Monday, January 31, 2011

Life Simplified

This week's Life Simplified tip is how to keep your drains clear.

In the fall, we had a drainage issue. A clog just before our main waste line. Mike and I spent hours (we're talking from 8 pm until 2 am) trying to clear the drain without calling a plumber. Finally, when we'd taken all the drains apart and still hadn't cleared the clog, we called a plumber and shelled out $75 for a 5 minute fix. We'd done everything we could, and the only thing we didn't do was disconnect the dishwasher. The plumber was great and showed us how to properly disconnect the dishwasher next time. When he was finished, he even told us how to keep our drains clear to avoid a clog the next time.

So, to keep your sink from looking like this (or worse)...
Simply fill up both sides of your sink with HOT water.
Then, release both sides at the same time.
On side will drain faster than the other.
You should see the little "tornado" of water leaving the sink...and hear a nice gurgling sound.

That's what the plumber told us. He said it works better than any kind of Drain-O you can buy.
Cheap, quick and extremely easy...sounds like my cup of tea!

Marriage Challenge Week 3

Hello all! How was your week last week?

This past week, I must admit, I slacked a little in the prayer department. I did, however, remember to pray specifically for Mike several times.

I've learned that I need to focus more on prayer.

For your week 3 challenge, I want you all to write at least one little love note for your spouse. Place it somewhere that will surprise him/her. It doesn't have to be long and wordy, even just a simple "Love Ya Babe!" lets them know that you're thinking of them. If you can and want to, you could even put in your note a bedroom activity you'd like to do. For example, you could put "come to bed 5 minutes early tonight for some extra cuddles" or even something more.

Don't be afraid to show your spouse how much you love him/her. They need to know it.

Good luck! And feel free to let me know what you learned last week...

Homemade Comforts

Friday, January 28, 2011

A little something different...

...for MHRF. Instead of telling you, I'll show you.

This is what hubby did tonight to make him rock...

Sniffles and Snot and Teeth, oh my!

Lately, in this blogger's home, there's been some dysfunction.

N has been "growing" teeth (I see more and more of those bottom 2 every day, hence the term growing...I know that babies don't actually grow teeth) and having a bout of a cold.

Yuck! I hate hearing her snotty breathing and knowing there's not a whole lot a can do for her.

Plus, I ended up giving her a paci (something she hasn't ever really taken to), and she just threw it on the ground after she chewed on it a bit. But, she was so cute holding it, I just had to get a picture.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oh, the Winter Wonder!

Hi all! I just wanted to share some of the wintery scenes we've seen around my neck of the woods. Yesterday into today we received 10 inches of cold, wet snow!

As much as I hate the snow, I have to admit that it's pretty amazing what the Good Lord creates for my viewing pleasure!

I love how the neighbor's house is blurry in the background here.
Here is another neighbor out shoveling snow in the midst of it!

Here, the neighbor's flag is whipping in the wind.

Some scenes on my way to work...
Me, heading to work in the cold.

Yes, that snow pile is at least a story high.
Beautiful walkway under the trees...

There you have it! Did you have snow yesterday?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How I Learned to be Thankful...

It's been in my heart for a while now to post on here about being thankful in all things. I never thought I'd be thankful for some of the things I am thankful for.

1 Thessalonians 5 even tells us to be thankful for all things.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

For example, I'm thankful for the daily struggles I face. I'm thankful for only having one vehicle, I'm thankful for household chores.

Before you say, "What!?" let me explain. I never, ever in my wildest dreams thought I'd be thankful for household chores. One day, I was meditating on something God had put into my heart. He was telling me to be thankful, but not just for the good things, for everything. I was having a hard time swallowing that pill. So, while I was mumbling about the amount of laundry there was to be done (and all the while knowing it was my fault for letting it go for several days), God was planning to teach me a lesson.

I was in my basement (and I'll post some pictures of my clean bathroom, where I do all my laundry sorting, instead of my filthy basement (hubby and I tend to just throw stuff down there) so I'll spare you!) getting ready to leave and huffing about all the stinkin' dirty laundy. Where in the world had it all come from?! When all of a sudden, I slipped on the floor. I think there was a piece of cardboard or plastic or something that my flip flops without traction went sliding on. Well, there went a pretty pregnant me, down on the cement floor! I had a huge scrape on my leg and I ended up landing on my side, right where my baby was laying. THANKFULLY, there was my pile of laundry! Placed just perfectly to cushion my fall so I wouldn't land on baby on the cement.

Then, after I had gotten over the shock of the fall, and crying for Mike to come get me and pick me up, I heard this voice saying, "See, I told you to be thankful for every single thing. Next time, you'll listen."

This is how I've learned to be thankful in all things. What unlikely thing are you thankful for?


I've finally figured it out! Wahoo!

The Marriage Challenge button is now here. I know it is kind of small, but I'm not gonna complain. At least, I now have a button. And I now know how to do it!


If you are participating in the Marriage Challenge, please grab the button for your blog, and let me know that you're doing it too! Also, I've edited the first 2 weeks to now show my button.

Homemade Comforts

Monday, January 24, 2011

Girl, Put Your Records On

Tell me your favorite song, you go ahead let your hair down.

I love Corinne Bailey Rae. She has such a unique voice.

Anyway, I've seen this all over blogland, so here's what to do with your records (or 45s) if you don't have a player to play them on.

I got mine at Goodwill for $0.47 today. I went with my sister-in-law and we both saw these on blogland and wanted to give it a try, so we bought some and did a lunch-time craft while the kiddos were sleeping/playing.

