"About every true mother there is a sancity of martyrdom-
and when she is no more in the body, her children see her with
the ring of light around her head."

Godey's Lady's Book, 1867

THE ART OF DOMESTIC BLISS a time lacking in certainty and filled with anguish and despair, no woman should be shamefaced in attempting to give back to the world, through her work, a portion of it's lost heart. -Louise Bogan
“And there are my children!
My darling, precious children!
For their sakes I am continually constrained
to seek after an amended, a sanctified life;
what I want them to become
I must become myself”.

~ Elizabeth Prentiss, Stepping Heavenward

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Teaching Kid's How to Make a Difference in the Enviorment

Think a child or a family can’t make a difference? Not so. Little things - like using a colorful cloth bag, or tossing potato peels and eggshells into the compost bin -can help the environment. And if your child develops good habits now, they’ll endure as he grows.

Here are 10 ways you can encourage your kids to go green during Earth Day.

Reduce electricity Explain to your children that lights, computers, televisions and furnaces use energy, and that energy is in short supply. Now the toddler even reminds others: “Turn off the light!”

Appliances like DVD players use energy even when off, so cutting the power totally is the only way to conserve. Go shopping together to buy power bars and plug your electronics into them (watch little ones closely so there are no shocks).

Take small steps There are dozens of small things your kids can do every day to save energy and keep the world cleaner and greener. Your kids can:

  • Shut off the water when they brush their teeth
  • Walk, ride a bike or take the bus instead of traveling by car
  • Take faster showers or baths in just a small amount of water
  • Help hang clothes on the line instead of putting them in the dryer
  • Choose products that are not over packaged

Recycle Explain to your kids that every bottle and can they use is waste that just sits in a big pile at the local dump if we don’t recycle. Get them involved by making it their job to sort recyclables and take them out for pickup. (Remind them to watch out for broken glass and ask for help if this happens.) If there’s no recycling collection in your area, find out where you can drop off items.

Consider recycled crafts too.

Compost It’s easy to collect your own food scraps and garden waste and turn it into healthy compost in your own yard. Children can help buy a composter fill it with kitchen scraps and garden waste on a daily basis and even help stir it to get things breaking down. And, in a few months when you’ve got compost, they can take part in spreading it over the garden and seeing how “garbage” can become rich dark dirt to make a garden grow.

Do a donation tour A great way to get across the message of "reuse" and "recycle" is to take kids on a trip to your local thrift store, recycling center, or church. If your children have old clothing, toys, shoes, or other items in reusable condition, make a family trip down to the donation center so they can see how their trash is someone else's treasure. Teach kids how items can be reused for different purposes--for example old towels, blankets, and comforters can often be donated to local animal shelters for bedding. These real-life examples will teach kids that many items they would normally throw away can actually have a second life.

No matter how little, you can teach kids to be pro-active about initiating eco-friendly practices in their homes and communities. Below are some examples of how kids can get involved:

Write a letter Fifteen years ago, 9-year-old Melissa Poe of Nashville saw a TV show about pollution. Horrified by the problem, she wrote a letter to the president that suggested he “get on TV and put up big signs” to make people aware of the problem. She also founded Kids FACE, an environmental organization for young people. Your children can write letters to government leaders and corporations about pollution and other environmental issues, and you can give them a hand in looking up addresses and help them decide what they’re going to write. Talk about how you live in a democracy and every voice counts, no matter how small.

Make a reusable bag One of the first projects Poe and her friends did as pat of Kids FACE was to make fun bags for grocery shopping. Plastic shopping bas are a big garbage problem -- it takes 1,000 years for a bag to break down! Here’s how: Have your kids help you choose some heavy fabric and sew it into simple rectangular bags with handles. Or, buy some canvas bags at a craft or environmentally friendly gift shop. Then use fabric pens to draw pictures on them. Take the bags out with you every time you shop.

Do a project If your child has an independent research project coming up at school, suggest she tackle an environmental issue like pollution, garbage or energy. Check out these resources:

Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Kids Club Environment Canada Kids DMOZ Open Directory Project (which organizes research sources)

Enjoy the earth Kids have to love the world to want to protect it. So take nature walks and look at the trees, flowers and sky. When you’re away on vacation, don’t forget to enjoy the local natural environment, not just the tourist sites. Encourage them to take pictures, draw pictures, read books and write stories about the world and its beauty.

Talk about it “We focus on just being aware,” Talk about birds, plants, gas-guzzling vehicles and energy use. Indeed, just asking your children to shut off the lights and reuse plastic bags is not enough -- they must understand why we’re doing these things and what impact they might have.

