Monday, November 26, 2012

Lady Soap

So everybody has been trying to get you to "buy stuff" for the past week.  Sorry to say I'm about to do it too.  BUT, it's for a good cause, and this could be a great gift for the person that is difficult to buy for.  People such as:
  • Men!  I find it much more difficult to buy for male relatives
  • The person that already has everything
  • The person that has limited space... this item is consumable!
  • The dieter - I like doing food gifts because they are also consumable, but some do not find temptation a nice gift
So who is left on your list?  Could they use some lovely handcrafted soap?  Could you? 

Samples of Tea Tree Oil Soap

In our family, we have to use natural soaps in the winter because of our very sensitive skin.  I can get away with a cheap bar of Ivory in the summer months, but when the air is dry, my sons and I need nourishing, gentle soap.  It doesn't get any better than the beautiful soaps made by my cousin, Fiona.

She is a true Proverbs 31 woman, taking care of her adorable little girl every day, supporting her husband in his work as a gospel preacher, and making soaps to help her family.  I've been blessed to sample some of her soaps and having used many different kinds of natural soaps over the years, I can say that hers are top notch! 

For more information, to ask her questions, or to order, you can go "Like" her business, "Lady Soap" on Facebook.
Here is the link:
You can also e-mail

Details for those who are interested:
Each soap has a blend of Coconut, Olive, Castor, Palm Oils and Cocoa Butter 

Large Lavender ($7)
Olive, palm, coconut, soybean, and cottonseed oils with lavender essential oi
popular soap, great to use anywhere! Lavender is known for its antiseptic and calming effects. This soap’s anti-inflammatory properties also help with itchy skin.
Large Eucalyptus Peppermint Swirl ($7)
Olive, palm, coconut, cocoa butter, and castor oils with Eucalyptus and Peppermint essential oils and red colorant
Two healing oils combine to help with muscle relaxation, stress and serves as an antiseptic for skin irritations.
Lemongrass & Sage
Olive, palm, coconut, cocoa butter, and castor oil with lemongrass essential oil and sage
Use this in the morning to refresh! Lemongrass will help revitalize your skin while sage will help with dryness and soreness.
Coffee Scrub ($6)
Olive, palm, coconut, cocoa butter, and castor oil with coffee grounds
Keep this soap in the kitchen! Since coffee is a neutralizer this soap is perfect to remove odors such as use after chopping garlic and onions
Orange Cinnamon

Olive, palm, coconut, cocoa butter, and castor oil with sweet orange essential oil and cinnamon
The cinnamon acts as an exfoliant while the sweet orange helps with dry, irritated skin.
Tea Tree 


Olive, palm, coconut, cocoa butter, and castor oil with tea tree essential oil
Tea tree oil has antifungal and healing properties that make this a great soap for skin and helps calm aching muscles.
Tea Tree with Honey

Olive, palm, coconut, cocoa butter, and castor oil with tea tree essential oil and honey
Combine the benefits of tea tree oil with honey and you have a antibacterial bar that is great for acne and eczema
Lavender Castile

Olive Oil with lavender essential oil
Made with 100% olive oil, this soap will smooth your skin and will add vitamins giving your skin a healthy glow. This a a mild soap that is great for the kids!

Each standard bar is 2oz and the larger bars are 3-4oz. 

Of the soaps I have tried, Tea Tree Oil is my current favorite.  It is a really nice, smooth soap with a refreshing scent.  I also love using the Lavender on my boys.  I really do think these soaps would be a perfect gift for any women, but especially the hard-to-buy-for man.  For one, men tend to like bar soaps, at least those of my acquaintance.  The scents are nice, but not flowery, and even though her company is called Lady Soap, my husband loves them.  We are also a family that has fun with a good natured tease, so giving a man in my family Lady Soap would garner some fun and laughter.

If you mention Church Mouse with your order, you get 10% off! 
If you order $30 or more, you get free shipping.  Otherwise shipping is a flat rate of $5 which is sent priority mail. 
And Fiona only has about 8 bars of each scent so supplies are definitely limited. 

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Prayers that Inspire

Every night, either Preacher Man or I pray with our boys as we tuck them into their beds.  It is a precious time with a final kiss of their forehead and one last cuddle before saying "Goodnight".

I stumbled onto a way of praying that has just captured the heart of my little boys.  It instantly calms, soothes, and inspires them. 

Our bedtime prayer goes something like this:
"Thank you God for my boy _______.  He is such a blessing.  Help him to be a man after Your own heart like David.  Help him to be wise like Solomon.  Help him to be strong like Samson.  Help him to be bold like Paul.  Help him to be faithful like Abraham.  Help him to be an encourager like Barnabus.  Help him to grow to be like Your Son, Jesus, and to have a heart that loves your law and wants to obey it.  Bless ________ and help him sleep well so tomorrow he can do everything he can to bring You glory.  In Jesus name, Amen."

