Sunday, August 30, 2009

He is now my favorite actor

I always liked Jim Caviezel and many of the roles he played. He was fantastic in The Passion of the Christ.

I like him more than ever now that he has taken a stand for the unborn child. I hope you will take the time to go to the following website - LifeSiteNews - and read the article by Hilary White.

In her article Hilary quotes Jim as saying "Look, I am for helping women. I just don't see abortion as helping women. And I don't love my career that much to say, 'I'm going to remain silent on this'. I'm defending every single baby who has never been born. And every voice that would have been unique like Johnny Mathis's. How do we know that we didn't kill the very child who could have created a particular type of medicine that saves other lives?"

At the end of the article there is a link to a second one where Jim explains how he put his faith into practice by adopting a special needs child.

I really like this guy!

Pumpkin Cheescake with Frangelico

This recipe has quite a few steps but it sounds soooooo worth the effort and pumpkin time is just around the corner. If you try it, let us know how you liked it. Thanks Jasmine for sending it in!

Gingersnap Crust: 24 gingersnaps, 3 TB sugar, 1/4 C butter- melted

Pumpkin filling: 16 oz cream cheese- room temp, 5 eggs, 3/4 packed brown sugar, 1/2 C Frangelico liquer (hazelnut liquer), 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground cloves

Crust: Grind gingersnaps and sugar in processor to fine crumbs. Slowly add butter. Press mixture into bottom of 9"springform pan

Filling: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Blend all ingredients in processor until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides of bowl. Pour filling into crustlined pan. Bake until edges of cake begin to pull away from sides of pan and cake begins to brown, about 45 minutes. Center will not be firm.

Topping: Whisk together sour cream, sugar and Frangelico. Without removing cake from oven, pour topping evenly over hot cake starting at edges. Spread evenly. Continue baking until edges begin to bubble, about 10 minutes. Cool. Refrigerate at least 12 hours. Let stand at room temp for 30 minutes before serving. Cake can be made 2 days ahead.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Flies hate Zip Lock bags....

This might be worth a try !!!!!!

ZIP Lock Bags, Believe It Or Don't ..........

A friend sent me this and I think I will give it a try. We don't have many flies, but one is one too many!

We went with some out of town friends to Sweety Pies on Sunday for breakfast, and we sat in the enclosed patio section beside the house. We happened to notice a couple of zip lock baggies pinned to a post and a wall.

The bags were half filled with water, each contained 4 pennies, and they were zipped shut.

Naturally we were curious! Ms. Sweety told us that these baggies kept the flies away! So naturally we were even more curious! We actually watched some flies come in the open window, stand around on the window sill, and then fly out again. And there were no flies in the eating area!

This morning I checked this out on Goggle... Below are comments on this fly control idea. I'm now a believer!

Sue says:
Many people swear that a zip-lock bag filled half-way with water and attached over entry-ways will repel flies. No one yet knows how or why it works, but there is speculation that it has something to do with the way the moving water refracts light.

Maggie says:
I swear by the plastic bag of water trick I have them on side porch (our house entry) and all around the basement door. We saw these in Northeast Mo at an Amish grocery store & have used them since... They say it works because a fly sees a reflection & won't come around.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Calling Christian Doctors


We received the following e-mail:


I recently moved to the Cleveland area and I want to find a Christian OB/GYN here. Can you refer me to any? Or do you know of an organization/website where I can find the information? My main concern is that the OB/GYN believes in NFP and is pro-life.

Any advice you can give me would be great! I live in Middleburg Hts and want to find a doctor on this side of town.

Thanks and God Bless!


Dear "M",

We are happy to help! I did a search for NFP (Natural Family Planning) Physicians and found this resource that might help.

God bless you for seeking to support someone who stays true to their ethics and morals while practicing medicine. I hope you find the information helpful!

If you have a doctor you would recommend, you can either leave a comment or e-mail us at

Organizing your home

Feeling sad about all the clutter???

Joan can help. She is providing blogs to help the mom squad organize their homes. Nothing feels better than knowing you have everything clean and in it's place. If you missed the first's a link

Great what's next???

