Saturday, February 26, 2011

Shooting for a Naturally Clean Home

So I checked out a very helpful book from our library. The name? The Naturally Clean Home. I love it! I am slowly beginning to go more natural each year. I have tried the "baking soda and apple cider vinegar mixture" instead of shampoo and I loved the result (I just didn't like the smell and neither did Grant, so I will soon TRY to modify the ingredients so I can use it again). I have used various natural mixtures to combat little pests, like ants and it worked! So....natural has been good thus far. Little by little, I am getting better and better! *happy smile*

I used to HATE veggies. Now? I juice them.

Introduce more veggies into diet?

I used to turn my nose at things like cottage cheese (which is proven to help cancer patients). Now? I add it to things like smoothies, yogurt, eggs, etc.

Ingest things you don't like? Check.

I used to think nothing of popping a Tylenol when I had a small ache or pain. Now? I drink more water, use a cold (or hot) cloth, rub olive oil on the area, give myself (or sweetly ask Grant for) a massage, etc.

Make consumption of chemicals way less frequent? Check.

I'm getting there. One step at a time. One interesting thing I am enjoying is learning how to clean using all-natural, every-day-and-around-the-house items. Most of the time, it is much cheaper and ALL of the time, it is better for you, health wise (i.e. inhaling, skin contact, etc). So I thought I would pass along some of the tips I have learned so far. Enjoy!


* For very greasy dishes: add 1/2 cup vinegar or lemon juice to the dishwater.

* To reduce spots on flatware or glasses: add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to the rinse compartment of your dishwasher or into your dishwater.

* For a basic sink cleaner: mix 1/4 cup baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 3 drops of lavender, rosemary, lemon, lime, or orange essential oil and pour into sink. Wipe with a sponge or cloth. Not only will it clean the sink, it will also keep drains and garbage disposal fresh-smelling and free of clogs. Note: A vinegar rinse can be used before the final hot water rinse to prevent residue from the baking soda.


* For a soap scum remover: combine 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 drops of essential oil of choice and vinegar (just enough to make a paste). Apply to the surface and scrub with a damp cloth or sponge. Rinse well.

* For tough toilet stains or rings: mix together 1 cup of borax, 1 cup of vinegar, 10 drops of pine or lavender essential oil and 5 drops of lemon or lime essential oil. Combine in a bowl or bottle and pour all at once into the toilet bowl. Allow it to sit overnight. In the morning, just flush!


* Chocolate stains: Make a paste of borax and water and spread over the stain. Allow to dry and then launder as usual.

* Blood stains: Immediately rinse the garment in cool water. If necessary, let the garment soak in a solution of laundry soap and water for several hours. For light-colored fabrics, try wiping with a soft cloth moistened with hydrogen peroxide. Launder and dry as usual.

* Grass stains: Soak garment in vinegar, then spread a paste of baking soda and water over the stain. Wash in hot water.


* For mud stains: sprinkle salt or baking soda over stain. Wait 30 minutes, then vacuum.

* For ink stains: first, cover with cream or tarter. Then take a fresh lemon wedge and squeeze a few drops of juice over the cream of tarter. Using the flesh of the lemon, gently go over the spot a few times. Brush away the power and blot with a damp cloth.

Awesome stuff, hm?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Birthday - to ME!

Today was my birthday. My 25th birthday, to be exact. It was wonderful and I was so blessed by all the messages, phone calls, emails, and texts from friends and family.

So, how did I spend my first birthday as a married lady? Well, I was fortunate enough to spend it with my husband!! HOORAY! I was able to go with him on a business trip so it was nice to be able to go to restaurants and stay in a hotel....although I am quite ready to be home. *smile* I had a wonderful day and thanks again for all the sweet birthday messages. I am so thankful to the Lord for giving me another wonderful year. Now, I am looking ahead to having a baby boy around for the rest of my birthdays! I'm anxious to share a piece of birthday cake with, not only my hubby, but my son too! I'm looking forward to receiving handmade cards and "presents" with sticky hand prints all over them.

God is good, and life is rich (and sweet!)

