Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mom's Kitchen

(Crosspost from Reflections Store blog)

Wouldn't it be great to have a fantastic recipe so handy that all you had to do is take out your cutting board and there it is? Well, we've got you covered!

Mom's Kitchen is my newest shop that features wonderfully unique gifts. Recipe Cutting Boards, with some of the most delicious recipes permanently printed on the underside of the glass top. These make THE perfect wedding gift, housewarming gift or Christmas gift for just about anyone that loves to spend time creating kitchen masterpieces.

Carrot Cake Recipe Cutting Board Spice up the kitchen with our ultra-premium large glass cutting board. Can also be used as a hot plate, serving tray, cheese board, bread board, or place mat. The photo-quality printing is permanently embedded into the back of the tempered glass. Non-skid feet protect the counter and keep the cutting board firmly in place. Makes an excellent gift that will be cherished for years to come.

• 12" x 15" overall size, 3/16" thick • Dishwasher safe • Scratch resistant textured surface • Odor and stain proof • 100% satisfaction guarantee

Also available in a smaller size (currently out of stock - back in stock soon!) and with these great recipes:

Applesauce CakeBlueberry BuckleBlueberry MuffinsChocolate Chip CookiesKeylime ShortbreadsRaspberry Oat Bars (several more coming VERY soon)

Have a fantastically wonderful day!
Carla - Resident Mad Designer

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

UPDATED: Missing Local Girl: Tori Stafford


April 9, 2009: PLEASE HELP FIND TORI STAFFORD It may not be such big news in big cities, but in a very small town like Woodstock, Ontario, when a little girl goes missing it's huge news.

The little girl shown here is Victoria "Tori" Stafford, and she went missing yesterday afternoon after school. She left school to walk home and has not been seen or heard from since. This truly is every parent's worst fear, when their precious child goes missing.

I was in town today running errands and going to appointments, and the town is quite literally crawling with local and provincial police, volunteers posting fliers literally everywhere, and constant helicopter air support. In one sense it was heartbreaking to see this happening, and yet in another it was comforting to know SO many people in Woodstock have come out to help Tori's family find her, and bring her home.

I realize there aren't a lot of people reading this that are also in my local area, but there are still ways you can help. You can forward this link to others you know, you can begin praying for this family, and you can even copy this picture and information and just spread the news via twitter, facebook, myspace or wherever you hang out online. Someone has seen her, someone knows where she is, so it's just a matter of getting the info out in a BIG way.

Let's help do that for Tori, okay?

More information right here and a FB page here.



IF YOU HAVE SEEN THIS GIRL, PLEASE CALL OCPS at (519) 537-2323 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Go here to watch the video the police have released to the media, that shows Tori walking with an unidentified woman.



CANS Missing Endangered Alert Issued for 8 Year Old Woodstock Girl

Mystery deepens in case of missing girl - Toronto Star

Help Find My Child - Victoria Stafford

Hundreds of Tips Pouring In

Police scour forests, lakes, ponds for missing Victoria Stafford

Missing girl: Woodstock community coming together for vigil with no sign of Tori

Family makes Facebook plea for girl's return

Family of missing Ont. girl living 'minute by minute'

Police use profilers in search for Ontario girl

Ground search called off for missing Woodstock girl

Police released this sketch of a suspect in the abduction of Victoria Stafford MISSING GIRL: As the ground search ends, a U.S. centre for missing children questions the policies of Oxford Community Police

Enhanced video of missing girl, mystery woman released

Case 'paralyzes' community

Missing Ont. girl's story featured on America's Most Wanted website

'Strong beliefs' about suspect, Tori's aunt says

Sketch of Tori's abductor stirs flurry of leads

Mom spins 'crazy' tale of ransom, limo ride

New video, photos in Tori Stafford case




Great Christian t-shirts and gift ideas for the whole family
reflections at zazzle too!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Store Stuff: NEW stuff!

