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Posts Tagged ‘howto’

WFMW & Thursday 13: Our Purpose Driven Lives

Posted by infinitygoods on January 29, 2008

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The Lenten season is approaching quickly.  For the past two years while I was working at my church I have used the book “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren to prepare for Easter by reading his book and reflecting on his 40-day spiritual journey.  I found different insights each year as I have grown and changed.  It worked for me so well that I want to repeat it for a third year, and for 2008 I hope you’ll join me on-line.  I highly recommend this book which according to Publishers Weekly has become “the bestselling nonfiction hardback book in history.”  So come find out why with me and my other readers.  If you don’t already own it, you can check it out from your local library when the time comes, or you can purchase it.

If you’re interested in “The Purpose Driven Life,” please join me for the 40 days of lent as we go through each of the 4o short chapters one day at a time.  I will start the discussion with the introduction on February 6th (Ash Wednesday) and we will continue for the next 40 days during lent, finishing on March 17th (St. Patrick’s Day), just in time for Holy Week and with God’s help we will be prepared for a new purpose driven life during the Easter Season.   (I will continue my other posts as well.)

Here are 13 of many more discussion questions taken from Warren’s book:

  1. What do you feel most people’s lives are driven by?
  2. What has been the driving force in your life?
  3. How is friendship with God similar to any other friendship, and how is it different?
  4. What fears surface when you think of surrendering your complete life to Christ?
  5. What are the barriers that keep us from loving and caring for other believers?
  6. Is there someone you need to restore a relationship with that we could pray with you about?
  7. Where in your spiritual growth are you having to be patient because there seems to be little progress?
  8. How has God used pain and trouble to help you grow?
  9. What do you love to do that you could use to serve others in the family of God?
  10. How does comparing ourselves with others keep us from fully developing our unique shape?
  11. What do you feel might be a part of the Life Message that God has given you to share with the world?
  12. How has reading through this book together refocused or redirected you life purpose?
  13. What have been some of the most helpful insights to you?

For more participants, head over to Shannon’s Rocks In My Dryer, and to Thursday Thirteen.  And if you’ve missed some of my previous posts, just click below.

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Growing Blog, Top Post And Blog Forecast For 2008

Posted by infinitygoods on January 3, 2008

I’m amazed and also quite pleased to see that I continue to make the Growing Blog list on WordPress despite the exponential factor which should make it progressively more difficult to be on this list.

To remain a growing blog, you not only have to grow, but you have to outdo your own growing rate and the rate of others each time, and I’ve started the new year with a bang not only being one of the WordPress Growing Blogs, but also having one of the Top Posts on WordPress.

At last count my post Organizing Household Resources In An Address Book was the 99th Top Post on WordPress out of more than 2 million blogs and an unknown bazillion posts.

I’ve said it before, but I have to say it again that I thank my readers.  I’m so glad that you find my blog to be interesting and useful.  I’m so glad when I look at my statistics and see that you came to my site from a link which was e-mailed to you or when I read my own e-mail and there’s a note from you telling me that you are putting me on your reader so you won’t miss a post.

As you saw with yesterday’s post, I don’t like to make New Year Resolutions because so few people can keep them and if I’m going to have a resolution or a goal, why wait for January 1, but here are just a few of the directions I see my blog going in the coming months.  I have other plans too that I’ll let you know about as the year unfolds.

If you’ve made the resolution to be organized, this blog is quickly becoming the place to find easy tips and solutions.  I’ve even created pages at the top of this blog for Household Tips and for Organizing so that you can easily find my posts at any time.  To help you with that there are also a search feature and a calendar in the sidebar.

I’ve noticed that you are also especially interested in my posts on healthy eating and cookies (not so healthy but yummy) as well as other recipes.  So I’ll give you a bit more in these areas too in the coming months.

