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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ten Guidelines From God

I received this from a friend and I have no idea who wrote it, but I was touched by it and had to share it with you. I hope that you will be blessed by it and will share it with others. I felt it fit in with my word for the year, "Cherish." The parts about loving each other, loving God and remembering how much He loves us resonated with my word.

Ten Guidelines From God

Effective Immediately,
please be aware that there are changes YOU need
to make in YOUR life. These changes need to be
completed in order that I may fulfill My promises
to you to grant you peace, joy and happiness in
this life. I apologize for any inconvenience,
but after all that I am doing, this seems very little
to ask of you.

Please, follow these 10 guidelines:
1. QUIT WORRYING:
Life has dealt you a blow and all you do is sit
and worry. Have you forgotten that I am here
to take all your burdens and carry them for you?
Or do you just enjoy fretting over every little
thing that comes your way?

2. PUT IT ON THE LIST:
Something needs done or taken care of. Put it
on the list. No, not YOUR list. Put it on MY
to-do-list. Let ME be the one to take care
of the problem. I can't help you until you turn
it over to Me. And although My to-do-list
is long, I am after all... God. I can take care
of anything you put into My hands. In fact,
if the truth were ever really known, I take
care of a lot of things for you that you never
even realize.

3. TRUST ME:
Once you've given your burdens to Me,
quit trying to take them back. Trust in
Me. Have the faith that I will take care of
all your needs, your problems and your trials.
Problems with the kids? Put them on My list.
Problem with finances? Put it on My list.
Problems with your emotional roller coaster?
For My sake, put it on My list.
I want to help you.
All you have to do is ask.

4. LEAVE IT ALONE:
Don't wake up one morning and say,
"Well, I'm feeling much stronger now, I think
I can handle it from here." Why do you think
you are feeling stronger now? It's simple.
You gave Me your burdens and I'm taking
care of them. I also renew your strength
and cover you in my peace. Don't you
know that if I give you these problems back,
you will be right back where you started?
Leave them with Me
and forget about them.
Just let Me do my job.

5. TALK TO ME:
I want you to forget a lot of things.
Forget what was making you crazy.
Forget the worry and the fretting because
you know I'm in control. But there's one
thing I pray you never forget.
Please, don't forget to talk to Me - OFTEN!
I love YOU!
I want to hear your voice.
I want you to include Me
in on the things going on in your life.
I want to hear you talk about your friends
and family. Prayer is simply you having
a conversation with Me.
I want to be your dearest friend.

6. HAVE FAITH:
I see a lot of things from up here that you
can't see from where you are. Have faith in
Me that I know what I'm doing. Trust Me;
you wouldn't want the view from My eyes.
I will continue to care for you, watch over you,
and meet your needs. You only have to trust Me.
Although I have a much bigger task than you,
it seems as if you have so much trouble just
doing your simple part. How hard can trust be?

7. SHARE:
You were taught to share when you were
only two years old. When did you forget?
That rule still applies. Share with those who are
less fortunate than you. Share your joy with
those who need encouragement. Share your
laughter with those who haven't heard any in
such a long time. Share your tears with those
who have forgotten how to cry. Share your faith
with those who have none.

8. BE PATIENT:
I managed to fix it so in just one lifetime
you could have so many diverse experiences.
You grow from a child to an adult, have children,
change jobs many times, learn many trades,
travel to so many places, meet thousands
of people, and experience so much. How can
you be so impatient then when it takes Me
a little longer than you expect to handle
something on My to-do-list? Trust in My
timing, for My timing is perfect. Just
because I created the entire universe in
only six days, everyone thinks I should
always rush, rush, rush.

9. BE KIND:
Be kind to others, for I love them just
as much as I love you. They may not dress
like you, or talk like you, or live the same way
you do, but I still love you all. Please try
to get along, for My sake. I created each
of you different in some way. It would be
too boring if you were all identical.
Please, know I love each of your differences.