Happy birthday to me!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

They Are Precious in His Sight

Yesterday, I had the joy of my life as I saw my baby boy - in color! Wow! Talk about an amazing experience! We watched for about 15 minutes as Nathan, (who was trying to sleep, poor thing), kicked and jerked and hid his face from us. After rolling MYSELF around and poking my own stomach, he finally moved his hands and we saw his little face - a mirror of Grant, in my opinion. We spent 45 minutes in awe of what God has done. To think that He took a portion of me and a portion of my husband and created a new life, and then placed that life inside my womb. How can anyone not believe in such a BIG, awesome, mighty, and powerful God?!

Nathan is currently 4 lbs and 11 ounces and 17 inches long. In the words of the sweet lady who did our ultrasound, "He is perfect." Not a hint of any problem. He will most likely be born weighing 7-8 lbs and around 19-20 inches long.

What to see our little man?  *big smile*

Psalm 71:6
"By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother's bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee."

Psalm 127:3
"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward."

Psalm 139:13
"For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb."

Isaiah 44:24
"Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself."

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday Meanderings - 02/21/2011

Bible Study... Proverbs 31

Memory Verse... Proverb 31:16
"She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard."

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Make the home relaxing
♥ Try to never criticize
♥ Respect him more
♥ Read our Bible and pray together more this week than last week.

Train Them Up...
* Read and talk to him more
* Continue reading/studying pregnancy and delivery books.
* Get nursery closet ready!

Personal Goals...
* Eat healthier this week than last week
* Excersise more this week
* Journal more

New Habit of the Month...
* Practice violin every day

MUST Do...
* Rest up today
* Clean out the closets
* Pack for this weekend

Zone...  all the closets


M - No clue. Probably something light
W - Itallian
Th - TBD
F - Mexican? Itallian?
S - Deer steak?
Su - TBD

* Resting up today
* Feeling Nathan tumble around
* Celebrating my birthday this weekend!
* Going to Pittsburg with my hubby!
* Getting a 4D ultrasound tomorrow!!!

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. A good night's sleep
2. My baby boy!!
3. Water :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

32 Weeks!!

Here I am, at 32 weeks. That means I am officially in my 8th month. It means I have 8 weeks left until my due date. That's 56 days....but who's counting? (hehehe)

When I became pregnant, I signed up to every baby/pregnancy website I could find! The Bump, Planning Family, Pregnancy Weekly, What To Expect, Our365, Fit Pregnancy - you name it! Each week, I get updates from these sites telling me what's going on with my baby and with my body. Suffice it to say, I feel I have learned more in the past 7 1/2 months than I did in science class! Anyway, since I am bombarded with updates, I felt I would pass them along to share with you! The more I read about the growth of a baby in my womb, the more in awe I am of my God.

Your baby continues to grow and develop inside of you. Measuring roughly 16.5 inches long, he now weighs about 4 1/2 pounds! And from this week, until 2 weeks before birth, he will gain about a half pound every week.He is sleeping approximately 90 to 95 percent of the day. Most of his wrinkles are disappearing, especially on his face, as more fat is deposited under his skin. His hair is becoming thicker with each passing week and you may even be able to see it on an ultrasound! He will also begin to settle in the head-down position, as his birth is fast approaching.


Your baby weighs about 4 pounds and is about fifteen to seventeen inches long. Photographs of babies in utero at this stage show their skin becoming less translucent and pinker, as layers of fat are deposited under the skin. His skeleton is rapidly ossifying (turning from cartilage into solid bone), which means that kicks will become visible through your shirt as the trimester progresses. Well-placed kicks under your ribs can take your breath away!


Ready or not, baby's getting ready to emerge. He's probably in the head-down position by now, with his bottom facing up. This is the comfiest way for his body to fit in your increasingly cramped womb and will make his eventual exit (only a few months away now!) much easier. (If he's still head-up, don't panic -- there's still time for a flip before birth.)


Can I say again how BIG God is? He took nothing and made everything. He took me and my husband and created a life; a soul. What a mighty God we serve!

Psalm 139:14
"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Today is Valentine's Day. It is known as the day for lovers.

Chocolates. Flowers. Love letters. Cards. Hearts. Teddy Bears. Candy. Balloons. Pink, red, and white colors....

It all goes into the bucket of what "makes" Valentine's Day.