A Cool Way to Recycle a Cereal Box

What you'll need:

  • Empty cereal box
  • Scissors
  • White acrylic paint or spray paint
  • Light green and dark green acrylic paint
  • Sponge or leaf shaped foam stamp
  • Thin paint brush
  • Sand paper or gesso/craft medium (we used Liquitex Basics Gesso)

How to make it:

  1. Cut off top of cereal box. Halfway across top of box, cut at a 45 degree angle down to front of your magazine holder, cut straight across then back up other side at the same angle.
  2. Lightly sandpaper outside of cereal box. (They are usually shiny, coated paper.) Alternatively you can paint a layer of gesso all over the box. Either one of these methods will help the paint adhere to the box.
  3. Spray paint the box white, or paint on with inexpensive sponge brush. Let dry.
  4. Cut out leaf shape from sponge or use a leaf shaped foam stamp.
  5. Pour out small amount of green paints.
  6. Use thin paint brush to add a swirled line all over the box, this is the vine.
  7. Sponge paint (or use foam stamp) green leaves on front of box leading to sides of box. First the darker, for background leaves, then lighter for foreground leaves. (See photo.)
  8. If painting more than one box, try to connect vines on each box so when set together they will match. (See photo.)


  • Any kind of decorating technique can be used. (Decoupage, glued fabric scraps, children can do this!)
  • Try to decorate the front of the boxes so when lined up they all coordinate with each other.
  • Use heavier detergent boxes so the boxes will be sturdier and hold up to younger children messing with them.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Day 11 (20) She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy

Day 11 ( 20) She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy
God is faithful in His Word to not only give us commands but to tell us HOW to obey, in practical terms. He never leaves us in the dark. For this woman in Proverbs 31, she had learned to obey God’s laws. She didn’t love just in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth (1 John 3:18). She wasn’t just a hearer of the word; she was a doer (James 1:22).

The poor were to be given fairness in court, even if they couldn’t afford a lawyer (Exodus 23:6).
Every seven years, the fields were to lie fallow and rest. During this year, anything that grew on its own was to be given freely to the poor (Exodus 23:11).
Vineyards were only to be picked one time. The corners of fields were to remain unpicked. Anything that remained was to be left for the poor (Leviticus 19:10).
If a poor man had to sell his property, his relatives had first opportunity to purchase it on his behalf (Leviticus 25:25).
If a neighbor became poor, everyone was to help him so that he wouldn’t have to move away (Leviticus 25:35, 39).
Wages were to be paid daily, before sunset, so that the poor wouldn’t have to wait for relief (Deuteronomy 24:15).
Exorbitant interest was not allowed, nor could food be sold at a profit so that the poor couldn’t afford it (Leviticus 25:36-37).
The poor were not to be sold as slaves but were to be treated as hired workers, with full rights and dignity (Leviticus 25:39-43).
Best of all, during the year of Jubilee (every 50th year), land was returned to its original owners, debts were canceled, and the poor and needy were finally able to make a clean start! (see Leviticus 25)
In obedience to God’s merciful law, our Proverbs 31 woman not only made provision for the poor in her fields and vineyards and promptly paid her servant girls and hired helpers, she also set aside a portion of her income as a gift for the poor and needy.

“ 28At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates:

29And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.” (Deuteronomy 14:28-29).

Finally, she offered hospitality and care to all those she saw with needs. “She stretcheth out her hand… she reacheth forth her hands…

Eliza R Snow was a great example of Helping the Poor and needy. She was called by Brigham Young to help bishops reorganize Female Relief Societies in 1866. She traveled all over Utah encouraging sisters to join societies "not only for the good of the poor, but for the accomplishment of every good and noble work." (History of Relief Society, page 30) In her new role, Eliza traveled with her counselors, Zina D. H. Young and Elizabeth Ann Whitney, to Mormon settlements in nearly every type of conveyance imaginable, enduring nearly every type of weather.

Due to the efforts of Eliza's presidency, there were Female Relief Societies in the twenty Salt Lake City wards, in nearly every county in Utah, and several other nearby communities by the end of 1868. These newly organized branches of the Relief Society met twice each month. During one of these monthly meetings, they sewed and cared for the needs of the poor, and at the other they received instruction on a variety of educational or inspirational themes. At first, sisters met in private homes, but eventually most groups built halls of their own in cooperation with the brethren.

How can we use these gracious laws of God in 2010? How could we make provisions and ways of escape for the poor and needy who surround us? How can we stretch out our hands with mercy, kindness, and relief for those who are drowning in fear and financial care?

We could start by always leaving a little leftovers, making a little extra food, setting aside just a tiny bit each day.

Maybe it could be a jar for loose change. We could also set aside an extra bit, over and above our tithe by increasing our fast offerings, to be given to those who have a need. Maybe we could fill up someone’s tank with gas. Maybe we could get an extra pair of shoes when they’re on clearance and drop them off at someone’s house. These things are small… and that’s the point. If we all did something small, it would add up, and the poor and needy would have relief.

