Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday

Our family has been using reusable shopping bags since last November and I can't tell you how much we love them!

I have purchased several from Publix, Wal-mart and a new one yesterday from Winn-Dixie. What I love most about them, beyond the reusable aspect, is that each bags holds as many groceries as 3 plastic bags. That means less trips to and from the car and with the long shoulder straps I can sometimes get all my groceries in one trip!

We also use them for sleepover bags, book bags and Justin keeps his karate gear in one.

When we first began using them the biggest problem was remembering to take them to the store with us. To remedy this I would put all the bags into one and then keep them in my car. There were them several times I'd send one of the boys to the car while I was in the checkout line to get our bags. Now it's pretty much habit. We keep the bags on hooks in the entryway and grab them as we head out to shop!

Beyond carrying and using these bags I've also requested to NOT have a bag for small things that would fit into my purse or even no bag for a few things I can easily carry.

Before I go here are some plastic bag statistics:
Up to 1000 - Estimated years for a plastic bag to decompose.
1460 - Plastic bags used in a year by an average family of four in the U.S.
12 million - Barrels of oil used to make the plastic bags that the U.S. consumes annually.
Less than 1% - Percentage of all plastic bags that get recycled in the U.S.
88.5 billion – Plastic bags consumed in the U.S. last year.
500 billion – Estimated plastic bags sold worldwide each year.
San Francisco has banned non-biodegradable plastic bags in large grocery stores.

Works for me!

Head over to Rocks in My Dryer for more WFMW

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Hero of the Faith

Have you ever read anything by or about Amy Carmichael? Oh...she was an amazing woman, a missionary with a heart bigger than one could imagine, and a beautiful writer. My husband actually introduced me to her poetry early on in our marriage and then last year my son and I learned about her during our history studies.

She was born in Ireland in 1867. At the age of 26 she was sent to Japan as a missionary. Due to health issues she was only in Japan for a short time and she was sent back to Great Britain. Within the next two years, although she never actually received a "call" to go to India, she was advised that the climate in Bangalore, India, would benefit her health. She was 28 when she arrived in Bangalore--and began her ministry by traveling with several Indian sisters to the surrounding villages, sharing the Gospel message of hope. In these early travels she was exposed to the horrors of temple prostitution that many beautiful girls were subjected to--whether because of a "sacred vow" by family members or for money.

In 1901, Amy had just returned from a year of ministry to the villages when she was greeted by a sweet, seven-year-old girl, Preena. She had escaped from the temple and looked to Amy for help -- and so began the work of what would later be known as Dohnavur Fellowship. This fellowship took in needy children but was run like a family not an orphanage. It still runs today!

I wanted to share this quote by Amy Carmichael, it is full of wisdom. Enjoy!

"Our feelings do not affect God's facts. They may blow up, like clouds, and cover the eternal things that we do most truly believe. We may not see the shining of the promises--but they still shine! His strength is not for one moment less because of our human weakness."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


A great spin on cupcakes.

This idea was submitted by Amanda and just reading the titled reminded me of birthdays gone by and traveling to Mother's Day Out with a tray of ice cream cone cupcakes!
I really like the ice cream cone and cupcake together; surprisingly tastey.
I shall make them this summer!

Here's how I make them:

Items needed:
1. Cupcake recipe and ingredients this includes boxes
2. Package of flat bottomed ice cream cones.

Mix up your regular cupcake batter.

Pour the batter ice cream cones. Leave room for them to rise. I fill to the line that forms the wider top of the cone or just above it.

Carefully place your cones in a deep baking dish and bake for the time and temp for your cupcakes.

Carefully remove them and allow them to cool.

Frost and add sprinkles!

Here are some of the more pretty ones...

mine look more like this one...

Works for me!

We'd love to hear what works for you. Send us your tips or link us to your if you post your own.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Get to know the Author

Have you ever waited in line to get an autograph for a book, or go to a CD signing and actually get a chance to meet the artist or author? It is a trip! I have actually met Bobby Flay, a food network star at his restaruant in NYC and then I went back and bought a cookbook for my husband and had him sign it. I walked away feeling like - me and Bobby are buds! Recently I met Lisa Whelchel and I actually had my picture taken twice with her at her book signing (the first night I forgot my book), but by the second night, I felt like we had a mutual bond - You know we had the same name and we joked about it! There is something about meeting an author, I will forever feel like I know them. You become intimately attached in some odd way. Mind you the unless you build relationship with these authors it is usually a one way attachment. (I could do a dance on Lisa Welchel's nose and she wouldn't know me from atom!)