There are many holidays that we celebrate in America, most of which we know nothing about. The origins of Halloween traditions are dark, evil, and should be avoided entirely! As children of the light, we should have no part in the "works of darkness." There are many origins and traditions of Valentine's Day, most of which are pagan and filled with perversion. The Romans took February 14th and began honoring their goddess of love and marriage, Juno. On February 15th, they would celebrate their male god, Faunus, god of fertility. It's no surprise that now, over a thousand years later, we celebrate "love" and all that it implies on February 14th, sometimes participating in reenactments of the same rituals used by the Romans. Of course, in 469 A.D. the Pope Gelasius and the Catholic church declared February 14th a holy day in honor of Valentinus, a martyr, instead of the pagan gods that were commonly worshipped.

So, what is a Christian to do? Personally, my husband and I do go the extra mile in telling each other that we love each other. We try to make extra, special time to be together. He will give me flowers and I will give him a love letter or small gift. Keeping in mind the origin, we try to take back each day and use it to glorify God. As Christians, we need to do away with the pagan traditions and take each day back from the devil. We should be rid of his works of darkness (not ignore them, mind you, but do away with them) and begin making every day a day that is consecrated to Christ. Personally, we will raise our kids to avoid the Valentine card give-a-ways that are pushed upon today's children. Why? The origin. We will teach our children not to dwell on love and romance before its time. Why? Because it awakens desires prematurely, it cuts their innocence short, and it will cause them to be discontent. (Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:5, 8:4). Instead, we will train them to demonstrate God's love; to be patient, kind, giving, and selfless, refusing proud and envious attitudes. We will train them to wait for romance until God sees fit. We will lead them to the cross and we will train them to flee from worldly customs and to live and rejoice in the truth.

Jeremiah 10:2-3a
"Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain...."

Matthew 15:9
"But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

On this day, I challenge every Christian to be aware, be mindful, and be pure! Be firm, be separate, and be holy. If you are married, rejoice in your spouse, not just this day, but EVERY day! Make each day another beautiful chapter God writes in your love story. If you are single and surrounded by couples, remember your King, Jesus, and find comfort and contentment in His love.

Today, instead of getting caught up in chocolates and teddy bears and roses, I want to draw nearer to my Savior who demonstrated true love 2,000 years ago when He came to this earth. I want to rejoice in my earthly husband that He gave me and rejoice in HIM (Christ) who is everything I need. I challenge you to do the same. Trust in Him, rest in Him, rejoice in Him, and remember that He is who He said He was....

The Great Shepherd. I Am. Our Rock. Redeemer. Savior. Friend. Lord. Companion. Father. Creator. Messiah. The Bread of Life. The Door. The Way. The Truth. Giver of Good Things. Provider. Life. Peace. Wonderful. Counselor. Mighty God. Refuge. Strength. Hope. Joy. Salvation. Comforter. Healer. Just. Righteous.

The Author of Love....and the Lover of my soul.

John 13:34
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."

John 14:15
"If ye love me, keep my commandments."

1 John 3:1
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not."

1 John 4:10
"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

Monday Meanderings - 02/14/2011

I missed last week, is today's meandering:

Bible Study... Proverbs 31

Memory Verse... Proverb 31:15
"She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens."

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Iron his shirts
♥ Try to never criticize.
♥ Remember that respect is a sign of love
♥ Read our Bible and pray together more this week than last week.

Train Them Up...
* Keep reading to him.
* Continue reading/studying pregnancy and delivery books.

Personal Goals...
* Try to eat healthy this week
* Excersise!

New Habit of the Month...
* Practice violin every day

MUST Do...
* Get all laundry washed, folded, and put away
* Mail "Thank You" cards
* Get things ready for the weekend

Zone...  the fridge


M - Lemon broiled Tilapia, steamed carrots, green beans & strawberry cake.
W - Steak dinner at Mrs Janet's
Th - TBD
F - Church foodS - Church food
Su - Church food

* Resting
* Feeling Nathan tumble around

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. A good night's sleep
2. Strawberries
3. Love

Friday, February 11, 2011

My God Still Answers Prayer

Over a year ago, a phone call came from a dear person in our family. I blogged about it then. This person did not originally call to talk to me, but began to open up and tell me things from his past. Years of sin and baggage came out and I heard the heartbreaking statement: it's too late for me.

My heart broke then and continued to break.

