Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Clean Pantry and Charity

This has been another busy week...will it ever stop???  However I did manage to clean out my pantry. It was past time. When you are afraid to open your pantry door, for fear of being beaned by a box of crackers, it's time!

Not only do I now have a neat, organized pantry, but I was able to put together two bags of groceries to donate to a local food pantry. I use coupons in conjunction with sales, and sometimes register rebates (at Walgreens) to get really good deals on lots of things. When I can combine deals like this and get a rock bottom price, I stock up. So I was able to give out of this stock.

I also put together a bag of toiletries to take to the homeless shelter. That, along with 3 more bags of clothes for the family we are helping, and things donated to St. Vincent's (similar to Salvation Army), constituted my tangible giving for this week.

Today I spent several hours helping a dear friend and her dear daughter, take pictures and list a vintage Louis Vuitton Suitcase on eBay.  Those things are going for unbelievable prices!  The daughter found it at St. Vincents.  So I gave of my time.  Our husbands gave their morning to work at the church cleaning up outside.  Then they came back here, where I had prepared lunch for all of us.

Once again, in giving, I am blessed.  I got to spend a wonderful day with my friend and her family.  We are both so busy, and live about half an hour apart, so that we usually only see each other on Sundays. 

If you are new to my blog, or haven't been able to keep up lately, I am participating in the 30 giving challenge. It's about being purposeful in giving of your time, talent, or resources.  In this economy, and with my husband rotating in and out of layoff, we can't give financially at this time.  But there are so many other ways to give. 

30-Day Giving Challenge

These are hard times for so many.  But if you can find ways to give, be prepared, because God is going to bless your socks off!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Industrial Magnet Board

I promised to post a tutorial on the magnet board I made for my son's room, and although I got waylaid by a funeral and life in general, I am keeping my word. Better late than never! 

It started out looking like this:

I removed the Eiffel Tower and used it on my French Bulletin Board.  First I used spray primer, then sprayed it with several thin coats of Rustoleum Specialty Metallic, in bright reflective silver. 

Even with the texture, it was a little too pristine, so I grunged it up a bit by brushing on a thin layer of black paint, then randomly wiping some of the paint back off. 

For the magnets, I fished around in hubbys cabinet full of nuts and bolts.  I found a variety of them, along with some washers I 'd bought ages ago for a scrapbooking project, but had never used.  I did buy some JB Weld, which is a permanent glue to bond metal.  It was $4.69 at my local hardware, but I used just a tiny amount.  There's lots left for future projects.

I followed the directions on the package and cleaned all the metal pieces with nail polish remover for a good bond.

Wish my nails looked like that!  I played around with the washers and nuts, until I liked them, then glued the washers to the magnets, then glued the nuts to the washers.  JB Weld comes in two tubes.  You squirt out an equal amount of each and mix them together, then work fairly quickly.  I used a very small amount so it wouldn't set up before I used it all.  It sets in 4 minutes.  I did have to mix a little more, but it's quick and easy.

I used some more nuts and bolts to fill the three holes where the Eiffel Tower was attached.

Although it's unlikely you will find a metal piece just like this, you could do this with any flat metal...maybe the back of an old cookie sheet, or you can buy a precut sheet of textured metals at Home Depot.  
I hung it on the wall ready for all his paper treasures.  When I came back a few minutes later I got a chuckle.  He had rearranged the magnets.

And so I leave you with a smile :)

I've linked this post to:

My Repurposed Life - Catch as Catch Can Party

Monday, November 8, 2010

Giving Starts at Home and a Cookie Recipe

Sometimes giving needs to start at home. I've been so busy lately with projects, homeschooling, and trying to go through the house organizing, cleaning, and decluttering, that I've been a little okay...a "lot" slack on fixing real sit down dinners, and baking snacks for the boys. They've begun protesting that there's nothing to eat! (There is, just nothing special ;)

So today I gave a good part of my morning away baking protein cookies. They love them and they are full of healthy ingredients, along with some unhealthy...but better than most! Each batch makes a lot of cookies, so I put some in the freezer for later. 