If someone were to stretch out their hands to them, maybe the urge to escape would disappear. Maybe the fear in the pit of their stomachs would lessen. Maybe they’d find a shoulder to cry on. Maybe they’d find someone who could counsel and guide them toward a better job, or show them how to save, or help them pay off that last credit card bill. Maybe they’d be more willing to listen to the gospel when they saw Jesus living through us.

Here is some cute humor about helping the needy.......

Going Green in the Bathroom for Earth Day

Top Tips for Greening Your Bathroom

Navy Style: No, we're not suggesting anything to do with military interventions. Rather, this is your chance to reduce your water use from 60 gallons per shower to 3 gallons per shower. It's simple: hop in, get wet, turn off the water while soaping up, and then rinse clean.

Clean Green: Perhaps no room getting dirtier than the bathroom. This doesn't mean you have to reach for toxic cleaners. Green, earth-friendly products will get the job done—without the nasty side effects.

Don't Rush the Flush: Do you know what you're flushing? Yes, we're talking about toilet paper. According to the National Resources Defense Council, If every household in the United States replaced just one roll of virgin fiber toilet paper (500 sheets) with 100% recycled ones, we could save 423,900 trees.

Did You Know?

21% of household water use comes from the shower

26% of household water use comes from flushing the toilet, they now make energy efficient toilets.

The average American uses 80 gallons of water a day. The rest of the world, on average, uses 2.5 gallons

Earth Day Challenge 3 (Recycled Craft For Kids)

Bird Feeder

Recycle a milk carton and make new feathered friends with this creative nature craft for kids.

What you'll need:

  • Empty quart sized cardboard milk carton
  • Scissors
  • String or cord
  • Hole punch or pencil
  • Bird seed

How to make it:

  1. Have an adult help you cut a hole in the bird feeder – it should be big enough so a bird could come and sit and eat the feed, but not too big or the carton will become unstable. (See photo.)
  2. Have an adult help you cut a hole using the hole punch in the top of the milk carton and put a string through the hole. Alternatively, you can poke a hole on either side of the flap at the top of the carton by poking a pencil through the top. (See photo.)
  3. Tie a knot in the string. (See photo.)
  4. Fill the carton with bird seed until it reaches the top of the hole. (See photo.)
  5. Hang the cart on a tree branch and watch the birds enjoy their snack! (See photo.)


  • A quart size carton works perfect as it isn't too large and holds a decent amount of food.
  • You may choose to decorate the outside of the carton but keep in mind that it will be outside in the elements and decorations may wash off in the rain. Also, you wouldn't want the birds pecking at flaking paint!
  • Check your bird feeder regularly and refill as needed.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 10 (19 )She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff

Day 10 (19 )She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff

Some hands are seamstress and sew and make things. Some would rather hold a book, run over the keys of a piano, knead bread, or type on a computer.

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.(Ecclesiastes 9:10).

No matter what skills my hands have, I need to use them in service of my Heavenly Father. I thought it would be fun to take note of all the ways my hands can serve.

My hands can work.

This is the primary way that hands are mentioned in God’s Word. In fact, hands are mentioned in FIVE verses of the Proverbs 31 lady! Her hands are very important to God, and the “work of her hands” shows the character of her heart. In addition, her hands work skillfully and carefully. Her reputation is built on her hands, and her lack of laziness (”slothfulness” in KJV) is evidenced by the amount of production that comes from her hands. Here are some verses:

“And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it” (Psalm 90:17).

“Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee” (Psalm 128:1-2).

“The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour” (Proverbs 21:25).

“We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ… Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands…” (1 Corinthians 4:10-12).

“Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Ephesians 4:28).

“We beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; and that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing” (1 Thessalonians 4:10-12).

My hands should be stretched out toward God.

This point is very important. As a mom, I just don’t have the strength to do what I need to do. Ladies, it’s okay to admit this! In fact, it would be wrong not to admit it, for we would be saying (in pride) that we don’t need God, that we are sufficient in and of ourselves.

The moment, however, that I admit my need of God and my own insufficiency, God steps in and fills me with His power. Each morning, and all through each day, I need to stretch out my hands toward my heavenly Father. I am as weak as a baby, as a little toddler, and I need to stretch up my hands to my Papa (”Abba, Father”) and say, “Please carry me!” Graciously, lovingly, He will.

“I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land” (Psalm 143:6).

My hands need to be clean.

