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Showing posts from January, 2017

What To Do With The Scrabble Tiles I Finally Found - Part 2

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Last week, I showed you the Scrabble tile words I created with the thrift shop game I found. Today I want to share another fun way to use those tiles - ribbon ornaments perfect for any time of the year.

You'll need letter tiles, glue dots and some wired ribbon. Wired works better than regular ribbon because it's stronger and holds its shape better once you've attached the tiles to it.

Begin by cutting a notch out of the bottom of the ribbon. Then arrange the tiles from the bottom up, either touching or leaving a small space between them.

Once you have all the letters on, flip the ribbon over and cut it long enough to make a loop.

Add a dab of hot glue to keep the loop in place.

 You can then create to your heart's content, making a variety of words. Also think about adding some small stickers, rub-ons or embellishments to the blank tiles. And don't forget - any tile can be a blank tile if you flip it over, since you won't be able to see the letter through the …

How To Be Victorious Over Temptation

Part of living as a victorious Christian woman is understanding that you will be bombarded with temptation. The enemy would like nothing more than watching you stumble and give in to his trap. He knows exactly what your weak spots are, and he'll hammer at them ruthlessly some days while gently nudging you other days.

You will more than likely be faced with temptation sometime today. Your temptation may be to overeat, to gossip, to lie or to be just plain lazy. Today might feel like an obstacle curse as you try to avoid your stumbling blocks, or it might be a huge roadblock that hits all of a sudden. Each of us is different, but the devil's plan is still the same - separate you from the Lord, steal your joy and strain your emotions.

But God has all the ammunition you need to avoid temptation, protect your testimony and come out stronger on the other side. I pray these weapons will come in handy this week as you head out onto the battlefield.

1. Stop and identify the temptation.…

A Week Of Studying To Be Quiet

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My favorite time of day is first thing in the morning when the world is still quiet. Whether I'm still laying in bed or at the dining room table getting ready to study my Bible, I love the silence and peace that comes before anything begins to stir.

I wonder if you have some of this quiet time in your own life. Is there a special time when nothing is pulling you, calling you or interrupting you? I thank God if you do, and I ask Him to show you where you can find it if you don't.

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you. 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Did you ever think that you would have to study to be quiet? Quiet times in our life don't just happen. We have to plan them, seek them out and determine to guard them. Otherwise we lose them to the hustle and bustle of the day before we know it.

It's only when our hearts and minds are quiet and settled that we can focus and listen for God's voice. It takes …

Apple Chews To Replace Your Dog's Rawhide

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 Today we're going to spoil our puppies a little by making them an all-natural treat. These apple chews are a healthy alternative to the rawhide you've probably been giving them for years, just like I have.

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Cut thin slices of apple (as thin as possible - being able to read through them is a good goal) and layer them on baking racks stacked on a baking sheet. It will take at least an hour to get them crispy, possibly longer. Check them at 60 minutes and then an additional 15 minutes at a time until they're no longer soft in the middle.

Molly loves to chew, so these are the perfect treat for her. She was eating them out of the bowl even as I tried to get a good picture of them. That's a pretty good indication that your dog will like them, too.

Improve Your Photos With A White Box

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 After reading multiple online articles about the importance of having a white box to take great photos, I put one together recently. I'm still playing around with my camera settings and the lighting that works best, but it's been a fun experiment.

While many people suggested cardboard boxes and window film, I emptied a plastic bin and used that as my base. I also grabbed a couple of spare bedside lamps and a couple of pieces of poster board.

I cut one pasteboard length-wise and one width-wise to fit in the box. This way I can use it either way, depending on what I'm taking a picture of. The poster board is then temporarily tacked in with masking tape.

Moving the lights around until the shadows are just right takes some time, but this worked very well in our sun room.

After experimenting with the white balance settings on my camera, I was able to get some great shots. This example is of a tree slice that I'm turning into an ornament. (More on that another day.) The li…

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Fudge

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There is very little in the culinary world I like more than chocolate and peanut butter combined. That makes this fudge a definite favorite! It only takes a few minutes to make, so it's super easy, too.

