A Marriage Recycled

I’ve never been a good recycler. I aim high with my recycle bins and fabric grocery totes, but since I’m usually multi-tasking and running behind, I generally remember to recycle after the fact.

It’s just not my ministry. Ya know?

But I love recycled things. Go figure. I’m glad someone is responding to the high calling. I love love love trash to treasure stories.  From Mercy House to my marriage, I’ve learned to view God as the ultimate recycler. He is the master of taking rubbish and redeeming it.

This month my husband and I are celebrating 18 years of marriage. I’ve written about our testimony and I’m so thankful He transformed the garbage of our lives into something for His glory. Our marriage isn’t perfect, but it’s evidence of God’s hand.

One of the things I love most about recycling? You get something new. There’s still a trace of the old, but when it goes through the fire, something different, often better is created. After God recycled our marriage, 7 years ago now, we took my engagement ring, wedding band and an anniversary band and had them melted down. The three pieces were beautiful and I loved them, but we both wanted a new ring to represent our new marriage. But my original set was very special and we wanted to keep it.

A local jeweler crafted one new gorgeous ring from the materials of my 3 separate rings. It was the same, but completely different, better, just like my marriage. And that’s exactly what God is able to do in your marriage too.

When my friends over at Union28 sent us their new new shirts, I smiled. I love knowing after all these years my marriage STILL rocks; It’s getting better with age because God is the ultimate recycler.

Want to see my new (old) ring, click here.

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Does your marriage still rock? Get the t-shirt or tote to prove it! Union28 is helping us celebrate 18 years with these awesome new Recycled shirts. Use Code: U28MMSR20 This code is an exclusive offer just for WeAreThatFamily readers!  It’s good for 20% OFF 2 or more Regular-Priced tees & will be valid Thursday & Friday (12/6 & 12/7).

The Laundry Mantle

Did I ever tell y’all I was in a long distance relationship with my husband-to-be? So, here’s how that happened: We went to college together and became best friends. He graduated and moved across the country to work on his Masters while I finished my degree. After I graduated I flew to see my awesome friend. We “accidentally” kissed (overcome with missing each other??) and started an unplanned relationship that weekend. I returned home to my first (and only year) as a teacher and we got engaged about a month later.

Seriously.

About a month before we got married, my husband-to-be moved in with my parents (I lived in an apartment about 30 minutes away). It was an awesome whirlwind, whiplash season! To this day, it still cracks me up when my husband talks about the time he lived with my parents. He always says the same thing: your mom was serious about the laundry. He said he would take a shower and before he was dressed, she would have his dirty clothes laundered, folded and ready to put away.

I grew up with this and it’s a lot of pressure.

Because clearly, if you soil your clothes in my house, you better not expect to see them back in your closet for a week.

Growing up, my mother set some high laundry standards. She washed every day (and still does!) Her laundry room looks like a washer and dryer advertisement. She’s passed on the Laundry Mantle to an unworthy recipient.

I’m not going to lie, my Maytag Bravos XL make me want to be a better launderer. The cool options (I didn’t even know existed since my last set were duct taped together) make me want to pursue laundry greatness. I love the capacity of my washer and how it uses small amounts of water, but still cleans so well. I love the allergen cold water cycle, especially since my kiddos wash their clothes in cold water in an attempt not to fade clothes.

My mom’s Maytag of old, was sturdy and a workhorse. She owned the same pair my entire childhood. But they had nothing on the Maytag duo purring in my laundry room right now. It’s been a blessing to receive the Maytag Bravos pair and I highly recommend them for your laundry needs.

Excuse me, the Mantle, it is calling.

Now, if I could just get my dog to fold the clothes, I’d be all set.

I’m wrapping up a series of post about the amazing washer and dryer Maytag gave me. Make sure you check out the Maytag PageMaytag Facebook, and Maytag Twitter

Disclaimer: I wrote this post as a #MayTagMoms Dependable Laundry Ambassador through mom Central Consulting on behalf of Maytag. I was provided with the Maytag washer and dryer set to facilitate my post.

The Kitchen iPad Rack {Heck of a Giveaway}

UPDATE: Comment #1035 was randomly selected as the lucky winner of this giveaway. Congratulations Hillary S. – an email has been sent your way.

[Hint: You’ll want to read this post to the very end!]

