Welcome

This blog is about two friends, miles apart, striving to pattern our lives after the Proverbs 31 woman. Here you will find our daily journeys, whether serious, funny, practical, or inventive. Thanks for stopping by and we hope you'll stop by often!

~Lauren & Page

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wow! Do I have something to be thankful for!

Malachi 3:10 "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until there is not room enough."


Well, if this isn't how I feel right now! : )

A little background: We are in the process of building our own home. (Will post some pics in the near future.) My husband is doing this himself. Therefore, Lowe's has become like a second home to us! : )

As we are always there, the first place I always run to is the clearance section (actually, it's the first place I run to in any store!!! Its so ADDICTIVE!)! The Lord had blessed us soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much in this area of our lives! You wouldn't believe how many times we have gone to Lowe's (and plenty of other places) with a need, and found it there for a fraction of the cost on clearance! I could write a million posts just on this subject (and will write plenty more as we progress!).

So my very first post on the subject couldn't have came at a better time, as I was waiting to be shown what to write about for my "Thankful Thursday"!

So, finally, the story: Last night, after church, we made our regular Lowe's run to pick up some needed electrical items. As I said before, the first place I hit was the clearance! You wouldn't believe the things on sale! (*HE HE HE*)

To make this long story short, we ended up purchasing over $500 worth of products, (anything from curtains for our new home to paint to wood stain) for just $82!!!!!!!!!

I am so thankful for the Lord's blessings on us. God not only grants our needs, but He also cares for our wants. GOD IS SO GOOD! And I will be singing His Praises and Wonders all that I can!

Thank you, Lord! I could never express how deeply grateful I am for Your Grace and Mercy! Thank you for saving me and letting me be apart of Your Amazing Wonders!

I love You, Father!

~Page



Sauce for that SUSHI! Spicy Mayo!


This stuff is not only beautiful and rich in color, it tastes wonderful!

Ok, so after reading
Lauren's sushi post, I had a craving like "it twern't nobody's business"!! Scott and I both love California rolls! So, we were off to Wally World to pick up the ingredients we needed to get the job done! : )

Now, for most "sushi purists", I'm sure that spicy mayo in a no-no... but, for some of us--its just the cherry on top!

So here's the quick, and very yummy, recipe:

*1 Tbs of Real Mayo

*1 tsp of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
(So good! Found mine at Walmart! (Pictured Above))

*Splash of Lemon Juice

*Pinch of Sugar or Stevia

All of these ingredients should be added/subtracted to your taste. This is just a general guide!



Just mix well, and serve in a cute dipping dish!

Enjoy!

~Page

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

SUSHI!!!!!!!

Proverbs 31:14 "She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar."




Ahh, sushi - you either love it or hate it. For me and my husband, it's true love and we look forward to eating it every chance we get!

A skilled Japanese sushi chef creates sashimi and sushi rolls that are beautiful, artistic and did I mention, DELICIOUS!?!? However, when you go to indulge in this exotic delicacy, you can expect to pay a price that is far from appetizing.

So with all that said, I am including a "How to make your own Sushi" post for those of you daring enough to try it!

Before I go much further, I can already hear those of you saying - Eeek, ewww, bleck, gag, raw fish! First, let me first say "
bunch of wimps!!" haha! Ok, now I feel better, let me define the terms below and clarify that this "how to" post shows you how to make the classic California Roll, containing NO RAW fish. Just a side note though, raw fish is incredibly delicate, and fabulously scrumptious. Have an open mind and try it sometime, it is our favorite!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Definitions:
Sashimi- It primarily consists of very fresh raw seafood, sliced into thin pieces (the key is VERY FRESH)
Sushi- is a Japanese dish consisting of cooked vinegar rice which is commonly topped with other ingredients, such as fish or other seafood,
or put into rolls.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So now that I've put your mind at ease knowing that the following recipe contains NO RAW fish, we can proceed.

