"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind."
Khalil Gibran

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Oatmeal Sugar Scrub

Last year I made a couple types of sugar scrub and gave them as gifts.  A couple people have asked me for the recipe so I thought I would post it here.  I have to give credit to my dear friend Jessica W. who was the one who introduced me to this yummy recipe last year.  Thanks Jess!

Oatmeal Sugar Scrub

2 c white sugar
1 c oatmeal
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c vegetable glycerin
1/4 c castille soap (almond)
1 TBSP cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp molasses

Mix ingredients in a large bowl. The ingredients will become more emulsified over time. If the batch seems too dry add another dash of olive oil. If it seems too moist add a shake of sugar. Yields approx 3 – 8 oz containers, 3/4 full.

You can see by my photo's that mine were in plastic containers with lids that seal and we used scrap-booking supplies to make labels for the top lids.  I've seen sugar scrubs placed in sealable mason jars as well.  Just be sure your containers seal otherwise they will leak.

I will warn you in advance, especially if you have small children, that between the oatmeal, cinnamon, vanilla, and molasses....it smells like cookie dough a bit and kids may want to eat it.

Men were reluctant to try it at first but all really liked it after they tried it on their hands, so I personally think its a good gift for men as well as women.

This is a very thick sugar scrub and could cause problems with bath drains….I just suggest people use it sparingly.  Another option that my family did was to use it as hand scrub and keep it by the kitchen sink (the side with the disposal), then there was no worry of problems.

I hope you enjoy!

Crafty Creations

I thought I would give a short little post with some photos of some of my recent craft projects.  I know the holidays are coming up and I'm always looking around for good ideas, so I thought I would share some of the things that I've done.

This sign was made for my sweet friend Ernestine as a Baby Shower gift.  I know of a simple way to create the crackle finish with Elmer's Glue (put 'elmer's glue crackle finish' into Google search and you'll find instructions) and I just painted the dots and words over it once the pain from the crackle finish was dry.  I put felt on the back of the sign assuming they'd like to hang it on the front door and the felt should help it not bang so much when the door gets opened and closed.



This coaster set was purchased for $5 at my local Craft Warehouse.  I painted each coaster and the inside of the holder green.  I had picked out 3 different patterned papers that I liked from the scrapbook section of the store and cut them to the size of the coaster and used mod podge to stick them to the coaster.  After the first coat dried, I added 2 extra coats of mod podge.  I did the same thing for the holder.  When all was done I sprayed each item with a clear sealer, then added 4 small felt circles on the bottom of each coaster.  (If you don't use these, the coasters like to stick together)

This was my little fall scarecrow that I painted.  I painted another fall character but apparently forgot to take a picture of it.  This wood cutout was just $1 at Jo-Ann Fabric's and I used acrylic paints to paint him and then sprayed him with a clear sealant.

These fun wood dolls and the mask were also purchased at Jo-Ann Fabric's for $1 each! I made these for my little cousin Grace as a Birthday present.  I had some plain card stock and an envelope and her card using colored pencils.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my projects.  If you have any questions or want more details, please feel free to comment and ask.  I love to help a fellow crafter!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


So many changes have occurred since my last post.  Since then, I have gotten married, witnessed miracles, began my second year of homeschooling, and have become a part of a spectacular homeschool co-op group.

I am experiencing the wonderful gift of marriage and am just beginning to learn all that this means to our family.  It is no longer just my son and I but we now have a wonderful man who not only loves and adores us, but who has made a commitment before us, God, and our closest friends and family to love us, protect us, and lead us as we endeavor to be a family that seeks to be more like Jesus.  Our many years as a family incomplete have finally been made whole.  The reality of this life is that our circumstances can even be difficult in the best of families, but a whole family (as I am experiencing) has so much more strength in which to stand in the midst of the storms of life.  I am thankful for the way God can renew us.

In the past months I have witnessed so many amazing and miraculous things.  I have been humbled to watch lives changing, that would appear in the natural world to have previously been hopeless, and yet they are not just changing to be 'acceptable' but above and beyond what I could have imagined!  I've have also watched the miraculous pregnancy of one of my dearest friends.  As I think of it now I am brought to tears over the overwhelming miracle of this life to a family who has suffered loss but is now blessed with a healthy pregnancy. I've witnessed the amazing selfless act of another sweet friend who became a surrogate for another couple who had been through unimaginable pain and suffering.  She recently gave the gift of not just one child to this couple (that they wouldn't have been able to have otherwise) but she gave them TWO beautiful babies...a boy AND a girl!  AMAZING!  I loved watching how God brought this all together and blessed each person involved to the point of overflow...they never could have imagined in the beginning the love that would come out of this surrogacy.  This act reminded me that there are still people out there who are willing to sacrifice for themselves and their families to help and bless another in need.  We don't hear enough of these stories in our day to day life, but they are out there!

