Archive | December, 2009

Merry Christmas & A Time of Rest…


I wish I could have sent a Christmas card to each of you this year. As that was impossible, I wanted to share our Christmas photo and letter with you all. It has been a true blessing to get to know so many of you over this last year…thank you for your support and encouragement!

Dear Family & Friends,

Greetings to you all as we enter the wonderful Christmas season! It has been a very challenging and yet blessed year for our family. We are rejoicing in God’s goodness once again!

We welcomed little Titus Christopher on March 4th and what a little bundle of joy he is to our family. He is so mellow, peaceful, and so happy the majority of the time. At 9 months old, he loves rolling all around the floor, exploring, eating, and just smiling at us with his cute little teeth. He looks like he may be welcoming his two front teeth by Christmas! ;)

Karis, at 2 1/2 years old, is our queen bee. She loves to sing, take walks, read books (Frog & Toad, and Thomas the Tank Engine are her favorites), playing in her kitchen set, and just making us laugh. She was successfully potty trained in just one month over the summer. Quite a big girl.

Aaron is a wonderful daddy and diligent provider, as he continues to work as a self-employed web developer. The Lord closed the doors for us to begin immediately in moving towards becoming techno-missionaries (where we would use technology to serve missionaries), but it is still a future goal. In the mean time, Aaron is seeking to grow in his business management skills, knowledge, and expanding his business in training an apprentice. Our vision is to get to a place where Aaron could work part-time to support us and dedicate the other time to serving missionaries/churches/agencies. Beyond work, Aaron is serving faithfully in leading worship and training up sound technicians at our church. We are involved in a new church plant called The Gathering in Portland, OR that started in July. In his spare time, Aaron loves learning to barb-a-que and expand his guitar playing skills.

For myself (Lindsay), I feel I have grown significantly this year in simply trusting the Lord. He has taken me through a difficult season dealing with insomnia, and yet faithfully has sustained me through it. I am growing in treasuring my children and enjoying the precious moments I have with them. I love being a stay at home mom, and taking care of the needs of my husband and children. Seeking to live simply and naturally have been my passions. On the side, the Lord continues to grow my little ministry through my blog, It has grown significantly this last year and the Lord has been using it to inspire homemakers around the world. To God be the glory! I am also pursing becoming a child-birth instructor and doula over this next year as I love serving women in preparing and giving birth naturally. I am excited to see what the future holds!

Together as a family, we are enjoying reaching out to international students through our local WSU. It has been a true blessing to build relationships with these precious students, meeting people from around the world, from China to Iran to Turkey.

We love you all and pray you have a blessed holiday season reflecting upon the glorious gift of our Savior who came as a humble baby to redeem the world!


Aaron, Lindsay, Karis & Titus Edmonds

Note to my readership: Thank you again for making this such a blessed year! It has been a huge privilege to serve many of you and minister as the Lord has led me. I want to thank you for your financial support of this blog as well, making it possible for us to send more resources to support our orphan home in Cambodia. I must now confess as witnessed in our letter, that insomnia has been causing a lot of strain and stress to my life over the last few months. Some days I can barely function mentally and physically. I know God has ordained this for a purpose, and it has really helped me re-focus and refine my priorities. After further prayer, I feel the Lord is leading me to take a blogging break for a few weeks. You may see a post here and there, but overall, I am just stepping back for a bit. I need to pull back, rest, and focus on my family. I am planning on taking a blogging break till the new year.  You can follow me on twitter for regular family updates. I want to spend the holidays resting with the Lord and family. You all are in my prayers! May you have a blessed holiday season till we meet again! ;)

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Only One Thing Is Necessary this Holiday Season

What are you focusing on this holiday season? Are you taking time to sit at the feet of Jesus like Mary, or are you being more like Martha getting overly consumed with the gift-giving, decorating, parties, and preparations? (Luke 10:38-42) I personally have gotten overwhelmed with the gift-giving list, and the many invitations to events, but I have been graciously reminded today of the most important thing. And what is that? I would strongly encourage you to head over to Girl Talk to catch up on their current series called Martha Moment, to keep your focus this season. It’s all about Jesus! It’s about sitting, listening, and enjoying His presence. Here are some quotes to wet your appetite: 

“But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.’” Luke 10:41

What is the “one thing” that is truly necessary?

