Growing Up Martha Style

I saw this article the other day, “15 undeniable signs that you grew up in a Martha Stewart home”,  I snickered, giggled a little and wondered….Just what does a Martha Steward home look like?  One click and I got a little surprise, I fell right in place with item #1. I was curious….are there more? Wanna see how I ranked? Here they are, along with a few ways I can relate or not to dear Martha.

1. Your family vacations are hard-bound for posterity – Check! Family vacations, birthdays, holidays and many everyday moments are preserved in albums. More than 20 in all.  They’ve evolved over the years from this,

to this.

But, they are in an album! And, in case you are wondering, no I’m not going to redo those old albums to make them better! No matter how hard my girls laugh now. That’s history, the evolution of scrapbooking!

2. You spent your Saturdays antiquing. And you liked it.Check! Kinda. Weekends are for shopping! The youngest and I shop often, sometimes we buy, sometimes we don’t, sometimes at thrift type stores and lots of time at home stores. Doesn’t matter where there’s always something. I love to shop for thrift store furniture to revamp. One of the interesting things we do is find items that we think we can recreate on a budget.

3. Your school lunches looked like this.Um…not so much. I did make lunch for my girls, however, they were not cute, cutout and especially not color coordinated! They did have a healthy lunch made by mom, with a cute note once in a while. It always surprised me how many young kids made their own lunch. It was usually pretty evident by the contents.

 

 

4. And your birthday cakes looked like this.Check! – I learned about decorating cakes and cupcakes from my mom. Somewhere in a scrapbook there’s a picture from around 12 years ago of a teapot cake she created for Posey’s birthday party. Seriously, a round 3D teapot. It was great.  A long time ago, when cake decorating wasn’t a popular pastime, she made some great cakes! But…no cakes for me, cupcakes is all I’m willing to tackle.

5. You laugh in the face of white carpet/clothing/furnitureNope! White carpet is dangerously, dangerous around kids. I love white clothing but always and I mean ALWAYS get something on it! My girls are getting older white furniture/carpet is more and more attractive.  Maybe one day. . . Probably not, since we now have a dog to contend with but…Maybe.

6. But if things get messy, you know just what to do.Check! I know many tricks for removing stains, (unless it’s laundry, I hate laundry stains)I learned many from my mom (who in fact has many Martha Stewart tendencies) and Pinterest has a plethora of ideas for just about anything. Even with this category being a “check”, I’m still not going for the white carpet!

7. The J in your PB and J sandwich was always homemade — from batches you canned at the end of the growing season – Check! - There is absolutely nothing like good homemade jam/jelly.  My family’s favorite is plum. We had a plum tree and I made it every year, up until we took the tree out and put a pool in…sometimes, I think that was just wrong, giving up the plum tree for a pool.

8. And, let’s be honest, the PB was homemade too. - Fail! – Not that I haven’t made peanut butter before (at mom’s prompting of course) but I didn’t think the work was worth it!

9. You had a “craft room.” And it looked like this. – Check! -  I have a craft room! It sure isn’t organized like this one but I’m working on that, you know,… so I can find things!

10. A torn shirt wasn’t a disaster — it was an opportunity. – Kinda Check – A torn shirt would definitely not be a disaster because I grew up in a time where mom’s taught daughters to sew and home economics classes like cooking and sewing were a part of school curriculum.  BUT…I absolutely dislike sewing. Every time I think “Oh it’s not that big of a deal” and decide to tackle a sewing project, I realize that I seriously should have thought longer and harder and made a different choice. When will I ever learn?

 

11. You never had hip, sugary cereals … but there were always fresh muffins on the counter-Almost a check  – My kids (and hubby too) always wanted those fun sugary cereals. They rarely and I mean rarely got them. When choosing cereal from the cabinet for weekend breakfast, healthy choices were what you found.  During the week, before school, there was always something hot, oatmeal, eggs, breakfast burritos….even today as a working mom I do my best to have something for breakfast other than cold cereal…don’t ask why, it’s a mental thing for me…good breakfast equals good mom.  I know, I’m warped, I know that’s not true, but just can’t shake it.

