Friday, September 28, 2012

Mad Scientists!

Ya ... that's what you can call Riley & me.
Mad scientists.

Yesterday was a day for experiments.

One, because we're homeschoolers & that's what we do ...
& two, complete necessity, folks.

We are suffering from a severe fruit fly attack!!
Where did alllll these fruit flies come from, all the sudden?
I'm guessing it's from this massive bowl of fruit {tomatoes & apples}?!

I did what any normal person would do to solve this pesky problem.
I got on Pinterest.
I knew if anyone knew how to kick these fruit flies in the teeth,
it would be all the stickin' geniuses on Pinterest.

Here's the little concoction I found:
I poured some apple cider vinegar {about 3/4 c} into a bowl & added about 1/2 c. of water.
After adding the last ingredient, 3 squirts of dish soap, I stirred it all together.
The trap was set.
I just hoped it would work.

So today, after hearing many complaints from my boys about how terrible horrific-smelling the vinegar was,
I decided that I would throw it out.
It had been 24+ hours & I saw not one single fruit fly in the bowl.
I was feeling quite disappointed,  but as I was preparing to pour it down the drain,
I saw a speck of black.
I grabbed up a spoon & stirred the vinegar & discovered there were gobs of fruit flies
at the bottom of the bowl!
It worked!!!
I quickly sat the bowl back in it's spot, willing to endure the nasty smell a bit longer.
My 'Vinegar Fly Trap' is doing it's job!

As for Riley's experiment, it was equally as exciting.
He mixed some yeast & hydrogen peroxide in a bottle & it blew up a balloon!
Then that same oxygen from the balloon, caused the flame of a candle {under a jar} to grow.
Pretty cool!

We got so excited about these experiments that we almost cheered when we saw that
we'd be doing another one today!
Thanks, Apologia!

Oh, & how could I forget this one?!
This was another experiment, of sorts.
I cooked beef bones to make homemade beef stock, for the 1st time.

James stopped at a vitamin store last week & the owner told him there were great health benefits,
especially for women, from doing just this.
She said to get beef bones from the butcher or the grocery store & boil them with root vegetables
to make a rich & healthy stock.
She said to drink it plain, or use it as the base for a vegetable soup.
I simmered it all day with carrots, onions, & celery, making about 1.25 gallons of tasty stock.

And last but not least ... I have to add a pic of the gorgeous sunflowers that James brought me yesterday.
I guess it's an experiment of sort too ... seeing as how I've never had live sunflowers before,
I'll need to see if I can keep these babies alive as looong as possible.
Aren't they just divine?!

In conclusion, I need to blog more about homeschooling.
We have so much funny doing it.
I also need to play catch up about sooo many things, blog-wise.
Time gets away from me too fast.
I resolve to do just that ... blog more about the goings on around here =)

Have a blessed weekend, all.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Walking in the Spirit

Westside Park ~ 2011

Walking in the Spirit.

I just can't seem to get away from this thought lately.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
~Galatians 5:16

If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
~Galatians 5:25 

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
~Romans 8:14

My day-to-day walk glorifies God so much more when I am walking in the spirit.
My thoughts are right ... my speech is right ... my attitude is right.
I find myself being less frustrated over the little things.
I'm kinder & have more patience.

So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.   
Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, 
but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, 
and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.   
For sin will have no dominion over you ...
~Romans 6:11-14

When I choose to walk in the Spirit, as opposed to walking in the flesh, 
I have an eternal focus.
I tend to look at things from heaven's point of view ... in light of eternity.
It's pretty easy to become focused when I think of anything in light of eternity.

To walk in the Spirit is to follow His leading, 
allowing Him to guide my steps and conform my mind. 

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
~Isaiah 26:3

It's easier to be in a constant state of prayer & meditation when my mind is stayed on Him.

Pray without ceasing.
~1 Thessalonians 5:17

There are great benefits to crucifying the flesh & walking in the spirit.
By faith, choosing to rely on Him to guide me in thought, word, & deed, 
I can demonstrate daily, moment-to-moment holiness 
which brings honor to God.

What is the chief end of man?
To glorify to God & enjoy Him forever.
~Westminster Catechism {1647}

Another benefit of walking in the Spirit,  
my life can show forth the fruit of the Spirit which is 
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. 

Walking in the Spirit is allowing His Word to dwell in us ... living His Word out loud!

When I allow His Word to dwell in me, my heart is filled with thankfulness, singing, & joy!

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another 
in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, 
with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
~Colossians 3:16

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,  
addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing 
and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always 
and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
~Ephesians 5:18-20

One definition of the work 'walk' says this:  a habitual behavior, a manner of life
I feel God drawing me to just that ... to walk in the Spirit as a habitual behavior, 
a manner of life.
Not just when I'm feeling spiritual ...
Not just when I am in the midst of a mountain-top experience ...
But in the day-to-day ... putting on the 'Spirit' every morning
just as naturally as I put on clothes or put on the morning coffee.

