Stuff that Helps
Is an downloadable app that will read the Bible to you. I choose the dramatized version. You can also choose what version you prefer. It is more than just a monotone person reading the Scriptures. We use it in the hours up and down the mountain in the car. We can cover 14 chapters in one trip to town. I hope to listen to the Bible in a year.



Recently my boys bought me a Robot vacuum cleaner. I love it!

Although I must remove all the things, i.e. chairs and chords, that it can get caught in, the pick up requires some time, but then I can leave the house and return with a vacuumed house.(Sometimes, it does get caught in places and I must hunt for it.)
This works for me now because the boys are working or at school and few are home to assign chores. When I have vacuumed, the machine was heavy and hard for me to manage.

Would this have worked earlier in my motherhood? I’m not sure. It does take longer than a quick race over the carpet. If we run it now, during school, it becomes a distraction for my son, who must watch it, rather than read his assignment. When I’ve run it in my office, while trying to work, I must move out of its way multiple times, since it vacuums randomly, not systematically.

We did purchase a similar kind for my mom. It had to be sync with my sister’s phone and was more of a hassle than a help. Mine, you just press clean twice and get out of its way. I close all the doors off the hallway to keep it focused on just the main rooms.


EZ Fire Starters

We heat our house with our wood-burning stove. Making fires every day can be a hassle. It cuts into school time to assign one of the boys to make it. But I like it above 45 inside my house.

Lay the plastic gel wrapped package on your arranged wood  in your fireplace or wood-burning stove and light. (No need to rip open the sealed gel container.)

As it burns, the liquid oozes from the package and drips down the wood, spreading the fire. No more hassles with kindling.

Will be taking these camping also.



Looks cheap and is all plastic, but purchased for my granddaughter who has a sensitive scalp. (Mostly I got it for my daughter-in-law who must detangle her daughter’s hair every morning amidst cries and groans.) Also bought one for me. I use mine for a regular hairbrush. Feels wonderful on my scalp and no more tangles!


I know this is an old item, but I use to make tea with a kettle on the stove. I would turn the burner on and walk away. Later, upon smelling something, I would return to find all my water boiled away. This handy gadget automatically turns off when the water is hot. It also takes less time. 



Tired of putting multiple holes in your walls because you can’t find the stud? The MonkeyHook drywall picture hanger is a lightweight, super-strong, spring steel product that enables anyone to hang a picture or mirror without tools.

These little hooks can support pictures, mirrors and light-weight items requiring a hook. One end has a point that is jammed and turned into the wall. Once inside, the hook is twisted so the shape of the hook supports the weight on the back side of the wall. When removed, leaves only a pin-prick sized hole.



Read about these for awhile before getting one. Can be used like a crock pot, to slow cook meals, but can also pressure cook rice, beans, meat…Instead of an all day cook, it is ready quickly. (Although it does take time to get up to pressure, then de-pressurize the pot.) Has a delayed setting so things can be cooked later. Also has a KEEP WARM button. Different sizes accommodate different families’ needs. Took a few tries for me to get it right. But now I can set it and leave it, without thought of dinner or watching the stove. Find many recipes, even hard-boiled eggs that are peel-able (even fresh eggs). One Pot does a lot.

Nail Gun.

I know this is not your typical tool requested for moms, but I did for Christmas. I didn’t want one where I must lug the air compressor around. I wanted light-weight and jam-free, low maintenance. How did I live without it!! Instead of gluing and painstakingly nailing little finisher nails into my projects, like my cupboards I made, I can zip through them with the speed of…a nail gun. One contractor friend, who advises some of my projects, warned that the 2” nail can hit electrical wires in the walls, so use caution.
We wear safety glasses, remove the battery when not in use, walk with the firing “gun” pointed to the ground, and other precautions. (Know of too many emergency room visits  from others to forget to do all those!)
But love it!

Displaying 1 comment

Steve has one of those nail guns and couldn't be without it. I'm ordering the detangling brushes, one for me, one for Laura whose hair is so thick it's impossible to brush out. The one-pot looks great, but think I'm past that. What I'd really like is a pressure cooker to can meat with, but they are so costly. I'll bet most of us would have a hard time living without a microwave, we are so spoiled by them. Also enjoyed the first article, thanks.

I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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