alwayswithme, a Weblog

where I keep my thoughts together

January 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — alwayswithme @ 10:10 am

Ann Kroeker got this from a devotional at this site:

So many good things tempt us to turn away from beholding God and being changed into His likeness. What can we do?  

The most important rule for us is to concentrate on keeping our lives open to God. Let everything else including work, clothes, and food be set aside. The busyness of things obscures our concentration on God.

Chambers advises that we let work, clothes and food be set aside if it threatens our focus on God. The list could go on to include writing, TV, Twitter, shopping, reading, clubs, blogging, kids’ activities…it’s so easy to let busyness of all kinds obscure my concentration on God. 

If some activity threatens my focus on the Lord, I need to seriously evaluate its place in my life. I need to keep myself open to Him. If something disrupts that, I need to examine the trouble-spot.

Never let a hurried lifestyle disturb the relationship of abiding in Him. This is an easy thing to allow, but we must guard against it. The most difficult lesson of the Christian life is learning how to continue “beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord . . . .”

Did you catch that warning? Never let a hurried lifestyle disturb the relationship of abiding in Him. I have seen it happen in my life–busyness distracts me from the Lord, and I must guard against it.

I’m going too fast if my relationship with the Lord is off-kilter and deteriorating.

As I am trying to get my life straightened out, I acknowledge that my time spent with God is minimal at best right now.  The above entry from Ann really, really speaks to me and I thank her for posting it and for the Lord calling her to do so.


How To Clean a Bathroom January 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — alwayswithme @ 2:13 pm
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I found this entry on  I intend to gather information like this to help me figure out how to clean properly.

How I Clean a Bathroom

Now that’s an eye catching title isn’t it? LOL

Oh well, I would be interested in how others do this disgusting job so I thought I’d post mine.

My life in the cleaning area of my home was changed forever when I read this book:

SPEED CLEANING by Jeff Campbell and The Clean Team

While I don’t follow the book to the letter, it gave me some great ideas for simplifying the cleaning process. And of course there’s Flylady’s “Swish and Swipe Daily” routine that makes a huge difference.

This past Saturday I cleaned both our bathrooms more thoroughly than usual… that would be because they NEEDED to be cleaned more thoroughly than usual!

These are the cleaning supplies I used:

1. Spray Cleaner, Any Brand
2. Powdered Cleanser, Comet or Ajax (store brand doesn’t work as well)
3. Bathroom Cleaner, Scrubbing Bubbles or Store Brand.
4. Cleaning Cloths. Several of them. Old towels cut into cleaning size pieces work great.

These are the steps I followed:

1. Remove bath mats, shake them out outside, wash if needed. Remove dirty hand towels and put them in the laundry pile.

2. Grab trash bag from trash can while you’re at it, and bring another empty bag back with you. (Recycled Grocery Bag)

3. Spray the tub and shower walls with the bathroom cleaner. I prefer the “Scrubbing Bubbles” brand, but this Dollar General brand works ok. This can be doing its work while you clean other areas of the room.

4. Spray toilet under lid, on lid, behind lid and on the sides and top. Wipe off with cleaning cloth. (piece of old towel, old dishtowel, purchased cloths, whatever) I don’t have to have any particular brand of spray cleaner. I just happened to have Lysol on hand. I probably bought it on sale with coupons. Even the store brand of spray cleaner is fine.

5. While you’re down there spray the floor around the toilet, behind, etc. To quote the book, “We like to only be eye to eye with the toilet once, so clean the floor around it while you’re there”.

6. Sprinkle Comet or Ajax powder in the toilet and swish with a toilet brush. If the bowl is stained with rust or whatever, use “The Works” toilet bowl cleaner. Its great for that and only cost about a dollar.

7. Using a wet washcloth, clean the tub and shower wall that have been soaking in “Scrubbing Bubbles”. Rinse well If needed, some Comet or Ajax powder can be used in the tub, if needed. Again, rinse well.

