Thursday, August 30, 2012

Food: Avocado-Chocolate Pudding

Yesterday I was browsing the internet looking for more protein shakes/smoothie recipes, and I came across Peanut Butter Fingers, a great website that has all kinds of healthy recipes, including all types of yummy smoothies. So while my spin-off of her Sunrise Smoothie was blending away, I noticed a recipe for Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse [I'm just linking up all kinds of nifty things from her website]. I rushed to my Piggly Wiggly [yes, I said "my Piggly Wiggly] to pick up some avocados so I could try this recipe out. I didn't have dark chocolate cocoa powder, but the regular stuff was just fine by me. I was just attempting this recipe first. Now let me tell you, her recipe said to throw in the avocado, the cocoa powder, and some honey and blend until smooth. It wasn't working for me. My blender was just spinning away and nothing was getting mixed, and that was because there wasn't enough liquid in my recipe. So I adapted her recipe again. The chick on Peanut Butter Fingers said she literally licked her blender clean. Ummm...YES, you will too. I'm sure hers was just lovely, but I'm telling you, this recipe was incredible. So I snapped a picture and posted it on Facebook.

What a conversation that one little picture started.

Someone questioned whether or not it was actually a healthy dessert because of avocados being high in fat, and the comments began flying. I quickly threw my ingredients in my calorie counter, came up with some digits, and felt like my recipe could stand against any store-bought pudding. So I'm going to share with you my recipe, some variations you can try, and then the nutrition value.

Sorry this isn't a GORGEOUS picture, but there is no denying the creaminess of that pudding right there. 

Avocado-Chocolate Pudding


  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp local, raw honey 
  • 1 cup milk 
Directions: [Are you ready for this? SO EASY]
  1. Put all the ingredients into a blender in the order above. 
  2. Blend until creamy and smooth. 
  3. Divide into 4 containers [about 1/3 cup each, give or take] and either enjoy now, put in the fridge for later, or freeze for even a later, yummy snack [can you say pudding pop?]
This will seriously blow your mind. When I told the cashier at The Pig what I was doing, she turned her nose up and said she doesn't like avocados, but I'm pretty sure if I let her try it, she wouldn't even know there was an avocado in there. 

Also, in the picture, I divided it in half, not in fourths, and could only eat about half of one of those containers. It was so rich, and it hit the spot, right on my sweet tooth. I have tried the" mix a banana with cocoa powder" thing before, but there was a distinct banana taste to it. This didn't really have any avocado taste to it. It just tasted like chocolate pudding. and that is something I LOVE and am willing to send with my kids in their school lunch boxes. 

  • My cousin asked about substituting agave and almond milk to make it vegan. YES. and if you do this, PLEASE let me know how it tastes. 
  • Blend some spinach in there as well. Take about 1/2 cup of fresh spinach and toss it in there before blending.
  • After blending, stir in some chopped walnuts about [1/4 cup]. I know this will increase the fats in the dessert, but all those fats are the GOOD KIND. And if you are splitting it up between 4 servings, it won't really affect the overall fat grams that much. 
Nutritional Value: 
  • TOTAL: Calories: 649; Carbohydrates: 91; Fat: 34 g; Protein: 16 g. 
  • If split into 4 servings of  ~1/3 cup: Calories: 162; Carbohydrates: 23 g; Fat 9 g; Protein: 4 g [this is based off the calorie counter in MyFitnessPal.com] 
Links to information on Avocados: 
Please try this, and comment here what you think. Can YOU taste the avocado? Did you try the dark chocolate cocoa? How about substituting a different type of sugar? Does it work just as well? 

Happy Snacking, friends. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Devotion: Using those Truths that were memorized

"Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path." Psalm 119:105

Photo Credit 

I leaned back in my seat as we drove away from my nephew's birthday party and sighed. "You know what would be great for dinner, tonight?" I asked my husband. "Steak, potatoes, and a side salad," I sighed. My oldest son perked up in the backseat. "Mooooom. 'Resist temptation,'" he quoted to me. His quoting of 2 Timothy 2:22 lead us to a discussion about the difference between temptation and enjoying things God has given to us. It was the second time that week my 7-year-old had quoted scripture to me. Not only did he quote it, but he was using the scripture in regular everyday conversation. The other time he quoted Galations 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control". He was telling me a story as was taking for-ev-er, and I told him so. "Patience, mom. It's a fruit of the spirit, and you need to use it with me. You have been a Christian a long time, and should already know this." Well. I was put in my place. Not only was he using scripture, but he was using it correctly to remind me of God's Truths.