He wants me to see that walking in the spirit will diminish the appetite of the carnal man.
Whatever I let rule me and live out in me, that is what I will have fruit from. 
And whatever I am filled with is what I will minister from.
{Garbage in, garbage out ... I use this favorite analogy often with my children.}

When I am walking in the Spirit {controlled by}, I will think of what is spiritual. 
When my mind is on the Spirit, it is then I can produce spiritual things 
that are pleasing to God.

God is helping me to change the master of my mind. 

“Be transformed by the renewing of the mind” 
~Romans 12:2  

If I am what I think ... & I can choose where I allow my thoughts to dwell,
why wouldn't I choose to bow my heart & mind to the leading & control 
of the Spirit of God?

I am striving to yield to Him my thought life, my wants & desires, my dreams, my world.
I want my desires to be on Christ alone. 
I want Him to control my mind, my heart, and my actions.
It is then, & only then, that I may be pleasing to God. 

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you 
will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
~Philippians 1:6

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Be Thou My Vision

My prayer today:  Be thou my vision!
Oh God, may my eyes be forever stayed upon You.
This is what's on my heart & resounding in my spirit this morning.
The lyrics to this wonderful old Irish text date back to the 6th century.
My favorite translation is from 1905.
I love the richness & honesty of the prayer.
I connect to its straightforwardness & purity.
How marvelous it is that I can approach my heavenly Father this way ...
with my petitions, my heart cries, my tears.

Be thou my vision O Lord of my heart
None other is aught but the King of the seven heavens.
Be thou my meditation by day and night.
May it be thou that I behold even in my sleep.
Be thou my speech, be thou my understanding.
Be thou with me, be I with thee
Be thou my father, be I thy son.
Mayst thou be mine, may I be thine.
Be thou my battle-shield, be thou my sword.
Be thou my dignity, be thou my delight.
Be thou my shelter, be thou my stronghold.
Mayst thou raise me up to the company of the angels.
Be thou every good to my body and soul.
Be thou my kingdom in heaven and on earth.
Be thou solely chief love of my heart.
Let there be none other, O high King of Heaven.
Till I am able to pass into thy hands,
My treasure, my beloved through the greatness of thy love
Be thou alone my noble and wondrous estate.
I seek not men nor lifeless wealth.
Be thou the constant guardian of every possession and every life.
For our corrupt desires are dead at the mere sight of thee.
Thy love in my soul and in my heart --
Grant this to me, O King of the seven heavens.
O King of the seven heavens grant me this --
Thy love to be in my heart and in my soul.
With the King of all, with him after victory won by piety,
May I be in the kingdom of heaven O brightness of the son.
Beloved Father, hear, hear my lamentations.
Timely is the cry of woe of this miserable wretch.
O heart of my heart, whatever befall me,
O ruler of all, be thou my vision.
While there are many beautiful version of this song, 
I particularly like this one sung by Alison Krauss.

 May your day be blessed as you ponder on the greatness of our God.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tub Scrub

I think I shall experiment with more homemade cleaners, I said to myself.
And that's precisely what I did.

I made it ... I used it several times ...& I liked it!
Next order of business:  BLOG about it, just in case you want to be thrifty like me ;)

This here is TUB SCRUB!
It's a Martha Stewart recipe ... & since she knows how to do just about everything
{except for following the rules of the Stock Market},
I thought I'd give it a try.

It's a super easy, super quick, 3 ingredient cleaner ...
with products you most likely have right in your pantry.

Mix 1 teaspoon of dish soap to 1 cup of baking soda.
Add just enough water to make a paste.
Stir together with a spoon.
{& if you are a homeschool mom like me, ya know, where everything becomes a learning experience,
 this is a good one to make with the kiddos!}

I used it on an old washcloth, but you can use a sponge or a brush.
It completely removed all the soap build-up on my tub, leaving it sparkly clean!
The bonus:  it's non-toxic & smelled very pleasant, as opposed to the harsh cleansers I usually use.
Now, Martha says you can use essential oils, if you'd like, but I used Gain dish soap
& that stuff smells crazy good!
No essentials oil necessary.

I made mine in a plastic storage container with a snap lid,
which worked great because I didn't all the tub scrub at one time.
When I got it out for the next use, I simply added a few drops of water to moisten it,
stirred it together & it was as good as when I first made it.

Can't get much easier than that.
I'm stirring up another batch today, feeling all Suzy~Q Homemaker ;)
Go on, now ...give it a try!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fried Green Tomatoes

One of my favorite treats from Garrett's garden has been the green tomatoes.
You just can't have fried green tomatoes without 'em ;)

 This southern treat couldn't be easier to fix.
Here are the 3 easy steps to perfect fried green tomatoes.

  1. First, slice your green tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick & generously season with salt & pepper.
     2.  Next, coat each slice in flour.

     3.  And the final step, preheat oil {canola or coconut oil works great, but any will do} in a skillet
         & put the tomatoes in to fry over medium heat until golden brown.

See, couldn't be easier ... & oh SO YUM!