Now I will give you the recipe. It originally came from Women's World magazine and was supposed to be a "diet" cookie. You eat one for breakfast and one for lunch, then eat a healthy dinner. Yeah...right! Anyway, my boys love them and I feel good giving them something pretty healthy. There are three variations: chocolate, raisin, and peanut butter.  I've modified the recipe somewhat from the original.  

Basic Giant Breakfast Cookies
1 ¼ C gran. Sugar
¾ C brown rice syrup (or dark Karo)
2T canola oil 
1 ¼ C prune puree
3 eggs 
1 tsp. Vanilla
3 C old fashioned oats 
2 C oat bran
2 C flour (I use 1 ½ C white + ½ C high protein, like rice flour)
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Optional – I also add 2 tsp kelp powder, ½ C dry milk powder, ¼ C wheat germ and 1 T brewers yeast.

Note: to make prune puree, empty a box of prunes into blender, add water to equal 2 ¾ cups and puree. Makes enough for 2 batches. Can freeze half.

Oatmeal Raisin add:
½ - 1C cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon

Chocolate add:
1/3 C cocoa powder
½ - 3/4 C semisw. chocolate chips

Peanut Butter add: 
½ cup peanut butter

Mix sugar and all wet ingredients.  Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.  Stir dry ingredients into wet.  Spray cookie sheets with Pam.  Drop scant 1/4 cup of batter for each cookie.  Bake 350 for about 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden and set.  

I often mix up several batches of dry ingredients, put them in ziploc bags and store them in the freezer of refridgerator.  It makes the process much faster.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

30 Day Giving Challenge

Today we took 3 bags of clothing to a needy family, and I took the time to talk and pray with the mom. Ladies, she needs prayer for strength, courage and wisdom. She needs practical help too. We are the feet and hands of Jesus. We must "go" (his feet) and "do" (his hands). I am doing what I can to help her and trusting God to supply the rest. Those of you who believe, would you pray with me for her?


Friday, November 5, 2010

A Loss And A Blessing

Has your life ever hit the pause button? Mine has a few times, like when my husband had a heart attack a few years ago. Well this past week my pause button got hit again. Last Thursday morning, just after midnight, my dear, sweet grandma passed into the arms of Jesus. It was a day of great rejoicing in heaven, as a dear saint entered into her reward.

As one she left behind, I will miss her greatly. Her whole family will miss her. The church and community she was a part of,  to whom she gave so generously to, will miss her. But she did her part here on earth. She was tired and hurting. She was 93, almost 94 and it was time to go home.

Upon returning home, I found The 30 Day Giving Challenge had started Nov. 1st.

30-Day Giving Challenge

I participated in a giving challenge last year and was unbelievably blessed by it.  This time I want to dedicate this giving challenge to my loving and generous grandma.  I will try to post something daily, not to bring praise to myself, but to document this journey of giving and blessing.  Any praise should be turned toward God.  All that I have is his.  I do not give to receive, but God pours out his blessing anyway. 

I just found the giving challenge today. But the past several days I've been washing, sorting and bagging clothes to give to a very needy family with 8 children. I had planned to have a garage sale this summer, but it didn't I know why. This family needs what I have. It is such a blessing to be able to truly help someone who needs it.  I have 5 bags in the back of the van, ready to deliver.

Already God has blessed.  He blesses us in many ways daily, but this one met a specific need we have right now.  My husband has been laid off for two weeks (he will go back next week), and we were between a paycheck and unemployment.  When I went to transfer money from our meager savings to checking, I found that a weeks pay had been deposited.  Ken did not realize he had another paycheck coming.  Some may say, well, it was coming whether you gave or not.  Maybe so, but I know God provided just what we needed, when we needed it.

Some who read this blog are Christians, others may not be.  I will not thump you over the head with the Bible.  But I would be remiss if I didn't invite you to find out who Jesus is.  If you are a Christian, or decide to become one,  I will personally introduce you to my grandma when we meet in heaven.  I can't wait to see her beaming smile and hear her soft, southern Indiana drawl again.

If you too, wish to take up the 30 giving challenge, click on the button above.  Try it and watch God at work.


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