I got to thinking about that a little later. My son had suddenly hit a new phase of learning and understanding scripture. For the past few years, we have been working on studying scripture and memorizing verses. Lately, I have been using Keys for Kids [for you old school peeps, remember Adventures in Odyssey? Same people] for their morning devotions. It takes only about 5 minutes to hear the story, get a key Bible verse, and get a lesson for the day. They have then been writing their prayers or thoughts in a journal [or drawing a picture] for about 5 minutes before they head on to school. I'm not sure if it's the journaling or if it's God's voice, but at some point my son made the transition from just listening to stories and memorizing scripture, to being able to actually use the scripture through the day. I was reminded of Proverbs 22:6 "Start children off the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." I'm not tooting my horn here, because God gets all the glory, but it sure is awesome to see God working through my kids.

Here are the boys journaling before school. See the notecards on the wall? That's where I place the key verses we are covering during the week. After each week, the kids asked I hang the verses in their room. Of course. :} 

Then it lead to me. All that Bible studying I do, all the preparations I do for Sunday School, all the devotions I blog about, how many of those verses have I actually memorized? And not only have I memorized, but how many come to mind when I go through my daily walk? My son set a great example for me. Does that mean I need to go around spouting scripture in every conversation I have? Not necessarily, but what it does mean is how often do I hear God's Word that is hidden in my heart? When I get frustrated with my kids, does scripture come to mind to be patient? When I am running out of money in the grocery budget, does scripture come to mind to trust God will take care of my family? When I am with a bunch of my lady friends, do I remember the scripture about not gossiping?

If scripture does not come to mind:
Am I just memorizing it to check it off my daily list?
Am I close enough to God to see His Truths in every situation?
Am I truly leading by example?

My goal this week is to see God's Word in every situation. When things are going well, I am going to work on remembering verses of praise. When I am tempted, I am going to work on remembering scripture that will  remind me to do what is right in God's eyes, and not the world's eyes. When I am angry, I pray God will remind me to have patience and love for those whom my anger is directed.

If I want to grow as a Follower of Christ, I must truly make God's Word a light onto my path so I can see where He wants me to go.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Devotion: Am I Used to Wearing Blinders?

"But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in darkness. They do not know where they are going because the darkness has blinded them." 1 John 2:11

Are you walking in the dark?
Photo credit 

I laid down on the chiropractor's table. She gently moved my head to the left, rotating almost past my shoulder. When she rotated to the right, though, my head barely made it to my shoulder. "Huh," she said. I asked her what was wrong, and she told me that I'm not getting a full rotation with my head like I should be, especially on the right side. I had never noticed. To me, it was normal for me to not look over my right shoulder, and it never occurred to me that my vision was being unnecessarily restricted. You see, over the years, and through countless injuries, my body slowly adapted to my lack of proper rotation to where it was normal for me to be...well...abnormal. It wasn't until she adjusted me that it was like blinders being removed. Suddenly, I didn't have to turn my entire body to see over my shoulder, and it sure made keeping an eye on my kids that much easier.

1 John talks about similar blinders. Satan is sneaky [see this post about that subject]. His main goal is to separate us from God. He throws a major sin in our face. We say, "NO WAY", and he backs off, but only just a little, so we are just getting a little bit of the sin instead of the whole thing. Then he adds a little more, and then a little more. Before we know it, we are knee deep in that sin we so vehemently said "NO" to before...and we are comfortable with it...and we are separated from God. For example, gas stations jack the price of gas up to 4.00 a gallon. People balk at it, and then the price is reduced 3.80. People are okay with it. Then the gas suddenly goes up to 3.98. People are upset about it. So the gas goes down to 3.92. Then, gas is suddenly 4.15. NO WAY are we paying that. So the gas is lowered to 4.00 and we are all happy with that. What we rejected just a few weeks ago is completely acceptable today. I'm not saying gas stations are the devil, but I sure am saying that Satan works the same way.

So how are we to fight against this Sneaky Satan?

First, stay as close to the Light as possible. Stay in constant contact with God. Pray always. Seriously. When you start to get angry at your kids, pray. When you are frustrated with your husband, pray. When you are feeling worthless, pray. When you are tempted to do something you know can lead down a dangerous road, pray. God cares. Read God's word daily [5 minutes, 15 minutes, or even an hour]. He wants you to constantly stay in contact with him. When you work at staying in the Light, it is so much easier to see the darkness trying to creep in.

