Thursday, January 19, 2017

Re-evaluating

When I started the blog years ago....it was to keep my family and friends in GA up to date on what was going on with us.  But now we are back in GA so I see family weekly.  I am able to keep up with my Mississippi friends on facebook and Instagram.  That all being said ~ I am re-evaluating the blog. 

For right now, I am taking a break. 

We have a mission trip to Honduras coming up.  We have a grown child needing extra prayer and encouragement in this time of their life.  I have 4 awesome grandsons to play with and love on.  And we have a wedding to plan.

So until next time ~ adios!


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Perspective In Trials

I got this wonderful little book for Christmas- A GOSPEL PRIMER FOR CHRISTIANS-
It contains short commentaries on learning to see the Glories of Gods love.

Yesterday I read lesson #18 and it is so relevant to a trial we are going through.  Below is the lesson -

More than anything else could ever do, the gospel enables me to embrace my tribulations and thereby position myself to gain full benefit from them.  For the gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and move; and every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves His gospel purposes in me.  When I view my circumstances in this light, I realize that the gospel in not just one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere among all the bad. I realize instead that the gospel makes genuinely good news out of every other aspect of my life, including my severest trials.  The good news about my trials is that God is forcing them to bow to His gospel purposes and do good unto me by improving my character and making me more conformed to the image of Christ.

Preaching the gospel to myself each day provide a lens through which I can view my trials in this way and see the true cause for rejoicing that exists in them.  I can then embrace the trials as friends and allow them to do God's good work in me.

Scripture references:

Romans 5:1-5
Having been justified by faith, we have peach with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and we exult in the hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perserverance, and perserverance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 8:28-29
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  Fr those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son.

James 1:2-4
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various, trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have it perfect result, so that you may e perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10
...there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me~to keep me from exalting myself.  Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.  And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake, for when I am weak, then I am strong.

I am definitely not to the joyful, patient stage of this current tribulation in my life. 

I am thankful for ~

the truth of Gods word
support
love
caring words
keeping busy






Monday, January 9, 2017

Decorations









Just noticed I never posted these!  So its late and now they are put away till next year! 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Wedding Prep

Just ordered Save the Date cards online from Shutterfly!  It was lots of fun going through all the Disney vacation pictures to pick out some for the cards.

Also, making plans to go to a big wedding expo in the Atlanta area the end of January!

Making guests lists, working on attendants gifts (Amy), and in discussions about where the newlyweds will live after the big day....nothing is definitely decided on that discussion.

Here are a few fun pictures I found yesterday ~









one of my favorites





Amy wasn't paying a bit of attention!

LOVE Ariels face and enthusiasm & Amy's shock!

sweet love
Austin did a great job setting this up, we are thrilled we were all able to be there and witness this life changing event!

****These are all photopass pictures ~ I would totally buy this again on our next trip.  We got lots of pictures of Will, Amy & Austin even though we weren't all together everyday.  Our photo pass files contained over 600 pictures! 

Will have many more fun times and pictures heading up toward the wedding day.....10 more months!  Its a fun, emotional, creative roller coaster!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Reflections

There is a lot of giving & receiving this time of year.  Family, friends, & co workers.  Then there are Toys for Tots, bellringers with buckets, shoeboxes, Angel Tree, etc.

It can be quite overwhelming.

We have gift giving in our immediate family, & we have our game for Christmas Day with our extended family.

When the gift giving involves parents and grandparents it gets a bit tricky because they have everything!  That's when creativity comes into play ~ this year we made our parents calendars featuring pictures of their great grandchildren.  They loved them!  Each month is a different child or group of children, made of pictures taken throughout the year. 

For our children ~ this kinda varies depending of the young person and their circumstances.  One of ours just moved and needed some household items, one got essential oils and supplies, 4 got luggage, one got new clothes and one got a check.  There really is no "one size fits all".

But in all of the excitement, I reflect on how well I did as a parent, in teaching my children how to give and receive graciously and how to serve others.

Even at very young ages, they can be taught to give to grandparents, aunts & uncles. Ornaments, little drawings, or purchased items from money they "earned", it doesn't have to be expensive. And make it fun...teach enthusiasm for giving. But teach them to give.  If they learn early, they will carry on the tradition when older ~ birthdays, Christmas, Mothers & Fathers Day.

Teach them how to receive gifts ~ learning thank you is a huge deal.  An in person thank you is great, or a text or a phone call.  But say the words.  They all need to learn (at any age) Thankfulness.  Receiving a gift or gifts is a blessing and it blesses the receiver to hear those words. This is especially important for gifts received in the mail from out of town ~ if you don't acknowledge the gift, the giver never knows that it was even received.

Teach them to be hospitable ~ cooking dinner for family, invitations to visit, offers to help after family dinners with clean up, running errands, serving others.  There are lots of areas in our lives to practice hospitality.

