Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Busy, Busy Bees

We have been at the new home for a little over a week now. The house is a lovely home with lots of natural light which I love. I feel like a butterfly coming out of her cocoon. Honestly, I think I am solar powered.

This Saturday is my church's Christmas Bazaar. My very first bazaar at my own church. I am ecstatic. So along with packing, moving and unpacking, I am making a few little products for my own little table. I hope I remember to take a picture.

My head is a little loopy because I am unpacking and finding happy homes for our things. Then finding better homes for them. And I've been making products and having to label everything. Finding the supplies, finding my labels, finding the kid's stuff, finding my stuff, and finding whichever kitchen item that is needed at the time takes up a lot of time. Altogether there is a whole lot of finding going on.

Now I think I better get back to finding things and possible get Cowboy Preacher to make a recycle run for me. Gosh, those empty boxes do pile up and make a mess.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bisbee Bound

It is getting busy again around here. Packing to move again. I don't plan to move again for a good long while. Our new church holds a Christmas Bazaar that I hope to take part in, so I've been making a lot of products for that on top of my usually packing. It have been a bit of a juggle.

So now we are down to the wire and my children are coming down with colds. It is difficult when you want to pamper and cuddle them but you have to get packing. I have some Prayer Warriors praying for them. I hope we can get this all over with soon and start the unpacking.

I'm holding my Fourth Annual Secret Gift Exchange on my Facebook page. A lot of people still wanted to join, so I went ahead and hosted this again even though I have to be packing for our move. I enjoy doing this every year. At least we are moving earlier this year and only across the state. So hopefully, no ice storms. My Gift Exchange is open to everyone in the United States of America at this time. We have a great time crafting and seeing what other people have given.

Well, I guess I better get back to packing.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pretty Micas and Glitter from Mad Oils

I decided to try a new supplier with a little money given to me for soap supplies. I was just going to get a few of the 1 oz micas, but it seems that most of what I wanted to get were out of stock. Thankfully, the samples weren't so I decided to try a wide range of colors.

These colors make me very happy.

Most of them will either make their way into soap or nail polish. I'd like to get my nail polish collection a bit more variety. For now, I think I'll sit back and enjoy the rainbow.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Soapbox: Getting Back into the Groove

Find the beauty in the smallest of things

I've been neglecting my blog. I didn't intend to but that is what has happened. Honestly, this year has been very tough and stressful on me. I'm not sure if I had previously said this, but my husband had lost his job last year in June. We have been without an income for over a year. Well, let me tell you, just getting basic needs met has been a HUGE stress. Really, one that Cowboy Preacher lugged on. I imagine there are others out there who understand how it is. The looks people give you as if you aren't also looking for a job, any job to help out. For myself, I listened to my husband and let him deal with the financials for the most part. I dealt with getting nourishing meals to everyone and figured out what I could make with the things I had on hand for the day to day living. It has been a blessing that I know how to make soap as I have used that skill to keep the house in soap and cleaning supplies. Still, it is terrible humiliating to buy the small things we have to buy with coins. I had a manager looking over my shoulder one time and another time, the cashier told me I couldn't use that many coins again because it make their drawers heavy.  It is difficult to skimp and save just so you can have toilet paper. At times, it really was painful to see all that abundance in the store and know that I really couldn't afford to buy a simple shirt/dress/pants/socks/underwear for my kids. Other times, we would walk through the store and put things on our wishlist. Those were a bit nicer to think about but still with an undercurrent of stress. In the end, it has always been the Lord's blessings on us that got us through.

I have to admit, I didn't have such a problem at first with this whole lack of income thing. Really, it has inspired my creativity and reinforces my faith. It has been an amazing time to see how my Creator's hand has been guiding even the smallest things in my life. The tiny miracles have gotten me through so many difficult times. The set of events that really got to me was that I couldn't write and make my videos due to equipment malfunctions. I share my laptop with my boys; part of it was school and part of it was leisure. Well, my laptop is getting up there and it is a very bad design as the video card is right next to the dinky little fan and constantly overwhelms it. I have a little setup where my laptop is on a wire rack 9 inches off my desk with a small desk fan blowing on it to keep the laptop from overheating and shutting down. I can't be comfortable typing 9" in the air. I can't edit my videos because my video card overheats and kills my computer. My external hard drive is still being fixed and I have neglected to save onto DVD-r because I have at least 44 GB of pictures on my laptop and I have no income and so I cannot buy more dvd-r. I have a limited supply and I keep those around so I can rip a dvd sermon for Cowboy Preacher whenever he needs to send out one for his resume. So you understand, I don't like to possibly kill my laptop for good over my writing and making/editing/uploading videos. But I really miss it. And I don't think I realized how much I really needed to continue to at least write.