By my Messiah’s atoning sacrifice for me, by His blood sprinkled on the mercy seat, I am declared righteous in His sight. But my hands get dirty day by day, with the sin that I do both intentionally and unintentionally. I must wash my hands and keep them clean, just as my children wash their hands before eating and take a bath each day. “Dear Father,” I must pray, “Please forgive me. I confess my sin, and I ask you to wash my hands and make them clean again, so that my service will be pleasing to You.”

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (James 4:8).

I can lift up my hands.

When my hands are clean, I now lift them up in praise, worship, and prayer to my Father. I also bless my Father in heaven and bless others as well. When you see the phrase, “lift up your hands,” in God’s Word, picture a woman who brought her sacrifice to God’s tabernacle, has offered it and been cleansed, and now lifts her hands in thanksgiving, prayer and commitment to her King.

“My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes” (Psalm 119:48).

“Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice” Psalm 141:2).

“I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” (1 Timothy 2:8).

“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:49-51).

“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things…” (Acts 17:24-25).

“Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees” (Hebrews 12:12).

My hands can clap & Pray.

Just like most attitudes, I’ve found that when I force my body to do something (even when my heart doesn’t “feel” like it), my feelings soon follow and change for the better. When I’m discouraged, down, and depressed, I can use my hands to pray and my feelings will improve. I can also clap in praise of others, encouraging and strengthening them as well.

“O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph” (Psalm 47:1).

“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12).

My hands should not be folded too often in sleep!

“Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man” (Proverbs 6:10-11).

My hands should build my house, not pluck it down.

“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands” (Proverbs 14:1).

“By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through” (Ecclesiastes 10:18).

My hands should drop with myrrh and perfume for my husband.

“I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock” (Song of Solomon 5:5).

My hands should do as Jesus did, laying hands on others in love and mercy.

Jesus laid His hands on children in love, and that’s probably where I have the first opportunity to lay hands on others as well. Mom, a hug is one of the most valuable things you can give! Give out love with your hands at every opportunity. “Touch” is not one of my primary “love languages,” Everyone can use a touch sometimes.I need to be more like my Savior, laying hands on others in mercy and kindness.

“Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence” (Matthew 19:13-15).

“And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them” (Mark 10:16).

“Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them” (Luke 4:40).

“And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God” (Luke 13:11-13).

“And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch” (Acts 5:12).

“And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him” (Acts 28:8).

“Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:14-16).

Another purpose of hands is to pray over others . The tears drop and mingle together, I feel amazingly loved, When others pray for a purpose for me. and we are united in purpose and fellowship. Try it sometime!

“And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 9:17).

“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away” (Acts 13:2-3).

“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6).

My hands should minister to the needs of others.

“Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:34-35).

My hands should be “marked” by my obedience to my heavenly King.

I might need to explain what I mean by this last one, but it seems so significant to me. In the book of Revelation, we read much about a mark in the foreheads and hands of those who worship the Beast and of those who worship the true God. I don’t know exactly what that mark will be, but maybe it could simply be that we are “marked” in the forehead by our thoughts and then in our hands by the deeds that we do. Simply, when others watch our lives, our actions, and our deeds, they can tell if we are serving the “Beast” (this world’s system) or God.

No matter what the mark in the forehead and hands will be, I do know that my neighbors and community are watching me. Am I “marked” by obedience so that it’s very obvious whom I serve?

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4).

Earth Day Idea (Decorate a Compost Bin)

This project isn't only fun, it's great for the environment and your garden.
What you'll need:
3-5 gallon plastic storage bin with lid
Craft paint in bright colors
Foam alphabet stamps (letters C, O, M, P, S, T)
Foam leaf stamps
Clear acrylic sealer spray
Heavy-duty knife or power drill
How to make it:
Have an adult cut the following holes into the storage bin: A series of holes, about a centimeter wide and three centimeters apart, along both edges of the bin. On the bottom of the bin, cut a hole one centimeter wide and three centimeters long in two opposite corners. The compost bin will need ventilation in order to let air and moisture circulate.
Place plastic bin on its side and use the craft pain to create designs. Use bright colors to create simple flowers, stems, leaves and grass. (See photos 1, 2.)
Use your pointer finger to dot on insects with bright colors, using the end of a paint brush, dot white on either side of the finger print to make their wings.
To decorate the lid, paint each foam stamp with a good amount of paint, and press carefully but firmly onto the lid surface. Continue with each letter until your have spelled out “COMPOST”. (See photo.)
Paint leaf stamps with green paint and decorate the lid around the word “compost”.
Allow all the paint to dry.
In a well-ventilated area (preferably outdoors) spray all painted surfaces with acrylic sealer spray. Let dry. Repeat this process for a total of three times. This will help protect your painted surface form the outside elements.
Make your starter compost (instructions below) and place outside. If you are placing the bin on the porch or patio, you may want to use an extra lid cover as a drip pan.
Making Compost

Line your bin with a few inches of clean potting soil. (See photo.)You can also add dry leaves to the soil, as they are full of nutrients. Sand and small pieces of black and white newspaper will work as well.