“Serving is important. Our Lord also taught us: “The greatest among you shall be your servant.” But serving is not the most necessary thing. There is only one thing that is truly necessary—listening to the Lord speak. So as we head into the holidays, as we face the temptation to be distracted with much serving, or tempted about many things, let’s remind ourselves of Jesus’ words. Should I be serving? There is one thing more necessary! Should I be worrying? This is completely unnecessary! There is only one thing that is necessary. And what is that? To sit and listen to the Lord’s teaching, that’s what!

Let’s take our cues from Mary. We shouldn’t wait until things settle down after the holidays. We shouldn’t postpone listening to Jesus until January 1. We must choose to sit and listen to the Lord’s teaching today: right in the middle of the Christmas craziness. And we must strive to do so every day after.”

To read the full series, visit here.

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Treasuring God in Our Traditions – Book Review

Today I welcome a guest post by Sherrin Drew. Sherrin is a wife and mother of one little boy and blogs at Home Based Education where she strives to make a joyful home based learning environment for her son.

Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noel Piper would make a great Christmas gift for somebody you love. The book is designed to inspire readers to look to God in fresh ways. A thriving relationship with God can lead to faithful traditions and joy filled celebrations. Noel provides many ideas of how to create God-centred traditions, but her goal is not to write a “how-to manual” (p.16). Instead, she prompts readers to ask themselves how they can show forth Christ as their treasure.

Firstly, Noel Piper encourages readers to develop “everyday” traditions that turn their hearts toward God. Christians need to plan to focus on God’s word and prayer, because such activities “are too close to the heart of God to be left to choice” (p. 49). The second half of the book is devoted to “especially” traditions. God can be placed at the centre of each celebration, whether a birthday or a Christmas dinner, because he is the giver of all these good gifts.

Memorable stories of God’s dealings with the Piper family are used to illustrate each example of a God-centred tradition. If you enjoy reading about what God is doing in the lives of other families, you will love these sections of the book. Family recipes, poems, letters and songs are incorporated in burgundy text boxes, adding to the beautiful presentation of the book.

Noel’s experience of family life and faithfulness in raising children make this a valuable child-training resource. Noel particularly recommends repetition and tangible symbols as learning tools. The Pipers always keep the key goal in mind: children are adults in training. The book includes an appendix about children worshiping with their families throughout the church service. In this essay John and Noel offer reasons to work toward this and practical suggestions.

Treasuring God in Our Traditions is not just for families though. Noel makes an effort to draw in singles, childless adults, and those from troubled backgrounds. The book is also an appropriate gift for men. They would enjoy its many insights into John Piper’s role in family traditions. All Christians, regardless of gender or situation, can benefit from considering whether their lives communicate that God is their treasure and joy.

Note from Lindsay: For my personal review of this title, visit here.

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Healthy Homemade Peanut Brittle: A Great Gift & Treat!


My Papa is a big peanut brittle fan so I like to make him a batch of it for Christmas. The problem is that most recipes for peanut brittle are based around corn syrup. I prefer to avoid this ingredient, so my goal this year was to make my own peanut brittle from natural sweeteners. I am hear to announce that I have been successful. Thanks to the inspiration of this recipe and some further tweaking and adapting, I am excited to share this yummy candy treat with you. This is another great gift idea that is simple, delicious and more healthy for you.

1 cup Sucanat/rapadura
1/4 cup honey (I am sure you could use maple syrup here if desired)
1/4 cup water
1 cup peanuts, raw or salted as desired
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda

1. Grease a large cookie sheet. Set aside.

2. In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, over medium heat, bring sucanat, honey, and water to a boil. Stir until sucanat is dissolved. Bring to a boil and add coconut oil and vanilla, stirring constantly until mixture reaches 280F on the candy thermometer. If you don’t have a candy thermometer (like me!), then you want to have a cold glass of water nearby and drop a bit of the mixture into it every few minutes until it forms a stiff ball in the water. This will confirm that it is hot enough.

3. Add peanuts and continue stirring until temperature reaches 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), or for another 2 minutes or so, or until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard and brittle threads.