Well that is so depressing. That is what you want to read isn't it, how my life is so stressed and how my expensive equipment is failing, right? What can I say, this is what I'm dealing with right now. But I can tell you that just writing this post has been a wonderful stress reliever. Even in this time of little, my family has been blessed so many times. I give all glory and honor to my Lord, Jesus. I have decided that I am going to show a little more of the real me. I always wanted to write, but usually I try to write happy little encouraging things. Well sometimes, life hits and hits hard. My little controlled facade was breaking apart and was helping me to fall apart. Generally, I try to show be "real", but within the nice happy way. Sure, I'd post some of the bad, but most of it was hidden away. This year has been hard and I had my head in the sand online.

So what has changed? Well, my husband finally got his other laptop fixed so his old computer was available for the heavy video card stuff. Blessings from Above. We have had a few interviews (Pastor/Ministers are one of the few positions that that whole family is scrutinized.) Blessings from Above. (As to secular jobs, do you know how horrible it is to get the "overqualified" reason as to why they don't want to hire you? Seriously, clerking at the gas station is a glorious job when you have to pay bills and put food on the table. Qualified or not, no job is still no job and no money and generally, no food, electricity, water, gas or any other necessity.) Last week we were seriously behind in all utilities, and then an unexpected gift was given. Blessing from Above. One of the interviews told us they went with the other guy and we hadn't heard from the other. Then Cowboy Preacher received an invitation to interview with another church. Blessing from Above. Now, I have to say that pretty much describes this whole last year of living without an income. So what has really changed? My heart. Instead of lamenting and lamenting and begging and pleading, I started having a great conversation with Jesus. I gave thanks to my blessings, but even better was laying down my burdens on Him and NOT picking them back up. My faith is in God, He will take care of me. Maybe not necessarily to my wants, but in what is necessary. Blessings from Above.

Guess what, that means my blog is changing again. But that is to be expected, after all creative types are notoriously flighty. He he he, yes, I willing admit to being a flighty person, perhaps not all the time, but still flighty. Okay, I didn't want to say blonde, but yeah, that is what I meant. My daddy always said that if I didn't have Korean blood in me, I'd have been born blonde. Yes, as in the blonde jokes. Being blonde is AWESOME! So what is Cowboy Preacher's puns fly over my head like a 747, can he make a soap that looks and smells like a brownie? (Actually, he has forbidden me from making soap that looks and/or smells like food. Do you know what I say to that? Piffle! I may not see the use for making a cupcake soap, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to make one. **Hint: cupcake soaps trials in the future**)

Back to the blog, yes, I can and love meandering, there will be more personal stuff, crafty stuff, sewing stuff, practical stuff and whatever "floats my boat" stuff. I know that in the standard that usually a blog is about one or two topics, but you know what, this is MY blog. I don't have the time or the energy or the will really to keep more that this blog and my videos. I homeschool my kids, I make soap, I sew, I craft and I read lots of stuff. So basically this blogs is going to reflect me. I'm not out writing for the money, although that would be nice. I'm writing to express me. True, the blog will probably be heavy on the crafty side, but that is me as well. The passive aggresive me with the strange introvert who likes to give parties but is content to sit back and enjoy the chaos. I like to meet people, but I don't like to talk a lot. Well, unless it is a subject I do talk a lot about. Which is soap, soap making and soap design. Hopefully also more about my true and abiding love of Christ.

I have my computer back solely to myself and I finally found my dayplanner/homebook after several moves. I'm getting back into the groove and I have a lot to say. Now, I just have to get a little organized. Can a flighty person be organized?

Blessing to you from one who was stressed out but is not anymore. I have a set of strong shoulders holding up my burdens whenever I remember to lay them down.

Godspeed to you and yours.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Unexpected Death of Beloved Pets

This week is Spring Break for these parts. I have to say, it has been a horrible Spring Break for our household. I had intended to continue to do half schooling during this Spring Break because we a slightly behind, but that plan went out the window pretty early on when I discovered my cats had been poisoned.

