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Friday, May 22, 2009


Wow, I'm a much cooler mom when there's no where to go in the morning.

Today I gave each of the girls a bowl of plain yogurt, a handful of berries, kid-friendly knives and and let them make their own breakfast.

Take a look:

Laundry Soap

Becuase I think this is such a huge money saver I wanted to post about making your own laundry soap. With 5 people (3 of them little girls!), 6 dogs and constant potty training we go through a lot of detergent. I have to give credit to the Duggar family for this recipe. I got it off their site.

Below you will find step by step instructions with pictures to help you see how easy it is to make your own laundry soap and save money. My commentary is in italics.

To begin you will need:
  • 4 Cups hot tap water
  • 1 bar of Ivory
  • 1 Cup Washing Soda
  • ½ Cup Borax
The washing soda and Borax can be found on the laundry aisle of your grocery store. You might never have noticed them before...but they are there!

Grate bar of soap. I used the smaller grating side.

Add soap to saucepan with water. I actually got mine pretty hot before I added the soap and turned the burner back down once it was added. I would recommend adding it may grab a child or husband to help you do this. It is much easier if the soap doesn't clump back up.

Stir continually over medium heat until soap dissolves and is melted. It gets a little foamy, but that's fine. Cook it until the water is clear...that means all the soap has melted.

Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. I didn't take a picture of this...I think you can imagine what it looks like!

Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax.

Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. You should notice that the liquid is thick at this point. It will be about the consistency of, well, laundry detergent.

Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken. Again, no pictures...if you like watching soap thicken you must also like watching paint dry and this blog is not for you (I hope!)

The next morning bright and early you can begin using your soap. Take an old detergent bottle from one of those overpriced brands you used to use before you became soap savvy and fill it half way with your soap. I use a Pyrex measuring cup and just put in 50 ounces if the dispenser holds 100 ounces, etc. Then I fill it up with plain water. You will have to give it a little shake each time you use it as it will gel up a little.

If you want to get fancy, you can also add smell to your soap. The Duggar recipe recommends: 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

Here's how much to use per load.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

This recipie makes 10 gallons of soap for about $2. Now go to the grocery store and total what it would cost you to buy 10 gallons and treat yourself to a nice dinner out!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Today was my first time as part of a local produce co-op and I love it!

Here is a picture of everything I got for $20 plus...

Here's the list of what's on the table that falls under the $20 plan
  • 2 mangos (1 was extra this week)
  • 6 ears of corn
  • a big bag of grapes
  • 2 cucumbers
  • quart of strawberries
  • large head of romaine lettuce
  • bag of spinach
  • 8 bananas
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 gala apples
  • 1 red tomato
  • 2 green tomatoes (1 was extra this week)
  • 2 pears
  • 10 potatos
  • 8 onions
I say plus because the pineapple and watermelon were a whopping $2 and $4 extra. And they were quite large. I was very impressed. I put a pear in the picture for reference.

I've already put my $20 in for next week. AND my order for local honey...a pint for only $8.50. Go-o-o-o-o biscuits and honey!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Daddy's Girl

We have a fun game around here of "who's girl are you?" It is very lighthearted and the girls take turns saying who's girl they are (mommy or daddy's) and Jason and I give hugs, kisses and big smiles when one of them picks us. They usually waver back and forth many times before the game finally ends.

Well, today was a rough day. I was on the phone - a lot - booking flights to California, the girls were bored, dinner was late, and I had the audacity to expect the girls to clean the playroom. Actually, not even the whole playroom. I had only asked that Jonah put away the blocks and Barbies and that Jorja put the dress-up clothes back in the bins. Well, after more than an hour of reminding and redirecting, I had had enough. A box of toys that I had separated out earlier this year left the room amid cries of "is it going in the trash?" Then I came back with a trash bag and began to stuff the dress-up clothes in. It was madness. I explained calmly...OK, I was pretty worked up, so calm was not even remotely possible...but I told them that the dress-up would come back when they were able to clean up what was already in there. Jonah sat bawling her eyes out that everything was going to end up in the dumpster. Not sure where that came from becuase we don't have a dumpster, but apparently, that's where dress-up clothes go until kids grow up and go get them for their daughters. Or so it was explained to me.

I was quick to point out that I had many more trash bags outside, and they better save the rest of the toys from the same fate by picking them up and putting them in their place before I had a chance to go get another. This got more response than anything else, and the playroom was mostly clean when I finally got so tired of waiting for Jason's meeting to end that I declared it was a MacDonald's night and to get in the van. Thankfully, Jason called while I was herding them to the garage and he pulled up just in time to hop into the van and drive.

