Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Peace of God

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4:6-7

This is the passage that our family has been working on lately.  A little lengthy for a 2 year old, but he's getting a lot of it.  It seems to be a timely verse for me, too.  The the beginning of fall right through the New Year always seems to make me a little nuts and I need to remember to continually go to God with my requests because, whether God completely removes the burden or not, I know God will grant peace.  

Keep praying.  Day and night.  While doing laundry or driving to the grocery store.  During quiet nap times and toddler tantrums.  Through the good days and bad.  Keep praying.
~ Carrie ~

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Adventures in Laundry

In the last few years I've had several friends venture down the road of making their own laundry detergent - to which I scoffed... I admit it.  Recently I've begun to contemplate it as a real possibility and finally bit the bullet and went for it.  I did a little bit of research online and found that most recipes were pretty much the same.  Ultimately I decided on a recipe (recipe #1 at this site) that was a liquid, since I've heard that liquid detergents are supposed to be better for washing machines and because I have an energy efficient machine that require the detergent to be added after the clothes go in.

The ingredients for the laundry soap can be hard to find for some people, but I found all of the ingredients I needed at Market Basket.  

Ivory soap can be used instead of the Fels Naptha Soap.  I couldn't find the Fels Naptha Soap at the time that I was buying everything, but stumbled upon it on a recent grocery trip.  So, yes... all ingredients can be found at Market Basket (love that store).
The end product yielded 2 gallons of laundry detergent and I gotta say, I like it.  The clean laundry doesn't have as strong a scent to it, but that doesn't bother me at all because it is definitely still clean and clean-smelling.  Oh, and did I mention that it's a ton cheaper, too!  The bottom line is, everything is coming out clean, and I am very impressed.  I will definitely continue using this detergent!  

~ Carrie ~

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Day follows night..."

“Why yield to gloomy anticipations? Who told you that the night would never end in day?.... Who told you that the winter of your discontent would proceed from frost to frost, from snow and ice and hail to deeper snow and yet more heavy tempest of despair? Don’t you know that day follows night, that flood comes after ebb, that spring and summer succeed winter? Be full of hope! Hope forever! For God does not fail you. Do you know that God loves you in the midst of all this?.... You will yet, midst the splendors of eternity, forget the trials of time, or only remember them to bless the God who led you through them and works your lasting good by them. Come, sing in the midst of tribulation. Rejoice even while passing through the furnace. Cause the desert to ring with your exulting joys, for these light afflictions will soon be over, and then forever with the Lord, your bliss shall never wane.”

~Charles Spurgeon, Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg, July 21, evening.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"New" Kitchen Island

If you saw my Fall at the Parsonage post, then you saw the new-to-us kitchen island that we have acquired.  We have a nice, newer kitchen that suits most of our needs.  I've often wished for more storage, as I have some cabinets that are so full that it's difficult to get out what I need without multiple things tumbling out at me.  A short time ago, I wondered if we could possibly fit a small island in our kitchen.  Andy thought that it might be work, if we could find the right piece of furniture.  We were both thinking something old, vintage/antique, with room for lots of storage.  We were in no rush to find anything - well, Andy was in no rush.  I was so excited about this possibility that I began my own quiet search for something that might work as a kitchen island.  

I readily admit that the first thing that I should have done was call my mom.  She has a savvy eye for antiques, especially to refinish and re-purpose.  She has a onslaught of antique, thrift, and country stores that she frequents when on the hunt for a particular need (or for no particular need :).  But I didn't call her.  I started looking on Craig's List.  

My husband and I are huge Craig's List fans.  Not everyone is, and for good reasons too, because there are risks involved when dealing on Craig's List.  Andy and I have successfully bought and sold items through Craig's List many times - always dealing in face-to-face and cash only situations.  

Like I said, I was in no rush to find anything, but every few days I would peruse the furniture listings.  One evening, a couple of weeks after beginning my search I stumbled up something that I loved and thought would be perfect!  I showed it to Andy who agreed.  No price was listed, as it was a best offer sort of thing.  We both assumed it would be way out of our meager price range, but figured it would be worth calling on and inquiring about.  Well, Andy called the guy who said this particular piece was worth $350, and he was hoping to get at least $200.  Hah!  I have no doubt that it was worth that much, but there was no way we were going to be able to spend that amount of money on a kitchen island - beautiful or not.  

Even still, I couldn't get it out of my head.  So, I finally emailed my mom to see if she could begin her search.  I took the opportunity to also send her the link to our Craig's List find that didn't work out.  The next day I had an email from my mom about several options she'd found, with prices, and pictures.  Nothing really stuck out to us.  Most of it would need a lot of work to be usable and none of it really had the amount of storage we were looking for.  

A week went by and I had mostly put the whole kitchen island thing out of my head when Andy called me from work and told me that the Craig's List guy had called him back.  Come to find out, he'd had no one else interested in his piece of furniture and was going to re-list it for $100 but wanted to offer it to us first, since we had inquired about it.  I said yes immediately, but then Andy and I sensibly talked it over, measured it out in the kitchen to make sure it would fit and then decided yes.  

We went and picked up the kitchen island (a very old dry sink) that night and moved it right into place.  It was actually even better than I thought, and we adjusted to the change in our kitchen right away.  I was so amazed at how something I thought was down the road and (at the very least) out of reach for the time-being was suddenly in my kitchen - ours.  

So, there you have it.  Our "new" kitchen island.  Here are the pics with a few captions!  

The legs had to be cut down a couple of inches so that the whole thing was countertop height. 

Down the road, it will probably need some tlc, as some of the paint is really falling off in a few places.  I may also be adding some kind of towel rack or hook for an old cutting board on end pictured here to cover up the badly chipping paint (and keep little fingers away).  Other than that, it is perfect and holds so much stuff!  I'm already starting to think creatively about how to decorate it at Christmas!  

~ Carrie ~

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bless the Lord

Scripture memory is something that we really want Jadon to start doing from an early age.  Since it's also something that Andy and I should be working on, we're trying to do it as a family.  We're not doing anything too structured, just listening to a few choice albums of Scripture set to music (very family friendly stuff, for the most part).  We picked out a song that Jadon seemed to enjoy and started practicing the words every night at supper before we prayed for God's blessing on our food.

After several weeks, we were pretty convinced we all had our first family verse down.  

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name!"
Psalm 103:1
This is a great, well-known verse that isn't too difficult to comprehend.  This is a verse of praise to our great God (that also challenges us to worship God with all that we say, do, and think - not an easy thing to do.  

This week, I was reading a blog that quoted the very next verse in this passage:

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits..."
Psalm 103:2

After reading this verse, I suddenly realized that during the weeks that we had been practicing this verse I had never taken the time to read the rest of this psalm to get the bigger picture.  Psalm 103 is a wonderful chapter of God's Word (that was especially encouraging to this mom).  It's so important to praise God in all that we do, because we often "forget" (as verse 2 tells us).  Purposefully remembering all that God has done for us, especially in the midst of difficult times is honoring to God and of great encouragement to us.  We are never without God's "benefits" or mercies in some way, shape, or form.  
My life is especially busy right now, and the impending holidays are only going to make life fuller.  These verses have really challenged me to "count my blessings" - day and night, happy and sad, busy and still.  I hope you are challenged to contemplate these verses, read the rest of Psalm 103, and "forget not [God's] benefits".  

~ Carrie ~