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  • Abraham Lincoln on Criticism

    "If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what's said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference."
  • Consider the Cost

    "Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events." ~Winston Churchill
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  • Charles Spurgeon

    "Our blessed Lord reveals himself to his people more in the valleys, in the shades, in the deeps, than he does anywhere else. He has a way and an art of showing himself to his children at midnight, making the darkness light by his presence."
  • Progress through Perseverance

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or whether the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; Whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; Who, at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; And who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. It is far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight of life, knowing neither victory nor defeat. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
  • Psalm 7:10-17

    God will uncase the hypocrites ere long, and make them know, to their sorrow, what is was to trifle with Him." - Richard Baxter
  • Prayer Requests

    Andrew, Jillian - in college
    Andrew, Nathaniel - Marine sons
    Jacob - Navy son

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  • The Reformed Pastor – Richard Baxter

    “We must carry on our work with patience. We must bear with many abuses and injuries from those to whom we seek to do good. When we have studied for them, and prayed for them, and exhorted them, and beseeched them with all earnestness and condescension, and given them what we are able, and tended them as if they had been our children, we must look that many of them will requite us with scorn and hatred and contempt, and account us their enemies, because we ‘tell them the truth.’ Now, we must endure all this patiently, and we must unweariedly hold on in doing good, ‘in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God, peradventure, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.’ We have to deal with distracted men who will fly in the face of their physician, but we must not, therefore, neglect their cure. He is unworthy to be a physician, who will be driven away from a frenetic patient by foul words. Yet, alas, when sinners reproach and slander us for our love, and are more ready to spit in our faces, than to thank us for our advice, what heart-risings will there be, and how will the remnants of old Adam (pride and passion) struggle against the meekness and patience of the new man! And how sadly do many ministers come off under such trials!”
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Love My DIY Home is Finally Here!

My newest venture is finally ready to be announced.

I’ve worked on it for a year now and would love it if you would join me at (wish I could do a drum roll)

Love My DIY Home

A site for the wanna-be DIY’er, almost DIY’er, thinking about bein’ a DIY’er and already doin’ DIY’ers

This is my passion and I hope it will be yours too.

That's me - Val @ Love My DIY Home

That’s me – the one super excited about the possibilities of sharing oodles of great projects with you!

If you decide to join our DIY tribe, you can expect tons of free: tips, tutorials, ebooks, product reviews, word art, how-tos, project examples, etc. – the sky’s the limit as to the things I’m going to cook up for you! I have some great things planned and those who join LMDH here will get started on the freebie whirlwind immediately.

Goodness, I was so excited yesterday that I signed up myself and my DH (which by the way will be contributing a bunch of guy stuff too)!

All you have to do is give me your first name and email address and then sit back and wait for the freebies to grace your inbox (there is an unsubscribe on every email just in case you get bored with me!). I certainly don’t want to be one of those annoying emailing fools that clutter people’s inboxes! So feel free to unsubscribe any time – we can still be friends!

If you have any questions, email me at val@lovemydiyhome.com. I promise to email you back!

So what are you waiting for? Jump on board and get your first free gift:

Top 5 Tool List - Love My DIY Home

{a one page list of my most used tools, all under $6}

While you’re here, leave me a comment and tell me about yourself and if you have been or want to be a DIY’er.

Here are a couple of examples of my DIY projects, tips, & tutorials:

Don’t Trash Your Old Brass Decor! 
Ugly to Lovely – Mason Jar Shelf
Old Tissue Box Re-do Old World Style
Pantry Organization on the Cheap

Take a moment, won’t you and come check out Love My DIY Home?

Thanks for stopping by!

VAL signature

YouTube Explanation of How to Use Freeze Dried Food from Honeyville Farms

On my other blog, Love My DIY Home, I’ve been talking about preparing your pantry for a food crisis. This is an interesting YouTube video from Nutnfancy exploring the use of freeze dried food from Honeyville Farms in every day living as well as in your food storage. Check it out!


Homemade Automatic Dishwasher Soap

This is my second venture making soap. The first was laundry soap, now I’m shooting for two out of two and making dishwasher soap. This one is a piece of cake as it’s only mixing a few ingredients and you’re done. I’m thinking I’ve got to do pretty little bar soaps next for my guest room.