Ingredients:
2 cups (1 bag) semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/8 cup creamy peanut butter, melted
1 cup (about 10) peanut butter cups, finely chipped

1. Line a loaf pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.

2. In a medium sauce pan, heat chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk, stirring until completely smooth.

3. Pour chocolate mixture into loaf pan and smooth the top.

4. Melt the peanut butter in a small bowl in the microwave until pourable.

5. Pour peanut butter over the chocolate and use a knife or toothpick to swirl it into the fudge.

6. Place in refrigerator for about 20 minutes.

7. While the fudge begins to cool, chop 10 peanut butter cups into small pieces.

8. After 20 minutes, press the chopped peanut butter cups into the top of …

Words For Wednesday

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What To Do With The Scrabble Tiles I Finally Found - Part 1

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Ok, so I've spent the past five years looking through our local thrift stores for Scrabble games. A week ago I found my very first one, but it wasn't what I thought it was going to be. The result, none the less, was these adorable, flower-embellished words.

This wasn't a regular Scrabble game, but a children's Disney version. It was played with cards as well, so there was a slit cut in the tray behind the trough where the letters go.

Danny cut the trays down for me once I chose the words I wanted, and we sanded them on both ends to look more finished.

For words that didn't fill up the whole tray, I added adorable butterflies to the blank tiles and spaced them all out.

A small line of hot glue on each tiles keeps them securely fastened.

You have to keep the spacing in mind or you'll accidentally run out of room. I ended up just taking the letters off one at a time, applying the glue and tucking them right back in.

I chose several colors of paper flowers to add …

How To Pray When You Don't Know What To Pray

There comes a time in every woman's life when the circumstances around her turn into overwhelming background noise. Even sitting alone in her prayer closet, she's not sure what to pray, how to pray or even where to start.

If you've never experienced this heart condition before, you probably will be at some point. It's in these times that we just want direction to get our prayers started and to know which words will touch the heart and ears of God.

The best way to find instruction for praying is to read the prayers of Jesus Christ. There are many, many places in the four gospels where we are given very specific prayers that the Son of God Himself used to speak to His heavenly Father. When you don't know what to pray - or you want to be armed and ready when you need these words most - start with these verses of Scripture and make them your own.

* And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass …

A Week Of Being Filled

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Some women collect shoes. Others fill their closets with jackets or skirts or jewelry. For me, it's purses.

Pocketbooks, bags, backpacks, satchels large enough to carry a baby elephant - it doesn't matter what size, shape or color. I love them all.

That's why the basket I keep them in is filled to overflowing. It's not even big enough for some of my larger purses, but there's honestly no room in the closet for anything bigger. So it just continues to overflow.

I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God. Exodus 16:12

God didn't give the Israelites just enough meat and bread to avoid hunger pangs. He didn't drop a little food here and there for them to stumble across. No, He promised them enough to fill them completely each and every day. And with faith that He would do as He promised, the people woul…

How Not To Greet A Dog

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When you walk into the house and see those sweet eyes of a puppy, it's easy to start the baby talk and the face smooshing. That's why she's there at the door, right? She wants the love and attention as much as you want to give it, right?

Maybe, but this kind of human behavior is what makes puppy behavior go terribly, horribly wrong. It's what tells her that it's ok to jump, run around and bark instead of sitting pretty and waiting for good attention.

Here are just a few ways not to greet a dog:

1. Do not stick your hands out toward her. Imagine how you would feel if somebody walked into your personal bubble with their hands waving in your face. She's already excited you're there, but now she's also a little concerned about your intentions.
Instead, keep your hands at your sides and temporarily ignore her. This will give her the chance to inspect you on her terms, which is better for everyone involved.

2. Do not lean over and start petting her. Again, e…

5 Signs Your Craft Booth Needs

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 If you have ever sold your handmade items at a craft or vendor show, you know how important signage can be. Many customers will never ask you any questions, but they'll read a sign and get the same information. And even if they do talk to you, there's no way you can tell them everything about everything in your booth. That's why having these five types of signs displayed will solve those problems.

1. A sign that details what form of payment you accept. Few people carry cash anymore, so it's important that they know you'll accept cards or an online payment. They'll be much more willing to look with the intent of buying if they know the payment options available.

