And we’re back!

What a lovely time we had at the beach with our family! Weather was lovely one of the three days, but when we are at the beach we are more focused on relaxing anyway…reading, resting, playing games, and talking. Karis did amazingly well traveling and sleeping, despite the madhouse of children and noise. We were very thankful for this! I left feeling very blessed and thankful for my wonderful family. Here are some of the pics!

P.S. I have decided to post chapter 5 of our book study on Monday to allow for further discussion on chapter 4. Join in!

View from the cabin

Our little family

Family stroll on the beach

Karis & I with our little friend Emily (not related)

Grandma & Micah (my brother Stephen’s son)

Our friends Gabe & Mandy came and visited
with their two children, Emily & Josiah
Pictured L-R: Mandy, Trinity (my brother Stephen’s daughter),
Karis & I, Emily & Micah

Karis, Emily & Trinity

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Taking Off – Family Break!

It has already been a lively weekend.

My piano students went in yesterday (Friday) for their annual piano exams…which is a huge effort! And all of them came out passing successfully, which was very encouraging. That is another reason I am ready for a break…very ready to move on to some new repertoire, as much as they are!

My sweet little niece, Alita (2.5 years old) broke her arm last night. We went and visited her today as she rests at home. She was a brave girl, but it was so sad to see her small little arm in a cast…we love you Alita!

Our little family will be taking off tomorrow for a little much needed vacation to the beach (our favorite place alone the Oregon Coast in Lincoln City), along with my side of the family, for Sunday – Tuesday, so I will be taking a blogging break.

Chapter 5 recap and discussion of The True Woman will be posted on Tuesday evening, Lord willing, depending upon our return time.

I have been pondering a lot lately on the purpose of my blog and where I should take it. I am really excited about how the Lord is directing me. I hope to lay it out more specifically over the next few weeks. Above all, I want to purposefully write for His glory and hope in some small way to encourage you in the arts of homemaking and seeking to be true women who cultivate community and compassion for Christ’s sake.

God bless you all and have a wonderful weekend!

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Living to Give

“Measure thy life by loss instead of gain;
Not by the wine drunk but by the wine poured out.” ~Ugo Bassi

“Only one life twill soon be passed,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

William Borden was the son of a wealthy businessman, and could have settled for a life of convenience and ease. He dedicated his life as a missionary, focusing his college years on reaching those around him with the gospel. He died before even arriving in China, but his devotion inspired multitudes. He left his fortune (one million dollars) to be invested in the cause of Christ, in addition to the thousands of dollars he had given away in his lifetime.

In his flyleaf was written these words:

No reserves.
No retreats.
No regrets.

After Christ has suffered so much on our behalf that we might be partakes of the gift of eternal life, how can we not live with a spirit of martyrdom…willingness to give it all for His sake! This has been on my heart and mind…and will not seem to go away. How can I learn to give lavishly – with no reserves! That I might come to the end of my life with no regrets! Is this the day I die? was the question that Brother Yun asked daily (in his book Heavenly Man -the story of a Chinese persecuted Christian).

How can I give to meet the needs of another today? Could it be with time, money or energy?

The challenge is to give when you think you can afford it but also to give when you think you can’t afford it!

Should I really be saving for myself? Give until it hurts – my dad always said!

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Frugal Tip – Saving on Gas

I came across these two tips while reading Wise Bread this week, that I thought I would pass on to you. Definitely get you thinking when gas prices are estimated to hit $4 a gallon by summer!

1. Slow Down! – Save $.54 cents per gallon

According to this post, you can save approx. $.54 cents per gallon by simply slowing down your driving. It may be a challenging for most of us, but it appears that you can get an extra 15 miles per gallon (that’s at least an extra 200 miles per tank). The author shares how he increased his mileage from 32-47 mpg with this tip!