8. Put away any “hygiene gear” left on the vanity top by certain family members. Spray vanity top with the spray cleaner. Wipe down with a clean cleaning cloth. You can wipe off the mirror with the damp cloth if needed. Sprinkle Comet or Ajax powder cleanser in the sink. Clean with the same washcloth you used in the tub and rinse well.

9. Do you need to wipe off any walls, like around the light switch? If so spray with the spray cleaner and wipe with the cloth. “If it isn’t dirty, don’t clean it!”. Any time the cloth gets too dirty or wet, get a new one.

10. Then finish the floor. If there’s not a lot of dirt and debris on the floor, don’t sweep it. Just spray the floor lightly with your spray cleaner, working your way out of the room. Use a cleaning cloth to wipe all the floor, moving any dirt and debris with you as you go. You can clean the dust boards or bottom part of the wall while you are down there too, if needed. Again, if its not dirty, don’t worry about it. Depending on the size of your bathroom, you may need more than one cleaning cloth.

I have to interject here that its getting harder and harder to crawl around on the floor like this. I will have to do this differently as I get older, but for now it is the easiest way for me to clean the floor well.
11. Check the bathroom for supplies. If needed, bring in a supply of toilet paper, soap, and shampoo, etc. We keep our towels under the sink in the vanity cabinet. I make sure there are plenty of clean towels and washcloths available.

12. Put bath mats back down, and put out clean hand towels.

13. Put all your cleaning cloths in the laundry pile to be washed. They can be used over and over again.

Upkeep: My toilet brush sits in a container that came with it that sits in a corner. I put tiny amounts of leftover shampoo in there with a little water. Occasionally during the week I will swish the toilet with the toilet brush which bubbles up nicely in there with the shampoo. I will wipe under and around the lid with a piece of folded up toilet paper.

I wipe off the vanity top and inside the sink with a wet washcloth when needed between thorough cleanings.


I Took a Beginning Jewelry Class

Filed under: Uncategorized — alwayswithme @ 1:26 pm

at Michaels on Sunday.  I had a good time, made a pretty necklace and can see continuing this hobby.  However, I don’t have alot of places to store necklaces and found this of a blog called Grace Violet.

Necklace Organizer

Accessories are great for modernizing a basic outfit. Storage can to be a problem, however. And I hate clutter. My tangled messes of necklaces were causing me to forget about certain pieces – I needed to find an attractive solution.

I decided to put my jewelry to work; why not
make it serve double duty as art when its not being worn?

First, I found a cheap frame and removed the glass.

After measuring the opening of the frame, I (and by “I,” I mean my husband) cut a piece of 1/4″ smooth plywood.

Then, we fastened the wood into the frame, and painted it white (a nice backdrop for colorful jewelry). Another option would be to decoupage some decorative paper on it.

Small “s” hooks are the perfect size (and price) to use as the jewelry hangers (available at Lowes for $3-4/box). We pre-drilled, then screwed them in (and again, I use the term “we” loosely).

I spaced them evenly, but a haphazard approach would look just as nice. Also, I had considered buying a variety of decorative knobs, but went with these because of the great price.

Organized, inexpensive, and pretty to look at? Sounds like a successful project to me.  

The only problem is that I didn’t get a big enough frame.

Yes – it fits all of my jewelry perfectly. But that means no empty spaces, and my husband will assume my collection is complete!

(I reached back into the archives for this post; I originally posted this over at Blissfully Domestic, but wanted to highlight it again for my readers!)


This is What I Believe About Our Bodies

Filed under: Health — alwayswithme @ 9:45 am
Tags: , ,


January 26

Matthew 5:8
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.


Once we decide something is wrong, (being overweight, for exam-ple), then doing that thing is sinful. Some may say, ‘Well, the Bible doesn’t say obesity is a sin.’ The Bible does tell us that anything we do that makes us less than God created us to be is a sin. To be pure in heart means to try to do everything we know we ought to do. We ought to regard our own bodies with respect. We ought to be an example for others to follow. We ought to do all we can to be all we can. When we stay true to what we know in our hearts is right, then we will be assured of a place with God in His kingdom.