2. A sign that tells bulk pricing. Most of my items have price tags attached but not my greeting cards. That's why I have a sign or two that tells how much the different sizes cost. If customers already know those prices, you'll be able to talk to them about other, more important things.

3. A s…

Healthy Portable Snack And Lunches

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Sweets have always been my downfall in the healthy eating department. I would much rather grab a handful of chocolate-covered anything than celery and carrot sticks. That's why, for me, having healthy food handy and already prepared is a smart idea. It lessens the temptation.

In our fridge right now, you'll find several small containers of healthy food that we can grab anytime. It takes just a few minutes once a week to get them all prepared, and thinking ahead helps me know that I don't have to resort to junk food because it's easier.

To make your own, choose your favorite fruits and vegetables, cut them into smaller pieces and divide it between the boxes. I added a hard-boiled egg for some protein with hummus and Italian dressing as dips. All of these get stored together on the same shelf in the refrigerator. Add some lemon water or another favorite drink and you've got a healthy snack or small meal.

Words For Wednesday

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DIY Wood Burned Cooking Utensils

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It's amazing what will spark your creativity when you're not even looking. I spotted a collection of boring, plain wooden kitchen utensils at the grocery store last week, and I couldn't just leave them there. They had to come home with me and be turned into something fun.

After watching Danny use his wood burning pen to create some amazing art for his customers, I wanted to give it a try myself. He is able to put some breath-taking detail into his pictures, but I'm definitely not to that stage yet. These utensils were a great project to get me started.

I started with the words, measuring the space I had to work with on each handle.

 Then I printed out phrases that would fit in each handle.

I cut a strip of carbon paper to fit...

...and lay the words on top.

I burnished the letters on the paper, through the carbon paper and onto the wood.

This gave me the template I needed for burning.

A thin tip let me run in the fine details of the words. It's so important to mov…

The Thirsty Soul

Have you ever worked outside so long that you feel like you were dying of thirst? What you wouldn't give for a tall glass of ice water, something cold and wet to quench your thirst. Tea, coffee, pop and other beverages just won't do - water is the only thing on your mind.

This is the same feeling David writes about several places in the psalms. No matter his circumstance, no matter the current events in his life, the only thing that will satisfy the longings of his heart is God. He could try - and did try - other ways of quenching the thirst in his soul, but there was no substitute for standing in the presence of the Lord.

While there are several passages of Scripture where David talks about that thirst, one that stands out the most is Psalm 63. While running from his son Absalom and hiding out in the wilderness of Judah, the king writes words that lay aside the situation around him and put the focus on his need for God.

O GOD, thou art my God; early will I seek thee, my flesh …

A Week Of Being A Doer

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I have so many paper craft supplies stored up in our craft room. There are papers, embellishments, templates and doodads everywhere just waiting to be used. I even have two shelves full of idea and instruction books so I can learn something new and different any time I want.

But what happens when I never go down to the craft room with the intention to get a project done? I just bring more supplies, more books and more stuff and leave it there. It's simply a collection of potential pretty things, but I never actually use any of it.

This is what Paul is talking about in the fourth chapter of the letter to the church at Philippi, only he was talking about spiritual knowledge and wisdom, not craft supplies.

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do; and the God of peace shall be with you. Philippians 4:9

These believers learned, received, heard and saw, but Paul wanted more from them. He wanted them to take that head knowledge and turn it int…

Celebrating 14 Years With The Sadie Dog

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After 14 years as our miracle puppy, Sadie passed away this week. It was just eight months ago that Bailey died, so it was an emotional few days.

Sadie was a parvo puppy, so when we took her to the vet we were told she wouldn't live through the night. When I called the next morning, our six-pound puppy had chewed through her IV. I told them she would be fine and that I would pick her up at the end of the week. That was almost 15 years ago.

Bailey was only four months older than Sadie, but there was quite a size difference in the beginning. There were many places Sadie could go to hide that Bailey wouldn't fit, which was incredibly frustrating for the big dog.

They were sisters in every other sense of word, and they never went anywhere without the other. Mostly, I think, because they were afraid of missing out on something.

 When Sadie turned 1, it was a momentous occasion. She was full-grown by then and we took her back to the vet to show him the miracle he'd given us.

Sa…