Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

And he danced with Cinderella....

Visit 5 Minutes for Mom for more Wordless Wednesday.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sincerely Fro' Me to You

This is my 1st time participating in sincerely fro' me to you carnival. It is just too good, how could I not? I mean, pictures that will never see a scrapbook? Hello. I've got loads of 'em. I didn't even have to try very hard. I just opened up ipic and scrolled for half a second. So here ya go:

Where did everybody go?

We were all out front when he woke up from his nap.....

Morning Devotions

I dearly love our morning devotions. My children love them, too. Here is an excerpt from this morning:

Me: Let's talk about how to pray. God would love us to make a habit of talking to Him everyday. Can you tell me what a habit is?

Them: Something you do all the time!

It's going well, huh?

Me: I have a habit of talking to God the very first thing when I wake up and then I keep talking to him all day long. How about you all? Do you have a habit of talking to God?

Them: Well, what if you can't think of any good stuff to ask for?

Me: Well, then you can thank Him for good things you already have, or ask Him for help if you need it.

Them:What if God gets into a battle with a big giant that is bigger than God?

Me: Nothing is bigger than our God.

Them: What if the giant stomps on my head?

Me:That would hurt.

Them: What if a monkey jumped on your head?....Yeah, like those cavemen!"

What kind of cavemen? The kind of people that live in areas where there are caves to live in or the silly monkey men you see on TV?

Them: Giggles all around and lots of ooh-ohh-aah-aah's, the silly monkey men!! Like when there were dinasaurs on the land! More giggles...

Me: Well those aren't real. Some people think we came from monkeys. Isn't that silly?

Them: More giggles and monkey noises...

Me: Did God create us as monkeys first?

Them: NO!

Me: Who were the 1st people?

Them: Adam and Eve!

Me: Not monkeys?

Them: NO! giggles...

Me: If anyone ever tries to tell you that we evolved from monkeys, even if they are an authority, they are not correct. They think they are, but they just don't know the truth. You know the truth. We find all truth in here, God's word, the bible. If you ever have a question, you will find the answers in here.

Them: Like the answer to a really hard math problem?

Me: Um....let's pray.

Go to Diaper Diaries for more Things I Love Thursdays.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Our little monkey...

See more: Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rise & Shine and Give God the Glory, Glory!!

Good morning!

The Lord work me up early this morning....

...and I tried to talk with Him a little while laying in my nice comfy bed,...

...but He had more for me today,...

...and I am so glad I listened.

Thank-you, Lord Jesus.

I am still in my 31-Day Challenge with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I actually had to stop for a little over a week, waiting for new printer ink, but whether it takes 31 or 301 days, God is really using these teachings to show me where I have work to do.

I had the pleasure of reading 2 lessons this morning and I want to share my prayer for the day, taken from Nancy's:

Lord, I pray for Your wisdom and discernment and good judgment to know how to live the kind of life that will make Jesus attractive to my children and my husband.

I pray that You'd show me issues or areas of my life where what I'm saying and what I'm doing are two different things, and that I may be honest and humble enough to agree with You, to repent, and to let You change me so that my life can reflect the beauty and the wonder and the goodness of Your will. I pray this in Jesus' precious name, Amen.

Amazingly, after such a wonderful time with Him, my household was still sleeping. Wow, God! What else do you have for me today?

I must admit, I took some time to throw in a load of laundry, make myself some coffee, set the breakfast table....and still, a sleeping household!

So over to the computer I came, checked email, then opened my blog and THIS is what I read.

Good is Good, y'all! May the Lord richly bless you today as you go about loving your on family!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Delicious Honey Oatmeal Whole-Wheat Bread

I had to post this recipe. This is the most delicious bread I have ever made. I have been trying to find the right balance to please my family's palate and this one is it. And let me just say that I was shocked, SHOCKED at how much sugar goes into bread! Some recipes called for 1/4 cup of the stuff. I tried making those recipes with sucanat or muscavado and while those sweeteners have their strengths, the breads we baked were slightly tougher than we like.