Beginning my second year of homeschooling may have been more of an adventure than the firs.  We began a whole new style of teaching and a brand new curriculum which is very structured and works much differently than last year.  Our days are laid out in detail for us and the planning and organization has already been taken care of.  This piece is definitely exciting for me since I spent so much time doing these things last year that I felt as though I was planning and organizing class more than I was teaching and enjoying the learning process. This has been very good for us as both myself and Regan are very 'Type A' so the added structure brings us joy.  It is a LOT of work and takes us around 1 1/2 to 2 hours longer each day to finish than last year, but both Regan and I feel good about how it is progressing.  I love to watch my boy growing into a young man, he is maturing and often amazes me with the depth he shows as he understands and comments on mature topics.  And most of all I cherish this time with him, I can't believe that his 14th Birthday is just 3 months away!  I see him growing in academic knowledge and in maturity and responsibility, what more could a Mom ask for?

One of the most exciting things about homeschooling this year is the fact that about 8 Mom's have gotten together and started a homeschool co-op.  We gather our kids, which make a group of around 19 kiddos if everyone attends.  Each week we meet to learn about a topic that has been pre-planned by the Mom's.  We have most recently been doing a unit study on Food.  It started off with a bang as one adventurous Mother of 3 taught about the digestive system.  She not only demonstrated the flow of food using a cut up pair on nylons and a large ball of oatmeal (I don't have time to describe how awesome this was to illustrate the digestive tract and to gross the kids out)....but she and her son also picked up SHEEP GUTS from a local butcher and had them laid out for all the kids to see and touch!  (with gloves on of course!)  How do you follow that class?  Each additional class has gone beautifully, with classes on a biblical perspective on food, budgeting for meals, nutrition, hospitality, and food preparation just to name a few.  The study will end in December with the kids inviting family members to their 'restaurant' in which they will have assisted in preparing the food, setting up the tables and decorations, taking orders, serving food, and entertaining and blessing their loved ones.  We are all excited as this process is progressing.  The kids have picked out the 5 courses of food to be served and have been involved as each step occurs.  Even more wonderful is the fact that the ages of all these kids range in this group from pre-school to High School.  I'm so proud of our kids!

Recently I met with a friend who has been with me through the past several years of my life, she has laughed with me, prayed with me, wiped my tears, and rejoiced and praised God with me....and she said to me "Isn't it amazing Jessica how you are doing so many of the things now that you were wanting so badly to do not that long ago!".  And the answer is YES, it is amazing and wonderful to see how God is not just bringing good things into my life but He is faithful to support the details of life, especially when our motive and goal is to live a life of love and service to God, family, and others.  Lord help me to never take for granted all the ways I am blessed every day!  And these blessings come right in the middle of life circumstances that can look less than desirable in the moment...but great things are happening all around if we open our eyes to notice them!

Thank you to all my SPECTACULAR friends who make my life so full and remind me to keep my eyes focused on the things the truly matter the most.  I could honestly not ask for better friends.  I am rich beyond measure in this area!  A day never passes where I wonder if I am loved, what a miracle that is!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Family Wedding Celebration!

Last Saturday, my beautiful little cousin was married out in the country to her beloved Zane.

We wound through old country roads until we arrived at the wedding venue in Oakland, Oregon.  With beautiful Peacocks all around we arrived and visited with many family member and friends that I haven't seen in a very long time.  It was so nice to have so many loved ones at the same place.  The weather was warm but where we all sat there was shade and a nice breeze.

I had not seen Krystal's dress before I saw her walking down the isle.  She was breathtakingly beautiful.  Her Bride's Maid's were dressed in very beautifully unique dresses and all the girls were wearing peacock feathers, Krystal had them in her hair and the girls had earrings made with them.

Our little Princess had found her Prince and last Saturday they vowed before their God and their loved ones to be true to one another and stand by each other no matter what this world will bring their way.  I loved to see the look in Zane's eyes as he watched his bride walking towards him.  She really was the most lovely bride. 

I played the day back through my mind as I laid down to sleep that night, I was reminded of the amazing diversity in our family.  We are bonded by blood and yet many of us are as different as night and day, but just as the day and night...there cannot be one without the other.  The mosaic masterpiece that is the result of each unique individuals is beautiful.  People who might never run in the same circles find themselves together in this family, and in our differences, we expand our vision of the world and we learn to see the value in each other that we may not have taken time to observe otherwise.

I love my family and was sad that I didn't have time to visit with each of them to really connect and catch up but even in our brief time of fellowship I was encouraged just to have us all together in one place.  And we were all so happy to share in this joyous day!

As I watched my cousin Jeff, the Father of the Bride, my heart went out to him as I imagined what it must be like for him to watch his little girl getting married and binding to another man to be her protector.
 Here are Zane (the newest member of our mosaic masterpiece) and Krystal Alvey, husband and wife.  I love this girl and look forward to getting to know Zane better.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

End of the year....

