Growing in Faith

The Truth About April Fool’s Day.

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TheTruthAboutAprilFoolsI think it’s time we examine the truth about April Fool’s Day – if we can find any.  As you probably guessed from the title, I’m not a fan.  However; this article is not a rant against the world; rather, it is intended to be thought-provoking.  I feel quite certain that millions of people have participated in pranking and practical jokes without even a thought to the implications against themselves.  Just because everybody else is doing it, doesn’t automatically make it right and here’s why:

Pranks and practical jokes are elaborate lies.  There is no other way to define it.  I searched diligently for a gentler word than lie; but none really fit the bill.  After all, a rose by any other name is still a rose, right?  The very nature of pranking someone requires the prankster to first set a trap to ensnare their victim.  That trap is built entirely of lies!  How can you spend days, or even weeks, scheming up an elaborate lie to victimize someone, yet still expect to be considered trustworthy?  You’re not.  A person can either be trusted, or they can’t.  There is no gray area for the 24 hour period of April 1.  Children learn what they see, not what they hear.  Are you teaching your children to get some narcissistic satisfaction from hurting another; or are you teaching them to respect themselves, and each other?  You can’t do both. Continue Reading

Recipes!!

6 Days of Sweet Tea – the EASY way!

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If you’re lucky enough to live in the South, every day is a great day for Sweet Tea.  My heart breaks for the rest of you who must endure the harsh cold.  I’m sure the Winter months are probably not very conducive to drinking your sweet tea up North.  Bless your little hearts!  😉 Take heart though, Spring is almost here even for the northernmost states of this country and that means Sweet Tea Season for sure!  Yippee!!

6 Days of Sweet Tea - the Easy way!

Now, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get prone to a bad case of the lazies.  Especially on those HOT Summer days when all I want to do is sit in the shade and sip my iced tea.  So I found a super easy solution that let’s me have sweet tea ready at a moment’s notice.  I love it and frankly, I can’t imagine what I ever did without this neat little trick.  The secret?  Sweet Tea Base!!

I’m sure ya’ll have seen those cartons in the grocery store of iced tea concentrate.  Have you seen the price on those?  WOW!!  Making your own tea base is going to save you a TON of money, especially if your family is like mine and Can’t. Get. Enough. ice-cold sweet tea. Continue Reading

Living Homemade

Feed the Hummingbirds for Pennies!

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DIY Hummingbird NectarI got a text message from my Daddy last night excitedly proclaiming that the hummingbirds were back – that’s a sure sign that Spring is near!  This makes me happy, too!  I love those adorable little birds.

So this morning, I was busy making some nectar to put out in my feeder for them when it occurred to me that there may be someone out there who doesn’t know how to make it, so I decided to write a quick tutorial for ya’ll – just in case.

The pre-made nectar that is sold in big box stores works fine, but it can get quite expensive over time, running anywhere from $1.98 for 8 oz. of ready-to-use nectar to more than $17 for 24 oz. of powdered concentrate.  That’s a lot of dough, especially considering you need to clean your feeder and put out fresh nectar as often as every other day in the mid-summer heat.

It’s so easy to make it in your own kitchen and very economical, too.  You’ll wonder why you ever bought that ready-made stuff in the first place. Continue Reading

Essential Oils

25 uses for Lavender Essential Oil and a Free Printable

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Today I want to share with you the absolute wonders of PURE Lavender essential oil, it truly is the universal essential oil.   The lavender plant – Lavandula angustifolia – is a member of the mint family, and its name is derived from the Latin word “lavare” – which means to bathe.  Ironically, or perhaps not so ironic, this is a very popular use for lavender essential oil as is promotes total body relaxation, restoration, and healing.

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender’s documented use dates back to ancient Egypt where, in addition to various perfumes, it was used as a cure-all for any number of physical maladies and ailments.  In ancient Greece, they even used it to soothe the mentally insane.  More recently, medics in the battlefields during WWII used lavender as an antiseptic to clean and disinfect soldier’s wounds. That seems like a pretty reliable testimonial to me, when medically trained personnel make lavender their first choice in an emergency. Continue Reading

Health and Wellness

I Eat White Rice (Gasp!)

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Those of you that know me, know that I am a clean(ish) eater.  Have I removed every possible processed food from my life? No.  Do I obsess daily if a bit of sugar gets into my body? No.  (Are you kidding me?  I love dessert!)  Do I freak out if I’m tired and don’t want to cook and hubby brings home burgers?  No.  But I do make an effort to at least balance out the pathetic nutrition in the standard American diet, with real foods as often as possible.   Which leads me to my Earth-shattering confession.  I eat white rice!!  (I know….shocking).

Don’t get me wrong, my hat is off to all you super-moms and dads out there that have the time, energy, and dedication to ONLY serve the best of the best to your family.  I do not fall into that category.  Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what, exactly, I do all day; but at the end of each, I am exhausted and overwhelmed by all the things that remain undone, so I guess I must be doing something.  If any of you can point out something I’ve accomplished on any given day, please feel free to step forward. Please?  Haha.

I Eat White RiceOk, let’s talk about the rice already.  When I first started learning about the nutrition (or general lack thereof) in our modern diets, I agonized over what changes I could make to my family’s diet that would not cause them to stage a hostile coup of my kitchen, but still afford them better nutrition than the standard American diet (S.A.D.)  Rice was one of those foods.  I mean, seriously, who actually likes brown rice?  {Be honest!} Yuck!

As I’m sure you’ve heard, brown rice is touted as nutritionally superior to white rice due to the grains remaining intact, thus preserving the nutrients that would otherwise be discarded in white rice.  The nutrients live in the hull, or the bran, of the kernel.  In processing brown rice, only the outer husk is removed, leaving the hull intact.  In white rice, this hull is removed in processing which removes most of the vitamins and nutrients.  You would think that this is a bad thing, right?  Well, only partially.  You see, there is a little known monster that also lives in the hull of the rice called phytic acid. Continue Reading