I found a book at the Goodwill bookstore the other week called The Bread Machine Bakery Book by Richard W. Langer and this recipe has become our family's every day bread. When I say every day, I mean I make a 1 1/5 lb loaf everyday.

1 1/4 cups water
1 tsp honey
2 cups unbleached bread flour
1/2 cup whole- wheat flour
1/2 cup oatmeal (rolled oats - not instant!)
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste...I palm it)
1 1/2 tsp yeast

Follow your bread machine's instructions for loading the ingredients and set it to whole-wheat. Easy as that and oh-so yummy. A nice soft and tender bread with just enough crustiness. Delicious!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Nourishing Fudge...Fudge Y'all!!

Doesn't that look scrumptious? Let me assure you, it is. I was reading one of my favorite blogs written beautifully by Lindsay and found this yummy, healthy treat. (You will need to follow her link to the blog she got the recipe from...another one of my fav's.)

I did it just a little differently...because, well...I just cannot follow a recipe exactly, what fun would that be? Where would the drama be? Anyway, I used local honey instead of the coconut palm sugar, but I will be adding that to my growing supply of nourishing sweeteners, tout suit.

Instead of a food processor I used my Magic Bullet. Are you laughing? Don't laugh. We got this as a gift a few years ago and I kind of snickered (sorry Lys), but I have grown to LOVE it. I use it several times a day. It makes our smoothies, grates parmesan cheese, makes fresh salsa, blends vinaigrettes, puries a few cups of beans to make soup nice and smooth, and this time, it served as a food processor. I love my bullet.

So, as I was watching the chocolate fudge mix, I started thinking, hhhmmmm, I bet peanut butter would work, I tried it:

1/2 cup natural peanut butter - I dug down to the bottom of the jar where its nice and dry.
slightly less than 1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup local honey

That's it! dumped it all into the bullet, turned it on for a minute or so and presto! peanut butter fudge. :-) I even got lazy and just poured it into a little round pyrex and popped it into the freezer w/o using the parchment.

When they were set, I pulled them both out and cut them and wow are they yummy. We sent some to school this morning for the kids' Valentines Day party and the teacher was thrilled that it was made with wholesome ingredients and no refined sugar.

And yes, Papa, we can make this when you come to visit!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fly Report - Hot Spot Alert!

This is the top of my fridge. In FlyLady speak, this is a hotspot.

*sheepish grin*

This spot is on fire, actually. I rarely clean it off. So I am using you good people in bloggy world to shame me into pulling out the stool, fighting off several children who want to climb the stool with me, and getting up there and cleaning the stinking top of the fridge.

I promise. But not right now....

You want to see it upclose? Okay, here ya go:

What is all that stuff, you ask? Well...

a dvd book of kids movies
a pack of chalk (confiscated for misuse)
tape (the only place R can't find it and try to tape the whole house)
a cute little baseball bat hook thing that the boys keep taking off their wall and bopping each other with
valentines crafts & candies
the whole door shelf thingy from my freezer door that hold batteries that I can't figure out how to get back on
a dog leash
a flash light
a plastic candy cane (confiscated)
a few random game pieces (probably confiscated)

It probably took me longer to write this post than it would have to just clean it off.....

More Homemade Cleaning Products & A Review of the Others

I am digging my homemade cleaners! I am thrilled with all of them except one so far and that is a far better average than I can claim with the expensive, chemical laden, store bought versions.

Today I mixed up:

Laundry Soap
1/2 cup pure soap flakes (I used a bar of Ivory Soap and only needed a third or so of the bar)
1/2 cup baking soda
1/4 cup washing soda
1/4 cup borax
1 clean 16oz container w/lid (I used a recycled kefir bottle, it is perfect!)

Grate the soap & mix with other ingredients in a big bowl, then transfer to container. Use about 1/2 cup per load.

This is fantastic! I used it along with white vinegar for softener on the energy saver setting on my washer and my clothes came out great. it even washed pee-pee sheets & quilt nice and clean. This is a keeper. Next time I will make a bigger batch though, I am almost out after 3 loads.