~Ingredients~
-Seaweed sheets - (you'll find at your local Asian store, Wal-mart, most major grocery stores)
-Sushi Rice vinegar
-Sushi Rice - (sold at most grocery stores, must be a sticky rice)
-Cucumber x 1
-Avocado x 2
-Imitation crab meat
-Sesame seeds- toasted

~Once you've found these ingredients, the rest of the process is quite easy. It just takes some practice. Cook your rice according to the directions (be sure to rinse your rice several times first as it removes excess starch)Once it's cooked, add your sushi vinegar to taste -(if you can't find it, just buy rice vinegar and add some granulated sugar - again, this is to taste). Add your toasted sesame seeds to the rice, they will give it texture and an added dimension.

Julienne (long strips) the cucumber, slice the avocado and cut your crab into smaller strips.
Heat a small skillet on low and quickly place seaweed paper in it quickly on both sides to allow it to become more supple (do this very quickly, just to lightly heat the paper).


Next, take the seaweed and spread some rice on one half, and line up the veggies & crab. This part is fun, do it however you want to - if you want more rice or filling, make it accordingly. This is YOUR sushi!


Proceed to roll, gently squeezing as you go to keep the roll intact. Gently cut with sharp, serrated knife.


Garnish with pickled sushi ginger, spicy wasabi paste, and good soy sauce. (these should be easily found at most grocery stores)

This last step is my favorite - EAT IT! :-D Hope you've enjoyed this very informative post on my favorite food! Now I feel like eating Sushi....at midnight. haha!


~Lauren

Monday, July 26, 2010

Homemade Deodorant... That Works!!

13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

"Lord, by this time he stinketh" John 11:39


Bwa ha ha ha ha!! That has to be one of my most favorite verses in the Bible! "But Lord, he stinks!" : ) The story is truly amazing. Our Lord, Almighty, raising a man from dead! Wow!! But even as amazing as it was--I'm sure no one was running to give Lazarus a hug when he came walking out!! No one appreciates a rotten, yucky stench... Hence, the following (ha ha!!):

Ok, I know that most of you were raising an eyebrow from the second you saw the title. "Homemade Deo??" Yes! Just keep reading! It will be worth your while... : )

A few details: I have been searching for an all natural deodorant for a while now. As with anything else, get on the internet for 2 seconds and you can find all sorts of conflicting research about the topic . But as for me, I personally think the less chemical junk we use in our homes and on ourselves, the better.

I have purchased a few all natural deos in the past, and THEY NEVER WORK! So frustrating! I think a lot of natural products get the rep of not working... I'm sure a lot of you have seen or tried some "all natural miracle" products, and been extremely disappointed. (I HAVE!!!) But, I still know that there are products out there that are really great, all natural, and most of the time work better for less $$$$. So, I kept searching...

And... I found it!

Thank you, Lord, for meeting this want for me! : )

After much searching, I came across a blog that had a recipe for this homemade wonder product.

This stuff works great! Trust me... It has been used for general use, work outs, and even a trip to Dollywood on the hottest day of the summer to date!! And since I refuse to "stinketh", this was perfect for the job! : )

So, here's the ingredients (for my modified version):


So, of course, I would leave the sea salt out of the picture... But you get the idea. : )

1/4 c. baking soda
1/4 c. of arrowroot powder*
4 Tbs. of coconut oil
10-15 drops of the essential oil of your choice**
a pinch or two of fine sea salt***

*As you can read from the original recipe , cornstarch can also be used in place of the arrowroot powder (found in most health food, gluten free, or organic based stores), but this can lead to yeast infections. It is worth your while to purchase the arrowroot powder.


**For the essential oils, I used 10 drops of tea tree oil and 5 drops of lavender. Both of these oils have antibacterial properties (bacteria being the cause of the sweat odor). But there are many other oils and combinations of oils that you can use to suit yourself! That is another great thing about this product!! : )

***I added the bit of sea salt after reading somewhere that salt makes an unfriendly home for the offending bacteria. Some natural deos are nothing but a block of salt!