Second, stay in fellowship with other believers. We are all on the same team [Team Jesus].God calls us to lift each other up, support each other, and to gently lead others back to the Light. 1 John 2 talks about loving others. Most definitely love the sinner, hate the sin. And if you see another brother or sister struggling, 1 John 2 also talks about making sure you work at not causing others to stumble, to fall into that darkness. Lift each other up always, and don't give in to gossip.

Third, recognize the sin immediately and get away from it. 2 Timothy 2:22 says "Run away from temptation...". This is so very important. You can recognize the sin by doing Step 1 and 2. But it's not always about just recognizing the sin; you must get away from it as quickly as possible. God knows that Satan is sneaky. He knows we can suddenly find ourselves in the middle of a sin that we never meant to get involved in. and God wants us to see the sin for what it is and to get away from it and run to Him quickly.

For example [and this is not pointing fingers...I, too, have found myself in this sin]: Read a romance novel just to pass the time. Then suddenly you're wondering why your love life doesn't match that of the characters in the book. Why isn't a simple kiss always mind-tingling, leaving you in a puddle? Then you are building resentment in your heart towards your spouse because he/she doesn't match up. You stop kissing because it's just disappointing. Now there is a rift in your marriage [albeit, a small one]. Your eyes start wandering. [this is where it stopped for me, but I know others who let it continue from here, leading to an eventual divorce]. 

Again, I'm not saying romance novels are of the devil, but anything that gets your attention off of what God has blessed you with is a sin. For me, I decided that reading those types of books were more harmful to my marriage, and I stopped reading them. If you see that you are starting to head down a dangerous road RUN AWAY. Get as far away from that little itty bitty sin as quickly as you can. Otherwise you are giving Satan a foothold. And that is how you find yourself comfortable in the dark...and separated form God.

So what about you? What kind of blinders do you have on? Are you used to wearing those blinders? Identify those little temptations and get away from them today.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

31 Days of Praying for Teachers

A while back, I sent out a Call for Help with 31 Days of Praying for Teachers. I did get some response back, but not nearly as much as I was hoping for. What that means, though, is God is planning on teaching me as I go through compiling verses and prayers for teachers as they prepare for the first few weeks of school. As a former teacher, I understand the necessity of laying the new school year, the children, their parents, and my family before the Lord. And now, as a stay at home mom, I pray for my teacher friends, the teachers my children will have, and the children (and youth) that will begin a new year. Please join me in taking a few minutes each day to lift up the teachers for the next 31 days.


