About Me

My photo
Saint Joseph, MO, United States
I'm a stay at home Mom of two children and I have the unique privilege of being able to homeschool both of them. I am a stepmother to two older daughters one who is going to college. I enjoy shopping, baking, cooking, cleaning, organizing, running, clowning, making soap, playing piano and lately painting with ASCP paint! I am learning to enjoy the little things in life and make the most of it...clinging to my Savior through the tears that life brings and enjoying his GRACE He gives us every day! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cause For Pause

Bad news comes when you least expect it.  I guess that is what is so cruel about bad news...it catches you off guard.  It comes when your enjoying life..sipping coffee, driving in a routine route, comes when you are just trying to figure out how you are going to get everything that needs to be done...done...then SMACK! It's almost as if the universe is laughing at me...of course I know who controls the universe and know that this all has passed through my Father's hand...and He has ALLOWED it to come to me.

I was given a cause for pause the other day from my doctor...they have to run another test in April to see how it all shakes out...she told me not to worry...not to freak out....not to lose sleep....and most days I don't....most days....I forget....almost.   As a mother what worries more than anything else is leaving my children on this earth without me...or they leaving me on this earth without them.  There are times that I am completely shaken to my core and not able to let it go...not able to give it to the Savior.  I'm like a small child clutching something that I cannot control...but still...I hold...I beg...I worry....I pray...and when I'm done praying....peace comes...and I can rest.

After I let the peace wash over me...which took a bit of time of SHEER PANIC....I decided to enjoy life more.....get in more playtime...more projects that I enjoy....but WHY does it always seem to take something SERIOUS to wake us up to that? Why does it take the possibility of a disease to wake my spirit to seeing what's really important...instead of trying to check off my checklist everyday.  Why do I find myself worrying about how clean the floor is and the dust...etc? Why does it seem that we go through life and watch all the people close to us and their trials and when something shakes our dear friends....it wakes us up...but then....life returns to normal....and so do our habits...and then we are BACK again...the same routine....the same spirit of mundane?

This thought keeps plaguing me again and again....lets say this test comes back normal...what then? Will I go back to my normal way of thinking....or will I decide to live my days to the fullest?  More twirling with my E...more painting...more playing games with my T....more walks with my children...more talking to them about just whatever...more, more, more....TIME.  So, for now and hopefully a long, long time from now....I'm trying to take the TIME for the things that matter most.  Oh don't worry....my house is clean...but not so clean that if you looked hard you wouldn't find dirt...and lately I've been hitting the "refresh" button on the dryer...



 We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  Rom 8:28

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cranberry Fig Tri Colored Soap

I LOVE making soap.  We women need to take care of ourselves and do a little pampering once in awhile.  Perhaps that is why I so love making homemade lip balms and lavender soap and now my newest creation Cranberry Fig Tri Colored Soap.

I first made a batch of soap using natural ingredients: palm oil, coconut oil, olive oil, palm kernel flakes, almond oil, fragrance, and of course the dye that makes the colors....to get a big fat, juicy, fantastic bar of soap.

I greatly enjoyed getting to use my brand new soap mold....and I have to say that there will never be a time I stray from freezer paper...which by the way....is hard to find!

This batch of soap made a five lb loaf of soap...now that's a bar of soap!



 Because the process of soap making this time involved a funnel and separating the batch of soap into three different colors, this by far will probably be my most difficult soap I have made so far...but the results make me want to try it again.....I can't wait to be able for you to experience it as well!

My lavender soap and lip balm are now available for sale....see my facebook page Homemade Soap Suds which will give you the prices.  My cranberry fig sale will be ready to offer to you in four more weeks! Have a GREAT day!

For a complete guide to soap making...I get all supplies from www.brambleberry.com which is where I got this particular recipe.  I also have a quick tutorial on soap making at the link http://jme71-loudsilence.blogspot.com/2011/11/cold-process-soap-making.html and another link at http://jme71-loudsilence.blogspot.com/2012/01/homemade-lavender-soap.html  I can't wait to try a new gardeners soap soon! Have a marvelous day!










Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Feeding The Birds

Ok....I'm just gonna come right out and be honest....I do not like birds.  Yes, I said it.  However, my E does and she likes to watch them out our kitchen window...so I saw this little project and thought...Hey....lets give it a shot.  Messy bird food in my kitchen....that sounds like fun...and after the homemade sun catchers...could we really do worse??????

So, my poor E....so excited...Mommy has all the materials needed...ready to follow directions and make sure we make this amazing...oh yeah...see the excitement in her little face...mixing and making a mess...two of her very favorite things...and it all will just vacuum right up...or call the dog in...for some reason our bassett likes bird food...oh well:)


So, to help you all become better mommies than me...let me tell you what to NOT do!

First of all, you must line your cookie sheet with wax paper! This I did do...that's a pretty easy one to remember thank you!

Second, you must use ALL the ingredients....works a bit better that way...and you must use them in the ORDER that I write this down for you!

1. Use 3/4 cup flour---I did this
2.  Use 3 tbl corn syrup--I did this
3.  Use 1/2 cup water--this is the crucial element I neglected to use...major BUMMER! CAuse I couldn't figure out WHAT I did wrong AFTER we were done!
4.  4 cups of Bird Food

Have your little darling put the mixture in the cookie cutters and smash done...which my E actually kind of freaked out about that it was getting stuck to her hand...what can I say she's a bit like her MOmmy....I guess...her brother did it to when he was that age....threw a screaming fit about bubbles in his bathtub..."THEY ARE TOUCHING ME!!!" Yes, kind of the point son...but I never made that mistake again I assure you.  Now that he's twelve and I just made that public I probably just got back at him:)

So, today, when I took them out of the cookie molds some of them fell apart...sniff....sniff...so I hurried outside and decided to stick the ones that I could on the outside of the bird feeder so that my E could see the shapes...yeah...did you know that these are supposed to be kind of like ornaments hanging from trees...but we don't have a tree (we paid 900 bucks to have the poor, dead thing removed) not sure if my crying was the 900 bucks or the poor huge tree...still both were sad.  ANYWAY, use a straw to make the holes before they dry and then you can hang them. 

One would think I would have noticed...don't these look a LITTLE parched?????




Yes, there is a big huge spiderweb on my bird feeder...I realize that...but it was cold outside and I didn't want to take the time to remove it...plus I was afraid that my E would see what I was doing and I didn't want to have to tell her that Mommy didn't follow the directions and had to put most of our gorgeous (well, potentially) gorgeous ornaments in the bird feeder....see the bird feed inside the bird feeder aka the ornaments that crumbled!

So, why do you ask that I showed you my failures? Well, those of you that know me...know I'm just keeping it real....cobwebs and all.  There are days I got it all together...and there are days....I forget to add the "water." BUT, yes I know you should NOT start a sentence with BUT...however, I get back up again...and start all over. 

We will def try this again...great idea and can't wait to ADD the water:)

Have a GREAT day!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Big Changes Are Coming Our Way

How do you react with change? I like a routine...I like things the way they have been and want them to always be that way...but with change...good things come to...like new babies and new marriages, like new recipes and new friends...but...then there are the sad things of change. 

I remember when I was little...my sister and I driving from our christian school all the way home to our house out in the country (it was a 45 min drive) I remember talking to my Dad and my sister about his day.  I remember him telling me to look in his lunchbox and I would open it and there would be  balloon apple or a candy bar...I remember the smell of his lunchbox, the grey banged up box that he took every day for longer than I have walked on this earth.  I remember his big hands...how small my hands looked next to his big hands...how small they still look.  As the youngest of my five sisters...I don't remember my Father being "young and spry" but I do remember his hands...and always will.  I remember how they could open jars that try as I might I couldn't open, nor could my Mom or my sister...but with barely trying he could.  I remember how he could build anything with those hands.  I remember how he knew just what to do for any project, for any house repair...and to this day...I usually pick up the phone first to call Dad to ask him what I should do.  Lately though....I see him not as strong as he once was....I see his health failing...I see him trying to sell his big house, with his huge lot...he sees it coming...life....not that his life is over...just changing....scaling back...taking it easy...how hard would that be to do?