Here’s the recipe for making your own automatic dishwasher soap:

1 Cup of Borax – at Walmart for $3.38
1 Cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda – 55 oz. box at Walmart for $3.24
1/2 Cup Kosher Salt – $1.68  at Walmart
1/2 Cup Citric Acid – Find this at Walmart in the canning aisle. Ball brand is $2.97
I have read that you don’t need the Kosher salt if you have soft water. We have soft water at our new house, so I may find out I don’t need the Kosher salt. Mix all ingredients together and that’s it!

Homemade Powder Laundry Soap – NO GRATING

There are lots of posts about homemade laundry soap, but the thought of grating up bars of soap just didn’t cut it for me. I put off making this for over a year because I didn’t want to mess with the liquid recipes and didn’t want to lose a finger. When Jillian, my daughter, offered to make laundry soap while I’m out here in Virginia, I agreed. After she grated her finger, I researched and tried the microwave method. It took a bit, but I came up with a good way to make bar soap into powder.


The recipe is simple, 1 cup, 1 cup, 1 cup. I like simple!

1 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda – $3.24 at Walmart for a 55 oz. box

1 cup of Biz Detergent Booster – $3.00 at Walmart for a 60 oz. box

1 cup of powdered bar soap (one bar) – $3.98 at Walmart for 8 bars of Dial soap

Most recipes tell you to grate up the bar soap or use your food processor to make it into a powder. But I wanted to have all my fingers and Jillian didn’t have a food processor, so I decided to try another way – death by microwave!


I broke the bar soap in half to limit the amount of middle since it took longer for the micro waves to reach the center in the first two times I attempted it. I put it in a glass bowl and set the microwave on 80% for 2.5 minutes. You might have to play with it since microwaves can be different. This is what I ended up with.


After it cools, put it into a gallon size baggie and crumbled it up – very easy, just grab it and mush away! Make sure you wait till it cools, the centers stay hot for a while and will melt the baggie and burn your hands. Been there done that!


Take a rolling pin and crush it into powder. Each bar equals about a heaping cup.


Now you are ready to combine ingredients. Combine one cup of each of the Biz, Arm & Hammer and powdered bar soap. Just mix, and you’re done! Use one tablespoon of the homemade laundry soap for small loads, two or three for large or tougher loads.


Rachel from Far More Precious, has some cute laundry soap labels that you could Mod Podge onto your jar.

Great YouTube Video on Setting Up a WordPress Blog

Good Read – Discouragement


Click here for a really good article on the things in our every day life that can cause discouragement.


Like to read? Love free ebooks? Then, check out eReaderGirl.com, a brand-new site that lists free and discounted ebooks every day. This site is a branch off of MoneySavingMom.com.  Check out the site, and download some of today’s free ebooks. You can also sign up for your daily dose of free ebooks. I’ve already downloaded 5 free books from this site.

You can follow eReaderGirl.com on Facebook or Twitter, sign up to receive posts in a blog reader or receive information about what is available via the free daily email digest.

MoneySavingMom also has a brand-new e-book Celebrating and Savoring a Simple Christmas – I’ve read it and it definitely has many good ideas on how to make this year’s Christmas more enjoyable.


The Fourth Fisherman

ImageThe Fourth Fisherman by Joe Kissack is a true story about 3 fishermen who nearly lost their lives while lost at sea and a man who after telling their story, discovered what real life was all about.  After Joe had pursued a life of fame and fortune for many years, he became empty and depressed, not really understanding why his career success didn’t provide satisfaction in life. Kissack’s tale of The Fourth Fisherman contrasts the Mexican fisherman’s sage with his own, intertwining each of the men’s stories showing how each man chose to live his life and the results of those choices.

Salvador maintained his unwavering faith in dire circumstances because it was based on a belief that his God was in charge of every single detail and could be trusted to work out the present for God’s glory and his good. He was the stabilizing force in the boat that was lost at sea with four other men, Jesus, Lucio, Juan and Farsero. Joe on the other hand lived for himself and pursued the temporal rather than the eternal. He had everything, yet despaired of his life as if he had nothing. He found no satisfaction in the fancy cars, recognition or disposable money – a direct contrast to the fishermen in their tiny boat lost at sea.

This book shows the reader that a relationship with God that includes love for others brings much more satisfaction than a life lived for oneself. I recommend this book to those who may be searching for satisfaction in life and relationships. Joe’s salvation experience alone is worth the read. Both Joe Kissack’s and the fishermen’s stories show what the truly sold out Christian life is like – rewarding and full of adventure.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated for writing this review.



