Thursday, September 30, 2010

An Awesome Homemade Fabric Softener

Recently Doug and I went and stayed with some friends and I just couldn’t get over how soft their towels were.  Finally I mentioned it and she told me that it was her homemade fabric softener.

So later, I emailed her and got the recipe.  I made it and the results are wonderful!

I did go check the internet to make sure that it wasn’t a family secret that I was giving away and found a number of variations.

Here is my recipe..

The ingredients:
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3 c. hair conditioner – get the cheap dollar store kind
3 c. white vinegar
6 c. tap water
Put in large empty bottle.  Shake well.

The Results:
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And that’s it.

My recycled vinegar bottle works great to store my homemade softener. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hmm.. maybe that’s why?

I read an article this morning on yahoo.  You should go read it too. 

Survey: Americans don't know much about religion

What I read wasn’t surprising at all.  Basically it shows that American Christians don’t know their theology.  We like to spout the rhetoric and get all upset about political and worldly things.  But when it gets down to it, we can’t back up what we say, because we don’t know what we believe, why we believe it or where we could find it.

I have to say, that I really do try to not be too political on here, but I’m gonna say one thing. 

There are many people who say, “What Would Jesus Do” and then make some political remark about why we shouldn’t do something or why we should be afraid if so and so got elected.  I have heard many times… You voted for WHO??? How can you do that and be a Christian?

So here is my response. 

I’m going to vote for anyone I want :) But I’m going to let the example of  Jesus be my guide.  And in case you didn’t know..

Jesus, fed the hungry.  He didn’t ask if they were capable and couldn’t they work.  He fed them.

Jesus, healed the sick.  He didn’t ask if they deserved to be healed. He just healed them.

Jesus was an advocate for the orphan and widow.  Two groups of people that had no voice.

Jesus was NOT an advocate for the well-fed, arrogant establishment whose only concern was to make sure that their portion would at least remain the same if not grow larger.

So I ask you, consider what you believe.  Be it Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, Jew or whatever.  Know what you believe, why you believe it and be able to defend it.

Heck, if you call yourself a Christian and you don’t own a bible, maybe you could even go pick one up and open it up.  Don’t know where to start reading?  How ‘bout Matthew or Luke?

Cause to be honest, I’m tired of “American Christianity”  and the idea that being a Christian and being an American are one in the same.  Newsflash: They are NOT! 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Sermonette on Faith

Today was UMW Sunday at church.  That's United Methodist Women. Lots of the women of the church were asked to participate in some way.  I was asked to speak on faith.  The theme for UMW this year is Faith, Love and Hope in Action, so I was the first of three speakers.

As anyone who knows me can attest, a 3-5 minute speech is hard for me to do.  It's not the speaking that's hard, it's limiting myself to just 5 minutes.  So I wrote out everything I said and practiced.  I was 5 minutes on the nose!

I would love to post a picture or a video or something from this morning, but I don't have anything.  Sorry.  So instead, I'll post my sermonette.  Read it below if you like.

Faith. It’s a simple word, but incredibly complex. When I looked up the word in the dictionary, there were 8 primary definitions plus a whole slew of descriptions and definitions on the web. Yet when I look at the definitions and discussions about faith as a whole, I see a prevailing theme. This theme is that faith is an inner attitude driven by our decision to believe in something. This inner attitude becomes the foundation for everything we do and everything we are.

Let me say this again, our attitude, yes, the very expression of our life is a personal definition of faith. For what we believe and who we are is the mirror of our faith to the world.

Hebrews 11 :1 says

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

But it is more than that! Hebrews 11 gives a list of a few people and their actions and how they were used by God because of what they believed. For example:

Abel offered a better sacrifice.
Noah listened to God and prepared an ark.
Abraham set out on a journey not knowing where he would end up.
and Sarah at 90 years of old was promised a child.

These are just a few of the examples given. I urge you to take the time to read Hebrews 11 and be reminded of the miraculous work of God in the lives of people who choose to live by faith. People who heard God and responded with an attitude of faith. People like Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Rahab. These people were not perfect, not even close, but they allowed the attitude of faith to become the foundation for action in their lives.

What I find so amazing in this reminder of the faithful followers is that they acted in obedience because of their faith in God. They wholeheartedly, completely believed that when God asked them to do something they should do it. The benefit of doing what God asked was not necessarily a tangible reward, but knowing that the presence of God in their lives and the hope of eternity was a far greater gift.

Look at Moses as written in Hebrews 11: 24-27.

24By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. 25He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.

So Moses, a recognized son of the pharaoh’s daughter had the opportunity to live a rather easy and pleasurable life, but because he identified with those that believed in God, he was called to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses’ actions were those of a man who fully and wholeheartedly believed in something greater.

While some of faithful mentioned in Hebrews saw the benefit of doing what God asked them to do, many did not see a reward. Verse 39 states “and all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better…”

Something better. How many times have we chosen to forgo the something better that God has for us because we wanted the immediate and easy answer. It’s hard to fathom that we would be called to act and to serve, to live a life a faith and to not seek an immediate reward. But that is what we are called to do. If we have “the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen, we have a foundation that is strong enough for us to take the next step and start the next journey.