I see change coming with my husband's Mom...her health is failing...she says funny things that my children look at me and question...she tells me about the flowers her husband sent (he's been gone for 9 years...and I know we sent them for Christmas).  Then she will look at me and ask when Trey got glasses (they are fairly new he got them late summer).  Then she will ask me the same question every five minutes...while I smile...look at her...and repeat myself again.  Why does time have to be so cruel? Why do things and people and life have to change?

I see the girl who was nine when I first married her father...now 17...now trying to decide what college she should go to.  I see her sister just 7 when I married her father...and she might be old enough to drive soon if we let her.  My son...now towers over me...says he can't get over how much taller he is than me...and my baby girl....almost five...knows all her letters now trying to learn all the sounds so that she can read...and I want to just freeze time...and I can't....I can't stop the passage of time.  Like a cold wind blowing on a grey afternoon Missouri day.  I would walk out in the snow and watch our horses run..trying to rid myself of the sadness that filled my young soul...oh how the cold of winter bore through to my soul...I could feel the ache even then...could feel the chill even then as a small child.

I feel change coming...and I don't like it..perhaps its because its uncertain...feels scary...unorganized...feels like I'm not in control....

I'm trying to hold onto the faith that God is in control of all that is going on in my life and those around me....all of those who have said good bye to their family members just this week.  A mother who loses her unborn child, a daughter her buries her mother, a brother that buries his sister, a wife who buries her husband....and those of us who are left behind...to deal with the change.  Change requires faith...it requires taking it and receiving it and saying it is good...it is well....even though I don't understand it  God, don't like it God...I accept the path...the new path you have for me....and it is well.

Today, I found this picture of my E...and I cannot get over how quickly time has passed...

So for all the changes going on...I like to continue to meditate on this verse I have heard a million times!

"For I know the plans I have for you, "declars the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

For It is Well...and my favorite part of that song...that I pay on my piano quite frequently...trying to get the nerve to play it again for my church..."the clouds be rolled back as a scroll, the trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend...even so, it is well with my soul."   NO matter what change may come...It is Well Lord...It is Well.

Homemade Lip Balm

Hope you all had a great weekend! I for one did until...yesterday...I woke up with my head splitting and my leg hurting and today...my head is still throbbing but not splitting.  I did however accomplish some organizing goals and managed to make my own lip balm....which I ADORE!

I will be having some of my friends test it to see how they like it...I used beeswax, coconut oil and honey with some essential oil that can be used on body products...its important that you don't use essential oils that are made for candles in your soap and beauty products....not a good idea!

Hope you all have a GREAT day...this week I will be making a tri colored soap and a different lip balm!

 You could use lipstick to color it...but I like the white look to it!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ribbon Trees

I of course saw this on Pinterest and did a wreath and now I finally decided that I better get a move on in getting these ready for our store for Valentines Day because if I didn't do it soon there would be no point to it! I have always loved topiary trees...if you don't believe me ask my college roomie...she will tell you for SURE! Anyway, very simple to make...for the tutorial on that you can look at my previous post http://jme71-loudsilence.blogspot.com/2012/01/ribbon-wreath.html

The ribbon wreath to me took much longer (obviously) and this one was a bit more fun.  I took two plain clay pots and spray painted...I wanted them pink because I will probably use the same pots for Easter in my store and buy new trees and then for 4th of July change them up entirely.  To me...its something cute that will "fit" in our store without looking cheesy.  I purchased from Hobby Lobby the foam trees that had everything connected.  I don't work well with foam bases and then getting the rod to go in and fitting the foam ball on...I'm very glad that they invented these....