Our kitchen is the busiest place in our home. And by busy I really mean dirty.

Eating. Homeworking. Snacking. Cooking. Drawing. Cleaning. And now Googling.

Googling?

I bought my hubby an iPad for his 40th birthday a couple of years ago. Now that’s a gift. He loves it and uses it daily. It’s really become a family iPad. He shares well with others. It’s such a portable resource and is handy in every room of the house. The kids use it for researching their science project, I use it for recipes and my hubby watches the Texans stomp all over other teams.

And now, a new little tool has taken the iPad limits to the max. It’s been called the missing link to making the most of your iPad in the kitchen. I give you:

When my new advertiser sent us The Kitchen iPad Rack, we quickly and easily mounted the plexi glass shelf to make cooking with the iPad easier.

Or watching football while you’re supposed to be setting the table. Ahem.

Product Description: Super-easy to use, it stores away in the cabinet when not in use and pops into place when you’re ready to cook.

The Original Kitchen iPad Rack is constructed of solid acrylic with a beauty to match any kitchen.

And get this, with every order this holiday season, $5 goes to Mercy House. Awesome, huh?

Some of you may be thinking, well, Kristen, this is fantastic, for people who own an iPad. Well, in celebration of such a handy kitchen tool (makes a great Christmas gift!), this generous company is giving away an iPad rack and an iPad2 to one very lucky reader today!!!! Yes, you read that correctly!

Please, hop over and check it out: (The specs on the shelf, extra mounts for easy iPad use all over the house, and some great Amazon reviews!)

Entry requirements: Visit the Original Kitchen iPad Rack store and then come back and leave a comment on this post.

For extra entries:

  • stumble, tweet, pin and/or facebook this post
  • leave a comment for each that you do

[details on iPad: ipad2 16GB (winner has option to upgrade)]

This giveaway ends on Friday. May the odds forever be in your favor.

When Giving Thanks is Worship

I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel ready for Thanksgiving. I’m not really talking about thawing a turkey, preparing a feast or packing for grandma’s. Every year, about this time, it seems like time speeds up and the calendar is bulging and there’s so much to do and buy and be.

It’s ironic since the purpose of Thanksgiving and even Christmas contradict that feeling entirely.

The older I get, the more I realize the best gifts have nothing to do with presents at all. Giving Thanks is the best we can give others. And when we wrap up gratitude with a bow and offer it to God, it’s called worship.

I love worship music and when I’m alone in my minivan, I blast Matt Redman’s “You Never Let Go” and I sing off key. God doesn’t mind.

But worship isn’t just amazing music, it’s giving thanks in every situation. Last week, influenza slammed out house. It’s in the messy and mundane, pausing to thank God for medicine and a warm home and healthy bodies that fight infection.

So, as you prepare your heart and home for a feast this week, stop and worship. Because that’s really what Thanksgiving is all about.

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Speaking of Matt Redman, his new CD “Sing Like Never Before” will usher you right into worship. It’s called the Essential Collection and that’s exactly what it is. It has some of my favorite worships songs on it: “You Never Let Go,” “Blessed Be Your Name,” and “The Heart of Worship,” along with new recordings of “Our God,” Better is One Day,” “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord),” and the new song, “Love So High.”

WFMW: Family Game Night- Simply Fun

Three times last week after dinner we went dinosaur hunting. We grunted like caveman. And drug around our children by their hair.

Okay, so two out of the three.

We were actually playing a game called Ooga, a really fun board game created by Simply Fun, a company that helps families learn and connect through play.

Me hungry, bring food. Get ready for a prehistoric banquet with Ooga! Everyone hunts dinosaur tiles with suction-cup spears for their daily feast. Menu cards tell you which dinosaurs to hunt. Toss the dino bones and capture the most menu cards to earn the honor of being Supreme Tribal Chief.

I enjoy playing games, but my husband loves to win games. It’s such a fun, bonding experience for our family. And I’m always looking for creative ways to engage with my kids that include turning off the media and screens and just laughing and being together.

Ya know, like hunting each other. Good quality fun.

My favorite thing about Simply Fun is the oodles of unique games for all ages that really bring the family together. And get this, for the entire month, if you order online, 50% of the profits goes to Mercy House from the independent consultant site above.

Disclaimer: Simply Fun sent us a couple of games to try out. No humans were harmed in this post.

Family game night works for us!