Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Homemade Vanilla

  Happy New Year, This year for Christmas presents I made some homemade vanilla.  I have to say it was so fun and so easy, just took a couple of months preparation, but it was simple enough.
First off I ordered some very cool bottles online, then from Olive Nation I ordered all my vanilla beans. Here is the recipe I used from WWW.HAPPYMONEYSAVER.COM

Cut the each vanilla bean in half lengthwise splitting them in down the middle, but leave an inch at the end that is still connected. Then cut the beans in half the other way so they are shorter to fit in the jar.For every 8 ounces, add in pieces of vanilla beans that total 3 or 4 whole beans

.Pour the vodka over the beans so they’re completely covered in liquid. I bought a 40 oz. of vodka and it filled up my mason jar perfectly. I used 16 vanilla beans in my jar.Next, place the cap or lid tightly on the bottle and put them in a cool, dark place (such as a closet or back of the pantry). Once a week, give the bottles a good shake. The length of time you give them will depend on how intense you want the flavor to be. Six to 8 weeks is plenty, or you can let it go longer. Once it’s done, use something like a coffee filter or flour sack towel to strain out particulates from the extract. Put it back in the bottle or split among smaller bottles for gifts
I then went to pinterest looking for a label that I liked so I wouldn't have to make it myself.  I wish I could tell you who I got it from as to give them credit, but I can't remember. So here is the label I chose.

I wanted to personalize it a little more, so I went to my craft table and pulled out my punches from Stampin Up, and made these to tie on.

I think they turned out adorable and so fun to make and to give as a gift. Did you make anything special this year to give as a gift?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Something my husby wrote on Facebook today

Pin ItThis is so worthy of posting on my blog.  This is so how we feel and I am proud that Marky wrote it. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Maybe this will get me off my butt to continue writing on here.  :-) 

I just read the story about the man who was lead by God to deliver a gallon of milk to some strangers. in the middle of the night, who were praying for it because they had no money and their baby was hungry.
It made me cry, but it also reminded me of something that Kim and I have the miraculous fortune to experience almost daily.
While we were serving in Jamaica for a year and a half ( some of you know our story) we were never afraid. We did have times when we ran out of money, but as He would do for us back here at home, He would rain money down from heaven on us when we prayed to Him. We would receive a donation, or someone would , somehow come through for us.
We finally had to tap into our own private retirement account to get us through, but, thank God it was there.
He has always provided for us when we need it most.
Another thing we experience almost every day is that we run into people, when at the laundry-mat, or at a store, or when picking up something through Craigslist for homeschooling, or some other occurrence, who are fellow Christians . We get to talking and , inevitability, we share our story of our mission work and Dontae with them, and God does His thing. They gift us with their story of Faith, or they bless us with something we need, or they simply bask in the Glory of Our Lord.
I must admit that, when we knew we had to return home from Jamaica, I was concerned with the reception we would receive from fellow Americans, because this country seems to be so engulfed with materialism and disdain for those of us who follow Christ's Will for us. To say the least, I have been very pleasantly surprised and blessed by how He continually puts us in a position to share our story and our Faith with genuinely beautiful people in so many unexpected ways.
I can't tell you how often this happens now. I can't express how it has changed our lives, and the lives of those we encounter, but I can tell you this. He is always present. He is always at work with His Children. He is always blessing us, and those we meet, whether in person, or on Facebook, or even anonymously through word of mouth.
Once you know Christ is with you, and you follow His desires for you, you become aware of how His Grace and Love work daily in your life.
I wish everyone would take a chance on God and let the Glory of Christ's love for us change and move their lives in ways they won't believe or even understand.
If you don't know Jesus, or refuse Him to enter your life for whatever reason, you are short changing yourself, your family, and your time here on Earth.
Give God a chance. Listen and pray. He is the answer to your problems. He is the Creator of all that is. He is Truth and Love. And He wants this World to live in Peace and unity.
I truly believe and understand that, if ALL of humanity would follow Him, this World would be a much better place. And Peace on Earth would finally be achieved.
Blessings to everyone. And I mean EVERYONE !

Friday, August 31, 2012


This is an honest, true evaluation of our life, that we are sharing with you, maybe some part of it is what you need in your life right now.
As many of you know, we tried to sell our home before we left to Jamaica. It did not sell, so we tried for a home modification loan ( which is where they will lower your interest payment because Mark was laid off and had been for almost a year) The entire time we were in Jamaica we were sending and re sending them documents to get an answer of what our new house payment would be. They had already told us we could make a cheaper mortgage payment until they finish up with there end.  So we had enough money saved to make our house payments up through July 2011.  That was the magical date because we were coming home, after serving for a year. Well we did not go to Jamaica to adopt a child, but God thought differently, so consequently the adoption was not final in July and stayed that way until the very end of November 2011. We did not have any money left to make house payments, we actually didn't have any money left period. I was selling things long distance and depending on  my girls to take care of it. Until we just had to dip into our retirement.
When we got home, we still hadn't heard from the mortgage company about a loan modification. and it had been a year and a half.  Seemed very strange to me.  So I called them, that is when the shocker of a lifetime hit me square in the forehead. They told me they denied us months ago and we were in foreclosure.  "WHAT REALLY"! They never sent a letter or nothing informing us of this.  Only little sticky notes on our front door making sure we still lived there. How could we be in foreclosure when we have over two hundred thousand in equity?  I was so confused.  They went on to tell me that if we go into a home modification process the foreclosure would stop. "REALLY"!   What did I just get denied from??????  So that is what we did immediately. But we also right away put the house on the market. We were not liking how Chase  was taking care of us, or not taking care of us and we did NOT want to loose all our equity. So from Feb 2012 to Aug 2012, we had 35 people come through our home, and not a one put an offer on it.  Even after lowering the price down to a profit of ten thousand in our pocket.
While we were in Florida at the NFED conference for Dontae's condition, we got an unexpected phone call from chase telling us we were denied once again. But that we were  givin permission for a short sale. ( kinda put a damper on things a bit )When we got we started the process and the first people that looked at it put an offer on it.
So that is what our life looks like through a microscope. Everything we worked so hard for, down the drain...... or is it???????? 
God decided Mark and I were Dontae's parents. That became totally clear to us while in Jamaica. And how can you put a price tag on a life? You can't !  So one way of looking at it is Dontae cost us close to three hundred thousand dollars.  Is he worth it???? OH YEAH!!!!!!!our life is amazing with this little man.
So, now we are in the process of selling furniture and downsizing big time, then comes our huge moving sale, then we move into my in laws basement apartment to begin saving money again.
Some ask us if we are sad or bitter about loosing our home. To answer that truthfully, it is just a house and our stuff is just stuff.  We are a family that is together and where ever we are that is our HOME.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Pin ItI am trying to get this blog up and running again with a new everything, And its not letting me, so bare with me as I work on getting the problem fixed.  Thank you