However, I do know an author who delites in talking with His readers. Actually, talking about His book, is something He desires immensely. It is good and necessary that we read His book, but even more so it is imperative that we spend time talking to the Him the Author. Of course, you know I'm referring to the Bible and God who is the Author and finisher of the Bible and of our faith!

The only way to truly have any kind of intimate relationship is by spending quality time together. The more time we spend reading His book and talking to Him, the more intimate we will be. The best part about this particular Author is that it is a two-way relationship! He loves us, longs for us, desires to spend time with us. You may read the Bible, but how often to you talk to the Author? Prayer is essential, as essential as breathing.

Ladies, please don't be afraid to pray. I was told as a child to "just talk to Jesus". Talk to Him as you would talk to your Dad, your Brother/Sister, friend. That is exactly what I do. Sometimes people say "I don't sound pretty" or "it just doesn't flow". Does it flow when you pick up the telephone with your best friend? It should be just like that. You don't have to sound "pretty" or use "churchy" words, the Lord knows you, knows the way you talk, loves you and love the way you talk - so don't worry!

So, what are you waiting for? Have you talked to The Author yet today?

Love you! ~Lisa

Friday, June 6, 2008

What are you thankful for?

I am thankful for_____________ (you fill it in).

When I was 18 years old I remember sitting in front of the television watching Oprah and hearing her talk about her personal journey to living in harmony and peace. Please remember that this was three five 16 years ago and the controversy surrounding her was not what it is today. Anyway it was there that I sat and listened to her talk about writing down every day 10 things she was thankful for.

I could do that.
I needed to do that.
At the time I was 18, graduating from high school, ostracized from my friends and pregnant! My life was in a whirlwind and thankfulness just seemed right.

I didn't finish the TV show that afternoon, instead I headed straight for my journal and began to jot down 10 things I was thankful for. I'm curious what those original things were and perhaps when I get a chance to dig out my old boxes I'll run across my list. Don't worry I'll share it here if I find it.

For the better part of my married life, I've kept a list of the things I was thankful for. God began using this simple tool in my life to change my thought process. To change out the wallpaper that had lined the walls of my mind for many, many years. God wants us to remember. Oh it's so sweet to do so and comforting to go back and recall the goodness and faithfulness of God in our past.

When my oldest was born and in the hospital for 26 days and his fate uncertain I was thankful for soap and ICU nurses, for biliruben lights and a private area to cuddle with my preemie baby.

When we moved 35 hours from my home, my mom, my family and all things familiar; I was thankful for telephones and airplanes. I was thankful for the same stars in the same sky to comfort me late at night!

When my boys were toddlers and I woke on Sunday realizing it had been a week since I'd spoken with another adult, besides Steve, I was thankful for naps and playgrounds, God's Word and naps.

When my marriage was hanging on by a string, that third string of Christ, I was thankful for clarity in the fog, peace in the storm and air to breath; for God's Word and godly women to speak into my life.

When the storms of hurt, death, disappointment and failure have come on me, thankfulness had a large part in bringing me through. It is not my natural instinct to be thankful, my nature wants to focus on how I've been done wrong or what I don't have or... I could go on and on about how in times of trial and times of joy when I've taken the time to write down what I'm thankful for it changes the moment. Sometimes slowly, sometimes almost instantly and almost always giving that thanks to God my Father in heaven.

Thankfulness to God helps switch our focus from the negative or the untrue to the positive and to the true. From things of this earth to things of worth. When we focus on what God has blessed us so richly with the junk that surrounds us fades into the background. The meaningless lies of this world drift away and our thankfulness shines a light wherever we're at.

So I leave you with this.
What are you thankful for?
Get specific, write it down, share it, remember it, smile about it and look up to God and thank Him for it!
Do this daily, perhaps before you go to bed. Reflect on it, say it outloud, believe it!

I'd love to hear some of those things here. Post what your thankful for in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you.

Some of my fav thanksgiving verses:
Psalm 100:4
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

Jeremiah 30:19
From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing. I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained.

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Make Your Own Popcorn

Here's a quick, easy, HEALTHY, CHEAP way to make your own microwave popcorn.

1/4 cup popcorn kernels
2 tsps oil (can use buttery oil made for popcorn)
1/8 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a small paper bag and staple it shut. Staple does fine in micro
3-min in microwave

I got this recipe from a friend last summer and we've enjoyed making our own popcorn ever sense!
Works for me!

Head over to Rocks in My Dryer for more WFMW (sorry we're not with the theme this week)
Please send us your ideas- what works for you??