10. LOVE YOURSELF:
As much as I love you, how can you not
love yourself? You were created by me for
one reason only -- to be loved, and to love
in return. I am a God of Love. Love Me.
Love your neighbors. But also love yourself.
It makes My heart ache when I see you
so angry with yourself when things go
wrong. You are very precious to me.
Don't ever forget......

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tips on Tuesday: Laundry Detergent Again

I have new information that some of you have been looking for. Although I take ridicule for watching "17 Kids and Counting" (Duggar family), they use the same recipe that I use but they turn it to a liquid version for their HE (high efficiency) washing machines.

To see my prior posts regarding laundry: Click Here.

The recipe I use for Powdered Laundry Detergent/Soap:
3 Cups grated Fels Naptha Soap (it's one entire bar)
1 1/2 Cups Borax
1 1/2 Cups Washing Soda
Mix together and use 1 Tbsp per load. Use 2 Tbsp. for a heavily soiled load.

The Duggar Family when #17 (Jennifer) was born. Recently, #18 (Jordyn-Grace) arrived.
Jim Bob and Michelle: We use Fels-Naptha bar soap in the homemade soap recipes, but you can use Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castile or Zote bars. Don't use heavily perfumed soaps. We buy Fels-Naptha by the case from our local grocer or online. Washing soda and Borax can normally be found in the laundry or cleaning aisle. Recipe cost: approximately $2.
Homemade liquid laundry soap
Ingredients:4 cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 cup washing soda
½ cup Borax
Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
Fill a five-gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (It will gel.)
Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per two gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons. Top-load machine: 5/8 cup per load (approximately 180 loads). Front-load machine: ¼ cup per load (approx. 640 loads).
****Note from Robyn*****
The Duggar's use less Borax than I do. Borax is a booster so using more or less is a personal preference.

Additionally, my friend Emily wanted to give us all a Shout Out regarding Shout Advanced!
Emily writes:
"I want to give a "shout out" to Shout Advanced. It is the spray bottle that is blue. Anyway, I liked the original Shout ok, but I LOVE Shout Advanced. A couple of weeks ago, {my daughter} fell in the parking lot at Target. She had on pink cords. Anyway, she stood up and they were black. I sprayed what felt like half the bottle on them, and they came out clean! I have been using this a while, and everything I have sprayed it on has come out 'perfectly' clean. Thought your viewers might want to know!"

Thanks Emily!! I've been looking for a stain remover that really works. I've been adding all fabric bleach to my loads to help, but I will give Shout Max a whirl.

Monday, January 26, 2009

25 Random Things

I was tagged in a 'note meme' in FB (Facebook). Since I posted my list there, I thought those of you not on FB might be interested. Maybe not, but I'm feeling feisty today so it's my blog and I'll post what I want. (Told you I feel feisty.)

Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things.
At the end, you choose 25 people to be tagged. (Which I did in FB)
You have to tag the person who tagged you. (My FB friend has a blog, too--so check her out at:
I Craft Blog)

1. My daughter and I have the same middle name (Rae).
2. My degree is in theatre--acting. And no, it's not like you can get a 'real job' with that. However, I'm the best story reader my kids have ever heard (I can do all the voices).
3. I love to read--all kinds of books. Children's, Teen, Romance, Mystery, Non-fiction, Biblical
4. I took my love of reading and applied to be a reviewer. I now review for
Once Upon A Romance
5. Through reviewing, I discovered I enjoy writing commentary. So, I started a family blog,
Coolestmommy's Coolest Thoughts (but I bet you knew that since this post is on the blog)
6. My blog was supposed to be a place for grandparents to see photos and videos of the kids, but it took on a life of its own. I now have a "Tips on Tuesday" column and readers from all over the world. Weird!
7. I don't shorten my kids' names (ie: Andrew is NOT Drew or Andy), but I have unusual nicknames for all of them (Magillacutty Snigglefritz, Rufus Jones or Bubba Doodle, Sissy Poodle)
8. I have never highlighted or dyed my hair. It's natural!
9. I'm the Box Tops Chair for school. So if you have any Box Tops you don't want--send them to me! 10. I love dark chocolate.
11. Pepsi is my beverage of choice. Full leaded, all the calorie--no diet stuff here.