We just watched Courageous last night – what a great movie! My favorite scene was at the end of the movie when the police officers were in pursuit of gang members. The producers of this film did a great job of getting their point across to fathers about their role in the family and responsibility toward God.

I highly recommend it! Click here for the Resolution the men signed in the movie.  You can buy it for $8.92 at ChristianCinema.com.

Remember the Waltons?

Remember watching the Waltons when you were younger? Click here to watch a recent video of an interview of the cast members.

Swearing – an Epidemic

Over the years I’ve asked many people not to swear – co-workers, family, friends, and even strangers. It’s not a matter of judging others. It’s all about what is appropriate. I’ve taught my kids to use proper speech, both that pleases God and allows them to be received properly by others whether it be in a home, social or work setting. I’ve explained why it displeases God to utter expletives, how it offends others and even told them it hurts their mother’s heart to hear such things. I’ve explained that people will think less of them, be offended or even exclude them from being hired because of offensive language, whether it be in person or on a social networking site. None of it seems to matter – it appears we have an epidemic of swearing. To tell you the truth, I just don’t get it. Swearing has been such a taboo to me that I’d never consider allowing it to enter my vocabulary. It’s so offensive, yet it seems this doesn’t matter any more.

I guess when it comes to young people trying to assert their independence or prove their autonomy or even maturity to the world, they unwisely choose profanity to try to make their point. When asked to not swear, they say, “I’m my own person,” “That’s how I am and I don’t care what anyone thinks,” or, “It’s my life and I can live it any way I choose.” Well, in a spiritual sense, no, we don’t have the right to live how ever we want, we were bought with a  price if we belong to Christ. It is our responsibility to represent Christ and glorify Him with our speech. But let’s put that aside for a moment and look at it in a purely secular view.

I did a search on “swearing” and found a few secular sites that deal with swearing and why it’s detrimental to the individual as well as society in general. Below I’ve posted thoughts from  a site on the Internet called “Cuss Control” about swearing and how it affects a person and those around them. I found it interesting and very much like the things I’ve told my kids over the years. I found a really good article on an Internet site that is solely for men and it supported the list below as well. Basically that article said it’s not cool or mature, let alone attractive to swear. I’d give you the address of the site, but it had links that I’d just prefer not to pass along, if you know what I mean. 🙂

Please don’t swear. It’s offensive and hurts society in general. Common courtesy should rule. I’ve been assaulted so much lately with profanity that I’ve had to limit my news feed on my Facebook. This ought not so to be. It especially brings me great sorrow when it’s my own children – they certainly know better. They say the more you love someone, the easier and more you can be hurt by that person. I personally know this to be true. I long for the day that they desire to please the One who gave them a life worth living. But, I digress…

Below is the list and if you’d like to see the Cuss Control site that contains this list as well as other comments, click here. Used with permission.

What’s Wrong With Swearing?

Swearing Imposes a Personal Penalty
It gives a bad impression
It makes you unpleasant to be with
It endangers your relationships
It’s a tool for whiners and complainers
It reduces respect people have for you
It shows you don’t have control
It’s a sign of a bad attitude
It discloses a lack of character
It’s immature
It reflects ignorance
It sets a bad example

Swearing is Bad for Society
It contributes to the decline of civility
It represents the dumbing down of America
It offends more people than you think
It makes others uncomfortable
It is disrespectful of others
It turns discussions into arguments
It can be a sign of hostility
It can lead to violence

Swearing corrupts the English language
It’s abrasive, lazy language
It doesn’t communicate clearly
It neglects more meaningful words
It lacks imagination
It has lost its effectiveness


Great Groupon Deal for Picaboo!

If you haven’t joined Groupon, today is the day!  Today’s Pittsburgh Groupon is 75% off Picaboo Photo Books!  You do NOT have to live in Pittsburgh to get this deal.  It is a nationwide online deal!!!  I love Picaboo and think they are probably the best around.

How does it work?
“Buy” the deal.  You’ll pay $25 and receive a $100 certificate to Picaboo. Even if you don’t like this deal, you should still sign up for Groupon!  

Here’s the fine print for the Picabook coupon (which makes this a great deal!):

  • Expires in 1 year – Limit 1 per person. Limit 1 per Picaboo transaction. May redeem across multiple visits. Valid toward tax and shipping. Valid with other promotions. Not valid for cash back. May redeem starting 9/28/10.
  • Every single day, new deals roll in! Here’s the site to sign-up:  http://www.groupon.com/r/uu8307580.