Automatic Dishwasher Detergent
Equal parts borax & washing soda.


All the glassware was cloudy, ick. I will keep looking for a better recipe, probably a liquid.

Microwave Oven Cleaner
1 1/2 cups water
3 tbl baking soda
mix in a microwave safe bowl and stick it in the mic for 3-5 minutes (I did 4 min)
carefully remove bowl, use hotpads, it will be HOT! Wipe down with a damp cloth.

Worked like a charm! I really had my doubts, but I didn't even really have to scrub very hard and my mic is shining,


And I used the Fresh Smelling Multipurpose Cleaner I made last week to clean the outside and to my great surprise the stainless is sparkling, woo-hoo! I really disliked my stainless appliances because they were so hard to keep clean without have to use something special...which hardly ever happens! Now I can just spray away with my new favorite Multipurpose cleaner and clean everything in my path, YAY!

I also must comment on my new love affair with washing soda.

Am I the only one that didn't know about this stuff?? I mixed it with water & white vinegar to mop the floor and it made such a difference in how easily the stuck on schmeg spots came up. I can't wait to see what else I can do with this! Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Haircuts at Home

Aahh, the Mom Cut. The time has come for my beloved kiddo's to take their places in the long line of shaggily shorn children. I must admit, I gave T his first trim at about 3 weeks. But he had a head full of crazy black hair and I couldn't help myself! I later gave in and took my littles to the barber for their buzz haircuts. Those days are over. We went a long time without any haircuts. That is what happens when your pair a crunchy mama with a preppy daddy and hairstyle preferences are all over the spectrum. I love little boys with beautiful flowing hair and Daddy prefers to leave that to the girls and keep his boys high and tight.

*sigh*... So we let the boys decide. One wants short, preppy hair and one wants longer, hip dude hair. Perfect! One for each of us.

So off we went to the local family hair salon. The boys looked at the pictures in the books and picked out what they wanted, well, after a little coaching from me...I draw the line at blow-drying and gelling their hair each morning. Good grief, I'm lucky to get them dressed and sort of brushed in the morning. But they had their pictures picked out to show the stylist and they each sat down.

I spent a pleasant 20 minutes reading a magazine which never happens, so I was enjoying myself. Then I got my first glimpse of the boys.


What happened?? They both walked out of there with the dreaded Little-boy Cut. Remember that Seinfeld episode? Their beautiful locks were hacked! I could have done better than that, I thought to my self and then complained out loud in the car, to which hubby replies, "Why don't you? Save us $30 and do what you want."

So, today, I did. For T anyway. He's the preppy one. R jumped up for a turn, but all we needed for her was an air-snip here and an air-snip there and she was thrilled.

J stayed across the street the whole time the scissors were out.

Happily, I now have another job description under my Mom name tag; Barber...or do I want Hairstylist....Ooh! or Cutter of Hair! Oh well, you get the idea. ;-)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Homemade Cleaning Products

I finally did it. I've been talking about doing it. I've been slowly collecting the products needed to do it. And today was the day to pull out the caldron (okay it was really a big popcorn bowl) and mix up my own cleaning potions.

Waa Ha Ha!!

I tell ya, if I had known how easy and cheap it is to make cleaning products I would have done it a LONG time ago. Have I mentioned I can be a little slow? Oh well, the timing works for me, since I am trying to lower our household expenses and make our home a safe, green haven. I love it when a plan comes together.

I actually started the day with:

Super Window & Glass Cleaner
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
3 1/2 cups water
1 clean 32oz spray bottle

Pour it all into the bottle and shake well before using. Awesome.


Citrus Disinfectant
1 orange peel
3 cups white vinegar
1 clean qt jar
1 clean 32 oz spray bottle

Put the peel & vinegar into the jar, close the lid, put in a cupboard for 2 weeks, giving it an occasional shake.
Remove the peel, strain the vinegar into bottle and fill w/ water.
You can also deodorize a room by setting out a small bowl of the citrus vinegar. (A MUST for the boys' bathroom!)