First, get out a cookie sheet, 2 oven safe bowls and your vinyls. We tried to give hers a shot first. We used a small bowl and a can of relish to make the bowl high enough that the vinyl wouldn't lay on the oven rack. You could do it either way.

Next, preheat your oven to 200.

Then, put the smaller bowl upside down on the cookie sheet with the vinyl centered on top. Put that in the oven. Watch it for a few minutes until the vinyl starts to soften and bend over.Remove Formatting from selection

Pull out the vinyl, then either make the ribbons by hand like this one... Or put the larger bowl over top to create the ribbons. The nice thing about this is that you can try to do it by hand first, and if it doesn't turn out, just put it back in the oven and try again.

Be careful because they are HOT and they cool and harden quickly.
Now, wouldn't these be cute if you spray painted them a fun color and put some houseplants in them?! I think I'll be making some more of these in the near future...


So, for 2 weeks ago...

Mike rocks because he kept Norah for me while I worked, and when I came home, I heard not how hard it was keeping her, but how much fun he had doing it.

For last week...

Mike rocks because even though he was sick with this stomach flu going around, he left me drag him to the mall to do some birthday gift shopping.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Marriage Challenge Week 2

Sorry week 1 was really 2 weeks long.

I've had some issues with switching things from my old computer to my new one. My old one is about to go to the computer graveyard. R.I.P. Mac. It was a good computer which served me well for the last 4+ years.

So, I know last week (or 2 rather) I learned that I can control my thoughts. And the more I thought about the good things my husband does or what I love about him, the more I thought about those things. It's hard to be down when your thoughts are generally towards the good in others.
Week 2's challenge is to pray for your spouse. And make a point of remember to pray for him. Pray for every aspect of his life. His finances, his walk with the Lord (if he doesn't have one, pray that you would be the city on a hill that would show him the light of the Most High), his purity, his attitude, his day, his health, his whatever! I would also suggest reading Stormie O'Martin's Power of a Praying Wife. In this book, she shows all different ways to pray for your spouse and why praying for him is important.
So, what did you learn from the last challenge? And how will you remind yourself to lift him up to the Lord?

Homemade Comforts

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hi All!

This is just a quick post to let you know that I haven't forgotten about MHR or Marriage Challenge, but that I've had a sick hubby and some computer stuff going on. Hopefully, we'll be back up and running at full speed ahead by the end of the week.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Hubby Rocks

So sorry this is late! But, last night, my hubby sat up with me until almost midnight trying to figure out how to add that stinking button for the Marriage Challenge. And we still haven't figured it out. But, he rocks anyways.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Marriage Challenge Week 1

This year is a year for change. I know you’ve heard this every year since your childhood, but I’m not talking about a resolution here. I’m talking about a revolution. I want to start a movement…within my marriage and within yours…to be more intentional with our spouses. It’s time that we took a look at how we are really treating those who we are supposed to love more than any other person on the Earth.

So, in 2011, I want to start the Homemade Comforts’ Marriage Challenge! 52 weeks to a more intentional relationship. It will start this week, and I invite you to join me as I take time to consider my husband and how I can uplift him more than I am. You’ve seen me post the My Husband Rocks, and this is going to stem from that. I will continue that commitment until that year is up, but I will also be starting this challenge. Then, when the button is available, grab it and join along!

Now, I know 52 weeks seems like a long time, but bear in mind that as this year goes along, we will be watching our children grow, we will be celebrating milestones as families and we will be actively involved in our day-to-day lives. It’ll take daily reminders for ourselves to be intentional when life as we know it spins faster than it ever has before. And, as we start the next week, we’ll come back and share what we have learned from our week’s journey towards more intentional living.

So, to start off, I want to point out what God has told us. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” That is our challenge for this week…start focusing on what our spouses do that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. And then, we need to keep these things in the forefront of our minds each day. But, let’s also take it one step further and be sure to mention these things to him or her. Now, there is no need to go above and beyond, but when he does something that strikes you as one of these things, give him a compliment. For example: Mike is wonderful at just throwing things together in a skillet and turning out a great meal. Instead of just thanking him, I should have told him how much I admire that about him.

So, focus on good thoughts, banish bad thoughts, dwell on good, admirable, praiseworthy things.

What does your spouse do that is admirable or praiseworthy? Or how will you remind yourself to think about such things?

Homemade Comforts

Monday, January 3, 2011

Lemon Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting/Filling

For New Year's Eve, we went to my father-in-law's house. As usual, I brought a dish along. This time it was dessert.

I made these lemon cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting and filling.

Here's the recipe:
1 box (2 layer size) white cake mix (I used French Vanilla cake...I forget who makes it)
1 box (3.4 oz) instant lemon pudding
1 cup water
4 egg whites
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
1 package (16 oz. or 1 lb.) powdered sugar
1 package (8 oz.) softened cream cheese
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Mix cake mix, pudding, water, egg whites and oil together on medium for 2 minutes. The batter will be thick.
Line 2 cupcake tins with papers (I didn't have enough batter for 24 cupcake like the recipe calls for so make sure that you put water into any empty cups before baking so you don't burn the cupcakes).
Fill papers 1/2 to 3/4 full.
Bake 15-18 minutes at 350.
Let the cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack.
Mix the remaining ingredients together.
Fill a pastry bag with the frosting and insert the tip into the cupcakes, filling them with frosting.
With remaining frosting, use a knife to frost the cupcakes. (I added food coloring to the remaining frosting before putting on the cupcakes.)
Dip in sprinkles.
Make sure to keep these bad boys in the fridge so the frosting doesn't spoil.