Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving Thankfulness

I'm going to be away at my family's house for Thanksgiving so I decided to get a jump on my list of thankfulness so that I don't miss the chance to do it while I'm away. So here goes:

1. I'm thankful that my children have always been extremely healthy.

2. I'm thankful that I've been extremely healthy (aside from a few sinus issues of course and hives!!)

3. I'm thankful that I've finally found someone I can call my best friend and truly mean it and depend on her if I need to. (Erin, you don't know how many years I've spent praying for you :) )

4. I'm thankful that my grandma, though she's no longer here, is in heaven, smiling at me at every turn and is finally dancing with Jesus.

5. I'm thankful that I've grown as a person this year, even when I didn't want to.

6. I'm thankful that I've still got the desire and drive to homeschool and that I'm still sticking with it.

7. I'm thankful for my tiny, ugly house. :)

8. I'm thankful for Mackenzie's braces.

9. I'm thankful for a van that runs great and doesn't have a car payment.

10. And as much as a bratty rat that she can be, I'm thankful for the joy I find in my little Maltiwaagle dog, Daisy and 15 lb bruiser of a cat, Skip

11. I'm thankful that I have family always ready to support me and get in my face when needed.

12. I'm thankful for Rob Bell podcasts! So so very much
13. I'm thankful for Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews Music and Toby Mac!!!
There's more to come, but it's almost time for lunch here. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ev the momma

My kids are so very different and at times so very much alike. I think at 3 years of age Evan Grace is already showing signs that she's more than likely going to be a mom and a great caregiver. She spent a lot of time earlier today loving on all her babies. She wanted me to come see them and take a picture. And after I told her what a wonderful job she did and how sweet she was she piped up, 'I'm a good mommy!' I have to agree.

There are 9 babies on her couch...all asleep at the same time. How does she do it?
And she looks beautiful too as she looks at her bear in the play pen and the other baby she has in the baby swing. :) Check out the dog below, I think she's feeling a little left out.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Ok, a few of you have asked for my Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe?? So here it is below. I really recommend this if you have tons of laundry and/or looking for ways to cut back and save some money. Plus, it's easy and makes a TON!!

What you need:

  • 1 bar of soap (your choice, I use Caress, it's a soft orange color and smells great. Keep in mind that whatever bar of soap you use will help scent the detergent and color it)
  • 1 box of washing soda (Arm & Hammer makes this in a box. The box contains enough to be used for 6 batches of homemade detergent. It's in the detergent aisle at Kroger, on the top shelf
  • 1 box of Borax (in the detergent aisle at Kroger on the top shelf usually next to the washing soda.
  • A fall gallon bucket with a lid. (you can get one at WalMart for 5 bucks)
  • Three gallons of tap water

1. Bring 4 cups of water just to a boil in a medium or large sized pot.

2. Using a butcher knife, shave the bar of soap (the smaller the better, it'll melt quicker) and add it to the hot water.

3. Keep the heat to just below a boil and stir until the soap flakes are dissolved. You'll have very soapy water when it's all melted. If you're prone to headaches you might want to get someone else to do this step as the soap mixture smells like really strong perfume at this point.

4. Pour 3 gallons of hot water into the five gallon bucket. (I fill up an empty milk gallon 3x and dump it that way.

5. Mix in the hot soapy water, stir it for awhile.

6. Add 1 cup of the washing soda and stir for 2 minutes.

7. Next add 1/2 cup of borax. Stir for 2-3 minutes. You don't have to use borax, but it really does get the clothes cleaner if you do.

8. Seal the bucket with the lid, and let it sit overnight to cool. When it's done you'll have a great sludge to wash your clothes in.

9. 1 cup of the homemade laundry detergent will easily clean a large load of laundry. If you're like me and only wash super sized loads then I use 1 1/4 cup of the detergent.

All of this for a cost of about $0.03 a load!!!!!!!

If anyone out there tries it and loves it or finds a great smelling soap other than caress then please let me know. I change the bar of soap everytime just to mix it up a little. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My little fashion designer!

Evan Grace got this shirt for her birthday. It came with fabric crayon to use when you draw your own design on the shirt. Afterwards I laid wax paper over it and ironed over it to set the design. Isaac drew a few things and Evan Grace asked if I could draw a heart and her face. The reddish pink face in the top right corner is my handy work. The shirt is big enough that I think she'll be able to wear it next year if not a little longer. She's a slow grower. :) I think she is proud of her handy work.
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My little man

Isn't he handsome? He's funny and smart and I love hanging out with him and hearing what's going to come out of his mouth next. A few months ago he 'married' me, we celebrated with pink and purple donuts and now he doesn't mention it much anymore. I've move from being married to him, to being his best friend and 'you're the best mom ever.' Which is really sweet to hear.

I was on the couch the other day, nursing a pretty bad headache and Isaac had been after me to turning on the game cube for him. He's highly addicted to video games and I'm trying to keep it balanced. I think playing the games is fine, but how quickly he gets obsessed and involved in them is the only thing that bothers me. But I digress. I'm on the couch, Isaac has just finished asking me for the 16th time to please turn his game on. I look at him and say, 'Mom doesn't feel good right now. I'll turn it on for you after you take your nap later.' And then, I kid you not, this little guy looks at me and calmly but very assertively says, "Mom, you need to start listening to Jesus and Jesus says for you to turn my game on for me." !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What????!!!!!! I can't help but crack up. He was so serious and I have no idea where he got the idea to use Jesus, I guess he thought it was his last shot at trying to get his way.

I stuck to my guns however, and replied back. "Mommy tries very hard to listen to Jesus, just like Isaac does. But we're not going to be able to turn on the game until after your nap. Jesus would love to hear you talk to him about it though if you're upset."

He's too smart for his own good sometimes. :)
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Orange sludge

So I've been making my own laundry detergent (gel?) here lately and I have to say I love this stuff. The picture makes it look a darker orange than it is, when it's really a light peach color. It's so simple to make and it ends up costing $0.03 per load, instead of $0.30-$0.50 a load with detergent you can get out of the store AND it cleans just as good if not better. I love my orange sludge. :)
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The Gap

WOW. It's only been 2 weeks and Mackenzie's teeth have shifted so much. We went back Monday for a check up and the orthodontist sealed the RPE so that it doesn't turn on it's own as her palate grows in this position. Over the next two weeks her front two teeth are suppose to come back together. We go back the Monday before Thanksgiving and she's going to get her lower braces and a few of the top ones. I'm still so surprised she had hardly any pain whatsoever during this whole Palate Extender process. I can't wait to see that finished product a few years from now.

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Saelah stitch

Here's a cross stitch blanket I just finished for a friend of mine in VA that had a baby 4 months ago. I had to stop in the middle due to my tendinitis but I finally finished it and I'm really happy with how it turned out. Anyone that's ever stitched on a adida blanket knows how contrary the squares can be.
It's cute and incredibly soft.

All Fall Down...It won't be too far now

This morning I stepped outside in the rain to grab the green trash pail from the curb and dump the rainwater that had collected in the green chairs Matt and I like to sit in at night and talk. As I did I noticed that a lot of leaves from the neighbors trees were flooding the ground with color. I looked up at the large pecan tree we have in our backyard and watched as a few ugly, brown leaves made their way to a wet welcome below. I paused a moment. Thinking...about everything....about nothing.

Fall has never really been a enjoyable season for me, but more of an expectation of things to come in my life. The weather is a great relief from the heat we've been hit with the summer months, but hard to watch the leaves giving up color before giving up the will to fight.

Our yard, front and back, is inhabited by many squirrels that are constantly picking the pecans out of the trees, crunching through the shells and discarding them on the ground below. At any given time outside you can hear their teeth rapidly make waste of something I would have to get after with a nut cracker. Everyone is preparing for winter. Even the trees are discarding their leaves to turn inward and make it through the next season.

Across the street, a gust of window has brought with it a down pour of bright yellow leaves. I watch them spin crazily across lawns, some get caught on roofs, others make it in to sister trees. The majority find rest on the ground, to either be trampled or racked, once the rain has cleared and things begin to dry.

Fall is messy, the weather is up and down, leaves are making havoc of every one's dwelling. Now that it's rained, they'll be wet crumpled leaves sticking to the kids shoes as they come in and out, just a little piece of Fall trying to make it's way into my living room. No doubt the dog will enjoy playing with the wet vegetation, but she'll be the only one.

Fall is a synonym for Life. Up and down, always to be cleaned up, just so leaves that lasted longer, had more fight in them, can fall on fresh ground before they get swept up. A mess that sticks and clings to you, as you move through season after season.
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My gramma

I've been on the search for this picture for over a year. Thank you Uncle Buff for finding it and sending it to me. Here's a little collage I did of my gramma, Dixie.

From Collages