“In a typical family sedan, every 10 miles per hour you drive over 60 is like the price of gasoline going up about 54 cents a gallon. That figure will be even higher for less fuel-efficient vehicles that go fewer miles on a gallon to start with (based on a cost of $3.25 per gallon). ( In response to the oil crisis in 1973, a 55 mph national speed limit was imposed. 55 mph is still a car’s “sweet spot” for fuel efficiency. What uses the most energy of a car at high speeds is the force of air. The increase in wind resistance is exponential, which means it rises more steeply between 70 and 80 mph than 50 to 60. Increasing your highway cruising speed from 55mph (90km/h) to 75mph (120km/h) can raise fuel consumption as much as 20%. –

Read the full article here.

We’re giving it a try!

2. Safely Following Trucks

Driving behind big trucks can save 5-10% of your gas, due to drafting. Make sure to allow a good distance, so the driver can still view your vehicle in his windows.

“The science behind drafting is closely related to why driving slower saves energy. Basically, you have less air resistance in front of your car if a big truck has already passed through the air and your car is in the tunnel or “slipstream” behind it. A truck also blocks some of the air rushing at you. On the popular Discovery Channel show Mythbusters it was shown that if you follow a big rig by 100 feet you can decrease your fuel consumption by 11%.”

Read the full article here.

Check out Frugal Friday’s for more tips.
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Undistracted Devotion – Part 2

In part 1 of this series, I shared the call that Paul presents in 1 Corinthians 7 to live holy both in body and spirit as women of God, and remain devoted to service of our King. How do we go about this?

First, I would like to address a comment I received on the previous post. This woman brought up a few valid points that would be important to address before we move on in. I wish to thank her for presenting these concerns and allowing me the opportunity to address them

Rita W. said:

This is all very interesting but I can tell you from having been unmarried and married that being married is a much healthier and joy filled life.There is not more time when a woman is single totally the opposite. If you need gas in the car even though tired or ill you must get it yourself and the same with groceries, errands, house cleaning, repairs etc. There is no one to share life with and no one who asks how you are doing? The married are interested in their own lives how husband or wife is doing and the rest of the family and rightly so. At the same time singleness is treated just like you did – how wonderful it is – how glorious to serve? When is there time or the funds after taking care of mother and father? My opinion is that this post is tilted in the wrong direction. Ask a single girl and if she is honest she is exhausted and lonely and hanging to the scriptures for dear life. Praying that somehow life will expand to include more family, friends, and if meant to be a future husband.

Continue Reading →

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Soup Remedy for Colds

My friend, Scarlett, passed this recipe on to me. Looks like a wonderful natural soup for those lovely colds!

She said:

I thought I’d share this recipe that my step Mom, Mimi, gave me for when you have a cold or are sick. Cobe and I had some tonight and it actually tasted good.

Garlic Soup

8 cups chicken broth
25 cloves of garlic (peeled)
1 TBSP ginger
1 TBSP paprika
pinch of red pepper
1/2 cup lemon juice

Place in pot and cook until garlic is soft and then eat it all.

Thanks Scarlett! This will be excellent to have in the repertoire for the next illness! Always good to be prepared in advance!

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The True Woman: Chapter 4

This is chapter 4 review of our book study. This post will remain at the top of the blog for the week. Please proceed down for other posts.

“Christian women, you must be the brightest pattern of kindness and mercy which our selfish world contains, and add to temperance, patience, and godliness, Christian kindness and charity. Such a character cannot be unnoticed or unacknowledged…” Female Piety

This quote begins chapter 4 of the True Woman, and is such a powerful encouragement for Christian women to stand out as lights of love in a dark world. As discussed in Chapter 3 with the truth of our redemption, Susan Hunt now delves into how we can live as a reflection of our redemption.

“To reflect redemption, the true woman must grab the promises of God and integrate them into every aspect of her life.” pg 83

Continue Reading →

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Spring Cleaning & Allergy Solutions

Picture of Karis from the weekend showing off her new trick of being able to pull herself up!

We had a rather full weekend at our home, so I will be delaying my post on the 4th chapter of the True Woman for tomorrow, Tuesday. It seems that the discussion is just getting started on chapter 3 anyway.