But aren't you glad that Jesus never gives up on us? This past week, my family and I did a revival in south Louisiana and that dear person was in attendance every night. He listened to dozens of songs that proclaimed the great love of God and he heard many sermons calling all sinners to repent and turn to Jesus. I knew that the Lord was surely dealing with him and spent all week hoping and praying that he would surrender.

...and my God answered that prayer.

Last night, after YEARS of praying and crying and asking countless prayer warriors to call his name out in prayer, my uncle Brandon found Jesus!

His story is amazing. Years of running and years of living in sin finally took their toll and he was tired of living the way he was living. Bro. Jack Daniels puts it perfectly when he says, "No one will ever change until the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of change." My uncle Brandon was tired of staying the same. He told us that as the invitation began, he prayed, heavily under conviction, that God would give him a sign. As he finished his prayer and looked up, God gave him the very sign he asked for. So he came down and, with tears flowing, he knelt at the alter and asked Jesus to forgive him, change him, heal him, and save him!

....and He did!

One of the most beautiful things, to me, is the look on a person's face when they have encountered Jesus for the first time. After my uncle rose up, his whole countenance was different. His smile was real. His eyes twinkled. His manner was warm, instead of cold. And he was full of joy!...and it showed!

Sceptics say that prayer is not as important as it used to be. I beg to differ. I have seen the power of prayer. Over and over again in Scripture, Christ tells us to pray. Pray continually, without stopping. We are to storm the doors of heaven with intercessory prayer for the lost, the broken, the poor, the needy; we are to bombard God's ears with prayers of faith. Christ WANTS to hear His children pray. He wants us to believe He can do all things. He DOES hear. He does care. And He does still answer prayers!

2 Peter 3:9
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

2 Corinthians 5:17
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Pouring Out

Psalm 62:8
"Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah."

There was a woman in the Bible who came to Jesus days before his arrest and crucifixion and anointed him with precious ointment. Carrying with her a box of alabaster, she knelt at his feet and began to pour out that costly perfume onto the feet of Jesus. As she wept, she let down her long hair and washed his feet with her tears and her locks. Many rolled their eyes, many pursed their lips in disapproval, and many were shocked at the “nerve” she had to interrupt their gathering, yet she cried all the more. She poured out her precious alabaster, but she also poured out her very life.

We are quick to say we love Jesus deeply and ardently. We are quick to say that we obey Him and will serve Him to the end. But do we love Him enough to grovel at His feet, kissing Him and worshipping Him with complete abandon? Giving all that we are to Him? Giving up everything we want or believe in and clinging to Him and all that He is? Many can honestly say that if Christ were sitting in their presence, they would fall on their knees and lay everything they treasure at His feet…and that is probably true. I’m sure most everyone would do that if God Himself were in their living room. But instead of pouring out Estee Lauder, Chanel, or some other costly perfume of our day, what about the pouring out of one’s life on Jesus? What about adorning the Master with our thoughts, words, actions, and pursuits? What about lavishing Him with obedience and commitment? What about laying down all that we are and getting up possessing all that He is?

Pour out your life to Jesus. Your cup will overflow if you do.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

This little dude can PREACH! What a great reminder of who our God, JESUS CHRIST, is!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

True Ministry

The other night, my husband and I were discussing ministry and some of the great preachers and singers in Christian history who....let's just say, "had it!"  We talked of two in particular: Leonard Ravenhill, one of the greatest preachers of the 1900's from England, and Keith Green, probably our favorite singer/songwriter/musician of all time.

It was pretty fitting for us to end up talking about those two men, my husband being a preacher and me being a singer.

We talked about their urgency, their faith, their example and inspiration, and their uncompromising truth that they not only proclaimed - but lived. Above all, though, we talked about their passion! Being a singer, I never want to get to the point where I sing for the applause, for the attention, for the prestige, or for compliments. I never want to sing to put on a show. I never want to NOT sing because "I never get compliments" on this song or that song. I want to, as my grandfather used to tell me, just sing! And when I sing, I want to bless, to minister, and to connect with those listening. I want every song to move someone closer towards Christ. Otherwise, I waste God's time. Grant is no different. As we talked last night, he was telling me about a particular sermon he had listened to by Leonard Ravenhill and said, "I want to preach with that passion. I don't ever want to preach to just make myself better. I want to preach and see someone saved! I want to do what God called me to do...not so I will look good or get something out of it, but because He TOLD me to."