12. You didn’t realize you could actually buy toys ready-made. - Fail - enough said….who makes toys….my daughter that’s who…but not her mother!

13. I mean, why wouldn’t you fold your laundry immediately?!Major Fail – I remember mom folding clothes right out of the dryer. But why? Especially when you can let them sit around on the loveseat for a week or in baskets until they drive you crazy! That’s definitely more me!  and my girls! Hate to admit that but…there you go! No matter how I want to change that, it hasn’t happened, so I doubt it will.

14. The real gift of Christmas was getting to make cookies.Check! – I have a love hate relationship with this Christmas tradition.  I love the memories that I have making cookies with my siblings and mom but they were so much work! We gave them as gifts and mom had to hide them so there would actually be some left for the neighbors.  Due to the hate I feel for this chore task, you wouldn’t think that I would not continue this tradition ….wrong!  I still have the love hate relationship, but every year, there we are, the girls and I, hour upon hour, in the kitchen making goodies (I say goodies because we don’t just limit ourselves to cookies) and of course…right on point…I have to hide them from the hubby every year!

15. “First, make the bed” wasn’t a house rule. It was a way of life — and still is.Check! – Enough said! It’s a house rule…but those dang daughters of mine do their best to break it, and often I might add!

Results:

  • Check! – 7
  • Almost a Check – 3
  • Not so Much – 1
  • Umm, No!/Fail – 4

Even though some of my friends have said at one time or another. “you’re like a freaking Martha Sewart”, I would never have considered that I live in a “Martha Stewart Home”. But, according to these results…I’m closer to Martha than I thought…now if I could only find someone to pay me for doing this stuff that would be a blessing!


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Did She Just Say…Boring?

I’m behind…in scrapbooking…I hate it!  I’ve taught others to work on current pictures and go back and catch up later.  I keep telling myself to do this but…I’m being stupid stubborn! It’s much easier to scrapbook current pictures than older pictures. I think it’s linked to emotions, they are fresh and of course, the stories are fresh in your mind too, you don’t have to remember them.  As you get older remembering is a real problem! However, I finally found a “plus” to being behind. You hear things that you wouldn’t have if you wait.  In my case, not good things, but it made me laugh, gave me a snicker and a new perspective

Recently, I went on a weekend scrapbook retreat in the mountains. While there, I worked on my youngest daughter’s album, the pictures were 5 years old, and I came across some pictures of a school field trip to an apple farm.  I had a new perspective to use while working on these photos. A couple weeks before the retreat we returned to this apple farm as a family adventure and Posey was not excited at all to return!  She said that the previous field trip to the farm was the “boringest” field trip she EVER went on!  I had finally found a reason to justify not scrapbooking these pictures until now, a new viewpoint, one where you learn things that your children would never have told you before! Even though I was a bit sad that she thought it boring! I had a story that I wouldn’t have had prior.  I, of course, wrote it in the album!

Tonight I was finishing up with some small details of journaling and adding protectors to the pages as the album was complete, and the hubby walked in.  He noticed the page and said “Oh, wow you’ve already scrapped Riley Farm!” and then he noticed the pictures….the age of Posey, and before even taking a breath from the last sentence, he said…”Uh, never mind, those are not the new pictures! You’re behind”   Umm…thanks Love, I needed that! Being reminded that I’m 5 years behind always makes me smile!! Depression set in….not really.

So again, I’m considering taking my own advice and printing my photo’s for September 2014 and getting them in an album.  We had some fun times and I don’t want to forget the small important things like how my little chicken granddaughter is beginning to get brave. 20141012_165924 (2)She actually jumped in this contraption, which wasn’t the most amazing thing…the most amazing thing was that she left her mom’s side!  That’s an album worthy story for sure.

faith in the lord


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What’s That Smell?

Recently there has been this problem in our house….I’ve been trying to solve it….. that works for a short time, it will go away….AND THEN IT’S BACK!  It’s really starting to bug me and just the other day I realized that it’s also bugging the hubby.  It’s a smell, an annoying smell in an area that is washed regularly…my front loading washing machine!