Just take these ingredients and mix them well in a container with an air tight lid. Store at room temperature.



To apply, just scoop out a tiny dollop on your finger and rub it in.

The consistency is just like a store bought deodorant at room temp. And this costs the same or less (depending on what brands you use) as many other deos!

And that's it!

I really love this stuff and intend to stick with it. It's just what I was looking for: all natural, good for me, and does the job well!! God calls us to take care of our bodies, and this is just a small thing I can do to fulfill this calling.

Try it out and let me know what you think!!

~Page


1 Corinthians 6:19-20

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."



The Angels Rejoice!


Luke 15:10 "Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
"

I love this verse above and am thrilled that my dear friend was saved last night at church!! What a wonderful way to start off the week - she's forgiven of her sin and heaven bound! I'm so excited for her and am thankful for this answer to prayer! The angels are rejoicing in heaven!

I'm reminded and ever thankful for what the Lord has done in my life! I'm absolutely overjoyed to have experienced the saving grace of Jesus Christ through His precious blood that was shed on the cross for me. I'm forgiven of my sins, and have a personal relationship with my Saviour! I don't deserve His amazing grace, but am forever grateful for it!

Do you know that your sins are forgiven? Do you know where you will spend eternity? These are the ultimate Q's of life and serious issues that we all must have answers to! The Bible has ALL the answers, seek the Lord while He may be found!

~Lauren

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Spectacular Prayer

Col 1: 9-14 "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:"

I came across this prayer, while searching The Word for some encouragement. As afore mentioned, there has been hardship in my family, which is seemingly ever growing right now... But I know that God is SO MUCH BIGGER than any problem I'm facing.

I found these verses to be so powerful ("powerful" not even being the half of describing His Word). Just read them; let them sink in. Think about this prayer.

This prayer covers so many aspects of the Christian life:

*Never ceasing in your prayers
*Gaining wisdom and spiritual knowledge
*Being fruitful
*Growing in His strength
*Learning patience and joy in your longsuffering
*Remembering the phenomenal sacrifice paid for us on Calvary
*Realizing that the battle is won--we will be partakers in the heavenly inheritance, because of redemption through the blood and His ever forgiving of our sins!!

Whew! This prayer is so amazing to me. I have decided to start using this prayer for others and myself--to gain these wonderful things in our lives!

1 John 5:14-15 says "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."

God answers prayers. He is a wonderful, merciful, and astounding God. He has saved me from hell, and I will be bounding in "the inheritance of the saints" one day!!!!

I would like to challenge you to pray this prayer. Watch what God will do. Let Him and His Word do a marvelous and miraculous work in you.

Acts 16:31 says "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."

Also Romans 5:8 says "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us".

I want you to know that He cares for you; He can and will save you. He loves you so much!

Look to Him. Prov. 3:5 "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

God will lead you if you let Him. He will reveal the truth to you, and fill your heart if you let Him. Please let Him.

Thank you, Lord, for all that you have done for me. Thank you for Your Word and how it reaches me. You're the best!

~Page

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So much TO DO!

Proverbs 31:17 "She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms."



I have found that if I do not make a daily "To Do List", I am not nearly as productive with my household responsibilities. I often jokingly refer to it as "Housework ADD". How many of you can relate?? Please tell me that I'm not the only one that suffers from this??.....

Thankfully, I've found that the solution is to start my day off with the Lord, create my daily To-Do list and then start checking off each item (I find great satisfaction in checking off each task)!! A weekly chore schedule has also proven to be invaluable for me, for there is just NO way that you can accomplish EVERYTHING in one day (trust me, I've tried). :-D

We all stay busy, but the infamous "To Do List" can be your best friend! Try it out! With this being said, enjoy the little story below, I believe you'll get a laugh!

I'm off to keep checking things off my list!

~Lauren

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


IF YOU GIVE A MOM A MUFFIN...

