Saturday, June 22, 2013

Natural Bug Spray

I don't know about you but the mosquitoes are terrible around here!  My children look like they have the measles, they are so covered in bug bites.

While I detest the pesky creatures, I cannot stand the thoughts of putting conventional bug-spray on my kids.  It's full of nasty chemicals that are so bad for us.

Side note-I was recently talking with someone about the hormone cream (progesterone, estrogen) that you rub onto your skin to help give you a boost of hormones.  If that cream is effective and boosts hormones just by rubbing it onto your body, think of all the chemicals we put on our body on a daily basis!!  Soaps, lotions, shampoo, shaving creams, etc. Think of how they are being absorbed into our bodies just like those hormones creams. And they are FULL of chemicals that are not good for us. 

Anyway, rambling thoughts aside, last year I found a natural bug spray recipe on Pinterest but never got around to making it.  Actually, I had to order some of the essential oils, and by the time I did that, the mosquitoes were hiding for winter. Or whatever it is that mosquitoes do for winter.

So, for fear of looking out the window to see one of my little people being carried off by mosquitoes, I made the spray.  And it works!! It's been so ingrained in us that chemicals are the only thing that can work effectively, I was a little worried it might not work well seeing as how it's made from witch hazel and essential oils.

I sprayed my littlest guy, who was outside in nothing but a diaper, and he didn't get bit at all!  He was outside for about an hour and a half, too!  And it has worked just as well on everybody else.  The biggest trick for me is to get it on the kids before they go outside.  They are forever running outside as soon as their eyes open in the mornings.

As far as essential oils go, I use the Aura Cacia brand.  I get mine from Lucky Vitamin where I get almost all of my vitamin supplements, essential oils, etc.  You can find just about anything you need on their site and usually for much less than the drug store or health food store.

Here's the link to all you need to know to make your own bug spray!!

Natural Mosquito Spray

Happy Mosquito-Bite-Free Summer, y'all!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Marriage Truths

"Most foundationally, marriage is the doing of God.  And ultimately, marriage is the display of God.  It displays the covenant-keeping love between Christ and His people to the world in a way that no other event or institution does.  Marriage, therefore, is not mainly about being in love.  It's mainly about telling the truth with our lives.  And staying married is not about staying in love.  It is about keeping covenant and putting the glory of Christ's covenant-keeping love on display." 
                                         ~ John Piper~

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Homemade Alfredo Sauce

I love all things Italian but rarely make anything except spaghetti.  So while I was making my menu plan a couple of weeks ago, I decided to go out on a limb and try homemade alfredo sauce.  I just poured it over linguine noodles (I was out of fettucine), cooked some salad shrimp in garlic butter to throw on top, steamed some broccoli, and tossed a Caesar salad.  Everyone loved it!  

All I can say is WOW!  I kept on licking the spoon to "make sure it's just right."  It was so rich and creamy.  Olive Garden didn't have nothing on me that night, y'all.

Not to toot my own horn or anything but yum-o! :)  It was super easy to make, and did I mention it was delicious? And it's made with REAL food!  Not something in a jar with ingredients you can't even pronounce. 

For the life of me, I cannot remember where I got this recipe.....somewhere on the internet for sure. 

Without further ado, here's the recipe! 

Homemade Alfredo Sauce


-3 Tablespoons butter
-2 Tablespoons flour
-2 Cups milk
-4 oz. cream cheese
-3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (I used grated, but shredded would work too)
-1 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon pepper

Melt butter in a saucepan on medium-low heat.  Once melted, whisk in the flour.  Gradually add milk, whisking to combine as you go. Add about 1/2 cup at a time, whisk, then wait for the milk to heat up and thicken a bit before adding more.  Once all the milk has been added and it's hot, but NOT BOILING, add the cream cheese.  Whisk to combine.  Heat the sauce back up before adding the Parmesan cheese.  Simmer this until all is melted and mixed well.

Go forth and make thee some alfredo sauce!  Your taste buds will thank you!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Memorization Tools

If you follow Ann Voskamp's blog, A Holy Experience, you might know about her Romans Project.  She is memorizing Romans 1,8, ad 12 this year.  That sounds very daunting but at just two verses per week it's really do-able.  Of course I am behind......but hey, at least I'm still in the game.  :)

One tool that has really made a difference for me is Scripture Typer.  It's an online source to help you memorize scripture.  You choose your verses and your Bible version and then type away! 

There is a tab to "Type It" where the verse is displayed in its entirety and you copy the words.  "Memorize It" removes every other word, leaving you to fill it in from memory.  It keeps track of your words typed per minute and will tell you when you are ready to "Master It".  To master the verse, you type it entirely from memory and have to be quick about it. :)

You also have to get all capitalization and punctuation correct.  Punctuation and I do not get along.  I know very little about it, as you have observed if you've read any of my posts at all. So that's a biggie for me. Also, at any level, if you make a mistake, the color of the words changes to red to alert you to correct your words.