12. I'm a morning person by nature and I married the biggest night owl--and who said God doesn't have a sense of humor?!?!
13. To give myself something to 'fall back on', I kept on taking classes after graduation to get my teaching certificate. However, the educational system in Colorado fell apart back then and after 3 semesters of trying to find a place to student teach, I quit. So I'm a semester away from a 2nd degree.
14. I can sniff out a bargain from 20 paces. I get great stuff for next to nothing!
15. I've always wanted to know the secret ingredient for Runza's onion ring dip. Anybody know what it is??


16. I love watching 17 Kids and Counting (the Dugger Family) and Jon & Kate Plus 8. I identify with both moms--even though I only have 3 kids running around.
17. As much as my sister & I fought growing up, she turned out pretty ok. :-) Actually, she's now one of my best friends.
18. I have no pets. Aren't children enough??!!??!!
19. I love going to museums. We attempt to visit one obscure museum on every trip.
20. I enjoy cooking and baking, unless it's cookies. Seems pointless to babysit an oven to switch trays every 7-10 minutes. I'd rather bake a layered cake where I can walk away for over a half hour.
21. I love to scrapbook, although I'm very far behind.
22. I sometimes feel like I'm the IT department for all my friends. The kicker is--I usually don't know the answer, I just make up stuff to try--and it works.
23. I think Jeff Dunham (ventriloquist) is the funniest.



24. I hate cleaning toilets.
25. Our family eats lunch at Taco Bell every Sunday after church. If for some strange reason we don't go there for lunch, you'll find us there for dinner. It's tradition!



A few other thoughts that came to me as I read my friends' lists of random things:
--I want to go to the Holy Land, Paris (again), Hawaii and Australia before I die
--I have never eaten a PB&J (God bless my friend Staci for thinking of that one). I like PB sandwiches, but keep that slimy nasty jelly off my food!!
--I married my best friend. Seriously, he chased me for over 3 years until I caught him.
--I miss the fun and crazy things we did in college. Yet, I hope my own children never do these fun and crazy things when they are in college.

--I'll let you all in on a secret--I'm thinking of starting a 2nd blog. Nope, not kidding...yes, I might be crazy. I'll let you know when the men in white coats arrive at my door.
--Some days, I think about when my kids are all gone from home and wonder what on earth I'll do about my email and blog. I think I can be the coolestmommy until I die, but do I have to get new moniker's later like Coolest Grandmommy?? Hmmm...things I ponder in the middle of the night.

Hope that was fun for you, too. If you'd like to consider your blog tagged, please do. Just make sure you link back to me so I can read your posts.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Some Christmas Fun--in January

This back lit cutout is in front of my parent's church.

Here we are, one month after Christmas, and I haven't posted any CHRISTMAS photos yet. Ooops! So Happy One Month Anniversary of Christmas 2008! Here's our Christmas in photos.

Christmas Eve Nice Photo of Family and of Kids...


Then the boys started messing around...

Christmas morning starts with stockings and cinnamon rolls (in lieu of birthday cake) for Jesus. We sing happy birthday and blow out the candle. The kids got those glasses that make the Christmas lights look like angels, snowmen, bells, etc.



I tried to pick some of the best photos showing their expressions---priceless!

Rebekah's new monkey hat and gloves. The palm side of the gloves have paws on them.

All my sister wanted for Christmas was new toilet seats...seriously. She's been asking for over 6 months now. So, my folks bought her toilet seats. She's a happy camper.
Zeus likes to 'get into' opening his gifts. He ends up getting stuck inside a gift bag at least once a year.
Tio says, "Go Big Red!!!"



Saturday, January 24, 2009

Air Museum Fun

We got to go to a member's only night at the Air Museum last night. We took Andrew's friend, Tyler, because it's his birthday weekend and Tyler had invited Andrew for a sleepover. I knew Andrew wanted to hit this member night so we asked if Tyler could join us and then we'd drop the two boys back off for the sleepover.