How to Analyze Your Type

My sister Jeanne lives in Texas. She is the baby of the family and my junior by 3 years. When it came to cleaning up our shared room, I was the one more worried about not having it clean. If it was not clean, I didn’t go out and if Jeanne did not share in the work, I didn’t care. I wanted to go out. I love her still and she me. At least I believe so.

I was exchanging emails with her and she wrote to me, “God is not the author of chaos.” I realized how true this is. In addition, today at church, my pastor was teaching out of Ecclesiastes. Verse 3:13 struck me. “…..and also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God.”

I thought of the connection of the two. While you are in the elimination process of the clutter (chaos) set the GOALS of reward for your labor. Small rewards for the work done. Set them room by room.

Suggestions: Clean a drawer or cupboard and get a treat (candy bar, bag of peanuts, ice cream bar, box of raisins, you name it.) Finish a room and get a treat (night at the movies, massage, pedicure, manicure) What would be yours?

Before I help someone de-clutter, I ask them to figure out what type of clutter personality they are. Knowing will empower them to stop the habits that got them there. Which are you? There are 9. I will only show 3 this week. Yours may be in next week’s blog.

PERFECTIONIST: This was me. My home was a wreck but I’d start by cleaning something that would not show any organization at all. For example: THE OVEN. Oh, it was meticulously done but did not make a dent in the chaos. I was indecisive. Couldn’t figure out which approach was best ….. so, I decided not to decide. Too much to do and not enough time to do it perfectly

REBELLIOUS: Growing up Mommy said you must always be clean and neat in all you do. When you move out you didn’t do certain things just to show who was in control. However, carrying on with these habits, as you get older, is paying a high price to show you can steer your own ship.

RELAXED: Work is for the outside world and home is a place of relaxation. However, a cluttered home assaults the eye. It does not welcome you home to relax but can cause “strain, pressure and jangled nerves.”

Let me know if you have started and are stuck. Or are stuck and just can’t start. I would love to help. Someone has agreed to allow us to follow along with her organizational choices. We will have before and after pictures as we step through her journey together.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Kid Made ice cream in a bag

My daughter is a Senior at Akron University studying to be a teacher. She found a great recipe for children to do. They can make ice cream using a baggie. It takes about 5 minutes and really works!

If you are looking for one last "cool" thing to do with your children before school starts check out this website...

My daughter tried it out on some neighborhood children and they had a ball! It takes very few ingredients but uses a lot of "kid energy".

Be sure and read to the end of the page for links to "Ice cream in a can" and "Rock and Roll Ice Cream."

In case your browser doesn't's the recipe.

Milk can become homemade ice cream in five minutes by using a bag! This homemade, creamy treat is a summertime delight for kids and adults alike.

What you'll need:

1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup milk or half & half
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons rock salt
1 pint-size plastic food storage bag (e.g., Ziploc)
1 gallon-size plastic food storage bag
Ice cubes

How to make it:

Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add the rock salt. Seal the bag.
Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it.
Place the small bag inside the large one, and seal it again carefully.
Shake until the mixture is ice cream, which takes about 5 minutes.
Wipe off the top of the small bag, then open it carefully. Enjoy!


A 1/2 cup milk will make about 1 scoop of ice cream, so double the recipe if you want more. But don't increase the proportions more that that -- a large amount might be too big for kids to pick-up because the ice itself is heavy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back to School Contest

It's almost time for back to school and we have a contest for you.
Enter to win goodies for the entire family (and a special treat for YOU mom)!
Some of the prizes include:

Lunch bags courtesy of our friends at

A teeth whitening kit from Arm and Hammer

A special book from our "Christian Moms" library

A copy of "Mommy Detective" from author and Mom Squad member Debbie Jansen

Atlas Cinemas movie passes

Enter to win at Send us your name, phone number and address and a Mom Squad panel member could be dropping off this special prize package to you next week. What a great way to kick off a new school year!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pray for your children and their school....

School days are coming and so is mom's anxiety. We all know how difficult school can be for some children. We also know about the physical dangers that lurk around schools. How wonderful to blanket our children in prayer and the protection of God.

The mom squad encourages all mom's to become a part of Mom's in Touch. You can find them at Log on and find a group near you - or start a group for your child's school. There's only one goal - to meet once a month and spend an hour with other moms praying for your child and their school.