It is a great shame, nowadays, that most preachers and singers and proclaimers of the gospel care more about their own physical image, than the image of God. It is a shame that they think of their high calling as more of a business than a ministry. It is a shame when they care more about their paycheck than the lives that need to be led to Jesus. It is a shame that so many use the banner of "ministry" to build themselves up and draw eyes to their personal accomplishments than to Jesus Christ. It is a shame that many who call themselves "ministers" do more "entertaining" than true ministering.

God forbid that I miss Jesus.

God forbid that WE, as Christians, miss Jesus and our calling. Every one of us are called to minister in some form or fashion. It may be "on stage" as a singer, musician, preacher, or teacher. It may be in the jungles or desserts of other countries as a missionary. It may be simply in your workplace, school place, family, or community. Regardless of WHERE, we are all called to serve and to minister to those we meet. God forbid we forget....

My prayer for myself....and for that we will continually take our eyes off of prestige and personal glory and cast them upon the cross; the bloody, uncomfortable, rough, and heavy cross that Jesus told us to "take up." And as we take it up and walk the narrow road, may we live for the applause of Christ as we reach the lost sheep that He came to save. That is true ministry.

Quotes by Leonard Ravenhill:
"Today’s church wants to be raptured from responsibility."

"If weak in prayer, we are weak everywhere."

"Men give advice; God gives guidance."

"Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?"

"The only reason we don't have revival is because we are willing to live without it!"

"The Church used to be a lifeboat rescuing the perishing. Now she is a cruise ship recruiting the promising."

"My main ambition in life is to be on the devil's most wanted list."

"If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified."

"God pity us that after years of writing, using mountains of paper and rivers of ink, exhausting flashy terminology about the biggest revival meetings in history, we are still faced with gross corruption in every nation, as well as with the most prayerless church age since Pentecost."

Quotes by Keith Green:

"This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls on the earth!"

"If your heart takes more pleasure in reading novels, or watching TV, or going to the movies, or talking to friends, rather than just sitting alone with God and embracing Him, sharing His cares and His burdens, weeping and rejoicing with Him, then how are you going to handle forever and ever in His presence...? You'd be bored to tears in heaven, if you're not ecstatic about God now!"

"If somebody writes a great poem, people don't run around applauding the pencil, saying 'Oh, what a great pencil'...I'm a pencil in God's hands."

"The only music minister to whom the Lord will say, "Well done, thy good and faithful servant," is the one whose life proves what their lyrics are saying, and to whom music is the least important part of their life. Glorifying the only worthy One has to be a minister's most important goal!"

"I repent of ever having recorded one single song, and ever having performed one concert, if my music, and more importantly, my life has not provoked you into Godly jealousy or to sell out more completely to Jesus!"

1 Timothy 1:12
"And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry."

2 Timothy 4:5
"But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Girly Weekend Pics!

Thought I would share some favorite highlighted pics of my girl's weekend!

We had to have a cake!

Me at 29 weeks!

Playing "Dangerous Hunter" on the Wii!

Goofing off

Such fun!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Monday Meanderings - 02/01/2011

Is it really February?? I have a feeling 2011 is going to pass by quicker than 2010.

Well, I had an absolutely lovely weekend with two of my sisters and two of my friends, who came up Friday and left late last night. We ate junk food, we played the Wii, we watched movies, we stayed up way too late, and we laughed and talked a lot! Today, I am relaxing, catching up on various things, enjoying feeling my baby boy move around in my tummy, and watching it storm outside.

Bible Study... Proverbs 31

Memory Verse... Proverb 31:14
"She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar."

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Take care of him.
♥ Love him more deeply.
♥ Iron his shirts
♥ Read our Bible and pray together more this week than last week.

Train Them Up...
* Keep reading to him.
* Continue reading/studying pregnancy and dilvery books.

Personal Goals...
* Try to eat healthy this week (after this weekend's junk food, it's needed!)
* Excersise!

New Habit of the Month...
* Practice violin every day (did horrible last week!)

MUST Do...
* Get all laundry washed, folded, and packed for next week

Zone...  the bathroom

This week, I'm going to browse around and try to find some healthy new recipes, so this week's menu is yet to be decided.

* Time with my husband
* Resting up
* Gearing up for next week's revival

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. The love of my husband
2. Rain
3. Pillows and blankets!

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