Normally I would post about this at my Reflections Store blog, but it's not very widely read (insert pathetically sad, pouty face here) so I'm going to post here in hopes that you'll all be kind enough to click through and check out what I've been up to (and tell all your friends too!).

What I've been up to, is diversifying. While I love my cafepress shop and all it has to offer, the folks at cafepress are changing things up a little bit and that has motivated me to put my eggs in more than one basket, as it were. Reflections at cafepress is not going anywhere, but I've decided to utilize some of the other POD (print on demand) suppliers out there for great apparel and gift merchandise that cafepress doesn't carry, yet. I started this a couple of months ago with my Reflections Kids store, and the more I explored what printfection had to offer, the more I really loved it! So, over the last little while I've been building up different shops at printfection, and at other places as well (you can see the full list in the new sidebar section). They're not quite done yet as far as adding designs, but you can check them out here:

Just for Kids

Kicks and Grins FUNNY t-shirts

Awesome Christian Tees

Good News Monday

Good News Monday!

Well then, welcome to my first official GNM!

I really didn't have the time this past week to collect the good news stories and links that I wanted to, but I do have a few things to share to spread the good news and hopefully encourage. I hope to have lots more for next week's post but here are the few that I have for today:

A place to post prayer requests or praise reports. Prayer requests will be refreshed each Monday morning. Share your request or go pray for others. Big thanks to Mark for hosting this Prayer Page at hereiblog.

For a nice selection of daily devotionals online to be encouraged and inspired, check out this page.

You might already be familiar with this one, but just in case you're not, don't miss Grace Gems: A Treasury of Ageless, Sovereign Grace, Devotional Writings - To humble the pride of man,to exalt the grace of God in salvationand to promote real holiness in heart and life.

Hailey and Grandma And finally, I can't believe I didn't update the Hailey Chronicles to let everyone know that she's now at home and doing quite well. I actually thought I did update, but as I said I've been so busy I guess it just slipped my mind. Mommy Jessica called on Thursday morning last week to tell us that Hailey would be released, so Grandpa and aunt Rachel went down to pick them up and bring them home (Daddy Joost was at work). We all went over on Friday to welcome her home, and while having a conversation about her experience in the hospital for a week, Hailey just stuck her tongue out to let me know what she thought of that!

Thank you for all your prayers for her in her first week of life on this strange planet. She's eating well, sleeping well, and everyone is quite happy she's at home.

So, that's my good news for this Monday. If you have some good news you'd like to share, please feel free to leave that in the comments. I'd love to hear your good news, and I'm sure others would too!

Great Christian t-shirts and gift ideas for the whole family
reflections at zazzle too!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

When Life Hands You Stuff

I love it when this happens:

Numerous unexpected things come down the pike all at the same time. Each situation requires a completely different approach, different train of thought, and sometimes even require you to be in more than one place at the same time. The first two conditions are hard enough to juggle and juggle well, but the last makes it even more sketchy to achieve the seemingly impossible - unless you've cloned yourself, in which case please send the clone recipe to my email address, immediately.

Blog traffic is so low I don't even really know who's reading anymore (except for you mom, hi mom!), so just in case someone is, I wanted you to know I'm still here - just ridiculously busy with tons of stuff. Spring break is over, the veggie garden and the faerie garden are both ready for planting, and it's yard sale season once again. Adding to my already busy and hectic schedule is clearing out this house of yard sale worthy goodies and hopefully giving them a new home.

So, I'm still here - just swamped with so many things right now it's hard to sit and blog the way I'd like to. I guess it's a sort of sporadic, involuntary hiatus.

Great Christian t-shirts and gift ideas for the whole family
reflections at zazzle too!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Adventures with Hailey

Well, today we went to visit the world's cutest grand-daughter. Now, this is a tough title, since we have TWO of them now, and they both carry the same title. However, this one is the much shorter one, and the much newer one, Hailey McKinsey.

Hailey napping

When we arrived, she was sleeping. So, I was forced to do what any good grandma does...