What a wonderful ministry.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Paula's Perky New Shirt

On a recent visit to the Hartville Market Place, The Linen Cove, I came across the cutest, most travel perfect tops. At first I was skeptical that they'd even fit and look good, but I tried them on and was amazed. They are made of a lightweight Polyester, not clingy, and impossible to wrinkle - machine wash/air dry. But since seeing is believing here are a couple of photos to prove it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cool Websites

Hi everyone,

I'm always looking for cool websites for you to check out. I hope you like the following. They are among my favorites.

Have fun.... Suz

Thank You Fish Listeners & Pickwick & Frolic - Kelly Chapman's CD Release Concert was a Huge Success!

Kelly Chapman's performance last night at Pickwick & Frolic was such a loving tribute to God for His provision, mercy and grace. The audience was packed at Pickwick & Frolic with a diverse group of people that wanted to support this effort but in doing so, were touched by the powerful ministry of Kelly's music. Her loving personality, versatility, poise and talent are evident. And once again, I had the opportunity to meet more wonderful Fish Listeners!

Kelly thanked God for giving her the words to song after song as she prepared her new CD entitled, Great Is Your Grace, and for providing the means for her to be accompanied by some of the greats. Grammy Award winning violinist, Charlie Bisharat, who has performed with John Tesh and Yanni to name a few, brings forth a feeling that I describe as walking through Jerusalem in her song, Celebrate Jesus. It was such a treat to see and hear saxophonist, Everette Harp, perform with Kelly last night as she sang, I Submit, written by Larry Kimpel. Mr. Harp has accompanied many musical greats such as Anita Baker and Kenny Loggins to name a few. The rich jazz undertones of this selection, brings forth a feeling of deep worship. And the songwriter, Larry Kimpel, has worked with many world-class artists. This CD is such a mix of musical stylings, yet every song will touch your heart in a special way.

Borders Books was also on hand last night to sell not only Kelly's CD but also her book titled, Real - The Truth about Being Single. I can hardly wait to read it!

I personally can't thank Pickwick & Frolic enough for hosting this Christian venue and hopefully there will be many more to come at their location. One of Kelly's favorite places to shop is Buehler's and they created 2 of the most beautiful cakes I had ever seen with a replication of her CD cover on each....beautiful AND delicious.

Kelly with great humility thanked many last night for their recognition, support and assist including Salem Communications/The Fish. For more info about Kelly Chapman, go to her website or contact Montrie Rucker Adams, 440-684-9920, Please continue to keep Kelly in your prayers. Thank you.

I will post pictures and updates on my personal blog later today. Click on my picture below or go to

Monday, August 10, 2009

Moms have talent

God gave mothers a special talent. We can deal with the everyday messes, loss of personal sleep and cranky children. The following video is another representation of a mother's talent. Notice the very organized mom at the beginning.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Organizing Your Home


My Dad was an engineer (mechanical & electrical). His mind worked in a very linear fashion. Mine, growing up was all over the place. In retrospect, I should have congratulated him while he was alive for not pulling all his hair out or mine for that matter.

His repetitive truths have come back to me at certain times during my life.
“Close the door because the heater is on….you don’t live in a barn”
“Bad company makes for bad habits.”
“You need to make your decisions, don’t let life default choices for you.”
“Measure twice & cut once, except in your case. Measure four times and cut once.” HA! HA!

The last listed is the one that sticks with me the most while organizing. Let’s start with a list of DO’s and DON’T”s.

* Try to do everything at once.
* Buy storage or organizing items until you have finished your purge & sort. You may not have realized you already have something that fits in that spot perfectly.

* Make your tasks manageable with the time you have available. Try 15 minutes at a time. I needed to make it a game with a timer to stop me from distractions or dawdling.
* Realize it will look a bit messier before it looks fabulous.
* Clean up! Wipe, sweep, vacuum or dust before returning everything back.
* Repurpose anything that is “beautiful, useful or joyful” before purchasing new.
* Focus on one task at a time to keep the mess from spreading too far.
* Use this mantra: completely empty, sort, purge, clean and put back.

Let’s start with the 3 A’S….. ASK yourself these questions.