About 5 years ago, I was so excited to be purchasing a new front loading washer.  In hindsight, I wish I would have not purchased a front loader.  Prior to the purchase I received a tip to make sure to leave the door open in between loads so it didn’t smell, there is a seal around the door and usually this is the source of the problem but seriously that was not the simple solution! Maybe it’s just the brand that I purchased, but…I’m not the only one with this issue!

The smell was bad this time, I had recently cleaned the washer and reprimanded my family about leaving the door open and still it was there.  The hubby finally asked….can’t you like “ask Pinterest”?  I started laughing instantly…”ask Pinterest!?”  I’m always looking for little antics in life to make me laugh and this was one of them!

As funny as this sounded, I had already searched Pinterest and had already cleaned the washer and it still stunk! So over the next couple of days I “asked Pinterest”, repeatedly! You can find just about anything there, which totally makes the whole “can’t you just ask Pinterest” question a little less humorous and somehow… a bit wise. I found various ideas and tried a few.  This article basically covers the many different articles I found about how to clean the washer, and the different steps that I took to clean the washer. So far, so good, the smell is gone for now.

For those of you who are considering purchasing a new front loading washing machine think long and hard they have to be cleaned thoroughly and often….like about once a week.

Here are the basics.

  • Wipe out the inner seal at least once a week, you may even have to do it after every load. Gross stuff accumulates in there! Make sure that you wipe all the way around the seal, pull it back, use a wet rag (you can use bleach or vinegar if it’s real bad) and wipe it clean.
  • Run a sanitizing load of white vinegar once a week. There should be a sanitizing/cleaning cycle on your machine. Pour two cups of vinegar in the machine and run
  • Add vinegar to your bleach and detergent cups and run an empty load
  • Clean the filter on your machine once a month.  Most front loaders have a filter hidden in a little door near the of the machine. All the grossness that gets past your inner seal will accumulate here and if you don’t clean it often it will smell.
  • And lastly, periodically, run a cycle of bleach to clean out the machine. A couple of cups in your drum with extremely hot water. I think it’s kind of obvious but make sure you don’t have any clothes in there at the time.

If this seems excessive to you, you’re right, it is! But…for today…the washer is smelling clean!

To be fair, there is one good point to purchasing a front loader….it does save water. I noticed a difference in the first month. BUT with that said, I’d like to be the first one to warn you, think long and hard before choosing a front loading machine. As if laundry, the never ending chore, isn’t enough work….having to clean the washing machine so often makes it worse!

 

 


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Months Ago…

This subject has been on my heart for some time, I’ve been thinking about it for many months and again I had the nudge to write.  I wondered how do I pack all the thoughts I’ve had over the last 6 months into one post; I’ve determined that’s impossible, so I’m starting at the beginning and where it goes, it goes.

Many months ago while in church, I heard the expression “the enemy of your soul”, and it caught my attention.  I wrote it down because it caught my attention more that day than before, and that’s when the reflection began. During the sermon I kept heading back to this saying, even caught my mind wandering a bit.  There were many times I had heard Jesus referred to as  the “lover of your soul”, and that made perfect sense. Since he died for the sins of the world so we could spend eternity with Him in heaven, it is easy to understand how he could be the “lover of souls”. But what about this term enemy of your soul….

Of the many names I’d heard used to describe Satan, this phrase “enemy of your soul” was among them so it wasn’t a new term, but for some reason today, it resonated.  “Enemy of my Soul”. I don’t think I’ve had a true enemy; I have been hurt by other’s actions, and nowdays I protect my emotional self, but I wouldn’t necessarily consider them  an enemy.  It was a bizarre thought…I have an enemy and this enemy hates me! He wants to destroy me and anything that I value and for some reason on this day, I was taking it personally. BUT, it didn’t take long for me to realize that in the spiritual battle for my soul, I was already on the winning side!  I felt a bit of relief!  “Whew, Thank you Jesus! I do need to be aware of the tactics of the enemy, but as long as I have Jesus, I have eternal victory over my enemy. He has won the war, I just need to worry about the battle! I began thinking about so many unsuspecting souls out there, who didn’t understand the threat; an enemy of their soul was seeking to destroy them, and they didn’t even know they needed a savior from this enemy.