I’ll continue to post about religion, God and my opinions on the topic.  The Lenten season is approaching quickly.  For the past two years I have used the book “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren to prepare for Easter by reading his book and reflecting on his 40-day spiritual journey.  I found different insights each year as I have grown and changed, and for 2008 I hope you’ll join me on-line.  I highly recommend this book which according to Publishers Weekly has become “the bestselling nonfiction hardback book in history.”  So come find out why with me and my other readers.  If you don’t already own it, you can check it out from your local library when the time comes, or you can purchase it.

Today and anytime, feel free to leave me comments.  Comments help us get to know each other and to build a community.

In the meantime, thanks a million to all of you for reading my blog, and I wish you and your loved ones a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year 2008!!!

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Organizing Household Resources In An Address Book

Posted by infinitygoods on January 1, 2008

wfmwbluebanner.jpgI once read about a bride who was raving about a wedding gift her grandmother had given her. Over the years, I’ve created my own, and created others for family and friends, and I can tell you firsthand that it not only has worked for all of us, but it has been an invaluable and time-tested resource.

The bride had received an address book, but it wasn’t just any blank address book. The grandmother had filled the book with information from all the businesses she had used and recommended over the years such as doctors, painters, insurance agents, craft stores, bookstores, etc.. The grandmother annotated each listing with the name of the contact person, when and why that business was used and why that business was so great.

Now my grandmother didn’t live in my area, and my husband and I at the time were both brand new to the area with no family and no friends yet, so I immediately saw the value of such a great resource. I started my own by keeping my ears wide open for when people raved about someone, and I also asked lots of people lots of questions.

For example, when you casually poll 100 neighbors, co-workers, etc. on where to get the best pizza in town, you quickly get a top 2 or 3. And I found that many people would also volunteer more information like where to get the best Chinese food.

Pretty soon, some of these people would also become favorite resources because their recommendations were always right on the mark. Likewise, a few people were no longer asked because their advice was not valuable to us.

We learned by trial and error, but over the years we’ve collected excellent resources which I also keep in a separate household address book with business cards tucked in when available.

I also cross-reference to find things easily. For example, Joe’s Roofing is recorded under Joe, but it’s also recorded under Roofing. Like the grandmother had done, I also annotate to help my husband if he’s looking through the book and to jog my own memory if I’m the one recommending the business to someone.

It’s become a very valuable address book for us, as it had for that granddaughter, and I’m sure it would work for you or your children. For more participants in this week’s Works For Me Wednesday, be sure to visit Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer.

If you’ve missed any of my other organizing ideas and household tips, just click below.

Posted in blog, blogging, Blogroll, book, Caring, carnival, consumers, culture, education, Family, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, Rocks In My Dryer, Tips, Website | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Thursday Thirteen #12 — Organized In The New Year

Posted by infinitygoods on December 26, 2007

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Welcome back to Thursday Thirteen! With the New Year resolutions looming in the near future, I am sharing with you 13 ways to remain organized in 2008 and for years to come. Click on the links for more details.