1. What works in this room? Ex. – I love where my spice rack is for its ease of use or I love how my island stores my bowls. You get the idea.

2. What doesn’t work in this room? Ex. – My dishes are in a cupboard too far away from the dishwasher / sink or my counter is cluttered and I sure would love to use that work space. Again, you get the idea.

3. What is essential? Ex. – What do I really use? Not the rice cooker or sandwich grille, but I do use the blender, can opener, food processor….

4. What is causing the clutter? Julie Morgenstern states it best. “Clutter is rarely caused by incompetence or laziness. Typically it is caused by technical error, such as in the way you’re setting up your system.” You may have a heavy workload, sick child, parent or partner and have no time to maintain order. You may desire order but find chaos as your comfort zone and think “I work best in crisis mode. Figuring this out will help you stay organized.

5. Why do I want to get organized? For me it wasn’t to say “Look! My home is organized! It was to so I could grab and go, wear the hats I had to without forgetting something, find the papers I needed for school, work, accountant or to entertain without freaking out.

ANALYZE your areas or zones

How do I use this area? Break your room into mental areas or zones.
What functions or activities take place in this room?
Do I do entertaining?
Is this a homework area? Cooking area? Computer area?
How will you “create” your “islands” of activities?

ATTACK your clutter

If you question whether you should get rid of it, don’t agonize. Put it in a box that you can revisit six months later. If you didn’t need it in that time frame, you probably will not in the future. CAUTION: This is an exception to the rule. Don’t box everything for questioning later.

REMEMBER: Beautiful, Useful or Joyful. Conquer one thing at a time: I started with
Drawers ........Cabinets ..........Under the Sink ..........Hanging Storage ..........Countertops & Work Surfaces ..........Shelves ..........
Refrigerator & Freezer..........Pantry ..........Kitchen Table

Happy Organizing

Friday, August 07, 2009

Fellow Clevelander Christian Artist, CD Release Concert, Monday, Aug. 10

Kelly Chapman will be having a CD release concert Monday, August 10, 7 pm at Pickwick and Frolic. Cleveland’s own returns to her roots to debut her second CD. Great is Your Grace, is filled with Contemporary Christian Music including pop, rock and hints of hip-hop. Listeners will be the first to obtain a copy of Kelly’s new project. Come enjoy an evening of inspirational music and celebrate afterwards with a hometown favorite.
Pickwick is a restaurant and entertainment facility. The 400 seat theater hosts comedy most nights but occasionally presents artists on tour. What a blessing that they are excited to host a Christian Concert!
Tickets are available at Pickwick and Frolick. And the price of $35 includes the purchase of the new CD "Great is Your Grace". Valet parking on E. 4th off of Prospect for a reasonable fee. If you like you can eat before, during or after the concert.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Free Fun for Your Weekend!

Here are some great family events that won't cost you a penny! All activities going on this weekend, August 7-9. Thanks in part, to our friends at Family Fun Directory!
The Fest. 95.5 the Fish presents The Fest - Northeast Ohio’s largest FREE Christian Festival on Sunday, August 9th, starting at noon at Borromeo Seminary in Wickliffe.The Fest is a FREE, faith-focused family day featuring music from Brandon Heath, Matthew West, Nichole C. Mullen, Jars of Clay and more. Bring a blanket or lawnchair and join over 25,000 for a celebration of faith and family with music, games,a food court, inflatable play area, evening Mass and fireworks.
Bring a blanket and get ready to relax this Sunday at a summer FAMILY PICNIC LUNCHEON: Sponsored by Healing Hands by Sherrie; on Ravenna Rd. in Twinsburg. Live Music! Free hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, salads, sodas, and FREE Chair Massages! Door prizes, balloons and goodies for the children. Rain or shine! Sunday from 12-6. For more information go to:.

It’s time for the NORTH RIDGEVILLE CORN FESTIVAL! The festival will feature Sweet's corn steamed or roasted. FREE admission, FREE parking and FREE musical entertainment. An arts and crafts show., amusement rides, games, food. Friday-opening ceremonies with announcement of outstanding residents. Saturday is kid’s day with a corn eating contest, 5 & 10k run, car show and horseshoe tournament. Sunday is our Grand parade at 2:30p.m. Find out more at:

MADISON OLD FASHIONED DAYS: Madison Village Square, Madison; Children's games, antique cars, food, crafts, horse shoes, corn hole and parade. All weekend!! Visit: for more information.

