Tool Time!

Isnt this fun- I love this "pop maker" for summer. You can put 100% juice in the mold and make fun pops for the kids without all of the sugar! I think it would be fun to add fruit to them also. You can check it out at Williams Sonoma.

Another fun summer tool is this cherry (and olive) pitter at Williams Sonoma. We eat a lot of cherries in the summer, but the seed is really annoying. So, this makes it really easy to pop the seed out and serve cherries- which are so healthy and yummy! (Here is an article about the health benefits of a Cherry http://www.whole-food-supplements-guide.com/nutritional-benefits-of-cherries.html)

One more fun tool that I use a lot is a biscuit cutter, and I have never made a biscuit! We use biscuit cutters to cut sandwiches into circles (apparently they taste better to the girls in a circle), we cut rice crispy treats with these, brownies, you name it! It is a lot easier to use than a cookie cutter because they are so thick and sturdy. I guess you could make a biscuit too if you want!


Parenting the Lord's Prayer- New Page!

I just added a new page (to the right) http://delightfulmomstuff.blogspot.com/p/parenting-lords-prayer-by-rick-warren.html  because I couldn't figure out how to share the whole series Purpose Driven Connection did on "Parenting the Lord's Prayer" without taking up a whole week on here. So, that page will always be there, I highly suggest printing it out and put it in your bible or journal or somewhere you can refer back to. Purpose Driven connection is such a good daily email devotional, it always seems to meet me right where I am at.  Hope you read it and enjoy it as much as I do! God Bless you this week!



Ok- back to normal! Seems like I have had lots of big announcements lately- so I am back to focusing on mom stuff! I read this article today and really liked it. I love "lists" and this is a great list of manners to teach kids- a lot of them make me feel good that my kids- at 2 & 4 have them down- and a lot of them are good reminders of things to continue working on! Enjoy! 

This article is from: SHINE on Yahoo called "25 Manners Every Kid Should Know by Age 9"

  • Manner #1   When asking for something, say "Please." 
  • Manner #2   When receiving something, say "Thank you."
  • Manner #3   Do not interrupt grown-ups who are speaking with each other unless there is an emergency. They will notice you and respond when they are finished talking.
  • Manner #4   If you do need to get somebody's attention right away, the phrase "excuse me" is the most polite way for you to enter the conversation.
  • Manner #5   When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first. It can save you from many hours of grief later.
  • Manner #6   The world is not interested in what you dislike. Keep negative opinions to yourself, or between you and your friends, and out of earshot of adults. JM: I think even teaching them not to be negative at all- no one wants a negative friend either.
  • Manner #7   Do not comment on other people's physical characteristics unless, of course, it's to compliment them, which is always welcome.
  • Manner #8   When people ask you how you are, tell them and then ask them how they are.
  • Manner #9   When you have spent time at your friend's house, remember to thank his or her parents for having you over and for the good time you had.
  • Manner #10   Knock on closed doors -- and wait to see if there's a response -- before entering.
  • Manner #11   When you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.
  • Manner #12   Be appreciative and say "thank you" for any gift you receive. In the age of e-mail, a handwritten thank-you note can have a powerful effect.
  • Manner #13   Never use foul language in front of adults. Grown-ups already know all those words, and they find them boring and unpleasant. JM: my thought, of course, is we dont use these words at all or there are consequences.
  • Manner #14   Don't call people mean names.
  • Manner #15   Do not make fun of anyone for any reason. Teasing shows others you are weak, and ganging up on someone else is cruel.
  • Manner #16   Even if a play or an assembly is boring, sit through it quietly and pretend that you are interested. The performers and presenters are doing their best.
  • Manner #17   If you bump into somebody, immediately say "Excuse me."
  • Manner #18   Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don't pick your nose in public.
  • Manner #19   As you walk through a door, look to see if you can hold it open for someone else.
  • Manner #20   If you come across a parent, a teacher, or a neighbor working on something, ask if you can help. If they say "yes," do so -- you may learn something new.
  • Manner #21   When an adult asks you for a favor, do it without grumbling and with a smile.
  • Manner #22   When someone helps you, say "thank you." That person will likely want to help you again. This is especially true with teachers!
  • Manner #23   Use eating utensils properly. If you are unsure how to do so, ask your parents to teach you or watch what adults do.
  • Manner #24   Keep a napkin on your lap; use it to wipe your mouth when necessary.
  • Manner #25   Don't reach for things at the table; ask to have them passed.