4. Remove from heat and quickly stir in baking soda. Work quickly and pour at onto cookie sheet, spreading out with the spoon to form a thin layer in a rectangle shape. Cool and then break candy into pieces. It takes about 10-15 minutes to cool. Store in a covered container.

IMG_6840This post is a part of the Healthy Holiday Eats and Treats Carnival! Check it out!

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Healthy Homemade Fudge: A Great Gift!

IMG_6843Need a simple easy treat to give away this holiday? How about some delicious healthy fudge that is incredibly easy to assemble? I adapted this recipe from Kimi’s edition of healthy fudge. I don’t use coconut sugar, so I had to do some experimenting to use with honey. I used raw honey to sweeten and it is a delicious combination of three simple ingredients -cocoa powder, coconut oil, and honey! Whip it up in your blender and solidify in the fridge, and you are set! This is a great little nutritious gift idea for him or her (especially the guys!) and also an very easy dessert for guests. I have served it several times over the last few months and always received great reviews.

1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup coconut oil, divided (virgin unrefined coconut oil is recommended for its nutritional value), palm oil or butter
3/4 cup honey (raw honey is recommended again for its nutritional value)

Gently melt half of the coconut oil in a small saucepan. Allow too cool slightly. Place the remaining 1/2 cup solid coconut oil in your blender with the cocoa and honey. Carefully add the melted coconut oil and pulse a few times till smooth. Make sure not to over blend or else it can seperate. Line a bread pan with a layer of parchment paper or saran wrap. Carefully pour the fudge into the pan. Place in your refrigerator until solid, about 1 hour. Gently remove from pan and cut into squares. Makes about 12-15 squares. Store in refrigerator till ready to serve.

Note: I found that if I melted all the coconut oil, the final result was a very stretchy, wet fudge. For the more solid fudge like texture, I melt half of the oil, just enough so that it blends together well, and this seems to work perfectly.

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Homemade Creative Play Gifts for Kids

How about offering your children fun and creative play gift ideas this Christmas? By creative play I am referring to supplying items that will help spur on and encourage their imagination, giving them freedom to explore and develop their minds. Here is a list of items that you can make at home inexpensively that will entertain your children for hours. We all love those frugal gift ideas, and the special touch of handmade items is an extra bonus.


Screen shot 2009-12-03 at 3.23.42 PMPlaysilks are a simple creative play item made out of fabric and dyed various colors. These playsilks can be used to play peek-a-boo, doll blankets, forts, dressup clothes, head scarves, and numerous other ideas. There is no end to the ideas that little ones can come up with for their use. Playsilks can be a bit spendy to purchase, but you can make your own with white silk scarves sold through Dharma Trading Company. Include your little ones in a fun project of dying them with Kool-Aid. Yes, it’s that simple! For a easy tutorial, visit here. You can also buy playsilks through A Toy Garden or Let’s Explore.


There are numerous free patterns online for costume and dress-up ideas that you can make yourself. Here are some favorites I have seen:

Fairy Wings
Tulle Skirt
Ladybug Costume

Add old watches, old oversized clothing, jewelry, wigs, hats, gloves, handbags, etc. and you will have a fun dress-up box! You also might want to check out the fun dress-up outfits produced by Melissa and Doug. They are cute!

Play Dough

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What kid doesn’t like play dough? Give them a batch with a knife, rolling pin, and a few cut outs, and they love it! Try your hand at making your own. It is safe for your family and easy! Make your own play dough with a few basic ingredients that you probably already have on hand: salt, flour, oil, cream of tarter and various food colorings. For this easy recipe, visit here. Make all different colors and store in little baby food jars to keep it fresh and soft. Or try yummy edible play dough made out of almond butter.

Building Blocks

Screen shot 2009-12-03 at 3.21.55 PMWooden building blocks are a perfect gift for any little boy or girl. There is no end to ways you can assemble them in building castles, houses, and the like. Find scrap wood from your local lumberyard and Make your own wooden blocks with this tutorial.

