I got this idea from a magazine years ago, and love it. So in keeping with my more practical posting, here it is:
Get a large box of powdered laundry detergent, like Cheer, and empty it’s contents (I put it in a rubbermaid and use it). You may want to stuff the empty box with newspaper for a day or two to get the strong smell out of it. Write a little card that says something like, “just CHEER-ing you on in your roles as wife and mother!” Then fill the box with goodies like your friend’s favorite candy, bath stuff, a walking video, the book Stepping Heavenward, and a card with some encouragement in it, maybe gift certificate to a restaurant for her and her husband to have a date night. Give it to a friend who maybe needs a little cheering on.
You can be creative with this. Maybe somebody needs cheering up because she’s been sick or had something difficult happen. Fill it with a jar of soup, or other comfort food, maybe some bath stuff and a candle. You could use the detergent “GAIN” and do a little “that I might GAIN Christ” theme with books or teachings centered around Him. Maybe you could do TIDE and draw a black circle with a line through it for a graduation present or to encourage a teen. It could have a “going against the TIDE” theme and include a devotional, maybe “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by Joshua Harris, the teaching series from Cov. Life called “In the World, But Not of the World”. Be sure to include gum, candy, maybe a bracelet, etc.
I think it’s a fun way to encourage others. It can be elaborate or simple; expensive or inexpensive. The memorable part is the laundry detergent box and the theme you choose to go with it.
Any other ideas using various laundry box themes?
Continuing with my annoying “Hints from Heloise” mode, I thought I’d pass on my new favorite, can’t go wrong summer dessert.
I don’t know what it’s called. If you come up with a name, please post it.
1 small cool whip thawed
2 cups softened vanilla ice-cream
1 packet of peach jello powder*
4 cups of pound cake cut in cubes
Mix together cool whip, ice-cream, and peach jello.
Stir in pound cake cubes
pour into casserole dish (or whatever)
freeze (at least three hours)
Serve with peach slice on top (or nothing on top, like I did on Father’s Day… still yummy!)
*I might try strawberry or raspberry jello next time.
I am excited to announce, if you don’t already know, a new blog that I anticipate will be the source of much encouragement. Carolyn Mahaney (more on her later) and her three daughters started a blog today called Girl Talk (girltalk.blogs.com). I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to sitting in on conversations at the Mahaney’s “kitchen table” and the wisdom we will glean from a lady who has lived the books and teachings she has written. Leave here now… go there!!!!
p.s. I am trying to talk my own mother into blogging. She doesn’t think she can write, but I can help her there. Will you join me in my campaign to persuade her to share her own wisdom via blog? email@example.com
Yet later in life than some,
He took his tools in hand
And pulling out the blue print
He sought to understand
Just how to build a family
When starting at square one.
He looked around at other’s houses
To see what they had done.
Most hadn’t any bricks yet.
Some hadn’t any tools.
The few who did begin to build
All followed different rules.
Turning a moment from “how” to build
He decided to look for “where”
And in “The City of the Lord”*
He said, “I am building there!”
Then he opened up the Bible
He hammered out the Word.
And iron sharpened iron,
He applied what he had heard.
He brought in other experts.
He brought in other hands.
He humbly made corrections
In keeping with the plans.
As year gave way to year
The wise man’s house emerged,
Built first upon the rock of Christ
Then built into the church.
We know unless the Lord would build
The house, the work is vain;
And we are grateful for the grace
God gave that did sustain.
We’re grateful our dad labored hard
And kept his tools so sharp.
We’re grateful for his vision,
And the passion in his heart.
We still hear the hammering
And nailing by the one
Who we believe will one day hear
His Father say, “Well done.”
I love you, Dad.
*City of the Lord was the original name of our church which my dad now pastors.
These are some quick and easy recipes for summer cooking (who wants to be in a hot kitchen when the outdoors beckons?).
My mother’s famous crock pot roast
(this is one she makes when the whole family comes over after church – we love it!)
A can of cream of mush. (chicken/ celery if you have non-mushroomers) soup
One packet of lipton onion soup mix.
Put the roast in first, cover with can of soup, sprinkle with powder soup, set on low, let it cook 6-8 hours.
*add chopped potatoes, carrots and onions for a yummy side dish
Linda Young’s honey mustard chicken
1. cut up chicken breast (we do bite size – easier with the kids) and cook in a chef’s pan
2. combine cream of chicken soup, honey, and mustard (we like it sweet, but you tweak the flavour however your family likes it).
3. add honey mustard to chicken pieces, heat through.
4. serve over rice (we use $.99 minute rice from Aldi’s)
1. cook boneless country-style spare ribs to death in your slow cooker (cheap at B.J’s) (6-8 hours on low)
2. shred the meat with two forks
3. let the family pick from an array of bbq sauces (or just put your choice on it)
4. Serve on a bun
*note: this is a great after church on Sunday meal (my sister brought the idea back home to me after she ate this at a gal’s house in Florida after visiting her church)
Easy Italian Chicken
1. Put 4 chicken breasts in a pan
2. Cover with canned spaghetti sauce
3. bake till chicken is cooked (45 minutes at 350?)
4. add mozerella on top; melt it
5. serve with/ over pasta
Easy Mexican Chicken
Do the same as above but instead of spaghetti sauce, mozerella, and pasta… make it salsa, cheddar/ monterey jack, and rice
I would love to hear your favorite “throw it together” meal. Post away my bloggin’ buddies.
What is blanket time? It is a survival technique I employ for that time of the day when we all need a break from each other (late afternoon for my family) particularly helpful for post-nap-age children. It is not an original idea; I heard about it from my sister-in-law, Abby, who heard about it from some lady somewhere whom I wish I could kiss square on the lips!
Here’s how it works: Each of my children have a blanket (blue nascar blanket from Gabrielle brothers; Hello Kitty for Mag.) that they spread on the floor in different rooms of the house. They each bring something to play with. This would include maybe legos, army men with blocks, puzzles, and adventure sets (I keep their adventure play sets in laundry baskets so they can carry them from room to room easily. Also, they are easier to clean up. If you’re wondering what I mean by adventure set: Imaginext castle, Fisher price Robin Hood tree house, Western Town, etc.) In other words, they need to choose something that can keep them entertained for a while. I usually give them a crumb-free snack (fruit snacks, grapes, apples, cheerios), a spill proof sports bottle with H2O or juice, and maybe put on music if it is available in the room they chose. Blanket time lasts about an hour, but you may want to start shorter. (a timer/ clock helps so they don’t keep asking, “is it over yet?”).
In case you are wondering, my children gave me trouble about this when I first instituted it. They still do grumble at times. But all in all, once they get playing, they enjoy being quiet and alone. And I can get dinner ready, organize the junk drawer, take a short nap, read, listen to a teaching tape, or whatever else I used to do during nap time.
Just thought I’d pass it on. Anybody else have a practical “survival” technique?
Psalms 62:11-12 (ESV) 11 Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, 12 and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love (mercy in some translations). For you will render to a man according to his work.
“This looks rather like justice than mercy; but if we understand it to mean that God graciously rewards the poor, imperfect works of His people, we see in it a clear display of mercy. May it not also mean that according to the work He allots us is the strength which He renders to us? He is not a hard master, but metes out for us strength equal for our day. In either meaning we have the power and mercy blended, and have a double reason for waiting upon God.”
– Charles Spurgeon (Commentary on Psalms volume 1, pg. 255)