And how well did I/we do in my/our teaching/mentoring/leading by example/encouraging ~ it depends on the child, their situation, and their circumstances.  I could have done more.

I fall short in areas also ~ I miss opportunities to serve others,  I try to be thankful for every gift (its the not receiving that I struggle with and need to overcome), I don't want to take anything or anyone for granted, I want my home to be friendly and comfortable for folks to visit.  No matter what age, we can all learn more & do more.

Hope you all had a great Christmas.

We received the greatest gift of all time when the Lord sent His Son to the earth ~ may be we forever thankful for His gift and His ultimate sacrifice.




Friday, December 16, 2016

December....so far

Simplifying our Decembers has been great ~  more time for relaxing and doing what we really want ~

so far I have ~

taken pictures of Aiden & Amy decorating a giant gingerbread man

made some scrabble tile letter ornaments of all our names

shopped with Amy

run errands and eaten lunch out with mom

drunk lots of hot chocolate and hot spice tea

home cooked meals

wrapped gifts

helped Amy with a gift

diffused awesome smelling essential oils

"attended" 2 online oil parties and a 2 week oil camp

read books downloaded on my kindle

got in some cross stitching

killed a sewing machine (yes, this happened yesterday, it is dead)

enjoyed my quilts and electric blanket

helped Greg plant our vineyard (10 muscadine vines)

entered several 12 Days of Christmas drawings and won prizes on 2 of them!

closed on a small house today for our oldest son (which selfishly means, we get out rv back!)

mailed Christmas cards

got my gifts together and wrapped for our Christmas day ugly Santa game

Watch some holiday movies!

went to Aidens preschool Christmas program to watch his classmates sing (he chose not to participate)


PaPa brought him a truck~ then we went to steak n shake for lunch
The rest of this month will bring ~

Our 3 oldest sons birthdays~ the 18th and the 22nd

taking Amy to MS to spend Christmas with Austins family

family dinner at Moms

Christmas dinner at my sisters

Greg is preaching on Christmas morning

our 3 little Cutler grandbuddies are coming to spend the night and play

moving James

I hope everyone has time to relax, focus on family & fun, eat some yummy food, remember the Christ that's in Christmas

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Essentially DIY Projects

I was busy yesterday and totally forgot about blogging.  I do have 2 essential oil recipes that I did last week and both turned out great.

The first was a DIY eye make up remover ~ its awesome

Equal parts of fractionated coconut oil (fco) and water
1/2 the above amount of witch hazel
25 drops Lavender Essential Oil

(On the fco water and witch hazel, I did 2 tbsp. each of the fco and water and 1 tablespoon of the wh)

I didn't take a picture because a pic of a bottle of clear liquid is not real exciting.  But I love this stuff ~ will definitely be replacing my old make up remover with this.  Very soothing and easy to use ~ I squirt it on the little cotton rounds.  I got this recipe from my friend Kim, in Mississippi!

The next is DIY- Moisturizing Lotion Bars (from doTERRA)

2/3 cup beeswax
1/2 cup coconut oil (not fractionated)
1/2 cup cocoa butter
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil (got at Walmart)
15 drops doTERRA oil (I used citrus bliss ~ 20-25 drops would have been better)

*Measure all ing., except for Essential oil in a large glass jar (used a quart canning jar)
*Place jar in saucepan with 1-1.5 inches of boiling water
*Stir ingredients till combined (its takes a little while for the beeswax to completely melt)
*Once, melted, remove from heat. Let rest 3 minutes.
*Add essential oil and stir.
*Pour mixture into a silicone mold.
*Let mixture harden 2-3 hours. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in container until ready to use.
*Rub lotion bar on skin for extreme moisture.

Pictures ~

the jar is ready for the boiling water
The ingredients ~ I used beeswax pellets because they are supposed to melt faster

the ingredients are starting to melt


for the 2nd batch I put a crocheted dishrag on the bottom of the pan, kept the jar from rattling in the water!



all melted and ready to pour

I got this cute owl mold of wish ~ for little lotion bars

Got this mold off wish too ~ both work well ~ this one is a little too big
Next time I will use a little deeper pot.  I am also going to make a batch of lavender/frankincense bars ~ I think it will smell amazing and both oils have great skin soothing/rejeuvinating properties.  Since we used the silicone molds the bars came right out.  The owl faces & details are cute but after you use it a couple of times....all the detail has melted away.

*These do not feel greasy.  I just rub it on my skin and it absorbs pretty quickly.

*Using 15 drops of oil is not enough scent ~ as Amy said "she can still smell the beeswax".

*In the summertime, you may have to refrigerate these, coconut oil melts at the 70 degree range ~ not sure what it will do in this mixture.

Both recipes are a keeper!  I have used both daily since I made them!  Bonus ~ there are no ingredients that I don't know what they are!

http://mydoterra.com/jacksonsessentialoils

Happy DIY!