Tyler came along (which was fun for Andrew) and we all had a blast. There were less than 30 people in the entire building...a building with no less than three air hangers attached to it. The kids could RUN and play and enjoy everything without having to wait in line. Here the big boys work on sending marbles through a giant marble works toy.


We enjoyed learning more about our brains and how they work. We loved the games and toys that were out for us to try. Rebekah loved the movie, "Dreams--reality or imagination?"


What a great time and it was fun to share it with a friend. Here are Nathan, Tyler & Andrew sending messages (balls) through the synapses of the brain. When the message arrives, it creates an electrical impulse--lights up the receiving cells.

For those of you who didn't believe me in this Museum Tour Post, I hope you are starting to see that I really am a museum freak. I don't make this stuff up to blog about it, I really love going to museums. We own no less than three passes to local museums/attractions and we never lose money by purchasing them. If you calculate the admission price for our family, it only takes 2-3 visits per year to start making a membership pay for itself. I think this is trip number 5 or 6 for the Air museum. After only two visits, the membership was paid for and after that, I consider it savings when we go. In case you wondered, I'll be renewing the membership when it expires.
I am pleased to note I found some brochures for museums in our area that we have never been to. They were in a rack by the entrance/exit of the museum. Hmmm--my mind is already working on our Spring list of things to do as a family. I think the Victorian House turned Museum might make the list.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tio & Tia's Fun House

When we go visit my folks, my sister and husband are only about a mile away. Tio & Tia (uncle & aunt in Spanish) have the coolest house...you just need to ask my kids.

First--They have Wii. Of course, we now have Wii, too...but my kids didn't know that before Christmas.

Second--They have a dog, Zeus. Keep in mind, in Greek mythology, Zeus is the god of all gods. He's the supreme ruler and the god of weather, holding a lightning bolt in his hands. Let's face it, he's the big kahuna god in Greek mythology. Based on that line of reasoning, most people are surprised to find out Zeus is a miniature daschund.


Third--Putt putt. Tio is an extraordinary golfer and he put in a putting green in the backyard. Must admit, saves a lot of time on mowing since it's astro turf, but it's a blast.

Fourth--Tio & Tia have a massage bed. While the kids don't really like the massage bed, they do like the way a parent will disappear for a half hour or more and then be really relaxed and sleepy.

Fifth--Tio is an awesome cook. Authentic Mexican food, gourmet foods including a marinated lamb kabob that I would walk over broken glass to get to. Wow! I just take elastic pants on vacations there so I can eat what I want to eat.

Finally--My kids love their Tio & Tia and would give up all the 'stuff' just to be with them. I'm thankful for that. I'm thankful that my kids think their Tio & Tia are the coolest in the world. I agree with the kids--they are the coolest, but I've been accused of favoritism.



Monday, January 19, 2009

Tips on Tuesday: Free Makeup Today Only

Today, January 20, 2009, is the official beginning of the settlement for the class action lawsuit against cosmetic corporations. It is while supplies last (up to seven days, but my assumption is the allotment will be reached today). You can go to this website:
to get the information on the free cosmetics. I believe it will be a voucher to take to the store. There are specific retailers named who will honor the voucher.
FROM THE SETTLEMENT WEBSITE:
"As part of a class action settlement, $175 million worth of free cosmetics products will be distributed to members of the class (see below to determine whether you are a member of the class) for a maximum of seven days, while supplies last, on a first come, first served basis, beginning on January 20, 2009. No rainchecks will be issued. The products will be distributed at stores owned by the Retailer Defendants (see list immediately below).