There are many items that can be added to your bin and just as many that should be avoided. Vegetable and fruit scraps (potato and carrot peeling, apple cores, banana peels, etc) are a great addition to your compost bin. These items will add moisture so you will also need dry matter to keep the moisture level from getting too high.

Avoid meats, dairy, fish, or bones--they decompose very slowly and the smell they create will attract animals. Also no glossy magazine paper or materials from the side of the street (they might contain chemicals or other debris). For a complete list of the dos and don'ts, go to Organic Gardening's guide to composting.

Dry matter can include dry leaves, straw (not hay), grass clippings, and even sawdust from untreated wood.

Add a layer of moist matter covered by a layer of dry matter. Turn and mix (aerate) your compost bin contents every 4-5 days. If you feel heat coming from the mixture you know that your bin is working properly.

For more detailed information on composting see: You Grow Girl and Organic Gardening.

Teaching children about composting is a great way to introduce them to the magic of Mother Nature.
Composting also keeps biodegradable items out of the landfill and makes great soil to place in potted plants or in gardens.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Arbor Day Craft (Plant a Tree for Me T-Shirt)

Teach kids the importance of our natural resources and make a fun wearable t-shirt at the same time. As a society we continue to learn about the significance of planting trees, including the air that they provide and the homes they offer to animals.

What you'll need:

  • White t-shirt
  • Fabric paint: brown, pink, yellow and 4-5 shades of green
  • Small leaf foam stamp
  • Medium paintbrush
  • Small paintbrush
  • Alphabet foam stamps
  • Squeezable silver glitter 3D fabric paint
  • Cardboard

How to make it:

  1. Insert cardboard into t-shirt and place on a flat surface.
  2. Position letters on t-shirt (spelling out “Plant a Tree for Me”) before adding paint to make sure you have them where you want them.
  3. One at a time, paint alphabet stamps liberally with dark green paint and gently yet firmly press onto t-shirt. Lift straight up in the air to remove.
  4. Use a paintbrush to paint the trunk of the tree onto the t-shirt.
  5. Use different shades of green paint to add leaves all over the top of the tree.
  6. Use the small paintbrush to add two baby trees, one on each side of the large tree. Use the same paintbrush with green paint to add a few leaves to each baby tree.
  7. Use the handle end of the medium paintbrush to dot on pink flowers with yellow centers.
  8. Use the small paintbrush to add stems of the flowers and grass.
  9. Carefully outline the letters with squeezable 3D paint.
  10. T-shirt should be allowed to dry for 24 hours.


  • If you don’t have a leaf shaped stamp, use an old household sponge and cut into a simple leaf shape.
  • If you don’t have fabric paints you can use acrylic craft paint mixed with textile medium. Find textile medium at your local craft supply store and follow the instructions on the bottle.
  • Make this t-shirt and then have your child wear it and help them plant a small tree in your yard.

Earth Day Challenge: Going Green In the Laundry Room

Earth Day Challenge Idea #1

I will be posting some Earth Day Challenges this month. Here is a great one! Even if you choose just one idea, it will help our Earth that Heavenly Father has created for us. If you followed me through Spring Cleaning...You already have recipes for making Cleaners. But they also sale non-toxic cleaners in the store. Just making that switch is a good start. Here are some other ideas as well for going Green in the Laundry Room.
So what's so wrong with conventional cleaning products?

On the surface, they're great at what they do, repelling dirt, dust, and grime with nothing more than a spritz and some elbow grease. But many of these cleaners contain toxic ingredients that, while safe in small amounts, could have unknown long-term side effects—like phthalaltes, which help products hold onto fragrances, but may cause birth defects; volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which lower indoor air quality and can be connected to respiratory problems; phosphates, which break down dirt but can also affect algae when they enter the water supply; petrochemicals, or petroleum-based by-products that have been linked to cancer; and chlorine bleach, which disinfects but can cause serious health problems.

Many of these ingredients are the same compounds you are working to eliminate from your furniture, beauty routine, and laundry processes; if they don't have a place in your living room, medicine cabinet, or closet, they shouldn't be in your cleaning supplies, either.

I also recommend ditching the dryer sheets, which can be full of cancer-causing chemicals and neurotoxins such as toluene and styrene. They also break down organic fibers, shortening the life of your fabrics. Instead, toss a sachet of dried organic lavender in the dryer for a healthy, sweet scent.

