Camel In The Tent

I thought I’d share this, from Chick Tracts.

Since this is the .com version of WordPress, the flash won’t play, but if you go to

you can see the various tracts, which you can use in your blogs or other sites.


Psalm of the Day–Psalm 38


Psa 38:1


  A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance. O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

Psa 38:2


  For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.

Psa 38:3


  There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.

Psa 38:4


  For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.

Psa 38:5


  My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.

Psa 38:6


  I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.

Psa 38:7


  For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.

Psa 38:8


  I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.

Psa 38:9


  Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.

Psa 38:10


  My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.

Psa 38:11


  My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.

Psa 38:12


  They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.

Psa 38:13


  But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.

Psa 38:14


  Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.

Psa 38:15


  For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.

Psa 38:16


  For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.

Psa 38:17


  For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.

Psa 38:18


  For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.

Psa 38:19


  But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.

Psa 38:20


  They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.

Psa 38:21


  Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me.

Psa 38:22


  Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.

A Handmade Life Part 11–Preparing for Winter

It’s still July here in Southeast Kansas, but here at the Abella household, we’re preparing for winter!


We won’t have the garden in the middle of a Kansas winter.  The beautiful herbs and veggies won’t be there to pick fresh each day for meals.  So, we must prepare early.



Our garden has tomatoes, zukes, eggplants, basil, parsley, stevia, thyme, sage, and chives.  It’s a small plot, maybe 5 feet at the most, and a square.  Not a lot, of course, but it’s enough for our family.  It provides extra veggies and fresh herbs, which is fine by me!


God has provided a wonderful bounty of tomatoes, and with 4 plants, I’ve harvest upwards of 80 in less than 5 days.  We are in tomato heaven!

So what are we doing with all those tomatoes?

This got a little tricky.  See, those ‘maters have seeds and skin.  Hubby is not allowed seeds and skins on veggies/fruits for the time being due to some nasty gastrointestinal issues.  I love full tomatoes in all their glory, seeds and skins included.  Throw them on a sandwich with some bacon and/or lettuce and I’m good.  Shoot, it doesn’t even have to have bacon, just a tomato on bread with mustard, lettuce, and pickles, and I’m a happy camper.  Hubby loves his seeds and skins too.

So to help hubby be able to have his homegrown tomatoes without the pain, I’ve taken to processing them into a thick juice.  I have been blessed with a father in law who has all the processing equipment to can just about anything you can think of.   Hubby and I borrowed some of his equipment, like the cool strainer collander thingy on a tripod.  I LOVE it!


This last week, I went through a bunch of tomatoes, cleaned them from the crop dust (we believe in only organic Sevin LOL).  Then, took the core out, and put them in a stock pot with enough water that they cooked but didn’t boil over.


Then, they were spooned out and into a different pot to cool a bit.  Seriously, hot tomatoes don’t feel good on fingers.  After they cooled a bit, they were put into the collander/strainer thingy on 3 legs.  Using a wooden plunger (no, not the toilet kind–more like the mortar/pestil kind on a much larger basis), the ‘maters went through the strainer’s tiny itty bitty holes to leave behind only seeds and skins.  This took a long long while, or it seemed like it, but those stingy tomatoes gave up all the meat in them.  The seeds and skins I put aside into a big bowl for later use (like soup–there’s plenty of tomato taste left).


After allllll the tomatoes were put through the strainer thingy (don’t you love the scientific language here?? LOL) I had a good size pot of thick juice.  That thick juice simmered for a while in a pot, thickening up a bit.  When that cooled, I put it all into freezer bags.


Why freezer bags?  We’re planning a canning party with hubby’s dad, making lots of thick yummy sauce for pastas and such.  Papa has a lot of tomatoes too, so when hubby and Papa are ready, off to canning we go, using up all the things we’ve frozen in the meantime.  Between Papa’s canner and mine, we can whip up a lot of jars of sauce in no time once we get plenty between us to use.

Just another day at the Abella house!

Stay tuned for upcoming Hand Made Life series on preserving fresh herbs, including stevia, basil, and so on!

I found this blog post from Flappiness Is, and thought I’d pass along. Some days, I really do think this… Enjoy !

Flappiness Is...