    Thanks, Jenna!

    New CPR Method

    Please watch a video of the new CPR method by clicking here.

    If you see someone collapse who isn’t responsive and has trouble breathing:
    1.     Tell someone to call 911 or make the call yourself.
    2.     Position the person with the back on the floor. Place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest (between the nipples) and the heel of the other hand on top of the first. Lock your elbows, position your shoulders over your hands and use your upper-body weight to “fall” downward. Lift your hands slightly each time to allow the chest wall to recoil. Try to compress at 100 beats per minute and about 2 inches deep until emergency help arrives.
    Note: Mouth-to-mouth CPR still is recommended for drowning and very small children.

    Dealing with a Tight Budget

    This article by Jill Cooper was copied with permission from: www.LivingonADime.com.

    What are the top lessons you would give a family or even a single person who is dealing with a tight budget?

    • Stop spending.
    • Don’t think that using a credit card or getting a loan will make it better. Going into more debt will not help you get out of debt.
    • Get rid of your pride. You may have to shop at garage sales for a while. You may not be able to have your kids in sports and you might have to say no to friends when they want you to go to an expensive restaurant. Pride is a sin. God didn’t kick the angels out of heaven because they murdered someone or were doing drugs, drinking or smoking but for pride.
    • Stop worrying about what others think or whether or not you are making a good impression. We constantly tell our kids not to give in to peer pressure but we do it all the time. We Christians can be especially bad about worrying what other Christians are going to think of us. That is the same as when your kids worrying about their peers.
    • Cut back on everything. You can save 50% on your grocery bill before you even go to the grocery store by simply exercising good portion control with your food. It is better for you, too. Go from a 30 minute shower to a 5 minute shower. Not only will you save on utilities, but your skin will thank you.
    • This should be number one: tithe. Right now when others are panicking about their 401k’s or about what their stocks are doing, I don’t have a worry in the world. I have invested my money in Someone who has promised that no matter what happens in the world, including with finances, I and my children will be fed and taken care of. He has demonstrated His faithfulness over and over. To me, my tithe is the best savings a person can have.
    • The real test of a person’s character occurs during hard times. Keep your integrity, be responsible and be trustworthy and honorable whether your situation is your fault or not, whether it is fair or unfair. Proverbs 22:1 says “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”I once received a notice of foreclosure on my house. I had 2 weeks to come up with $35,000 and I couldn’t sell my house. I didn’t have $35. I wasn’t sure what to do. If I lost my house, my kids and I would literally be out on the streets. After a few moments of panic, I prayed and God told me what to do. One of the first things I did was to call the banker and tell him I wanted to start up our old business, which I knew nothing about and had no money for supplies, no customers and a limited market.

      What loan officer do you think would say, “That’s great– forget the foreclosure and you don’t even need to make a payment until your business is up and running well”? None that I know of, but that is exactly what he said. We had banked there for a while and, because of that, he knew I always paid my bills (the foreclosure was because of debts my husband got into when we were separated). The loan officer said “Jill, I know you and trust you to pay so I’m not worried.”

      Everything God tells us to do is for a good reason and it is usually for our good. He wants us to have a good name because He knows at times when things hang in the balance, a person’s good name can tip the scale in the right direction.


    • Don’t decide you are going to change your ways and then expect God to suddenly produce a miracle and make all of your debt go away. God loves you, but He is also a just God. He expects you to pull your weight and if you spent 5 years carelessly spending, you may have to work extra long and hard for 5 years to get yourself out of your mess.It would be like telling my teenage son to clean his room. After a month goes by, he is out of clean clothes, can’t find anything and has been grounded by me for failing to do what I told him to do. He tells me how sorry he is, insists he’ll never do it again and repents all over the place, but he still has to clean his room, which is such a big mess it is going to take twice as much work.

      I forgive, but he is perfectly capable of cleaning it himself, so he has to clean up his own mess.

    Here’s something to think about:

    In Matthew 6:24, the Bible says No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” We always think that this verse relates to having lots or money, that it only concerns the wealthy or those seeking wealth, but it can pertain to the poor and those in debt, too.

    Be careful. What controls your waking thoughts? God or money? What do you seek after more? God or a way to pay your debts? What do you talk about more with your family? God or how the bills are piling up “in these hard economic times“? Do you spend all of your money eating out, playing a game of golf, buying your kids sports uniforms and dance lessons and having your nails done or do you first tithe?