Now, for a slight variation, you can coat them in egg & then flour ...
or you can skip the flour altogether & coat them in cornmeal.
I like that version too ... which after reading online, I discovered using cornmeal is the true
Southern way to prepare fried green tomatoes.
Using flour is the Pennsylvania Dutch way of preparation.
Who knew?!
I just make 'em like my mom made 'em.
She's from Virginia & my Dad's from Indiana.
How come she made them with flour, I don't know, but it's my favorite way to fry them up.

Beware:  these can cause you to blow your diet cause you just can't eat one!
Don't you just love some good ol' Southern home cookin'?!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Love These Register Rewards!

I stragically planned my Meijer shopping trip ... & it paid off!
I knew I'd get back the $10 & the $3 coupon ... & the $2 was an unexpected bonus!

Here's what I did:

Transaction 1
  • Buy $10 of  Kingsford, KC Masterpiece, or Hidden Valley, get a $3 coupon back.
I bought
-3 Hidden Valley salad dressings {$3 each ... & I had a $1 coupon for each one}
-1 KC BBQ sauce {$1.50}.
Paid $7.50 OOP & got the $3 back essence, getting each product for a teeny bit over $1.
{I always look at the bottom line ... the final price to see if it's worth it.}

Transaction 2

I did the current Kraft deal again {2nd time}.
{There's still time to do this deal ... it's going til 9/15}

I chose to do this again, this time at Meijer, because they had so many of these items on sale.
And thanks to the printable coupons that have been on the net for the past couple weeks,
I got this stuff for even cheaper!

I bought
Velveeta shells & cheese {$2.07 minus $1 coupon}
2 Kraft shredded cheese {$1.88 each minus $1 coupon}
2 large jars of Kraft mayo {$2.50 each minus $1 coupon}
2 lg. packs Kraft cheese singles {$2.50 each minus 2 - $1 coupons}
lg. Maxwell House coffee {$5.99 minus $1 coupon}
2 Crystal Light On-the-Go drink flavors {clearanced down to $1.53}

Total order was $18.88 OOP & I got back the $10 coupon for my next purchase.
The $2 bonus coupon was from buying 2 Kraft mayos!

So, for my final transaction, I automatically had 3 coupons totaling $15 to take off my total!!
I applied those toward my stock up of the ground chuck that Meijer had for $2.27 a pound!

Not a bad deal ... not a bad deal at all =)

*Now in case you are wondering why I am posting so many 'couponing/savings' blogs lately,
it's because I have several friends who've contacted me for help in this area.
This is an easy way to do that.
Some have said just reading these blogs has inspired them to take a look at their spending ...
to see where they could cut back & stretch their bucks.
With the prices at the grocery getting higher & higher, it's important & necessary to save any way possible!
If you have additional savings tips, share them!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

All Because REE Raved about Revlon!!

Ree Drummond ... Pioneer Woman ... she's one of my favorites!
I love her blog.
I love her cookbook.
I love, love her cooking show on the Food Network.
And she's a homeschool mom.
That one right there puts her over the top, in my book.
She's a good cook & a homeschool mom ... 2 very important things that we have in common.

A couple weeks ago, Ree had a random post on her blog about lip gloss.
It caught my eye because, yes, that's just one more thing we have in common. gloss!!
I, at any given moment, have at least 6-8 tubes in my purse!
I know .... caarazy!

I came by my lip gloss love honestly.
I have one sister, an older sister, & let's just say I was at quite an impressionable age 
when she was deep in the world of lip gloss ;)
In other words, she was always putting it on when her boyfriend,
now my brother-in-law, came over...hehe!
Ya know those old-school, great big things of Bonnie Bell lip glosses?!
Oh ya, we had lots of those.

So, when Ree recommended  raved about this Revlon lip gloss that she picked up for cheap
at the drugstore, I'll have to admit ... she got my attention!
She said it was better than some $30 tubes that she'd used before.
Now, those of you that know me, know I'd neeevvver spend 30 bucks on a lip gloss!!
My biggest splurge is usually on the tubes of Beauty Rush from Victoria's Secret ...
& that's when they are clearanced down & I have a coupon!!

I giggled when I imagined how many ladies were headed to the drugstore to pick up
a Revlon lip gloss ... & I joined right in with them.

Here's where the story gets good!
You all know how I love a bargain, right ...
so I'm in CVS picking up some other dealies & I scanned my card at the kiosk, as usual.
Much to my surprise, it printed out 2 Revlon coupons!!
Yes, I took this as a sign from God ... the Revlon lip glosses were meant to be on my lips!

Better yet, there was a huge deal on Revlon that week!

{$4 ECB WYB Revlon Colorburst, Moondrops, Just Bitten, or Superlustrous Lip}

So, not only did I get these 2 lip glosses for CHEAP {less than $2 each OOP},
 I got ECB {extra care bucks} back for the next time!

The 2 ECB's for $4 are from buying the 2 lip glosses.
Sooo...are they as good as Ree said they'd be?
Drum rolllll.....
I realllly like them!!
They have staying power, the color is nice {just a hint}... & the best part, NOT sticky!

Thanks, Ree.
You We got it going on, girl ;)