  1. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight." Proverbs 9:10. Pray for teachers to trust in the Lord for wisdom in preparation for a new school year. 
  2. "But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night" Psalm 1:2 Pray for teachers to find moments to delight in the law of the Lord, and to take time each day to think about God's purpose for their lives as they prepare to teach. 
  3. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." James 1:5 Pray for teachers to know when to ask for help when confronted with a tough situation, whether it is an unruly child, an angry parent, or any other situation that is outside their control. 
  4. "May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you." Psalm 25:21. Pray for teachers to have a sense of honesty and integrity as they teach this year. Pray they will constantly insist on standing for the truth so they please the Lord and so their integrity will not be questioned. 
  5. "Trust God with all your heart. Don't try to figure it out on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He's the one who will keep you on track." Proverbs 3:5-6. Pray for teachers to trust that God knows what He is doing when He presents them with a certain task, whether it is teaching a new class or if they have a difficult student. Pray they will listen for God's voice for wisdom in handling every situation. 
  6. "He has told you, O Man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8. Pray for teachers to always utilize justice in their classrooms, but to utilize it with love, giving all the glory to God. 
  7. "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been placed there by God." Romans 13:1. Pray for teachers to remember to have respect for those above them: department heads, curriculum leaders, principals, and superintendents. 
  8. "Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful." Luke 6:36. Pray for teachers to practice mercy on their students. Pray their eyes are open to extenuating circumstances that have placed their students in difficult situations. Pray they see those circumstances and hand out mercy when necessary. 
  9. "...and he answered, 'I will not' but afterwards he changed his mind and went...." Matthew 21:29. Pray for teachers to be reliable. Pray they will establish a reputation as one who always does his/her best to be one time, work hard, and be dependable. 
  10. "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6. Pray for teachers to have courage to do what is right, trusting that God is always with them. 
  11. "Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and let the purity of my heart be shown in my actions." Psalm 51:10. Pray for teachers to have a pure heart, and to see the children where they are in order to foster a positive learning environment. 
  12. "Guard the spirit of marriage within you. Don't cheat on your spouse." Malachi 2:15. Pray for teachers to remember to serve their own families first. Pray they will put the needs of their family first, and that they will protect the sanctity of the home. 
  13. "And be careful that when you get on each other's nerves you don't snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out." 1 Thessalonians 5:15. Pray for teachers to remember to show kindness to their students. Pray they will remember to speak softly when their students are disrespectful or disobedient. 
  14. "But if it only money the leaders are after, they'll self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble..." 1 Timothy 6:6-10. Pray that teachers are wise with their money and their purpose for teaching is not to pay the bills but to affect the future generations. Although teachers generally don't make much money, pray that their purpose is focused more on their students than just clocking in and clocking out. 
  15. "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." Galatians 5:22-23. Pray for teachers to personify all of these characteristics not only in their classrooms, but with their families, friends, coworkers, and people they meet along the way. 
  16. "I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty, and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:12-13. Pray for teachers to have a sense of contentment as they face the everyday struggles of teaching. Pray they will find joy and strength, daily, in trusting that God will give them all they need. 
  17. "How well God must like you --you don't hang out at Sin Saloon, you don't slink along dead-end road, you don't go to Smart-Mouth College. Instead, you thrill to God's word. You chew on scripture day and night. You're a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month, never dropping a leaf, always in bloom." Psalm 1: 1-3. Pray that teachers will seek out and nurture Godly friendships. Pray you will give them a sense of camaraderie in finding coworkers who also stand for Truth and what is Right. 
  18. "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for man." Colossians 3:23. Pray that teachers will develop a servant's heart and work hard, all the time, not to please man, but to please the Lord. 
  19. "Look carefully, then how you walk, not as unwise, but at wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil." Ephesians 5: 15-16. Pray for teachers to know their priorities. Pray they will not waste anytime in their classrooms, meetings, or during planning times, but to work diligently in order to be the best they can be. 
  20. "Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord will be safe." Proverbs 29:25. Pray teachers will resist temptation, bribery, and manipulation. Pray they put their trust in God, and that He will protect them. 
....to be continued. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Devotion: Do I Really Love the Lord?

"He said to him a second time, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me?' He said to him, 'Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, 'Tend my sheep.'" John 21:16

Photo Credit

The past few weeks (months, even?) our Pastor has been going through J.C. Ryle's book Holiness (down load the pdf version of this book here) on Wednesday nights. I have really learned so much about walk with the Lord and all about His incredible love for me. This past Wednesday, we were going over Ch. 15: "Do You Love Me?" Let me tell you, I really had to question my love for the Lord. So many times I say I love the Lord, but this week's study made me question if I love the Lord like a friend, or if I love the Lord as the center of my world. Our Pastor said, "You can always know if a Christian love Christ because of these things:" (and here is the list...reference the the book for more details)