Cleveland Metroparks will hold a Dive-In Movie with a screening of R.V. at the Ledge Pool & Recreation Area in Hinckley Township. You can watch the movie from the lawn or from rented inner tubes in the heated pool. The doors open at 8 p.m. Cartoons start at 8:30 p.m. and the movie at 8:45 p.m. The Ledge Pool & Recreation Area is at 1511 Ledge Road between State and Kellogg roads in Hinckley Township.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

To all young and older matter what political party you belong to, this information is important.

While I'm sure that there are good men in Washington, if your representative hasn't read the Health Care Bill, he may not know about the following sections. It's important that you know about them and that you ask questions. These provisions could bring the government into areas of your daily life and give them permission to make decisions that most of us consider private.

I encourage you to not take my word for it, but rather to check it out yourself. You can read the bill in it's entirety at

Be aware that trying to read this will be difficult since it will time out and won't allow you to search different areas. Simply back out of the website and then return to set your new time.

If you don't understand legal jargon, you can read a law firms interpretation at

There isn't one section that doesn't bother me or that I feel doesn't limit my freedoms. However, to be brief I've highlighted a few sections that should concern moms and their ability to parent.

Sec. 163, Pg. 59, Lines 21-24 - The government will have access to your bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.

Sect. 1177, Pg. 354 - Government will RESTRICT enrollment of special needs people! "Extension of Authority of Special Needs Plans to Restrict Enrollment."

Sect. 1233, Pgs. 425- 430 Lines 4-25 is several sections that deal with end of life counseling, teaching you how to kill yourself and the process to have a doctor write an end of life order.

Sec. 1308, Pg. 489 - The government will cover Marriage and Family therapy and have the right to counsel you on your marriage.

Sec. 1711, Pg. 764 - the government will require preventative services - including vaccinations (no choice)

Sec. 1713, Pg. 768, Lines 3-5 - Nurse Home Visit Services - Service #1:
"Improving maternal or child health and pregnancy outcomes or increasing birth intervals between pregnancies." Compulsory ABORTIONS?

Sec. 440, Pg. 837-839 - The government will design and implement Home Visitation Program for families with young kids and families that are expecting children.

Sec. 1904, Pg. 843-844 - This Home visitation program includes the government coming into your house and teaching/tell you how to parent!

The reason Parents must be concern is that this bill does NOT have provisions for our liberties. It's so vague and general that it simply opens the door to these programs without specifically giving a plan to prevent abuses.

Having worked for an attorney, I understand that if the law doesn't specifically say "No government official is allowed to force a parent to adhere to their parenting demands..." If that's not spelled out - these programs will allow officials to invade our lives.

Please read the bill and contact your representative. Don't give your government this type of power.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Clever Time Saving Tips for Super Busy People

From Real Simple, great article!

(REAL SIMPLE) -- Ingenious ideas from (and for) busy women everywhere.

Squeeze and freeze lemons so you'll already have the juice on hand when a recipe calls for it.

Designate a space for "in use" cups
Create a special spot on the kitchen counter where everyone can put half-filled coffee mugs that need to be reheated, water glasses to be used again later, or sippy cups that can be refilled.
At the end of the day, put everything that's still out into the dishwasher. It cuts down on kitchen clutter, and it also avoids shouts across the house of "Are you done with that coffee yet?"

