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Essential Oils For Calm Dogs

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This is what our home looks like on any given day. A four-year-old Great Dane and two seven-month-old Great Dane puppies make for exciting times. The pitter patter of tiny puppy feet is great ... until they become huge, pounding noises as they tear through the house.
It was this herd of elephants that convinced us that the puppies need more calm in their lives. Since the words "puppy" and "calm" don't normally go together in our house, we did what works for us when we're frazzled and overwhelmed: we pulled out the essential oils.

We use Relax and Peaceful oil blends in our diffuser all the time. The best ones we've found, and the ones that affect the dogs the most, are combinations of lemongrass, geranium and lavender, and tangerine, orange, ylang ylang, patchouli and chamomile. We put three drops around their collars and then rub it on their ears, towels and chest.

These last two pictures were taken just minutes after an essential oil treatment. They …

Teaching Teenagers About Finances

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Our church's teen girls get together every month for Bible study, and it's such a fun time for all of us. We read our Bibles, study the Proverbs 31 woman, do some kind of game or activity and then they have complete control of the kitchen.
This month's verse from Proverbs 31 is She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Proverbs 31:24
We've already talked in previous verses and in previous months about how women of Bible times would make cloth, and we discussed how the merchants would make their rounds selling their trade. So with those subjects exhausted, this time we talk about money.
Finances are a difficult subject to talk to teenagers about because they're all on different levels. Some have their own jobs and bank accounts, while others still get an allowance and just do chores around the house. But starting at the beginning is a great refresher for some and a good foundation for the rest.
Here's how we're discuss…

A Reading Plan For 2018

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Why am I showing you a picture of an empty book shelf? Because I want to show you how organized and clean our house is. It's so organized because I emptied everything out of the house and started over. See?

No, I really didn't get rid of everything in the house - that's just silly. But what I did do was empty these two shelves in our living room, which were once filled to overflowing with books.

And here's why: we have hundreds of books and I want to know exactly what I've read this year when December rolls around. I'm looking forward to the visual proof of what I've read along the way and which books helped me the most, gave me a few hours of pure enjoyment or convicted my heart of how I can be a better living sacrifice for the Lord.

If you're thinking about coming up with a new and different reading plan for the year, here are a few suggestions to get you started. Unless you like empty book shelves, too.

* Read a classic book you've never read be…

Words For Wednesday

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Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

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This could very possibly be the only frosting you'll ever want ... or ever need. It's peanut buttery, smooth, creamy and tasty on just about everything. And this is the voice of experience talking because I've tried it on just about everything.

One batch will cover about three dozen small cookies with a little bit left over. From there, I'll leave it up to your imagination.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
4 Tbsp or so milk

1. With the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, cream the peanut butter, cream cheese and butter until completely smooth.

2. Slowly add the powdered sugar one cup at a time until combined.

3. Pour in milk 1 Tbsp at a time until you've reached your perfect frosting consistency.

4. Spread, dip and savor to your heart's content.

Congratulations - It's Twin Puppies!

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Two sweet new babies joined the Carrell Wildlife Preserve family this week. Renamed Callie and Diesel, these Great Dane-mix puppies were a bonded pair that the shelter didn't want to separate if they didn't have to. We were happy to take both brother and sister and give them a forever home.

First things first: Molly loves them. We wanted her to have a baby sister so she wouldn't be bored, but we hadn't planned on bringing her two babies. We didn't need to worry, though, as it was love at first sight. The three of them love to run circles through the kitchen and living room, which will be even more fun as they get bigger ... right? At least they all sleep well at night, and even stop moving for a moment or two like this photo proves.

And they're absolutely adorable when they fall asleep. They had been adopted together before, but the man got a new job and couldn't keep them. They were then fostered together before they were returned to the shelter the morni…

Stock Up Your Spiritual Emergency Kit

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Winter weather has been an issue in southern Iowa lately, just as it has been in much of the nation. It's been so important to have extreme weather gear when we leave the house. Otherwise, a bad situation like an accident or car troubles can be disastrous in the bitter cold.

But an emergency kit isn't just for poor weather. The idea is to be prepared for any kind of accident, surprise and need. The things you place in it, for your home or your vehicle, will help you survive and stay safe no matter what emergency comes your way.

Here are just a few important items to have in your vehicle at all times in winter:
* knife
* waterproof box
* medicine
* cell phone
* change of clothes
* whistle or noisemaker
* important documents
* emergency money
* gloves
* candle/matches
* towels
* spare batteries
* multi-tool

Your own spiritual emergency kit needs to have some important items in it, too. When the circumstances of the day come upon you without warning, it's a good idea to know…