  1. Desk Calendar: I hide a large desk calendar inside my guest closet;
  2. Notebooks: Never again lose notes jotted on a scrap of paper. I have a tiny one in my purse for notes on the go; a small one near every phone and especially near the answering machine, just the right size for a name and phone number; regular school notebooks for projects, ideas, my blog, journals, etc.;
  3. Binders: I keep regular school binders by category such as my household binder;
  4. Flash Drives: I’m so excited flash drives were invented and have so drastically dropped down in price. I back up just about everything by category on flash drives. These days, you can even buy them in packs of 10! I have one for my photos, one for my blog, one for my recipes, one for my documents, etc.
  5. Easy Zipper Bags: These are not relegated to just the refrigerator. I use them in just about every room. They are particularly good to help children store and easily find their toys;
  6. Bread Bag Close Tabs: I use these in the freezer!
  7. Kitchen Colander: Really, I’m not crazy, and a colander does keep me organized — in the bathtub!!
  8. Plastic Grocery Bags: Paper or plastic? Plastic for me because they get reused in a whole slew of ways before finding themselves in the landfill;
  9. Trading Card Storage: Our son has lots of game and trading cards, and like his friends and their parents, we were having a hard time finding a good way to organize them at any price until I thought of using this free box.
  10. Keeping Our Bookcases From Breaking: My husband, our son and I are all avid readers so our bookcases are always bulging despite using the library. I recently found this solution and so far it seems to be working as it should. If any of you do this too, let all of us know how it’s working for you. 🙂
  11. Letter Writing Containers: I like to write short notes and thank yous to make someone’s day. I found it’s a lot more likely to get done if I’m organized. I have a zippered binder in my car where I seem to spend too much time waiting. The binder is within arm’s reach of the driver’s seat and I keep it stocked with small blank notes, thank you cards, some stamps, pens and colored pencils, Post Its, paper clips, a small ruler, pencil sharpener, pretty stickers and address labels for both myself and the people I write to most often, an address book, and a calendar marked with birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions. I keep a pretty container stocked with the same items near my easy chair and by my bedside.
  12. Lazy Susans: I have no idea why they call Susan lazy when she’s so smart, but she keeps the hard-to-reach back corners of my deep kitchen cabinets stocked with my mugs on one shelf and my glasses on another;
  13. Diaper Bag/Grown Boy or Girl Bag: Our son has outgrown diaper bags, but I used to keep one large bag in each car with extra supplies so that I would never run out of anything. I carried a small, light one everywhere we went on foot, but the big, heavy one remained in the car with everything a baby could possibly need because if you don’t have it, that’s when you’ll need it. Today, I still keep a bag with non-spoiling munchies, water, spare socks, a blanket, drawing supplies, one or two toys, wipes, Kleenexes, picnic supplies and plastic grocery bags. Because we live far away from civilization, I’m ready for wasted time in waiting rooms or traffic jams, we can have an impromptu picnic at the park, and having had to run for our lives on several occasions because of California fires, I’d rather be ready like the Scouts.

Feel free to leave me comments, and if you are participating in Thursday Thirteen too, let me know you came by so that my readers and I can come visit your blog as well. 😉

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Happy Thursday!!

Posted in Arts and Crafts, Baby, Bath Time, blog, blogging, Blogroll, book, books, carnival, Children, Christmas, consumers, crafts, education, entertainment, Family, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Letter Writing, life, Mail, New Year, Noel, Organizing, Photography, Plastic Grocery Bags, publishing, reading, Recipe, Recycle, Resolution, Reuse, technology, Thursday 13, Thursday Thirteen, Tips, Toys, Website | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Dreaming Of a White Christmas? Let It Snow On Your Blog

Posted by infinitygoods on December 24, 2007

treeinsnowpostedbypsto.jpgDo you see what I see? It’s snowing on my blog!

Just in time for Christmas, Matt Mullenweg of WordPress has given us the option of adding extra snow to our blogs with just a couple of clicks. Have no fear if you are not a WordPress user, he directs you to an easy as pumpkin pie code from Schillmania too.

And if you are still looking for some Christmas ideas and resources, be sure to click below. These suggestions might be of particular interest this Christmas Eve: Magic Reindeer Food, Tracking Santa on Christmas Eve and Ideas to Reuse Christmas Cards.

Posted in Advent, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Christmas, culture, Holidays, How To, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, News, Noel, Recycle, Reuse, technology, Tips, U.S., USA, Website, WordPress | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

WFMW — Put Used Christmas Cards To Good Use

Posted by infinitygoods on December 18, 2007

wfmwbluebanner.jpgBe sure to see my other Advent and Christmas ideas below too. I save some of my Christmas greeting cards because I’m the sentimental type, but here are some great uses for those who usually just discard them in the trash. These are some of the uses I find for the ones which do not hold special value to me. I love comments 😉 Also, if you have more ideas be sure to let all of us know what they are.