It was such a lovely weekend here in Vancouver, WA! Couldn’t help but get out there and enjoy the weather…although I had a fierce attack of allergies! Ahh! That lovely watery, itchy eyes, runny nose attack!

So I got some of that spring cleaning motivation this past weekend. The one area of my house that I felt was really calling my name was our garage. It is a small one car garage, but it is still amazing how disorganized it can get. Well, my husband and I set our minds to it on Saturday, purchased an extra storage rack (love those sturdy metal ones from Costco!), and set to work.

Continue Reading →

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Q & A: Food Questions

1. As far as soaking grains. The recipe I used called for milk and I just soaked in soured milk (I use raw). Then I read your post regarding using buttermilk and kefir. Is soaking in milk (soured or not) okay or should I replace the milk with buttermilk or kefir?

Yes! You can use soured milk, as long as it is raw milk/cream as it has naturally soured and collected the good bacterias from the air. I wasn’t aware of this until doing a little research today. I found this article very helpful with tips on using sour milk. I never knew that sour milk was still so good for you!

2. I bought some kefir grains so I am hoping to start making it in a few weeks. Do you add the new batch of kefir to any you may have leftover from previous batches?

I use a batch at a time. As each batch is made in a quart size jar, I store it in the refrigerator until it is all used. I don’t combine batches, but I am sure you could, as I don’t see any problem with doing that.

3. I found your recipe for pizza crust and would like to add that to my monthly menu. What kind of cheese does your family use?

I use a combination of cheddar cheese and mozzarella for my pizza. I purchase raw cheddar cheese from Azure Standard. We love this cheese! I grate it all up and freeze in smaller portions in order to extend it’s life. Azure sells 5 pounds for approx. $23 dollars. I also use a small portion of a natural whole milk mozzarella. I have not found a better source for this though, as organic mozzarella is extremely expensive. I have yet to find a source for raw mozzarella. Any one else have a better source?

4. This is an elementary question, but exactly how does one go about kneading dough? It’s the kneading part of baking bread that scares me!

First off, your question is not elementary at all!

I actually use a Bosch mixer to do my kneading for me. I love my Bosch! It works wonders for mixing up anything and includes a powerful blender as well. Read my review of it here. If you have a Kitchen-Aid mixer, they sell a kneading attachment, for it to do that as well. If you have the money, these are wonderful investments. The bosch has a 25 year warranty, or something like that.

Here’s an article on wiki about how to knead by hand with dough. It has pictures and all! I have done alot of kneading on my own in the past, and it is really pretty simple.

Hope that helps! Don’t be intimidated! It is well worth it.

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Where Bulk Buying Goes Wrong

Have you ever considered how the thought of buying in bulk might just be causing you to use more? I love buying in bulk and do highly recommend it for saving money on groceries. I buy grains, beans, oils, meat, etc. in bulk and save money regularly. I highly recommend finding a friend to split things with if you don’t have the room for it all…it works well…but do proceed with caution!

Studies have shown that large packages encourage consumers to increase the amount of a product they use. This has been true of me lately. I look at my 5 pounds of cheese and it looks like a ton. So I just think I have a lot to use, and use in excess without thinking that this needs to last 2 months. Hmm…

Realizing this truth came about by reading an article on the topic in The Tightwad Gazette.

Here is what she says:

“A Harvard Business Review article reports that consumers who purchased large containers of Creamette spaghetti, M&M’s, Diet Pepsi, Crisco Oil, or Mr Clean ate more, drank more, and poured more than people who bought smaller containers of the same products. Wharton School marketing professor Brian Wansink said that’s because consumers know they got the product for a lower unit cost and thus fee justified in using more. “

The solution: She goes on to say the solution is not to avoid bulk buying, or purchase smaller containers, but to be aware of this human tendency to overuse bulk-purchased items and modify your actions accordingly! Use less…This has really helped open my eyes lately!

Also be aware that buying in bulk may not always be the cheapest option. I have realized this lately while evaluating bulk purchases from Azure Standard versus single purchases from my local Trader Joe’s, and come to realize that not all things are cheaper in bulk!

That’s my frugal tip of the day!

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