And I change it up with different Bible characters, of course.  I'm amazed by the peace that comes over them while I am praying with them in this way.  I can tell that they are inspired to grow up to be like these Mighty Men of the Bible.  I hope they will always keep this vision on their hearts.

I just wanted to share something that I stumbled upon that has been so inspirational to my boys.  To God be the glory!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Just Three Things

Life... sometimes I feel like I'm living it well, and other times I feel like it is eating me alive. 

This fall has been very, very hard for me physically and it has taken a toll on all of us.  We've been in survival mode around here, but beyond just the week-long flu bug kind of survival mode, more like the month-and-a-half-long kind of survival mode.  And because your family will be able to make it if you go for a month without dusting and cleaning windows, but will not make it if you go for a month without washing the dishes or doing laundry, I have found that it helps so much to keep the three most essential chores at the forefront of my mind.

If you can only do three things, do these three:

Hungry people are unhappy people, especially children.  #1 of the top three is to get everyone fed each day.  Your meals don't need to be gourmet.  Sometimes you just need to fill the bellies.  Use your stock of freezer meals, and when you run out, buy some convenience foods, ask others to bring you meals, and eat PBJ every day for lunch if necessary, just make sure you fill the bellies. 

#1 is going to get complicated if you can't keep up with the dishes, so washing dishes regularly is second in importance.  Try to wash all of the dishes after each meal.  If you keep up in this way, it will only take you about 10 minutes of work at a time.  Really.  If they pile up for 2 or 3 days, it will be a huge project and you may not have the energy to tackle them.  If you are struggling to keep up, buy paper plates, bowls, and cups and use them. 

Do a load of laundry each day.  Just one.  If you have a little extra energy do two so you can take the day off tomorrow.  You can fold laundry while you rest on the couch, and throwing in a load takes minimal time and energy.  You can do it!  Putting them away is great if you have the energy, but the most important thing is just to get the clothes washed, dried and folded so they can be worn again.  Re-wear clothes that aren't dirty so you don't make more laundry than is necessary.

Another way this mental prioritizing is helpful is if you are working outside the home and are struggling to keep up day to day, or if you tend to get sidetracked with hobbies and not get dinner ready... force yourself to have the self-discipline to take care of these three things every day before you do anything else.

On your better days, try to wipe down the bathroom and get the floors cleaned.  Work for 10 minutes and rest for 20 (or more).  Bit by bit, you will get by.  This is a good time to give your child a crash course in using the vacuum or rinsing dishes for you.  My friend Amy says that a job done imperfectly by a child is an improvement over not being done at all by you.  

Lastly, keep praying and reading the Psalms.  It helps.
Auntie Leila has some wonderful advice on this as well.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Potluck Saturday: Pumpkin Chili

This recipe is for pumpkin lovers and pumpkin haters alike!  And it is DEFINITELY for chili lovers!  This is a flavorful, medium hot chili with beans and meat. 
  • 1 lg. onion, diced
  • 1 lb. green pepper, diced (or use about a cup of frozen)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. dry pinto beans, soaked, cooked, and salted to taste (see instructions here)
  • 28 oz. can diced tomato (or 1 qt. home canned)
  • 7 oz. can green chilis
  • 2 lbs. ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 2 Tbs. chili powder (use less if you like milder chili, more if you like it HOT!)
  • 1 tsp. ground chipotle powder
  • 2/3 c. buttermilk (or sour some milk with lemon juice)
  • a can of pumpkin (or an equal amount of pureed butternut squash)
Saute the onion and diced pepper in a little oil.  When the onions start to turn golden, add the garlic and saute until it starts turning color also.  Add the veggies and all of the rest of the ingredients to a crock pot and stir them up.  Cook for 8 hours on low.  (Make sure you have at least a 5 qt. crock pot because this recipe will fill it to the brim!)

If you use the entire can of pumpkin, you might notice some pumpkin flavor.  If you only use half, no one will even know it is there!  The pumpkin mellows out the spice while allowing the chili to have more flavor, as does the buttermilk.  While a bit unorthodox, these two ingredients make the recipe what it is, which is DELICIOUS!

As always, I highly recommend Penzey's Spices.  I use their medium hot chili powder and once you try it, you won't want to go back to the stuff in the grocery store that is full of salt and tastes like dirt!  Penzey's doesn't pay me to say this, I just love sharing the goodness.

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