I then wrapped ribbon around the pole and then used my hot glue gun to put the moss on.  I used straight pins to put the ribbon on the tree...I like that better than hot glue and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.  I have one more to complete for tomorrow!



freckled laundry
Dear Lillie's Valentine's Link Party

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Homemade Lavender Soap

I have posted in another tutorial about how to make my soap.  I won't bore you with the details again but if you are interested you can always look at that post...the link is here http://jme71-loudsilence.blogspot.com/2011/11/cold-process-soap-making.html

For this batch I made I wanted to share a few tips that I learned that I just wanted to share.  First of all I found a new soap distributor that I am soo please with http://www.brambleberry.com/ they are truly wonderful!  I also learned that having your lye water at 125 degrees is a great temp and my soap turned out glorious when I combined the lye water and the fats together!

I also was able to find a place that would sell lavender by the pound! That was glorious! I also just loved being able to have a mold that made my soap bars look so fantastic!  Also a new tip that I learned is to spray 91 percent rubbing alcohol on top of my soaps when I am finished pouring that way there are no bubbles.  I'm looking forward to doing a new type of soap next week with three different colors in it! I'm also going to start selling my products here locally since when I gave some away for Christmas presents I already have people coming back for more! So we will see where this goes! Have a GREAT day! and here are just a few pics that I love...I adore making soap...not to many more homemade products that I make give me as much joy!










Monday, January 16, 2012

Copper Ceiling


 ..
 The hardest part was done already...the wallpaper had been hung in the dining room by the previous owners.  Now, I have three friends that have done this in their own home...so I was brave enough to try it...only by their coaxing...one proclaimed the ceiling was BEGGING me to do it...how could I resist that?

There are several different techniques you can use...but I'm def not amazing and I needed simple so I followed this guide....I first bought dark green paint...then I put that as the base coat all over the ceiling! It was a bit scary...and I wondered WHY I had started this project!


So, I prepped the area and begin trimming it out...this took about an hour..I'm also short and have VERY high ceilings...made it last even longer...and did I mention I was a bit fearful of heights????

So, my son thought I was insane...my daughter who is four told me that I was "a very good painter" thank you very much...then asked me when I was going to paint the rainbow???? Yes....clearly my children thought I had LOST my mind!

I then brought out the copper...that my friend let me use since she didn't use up all of hers...aren't friends GRAND:)

So, its at this point...I knew I had NO clue whatsoever in what I'm doing....so I started dry brushing...my first mistake you ask??? Yes, I had to google dry brushing....yes, I figured it out!!! THEN, my second mistake you ask???? I was scared of the copper....yep it kinda freaked me out at first...so then I realized how much to put on...and then we got going....its a matter of opinion on how much you like...I like a lot....in fact...I'm still looking at my ceiling and thinking that I will probably go back over it and add some more....

All in all this project took me around five and a half hours to complete.  Yes, I did have a four year old in the mix..and thankfully the weather was almost 60 degrees and today was a holiday of course so my kids went from playing outside to watching movies and coloring...all in all I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out...and for the next couple of days...I will keep tweaking! I'm also hoping the feeling comes back into my arm and that my neck and shoulders will feel better than they do right now...oh the things we do for beautiful homes:)

Have a great day! Here are the AFTER pics! ENJOY!







Bloggy  Weekend ReadingThe Shabby Nest

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Ford Explorer

For those of you that have lost someone in life through tragedy you and only you will probably be able to understand the depths of what I am talking about....I have always envied those that were able to say long goodbyes...after my husband Ron died I often begged and cried to God at why He didn't see fit to give me at least a few words of a conversation that I have longed to have that I will have to wait until glory to have...but then...probably won't care to even pursue it.

