Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"God made us all different, Sweetheart"

Well, I knew it would happen at some point. I assume that every parent has a story of when their child said something inappropriate. I had my "moment" yesterday while checking out at a doctor's clinic. I was with my 6 year old son trying to keep him standing still, since he had just been given medication that made him "jumpy." :) Well, his attention was diverted and he said "Whaaat??? That Daddy is so weird! Look at that weird little Daddy!" I was horrified to hear my son say this! I tried to grab him quickly and stop the chatter that was exiting his mouth, but it was too late. There was no way that this man (or anyone else in the waiting room) did not hear what my son said. The man had walked by swiftly and I quickly knelt down and explained that God made people of all sizes and that some are very tall, some are short and others are right in the middle. I told him that just like he is not exactly like his brother, all the dads are not same either. He seemed to understand, but this morning he was very concerned and asked me if his Daddy will get little soon too.

Have you ever been in a similar situation? Do you have any suggestions on teaching children that just because someone looks different on the outside they are the same on the inside?

(I changed the settings so anyone can leave a comment by choosing to be anonymous - of course you can always leave me your name if you want!)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Cheap Fabric Softner

I received a lot of positive emails and facebook comments from my post about homemade laundry detergent, so I decided to try a new fabric softener too. To be honest, the only time I ever use fabric softener is when one of my kids has an "accident." One of my children has severe allergies and so we don't use anything scented; however, I typically need a little "extra" when laundering those accidents out. Previously, I used scent-free dryer sheets but I heard that they may contain chemicals so I switched to dryer balls. The balls are okay, but everything comes out full of static. So my Mom mentioned an alternative to the Downy I had been using, but I wasn't convinced. I figured my clothes would smell funny. Have you guessed? Have you tried it? It's VINEGAR! I used it today on 5 loads of laundry and I think the clothes are actually softer than with the Downy. I used around 1/4 cup per load and everything came out smelling clean and fresh! There is still some slight static cling out of the dryer but it was much better than when I don't use anything but the dryer balls. I'm sold and plan on keeping a gallon of white distilled vinegar in the laundry room from now on! :)

Happy Laundering!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Questions and Answers

My lovely sister-in-law, Katie, tagged me in a Question and Answer post and I'm finally getting around to answering the questions. :)

1. If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals or are they members of your family?
We do not have any pets; my son is allergic to dogs and cats.

2. What would you do with a billion dollars?
Pay off the mortgage, fully fund college accounts, tithe, and then give it all away...

3. What helps to pull you out of a bad mood?
Prayer and reading my Bible

4. What is your bedtime routine?
I don't really have a bedtime routine for myself. I do make sure all the kids are tucked in though. Then, I turn the bathroom night light on and pull the toilet seat up in case my little guy gets up during the night. :)

5. Name something that has surprised you this week about motherhood.
I feel like every day I fall more in love with my children. Lately, my 2 year old daughter will give me a hug and say "Mama, you're my best friend." It melts my heart!

6. What kind of books do you read?
Well, I don't read nearly enough, but I try to read my Bible every day. I also like Jane Austen novels and I am currently reading Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson.

7. What’s your fear?
I am not typically a worrier. However, if I'm going to be honest, I fear that I will somehow not be able to protect my children or that something will happen to me or my husband. I love Katie's answer to this question though so I will leave it intact. "2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that God has not given us a spirit of fear but rather of power, love, and a sound mind. Yet, He knows that we do fear many things because His Word instructs us not to be afraid repeatedly! I have feared many things in my lifetime, and I still struggle with this so often. However, my aim at this point in my life is to fear the Lord and Him alone. He's teaching me! In Him, I trust!!"

8. Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to see outer space?
I'd stick with the junk food - I don't think I could handle getting into a spaceship. :)

9. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Depends on the morning...some morning I am abruptly woken up by my daughter shouting "Mama!!! Potty! Potty!" While other days I have a little boy crawl in bed asking if he can get up now even though it's not "Seven-O-O" yet. And then there are the days where I have a little guy wake me up with "Mom? I peed the bed." You gotta love it! If I try to get up early, everyone seems to "know" and they get up with me, so now I just stay in bed as long as I can. :)

10. What is one thing you love about your husband?
I love my husband SO MUCH! I love that he makes me laugh - he is incredibly funny. I also really love that we are so similar in so many ways. One way, is that we are both musicians; there are times where no one would understand what I'm talking about - but he understands completely. And by the grace of God, we are also both Christians and ultimately we aim to be more like the Son.

11. If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?

This is kinda funny because I used to dream up new names all the time when I was in college. I decided that the name I was given, shouldn't be used in my performing career and so I needed a stage name. I know it bugged my Dad when I performed on a cruise ship and only used my first and middle name. (Sorry, Dad - our last name was so long!) Anyway, nowadays I don't think about changing anything. :)

12. If you had to choose between six months of sun or six months of rain, what would you choose?
Sun...although I love reading on rainy days.

13. If you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be?
hmmm....I won't read into this, so I'll just say chocolate. :)

14. What is the thing you enjoy about blogging the most?
It's still so new to me, but I really enjoy helping others with what I've learned along the way.

15. Do you prefer salty or sweet foods?

16. What items are in your purse right now?
Epi-pen Jr, Benedryl and my Dave Ramsey wallet

17. If you had to choose between vacationing at the beach or in the mountains where would you go?
Mountains!! We still miss living in Boulder, Colorado...

18. What websites do you visit that you know you shouldn't?
Honestly, I can't think of any! I'm not one who would spend a lot of money if I go to a certain site. I mainly just read some blogs, check my facebook, and do research online...sorry, I guess I'm boring! :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent!

I love finding homemade alternatives to items I previously purchased in a store...my new favorite one is homemade laundry detergent. The soap recipe I used is found in the book, The Duggars: 20 and Counting! Now, here is where I reveal how clueless I am. :) One of the ingredients is "washing soda" and I had no idea what it was. I actually thought it might even come carbonated in a bottle!!!! I hope that some of you reading this can relate to me right now, and secretly don't have a clue either! I would imagine that there are others laughing at me right now - it's all good, I love to learn new things! Anyway, after doing some internet research I found out what washing soda was and how it is similar to baking soda. So after searching all over town and realizing that no one had washing soda, I found that I could substitute baking soda. Since I was so clueless in my initial endeavor, I thought I would share how to make laundry detergent and describe it as simply as possible. Therefore, I decided that I would try to take after my sister-in-law and post pictures with instructions...Katie, I hope I do you justice! :)

Needed: 1 Fels Naptha Soap Bar, grated
1 Cup Washing Soda (I used Baking Soda)
1/2 Cup Borax
5 Gallon bucket with cover
Small saucepan

That's it! That's all you need for (...wait for it...) 10 GALLONS of laundry detergent! No kidding, you will seriously get TEN GALLONS of laundry detergent!!! The best part, is that the whole things costs LESS THAN $2.00 to make! I even saw that Wal-mart is now carrying the Fels Naptha soap bars so they're easy to find and cheap - around a buck. Okay - so here's how to make it:

Grate the soap bar into a small saucepan. (notice the thumb? Hee-Hee)

Mmmm...this Thumby Mummy thinks it looks yummy enough to eat...but DON'T DO IT! - remember it's soap! :)

Cover the soap with hot water.

Cook over medium-low heat, stirring continually until soap completely dissolves.

Put washing soda (I used baking soda) and Borax in a 5 gallon bucket.

Pour in the hot, melted soap mixture. Stir well, until all the powder is dissolved.

Fill the bucket to the top with hot tap water.

Stir, cover securely and let sit overnight.

The next morning, stir the mixture.

Mix equal amounts of soap concentrate and water in a smaller laundry detergent dispenser or container.

(Each of my containers used 6 cups of detergent and 6 cups of water)

Store the additional detergent and use as needed.

I now have containers neatly stored in my laundry drawers and enough laundry detergent to last a LONG time!

Before each use, shake container. Top Loading machine requires 1 Cup per load and Front Loading (High Efficiency) machines only need 1/3 Cup!

I should add that I laundered several loads in my front loader machine before putting the instructions on my blog. I washed sheets, stinky socks, clothing, winter coats, hats and mittens - everything came out clean and fresh!

Good luck - I promise it's easy to do!