If you give a mom a muffin,
She'll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
She'll pour herself some.
Her three-year-old will spill the coffee.
She'll wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she'll find dirty socks.
She'll remember she has to do laundry.
When she puts the laundry in the washer,
She'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan for supper.
She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She'll look for her cookbook ("101 Things To Do With a Pound of Hamburger").
The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow.
She will look for her checkbook.
The check book is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two-year-old.
She'll smell something funny.
She'll change the two year old's diaper.
While she is changing the diaper, the phone will ring.
Her five-year-old will answer and hang up.
She'll remember she wants to phone a friend for coffee.
Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup.
And chances are...
If she has a cup of coffee,
Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

THE STORY OF OUR LIVES!!!!!

Written by Kathy Fictorie

Monday, July 19, 2010

Like a needle in a haystack....

Matthew 10:29-31 "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."

I debated on what to write about for this "Monday Meditation", I had a couple of thoughts rolling around, but it wasn't until tonight that it hit me.


Let me preface it with this short story - We went driving to find a vast canola field full of beautiful yellow flowers, proceeded with a mini photo shoot, and while doing so, my sister's gold and ruby ring slipped off of her finger. The saying "Like a needle in a haystack" never rang so true! I immediately prayed aloud, asking the Lord to help us find the cherished ring. My husband, brother, sister, and myself were all searching. How would we ever find this small gold ring among these dense, waist-high plants??


We reluctantly decided to call it quits, with the thought to try the next morning, after scrutinizing the entire area. I was just about to stand up after crawling around searching, when I spotted it right next to my husband's shoe!!! I can assure you that it was ONLY the Lord that led us to that tiny ring!! It was a reminder of so many things, several being ~ God hears and answers prayer, He cares about the "smallest things"(all we have to do is ask), and there is NOTHING too hard for Him!

I love the verses above and find myself in awe that the Creator of the world cares about us enough to number the very hairs on our head! He knows what we're going through and best of all- He CARES!!


Be encouraged and reminded of the golden ring in the canola field. :-)

~Lauren

Thursday, July 15, 2010

~Making Time~

Proverbs 31:28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.




I've certainly been busy these past few weeks, and I'm sure that you can relate! I enjoy the various activities I'm involved with, and am grateful for my many hobbies. However, something that I'm realizing more and more is that you MUST make time for the important things in life. We could seriously stay busy doing things 24-7. I seem to always have housework to do, a meal to fix, pictures to edit, jewelry to make, the list goes on and on- a woman's work is NEVER done. :-)
I have to ask the following questions though -How many of us go throughout each day without even stopping to read our Bible and spend time with our Lord? How many of us get so wrapped up in our daily chores that we forget to show our spouse and children how much we love them? I think we are all guilty of neglecting the important things from time to time.
This past week I've had my sister, Heidi, and brother Silas out here visiting. We've had a good time, but I can tell you that I haven't been getting as much done. I haven't made jewelry, hardly cleaned house (I'm planning to put them to work though-shhh!), edited pictures, practiced piano, etc. It's easy to get somewhat frantic thinking that you're getting behind on everything. I had to stop and realize that I'm making time for my family. They are SO much more important than anyTHING I can do. Cultivating relationships with family will always be more worthwhile. So what if you get behind on a few household chores (just do what I'm going to do and put your family to work!-muahaha)
In all seriousness, MAKING TIME for our Lord, family and others is what life is all about.
The verse below causes me to always re-examine how wisely I'm spending the time that the Lord has given me.

James 4:14 "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."


"Only one life, so soon will pass, only what's done for Christ will last."
Focus on the eternal, for the here and now is so temporal. Do you know for sure you're saved by the blood of Jesus Christ? Are your sins forgiven? Do you know where YOU will spend eternity?
If you are indeed saved - are you becoming too wrapped up with your day to day schedule? Have you taken time to let your spouse know how much you appreciate them? Have you stopped to hug and cherish your children?
When we MAKE TIME for what is truly important, we'll be amazed how the other things will just fall into place.