Presort the family laundry
Clean laundry is only half the battle it still needs to be sorted and put away.
Save those steps by keeping washer-and-dryer-safe mesh bags (27-by-36-inch mesh bag, $8, in each kid's room one for lights, one for darks.
Throw the bags directly into the washing machine and dryer, then hand them back to the kids. If they're old enough, they can do their own folding. Get organized using everyday items
Don't Miss
9 energy boosters
Decorate on the cheap with everyday items
In Depth: Having It All

Minimize trips to the garbage can
While preparing a meal, keep a big bowl on the counter. Put all your chopping, cutting, and peeling discards into it, then make one trip to the garbage instead of 10.
Make a quick breakfast
Put all your fruit, milk, silken tofu, or yogurt in the blender pitcher and store the pitcher in the refrigerator overnight. (You can even prechop a banana. It will brown, but that will not affect the flavor of the shake.
In the morning, set it on the blender and press the button. 30 tips for easy outdoor entertaining

Put the kids to work
Tired of hearing "What's for dinner?" and "That again?"
Turn over the role of meal planner and cook to your family.
Ask each person to choose a night that suits his or her schedule (some family members may need to make a few meals each week), fill in a dinner menu, and add the needed ingredients to the grocery list.

Make the rules simple: a different menu every night, and only one pasta dish per week.
Everyone's food issues (allergies, picky taste buds) must be addressed. Every menu must be healthy and include vegetables. Include a dish-duty sign-up, too.

Prepare sandwiches for dinner
When in doubt, whip up a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich for
dinner to save time.
Make it with natural peanut butter, real fruit jam, and whole-grain bread. That way it's "real" food, unlike many of the additive-laden prepackaged meals so widely available now.

Keep an everything datebook
Buy a weekly calendar. Jot down all the traditional things: school events, birthdays, appointments.
But use it to keep track of nontraditional things, too.

Write down bills that come through the mail and mark their due dates six days ahead.
Plan weekly dinner menus and write them on the calendar. Use it to also record the kids' long-term assignments.
That helps prevent those evenings of racing around to do everything at the last second. Systems for managing your mail

Never miss another birthday
Send out birthday cards once a month. Receiving one early is better than not receiving one at all.

Have a shredder ready
Stow a small paper shredder near the mail to destroy credit-card offers and "checks."
Try a double-duty dustbin
Empty your bathroom garbage can and use it as a bucket when you wash your bathroom and hardwood floors.
Rinse it in the tub, then fill it with white vinegar and water. Both the floors and the garbage can are clean when you're done.

Start a recipe chain letter
Planning menus and getting the ingredients together for a quick meal after work can be time-consuming.
That's where the recipe-exchange "chain letter" comes in. Have friends send you their favorite easy-to-make recipes, then you forward them on.
In addition, keep a few cookbooks at the office and download recipes from the Internet to a folder on the computer.
Photocopy or print out the ingredients list while at work and then buy groceries during lunch or on the way home.

Squeeze now, use later
If you have leftover lemons and limes from a cocktail party, squeeze them and freeze the juice in an ice-cube tray.
Once they're frozen, store the cubes in zippered plastic bags and use them for recipes that call for fresh lemon or lime juice. (One cube equals about one tablespoon of juice.)

Keep an ongoing shopping list
Whoever unwraps the last bar of soap from the four-pack or scrapes the last spoonful of mayo out of the jar should be responsible for writing it down on the shopping list.

Time-stamp your photos
When you get your photographs developed, label the envelopes before leaving the store.
On the top of the envelope, jot down the date, subjects, or activity. It's easier than trying to remember the details later.
Or take it one step further and throw out right there in the store any flattering, uninteresting, or unclear photographs.

Get ready for morning the night before
Set out everything you can -- dry breakfast ingredients, clothes, backpacks and bags, and lunches -- before going to bed.
It means fewer things to think about when you wake up and you're getting ready to leave the house.

Create a beauty station
Hang a mirror by the door, along with a basket filled with last-minute primping tools.
You won't have to run all over the house looking for brushes, barrettes, sunscreen, hand lotion, or various makeup essentials: It's all in the basket.

Start a day-by-day shelf system
To get out the door more quickly each day, dedicate baskets or shelves to specific days of the week.
When you remove things from your bag at night, place each item on the appropriate shelf or in the correct basket.

Designate a certain spot for everyday items like your wallet, transit card, and cell phone.
Organize your hand-me-downs

Keep a "future bin" in the kids' closets for hand-me-downs you get from others and anything that's too big for them right now.
Purge their closets once a season. Put removed items in one of three places: a younger sibling's "future bin", the charity bin, or the trash.
Many charities, such as Goodwill, call quarterly to let you know they will have a truck in the area, so you don't have to load your car and make an extra trip.
When they call, leave the bin out front for pickup, and they'll hang the receipt (for tax purposes) on your doorknob.
This is also a good time to get rid of any toys that the kids have outgrown.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Messy, Messy, Messy

Do you have a hard time getting your life together?? Do you spend more time looking for things than you do getting work done? Do you constantly pray for more time in the day?
Joan Westphal, an organization specialist, has a few tips for you.