The stores owned by the Retailer Defendants that will be participating in the settlement product distribution are the following:
Bergdorf Goodman
Bergner’s
Bloomingdale’s
Boston Store
Carson Pirie Scott
Dillard’s
Gottschalks
Herberger’s
Macy’s
Neiman Marcus
Nordstrom
Parisian
Saks Fifth Avenue
Younkers

A class member will be eligible to receive, while supplies last, a maximum of ONE free cosmetics product from one of the Manufacturer Defendants from which he or she purchased Department Store Cosmetics1 during the class period, May 29, 1994 through July 16, 2003, from the list of products below. If a class member has only purchased products, during the class period, from one of the Manufacturer Defendants listed below, then that class member is only entitled to receive a free product from that Manufacturer Defendant. If a class member has purchased products, during the class period, from multiple Manufacturer Defendants, then that class member must choose the ONE free product he or she wishes to claim from one of those Manufacturer Defendants. Again, these products are only available while supplies last, and no rainchecks will be issued. If your store has run out of settlement products from the Manufacturer Defendant(s) from which you have previously purchased Department Store Cosmetics during the class period, then you may claim a product (again, while supplies last) from another Manufacturer Defendant."
It goes on to list the specific products you can obtain from the participating retailers. There is also a list of products sold that qualify you for the suit.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Museum Tour---Christmas 08

If you have been around our family, you know that this is one momma who likes museums. In fact, I like them a lot. I insist on taking the family along to most of them...and I like to find one 'obscure' museum everywhere we go.

Over Christmas Break, we managed to get three museums under our belts. Our obscure museum was the Weather Museum. We had a lot of fun there. It's a small museum and they are working on getting enough funding to go a lot bigger. What they had was great and all the kids enjoyed different aspects of the museum.

Rebekah liked playing with the magnetic weather board and the weather dog (who used to be on a local TV station). She spent most of her time arranging and re-arranging the magnets and coloring at the coloring table. She got to see them feed crickets to the lizards, too.



Andrew thought the tornado machine was cool, but both Andrew & Nathan had an incredible time with the green screen pretending to be weather forecasters. We discovered how difficult it really is to do this well. Everything is backwards (or a mirror image) so you have to scramble everything in your mind because left is now right and right is now left. It was much harder than I thought. We watched a dentist try and even he had difficulty. He thought it would be easy because he's working 'backwards' in every one's mouth.

By the way, check out Nathan's shirt on the computer screen. Since it was green, the map shows up on his shirt since he became the green screen.


The tornado machine in action:


We also went to a Health & Human Science Museum (aka: The Teeth Museum). You go through a body entering at the mouth.


We all liked different things here. Rebekah liked the allergy center where you try to move the pieces off the things the boy is allergic to. If you don't have them all right, when you push the button, he sneezes---loudly. Ah--ah--ah--CHOO! She just liked the sneezing and yelling God Bless You to the boy.


Andrew likes riding the bike and watching the skeleton go. He enjoys several things here, but he's old enough that he gets ahead/behind us and does his own thing. I have very few photos of him. He also had a blast (with me) looking at all the optical illusions.

Nathan seemed to like the genetics room best. There's a photo game where you match the parent with their child, some fun genetic things to look for (we can all roll our tongues--that's genetic) and a fingerprint game. We tried and tried, but unfortunately the fingerprint game was broken.

Nathan did NOT like the 4D movie. He didn't hate it, but he was having traumatic flashbacks to Disney when we thought we were going on a fairly ok ride for preschoolers. Note to self: Honey I Shrunk the Audience is not at all preschool friendly. I had two hysterical kids at that show and I may be paying for 3D/4D therapy on Nathan for years to come.

Finally, we made it to the Children's Museum. They redid the outdoor area and it no longer has a big model of a bayou where you float ducks from one end to the other. Instead, it has been replaced with "Water Works". Not sure it's any drier, but the kids had fun. They scattered in all directions and we adults sort of circled trying to see all 3 once every ten minutes or so.

The monkey girl saw the new gazebo slide and decided to give it a try. Little Miss, "I do myself" decided to climb up the block wall without help. Made the other moms nervous but I was more worried when I tried to help her and she'd turn around to tell me to go away. Here's a photo and a little video of the climbing spitfire!
video

Here's a fun photo of Rebekah milking the pretend cow...

All in all, I would say our museum tour was a success. Next time, we'll allow more time at the Teeth Museum because we didn't even get to see the Einstein traveling exhibit. Just ran out of time.

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