Hang it out to dry
There are upward of 88 million dryers in the U.S., each emitting more than a ton of carbon dioxide per year. Because dryers uses so much energy, skipping it altogether can make a real difference. While some homeowners' associations and municipalities oppose hanging clothes out to dry, the pro-line drying movement, headed up by Right to Dry, is putting up a good defense for your right to harvest free solar energy. LineDryIt also has some solid resources for getting started, including advice on how to line-dried laundry with getting stiff clothes. Added bonus? Clothes last longer when you line dry because there's less wear and tear than when you use the dryer. Even if you choose to use the Dryer you can just damp dry clothes a little , then hang them out to dry. That way you save some energy in the Dryer.

Wear it more than once
It doesn't go for everything (unmentionables and socks come to mind), but the simplest way to cut back on your laundry's impact is to--duh!--just do less of it. Wearing your clothes more than once before tossing them in the dirty pile is the first step in greening your laundry habits. The United Nations Environment Programme crunched the numbers and discovered that you can consume up to five times less energy by wearing your jeans at least three times, washing them in cold water, and skipping the dryer or the iron.
Green Laundry: By the Numbers

* 90 percent: Amount of total energy used by a typical washing machine to heat the water; only 10 percent is used to power the motor.
* 34 million tons: Amount of carbon dioxide emissions that would be saved if every U.S. household used only cold water for washing clothes--that's nearly 8 percent of the Kyoto target for the U.S.
When the time comes to replace your Washer & Dryer
Choose an energy efficient washer. Right now they don't make an energy efficient Dryer. I guess that is hard to do. I just ordered a new energy efficient washer and dishwasher.They use less water . And have other neat features.

Day 9 (18)"She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night”

Day 9 (18)"She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night”

I love this verse, it is so affirming to me. I'm absolutely serious.

This is a verse concerning self-esteem, a woman who has the

perception that what she offers is good and has worth.

And the next part? You could interpret it on a literal level:

that the candle she produced was exceptional. But, I looked

at this somewhat differently, the candle often being

representative of a person's spirit, her spirit was not

extinguished by the darkness of negativity.

This woman has a sense of herself. Such a sense

comes from the light of her eye; read Matthew 6:22,
" The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be
single, thy whole body shall be full of light."

To “perceive” means to know from

experience. It literally means

“to taste.” She knew that her

merchandise was good because she had tasted it,

sampled it, experienced it.

“Merchandise” in this verse means

something from which she profited.

This is yet another reference to the business

that she operated. She didn’t just dabble in

this business; rather, she poured her life

into it so that it actually earned money for

her and her family. She “tasted” and

“experienced” these profits. Her

merchandise was profitable and good.

The verse states that “her candle

goeth not out by night.” Stop here!

This cannot possibly mean that she

never went to bed at night.

Nor can this mean that she went to

bed late and got up early (see verse 15),

getting very little sleep. This can’t be,

because it contradicts other portions

of God’s Word.

As in Verse 15 We see God has an important

purpose to getting enough sleep.

She has a lot to accomplish.

Light and Dark

As we take a glimpse of the dawn of time, when God made

a beautiful and perfect world, we are amazed at the handiwork

we see. I’m not a scientist, but the more I read and the more

I discover about creation, the more amazed I become.

In this article, we’re going to look at just a handful

of ways that our God designed this world for our good.

We don’t have time to look at all of them, and we

don’t even know everything about our world.

I encourage you to continue to discover more things

on your own and to share them with loved ones around you.

Let There Be Light

The very first thing God made, recorded in Genesis,

is light.

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

And God saw the light, that it was good: and God

divided the light from the darkness. And God called

the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.

And the evening and the morning were the first day."

(Genesis 1:3-5)

On the fourth day, we read about the forms that this light

took, at least as we can see it from our homes here on

planet Earth.

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament

of the heaven to divide the day from the night;

and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days,

and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament

of the heaven to give light upon the earth:

and it was so. And God made two great lights;

the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser

light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

And God set them in the firmament of the heaven

to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day

and over the night, and to divide the light from the

darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the

evening and the morning were the fourth day."

(Genesis 1:14-19)

We know God made lights in the sky that would divide

the day from the night. The sun is an obvious example of

a light that tells us it is daytime. The moon and stars are

seen best at night. The Bible calls the sun a “greater light”

and the moon a “lesser light.” Any elementary school child

understands how the moon reflects the light of the sun,

and even toddlers enjoy the stars and twinkling

lights of the

evening sky.

God lists several

purposes for


these lights.


of all, he


to divide

the day

from the night.

Secondly, he wanted

us to be aware of

time and schedules. The sun, moon, and stars have been

used since the

beginning even to make calendars filled with days, weeks,

months, and

years. The seasons are obvious by the singing of birds

or by leaves

falling off trees, but even in climates where the

weather stays the same,

we know the season by the position of constellations

in the sky.