I had to scoop her out of her bed and snuggle with her a bit. After telling her how much I love her, how beautiful she is, and thanking the Lord for her...

She was obviously happy grandma came to see her. She did have a request though:

She wanted to go dancing! So, we danced, and she was happy. But then, the big hairy grandpa person showed up!

... and told her secrets about cheeseburgers and things...

At first she seemed confused, but the more they discussed it...

The more obvious it became she understood perfectly.

It was a very good day.

Great Christian t-shirts and gift ideas for the whole family
reflections at zazzle too!

Lovely Things

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I had been reading some commentaries on a Philippians 4:8. One of those commentaries was Barnes NT Notes, and while his entire commentary on the verse is really good, the one section that stood out to me the most was this part:

Whatsoever things are lovely. The word here used means, properly, what is dear to any one; then what is pleasing. Here it means what is amiable—such a temper of mind that one can love it; or such as to be agreeable to others. A Christian should not be sour, crabbed, and irritable in his temper for nothing almost tends so much to injure the cause of religion as a temper always chafed; a brow morose and stern; an eye that is severe and unkind, and a disposition to find fault with everything. And yet it is to be regretted that there are many persons, who make no pretensions to piety, who far surpass many professors of religion in the virtue here commended. A sour and crabbed temper in a professor of religion will undo all the good that he attempts to do.

As I read that, I immediately began to think of several people I know, or know of, that fit this description to a T. Folks that are known as Christians but you might wonder who popped their joy-bubble, since they almost never have anything to say if it's not negative, critical, skeptical, fault-finding, nit-picking, condemning and judgemental. You may even be thinking of folks that you know that fit this description. I know many years ago when attending an Independant Fundamentalist Baptist church, they had a ton of literature available in the foyer and it was ALL in this category. What is wrong with this person, that teaching, this denomination, that Bible version, etc. All negative! I took one of the little booklets home one day and after reading it wondered if the author ever even felt joy, peace, assurance or hope, since all that came through on the pages was snark/snark/snark.

What really got me though, about reading Barnes' commentary, was that I did think about other people before I applied it to myself. I really hate it when I do that, but it's what I'm prone to do, constantly. So what about me? When I'm in a bad mood for some trivial reason, do I come off as sour, crabbed and irritable? I know I do. When I'm not dwelling on things that are good, I'm quite certain that I do come across as unkind, morose, and/or short tempered. It may even be over something small, but when things don't run smoothly or orderly I get all bent out of shape and most likely come across to my family as the crabby-patty defined in that commentary above. What about all the blog posts I've ever posted in the last five years that maybe weren't done with nearly the grace they COULD have been written with? What about the tone of my voice when responding in frustration to someone? The list is long, but in my own world, it's entirely possible for me to come across as that "crabbed temper" by a professor of faith and even undo whatever good I hope to do. The very idea of that is heartbreaking.

I don't want to be a crabby-patty, so it's all the more reason to make a seriously concerted effort to really set my mind on good, edifying, praiseworthy things.

(And in a completely unrelated note, this is my 1,001st blog post since moving from the old blog. Not sure that means much, except I never seem to run out of things to say.)

Great Christian t-shirts and gift ideas for the whole family
reflections at zazzle too!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Who Wants Some GOOD News?

I recall reading once, maybe in a magazine or a newspaper, I can't recall for sure, that generally people really do like bad news. To be more specific, they like other people's bad news. The article said that people in general like this kind of news because they can read about it, then talk about it, and while they're doing that they can forget about their own bad news for a few minutes out of the day, and then be glad the newspaper articles bad news isn't their bad news. In some ways, that makes sense to me. Someone in the article was interviewed about the topic in general and asked, what would happen if a newspaper decided to publish only good news, and not a single article of bad news? When I read that I thought it was a brilliant question and an equally brilliant idea, but, the expert sounding off in the article responded that such a venture would be an absolutely disasterous failure. It would fail before it ever got off the ground, because no one would buy the paper, he said.

