Friday, March 26, 2010

Remembering to Nurture

Somedays in the midst of homeschooling four children, housework and all the other duties I try to attend to it is hard to remember a simple truth that I ran across while reading this afternoon.

"Truly the children are like the tender plants.....there must be more sunshine than cloud, more pleasant warmth than winter cold to bring them to their fruitage." (from The Cross Triumphant by Florence M. Kingsley, a Lamplighter book)

The three R's are important, but their heart is my greatest cause and I am reminded, "Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands..." (Proverbs 14:1)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 22, 2010

Testing the Homemade Laundry detergent

Here we are, starting with a stain. This is ketchup and mustard. I put equal amounts on each piece of old t-shirt.

Okay, I washed the fabric labeled homemade in the detergent I made. The one labeled store bought was with a leading name brand. The next two pictures are after the 1st initial wash.

As you can see, the store bought brand took away more of the stain. I must note that I just thought about the fact that my store detergent has bleach in it, so I am thinking that my test may not be as reliable as I had hoped. Alright, we continue on....

I then treated both stains and re-washed them in separate loads with the same detergents again. Here are the results:

You can just barely see the mustard remaining on the homemade cloth. But, I am thinking that that store bought with the bleach has skewed my results. Humm, overall I am quite pleased with the results of the homemade detergent, especially since I try to pre-treat all stains and not let them dry on the clothes if possible.

Here is the link to the exact recipe that I used. Homemade Laundry Detergent.

Also, I have read that hard water will affect the ability of your detergent and that adding salt will help this. I have really hard water and have been adding bleach to my loads of whites.

The jury is still out as to whether I will continue with making detergent. I really like to try to keep the clothes looking their best. I am watching now to see if the colors are fading. My OCD is showing. : )

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Half the Price and Half the Calories

So what is it that I am up to now? Well, I kind of have a one track mind and when I get going on something I really get involved. At the present it is saving as much money as I can running this household. To me that is the best way I can bring money into our home. I think for the first time in my married life I am truly being a good steward of what God has given us and the money that my husband works so hard to make. Now, let me say that I have never been a big shopper for stuff that most women go for, clothes, shoes, etc. but when I went to the grocery store or "stuff"- mart I thought it was pretty much open season and what I deemed necessary I bought, no matter the cost. My easy going honey never questioned me. So when I decided to do this little challenge with myself I dont think I expected to see that I could save as much money as I have. The first week as you know from this post, I cut $100.00 off the total at checkout. Last week I bought enough food for a nine day menu, complete with 3 meals a day and snacks, for $120.00. My honey said he is getting spoiled with me preparing his lunch and getting up to make his breakfast. ( Yes, I confess, I have been married 17 1/2 years and have never done this. What can I say? I am married to an easy to please man.) This, by the way, is saving us about 40-50  dollars a week.

Oh, I am having fun with this! Every time I think I need something my first thought is "Can I make it?"  With a basic stock in the cabinet I am finding that I can.

Today's home made, money saving project:
Home Made Chocolate Milk Mix

Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup Hershey's Cocoa Powder
1 cup Sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon Vanilla
dash of salt

Combine cocoa, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Add water, and mix until smooth. Bring this mixture to a boil. Allow it to boil for one minute, be careful this does not boil over. Remove from heat, when this cools add the vanilla. 

I put mine in an old squeeze bottle. Refrigerate. It should be good for 2 or 3 weeks ( It will never last that long here)

By the time I got around to taking a photo the glasses were empty.

The savings:
I priced a can of Hershey's Syrup at Ingles for 1.28 for 16 ounces.
This made 14 ounces for .70 cents.

This took me all of five minutes!

The biggest payoff is the fact that the first ingredient listed on the store bought syrup was High Fructose Corn Syrup. Mine figures at 50 calories per 2 TBS. The other is 100 calories for the same amount.

Really, I am having too much fun with this. I am dreaming of gardens and sewing......oh, the possibilities. I can't wait to see what I can make next. Got any suggestions?


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Little Jenna, the Eager Beaver

Here is Jenna, begging to "do school". She has effortlessly learned her letters with this little gem of a book.

In this video we are using the Victory Drill Book for her to see how fast she can name the letters.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

IF YOU VALUE YOUR FREEDOM TO EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN..... you see fit, then take a look at this blog post and the articles that it refers to. In all seriousness, it is getting ridiculous to see how many people in these United States are actually Socialist thinkers. Just take a look at all of the comments following these "news" pieces and you will see that way too many folks think that children should be turned over to the government so they will get a "well rounded" education. I could say a whole lot but it would probably not even make sense right now seeing how perturbed I am. And while you are at it skip on over to Parental and GET INVOLVED!

And just so anyone who reads this will know, my children all know who Darwin was and what his THEORY was all about. They will continue to learn about him and all the others while also learning what God's words says about it. I fully expect them to be ever so capable to defend their faith and to be able to give a much better answer than I ever could for it! The way I see it, I am doing more than what my local Public School is doing because God's Word is not taught anymore and The THEORY of evolution is presented as FACT. Perhaps we should just start with the definition of the word theory.

Ok, I am done with this. Time to get a smile on and thank God for the freedom and for my children. Lets go learn some science and history, perhaps we will read the Constitution.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


In the last post I talked about trying to save money. Well, the experiment was this: See how much money I could save by not buying anything pre-packaged, with the exception of things like rice and dry beans and such. For me this was cutting out the 12.00 box of Hot-Pockets, Boxed cereal and even my Smart Ones. I bought no boxed cookies, no granola bars. All of these things are not good for you anyway.

So I planned my meals and planned for homemade snacks. Let me just say here, I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen. Baking, baking and washing dishes.

The end result at the cash register was this, normally I can easily spend $200.00 and then $40.00 at the Dollar General getting paper products, soap and household cleaners, I spent $140.00 total. A saving of $100.00. WOW! That is a lot of money!

Bottom line is you pay for convenience. Not only with money either as most of what we gave up this week is bad for our health.

So here's to working hard and saving. Lord, give me stamina. :)

Home Made Automatic Dishwasher Detergent- The Verdict

Well, in my quest to save as much money as I could at the grocery store this week I decided that I would try some of these home made concoctions to use around the house. Since the ingredients were easy to find and the store bought alternatives are where a lot of money is spent, I decided to start with detergent.

Here is the recipe:

1 C. Borax
1 C. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 cup of salt
4 packets of lemonade Kool-Aid mix.

White Vinegar for the rinse.

Barring extreme user failure, and I don't know how I could have messed it up, this was awful.....AWFUL......So horrible that I had to wash the entire load by hand to get the white whatever off of the dishes. Even after washing it all again with 2 cycles of Cascade.....yep.....all by hand! By hand= not happy homemaker.

So there you go. Learn from me. I read several reviews before I tried this. All of the fine ladies warning me that it did not work did not stop this headstrong Southern woman from trying it anyway. :)

If you venture on and try it for yourself, be warned, this is what you may end up with:

On a positive note. The home made laundry detergent seems to be working great. I read that this recipe equals out to cost about .01 cent per load. I have always been a die-hard Gain user. Note: I will not give up my store bought fabric softener. :)

A Budding Photographer

These lovely pictures of Jenna were taken by my daughter Jessie (14). She got a new camera for Christmas and it has fueled a great passion in her for taking pictures. (That was exactly what I wanted it to do). She let me blog my two favorites on here, be watching her blog for more.

Monday, March 1, 2010

It is Well With My Soul

A little singing after church last night. These ladies are such a blessing. This is one of my favorite songs that they sing.


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