So God set the heavenly lights in the sky to give

us light, to

“rule” over the day and the night, and to divide

the light from

the dark.

Over 6,000 years later, I can turn on all
the electric lights,
watch TV, surf the Internet, and even shop
– 24 hours a day.

Every morning, the sun still wakes up, earlier

in the summer

than it does in the winter, but it still rises predictably,

consistently, quietly. Depending on what time I went to

bed last night, I might not be aware that it rose.

Or I might notice but I’m disgusted at how early it

comes up. Doesn’t it know I need more sleep? more

dark? more quiet?

Deep inside my brain, God created a tiny gland called the

pineal gland. This tiny gland, about the size of a pea,

is responsible for producing a hormone called melatonin.

Darkness stimulates the production of melatonin,

and light tells it to stop. Melatonin is a powerful

hormone that directs our circadian rhythms and even

orchestrates our sexual development.

The retina of the eye receives light and transmits

the signals from that light to the pineal gland.

The patterns of daylight and darkness received by

the pineal gland orchestrate the production

of proper amounts of melatonin.

God said in Genesis 1 that each new day began with evening.

The Jews continue to observe this today by beginning each

day at sundown. Perhaps the custom of starting a new day

at night tells us something of the importance of darkness?

One of the purposes of melatonin is to regulate our days

and nights. Halfway through the night, melatonin


peaks, gradually falling toward dawn. Until very


in many parts of the world we would have

experienced up to

18 hours of darkness in the winter months.

Now that we’ve

become “civilized” with the invention of bright,

artificial lights,

we may only have eight or fewer hours of

darkness a night.

Night lights, bright alarm clocks, and yard

lights have all

been shown to diminish the production of

melatonin in our brains

at night.

Exposure to bright light at night, enjoyed by those

that work the night shift, has been implicated in disorders such

as cancer. Sitting in front of flashing television screens,

turning on bright lights to use the bathroom at 2 a.m. –

all of these things upset the production of melatonin in

our pineal glands.

Melatonin has many uses, beginning with the oversight
of our

metabolism. Young children produce more melatonin
than adults,

making scientists think that it plays a role in postponing

sexual development. Melatonin is a powerful anti-oxidant,

and it has been shown helpful in reducing the damage caused

by some types of Parkinson’s disease, in strengthening the

immune system, in preventing migraine headaches, and in

helping the heart beat properly. It has even been shown to

help mice live longer! Melatonin helps us dream properly,

which has been shown to keep us from going insane.

It may seem strange to begin our discussion of health

by looking at a tiny, pea-sized gland in our brains,

but it makes so much sense to begin rebuilding our

health by such a simple means. Here are some steps

you can take to allow God’s sun, moon, and stars to

rule over your

days and nights:

Turn off the
after dark. Don’t
watch TV in bed.
The same goes for
your computer.
Keep the bright,
flashing lights
to the hours
when the
“sun rules the day.”
Go to sleep as soon
as possible after dark.
Did you know that
your body recharges
itself most between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.?
Your adrenal
glands use
those night-time hours to heal and refresh from
the stresses of the day
. Your liver dumps toxins at night, but if you’re awake,
those toxins
will simply clog up the rest of your body, causing
much damage to
all your internal organs.
Sleep in total darkness. If you happen to live in a rural
area where the only outside light is from the moon
and stars,
you can feel free to open your curtains and let the
moonlight in.
The bright moonlight that comes every month has
been shown
to increase a woman’s fertility and to optimize
Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it? If you live in the
city or by
bright lights, use heavy blinds to block the
light. You
can even sleep with an eye mask to block
out light.
If you wake up to use the bathroom at
night, try keeping
the lights off. Did you know that if you
switch on a bright
light in your bathroom, you’ll turn off
melatonin production
in your brain for the remainder of that night?
A wiser course
of action would be to clean up your hallway of toy
s and clutter
and try walking in near darkness (or moonlight)
to the bathroom.
Increase your exposure to sunshine during daylight hours.
We have been taught to be afraid of the sun, yet God made
the sun for our benefit. Are you sleepy after lunch?
Try napping in your backyard. Work in your flower
beds early in the morning, as the birds are singing
and the sun is rising. Read your Bible next to a big
window each morning. Enjoy walks and picnics with
your family.
The production of melatonin in the pineal gland goes on

to affect the production of almost every hormone in the

human body. If you struggle with hormone problems

affecting your thyroid gland, your adrenal glands

(cortisol, DHEA, adrenaline, and others), your pancreas

(insulin and enzyme production), or your sexual gland

s (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and others),

please take into account your sleep habits first.