  1. Give them to a teacher (always ask first when giving). Many preschool, kindergarten and early grade teachers need these cards (Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc. too!) for their students to do paper crafts in class. Sometimes they use them to make collages to send cards to soldiers, senior citizens or the homeless. Some teachers will have their students use them to create a priceless gift to their parents. Some teachers will use them for their own bulletin boards to make the classroom more festive.
  2. Give them to a student artist or a professional artist. One of the professional artists at our church asks the office to save all the cards we receive for use as inspiration, models, etc. Some artists will separate the various colors and turn them into pulp for use as papier mache and handmade paper. Others use them as found objects for their art or even for installations.
  3. Give them to a church or senior group. When I was involved with our monthly Senior Luncheon group, the organizer would always be on the lookout for seasonal greeting cards to use as nametags, placecards, To/From tags and decorations. At Christmas and Valentine’s Day each senior would receive a card made from these used greeting cards. The card would be cut in half so that the side written on would be discarded. The picture side would either be folded in half or glued to a piece of paper and a personal message would be added for the senior. You have no idea how much joy it brought to some of these seniors. For some of them, this would be the only card anyone would give them. The church and the volunteers did not have a special card budget, so these recycled ones would be it or there would be nothing.
  4. Use them for scrapbooking. As we become more and more conscious of our environment, printers and card companies are using acid free paper and inks so they can be used to make some fancy frames, backgrounds, clip art, etc. for our photo albums and scrapbooks. Many cards today are even made by hand and have that three-dimensional effect that so many scrapbookers are looking for.
  5. Give them to your child for cutting. Younger children love to cut paper, and cardstock gives them a different texture to manipulate. Manipulatives are very important for a young child’s development and for fine motor skills. The ones with layers, ribbons, pop-ups, etc. can all be taken apart and possibly reconstructed by the child. Children can use the pictures to illustrate their own stories. Old magazines also work well for this.
  6. Save them until next year, and children can decorate their own small packages.
  7. Help your children make next year’s Advent calendar. You’ll need one card for the main scene in the front, from which you will cut out the 25 windows (cut three sides only, door-style). With a pencil, outline the windows on a piece of paper. You’ll need one or more cards for the back where you’ll glue the 25 mini-pictures to the outlines on the piece of paper. Then glue that paper to the back of the main scene with the 25 mini-pictures showing through the windows. Next year, you’ll bend back one window each day of Advent. If you do the craft this year, it will help your children transition from too much excitement during the pre-Christmas rush and too little excitement in the post-Christmas letdown and boredom before returning to school. This craft is not about making the prettiest, most professional-looking calendar (you can buy that at the store), it’s about letting your children practice gluing, cutting, aligning and using their creativity, while letting them do something more than just watch TV and boosting their self-esteem. If you put away the calendar(s) with the Christmas decorations, you will not lose them during the long year ahead. You can also elect to tuck in all your used cards with the decorations and they will be waiting for your children’s creative talents next Advent season.
  8. Another good child craft is to use cookie cutters (or a glass for a simple circle) to outline 25 scenes, cut them out with scissors, punch a small hole on either left/right or top/bottom and string them garland style. Your children can add bows in between each scene, or add beads, etc. Their creativity is the limit. You also have the option to add the numbers 1-25 on them. It will make a nice swag for across the mantle, a vertical garland to hang in their room or for the homeschool classroom for next year’s Advent.
  9. Frame them. Many cards are art reproductions of the Masters, and some may be from unknown artists at Hallmark or American Greetings but just as pretty, and will make cute holiday pictures to decorate your home. Get a few small frames from the dollar store (sometimes even two or three for $1) or insert them in frame ornaments for your tree, which have become so popular in recent years. There’s no law that says you must put in a family snapshot. You could put in a reproduction of the Holy Family or a cutesy teddy bear with a holly wreath if that’s more along your decorating theme (shop those after-Christmas sales for bargains).
  10. Our son, the future scientist, tells me the computer chip components from musical Christmas cards can be reused for scientific and robotic purposes.
  11. If you receive cards from Europe, they have a paper insert which is not glued to the card as they are here in the U.S., so you can just save/toss the insert and reuse the card as a brand new greeting card next year. All you’ll have to do is buy some envelopes.
  12. One senior citizen I used to know would cut away the written portion and send the picture portion as a Christmas postcard. On her tiny, fixed income, she would also save on postage, yet she was able to continue her social tradition of sending cards to everyone she knew. She said the ones which were not embossed worked best as it was more difficult to see that they were reused greeting cards.
  13. Save the written part of the card. Yes, you read that correctly. Professionals write these cards and say it better than most of us can, so save your favorite samples and incorporate them in your own greetings. Soon, even blank cards will be of no concern to you even if you are normally completely tongue tied. This works for birthday and especially sympathy cards.