Originally published in the March 2011 issue of Parents magazine.


Introducing: PrayerWithPurpose

I cannot believe I am finally writing this post! I have been working on these prayer journals for 5 years now and they are finally done, the website is up and we are ready to roll!
When I was pregnant with my firstborn, Ellie, I had such a desire to completely cover her in prayer. My heart's desires for her were endless. So, I started a little spreadsheet of spiritual virtues I wanted to pray over her and asked family and friends to join me in that day's prayer. We all prayed for faithfulness on the same day or joy, peace, patience, obedience, etc.. Then, I thought I should add a "physical need or desire" with that day's prayer, so I added another column for things like a good sleeper, ease of delivery, the doctors, the endocrine system (I was happy to learn what that was!), etc.. I added scripture to go with the virtues and sent it out. We all loved being on the same page praying for Ellie and felt so bonded with her when she was born. I continued to work on my list and when I was pregnant with my second, Izzy, we were excited to start using the list again. The best part of this process was, no matter what happened- and there were some issues with my delivery of Ellie and different issues with Izzy's pregnancy and when she was born- we had complete peace and comfort knowing that we covered every aspect in prayer and they truly were in the Lord's hands in every way. There is very little we can do to control pregnancy, but there is so much peace in trusting the One who has complete control.
After my girls were born, I missed the process of praying scripture over every aspect of their lives in this way. It was no longer necessary to pray for the birthing "logistics" so I created a list for children covering; future spouse, future friends, schools, spiritual virtues, reputation, purity, obedience, etc.. this list became a daily prayer for them where I would write it at the top of my journal page and be reminded of that prayer and scripture throughout the day. It has been neat to memorize this scripture simply as a result of repetition through the years of praying for them. We now use this list with Ellie before bed. She gets out her pink bible and looks up the verse (with our help of course) and we read about that day's prayer. It is fun to discuss things like financial responsibility and what the bible says about it with her. She also hears the scripture enough that we can refer back to that if, by chance, we need to pull one out about obedience!
That leads us to these books. Various people have requested my "spreadsheet" over the past 5 years and the Lord put it on my heart to do something with the lists. I do not have a desire to write a book on how to pray for your child- (you are more than capable of that), I simply wanted to share this tool with others. I woke up in the middle of the night last spring and said...THAT IS IT! It is a prayer journal, the prayers and scripture at the top, room to journal and any necessary definitions to pray specifically at the bottom. I wanted it to be pretty and simple. What an awesome keepsake to pass down to your children- imagine how blessed you would be to see the prayers spoken over you in the womb and as a young child. I hope these books will be a blessing during such a special time, I am SO excited to share them with everyone! They are available on www.prayerwithpurpose.com. Thank you for letting me share!


Mother's Day Must!

Her Daughter's Dream (Marta's Legacy)Her Mother's Hope (Marta's Legacy)

My mom and sister-in-law will tell you that I am WAY behind when it comes to good books- while they were finishing every good book on the market, I was committed to the philosophy that - 'the only books I read are magazines or serve an educational purpose' (I have literally read every dog training, baby and marriage book on the market!) However, two summers ago while at the lake I ran out of magazines and needed something to do while soaking up the sun on the dock, so I started in on the Karen Kinsgbury Baxter series and finished something like 12 books in one summer. I was hooked! I have since moved on to "Francine" and have loved Lineage of Grace, Mark of the Lion series and just finished Her Mothers Hope and am working on Her Daughter's Dream. So in honor of Mother's Day I wanted to tell you that you need to grab Her Mother's Hope and Her Daughter's Dream for yourself and your mom. It would be a great gift for mom. All of her books are so good and these are no exception. These are the perfect mix of romance, history, faith and family. I have learned so much through her books and know you will love them too! Happy Mother's Day! 


The Worst Kept Secret!

This is the worst kept secret, mainly because I haven't kept it a secret.. except to the FB/Blog/Twitter friend world. I am sure you all already know this info- but just in case, in honor of Mothers day, I am going to tell this little personal story! 

