Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Quotes on Gratitude

I'm ashamed to admit it, but it's true--I often forget to be grateful. I have so often found that an attitude of gratitude is the cure for the blues and all sorts of anxiety.

"Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road." -John Henry Jowett

“For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, for love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.” -G.B. Stern

“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?" -William A. Ward

"Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic"
-John Henry Jowett

“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.” -Eric Hoffer

“Let's be grateful for those who give us happiness; they are the charming gardeners who make our soul bloom.” -Marcel Proust

“Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality.” -Alfred Painter

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;- Phil 4:6 NKJV

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some. -Charles Dickens

I thank God for my handicaps for, through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God. -Helen Keller

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. -Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend... when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that's present -- love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure -- the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth. -Sarah Ban Breathnach

O Lord, who lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness. -William Shakespeare

In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy. -Albert Clarke

Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind. -Sam N. Hampton

"The depth and the willingness with which we serve is a direct reflection of our gratitude."- Gordon T. Watts

"In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich."- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Be on the lookout for mercies. The more we look for them, the more of them we will see.... Better to loose count while naming your blessings than to lose your blessings to counting your troubles.-Maltbie D. Babcock

"When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude."-Elie Wiesel

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. -H.U. Westermayer

Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, - a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.
-George Herbert

Download free Erica Michaels design at Rainbow Gallery.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My First Blog Award & a Prize

And you'd think it wouldn't take me three months to post it! Actually, it took me a couple of weeks to realize it-teehee. But I'm really flattered by it. I really am. (Once we started up homeschooling again, I thought I might have to abandon the blog world. Sniff) And notice that I'm optimistic: it's my first blog award. Yep, just the first.

This award is, as you can see, the Nice Matters Award, and I'd love to know who started it (so if you know, please drop me a line). The generous bestower of this award is the dynamic Dana at Principled Discovery (now Simple Pleasures). Principled Discovery has its own domain. Visit both sites. If you haven't read Dana's writing, you really, really should. (And where have you been, anyway?)

ALSO, I won something else. Something really cool. I won an otoscope from APMFormulators. It is the Doctor Mom L.E.D. Otoscope, and it's everything they advertise. I really appreciate this great prize from the Hernandezes, and I'm only something over a month late posting this one! APMFormulators has great information on health matters, and if you want to learn more, you can sign up for their naturopathic e-loop to learn Classical Medical Education Naturopathically.

I love my prizes, and I apologize for taking so long to post about them. But don't worry if you want to gift me with something. I promise I won't take so long to post about it. Wink.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Frugal Friday--Spa-A-ah

Whether you plan your own private spa (re)treat, or make plans with your friends (perhaps with visiting lady relatives this holiday), here are some great recipes to make it special. You may wish to light scented candles and play some relaxing mood music in the background. Herbal teas for sipping also help with the relaxing. Remember to breathe deeply and to tell yourself to release and relax. It really does help.

If you're relaxing with a group, you may wish to do manicures and pedicures, facial massages and even foot massages.


Moisturizing & Exfoliating Mask

6 almonds (soak overnight & grind them to a paste)
2 tsp. oatmeal
4 Tbsp. cream
mashed avocado (or banana)

Mix all together. Apply to face, leave on 20 minutes.Remove the mask with a rag soaked in cold milk, then rinse skin with cool water.

For oily skin use some plain Milk of Magnesia, rub it on and let dry, then rinse with lukewarm water. It absorbs the oil.

Or try a Clay Mask:

1 bag cat litter (must be marked '100 Percent Natural Clay')
Drops of your favorite essential oil

Mix in a couple tablespoons of the cat litter with water and drops of oil (this helps make it more spa-like and less kitty litter-ish)
Apply mask to face
Wash off after 15 minutes.

For Normal/combination skin mix one egg and 1/2 cup cooked instant oatmeal and a teaspoon olive oil until smooth. Spread on your face and leave 15 min then rinse.