  • John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, I (Jesus) have come so that they may have life, and have it to the full.
  • 1 Peter 5:8 – Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour
  • John 8:44 – He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

I kept getting ideas to write, but mostly my thoughts kept coming back to the word “enemy.”  In the world, there are different kinds of enemies. Enemies of our country, and we as a nation take precautions to protect ourselves. Even in video games we see the virtual enemy being agressively battled. Think about it, if a human enemy came at you or your family, you’d agressively defend yourself.  Why don’t we take precautions to protect ourselves when it comes to our spiritual enemy? We should! We need to be like a soldier in wartime, aware, alert and ready. Yet, for some reason…..this spiritual enemy is scoffed and not considered a threat.

Wake up…Helloo, THE ENEMY OF YOUR SOUL!  He likes it when we think he’s insignificant, when we’re lulled into a sense of security, it makes it easier to acheive his goal ~ our destruction.

So, every day I’ll be a soldier and put on my armor of God and do my best to protect myself and those I love with the power of Jesus.

God Bless

Scripture reference:

Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 1 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.


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Destination Hope

HOPETonight I had the privilege of sharing with a group of people…. I told my story! Just a little bit of the crazy story; the story of my experiences while loving people who are affected by addiction.  It’s always kind of scary, talking in front of a group and being transparent. Sharing the areas of your life that you want to keep secret from everyone.  I always wonder…..what should I talk about? But then, I remember, my story is, well, my story, so sharing about my experience is easy, and when I begin with “how it was” and continue into “how it is now”, it’s most important to me that someone….anyone, will find some hope.

Hope is a crazy thing…we all want to hope for the best but while in the despair of certain circumstances, any circumstances beyond our control, it’s so hard to see. It doesn’t matter the circumstance, whether it’s illness, financial problems, addiction, or any other problem Hope is like asmall dim light at the edge of darkness that slowly begins to illuminate our situation, and somehow we begin to think there is a chance of something different.  It’s a destination from despair to….. maybe things can be different.

So what did I learn tonight?  If you allow Him to, God will use the crazy, shameful, bad, embarrassing events of your life and turn them into something good.  What do I mean by that? I’ve found that most people believe that they are the ONLY ones going through something painful, maybe even awful. Because their belief is that, no one else could possibly be dealing with “this”,  the tendency is to want to hide, hide from other’s and hide the details. But, if we are brave enough to talk about it, especially if we have made it through the dark times, we just may find that our experience will bring someone else hope.  Someone who is desperately seeking anyone to understand their pain.  I know this because of my experience and of course…because the bible tells me so (yep, that’s a kid’s song), Roman’s 8:28:  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Hope is a small word, for such a big feeling.  A small word, just like that small glimmer of light that begins to illuminate and grow into something bigger.  “HOPE CHANGES EVERYTHING!” Share it, don’t hide your glimmer of light from others. They need to hear it….

  • They need to know how you began to do things differently, and your’ life got better.  They need your wisdom
  • They need to know that when you gave your life to Jesus your outlook on life changed….for the better!
  • They need to know that they are not the only one who’s husband, wife, children, mother, father, etc. are dealing with an addiction problem.
  • They need to know that you found peace even when your financial situation was bleak….and you lost your home.
  • They need to know that you once dealt with an addiction and found the power to break that hold on your life.  Whether it is a program like AA or the power of God….or both….they need to know.
  • They need to know that you survived cancer (or some other health issue) and are here today. They need to know what got you through.

Share people!  Don’t hide! You will find “HOPE” and more importantly God will use YOU to help someone else get to that place of hope….

If you’re in need of some glimmer of light, seek hope, ask for help, first from God, then second from someone who’s dealing with what you are dealing with.

Finding Hope….It’s a destination…..and we all need a guide. Will you be someone’s guide?

 

 


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