Our two kitties are indoor/outdoor kitties. Were indoor/outdoor kitties. We got Miss Em from the humane society in Stuttgart. Trixie was a feral cat that adopted my second son. They loved to explore and adventure. I know that the lifespan of indoor/outdoor cats are much shorter than strictly indoor cats. Trixie was always at home outside though and Miss Em soon followed her sister.

Monday morning, Miss Em vomited in our bathroom. I thought she was just eating the grass and it upset her tummy. We went on our errands, one of which was to stop by a pet store to pick up some oat grass. After we finally made it back home and settled a bit, I heard Miss Em yowl slowly, painfully and lowly. Little Duder was being nice and calmly petting her, but I knew he likes to cradle her, so I intervened and picked her up. Immediately, I knew something was not right. She didn't "feel" right. Her eyes were glazed and her inner eyelids were covering the inner portion of her eyes. When she seized we took her to the vet even though we don't have any income and we knew it could be expensive. In the end, we chose to end her suffering. It was so heartbreaking. I hoped Trixie wouldn't have gotten into the same poison.

Tuesday morning, Trixie was lethargic and vomiting as well. She had the exact same symptoms as Miss Em. Double, triple and quadruple heartbreak. Roosiers was at a church sponsored outreach program and Trixie was his cat. All the children loved the cats. Despite unintentional roughness, the cats were very patient with the kids when cornered. We had to pick u Roosiers and we all as a family made that fateful appointment. Listening to Trixie yowl was awful. We couldn't let her die slowly and painfully.

We suspected antifreeze poisoning and the vet agreed. We have no confirmation because we couldn't afford the bloodwork. The signs were there. I walked the neighborhood and I sure enough found a neighbor who stored their antifreeze open in their yard. It is also possible that some other neighbor might have had a spill in their driveway. It doesn't take much antifreeze to poison a cat. We informed our neighbors of our circumstances in hopes of saving their pets as well. But I have to say, our neighborhood is very much lacking the kitty presence that it had just a week ago.

Needless to say, Spring Break was a bust. I particularly love cats and to lose them that way was so difficult. I'm in mourning. I made a little video tribute to my cats. Here is the link to the video on YouTube==> Rest in Peace Beatrix and Miss Mistoffelees.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Messy is as Messy does

It seems that my daughter is well on her way to taking after her mother. I guess having four older brothers does help a little in that department. Growing up I was pretty much a tomboy. I like to think of myself back then as Rainbow Dash with just a tiny bit of Rarity (My children have been watching an awful lot of My Little Pony, The Magic of Friendship.) So last week when the boys took their sister outside to give Mom a few minutes on her own and I came out to check on them to find this:

 I wasn't too surprised. I thought it was rather cute. Princessa Flower loves baths so she didn't mind too much. Although rinsing the dirt and sand from her head gave me oodles of admiration for mothers of curly and kinky haired children. Her bathtub did resemble a beach when it was all said and done, but she walked out of it squeaky clean and ready for the next adventure.

Today I was a bit more irritated when I saw this:
What does she have on her face and hair you ask? Why, Little Duder reached up on the top shelf and gave his sister my first trial of cloth diaper friendly diaper rash ointment. Yes, Princessa slathered on diaper rash ointment all over herself. I'm a bit miffed at the waste of ointment though I am glad that it wasn't the store bought stuff. This ointment is basically my lip balm base with titanium dioxide and a bit of Polawax to help rinse it away easier.

I did wipe most of the ointment off her skin, though the stuff in her hair just didn't want to budge. I have to say once the ointment was exposed to the bath it started to rinse away very well. I need to test it more on the cloth diapers, but I'd say I have a winner as to the ointment. Now if I can only keep the Princessa from making so many messes...

Yeah I didn't think so either. I highly suspect that there will be many baths and clean ups in the future and won't it be wonderful!

I posted pictures on my Facebook and a comment from one of my friends inspired this set of posters:


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Valentine's Soap 2014

It has been too long since I have posted pictures of my soap. Enjoy!

Strawberry Citrus

Wild Rose Bouquet

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New Undated Meal Planner and 2014 Meal Planner

It is another year and I have a couple of Meal Planners for you today. I reformatted my Undated Meal Planner. It is still very plain, but at least it isn't just for moms. I added some lines as well because I find that it is convenient. I still like the booklet style of planner. I can tuck it into my homebook/planner or have it sitting next to my desk. I have to say it usually hangs around the kitchen though my boys do like to take it and browse through it. I'm not sure what fascinates them about the silly planner, but I have caught Boy Genius just thumbing through it occasionally.