The book, Crazy Love, Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan, challenges our mindset of doing just enough to please God. In fact, he says “True faith means holding nothing back, it bets everything on the hope of eternity.” This true faith is the foundation that allows us to do crazy things that God has called us to do. It’s the faith that Moses had as he walked on dry land across the red sea. It is the faith that asks us to serve others in ways we could have never imagined, it is the faith that calls us to speak kindness and mercy, it is the faith that calls us to live frugally so that we might give more, it is the faith that calls us to action.

So that is our challenge, that we would have an attitude of faith because we believe in God. And finally, from the Message version of Philemon 1:5 “I keep praying that this faith we hold in common keeps showing up in the good things we do, and that people recognize Christ in all of it.”


Monday, September 20, 2010

Just Because You’re the Best Cards

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I love making 3”x3” cards.  They are fun and quick and just cute :)

So I made a lot of them.  I love passing them out in the teacher’s boxes at school.  It’s fun to see them smile.  Some people know it’s me and sometimes I’ve even signed them.  But I really like just being a little more anonymous.  Sometimes they go in the trash, but some people still have some of the cards I made a few years ago.

If you have a little time on your hands and want to make a little project, go cut some paper to 3”x6”, fold it in half and get stamping.  These cards are more involved than some I have done as they have 5 stamps, an embellishment, and a candy, but really once you get a system down it’s not a cumbersome project.  In fact, I really enjoy using up my scraps and finding cute uses for some unused yarn and brads. 

Have a great week and I hope you find time for a little crafting!!

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Supplies: CTMH Damask Tiles, Say it in Style, and Good Work stamps.  CTMH Petal ink. Purple assorted flowers and yarn.  Silver and white assorted brads.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cheerleader Mini Camp

This week was SHS Cheerleader Mini Camp.  Lexi now thinks she’s a high school cheerleader.  They had a little pep-rally before last night’s game; complete with cheering on the field!
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All lined up.  Whew. That’s hard work!
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Finally cheering! yellow jackets 017c

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Lexi made a Great Cheerleader!

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And just in case you missed the bows in the earlier picture… take another look!! Sorry Kylie. I had to do it. yellow jackets 002c

Friday, September 17, 2010

To Jump or Not to Jump

So I’m folding laundry and I look over and Kylie is standing on the coffee table.  She has moved the little step stool over to the table and is laughing and mugging at me. 
She then turns and slides off the table, walks around the table and climbs back up.
That’s when I went for the camera.  I could see that there was going to be no stopping her until she fell off or moved on to conquer something else.
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Oh no!! I have to go.  Kylie is making herself a bottle.  She got a bottle out of the cabinet and is pouring water in it from the refrigerator!!  HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Littlest Ranger Fan

I couldn't get her to slow down and smile for me,
but she was just too cute to not get a picture!

Go Texas Rangers!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Newlyweds at 70+

Labor Day weekend Doug’s mom Ruth got married. Doug’s dad died almost seven years ago and Ruth had aged dramatically over these years.  However, last spring she met Charlie and started living again.ruth_c
As Ruth began to plan her “simple” wedding, things escalated as all things wedding seem to do.  By the time we got to the wedding we had all the family, five musicians, a caterer, a photographer and much more.  Since it had become a dress up affair, Lexi and Kylie got to wear fancy dresses.  It was fun to see Lexi wearing the dress that Maddie wore in my sister’s wedding and Kylie was wearing Lexi’s!big girls_ckylie_C lexi dancing_c our fam_c

So we all celebrated the wedding of Ruth and Charlie.  May they enjoy their twilight years together.
Together they are younger and happier and our girls seem to put the twinkle in their eyes!couple_ckylie and charlie_c

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It was a good day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

It’s all about the BLING!!

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Yes, she’s just that cute.

I went to the store for just a Jacket t-shirt for Kylie.  I left with the bling-ed out onesie!!!

How could I resist?

Stuff Designers Do

I subscribe to a couple of different design sites and I got an email about a new site yesterday, so I went over and checked it out. 

I LOVED IT!! I am so going to use this guy in my classroom.
His first design video/tutorial is just a little over 3 minutes and is a perfect setup to compostition. 

So if you are looking to learn about Principles of  Design (or art) and need to know about Unequal Spacing (or composition) I highly suggest this video!

I am looking forward to seeing more on his website.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A few random thoughts

Life is busy.  No more than anyone else’s I realize; but busy nonetheless.

Going somewhere fancy with my husband is not something I do very often.  Here we are last weekend.  We were attending a business function.  The food was good and I even knew some of the people, so that was of course a nice bonus! 
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Fall sports have started. In our house that means cheering on the Stephenville High School Yellow Jackets and Honeybees.  Maddie’s volleyball practices started this week and Lexi starts either basketball or dance next week.
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With the weather beginning to cool (THANK THE LORD!!) sniffles have started. The girls are going through lots of tissues and Maddie has “that look” that she gets before she has a full sinus infection.  I am so hopeful that with Labor Day we can get a little rest and maybe not have her down for days. 

Kylie is into everything!  I mean NOTHING is safe!  It seems that she has Mrs. Incredible genes! Our only hope is that she will use her brains and brawn for good and not evil! sept2 003

And my last bit of randomness….

Have you ever had a conversation with God at 1:30am? I am continually amazed at what I learn about God and my expectations of life and myself during my middle of the night conversations. 

I find the following quote to be very true.

“Make time for the quiet moments as God whispers and the world is loud.”

I just wish I could make time during the day and not from 1:30 to 2:30am!