Category Archives: h o m e


Tonight I find myself feeling ready to take on the task of living intentionally. Maybe it’s winter being over, maybe it’s being tired of not having a plan and being ran over full blast. Or maybe it’s just the ebb and flow of life: the ability to take on the responsibility of doing more than just coasting through life. I have this really amazing planner that I made the insides to with planning pages for every day, week, and month. A few pages filled in here, a weeks worth never to be taken to task.
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Heard of Dave Ramsey? I’m sure you have. He has been blessed with so much wisdom for finances. I love to read his little images on facebook. They’re encouraging and helpful.

The half year mark just passed. Only 5 months ’til Christmas. This marks the point where I would usually start shopping around for the best deals on gifts for the tots. But for the past couple of years, I have been contemplating the amount of stuff we buy, give away, and eventually throw away in our life.

It’s a lot.

Christmas, Easter, Birthdays–everything times infinity, it feels like. What happens to those “I just have to have this!” things after they get them? They sit in the Easter basket, under the tree, end up broken because they left it lay around. We are overflowing with STUFF!

I don’t want to keep using dollars to purchase these items to just not get used or broken. What about the children’s hearts here. I once heard at work a couple say they do not buy Christmas gifts for their children. I was sad for the kids at the time. Who doesn’t buy Christmas gifts for their children? But all of these thoughts are coming together for me now and I think I get it. I mean, it’s never been about the gifts, it’s been about the love you have for the child you are buying that gift for. They desperately want it, you desperately love them and want to see them happy!

But what if all these gifts given are adding to the strain of “we need more stuff!” What happens when we have everything and still can’t seem to find happiness? What a disappointing place to end up!

I don’t want to take away the joy of Christmas from my tots, just shift our focus. I see a vicious pattern developing and I don’t want them to grow up thinking the more for me the merrier. I want them to have memories that they can keep forever, not just broken or dusty things laying all over.

Every year (at least we try to every year) do the occOperation Christmas Child shoeboxes from Samaritan’s Purse. The kids choose a child in their age range and are given a budget and a list of ideas/stuff they can choose from. They pick out the items they want to put in, they hand over their budgeted amount to the cashier and we go home to pack them. We enclosed a letter and picture this past year. Everyone thought this would be delightful for whomever received it!

So, we give to others, but last year there were still tons of gifts purchased, broken, and barely used (despite knowing in advance that it would mostly be stuff to take on our Disney vacation.) I think we have decided that in lieu of many gifts, that we would rather spend less money and go somewhere together we wouldn’t normally and make many memories there. Still some stocking stuffer gifts. But that’s all! We are overflowing here–and not in a good way. Hopefully the lesson we’ll all learn here is to have overflowing memories and time together be where our joy is, not overflowing presents. There is room for the frivolous gifts, there are necessary, helpful gifts. I just think we should learn to be happier with less. To focus on things that aren’t about here on earth.

I have been thinking this for a few years now, fewer gifts. It’s not about the presents. It’s not really about the money, either, though our budget is bleeding right now. But have just been reluctant to go ahead and jump. (Okay. Afraid!) I guess, if you never jump then you’re always just stuck doing the same thing. Hopefully, this will take some of the tension off the budget (and me), and the focus off of what we can get for ourselves. So this year, we’re all jumping. Together! Now seems like the perfect time. Can’t wait to see how it turns out. 😀

I’m curious. What do you think about this? Where do you stand on the gifts matter? Do you have a goal for your Christmas time giving?


I have added a few things to the site. I wasn’t sure whether to or not. I kind of like this being my haven for thoughts and reflections. But, also, I want it to be a place where as readers you might be able to find encouragement not only for your spirit and mind, but also encouragement in day to day things like healthy eating and financial goals. Continue reading


I seen these awesome wallets inspired by Dave Ramsey on Etsy. I’ve been wanting to make one ever since, but just haven’t taken the time to get the fabric needed to craft it. I did that today! I thought I would share it on here. Since I haven’t posted in almost 2 months. (give or take).
This was my inspiration:
I really wanted to buy the vintage seafoam one. It was too pricey for me though, unfortunately. So, I bought a pattern instead. That I could handle. Then I realized I had no idea what colors I wished it to be, or whether it should be neutral enough that both myself and the man could handle it in public if necessary. haha. So, it was pushed to the back burner. This week I decided I needed to sift through all the many options and pick something. This is what I came up with:
The center picture will be the outside. And the others will be the inside and zippered “envelopes.” I like colors and patterns. And vintage! I’ll keep you posted with how the process is going. I will be learning how to put zippers in. Wish me luck. 😉


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This morning I started out my day with my muffin in a bowl from Trim Healthy Mama and a diet coke. YUM! I can’t believe this stuff is good for you! The spring cleaning bug bit me soon after that, and I found myself cleaning outdoors and planting in one of the flower beds around the house spontaneously. I can’t wait for our herb garden to start growing. I just hope I can keep all the tiny creatures out of it.

