to boil, grate the soap.

Yep, that's a cheese grater. And soap is surprisingly easier to grate than cheese. **Funny sidenote: because the soap I used was orange-ish yellow, Ryan asked, "Mommy, are we putting cheese in our soap?"**

Once the water comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium/medium-high and add the grated soap a handful at a time. As you add, stir the soap until it dissolves. Once all the soap is dissolved, remove the soap and water mix from the heat and set aside. Fill your container with 3 gallons of warm water. Add the baking (or washing) soda, Borax, and soap/water mix to the warm water and stir. Put the lid on your container and let the detergent sit for 24 hours before using. It made almost 5 gallons of laundry detergent. Use a cup of detergent per load. You could also save your empty detergent bottles and fill them up with your mixture.

Now, I'm not very good at math, but if my calculations are correct, I just got 5 gallons of soap for about $1 per gallon. It doesn't take a nuclear physicist from Harvard to know that's a pretty sweet deal.



The whole process took about 20 minutes from start to finish, and as you can see, the kids helped. I will definitely be doing this again!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Vestibule of Heaven

Let me start this post by clarifying that I did not write the passage below. In fact, when I came upon it during my short stint as the copy editor at Christ For The Nations, I (and several others) believed the founder of CFN himself, the late Gordon Lindsay, wrote it. After some investigating, no one seemed to remember who wrote it, but it was concluded that Lindsay probably wasn't the author because it wasn't his style. Anyway, despite not knowing the author, I have come back to this passage several times since first reading it. To me, it speaks volumes. I honestly don't think you can get everything out of it by reading it just once. Let me know if this speaks to you like it does me...

"If God has called you to be really like Jesus in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility. He will demand such obedience of you, that He will not allow you to follow other Christians, and in many ways, He will seem to let other people do things which He will not let you do.

Other Christians and ministers who seem very religious and useful may push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out their plans, but you cannot do it; and if you attempt it, you will meet such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.

Others can brag on themselves, on their work, on their success, on their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing. If you should begin boasting, He will lead you into some deep mortification which will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

The success of others will be obvious in the great sums of money they make, the legacies they leave, or the luxuries they have; but God may supply you daily, because He wants you to have something far better than gold. This is a helpless dependence on Him - that He may have the privilege of providing your needs day by day out of the unseen treasury.

Others may be honored and put forward, but the Lord will keep you hidden away in obscurity because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory - fruit which can only be produced in the shade.

God will let others be great, but keep you small. He will let others do a work for Him and get the credit for it, but He will make you labor and toil on without knowing how much you are doing. Then, to make your work still more precious, He will allow others to get the credit for the work which you have done - making your reward ten times greater when Jesus comes.

With a jealous love, the Holy Spirit will put a strict watch on you, and will rebuke you for idle words and feelings or for wasting your time - which other Christians never seem distressed over.

So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign, and has a right to do as He pleases with His own. He will not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle your reason in His dealings with you. God will take you at your word; and if you absolutely sell yourself to be His slave, He will wrap you up in this jealous love, and permit other people to say and do many things that you cannot say or do. Settle it forever - you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit. And He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes - disciplining you in ways He does not seem to use on others.

When you become so possessed with the living God that, in the secret place of your heart, you are pleased and delighted over this peculiar, personal, private, protective guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of heaven."

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Votes Please!

I'm thinking about opening an Etsy/Ebay store, and I asked David to help me design some logos with the names we thought of. Please vote on your favorite to settle the dispute between David and me!

Here's the first one:

Addilyn's middle name is Belle, and the flower is actually a bell flower. So, it's a play on words with her name. The pink is obvious because it's her favorite color, and she's such a girly girl. I love the simplicity of this one.

Choice Two:

We really like this one too. "Lovey" is Addilyn's nickname, and the cute playfulness of the chick reminds me of her. Not to mention the pink!

We're torn right down the middle. Please help us out!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Favorite Quotes

Inspired by my good friend Chelsea, I would like to share some of my favorite quotes. Be prepared; there's a lot. In no particular order...

To see their sons and daughters so flushed and healthy and happy gave them also a reflected glow, and it was hard to say who had the most pleasure from the game: those who played or those who watched.
--Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.
--Dwight L. Moody

Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure. I believe that restlessness is discontent, and discontent is merely the first necessity of progress. --Thomas Edison

Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous.
--Albert Einstein

I have two guns--one for each of ya.
--Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in Tombstone

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.
--Dwight D. Eisenhower

I know the power obedience has of making things easy which seem impossible.
--St. Teresa of Avila

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
--Mark Twain

If Christ were here now, there is one thing He would not be: a Christian.
--Mark Twain

It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.
--Dolly Parton (about herself)

The best view of government is in the rearview mirror, as you're driving away from it.
--Ronald Reagan

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you druther not.
--Mark Twain

Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed.
--Winston Churchill

Where does the family start? It starts with a young man falling in love with a girl--no superior alternative has yet been found.
--Winston Churchill

Oooh, if I weren't a lady, what I wouldn't tell that varmint!
--Scarlett O'Hara

Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.
--Michael Landon

Revival isn't churches full of people; it's churches full of God. (I'm actually not sure who said this.)

To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, and to devote the will to the purpose of God.
--Sir William Temple

Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.
--Fred Rogers

It sometimes happens that a woman is handsomer at twenty-nine than she was ten years before.
--Jane Austen

No nation ever taxed itself into prosperity.
--Rush Limbaugh

Having a child is surely the most beautifully irrational act two people in love can commit.
--Bill Cosby

Sex education is a good idea in schools, but I don't believe the kids should be given homework.
--Bill Cosby

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Are we defending life when we just pick and choose lives acceptable to lose and which ones to defend?
--Derek Webb

Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.
--Blaise Pascal

See, I told you there were quite a few. Hope you've been inspired, or at least that you've enjoyed reading!

Me In Threes

I've been tagged!

1. Lindsey
2. Babe
3. Momma/Mommy

1. Bridal Registry Consultant
2. Managing Editor
3. Being a wife and mommy...the best job ever!

1. Canyon, TX
2. Dallas, TX
3. Amarillo, TX

1. Iron Chef America
2. American Idol
3. Grey's Anatomy

1. Louisiana
2. Colorado
3. Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana

1. Italy
2. China
3. Florida

1. chicken fajitas
2. lobster ravioli
3. chocolate molten lava cake from Chili's

1. 4th of July--family reunion
2. having my own home again
3. God putting us in full-time ministry

1. a dog named Birdie
2. a dog named Sha-Sha
3. a dog named Forrest

1. Amy
2. Kara
3. Tara

1. David Dietz
2. Kari Jobe
3. Hillsong/Hillsong United

1. gymnastics
2. ballet
3. theater (can't this count as a sport? please?)

1. Margarita...that's it.
2. None
3. None

1. Water w/ lemon
2. Sweet Tea
3. Strawberry, blueberry, pineapple, mango smoothies

1. Homeschooling
2. Cleaning/organizing
3. Yoga

1. Trustworthiness
2. Fun
3. Integrity

1. Family
2. Friends
3. Ministry