For dry skin, mix one egg yolk, one teaspoon honey and a teaspoon olive oil and some vitamin E oil if you have it. Smooth on and leave on for 15 min. , rinse in lukewarm water and pat dry.

For the Body:

Herbal Spa Wrap

1 cup corn oil
1/2 cup grapefruit juice
1 tsp. dried thyme

Combine ingredients and massage into skin, wrap arm with plastic to lock in body heat. Lay a heating pad over areas for five minutes at a time.

Another Spa Wrap

Boil a pot of water and add about 1 cup of your favorite herbs to it. Place a towel or a wide ace bandage in the pot, let cool enough to not burn your skin, wrap the towel or bandage around your midriff, legs, arms, etc., then cover up with some blankets. Relax and let the wrap do its work.

For the Bath:

Buttermilk Bath

This gentle bath will leave your skin soft and silky. Buttermilk is high in fat and lactic acid, and both help soften and hydrate skin. Make an extra portion of this because people of all ages can benefit from this rich, relaxing natural bath. You may want to package this in a decorative glass jar or a cellophane envelope to give as gifts to friends.
1/4 cup dry buttermilk (or dry milk)
1/4 cup Nonfat Dry Milk
1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
1/8 tsp. essential oil of your choice, depending on your mood. (lavender is relaxing)

Mix together all the ingredients with a wire whisk and pour into a airtight jar or re-sealable plastic bag.
Directions for use: Pour 1/4 of the buttermilk bath powder in tub as you add hot water .
(makes 1/2 cup, enough for 2 baths)

Herbal Milk Bath

1 cup Cornstarch
1 cup Dry Milk Powder
2 tsp. of your Favorite Herbs

Combine ingredients in food processor or blender. Add herbs and blend.
Directions for use: Add 1/cup of mixture to hot bath water
(makes 2 cups, enough for 4 baths)

Do-It-Yourself Bath Salts

1 cup Epsom salt
1 cup Sea salt
1/2 cup Baking soda
Fragrance optional, 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. essential or Fragrance Oils as desired

Combine all ingredients with wire wisk. If your salt is a large crystal type, grind your salt first in a food processor until it is finely grained. Store in a large zip-lock bag
Directions for use: Use about 1/3 cup per bath

Bubble Milk Bath

1 cup Powdered Milk or powdered buttermilk
1/2 cup Oatmeal
1 cup Baking Soda
4 Tbsp. Corn Starch
2 Tbsp. Cream of Tartar
1/4 cup Handcrafted Soap(cut in chunks)
Optional, fragrance with 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. essential or Fragrance Oil as desired

Use a food processor, add chunked handcrafted soap and oatmeal until grainy. Add powdered milk, baking soda, corn starch and cream of tartar. Add fragrance and process until it's powdery. Store in glass jar.
Directions for use: Use 1/4 cup per bath, add to running hot water.

Cleansing Body Polish

1/2 cup fine sea salt
1/4 cup Jojoba Oil or other body oils(olive oil works fine)
1/4 cup handcrafted soap( finely grated)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. essential or Fragrance Oil

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. store in a small plastic jar that you can keep in the shower.
This scrub acts as a cleanser, scrub and moisturizer all in one.
Directions for use: Use this in the shower on dry skin(otherwise the salt melts instead of scrubs). Rub and scrub anywhere you need to exfoliate and moisturize.

Bath Bombs

4 Tbsp. Citric Acid
4 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup baking soda
3 Tbsp. Monoi de Tahiti Oil (or you can use any other emollient oil like coconut or Almond Oil, )
1/4 tsp. Fragrance Oil or essential oil (Eucalyptus, peppermint and rosemary is an uplifting blend, great for head colds)

Sift all of the dry ingredients (first three) into a bowl and mix well with wire whisk. Put bottle of oil in warm water to melt oil. Slowly add oil to dry ingredients, then add fragrance and blend well. Take 1 Tbsp. of mixture and shape into balls or press (really hard)into molds (such as small chocolate mold) if using molds, pop them in freezer till hard and pop out. Let the balls rest on a sheet of waxed paper for two to three hours. Gently reshape if needed. Let the bombs dry and harden for 24 to 48 hours.
These are fragile so carefully package each bomb in its own cellophane bag or in a closed container to keep fresh.
Directions for use: To use, drop one bomb into warm bath water to release fragrance and oils. A little bit of heaven right in your bath tub!