  1. If we love a person, we think about him. 
  2. If we love a person, we love to hear about him. 
  3. If we love a person, we love to read letters from/about him. 
  4. If we love a person, we want to please him. 
  5. If we love a person, we like his friends
  6. If we love a person, we are jealous about his name and honor
  7. If we love a person, we talk to him. 
  8. If we love a person, we want to be always with him
Our love for the Lord should be incredibly similar to our love for our spouses (or the ones we are engaged to). So let me take a moment to go through my personal thoughts/responses to each of these. In many of these, I will compare how much love and dedication I have for my husband to the love and dedication I have (or should have) for the Lord. 
  1. Our Pastor referenced Ephesians 3:17, but let me expand that little bit more (v14-19) : "My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask Him to strengthen you by His Spirit --not a brute strength, but a glorious inner strength-- that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite Him in. And I ask that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test it's length! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God."  When I fell in love with the man who became my husband, I thought about him all the time! I couldn't get him off my mind. And as my love has grown for him over the years, I continue to think about him while he is at work, while he is away on work trips, while he is practicing with the praise band at church. I think about him all the time. So, if I love the Lord (and I should love Him more than my husband), do I think about him all the time? And I must confess, not nearly as much as I should. I have grown closer to the Lord recently, and my thoughts are about Him more, but this is definitely an area I can improve on. 
  2. My husband is a decently important person in the field he works in. And, as part of his job, he is frequently on the news, in the paper, or having to speak to large crowds. I love to hear how important my husband and his skill is to those around him. At church, my husband plays in the praise band. He has a great voice, and contributes his guitar playing and harmonica skills to the worship. I love hearing people comment on his playing and singing. It makes me so proud of him. What about the Lord? Do I love hearing about the Lord? Do I love hearing how He has blessed others? Do I love listening to others reveal His truths? ABSOLUTELY! It's always exciting to me to see how He has laid out the pieces of a puzzle through a course of events to bring around something spectacular for someone. 
  3. In the same line as hearing about the Lord, do I love to read letters from/about Him? Do I read my Bible frequently? Do I research the meaning of His Word? Do I read the great scholars who have studied Him to gain a better understanding? I can honestly say that this was a minimum for me until I started teaching the Young People's Sunday School Class. We aren't always using a set curriculum, and tend to just go through sections (we did Jesus's parables and are now going through 1 John). In order to make sure Joe and I are sharing God's Word (and not our opinion of God's Word), we do research and study in order to accurately teach the young people. Through the years I have done Bible studies, but it has only been recently that I have done my own research. If I love the Lord, I am going to need to work on reading letters from/about God
  4. The past 13 weeks, I have been studying the Proverbs 31 wife (by WomenLivingWell.org). Because I love my husband so much, I want to be the best wife God has called me to be for my husband. I want to please my husband. I want him to trust that I am taking care of the household, and that I am taking the responsibility of raising our children seriously. I want him to have confidence that he will come home from providing for us to a clean house, a cooked meal, and children who have been trained to treat each other with respect and to love the Lord. But do I strive to please the Lord? In my notes from the Pastor's sermon, I circled this one a few times. What exactly am I doing to please the Lord? Are my efforts really to please man or are they to please my Lord? Do I desire to make Him proud of me as I desire for my husband to be proud of me? And if I do, what more can I do? Just as there is always more I can do to make my husband proud, there is also so much more I can do to make my Creator happy. 
  5. Woo! #5 definitely hit home this week. I was lucky with my husband to have mutual friends before we actually started dating. And many of our friends now are mutual friends. But when it comes to the Lord's friends (fellow believers), do I really like all of them? Honesty time: I struggle with this. There are just some times when my personality does not click well with another believer's. I have had a spat or two with other believers. And, yes, I have spoken against a fellow believer. Shame on me! We have a special bond that is so much better than any earthly bond: God! And because we are all in this battle together, we need to constantly be lifting each other up. If I truly love my God, I need to work on loving other believers more. Doing this will also help me with #4, pleasing the Lord. 
  6. So when the Pastor brought up this next point of "being jealous about his name and honor", I thought? Jealous? Really? Then, thankfully, he explained it in these words, "We don't like hearing someone speaking against the name or honor"...of the one we love. When someone speaks against my husband, do I get upset? Absolutely! When someone disrespects my man, do I say something about it? Yup! BUT when someone is speaking against the name and honor of my Lord do I get upset? Do I say something? This has been a struggle this past week with the controversy about a certain company speaking about their beliefs. I struggled with whether or not I should put my two cents in as well. But when there was an overwhelming outpouring of others shouting their opinions, I felt that maybe it would be best to voice my opinion in my actions towards others. BUT there are times I feel it is necessary to speak up. NOT THAT GOD NEEDS ME TO DEFEND HIM. He does not, but do I get jealous when others defile His name? Yes. Yes I do. 
  7. If my husband came home, and I was too busy to speak to him, he would feel neglected. I  would feel neglected and not loved if my husband was too busy to take the time to see how my day was. My husband I have gone through ups and downs of speaking to each other. And I can tell you, the times where we were too busy to speak to each other...REALLY speak to each other...were the toughest times. We were meant to support each other, to listen to each other, to bounce ideas and thoughts off each other. We were meant to love each other with our attentiveness. And God sets a great example of how He loves us by listening to us, by talking to us. My Lord speaks to me in so many different ways (through my husband, through my children, through my friends, through the Pastor, through His Word, through His creation). I am so lucky to have a Lord who loves me so much! And I most definitely need to work on loving Him more by talking to Him more. This is an area I can always improve on. One thing my Pastor said about this point was, "We should not be happy until we can talk to Him." So true. Our hearts should be hurting until we can have communication with our Creator. 
  8. When my husband goes to work, my heart hurts. I really would prefer to just spend the entire day with him. When my husband has to go on some work vacation, I am miserable until he comes back. I really am. I love being around my husband. We should also love to be in company with the Lord. It should make me miserable when I am not able to go to church. It should make my heart hurt when I miss my morning devotion. It should make me sad when I can't make it to home group. And it does! Sometimes more than others, but it does. BUT...please listen....the more time you spend away from God, the easier it is to spend time away from God. I remember my first year of college. I hadn't found a church to call my home away from home. One week went by without going to church. I watched it on tv. Another week went by, and I watched it on tv. Then the third week came, and I slept in. And then I would just not make it an effort. Then suddenly I was in a position where it was so easy to not go to church. I had let other things (sleep, laziness, school, friends) become my idol. I let those things take the place of the Lord who had spent so much time loving on me. It's so important to constantly be with the Lord. Satan is really, really good about encouraging you to not be close to God. He sure makes it appealing to sleep in on Sundays, to create a family tradition of Sunday Brunch instead of learning more about the Lord and worshiping with other believers. This is a trap I can fall into real easily. And if I truly love the Lord, I am going to want my heart to desire to always be with him in worship, Bible study, personal prayer time, corporate prayer time, and fellowship with other believers. 
So the question is, Do I love Christ? Yes, I do! BUT can I improve on my love? Absolutely!! Just as there are always more ways to show my husband that I love him, there are even more ways for me to show my Creator that I love Him. 