I'm filled with thankfulness for my wonderful husband, and family that the Lord has blessed me with!

~Lauren

Monday, July 12, 2010

The BIG Reveal! Happy Birthday, Son!

18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

As I mentioned in a previous post (here), my husband and I (mainly my hubby!) have been working on a special present for my son's birthday!

Here he is! Such a cutie! It's so hard to believe that he is already 2! Raising a child gives new meaning to the phrase "time flies when you're having fun". Ok, I could talk about my kiddo endlessly, but I better get back to the surprise... : )

I'm not sure if anyone has priced play sets for children, particularly the wooden ones... but the best way to describe them is as follows: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
No joke. It is more than ridiculous how much these things are!

For those of you who don't know, we are in the process of building a home, (which my awesome husband is doing by himself!), so we don't have any excess $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ to buy a nice play set for our son... Ok--we can't afford the el-cheapo either (ha!), but that is what this blog is all about! Using our God-given gifts and talents to create wonderful things, all while being a good steward with what we have been given!

So here is what we did:


My husband has a sawmill. Yes, a sawmill. Someday I'll expound more on what that is like, but today--is just about the play set. My husband took some trees from our property and cut most of the wood for the play set. A 4x4 alone from Lowe's costs around $17, which we needed six of! Savings galore with the sawmill!







Here I would like to point out that one of my husbands God-given talents is
building. He can build ANYTHING.

Sorry ladies. This one is TAKEN! : )







Here's another progression pic...

Scott, my husband, designed and built this from the ground up. The slide was a steal of a deal found on Craig's List.






The metal roof was made from scrap pieces from our home. The swing was given to us. Blessing after blessing. Our God truly does bless, and also meets our wants as well.


The final product! Thank you, Lord!
What is left is the other swing and the sandbox (still in progress). Will post when finished!

We were able to save a ton of money by putting this together ourselves. (I helped! Really! Painting and Craig's List counts!! Ha ha!)


And here was the best part!






Isaac's reaction to seeing his birthday present! This was his ever growing smile from the second he came around the corner with Daddy! So worth it!!












Our little climber!



He had so much fun!





















And so did we!

Thank you, Scott. You're a wonderful husband, father, and a great craftsman!

Happy birthday, son! You're an awesome kid and I'm looking forward to watching you grow!



~Page

Being Content

Phil 4:11 "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." KJV or "Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am." AMP

Isn't it wonderful when God speaks to us? When Lauren and I designed this "Monday Meditations" page, we were looking for a way to share what the Lord had laid on our hearts the past week. This week, I experienced a deep, personal tragedy in my family. I was feeling very low and very upset. I was praying for Him to speak to me. And, as He always does, He did speak to me! Thank you, Lord!

During sunday school, while having all sorts of things rolling around in my mind, Bro. Rich Daniels (a very Godly man, who I truly believe is led by the Lord in our class) was prompted to spend a moment on the verse listed above, Phil 4:11. I knew instantly this was God trying to tell me how to deal with this tragedy, how to cope with the hurt.

Being content is certainly not an easy task, particularly when things are going on around us that leave us troubled, worried, cast down, or in despair. In this verse, the word "content" is a Greek term meaning "to be self-sufficient, to be satisfied, to have enough." It indicates an established independence, a lack of necessity for aid or help. I want to make very clear that it DOES NOT mean that you "don't care" when something happens; it does not call for passionless, frigid carelessness. God created us to have deep emotions and feelings. To "not care" in the face of trouble is not how our Father wants us to be. We, as saved-by-His-wonderful-grace christians, are to be full of His Spirit, His love, His purpose. When we are full of Him, being who He wants us to be, and continually looking to Him, He will fill our need. We will be "satisfied" in Him, we will "have enough" to get through.

I am looking to Him as I go through this valley. I will rely on Him, pray to Him, and let Him work His wonders in me and through me. I am still learning "in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content", but God will satisfy this need in me, and I will be stronger and closer to Him for it!

Thank you, Lord. I love You.

~Page