Book Review: Radical

Platt’s work is inspirational and a challenge to all Christians.  The times I thought “YES!” while reading were numerous.  The challenge that most stood out to me was anti-materialism and consumerism. The imagery the author used of the mega-church asking for more money and not doing anything in their community, much less the world created a stark contrast of Jesus’ work and the church of today.

I do believe that you can do the work of God in many different ways.  Abandoning everything for a mission around the world isn’t the only way to serve God. I got the feeling from the book that missions around the world were the primary focus of followers of Christ.

No matter your preference for serving, this book is sure to ignite a spark in you to make meaningful change in the world for the glory of God. And when God is glorified, whatever you choose is perfect. Will you accept the challenge?

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I did not have to provide a positive review to get this book, the opinion here is entirely my own.

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Banishing Clutter

Clutter and I…we’re like this.

*fingers crossed*

Two peas in a pod. Salt and pepper. Peanut butter and jelly.

I’m not a clutter hater. I can live with it for a short while until I reach my limit. At which point I clean Hyperbole and a Half style:

Then I wear myself out with the crazed cleaning and ignore the clutter until the cycle reaches melting point again. The problem with this method is that clutter multiplies like mad, especially in a home for a family of five. In order for the house and the people living in it to function properly, I have come to the conclusion that clutter is not helping the situation.

The problem is I don’t have an intense hatred for clutter. I don’t even have a mild dislike. We coexist. No biggie except this cannot continue. I found a blog post a couple weeks ago about monthly decluttering that inspired me to make some changes. Jamie at Steady Mom wrote this post making the case for monthly decluttering. Just one look at her pics was enough for me!

I found this inspiration and motivation mid-June. Rather than put it off until I had a full month to dedicate to the mission, I decided to tackle our school room first. Our homeschool group was having a used book sale and I had already begun going through all of our books.

I am so happy to report that my project is complete with two days to spare! Here are my before and after photos.

See the pile of things around the keyboard? It is previously decluttered stuff from other rooms. It needed to be donated, but sat there waiting for me to remember or have time to drop it off. And our school table was in sad shape before. Not only did I sort/purge/put away all that stuff, I also scrubbed a what felt like a school year’s worth of dried paint and glue sticks off.

This last pic shows the less dramatic changes, including the insides of the cabinets. I forgot to take a “before” picture prior to sorting the books for the book sale. I plan to slowly purge even more of the books as we read them.

The last look at the school room.

This is a good feeling, y’all. 

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Let them eat cake

The past couple of years have brought a new hobby into my life. Cake decorating has proven to be fun, nerve-wracking, and a way to show love to people in my life. As I think about the cakes I have made, I traced them back to the one that I thought sparked my interest.

R2D2 in all his glory

But as I thought about the first cake I ever made for my children, it was for the first birthday of my firstborn.

As the years went on, I continued making cakes for my kids including this for my princess at the height of her princess obsession.

The castle was so FUN! And the layers inside alternate white and strawberry cake.

This next cake was one of my first attempts at fondant. aka Playdoh for grownups.

Baby shower cake for my sister-in-law. Another fondant creation.

One of the only cakes I did not make for a birthday of one of my offspring. We were visiting family in Florida for her first birthday, so we went with the bakery cake. As you can see, the result is the same as any other cake.

Go, Breastfeeding! I made this for a La Leche League meeting during world breastfeeding week.

The next three cakes are my most recent creations. All were for blessingways for three dear friends. I don’t know why everyone around me keeps having babies. I guess they like cake.

Tea party themed blessingway gets a Mad Hatter cake.

Fondant free cake for an Easter themed blessingway.

Asian themed blessingway. The Chinese symbol on the top means “joy.”

Yes, I really did cover my overused blue cake platter with cake board foil.

And last, but not least…the one and only wedding cake I have ever done. Wedding theme was Mexican fiesta.

It turned out beautifully, but it was incredibly stressful. Who wants to be the one to screw up the wedding cake? Not me!  I did learn a lot from the experience and in the end the bride loved the cake, so it was worth it!

And, oh, jeez, I just realized I used my cake platter for my FIRST and most recent cakes.  I need to get some creative cake bases.

I have done so many other cakes over the years. Mostly just for people that I love.  I put a lot of pressure on myself if someone is paying me for a cake. My oven is out of commission as we lead into the birthday season for my children. I already borrowed a friend’s oven for my son’s Lego cake which was such a failure. Sadly, no pics of that one. But there are still two more to go this year so plenty of time to get my cake on and make them something fabulous (and get that oven fixed).

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Filed under Imagination's Canvas, Mmmm...Cake

Ima Rockstar!

 

Look what my friend made for me!  I love it!  She has two WAHM (work at home mom) businesses – PurlyQ and Hopper Graphics.  So if you knit and/or need graphic design work done, check out her work.

Gonna go be a rockstar now.

Who am I kidding.  Going to swap the laundry and go to bed.

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Llamas on film

This is what happens when your camera gets into the hands of a four year old.

And the gallery would not be complete without the standard ceiling shot. Someone needs to put CFLs on the shopping list.

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Filed under Family, Little Llamas

Monthly Sewing and more!

February brings new sewing projects and more!  But first, the projects!

Technically, I started this apron a couple months ago.  It was a birthday gift for a friend.  Her apron is made of the same fabric as one I made for her daughter last year.  So now they match.  Cutesy.

Next up is a set of crayon rolls a friend asked me to make for Valentine’s Day.  Her son was none too pleased about the girly Valentine fabric, so I made his different from the rest as a surprise.

It’s very manly with an elastic and race car button closure instead of the velcro.

Not exactly full of crayons, but they were MIA for some reason?

This last sewing project was one I started in December.  I needed to make two of these, and finally finished the second at the start of this month.  This is a chalk mat made of chalk fabric.  There is a little pocket for chalk and it rolls up to take on the go.

And last, but not least, I spent January learning something new!  A dear friend of mine spent one evening a week with me in January teaching me to knit!  My youngest was asking me about it one day and stuttered over the words.  Out came “knittering” and it has stuck ever since.  So a new category was born with this finished project…

A gorgeous, warm, VERY long scarf I made for myself.  I was so happy to have a finished project!

I also made my son a camo scarf.  He requested camouflage for some reason.  I guess he thinks camo is manly.  He loves it! Can’t seem to find the pic I took of it.  Another time, I suppose.

I have had so much fun finishing the unfinished projects and starting new ones.  I have made gifts for the kids’ friends and have decided that with only three exceptions, I am going to make gifts the rest of the year.  I have some wonderful ideas in mind and cannot wait to make and share them!

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Filed under Knittering, Monthly Sewing Project, Sewing

Thankful Thursday: Frigid Reprieve

Today is the middle of a streak of gorgeous weather in The Natural State. We have had some gorgeous snowfall, atypically early and unusually plentiful. But today I am thankful for a reprieve from the cold. The kids willingly went outside and have been out for over an hour. There are even a few windows cracked in the main living areas.

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