I can't believe it's been a month since I've posted anything to this blog.

With this being my first year as a homeschooling Momma, I have been working to wrap up our year and decide what we will do over the summer.  Last week was officially our last week of school, however, we have decided to continue on with reading, and some light History and Science over the summer.  The goal is to make it a fun time by incorporating learning opportunities into our family trips and vacation time over the next couple of months. 

As the year is coming to an end I have been so pleased as I look back through our schedule and I see all the things that Regan and I both learned!  I'm a very proud Mom!  Of course for our family it was important to make sure his learning came from a Biblical base and as a part of that, he had Bible class every school day.  This year Regan likely learned more about the Bible than I had by the end of High School, and he's just finished the 7th grade.  I watched him grow not only as a student but also as a young man.

We ended our year with a Park Day with several of our close homeschooling friends and family and the kids had a blast playing at the water park, on the playground, and just running around having fun.  We've been so blessed with a strong group of local homeschooling families and it was a beautiful site to see us all together as we finished out the year.

I haven't planned out the our schedule and curriculum for next year yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing what God has in store for us. 

Lord, let me have the patience and the faith to wait on You and rest in Your perfect timing for the answers!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Tonight I am sitting at home watching Banana's with my son Regan....again.  He loves to watch this show.  For those of you who don't know, Bananas is a Christian Comedy show.  Comedy without swear words or crass jokes.... imagine that.

Sometimes in our home we may have a day or evening that has been heavy or just serious and we know that what we need is some laughter and this show has been our simple solution many times.

I love to watch my son laugh!  It is so great to laugh until you end up crying (or with me, I also tend to slap my leg when something is super funny).  I don't know what it is, but as a Mom, I love to watch my child smiling and laughing.....it fills my heart and makes me somehow feel complete and happy.

Tonight I'm reminded that joy and laughter are wonderful blessings! 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

Today was my 13th Mother's Day.....WOW, can that even be right?  I guess so.  I had a wonderful day and was even able to spend some time with my Mom which was great.  My Mom had a bowling tournament here in town and we were able to have a sweet breakfast together with my Son and Fiance and then I was able to show her my wedding dress and we were also able to travel out to the location the wedding will be held.  It was a quick trip but a great visit!

I was thinking today about how blessed I am....for the most part I know on a regular basis that my son appreciates me.  The older he gets the less frequent and verbose his verbal reminders are, but his constant willingness to help me when I need something, his almost impeccable record of getting the door for me, and his tender heart towards me (most the time...he is 13) remind me daily that I am so abundantly blessed to be a Mom!  And I know not all Moms can say this but I am able to look in my son's face and literally see myself, he has many similar features.....this never stops amazing me. 

I almost shake my head as I think back to when I was a young teen myself and I used to tell people that I was never having kids....I just wanted to have a good job and get married.  One day my loving Grandma, who was so full of wisdom, told me that this may seem like a good idea now but I could not even comprehend what I would be missing out on if I never had children.  And she said that one of the things I would miss was the chance to be a Grandma like her.  It did make a bit of sense at the time but it didn't really sink in until I was quite a bit older.  I remember visiting my Grandma and Grandpa years later when they lived in a senior community and my Grandma would point out the men and women who didn't have kids or family....they were so lonely and would often tell my Grandparents how lucky they were (at that time they had 3 kids, 6 grand-kids, and 4 great-grand-kids). 

I can't even imagine who I would be or how different my life would look if I wasn't a Mom.....I wouldn't want to miss out on it for anything!  My Grandma knew the amazing way that I would feel when I first set eyes on my precious child and she knew that loving and raising him would give my life a purpose like never before!  Thanks Grandma for being so smart!

All of this lengthy story is just my way of saying that I love being a Mom!  Yes, even with a teenager!  He is the light of my life and I feel so privileged that God chose this boy to be my son.  I pray every day that God will grant me the wisdom, courage, and strength to be the Mom that He made me to be.

Kudos to all the Mom's out there who are reading this and Congratulations to all the Mom's to be....I can't wait for you to experience Motherhood for yourself.  What a blessing it is to be a Mom (whether biologically or adoptive....a Mother is far more than similar DNA)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Brand New Blog

Hello!  I have been sporadically posting to my other blog Remnant Postings for almost 2 years and my goal for this blog is a bit different.  Part of the reason my posting on Remnant Postings was that I wanted to put more thought into each word that was published (and the fact that I was working full time and trying to homeschool all at once)....I don't intend this blog to be thoughtless by any means, but perhaps a little less formal.  My hope is to be able to post about my day, our activities, and to post fun photos and links....whatever catches my fancy (that's an old saying).

I am excited to do some fun posting.  I have many friends who do the same and I love being able to keep up on their lives and thoughts via their blogs.  This is 2010 after all....who doesn't have a blog?

Here goes nothing.....thanks to everyone who takes the time to check out my blog!  I would love your comments as the site progresses.