OTOH, this Chocolate Indulgence Home Spa Treatment could be the ultimate--but not necessarily frugal--relaxing treat.

There's more Frugal Friday at Biblical Womanhood.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

How To Stop Fretting Over Politics and Start Living Abundantly

Another great article from LAF:

Women who are at home full time are usually the ones who can be relied upon to keep up with political issues that threaten the family. They have the freedom to research impending legislation, write articles, and try to keep the public aware of threats to marriage, home, family, and, ultimately, our nation. Since the home, consisting of husband, wife, and children, is the foundation of a nation, any threats to its existence are of major concern to all of us.

However, all these causes, from the right to life, to threats against home schooling, and even the pollution of our food, though worthy, can take away time and strain the emotions that are needed to concentrate on their duties at home.

Finish this great article here:
How To Stop Fretting Over Politics and Start Living Abundantly

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

B.O.B. Homeschool Girl--Sims

Very creative, but the singer misses the high notes, which I find a bit painful. I told my DD not to do the wiggly thing with a guy, though. ;-)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Frugal Friday--Some Resources

Here are some helpful links for those in search of a simpler, more frugal, more balanced life.

Festival of Frugality
Carnival of Debt Reduction

Domestik Goddess

Real Life Blog/Frugal Friday Feast This blogger has the Frugal Friday idea, too, only with food. Yum!

Sarah Noel@Frugal Village

Food is Cheap Documenting culinary frugality since '07.

Frugal Blogs The Frugal Hacks headquarters for frugal bloggers. I'll join someday. Smile

Sites with tons of articles on many aspects of frugality:
All Things Frugal

Frugal Village

Frugal Mom

The Frugal Life

And don't forget Frugal Friday Headquarters!

The Great Tradition--a Great Book

From the Intercollegiate Studies Institute:

Frustrated with the continuing educational crisis of our time, concerned parents, teachers, and students sense that true reform requires more than innovative classroom technology, standardized tests, or skills training. An older tradition—the Great Tradition—of education in the West is waiting to be heard. Since antiquity, the Great Tradition has defined education first and foremost as the hard work of rightly ordering the human soul, helping it to love what it ought to love, and helping it to know itself and its maker. In the classical and Christian tradition, the formation of the soul in wisdom, virtue, and eloquence took precedence over all else, including instrumental training aimed at the inculcation of “useful” knowledge.

Edited by historian Richard Gamble, this anthology reconstructs a centuries-long conversation about the goals, conditions, and ultimate value of true education. Spanning more than two millennia, from the ancient Greeks to contemporary writers, it includes substantial excerpts from more than sixty seminal writings on education. Represented here are the wisdom and insight of such figures as Xenophon, Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Cicero, Basil, Augustine, Hugh of St. Victor, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Erasmus, Edmund Burke, John Henry Newman, Thomas Arnold, Albert Jay Nock, Dorothy Sayers, C. S. Lewis, and Eric Voegelin.

In an unbroken chain of giving and receiving, The Great Tradition embraced the accumulated wisdom of the past and understood education as the initiation of students into a body of truth. This unique collection is designed to help parents, students, and teachers reconnect with this noble legacy, to articulate a coherent defense of the liberal arts tradition, and to do battle with the modern utilitarians and vocationalists who dominate educational theory and practice.

The Great Tradition is an essential guide to the conflicts of our time.

A new Yahoo group dedicated to reading and discussing this book will start up in January, 2008. Andrew Campbell will lead and moderate.