I vividly remember thinking when I read that "not true, I would buy that paper". I'm pretty sure lots of people would. Bad news is everywhere, all the time, 24/7. You turn on the tv, and there it is. You open your email, click over to the news sites, or pick up a daily paper and you'll be overwhelmed with tragedy, heartbreak, controversy, crime rates, disasters, pending-disasters, doom, gloom and a various assortment of sordid and lewd material. I'd be willing to bet (if I did that sort of thing) that there are lots and lots of people just like me who are really just fed up with nothing but bad news ALL THE TIME. Add into this mix the neverending stream of various controversy and bad news coming from within the evangelical world most of us (us = those who read this blog) function in, and the bad news seems to just clog the pipes from all directions. It really can be enough to make one heartsick.

Frankly, I'm tired of it. While I do think we need to be informed and not stick our heads in the sand (always a bad plan, you get sand up your nose), I think there's room for some serious balance. I think there's room for a newspaper like the one I mentioned above, or at least something like it. I think the exhortation in Philippians 4:8 is something I know I don't do enough of, and something I think maybe a lot of folks could really benefit from. The handful of commentaries I read recently on this verse (Barnes, Calvin, Gill, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown, Matthew Poole) all agree that we are to give continual and intentional regard to "these things" (truth, honesty, justice, purity, things that are lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy) so that in our meditation on such things, we have a constant example before us to pattern our own life after. I loved what Barnes NT Notes says of "these things":

"Let them be the object of your careful attention and study, so as to practise them. Think what they are; think on the obligation to observe them; think on the influence which they would have on the world around you."

I can only speak for myself, but I know I don't usually let the good things be the object of my careful attention and study, nearly as much as I tend to let the bad things take that role. I don't usually think about the obligation to observe them so as to put them into practice, or of the influence they would have on the world around me. I suppose it's fallen human nature to lean toward the controversial and the tragic, while letting the good stuff just whizz by without a lot of attention being given to it. I don't say that as an excuse, just an observation (since that's the sort of "news" we seem to want).

So, I said all that to say this:


Starting next Monday I'm going to make an effort via this blog to change that. I'll be doing this as much for me as for my readers here but the purpose is to dwell on the good stuff, at least on Monday morning. I picked Monday because it's a day most people are already in a bit of a sour mood and could use a real good "good news" boost. I skim through a ton of headlines, blog posts, twitter links, FB links and more each week, and among all that, there's some really great stuff. I wont be posting any kind of blogwars, church scandals, political disaster or anything else like that. If it can't pass the muster of "these things" in Philippians 4:8, it simply will not be posted. In addition, if you have something to share that falls into the same category, I'd love it if you'd post a link in the comments for the Good News Monday posts.

I'm looking forward to next Monday already! I do hope it will be an encouragement to you, and I hope you'll join me and share any good news links you have too.

Great Christian t-shirts and gift ideas for the whole family
reflections at zazzle too!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Update on Baby Hailey

Today started out rough but ended on a pretty fantastic note. I received some private great news that made me giddy like a schoolgirl, and some other great news as well.

Baby Hailey is still in the hospital because she hasn't been eating enough for her weight. Up until today she'd only been eating about 75% of what she should be eating, at each feeding. At her afternoon feeding today however, she gobbled down 150% of her regular amount!! I'm really hoping that she's discovered her appetite and this trend continues through the night and tomorrow. If it does, it's possible she'll be able to come home very soon.

I get to go to London to see her tomorrow, and I can't wait. In the meantime, here are some new pictures for you all to enjoy:

Hailey McKinsey DeWit

Hailey 'Stretch' DeWit

Hailey, holding her own

Hailey and her dinner

Hailey with Aunt Caryn

Hailey with Uncle Eric

Daddy LOVES Hailey

Daddy and Hailey

Mommy and Hailey

Mommy LOVES Hailey

Great Christian t-shirts and gift ideas for the whole family
reflections at zazzle too!