Many, LORD my God, 
   are the wonders you have done,
   the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
   were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
   they would be too many to declare.
(Ps 40:5)

Here is the scoop: I have been "OB hopping" for almost a year trying to get some relief for pain and what they thought to be endometriosis and possible other issues. My mom and grandma had "endo" around my exact age and since it is hereditary, we all assumed I was following their pattern and was done having children as they were at my age. Three different doctors told me I needed to have some surgery to get pregnant and even then it was not guaranteed, I might need several surgeries. So after a lot of prayer and receiving a great gift of peace, Dave and I made the decision to be done with kids and go ahead with the suggested hysterectomy to relieve the pain. And, how blessed are we to have two beautiful, healthy girls! I was giving things away, and frankly feeling liberated about it! :) I went in for the final sonogram so I could schedule the Hysterectomy and they called the next day...and there is a baby in there! It is an absolute miracle in every way, we are so grateful for the Lord's plan for us and have (yet again) learned that His plan is ALWAYS better than our plan. There is so much freedom and peace in patiently casting our cares and desires upon the Lord and trusting Him to unveil His plan and purpose in our lives. 

I am now almost 10 weeks along and I am reminded why I have said twice before during this trimester..NEVER AGAIN..it is almost unbearable! I am sick all day, sick all night, tired, chunky, zit faced and just plain cranky! For those mamas who have never felt more beautiful than when pregnant- I am truly happy for you- you should have 6+ children! For me...I am blessed beyond words by this third baby and I will rejoice when that sweet baby is in my arms and not in my stomach! I know a lot of people wait for the first trimester to end to spread the word, but with the 4th pregnancy (one miscarriage) I realize that no matter what happens, others can share in your joy or pain and the Lord uses ALL things for good. So, I am trusting the Lord with this baby and this pregnancy and am excited to rejoice with you all over this miracle from the Lord. 
So there it is, I have not been good about blogging lately (or doing anything really) but I am sure as I am researching the new gear for the new baby I will be inspired to blog away! Stay tuned for the gender reveal..of course I will find out ASAP..I am a planner! 
Thanks for letting me share the good news, Praise God! 


Do you know: Baking Soda!

Here is an article I found at http://green.yahoo.com/blog/care2/4/40-fantastic-uses-for-baking-soda.html about 40 great uses for Baking Soda. Another natural "powerhouse" like vinegar! Enjoy!

"Most of us know that baking soda can be used for more than just making homemade cookies and other dough rise. It's not uncommon to see an open box of this leavening agent deodorizing refrigerators, for example. But did you know that there are at least 40 different ways to use baking soda?
Baking soda makes a perfect stand-in for many personal care, cleaning, and deodorizing products. The list of benefits is long: It is inexpensive, free of toxic chemicals, versatile, and effective.
Wondering how baking soda, aka sodium bicarbonate, works its magic? It helps regulate pH — keeping a substance neither too acidic nor too alkaline. When baking soda comes in contact with either an acidic or an alkaline substance, its natural effect is to neutralize that pH. Beyond that, baking soda has the ability to retard further changes in the pH balance, known as buffering.
This dual capability of neutralizing and buffering allows baking soda to do things such as neutralize acidic odors (like in the refrigerator) as well as maintain neutral pH (like in your laundry water, which helps boost your detergent's power). It's a simple reaction, but one that has far-reaching effects for a number of cleaning and deodorizing tasks.
And so without further ado, here are some of the many creative ways you can use baking soda.