What about you? If you evaluate your love with the Lord, do you fall short? Are there ways you can improve? Make sure when focusing on improving your love for Him, that you don't neglect other ways. Don't beef up on your prayer time (talking to Him), and neglect loving His friends (for example). 

And May your Love for the Lord be Evident to Others so They May, too, Love the Lord. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Make Your Own: Bug Spray

Woo Wee! Summertime in coastal South Carolina means feasting season for mosquitoes. Did you know that  mosquitoes can be more attracted to certain people over others? No really. If my family decides to have dinner outside (on one of the rare summer evenings when it is not sweltering), my husband and my two last children rarely get a bug bite. My oldest son and I? Covered. Absolutely covered in bug bites. I actually did some research on it, and a few factors can point to this reason. This blog post, "Why are Mosquitoes are attracted to some people more than others," is probably one of the best I've seen that explains it all.  Basically, my oldest son and I release a TON more heat than my husband and my other two children. That is a fact! I am hot when it is 70 degrees, and if you are near me when I'm hot, you can actually feel the heat come off my body. My oldest son is the same way. So....this means spending anytime outside means we are setting ourselves up for an attack. 

When I started this Make Your Own Series, I was really excited to try making my own bug spray. Why did I wait until August 1st to make it? Well, I wanted to do a ton of research. I don't like the idea of placing chemicals on my body or my children's bodies, and I didn't want to make something that could be harmful to my family or something that wouldn't work. This morning I had my children do a sort of science experience. I found a few recipes, made some bug spray, and then had my kids try out the spray. I'm actually pretty pleased with the outcome! Check it out: 
I have been saving this Ketchup bottle for a long time. This has a perfect spout for me to squirt the  bug spray . 
Make Your Own: Bug Spray

  • 1 cup witch hazel (LOVE this stuff, AND I had some from when I made a Scented Room Spray)  
  • 8 drops of citronella or lemongrass or some other kind of citrus scented essential oils 
  • 5 drop of lavender essential oils
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil 
  • A funnel 
  • A mason jar with a lid
  • Some kind of container for the final product, with either a spray or squirt spout
  1. Most mason jars have a little measuring line on the side, so I poured (and measured) the witch hazel in the jar. 
  2. Add the essential oils. NOTE: Please make sure you are using essential oils. This will go on your skin. Don't use the kind for candles. 
  3. Add the olive oil. Put on the lid and shake. 
  4. Pour the liquid into your bug spray container, using the funnel. 
  5. When ready to use, put a little of the bug spray in your hands and rub on your exposed skin. NOTE: this lasts only about 30 minutes, so you will have to reapply. 
So the science experiment? 

I had my sons go outside, without bug spray, for 5 minutes. Remember, one boy is like me, and gets bitten often, and the other is like my husband, and doesn't get attacked nearly as much. They could play, sit, whatever, but they had to keep track of any mosquito bites. It has been raining here, and it is really humid, so the bugs are OUT! After 5 minutes, I had them come inside, we recorded how many bug bites (they averaged 6 bites), and applied the bug spray. I then sent them back outside for 5 minutes. When they came back inside, we recorded the bites...NO BITES!!! 
Here are the boys (and the dog) hanging out while they wait for the 5 minutes to be up. 
So far so good!