Dear Friend,

You have no doubt noticed that you haven’t seen much of me lately.  Maybe weeks, maybe months, maybe years.   I bump into you in the grocery store, and we always talk about getting together soon and about how ridiculously long it has been.  And it really has been too long.  I really have wanted to see you.  But I will admit that sometimes when you call, I don’t answer the phone.  Often it is because I can’t talk amidst a cacophony of banging, screeching, and crying.  Mostly it is because I have been standing there for some time trying to figure out just what it is that my child wants so badly, but doesn’t have the words to ask.  He’s upset, and there will be no conversation if I don’t figure it out.  I intend to call back, but because he has so much trouble going to…

View original post 596 more words

This Handmade Life # 10—How to Make Your Own Dishwasher Detergent

This is something that I’ve been wanting to try for a while–making my own dishwasher detergent.

Think about it–the commercial stuff is so caustic, toxic, etc, that you’re not supposed to touch the stuff with bare hands.  I tried it in dishwater to tackle some major things, and it was rough stuff on the hands, and kinda ate a little of the gloves.  And, it’s expensive!

So, I went searching around the net and ran across a recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent.  I actually found this through Tipnut.

Yesterday I rounded up the supplies:


Baking Soda

Lemon Juice

I didn’t remember how much of what to put in the mix, so I just dumped the contents that I had (partial boxes of both the borax and baking soda–the big boxes) into a mixing bowl.  I added about half a large bottle of lemon juice for the citric acid.  It was probably too much, but it works.  Then, I stirred it all up, put it into a couple of smaller containers and stuffed them into the fridge.  After they’d cooled, it became more of a hardened mush, and when spooned out, is crumbly, much like the powdered stuff box detergent.

I ran a test through our portable dishwasher (yes, the big things that hook up to your sink–makes a great bread board and mixer holder on top tho).  The first time around it left a little white powder on a couple of things.  No biggie.  I put in some Jet Dry into the rinse container.  It’s all I have on hand right now, til I get to go shopping again for vinegar.  A second run through with a really nasty smelling round of pots and pans, and it worked excellent!

There also wasn’t a heavy lemon smell afterward.  I like that.

I ran some cut glass (the heavy kind) coffee cups through as well, and they look amazing!  My pots and pans (like the stockpots I’ve been using today to work on my sourdough experiment and my bread pans) went through just fine and are nice looking.  They went with the cut glass on the same cycle and looks great!

I’m not a scientist or chemist or anything.  I just know this works for us.  If you’d like to try it, play around with the 3 ingredients til you get a mush, and go to town washing dishes!

Now, I haven’t tried this in regular dishwater yet (that will come in time), as I’m a fan of Dawn, but I imagine I’ll be using it as a back up when I run out of Dawn at some point in time.

I really like this recipe!  I keep Borax on hand anyway for making laundry soap, and baking soda is a given around our house for general stuff.  Citric acid could be found in a bunch of koolaid lemonade packages (probably 20 or so of them would do it), or the lemon juice (I think that’d be better), or you can buy citric acid by itself.  I used what I had on hand. 🙂

You know, if you put some fels naptha in this, you’d have some laundry soap and/or general cleaner!

This wraps up the 10th edition in the “A Handmade Life” series!

Shared at:

Tip Junkie The Better Mom Raising Homemakers Growing Home Modest Mom

What Joy Is Mine

Our Expectations

Many of us parents with special needs children are immersed in the daily world of quirks.  Some of our kids have sensory issues, some tactile, some physical, and so on.  We see the oddities that they do, and more often than not are used to the different things that look ok to us but are very “odd” to the rest of the world.

We get used to the child bolting toward traffic.  We get adjusted to the screeching and screaming.  Stimming no longer bothers us.  Tics don’t grab our attention anymore.  We get so accustomed to behaviors that they are nothing unusual to us.

But they are to others.

When we go to visit family and friends, there’s time we forget that our children are “different”.  Our expectations are different, we know what our kids do, we’re used to it, no biggie.  Our friends and family–they may not be ready to adjust to what we normally see.

If we go to visit an older family member, they may not appreciate Johnny darting into traffic.  An older person may not be able to chase the hyperactive child running all over the house.  They may not be able to handle the screaming or screeching.  The friend(s) we may visit may not understand why our children must taste everything in sight, why a child feels the need to run around naked, why a child rocks like they are in a rocking chair, etc.

We parents with special needs children really must look beyond our own families.  We need to be as understanding of other people as we expect others to be of our situations.  For instance, can we really expect people who are from the times when special needs children were institutionalized to truly be comfortable with ours up close and personal?  My own parents, I admit, would not have been comfortable around my bio son or stepchildren.  My stepchildren’s stepdad (say that 5 times fast) has older parents who absolutely will not let Mr. Michael or Miss Jess in their home.  Period.  Nada.  This stopped any and all visitations while the kids’ mom and stepdad lived with his parents.  Do we hold it against the older parents?  Of course not.  They know they aren’t able to handle the needs the children have.  This didn’t stop visitations for mom and stepdad, as long as they found a different location for visits.  My father and mother in law are unique, in that at their older ages they are able to handle the quirks the kids have.  The kids listen to them, well, usually.  They would move the earth for Mami and Papi, Aunt Becky, Cousin Javier, Cousin Luis, etc.