    I have found most people give their money to whoever or whatever has their heart and soul. I don’t say these things to condemn you but to get you thinking, “Do I have things mixed up? Can I do something differently? Do I need to change something, even if it is something small?”

    We guard our families in so many areas. Don’t let Satan sneak in the back door with this and destroy you, your family and your testimony.

    Digital Scrapbooking Freebies

    Here’s a note I got from a friend that I’d like to share with my scrapbooking buddies:

    There are several good websites for freebies…definately where I recommend starting. Many have daily or weekly newsletters with links to their freebies, but some sites just have pages of stuff you can download at any time.

    1. http://www.scrapgirls.com… I’d start here. They have a free ebook that is an intro to digital scrapbooking that’s very helpful. The girls on the messageboards are very active and willing to answer newbie questions, and they host numerous contests, challenges and chats to inspire your layouts. Galleries here are great and it’s a very user-friendly site. It’s also, coincidentally, run by and frequented by a number of believers, so the community aspect is clean and encouraging and you’ll find prayer chains running constantly. You can sign up for both daily and weekly newsletters here with include tutorials and freebie links.

    2. http://www.freedigitalscrapbooking.com… Pages of freebies including papers, alphas, embellishments and templates.

    3. http://www.acherryontop.com… Under the “digital” tab on the site, there are like 8 pages of freebies. They have a forum also, although I don’t have any experience with them.

    4. http://www.digitalscrapbookexperts.com… Collect-a-kit with freebie links that come in their daily newsletter.

    5. http://www.gottapixel.com… Another daily download (beware: these links expire after 24 hours, so you do have to do this one every day or you lose it). They have a ton of designers and there’s always a sale on. You can also search the store by price and find a bunch of freebies. They’ve got a forum here, too.

    6. http://www.twopeasinabucket.com… In their store, you can go to digital kits, then sort by price, and you’ll find a bunch of free kits. Full forum here, too. Ranked #1 in by Digital Top 50.

    7. http://www.scrapbooksetc.com… They have sketch downloads that are fabulous, sometimes have kits for free, tutorials and galleries.

    Free Audiobook – Forgotten God

    Through the end of June, Christian Audio is offering a free download of “Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit” by Francis Chan. Download this free audio book here using the coupon code JUN2010 at checkout.

    Thanks, Money Saving Mom and ChristianClippers!

    Cooking Day

    For school today, the boys had a cooking day. I looked though some of my cookbooks and handed both them two recipes. They took it from there.

    Here are the four chicken dishes Levi and Jacob put together. Below are the actual pictures of their dishes. The aroma of these chicken dishes are amazing! We’re going to freeze them to enjoy another day (after a taste, that is!).

    Scottish Chicken Stew from Reader’s Digest Just One Pot cookbook (Jacob)

    Italian Chicken from Southern Living cookbook 1986 Annual Recipes (Levi)

    Chicken with Dijon Creme from Terrific Chicken, 100 Great Meals in Minutes (Jacob)

    Breast of Chicken Balsamic from Terrific Chicken, 100 Great Meals in Minutes (Levi)

    Tips for Bloggers

    I receive daily blog tips from Daniel Scocco. Some of his articles are very helpful. If you are a blogger and would like some tips, click here for the entire article and checklist that he mentions.  I have not used any of the links I’ve provided at the bottom, but plan to explore them in the near future.

    Daily Blog Tips newsletter by Daniel Scocco

    How many times have you published a post, only to find out you forgot to proofread and that many typos slipped through? What about when the links you included are broken, when you used the wrong keywords, or when you forgot to optimize the post title?

    As you can see, there are many things one should check before hitting the “Publish” button, and most of us forget about them. That is why I decided to create “The Blog Post Checklist,” with a list of things you should check before publishing your post.

    There are a total of 13 checks to make. On the post you’ll find a description of each of them, and you’ll also be able to download a PDF version of the checklist, so that you can print it out.  Here is the article: http://www.dailyblogtips.com/the-blog-post-checklist/  ~  by Daniel Scocco

    More links:

    Here is a link to Scocco’s articles about WordPress blogging.

    Here is a link to an article by Johan Eenfeldt about how to protect your blog from hackers who try to login to your WP account.

    Here is an article about Login LockDown – it records the IP address and timestamp of every failed WordPress login attempt. If more than a certain number of attempts are detected within a short period of time from the same IP range, then the login function is disabled for all requests from that range. Requires at least WordPress 2.5, tested up to 2.8.6