For the rest of the Works For Me Wednesday participants, head to Rocks in My Dryer.

If you missed any of my Advent and Christmas ideas, just click below.

If you missed any of my household tips, just click below. I also have these as a separate page you can access any time at the header on top.

Posted in Advent, art, Arts and Crafts, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Cards, Caring, carnival, Children, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, crafts, culture, Family, Holidays, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Letter Writing, life, Mail, Memories, Noel, Photography, Recycle, Reuse, Rocks In My Dryer, scrapbook, scrapbooking, Tips, Tradition, Uncategorized, works for me wednesday, Works For Me Wednesdays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

WFMW — Magic Reindeer Food

Posted by infinitygoods on December 11, 2007

wfmwbluebanner.jpgWhen our son was about 2 years old, one of our neighbors gave him some magic reindeer food. Although we had never heard of this tradition, our son enjoyed it so much that we have continued it without fail each Christmas Eve. Just like many people leave milk and cookies for Santa, we also leave food for Rudolph, Donder, et al, and it is MAGIC no less. According to our neighbor, to help the reindeer find your house faster, just sprinkle a bit of magic food on your front lawn or even on your balcony. If you’ve been good, they will zero in on your house lickety-split and they will find new energy to visit the next house. On Christmas Eve, before your children go to sleep, have your children sprinkle the food. Our first year, I was ready early the next morning with my broom to sweep the food away from our small covered balcony, but the wind had blown it all away. Not one bit has ever been left over, especially now that we have a yard, but I’ve always been ready with my excuse that the reindeer must have been too full should the need ever arise. Just like my neighbor, you can also make them as gifts to young children. It’s inexpensive, easy and fast to make, yet it will bring a lot of joy and good memories to the children. Here’s the super easy recipe.

Magic Reindeer Food
1 pouch of instant oatmeal or about 2-5 tablespoons
1-2 teaspoons of shiny foil confetti (young children are especially attracted to the shiny foil and 1 teaspoon is a drop in the global environment, but if you have “green concerns,” you can use colored sugar sprinkles instead).
Mix the oatmeal and confetti and put it in the center of some plastic wrap, closing it with some curly ribbon to form a pretty pouch. Colored wrap makes it more festive. Hand one pouch to each child. Older kids will want to make it themselves. Children will sprinkle it with glee for the reindeer, loving not only the magic, but also the fact that they are caring for and feeding Santa’s reindeer.

For a list of all the Works For Me Wednesday participants, head over to Rocks in My Dryer.

If you missed any of my previous Christmas tips, just click below.

If you missed any of my previous household tips, just click below.

Posted in Advent, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Caring, carnival, Children, Christianity, Christmas, Cooking, crafts, Faith, Family, God, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, life, Recipe, religion, Rocks In My Dryer, Tips, Tradition, Uncategorized, WFMW, works for me wednesday, Works For Me Wednesdays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »