A Quiet Space

When moving overseas, you need quiet space.


A time to reflect on what you left and process the changes you are experiencing. It isn’t always easy to find that pocket of tranquility but it is so good for the soul.


Once you are able to breathe, you are more equipped to determine your priorities. Discover what your kids need. Develop new household & lifestyle habits. And enjoy the opportunities you have.



Goodbyes are anti-climatic.

Since technology has allowed us to communicate in many different modes, the face to face hug and farewell isn’t the last goodbye. You’ve always got the final “see you later” text and even the facebook status goodbye. For this introvert ATCK, it’s easier to say one goodbye and be done with the whole process then linger over tech-savvy goodbyes.


Don’t get me wrong. I am very thankful for the easy and cheap texts and even the facetime chats. Still there some sort of lack of finality when you say goodbye knowing you’ll be texting them tomorrow with some sort of news or tidbit.


What do you think?

Packing Overseas: Toiletries


Another fantastic shot of the inside of a plastic box!

This post in the series is focused on toiletries

and some possible changes in types

so it’s more conducive for the traveling lifestyle.


1. Shampoo Bars & Soap

Have you heard of these gems?

It’s the same as liquid shampoo in that it nourishes the scalp

and cleanses the hair but in bar form.

We love Chagrin Valley’s shampoo bars

and there’s a lot to choose from;

our favorites are the citrus (light & fresh) flavor & the butter bar (moisturizing!).

They carry soaps too and we have also used their shampoo bars as soap in a pinch.

Clearly I bought these at Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company.


2. Shaving Bar

Along the same lines, there’s these lovely little bars of shaving goodness.

Imagine taking those air-pressured shaving creams and having them explode=No Fun!

Enter these lovely and masculine-ish smells and bars.

Bought also at Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company.


3. All-Natural Deodorant

Okay, so you have showered and shaved,

but you know you’ll start sweating but you don’t want to be stinky.

And you want something that travels easily but works great

without any junky stuff, right?

My husband and I love Primal Pit Paste!

It works awesome and we actually both like the thyme & lemongrass strong jar!

I bought this at Primal Pit Paste.


4. Toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste, razors & razor heads, chapstick, etc.

I bought our Tom’s fluoride free toothpaste at VitaCost or Amazon.

Toothbrushes were purchased at Target & Dollar Store & gathered (for free!) at our dentist.

We bought a huge pack of razor heads at Costco (it cost an arm & a leg but should cover us for over a year.)


As like all the rest of the posts, I try to put it all in ziplocs

and then contain them in a small plastic bin.

***For keeping the cost down, I kept a lookout for Target to have plastic bin sales

and was able to combine it with their cartwheel coupon app.

What are some toiletries that are a must for you?

Packing Overseas: Household Cleaning Supplies


Stellar picture huh?

I am sure I got your attention with this classy, artistic shot!

This post is on considering,


and packing

cleaning supplies.


1. Dish soap.

Will the new home have a dishwasher?

This dish soap has a couple claims that I am counting on

(tough on grease & sulfate free)

but I haven’t ever used this kind.

I bought this on Vitacost.com

(go through ebates for cheaper prices!)


2. Produce Wash.

We are headed to a country where the recommendation is to

either soak your produce in bleach before eating it

or bring produce wash.

I opted for the latter option.

I got this large container that includes a spray bottle at Costco.


3. Castile Soap.

I am a lesser is more type person.

So this castile soap is a multi-purpose cleaner.

It’ll be our hand washing soap

(I don’t care for sanitizers as everyday soap.),

and all-purpose cleaning agent if needed.

Another use is body soap in the shower!

I bought this on Vitacost.com as well but

you can sometimes find it as cheap on Amazon.


4. Baking Soda.

Need I mention how useful this is?

Scrubbing toilets and grout,

brushing teeth agent,

& laundry booster

I bought the huge container cheaply at Walmart.


5. Shout & Powder OxyClean

Need I explain?

4 kids.


Nice clothes.

Stain Removers.

I bought both at Costco.


6. Powdered Laundry Detergent

I bought 3 boxes of laundry detergent.

I can be picky and when I have a chance

to use what I want, then I’ll do it!

I bought the laundry detergent at Vitacost.com.


7. Household Cleaning Supplies & Sponges

Have you heard of City Maid Green?

I really love their cleaning products.

The wood polish is awesome!

And the all-purpose lemongrass smell is so fresh and light!

And they sell concentrated formulas so it’s a cinch for sending overseas.

I bought City Maid Green over the phone

and the sponges at Costco.

You’ll have to check with your shipping company,

but typically they’ll allow items to be shipped as long

as they are in their original packaging

and do not contain any alcohol.

All-natural, organic products were given a big green light!

I packed most items in large ziplocs or taped them shut on the outside as well.

So want to review again?

1. Dish soap

2. Produce Wash

3. Castile Soap (Hand washing soap)

4. Baking Soda

5. Shout & Oxyclean

6. Laundry Detergent

7. All purpose cleaning supplies & sponges

What is a cleaning household staple for you?

Fighting the Entitlement Worldview

When I spend time with others different from me, it grounds me. Our family has spent 1 hour of most Saturday mornings this past year with the homeless. We committed to giving up 1 hour of our Saturday morning ritual of laziness to 1 hour of intentional fellowship with others who are different from us.


And though Satan tried to thwart our Saturday morning visits, we were able to maintain that tradition most regularly. This commitment wasn’t exceptional but it did radically change our family’s outlook on life.


Our kids started asking why questions. Why couldn’t we have a homeless friend live at our house? Why did they live in a van? Why are we throwing a baby shower for a homeless couple? Why do we have a house? Why do we have 2 cars?


And it grew to how questions. How can we help? How can we serve others? How can we show others Jesus?


And hopefully it’ll continue to flourish into asking God to use us. Use our gifts. Use our talents. Use the material possessions you have given us.


But for now with all the rush of packing, organizing, moving and planning we have had to end our tradition. And with that comes my selfishness. What I “need”. When I “need” it. My husband likes to describe the entitlement worldview as “I breathe, therefore I deserve.”

And so I am attempting to fight the entitlement view.