The girls were in the back while we went through the drive through barking their orders at us. Like that has ever worked before. Finally, I made some unloving comments about being quiet and liking what they were given, and got a look from Jason that read "these are your kids you're talking to!" and I calmed down. One finger shake too late, though. From the back came the words "Daddy, I'm you're girl." Jason looked back at Jonah to ask why and was met with the most serious answer a grouchy seven year old could muster. "Because all I get to do all day is sit around the house cleaning up and getting yelled at by HER!"

I was dumbstruck, and couldn't help but snicker silently to myself while Jason handled the situation.

Sadly, Jonah is no longer my girl, I am no longer mommy. I have been reduced to her. At least until tomorrow morning.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was nice this year.

My husband and daughters are so sweet. They planted some flowers for me, made cards and blueberry muffins from scratch, and tried to pamper me in little ways all day. Oh, and the living room is primed for it's new coat of paint! Can't forget that one.

I did finally get the girl's Easter/Mother's day dresses finished and they wore them to church. I completely forgot to get good pictures of them before church, but here is one from after church taken with Jason's cell phone. It's no professional photo, but you get the gist.

Perhaps one day we can get a picture where they are all smiling sweetly, clothes neat, hair freshly combed, but until then, we get to have pictures like these to remind us that we have some of the quirkiest but most fun to live with kids I know.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Since it's been a while since I took the time to write out one of our adventures here (and there has been no shortage) I thought I would rest my aching muscles for a minute and start one.

Today I decided that I would check off one of the many painting projects we have going around the house. Painting the table and chairs from the playroom. We've had this furniture since Jonah was 1, and it originally only came with one table and two chairs. Obviously, 3 girls do not fit at that table amicably anymore. So my dad made two more chairs. Let me tell you, he made the new ones look exactly like the original two. He's pretty awesome at woodworking. You can't tell the new from the old except that the old ones are colored all over, and well, painted.

Which brings me to today. I have had paint for some time, but we've always been too busy to actually do it. For the time being, they will just be white. That's easy to do, and if I decide later down the road to decorate, I can do so then. The plan was to get everything set up, unleash the kids on the back yard, and paint until lunch. I figured I should at least get everything base coated (two coats), and if I need another coat, I can do that during nap time and this evening, when everything would be dry I can assemble.

I had everything ready, and even had an awesome little 3 year old helper who was really good at taking the screws out of the chairs so we could paint them piece by piece. Of course, being 3, Jorja soon lost interest in taking the screws out and began jamming everything she could find into the screw holes and hopefully not completely stripping out all the threads. So she got the boot.

After I finished that, got everything laid out and started spraying primer, they flocked like flies. I had to keep yelling to them to get behind me and not in front of the spray, but they migrated downwind again and again. They were like little huffers. Standing there inhaling and commenting on the smell and how they were getting painted. After some more threatening, yelling, and waving them away, they went back to the swingset and embarked on some dangerous behavior that only went uncorrected becuase they were leaving me alone. I did have to yell a few "be careful's" and "don't wash your sister's hair with dirt" type comments just for appearances. Then there were a million "don't touches" especially to Josie who somehow discovered that dirt and boogers create such a strong substance they could be used to erect a pyramid. We don't need any of that wiped on the pretty white table and chairs.

So everything was primed and ready for the top coat of satin that I found in the garage and decided to use. But one look at the kids and the clock told me I better hold off and do bath and lunch first. They were a mess. I think dirtier than I've ever seen them. Mud, boogers, bug guts, oak tags...oh, and poop on the little one. I couldn't tell if they were three little girls or if someone had delivered children raised by wolves to my home.

I ushered them all into my bathroom for immediate cleansing. Jorja brought me bubble bath and I thought "what the heck". What the heck was right. I should have known it was going to get bad when Jorja held up a handful of bubbles and in her sweetest voice asked "bubble fight, mommy?" I told her no, we had to get some lunch, and then the antics began. Josie stood up with her bum covered in bubbles and Jonah laughed "Josie is wearing bubble panties!" So they all took turns mooning me and showing me their bubble undies over and over. It was one antic after another until Jorja got bubbles in her face and with body fully covered in bubbles, stared waving her arms around screaming. Bubbles were flying everywhere and each time her arms went down, they reloaded and a fresh batch of bubbles was launched. I finally had to jerk her out of the tub, wrap a towel around her and plop her butt on the floor. The others were given the same treatment just for being in the vicinity.

I made and cleaned up lunch, put the little one's in bed and have managed to get one side of all the pieces finished off with the satin top coat. For now, I've lost all will to paint. Hopefully it won't rain because I'm taking a nap and maybe Jason can finish the other side when he gets home from fishing.