I have had a blast with this!  It's been extremely helpful to me and I highly recommend it.  It's not too late if you want to jump in and start the Romans Project too!  There's nothing more powerful than to have the Words of God in your heart and mind!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Menu Plan 2/4-2/10

I cannot stress enough how much a menu plan helps me!  It makes a ton of difference in my stress level at meal times!  Since we are very spontaneous people, it's possible this menu could fly out the window and that's okay! I would rather divert from the menu than to not have one at all!  That's when I get into trouble.  :)  Here's our menu plan for this week:

Monday 2/4:
Mini Omelets, Biscuits w/honey
Chicken Salad in Pitas
Sloppy Joe w/Onion Rings

Tuesday 2/5:
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins
-Out- (Dr's appt)
Chicken casserole, baked corn, peas

Wednesday 2/6:
Homemade granola, yogurt, & berries
Cheese quesadillas, celery/carrot sticks w/ranch dressing
Crockpot Cilantro Chicken

Thursday 2/7:
Cinnamon Rolls, fruit smoothies
Crock pot ribs, ranch potatoes, oven-roasted cabbage

Friday 2/8:
Waffles, bacon
Egg salad sandwiches, fruit w/cream cheese dip
Steak, broccoli, leftover ranch potatoes

Saturday 2/9:
Eggs, cinnamon toast
Chicken chili

Sunday 2/10:
-Out for lunch
C.O.R.N.  (Clean Out Refrigerator Night!)

Side note: Many of these recipes came from Pinterest and are posted on my boards.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Oh my goodness, I just had to pass this along.  This is priceless.  If you have more than than two or three children, you probably know how tiresome the comments can get about the size of your family,etc.  Kelly has once again done a fantastic job of hitting the nail on the head! 

What I would like to say when people make me feel like a freak for having children

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Writing again

It's been a while since I posted anything on this almost a year and a half!!  Wow!  A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then.  And a new member has been added to the family.  February 11, 2012, Noah Aaron was born. Nevermind it was five weeks before his due date!  As a result, he spent 10 days in the NICU while we waited for his little lungs to develop.  Life with five has been pretty much like life with four.  WILD!  Our biggest "holy smokes- this is insane" was from two children to three.  After three, we just got used to the crazy.  :)

Having five children, ages seven and under, is very time consuming as one can imagine.  Especially with home schooling.  So the blog got pushed to the back burner.  Way in the back.  But as of late, I've really started feeling like I should start blogging again. 

I am not a writer.  I don't journal or keep a diary or anything.  So writing is not a passion for me like it is for some.  When I started this blog, I had high expectations for myself and my posts.  I had all kinds of posts floating around in my head but because I couldn't get them "perfect" I never wrote them or published them on the blog.  I allowed my expectations to become a burden and I eventually just stopped writing.

I feel like I've grown some in the last year or so.  On the inside.  Thankfully, the outside has went down a bit.  :)  The Lord has been so patient and gracious with me.  Any growing or maturing that I have done is only because of Him.  Aren't you glad "He's still working on me?"

Because of where I am now, (or at least think I am!) I don't think writing will be a burden.  My vision is to write more about our day to day life.  To be more real as a person and not worry so much about the perfect post.  Sharing even a little bit, even if it's imperfect or scattered, is better than sharing nothing.  I can't encourage anyone if I don't write anything at all. 

My goal is not to have a thousand followers or this great blog name.  If I can help just one mama- just encourage her to keep pressing on in this beautiful journey of being a wife, mother, and follower of Jesus-then I have accomplished much. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My 2013 Book List

The new year has inspired me to set some new goals for myself.  I am notorious for starting a book and not finishing it; so my goal is to not only start these books but to actually finish them!  Some of these books have been collecting dust on my bookshelf but most of them I will try to get from the library or Amazon.  Here is my 2013 booklist, in no particular order:

Created to Be His Help Meet: Discover How God Can Make Your Marriage Glorious by Debi Pearl  (I have already read this book, but I need to read it every year! I can't recommend this enough!)

What is a Family? by Edith Schaefer

The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child's Heart for Eternity by Sally Clarkson

A Mother's Heart: A Look at Values, Vision, and Character for the Christian Mother  by Jean Fleming

Shaping of a Christian Family, The: How My Parents Nurtured My Faith by Elisabeth Elliott

Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman

Laying Down the Rails (Simply Charlotte Mason Presents) by Sonya Schaefer

Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival by Nanci Leigh DeMoss

Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst

Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper

Unstoppable: The Incredible Power of Faith in Action by Nick Vujicic

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon

Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living by Tsh Oxenreider

Educating the WholeHearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson

Grace-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel

Teach Them Diligently: How to Use the Scriptures in Child Training by Lou Priolo

Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys by Melanie Young

Graceful: Letting Go of Your Try-Hard Life by Emily Freeman

You Can Raise a Well-Mannered Child by June Hines Moore

There are 22 books listed so if I read two a month I should accomplish my goal!  I'm sure I'll come across new books I want to read so hopefully I can add more to this list.  I will try to post my thoughts on the book when I am finished reading it. I think I will start a Pinterest board and pin each book as I finish it.  Maybe that will help keep me motivated!  :)