Felt Toys – Kitchen Food Items

How about some fun homemade felt food? Kids love pretending like they are cooking. Why not encourage the creative chef in them? Check out these ideas for cute felt food to get you started:

Homemade Bread, Pan & Mitt kit
How to Make Felt Food – cheese, cookies, carrots, eggs, strawberries and other fruits
Food Sandwich

Waldorf Dolls

Screen shot 2009-12-03 at 3.18.48 PMA homespun doll made out of completely natural and cuddly wool and cotton materials? I love it! Waldorf dolls are intentionally simple in order to inspire creativity, improving and strengthening the imagination. Check out the simple waldorf doll making kits available through Wier Dolls & Crafts or Magin Cabin. Boy & Girl patterns are available. Simple instructions are included with the kit or for further help, visit this tutorial.

Doll House

Screen shot 2009-12-03 at 2.55.19 PMI love this idea of making it yourself doll house with a simple cardboard box and cut out pictures from magazines. You don’t need delux dollhouses when it comes to little girls. Inspire creativity and simplicity with this homemade edition. How fun!

Making Make-Believe: Fun Props, Costumes, and Creative Play Ideas – a fun book offering children ideas for creating a life-sized igloo from empty milk jugs or putting on a puppet show in their very own Lighted Box Stage. This book is filled with wonderful storybook play ideas, games, cooking fun, making costumes, and so much more.

Do you have any homemade creative play gift ideas to add?

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Songs For Saplings CD Giveaway Winner!

I almost totally spaced selecting a winner of our Christian CD’s for Kids giveaway. I am excited to announce the winner is…

Elizabeth @ The Hankins Family

Congrats! May your home be filled with sweet children praising the name of Jesus!

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Homemade Aftershave Salve – A Gift for Him

Screen shot 2009-11-30 at 3.26.01 PMWant to give that special man in your life a simple, natural and yet useful gift? How about homemade aftershave?

Recipe #1: Coconut/Shea Butter Salve

I made this concoction for my husband and he says it works great. Avoid the chemicals and yet nourish the skin with the healing properties of coconut oil and shea butter. Shea butter is rich in Vitamins A, E, and F, which help to soothe, hydrate, and balance the skin. Make sure to select raw shea butter, because many companies use bleaches, deodorizers, or chemicals to alter the scent and appearance of shea butter. These processings deplete the product of its healing and medicinal properties, and also destroy the vitamins and minerals present. You will know if it is raw by its distinguished nutty smell. Coconut oil is also very nourishing and moisturizing to the skin and has great anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. This is the same basic recipe I use for diaper salve cream. This recipe is creamy in consistency. It works beautifully for both tasks!

1/8 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup shea butter
essential oil of your choice – a few drops of clove, cinnamon, bergamot are preferred manly scents

Whip your ingredients together with a small hand blender or by hand. Place in a small container of your choice and give to that special guy. ;)

We buy our extra virgin coconut oil and raw shea butter from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Recipe #2: Apple Cider Aftershave

This second recipe is a wet consistency due to the liquid astringent. Store in a glass jar. An empty spice container with the  holes works great because you can simply dab a little bit on a cotton ball to apply. Apple cider vinegar is great for the skin and completely natural! Vinegar contains acetic acid, which has anesthetic properties if you cut yourself during shaving. It also moisturizes the skin, closes the pores and soothes razor burn. It has all the benefits and none of the chemicals in traditional aftershave. No fear of the scent either because it will disappear as it dries and can be easily covered up with a few drops of essential oil.

3  Tablespoons witch hazel
5 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
a few drops of essential oils of your choose – bergamot, clove & cinnamon again are the recommended manly scents
a clean, empty bottle to hold the aftershave, an 6-8 oz clean spice container works great or for special gift giving, check out the cute glass cork bottles from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Combine all the ingredients, close the jar and shake it to make sure everything really is mixed thoroughly. Put the jar in a cool, dark place and keep it there for 3 or 4 days, making sure to take it out and shake it well once a day. Shake before use.

For dry skin: Add 1 Tablespoon of aloe vera gel, vegetable glycerin, or rose water to the aftershave.
For oily skin: Add 1 Tablespoon vodka.
For sensitive skin: Use apple cider vinegar alone for a great simple aftershave or dilute the apple cider aftershave with a little distilled water.


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