Thursday, December 29, 2011

Geocaching - Puzzle Caches

For all of my caching friends out there, especially those of you who don't like puzzles, this video is a must see.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Introverts - Hey, That's ME!

I'm cleaning off my desk today, and I'm finding scraps of paper with odds and ends of things I want to remember on them.  It's easier to write about them here than try to find a place to keep them in hardcopy form forever.  ~smile~ 

One very helpful article I read last year was by a guy named Carl (no relation) who writes Owl City Blog.  I haven't read any of his other blogs.  So, I can't vouch for those.  But this one talked about introverts, and quite honestly, it fit me to a T! 

So, if you are trying to figure me out, give this article a read.  You will likely learn a few things.  Here are the main points, in a cut and paste fashion:

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

It can be terribly destructive for an Introvert to deny themselves in order to get along in an Extrovert-Dominant World. Like other minorities, Introverts can end up hating themselves and others because of the differences. If you think you are an Introvert, I recommend you research the topic and seek out other Introverts to compare notes. The burden is not entirely on Introverts to try and become “normal.” Extroverts need to recognize and respect us, and we also need to respect ourselves.

Quote About the Home

"Thank God, O women, for the quietude of your home, and that you are queen in it.  Men come at eventide to the home; but all day long you are there, beautifying it, sanctifying it, adorning it, blessing it.  Better be there than wear a queen's coronet.  Better be there than carry the purse of a princess.  It may be a very humble home.  There may be no carpet on the floor.  These may be no pictures on the wall.  There may be no silks in the wardrobe; but, by your faith in God, and your cheerful demeanor, you may garniture that place with more splendor than the upholsterer's hand ever kindled."  ~ Reverend T. DeWitt Talmage, D.D.

Recipe - Creamy Grapes

My mom served this once, and we all fell in love with the recipe.  While we all enjoy grapes just the way God made them, occasionally it's nice to do something a bit different.

Obviously, with four pounds of grapes, this makes quite a bit, but feel free to cut the recipe in half.


1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 C sour cream
1/3 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 lbs seedless red grapes
2 lbs seedless green grapes

Beat the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla until blended.  Add grapes and toss to coat.  Refrigerate. 

A Fun Song: Matthew's Begats

Two young ladies from our church sang this song at our Family Christmas Program.  Many of us fell in love with it.  And while I don't have a video of the two gals singing it, I still wanted to share it with you.  So, here's someone I don't know singing the same song.  ~smile~  Enjoy!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Recipe - Sparkling Grape Juice

One of our family traditions on special days is to undust the goblets and break open a bottle of sparkling grape juice.  But one bottle is hardly enough for the five of us to get a glass each.  Then it's gone, and what fun is that?!?  And the stuff isn't cheap, so when I stumbled across this "recipe" for homemade sparkling grape juice, I knew I wanted to give it a try.  The nice thing about making our own is that we're not limited to grape or white grape.  We tried this today (Christmas eve) with "berry blend."  And I bought "strawberry-kiwi" for Christmas day.  I mixed it up in a nice pitcher, and everyone was able to drink up.  ~smile~


2 liters of club soda (chilled)
12 ounces of frozen juice concentrate (whatever flavor you want to try!)

Put the concentrate in a pitcher, and add 6 cups of the club soda.  You won't use all the club soda, but if you use too much it might taste a bit odd.  So, don't just dump in the full two liters.  Stir and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My New Ironing Board!

While I was surfing the 'net the other day I came across directions on how to make a small ironing board out of a wooden TV tray.  (   I loved the idea.  When Alicia and I are sewing, it's always a bit of a hassle to leave the sewing machine and go to the ironing board.  But this one is table-top height, and extremely portable.  So, we can set it up right next to our sewing machine, and we're all set to go!  And when it's not in use, it can fold up flat.  Now I'm eager to use it!

I had a wooden TV tray already, and I had a scrap of some really cute fabric for the top.  I had to buy the cotton batting and some twill to put between the cute fabric and the batting.  Here's the one I made:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Recipe - Russian Refresher

Once the weather starts turning colder, I love my hot beverages.  I'm not a fan of coffee.  I like hot chocolate, hot vanilla, hot cider, chai, tea, and Russian Refresher.  I'm not sure why it's called Russian Refresher, but it is a refreshing drink.  And as a bonus, it's good cold, too!  I keep my mix in a quart jar.  Enjoy!


2 C powdered orange drink mix (Tang)
1 3-oz pkg presweetened powdered lemonade mix (1/2 C)
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves

Mix well.

To serve: Add 1 Tbs (or to taste) to 1 cup of boiling water.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

What I'm Reading - God's Smuggler

I'm usually always reading a "real" book to the kids.  That's one of the perks of homeschooling... having time to read together.  Today we finished reading the book "God's Smuggler" by Brother Andrew. 

I remember reading this book many years ago, likely while I was still in high school.  I remember that it made an impression on me, and I thought our kids might appreciate it as well.  So, I dusted off my copy, and we dug in.

I loved re-reading it, and the kids loved hearing it for the first time.  We loved hearing the different ways in which God answered prayers.  We loved hearing about a "hopeless" situation, only to find that God turned that situation around.  We were challenged to think about areas in our lives where we lean too much on our own understanding.

The book has been around for awhile (obviously, since I read it over 20 years ago!), and I know that not all of those countries are currently closed to Christianity.  But there are other countries that are closed to Christianity.  Believers in these countries need our prayers and our support.  My kids grasped this.  During prayer time now, they often pray for Christians who don't have access to a Bible or who are being persecuted for their faith.

What struck me the most about this book was Brother Andrew's attitude that "A child of the King wouldn't have to do _______."  God doesn't want His children to grovel.  He doesn't want us to be devious.  He wants us to live lives that are noble.  He wants us to trust Him in all things and for all things.

What a mighty God we serve!

If you want to be encouraged in your faith, I strongly recommend (and I'm sure my kids would, too!) reading this book!

Friday, December 16, 2011

How to Tie a Knot in a Piece of Thread

Yeah... That sounds rather simple, but it's something everyone will have to do at some point in their life. Even people who will never sit in front of a sewing machine will want to sew a button back on a shirt at some point. So, everyone should know how to tie a knot in a piece of thread.

My daughter and I are taking sewing classes, and one of the things we learned early on was a quick and easy way to knot thread. (On purpose!) However, it was so easy, that I promptly forgot how to do it! Eek!

Well, Alicia is mending some of her doll's clothes and of course, we needed to knot a piece of thread. After a brief search on YouTube, I found what I needed. The sound on the video isn't very good, but you'll get the idea.

Happy sewing!