Personal Care

1. Make toothpaste
A paste made from baking soda and a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution can be used as an alternative to commercial non-fluoride toothpastes. (Or here’s a formula for a minty version.) You can also just dip your toothbrush with toothpaste into baking soda for an extra boost.
2. Freshen your mouth
Put one teaspoon in half a glass of water, swish, spit, and rinse. Odors are neutralized, not just covered up.
3. Soak oral appliance
Soak oral appliances (like retainers, mouthpieces, and dentures) in a solution of 2 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in a glass or small bowl of warm water. The baking soda loosens food particles and neutralizes odors to keep appliances fresh. You can also brush appliances clean using baking soda.
4. Use as a facial scrub and body exfoliant
Give yourself an invigorating facial and body scrub. Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub in a gentle circular motion to exfoliate the skin. Rinse clean. This is gentle enough for daily use. 
5. Skip harsh deodorantPat baking soda onto your underarms to neutralize body odor.
6. Use as an antacid
Baking soda is a safe and effective antacid to relieve heartburn, sour stomach, and/or acid indigestion. Refer to baking soda package for instructions.
7. Treat insect bites and itchy skin
For insect bites, make a paste out of baking soda and water, and apply as a salve onto affected skin. To ease the itch, shake some baking soda into your hand and rub it into damp skin after bath or shower. 
8. Make a hand cleanser and softener
Skip harsh soaps and gently scrub away ground-in dirt and neutralize odors on hands with a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water or 3 parts baking soda with gentle liquid hand soap. Then rinse clean. 
9. Help your hair
Vinegar is amazing for your hair, but baking soda has its place in the shower too. Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda into your palm along with your favorite shampoo. Shampoo as usual and rinse thoroughly — baking soda helps remove the residue that styling products leave behind so your hair is cleaner and more manageable.
10. Clean brushes and combs
For lustrous hair with more shine, keep brushes and combs clean. Remove natural oil build-up and hair product residue by soaking combs and brushes in a solution of 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a small basin of warm water. Rinse and allow to dry.
11. Make a bath soak
Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your bath to neutralize acids on the skin and help wash away oil and perspiration. It also makes your skin feel very soft. Or just focus on soothing your feet. Dissolve 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a tub of warm water and soak feet. Gently scrub. 


12. Make a surface soft scrub
For safe, effective cleaning of bathroom tubs, tile, and sinks — even fiberglass and glossy tiles — sprinkle baking soda lightly on a clean damp sponge and scrub as usual. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry. For extra cleaning power, make a paste with baking soda, coarse salt, and liquid dish soap — let it sit then scour off.
13. Hand-wash dishes and pots and pans
Add 2 heaping tablespoons baking soda (along with your regular dish detergent) to the dish water to help cut grease and foods left on dishes, pots, and pans. For cooked-on foods, let them soak in the baking soda and detergent with water first, then use dry baking soda on a clean damp sponge or cloth as a scratch-less scouring powder. 
14. Freshen sponges
Soak stale-smelling sponges in a strong baking soda solution to get rid of the mess (4 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of warm water). For more thorough disinfecting, use the microwave.
15. Clean the microwave
Baking soda on a clean damp sponge cleans gently inside and outside the microwave and never leaves a harsh chemical smell. Rinse well with water.
16. Polish silver flatware
Use a baking soda paste made with 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub onto the silver with a clean cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly and dry for shining sterling and silver-plate serving pieces.
17. Clean coffee and tea pots
Remove coffee and tea stains and eliminate bitter off-tastes by washing mugs and coffee makers in a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. For stubborn stains, try soaking overnight in the baking soda solution and detergent or scrubbing with baking soda on a clean damp sponge.
18. Clean the oven
Sprinkle baking soda onto the bottom of the oven. Spray with water to dampen the baking soda. Let sit overnight. In the morning, scrub, scoop the baking soda and grime out with a sponge, or vacuum, and rinse.
19. Clean floors
Remove dirt and grime (without unwanted scratch marks) from no-wax and tile floors using 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water — mop and rinse clean for a sparkling floor. For scuff marks, use baking soda on a clean damp sponge, then rinse. 
20. Clean furniture
Clean and remove marks (even crayon) from walls and painted furniture by applying baking soda to a damp sponge and rubbing lightly. Wipe off with a clean, dry cloth.
21. Clean shower curtains
Clean and deodorize your vinyl shower curtain by sprinkling baking soda directly on a clean damp sponge or brush. Scrub the shower curtain and rinse clean. Hang it up to dry.
22. Boost your liquid laundry detergent
Give your laundry a boost by adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to your laundry to make liquid detergent work harder. A better balance of pH in the wash gets clothes cleaner, fresher, and brighter. Or you can add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle for fresher sheets and towels or to neutralize gym clothes and odoriferous clothing.
23. Clean and freshen sports gear
Use a baking soda solution (4 tablespoons baking soda in 1 quart warm water) to clean and deodorize smelly sports equipment. Sprinkle baking soda into golf bags and gym bags to deodorize and clean golf irons (without scratching them!) with a baking soda paste (3 parts baking soda to 1 part water) and a brush. Rinse thoroughly.
24. Remove oil and grease stains
Use baking soda to clean up light-duty oil and grease spills on your garage floor or in your driveway. Sprinkle baking soda on the spot and scrub with a wet brush.
25. Clean batteries
Baking soda can be used to neutralize battery acid corrosion on cars, mowers, etc., because its a mild alkali. Be sure to disconnect the battery terminals before cleaning. Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and apply with a damp cloth to scrub corrosion from the battery terminal. After cleaning and reconnecting the terminals, wipe them with petroleum jelly to prevent future corrosion. Please be careful when working around a battery — they contain a strong acid.
26. Clean cars
Use baking soda to clean your car lights, chrome, windows, tires, vinyl seats, and floor mats without worrying about unwanted scratch marks. Use a baking soda solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. Apply with a sponge or soft cloth to remove road grime, tree sap, bugs, and tar. For stubborn stains use baking soda sprinkled on a damp sponge or soft brush. Eliminate odors by sprinkling baking soda directly on fabric car seats and carpets. Wait 15 minutes (or longer for strong odors) and vacuum up the baking soda.


27. Deodorize your refrigerator
Place an open box in the back of the fridge to neutralize odors.
28. Deodorize trashcans and recyclables
Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your trashcan to keep stinky trash smells at bay. Clean your recyclables container periodically by sprinkling baking soda on a damp sponge. Wipe clean and rinse. Also, sprinkle baking soda on top as you add recyclables to the bin.
29. Deodorize drains and garbage disposals
To deodorize your sink and tub drains and garbage disposal and keep lingering odors from resurfacing, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain while running warm tap water — it will neutralize both acid and basic odors for a fresh drain. (This a good way to dispose of baking soda that is being retired from your refrigerator.) 
30. Deodorize and clean dishwashers
Use baking soda to deodorize before you run the dishwasher and then as a gentle cleanser in the wash cycle.
31. Deodorize lunch boxes
Between uses, place a spill-proof box of baking soda in everyone’s lunch box to absorb lingering odors.
32. Remove odor from carpets
Liberally sprinkle baking soda on the carpet. Let set overnight or as long as possible (the longer it sets the better it works). Sweep up the larger amounts of baking soda, and vacuum up the rest. (Note that your vacuum cleaner bag will get full and heavy.) An added bonus: You'll also deodorize your vacuum cleaner. 
33. Freshen closets
Place a box on the shelf to keep the closet smelling fresh. 
34. Deodorize pet items
Cover the bottom of your cat box with baking soda, then fill as usual with litter. To freshen between changes, sprinkle baking soda on top of the litter after a thorough cleaning. Eliminate odors from your pet's bedding by sprinkling liberally with baking soda, wait 15 minutes (or longer for stronger odors), then vacuum up.
35. Deodorize sneakers
Keep odors from spreading in smelly sneakers by shaking baking soda into them when not in use. Shake out before wearing.
36. Freshen stuffed animals
Keep favorite cuddly toys fresh with a dry shower of baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda on and let it sit for 15 minutes before brushing off.


37. Cure all camping needs
Baking soda is a must-have for your next camping trip. It's a dish-washer, pot-scrubber, hand-cleanser, deodorant, toothpaste, and fire extinguisher, and has many other uses.
38. Extinguish fires
Baking soda can help in the initial handling of minor grease or electrical kitchen fires, because when baking soda is heated, it gives off carbon dioxide, which helps to smother the flames. For small cooking fires (frying pans, broilers, ovens, grills), turn off the gas or electricity if you can safely do so. Stand back and throw handfuls of baking soda at the base of the flame to help put out the fire — and call the fire department just to be safe. 
39. Care for the septic system
Regular use of baking soda in your drains can help keep your septic system flowing freely. One cup of baking soda per week will help maintain a favorable pH in your septic tank.
40. Scrub fruits and vegetables
Baking soda is the food safe way to clean dirt and residue off fresh fruit and vegetables. Just sprinkle a little on a clean damp sponge, scrub and rinse. Here’s another way to clean your vegetables as well."
By Melissa Breyer
Posted Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:01am PDT
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