I have made it a habit to get up 30 minutes early in order to pray and read my Bible. My goal is to read the Bible in one year. I found that giving the Lord my undivided attention in the morning left me with a day that flowed more smoothly. I still have normal complications but being at peace and knowing that it is in His hands helped me to relax.
One morning I read a newspaper article that stuck with me. The title was “45 Life Lessons and 5 To Grow On.” #42 read, “Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.” It hit me….I was a CLUTTER BUG. How did this happen? I was putting things away. I could walk through my hallway. Yet, I still felt like a Clutter Bug.

I wondered how many things I had that weren’t used. Even worse, how many things were still around because “one day I might need them?” I was determined to de-clutter my home.

My first problem was how to start….my plate was full. Children, laundry, soccer games, practice, volleyball games, more practice, dinner, take my mom for her chemo sessions, more practice, etc. You get the idea. While I waited at practice, chemo and more practice, I thought how I could sort through the clutter. Since I couldn't read the Bible in one day or lose weight in one day, maybe I should consider a plan that would materialize over time. Maybe if I found a way to declutter a little each day - in six months I would be well on my way.

I started with my kitchen. The place that I seemed to spend most of my time….breakfast, lunch, dinner, homework, science & geography projects… get the idea. I went first to my junk drawer and cleaned out my ancient coupons, broken rubber bands, the excess twist ties and the items that were not “useful, beautiful or joyful.” I felt so great about this accomplishment, I wanted to shout and dance the cha-cha. I made a dent and it only took a few minutes. This was going to work!

I cleared a place in my basement for four boxes and labeled them. REPAIR, DONATE, ASK AND SELL. The REPAIR was for items that were worth keeping a small family heirloom (joyful) that needed gluing.

The DONATE was for anything that was going to an organization. I ended up with a second DONATE box for things that I would give to other family members or friends.

The ASK was for my husband or children. This included things that I wanted to get rid of but had better ask them if they agreed.

The SELL was for an eventual garage sale. This box would be around for a while until I had time to go through everything.

You should see my house now! If you need to de-clutter your house, start small. Do just a little every day and you'll be surprised how much your can accomplish!

If you have questions, send them to Joan Westphal at

"To Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us." - Ephesians 3:20 -

Sunday, August 02, 2009

This is so cool!!!

I met Shelly Ballestero at a writer's convention. She is the sweetest person. I was thinking about introducing her to my son (yes she looks that good) until I found out she was married with two sons! She is absolutely beautiful and doesn't look a day over 21.

I love her book Beauty by God - Inside-out secrets for every woman. It was great fun reading the chapter, The Pampered Pantry.

She offers wonderful "inexpensive" fun tricks for beauty. Things like using warm coffee grounds for a pick me up facial or a six-ounce jar of baby food bananas spread over clean skin under your eyes. Wait 10 minutes and then rinse clean. The potassium will help eliminate dark circles.

The book is both fun and enlightening. It would be a great summer read for mom and daughter. Be sure and tell your daughter that while she's babysitting she should try a little Burt's Bees Diaper Rash Ointment on blemishes. The zinc in the cream heals, dries and takes the red out of both irritations.

I was excited to read about the Wrinkle Remapper. 8 drops sweet orange essential oil, 1 teaspoon almond oil and 2 teaspoons hazelnut oil. Combine ingredients. Use two finger from one hand to hold skin taut and the other index finger to massage wrinkle area. With daily application, wrinkles will soften.

I'm sure you and your daughter will both enjoy the chapter on Alleviate Stinkin' Thinkin'

Adding to our previous post about the dangers in the cosmetic world, Shelly's book includes a chapter entitled, The Devil's Top 10 Ingredients. She teaches you how to recognize the dangerous chemicals in cosmetics.

You can order Shelly's book by using the following link.