I am amazed at how quickly it happens....I can be going along minding my own business and then...there it is...a song, a smell, a car....today...I was walking outside on the trail with my husband Mark (can you believe that we can take walks outside in January with no coats????) and it passed by...the same color and same make SUV that my Ron drove....I stared at it...was transported back almost ten years...but shook my head and tried to shake the thoughts from my head.....on my way home tonight....with a minivan full of groceries and no children to distract me....same thing again....it happens sometimes....there is usually the song "I can Only Imagine" he sang it the night before he died....before the song was popular...before we even knew the song...and now almost ten years later...they are STILL singing the song. 

There are times that I have to  pinch myself...I have to wonder...was it a dream? Did this happen?  Time after time...I tell myself I'm past it...I'm ok...then I hear Trey's voice changing...a stance...he's growing so tall...the way he cocks his head...I blink back the tears...confused by the pain...why won't it go away? I am strong...I like to think so anyway...I want to just force myself ahead...but every time I hear the question "Why are your kids far apart? Why don't you have more kids?" It all comes back...I want to scream at them and tell them the story...but I stuff it...I stuff it...and then on days like today...bright and sunny....I see the SUV...I hear the song...I feel the pain.

So, I keep myself busy...I keep writing the gifts that God has given me each day...I keep on pushing...I keep on believing that God has a plan for everything...even though there are days that I'm  totally confused in what He's doing...and I press on....I press on. God didn't promise me an easy life...but He did promise to go with me and that He would never leave me...and He never has.

May His name be praised!

Goats Milk Soap

I must say that this was a WONDERFUL and EASY project!  I have three batches of cold process soap now under my belt! PHEW! I had two batches turn out gloriously and one HUGE failure! So, when I tried this I felt like a bit of a cheater:(  It was too easy...as most melt and pours are...but truly smells SOO good and leaves my hands gloriously soft!

I wanted to share a couple of things with you in my lessons of making homemade soap.  First of all...this time I bought a silicone mold...it holds two lbs of soap and was PERFECT for this project.  I didn't have to line the mold and it popped out beautifully...then I just used my Pampered Chef crinkle cutter to cut my soap!  I'm getting ahead of myself though!

First I went to my Hobby Lobby and I strolled down the candle, soap making aisle and to my surprise they had the soap supplies 30 percent off...so I decided to pick up the goats milk melt and pour! You take the melt and pour goats milk and cut it up and then put in a microwave safe bowl for 40 seconds and stir...never more than that because you don't want it to scorch...then..you just keep doing that until its all melted down...then .I let the magic happen!

I'm totally excited about a new soap supplier that I found called www.brambleberry.com  May I just tell you that I LOVE them and their fragrances are WONDERFUL!  I bought this amazing fragrance from them....forgive me for some of these pics...I have to use my cell phone camera nowadays...LONG story there...a new camera will be coming some day...maybe:) The fragrance is oatmeal, milk and Honey since I couldn't manage to take a straight shot!
I used one ounce of this fragrance and stirred it in to the soap after I had melted it down...you MUST work quickly with melt and pour soap...it sets up VERY quickly....its completely done setting up in 30 minutes and can cut in an hour! I then added one cup of pulverized oatmeal and stirred well ...then I put it into my handy dandy new mold! I bought this mold last week and they said that once they sold out of it they would discontinue it...I went to buy another mold (larger size) last night and had to buy the four lb wooden mold...so I apologize if your wanting to buy this mold...as of now it is not offered anymore that  I could see:(
Then an hour later I had glorious, wonderful bars of soap...that may I just say I want to sniff ALL day LONG!!!! Seriously....you can find me cutting up little slivers and sticking them in all the bathrooms in our house so that I can just sniff it every time I walk by and talk about soft hands....oh my dear!  NOW, I HAVE to make this the cold process way...so I am really excited about getting goats milk and trying this the HARD way to see if I can do it...meanwhile...you'll find me a sniffing:)

Have a GLORIOUS sweet smelling day!!!!!