I don’t expect any of my friends to be able to handle my children’s need.  The needs  are my responsibility, not theirs.  I choose not to take them often to other homes, instead I choose parks and areas where the kids can run.  There’s not a lot of small toys that one of the children will decide to hoard, tear up, crash into, break, etc.  They can run off their energy instead of running wild confined inside four walls.  I’ve found this works especially with the two of ours that are severely adhd.  It’s much easier to turn them loose at a play area outside than to have them be small tornadoes in someone’s home and break an irreplacable item.  I can’t expect my friends to have to handle the damage our children are quite capable of doing, and have done.

While the world we live in is all about tolerance, let’s face it–not everyone is jumping for joy to be one on one with our little ones.  Not a whole lot of folks are just chomping at the bit to spend time with special needs children, whether it be physical or mental health needs or both.  I’ve had comments from not only older people, but from people my own age (mid 30’s).  The person in the mid-30’s was a Pastor, in the suburbs of a large metropolitan area, who told me to institutionalize my Kevin in order to go back to work, when Kevin was 4 years old.  So this is not limited to an older age group who have little tolerance for special needs.  His comments came out of left field, but I digress.

We as special needs parents do need to keep in mind those who do not have experience with special needs children, who have no knowledge of the needs, etc when we visit.  We need to be mindful of their situation, and not expect them to bow to ours.  We need to be respectful of them.  If they do not accept our special needs children, that is fine.  No one can force another person to accept what they will not or cannot.

We need to prayerfully consider what to do before visiting family or friends as we travel about this summer.  Speak to God first, seek His counsel, especially when going to family members who are not too fond of the quirks our children have.  Shower the situation in prayer, but don’t be hateful or vengeful if the situation goes awry.  You have a chance, if you are a blood bought child of God, to show grace and mercy, thoughtfulness of the family member, and be a witness, if you seek God first.  Should the family member or friend not accept the quirks and needs of your children, don’t let it get to you.  Give it to God and let Him handle it.  He has bigger shoulders.

Have a great summer with vacations and visits.  Don’t forget that the Lord is with you along the way!


Making Illegal Legal

This is a touchy topic for some, and I will state up front–this is MY OPINION.  You are welcome to disagree, and if commenting, please do so with tact.

President Obama this past week paved the way for children of illegal immigrants to be legal without having to go through the legal processes that legalized citizens must go through.  This adds a good 12 million “citizens”, who are rightfully citizens of another country, mostly Mexico.

I do not believe this is the right way to handle immigration.

My husband’s family is one of immigrants.  His father is from Cuba, who arrived in America legally, before Castro took over the island.  In order to become naturalized, his dad had to do extensive work and also return back to Cuba to obtain documents needed to declare him to be who and what he said he was.  At the time he returned to the island, Castro had started his revolution.  This was dangerous, as Papa took with him Mama and then baby Becky.  It cost a lot of money, took a lot of time (months), and he and the family were very close to not coming back to America, as Castro had taken over the airport in Havana.

But Papa did what was legal and right according to the laws of the country in which he wanted to be a citizen of.

He did not skirt around laws, ask for exemptions, nor simply live here illegally.  He and other family members who arrived from Cuba took the steps necessary to become American citizens.   They worked hard, held solid jobs, obeyed the laws, and still do.

We are at a time where our liberal government allows any and all who wants to come to simply come, no strings attached (well, maybe a vote in an election would be a good trade).  What would happen if we did this in other countries?

In Mexico, we’d be imprisoned.

In Iran, we’d be imprisoned for simply stepping across the border, let alone live there illegally for years.

In other countries, if we weren’t imprisoned, we’d be deported back to the US.

Yet, we allow illegals here regularly, and are now allowing children of illegals–all the way up to 30 years old (plenty of time to return back to the home country and obtain documents needed for naturalization), to get a “stay in America free” card.

This negates the work people like my Father in Law did in order to become a citizen.  This negates all the hours and studying and such that the family did in order to each one become a citizen.  This makes being a citizen less of a privelege, less of an honor, when it is bestowed on those who choose not to follow our laws in order to obtain it.

As I said in the beginning of this piece…this is simply my opinion.