We had been out of laundry powder probably about a week. For a family of 6 this is a huge deal. I probably don’t even have to tell you. We do laundry every day (when I’m on the ball, which is, uhm. Slightly irregular these days.) I was quite proud of the fact that the last time I remember making our massive batch of laundry detergent was back around Christmas time. I remember specifically because manfriends son was with us. Hard to believe it’s been nearly four months since he was herescents. Anyways, we were well overdue. So, last week I ordered our laundry making necessities through my link for They seemed to have the products cheapest this time around and I could get free shipping, cash back, and not stood in one single line to wait for checkout (unless you would like to account for the time I waited for our internet connection which invariably dies at checkout time. That’s a whole ‘nother story!)

Mix it

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Dry it

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You can BUY IT here!

Plain and simple

This will be the new name of my Etsy store. I wanted something that reflected the products I make more accurately, but all of the things I came up with were already taken! This was close enough.

What do you think?

My girls and I are going to try our hand at making lip balm tonight, I believe. It will contain fresh bee’s wax (from Ohio farms!), pure cold pressed coconut oil, and vitamin E oil. That might just be it! I have not decided whether to include a tint or not. I do not have the supplies for that right now, anyways. So, we will start simply. I cannot wait to try it out! We will list it on Etsy for $3.99 a tube (maybe, still working on this part). I don’t think these little babies will need any flavoring, either! The coconut oil is very fragrant as are the beeswax bars. Look at that beeswax can’t you just smell the honey! I cannot wait to get these things put together and on our lips!

After we try them with vitamin E we may try our hand (after we’re experts!) with adding almond oil. I have many different oils to try out! So stay tuned!

beeswaxlip ingredients


I was driving home this sunshine-y day in the quiet as I most often do now, I realized I was thinking about how lucky I am. And I say lucky because most people don’t really get it when you say ‘blessed.’ They somehow begin to tie it with some religious thing they will never understand, nor want to. But lately, I have been reading books about Grace-Based Parenting and Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts (Yes, mainly when I should have been reading for classes.)

It started sinking in that though we may think we are lucky or blessed (if you’re the religious type! 😉 ) but all it really translates to is g r a c e . I looked up the definition on the free dictionary. This is what it said:

The state of being protected or sanctified by the favor of God.

This thought, it lifted my spirit and nearly brought me to tears. I had been running from (and being relentlessly pursued by) the One who put me on this planet. Oh, He had been slowly but surely bringing me back to His side for awhile now, and I haven’t been afraid to put this faith and reliance on the outside. But, oddly enough, I was realizing that I wasn’t letting it be on the inside. I was still afraid. Afraid that I was unable to be that person again because of many things. So many things! I don’t care anymore. I am only judged by One that makes a difference. He knows me, He knows my struggles and my heart. He tells me It’s okay. It’s not okay to stay where you are and be indifferent, but it is okay to be striving towards righteousness. It takes time and cannot always be done r i g h t n o w .

Maybe it was His Spirit pulling me. Maybe it was there all along, but I didn’t feel worthy. I don’t know. But, I feel it again, this grace that is all around me. I speak freely of it. I cling to it, because I know what it is like on the other side. Feeling like there is no such thing. And it is miserable and rotten.

Sometimes we get stagnant or fearful and forget that really everything around us is grace. If you feel blessed or lucky. I know people out there who are feeling anything but! Remember it is all grace to grow us and prepare us for what is to come. Hold fast, Help is on the way. 🙂

raising home

I really have never thought of myself as a ‘farm girl.’ It never appealedmenu to me before I had lots of tots. Honestly, if the cost of living wasn’t so sky high and the whole economy about to topple over, I probably still wouldn’t want to deal with all of the challenges that come with raising animals Continue reading