Today’s thought: I will do all I can to be all I am meant to be!


40 Things To Do January 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — alwayswithme @ 8:59 pm
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Tips for a Better Life in 2009

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.

3. Buy a DVR and tape your late night shows and get more sleep.

4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, ‘My purpose is to __________ today.’

5. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.

6. Play more games and read more books than you did in 2008.

7. Make time to practice meditation and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.

8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.

9. Dream more while you are awake.

10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured IN plants.

11. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds, & walnuts.

12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

13. Clear clutter from your house, your car, your desk, and let new and flowing energy into your life.

14. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, or issues of the past, negative thoughts, or things you cannot control. Instead, invest your energy in the positive present moment.

15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class, but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the NEGATIVE BLUES away.

18. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

20. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

21. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

22. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.

23. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: ‘In five years, will this matter?’

26. Forgive everyone for everything.

27. What other people think of you is none of your business.

29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

30. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

31. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful, or joyful.

32. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

33. The best is yet to come.

34. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.

35. Do the right thing!

36. Call your family often. (Or e-mail them to death!)

37. Each night before you go to bed, complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.

38. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

39. Enjoy the ride. Remember this is not Disney World and you certainly don’t want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life, so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.

40. Share this with those you care about. May your troubles be less.


A New Book

Filed under: Books — alwayswithme @ 10:44 am

Had a family dinner celebrated my dear mother in law’s birthday last night and had a conversation with one of my niece’s about the latest books we’ve   She highly recommended the following book saying that it was the book that probably affected her the most especially in the area of her faith.  I am sure it will be a difficult read but I do look forward to it.  The link is to a review from a fellow blogger.


Found a Christian Music Station to Listen To January 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — alwayswithme @ 12:16 pm
Tags:  Give it a listen.


What the Election Means to Me

Filed under: Catholic — alwayswithme @ 12:11 pm
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I think this will probably be an ongoing post as more things are revealed to me.  Suffice it to say that I am saddened first by the two poor choices we had for election to the office of President of the United States.  The worst of the two was elected, in my opinion.  I am a pro-life Catholic woman.  I believe in treating all people in a respectful way.  I believe in compassion for those who have to live with disabilities or  in ways that are out of the norm of traditional society.  I do not believe there is anything wrong with traditional society.  I believe believers should attend church on a weekly basis, if not more frequently.  I believe that we should witness to those who are not believers in a loving way.  I believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman.  I understand that there are those who disagree with me but I also believe that they should respect my right to believe as I do, just as I believe they have a right to believe as they do.  I also believe it is my duty to pray for God’s blessings upon them as I would hope they would pray for God’s blessings upon me.  I struggle with how President Obama can say we can kill babies in the womb but can consider freeing men caught on battlefields trying to kill our soldiers.  I struggle with the fact that President Obama doesn’t want us to be involved in the war on terror which is currently being fought in other countries; but feels free to be involved in the extermination of babies in the wombs of women living  in other countries.  I found this link on another website and am linking to it here because it gave me a bit of hope.  Peace be with us all.


Who Knew? January 23, 2009

Filed under: Dates to remember,Health,Organization — alwayswithme @ 10:09 am
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My doctor scored the tests that DH and I filled out and told me that I am have ADD and have had it for a long time.  Who knew?  I am sure this explains alot about all those whys I’ve had in my life.  I am still absorbing this information.  He is having me try some medication.  I am hopeful that perhaps you can teach an old dog new tricks.


Getting It Together January 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — alwayswithme @ 11:10 am

I’ve been pleased at how I’ve been conducting life thus far this year.  I am exercising regularly, DH got the studio painted and the furniture arranged like it should have been always and DH got a raise!