I thought I would go digital with my meal planning, but in the end, I liked writing in my meals. Pepperplate was a little troublesome for a time. I didn't like that I couldn't see the meals in the past. I'm sure they might have fixed that, but I haven't checked. I do still use Pepperplate for my shopping list. I love that I can order the categories the way I shop in the store. It saves me time. I used to spend a LOT of time walking back and forth because I my list was so disorganized and I had to go back for an item. It is very irritating when you are tired in the first place and the children are getting restless and about to burst. Yes, I love that feature.

If you would like the Undated Meal Planner, click ====>here.

Here is the 2014 Meal Planner ====>here.

How to put together the Booklet:

Supplies Needed:  Printout, a long reach stapler, bone folder (optional)

Step One: Print out the planner. It is 8 pages, front and back. It will look like it is messed up, but once you have printed it out and folded it, it will come together. I manually do the double sided printing on my printer since I don't like how my printer messes up every time using the automatic feature. It helps if you know your printer and how to do double sided printing.

Step Two: Fold all the pages in half. I do this with them all together, but you can do this one at a time. A bone folder is helpful to use to get the crisp fold. If you don't have a bone folder, just use a marker or pen.

Step Three: Staple on the fold.  I like making booklets, so I invested in a long reach stapler. You can probably get this done at a Print shop or bind it using bookmaking techniques.

Step Four: Use your new Planner. Fill in the dates if you are using the Undated Meal Planner. I like to highlight special dates such as birthdays, anniversary's, and holidays. Start writing in your meals.

Carol's Tips on How to Plan Meals

Tip #1:  Choose a day and a time to do your meal planning. I usually end up doing this Monday mornings. Be consistent.

Tip #2:  Decide the time period you like to have planned ahead. I used to plan a month a head of time when I was able to do our monthly Sam's Club trip. Now I plan only a week ahead of time, because that seems to work better for us at this moment.

Tip #3:  Make a list of your usual meals. I have left a few pages for this in my planner. It was a really big relief to have a list of the meals I make frequently. Once you have a list, you can easily chose what you want and write it down on the day that is most convenient.

Tip #4:  Tip #3 doesn't mean that you won't ever make a new dish. You know which days are really busy and could use an easy to fix meal. Plan to make a new dish or complicated dish on those days you know are pretty free.

Tip #5:  Be flexible and have a backup plan. Changes happen and a free day becomes very busy. It is good to have an easy to fix dinner on standby in the pantry for days like this.

Tip #6:  Put together your shopping list right after you have finished your meal planning and plan to shop it as soon as you can. The point of planning your meal ahead of time is to have on hand the ingredients you need to make these meals. I usually shop once a week for a week's worth of meals because I no longer have the room or refrigerator/freezer space to more than a week's worth of food in my home. This also eliminates wasted food as I try to buy things that will be eaten and won't be forgotten in the back of the cupboard.

Tip #7:  Look at your meal planner at least once a day. Take out anything that needs to be thawed or processed ahead of time. Example, If I'm making beans from scratch, I put the beans on to soak the day before and it is in the crock pot cooking all day for a quick mash and fry at dinner time.

I have developed another system that goes with my Meal Planner. I'm still working out the kinks and frankly, I lost some of my components in the move. I will be sure to share with you once I have it put together.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking Forward to 2014

Happy New Year! We have finally made it to our destination and I have been unpacking and organizing our new home. I'm not sure if I am getting used to moving or that I really just light unpacking. This trip I learned that my time in Receiving at Alco really was a boon. Receiving was the perfect job for me, as I love opening boxes and seeing what is inside. I'm still looking for various items and of course, that is very frustrating.

I just wanted to get back into the saddle and start blogging again. This will be a short post as I just wanted to post a little update though I am working on the 2014 Meal Planner and will be posting a link to the printout soon. I'm also working on making a better undated Meal Planner.

I am getting more and more organized these days. It is amazing how very freeing it is to have a plan of action. I function so much better when I have goals to reach for. I'd like to share with you this freebie I came across today in my efforts to be more organized. Little Learning Lovies is offering a free 2014 Goal Setting Planner. I love the look of it and plan on using it. The design is so adorable. As frugal as I can be, I will be printing these in color to enjoy the design. Sometimes, you just need to splurge a little.

May you be blessed in the new year.