Many people attempt to simply supplement with

over-the-counter melatonin rather than change

their lifestyles. I would advise you to save your

money and try our Creator God’s method of light

and darkness first. Over-the-counter supplements

can be very powerful, and how will you know that

you are “supplementing” the correct amounts?

The God who made us loves us... and His first way

of showing that love was to give us light and dark.

Verses to Ponder:

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep:

for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

(Psalm 4:8)

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:

he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold,

he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber

nor sleep. (Psalm 121:3-4)

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late,

to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth

his beloved sleep. (Psalm 127:2)

When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea,

thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

(Proverbs 3:24)

The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he

eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich

will not suffer him to sleep. (Ecclesiastes 5:12)

Rather then she is skipping on sleep in this

verse, the idea here is that her merchandise

was of such high quality that it would last.

The picture in the Hebrew words is that her

light doesn’t get extinguished in the middle

of adversity. Her stuff is built to last! She

knows who her light is and won't let her light

and example be extinguished . Again we see

that a spirit of excellence pervades all that

she does.

So let’s summarize this woman’s business:
She has experienced the profit of her labor.
She sees real profit to others
(her family and others) from her efforts.
She sticks with it. She’s not a quitter.
She doesn’t put others at risk because of
her negligence.

Let’s get practical

How does

this affect

us in our


as godly

wives and

mothers (and possibly, as business women ourselves)?

Start at home, in the small things.His lord said
unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful
servant: thou hast been faithful over a few
things, I will make thee ruler over many
things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
(Matthew 25:21). How faithful are you
in house cleaning, laundry, parenting,
keeping promises to others, managing
your time, reading your Scriptures daily?
Discipline yourself. Excellence starts in
the details, but sometimes the details get
overwhelming. Make a to-do list, and
discipline yourself to cross off items
as you do them. Don’t allow procrastination
in yourself. (One friend shared that she
takes her to-do list to Heavenly Father
in prayer each morning, asking Him
what He wants from her time. Then
she makes sure to be obedient, since
her “marching orders” are from
the King of Kings!)
Find out what would bless others. We are
to be governed by the law of doing unto others
what we would want them do to us. We are to
love others as ourselves. Our excellence is not
to make ourselves proud; rather, it is an act of
selflessness for others. To do this, ask questions
of others. Be a good listener. What problems
could we solve by our abilities? What answers
can we give them from God’s Word? How can
our actions leave others with a taste of
God’s love?
Evaluate regularly. The Bible says that
we are to know the condition of our flocks
(Proverbs 27:23). Do you allow time in
your schedule periodically for getting
away and prayerfully evaluating your work?
Know your limits. Do you know when
to stop working? Don’t take on more
than you can really do well. I like the
law in God’s Word about putting a
balcony around your rooftop so that
others won’t accidentally fall off.
Our time and energy need a balcony,
a boundary, as well. Why?
For our own good? Not entirely.
When you do too much, you harm
others by your broken promises.
You could cause hurt to someone
else, and now your lack of discipline
has overflown into hurt to others.
We also can be a Proverbs 31 woman
as we strive to be excellent in all we do.
we must always operate with a spirit of excellence.
As believers
in our precious Savior, we must not live our lives in
a slip-shod manner,
as if what we do doesn’t really matter.
Why does excellence matter?
We are created in the image of a Creator God.
Everything He created
was “very good,” and we need to imitate Him
in our actions.
We need to follow the example of those who
are God’s servants.
If Heavenly Father thought that someone’s story
was important
enough to record for us
in the scriptures, then we need to ask why.
Our everyday work should be offered as an act
of worship to
our God. Every sacrifice to God is to be the best
we have to
offer. "I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living
sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your
reasonable service." ( Romans 12:1)
The world is watching us. Our actions reflect upon our God.
His honor and reputation are at stake in our work.
In our verse from Proverbs 31 today, we learn that she
operated with a high
standard of excellence.That is what we must do....
The Proverbs Woman
has set the example before let us go and do.

An Island of Security....A Mother at Home

Very largely does the wife hold in her hands, as a sacred trust, the happiness and the highest good of the hearts that nestle there. In the last analysis, home happiness depends on the wife.
  • Her spirit gives the home its atmosphere.
  • Her hands fashion its beauty.
  • Her heart makes its love.
And the end is so worthy, so noble, so divine, that no woman who has been called to be a wife, and has listened to the call, should consider any price too great to pay, to be . . .

the light,
the joy,
the blessing,
the inspiration,
of a home.

The woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.

A true mother is one of the holiest secrets of home happiness.

God sends many beautiful things to this world,

many noble gifts;

but no blessing is richer than that which He bestows

in a mother

who has learned love's lessons well,

and has realized something of the meaning

of her sacred calling.

~ J. R. Miller, "Secrets of Happy Home Life, 1894" ~