Today, I mixed these up

Fresh-Smelling Multipurpose Cleaner
3 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 cup white or cider vinegar (I used cider, next time I will use white and you should, too)
1 tsp borax
1 tsp washing soda
1 tsp liquid castile soap (I used sweet almond)
1 clean 32 oz spray bottle (I used 2 16oz bottles)

Pour it all into the bottles and shake well before using.
Perfect for countertops, kitchen appliances & fixtures, and tile or painted surfaces. Just spray and wipe down with a damp cloth or sponge.

Nontoxic Bathroom Cleaner
1 2/3 cups baking soda
1/2 cup liquid soap (I used the last of my "dish liquid" to use it up and have the bottle)
1/2 cup water
2 tbl white vinegar
1 clean 16 oz squirt bottle w/ closing cap

Mix baking soda & liquid soap in a bowl. Dilute with water and add vinegar. Stir the mixture until any lumps have dissolved. Pour liquid into the bottle. Shake well before using.
Squirt on area to be cleaned. Scrub with a nylon-backed sponge. Rinse off with water. Keep cap on between uses.

As you can see in the pic, I just slapped on hand-written labels, but anyone that knows me should know that I will shortly have pretty ones instead! I plan on making Spicy Carpet Freshener & Spicy Room Freshener Spray as soon as I get the herbs & essential oils. I will keep you posted!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Tuesday is Zone Kick-off Day

I love zone cleaning. Read what FlyLady has to say about it HERE. For me, having the zones all laid out gives me a goal for each week that I can just tackle instead of adding the growing mess to an illusive to-do list in my head that quickly overwhelms me and never gets tackled....ever feel that way?

So, this week is Zone 1: The Front of my House (Front Porch, Foyer, 2 Closets, The Kids' 2 bedrooms & bath) Here is how my list breaks down:

Front Porch
Sweep down spiders & webs
Sweep brick
Add a welcoming touch
Clean door, glass & trim

Clean cobwebs
Clean door, glass & frame
Wipe down baseboards
Wipe down switch plates & wall
Wipe down tile floor
Straighten shoe basket
Wash throw rug
Dust pictures
Straighten game closet

Scrub floor
Straighten medicine cabinet
Clean tub & tile wall
Clean bath toys
Clean behind toilet
Wipe down cabinet inside & out
Wipe down baseboards
Wipe down door & frame
Wash towels, put out new on rack
Straighten linen closet

Both Bedrooms
Dust & polish furniture
Clean cobwebs
Wipe down blinds
Clean windows
Clean under beds
Clean out closets
Put away stray items
Sort our-grown clothes into donation box
Vacuum under beds/in closets
Wipe down baseboards
Clean fingerprints/crayon off doors/walls
Straighten book shelves

I have the whole rest of the week to knock away at this list. None of it takes very long when done one thing at a time. I will post before & after pictures as I go along....

Back to Basics, hello again FlyLady!

Do you like my shiny sink?

We have 2 sweet new additions to our household on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. I am babysitting a 19 m/o, we will call him "L" and a 4 y/o, who we will call "A". We love them already and they are a welcome addition to our little family.

All the extra activity has served to remind me how valuable my trusty Control Journal is. All my lists broken down by time of day, day, week, and month. I had strayed from it, just winging it instead, then I tried some other list programs, but I am now back to my original plan that works so well for me. FlyLady is an awesome system, check it out if you need help getting on top of clutter and/or setting up workable routines for your family so your household runs smoothly, giving you more time to enjoy your family.

As an accountability thing for me, I decided to post my lists on here. I am going to blog everyday this week and fess up to what I actually accomplished. My lists are over there on the right ----->

Today, I had it a little easy, because much of my home blessing tasks were done yesterday :-). But I still haven't cleaned the glass & mirrors or windowsills yet...I'm getting up right now to do that!!

In addition to the home blessing, here is the rest of my list for today:

Make homemade sourdough starter(DONE)
Bake rye bread (DONE)
Make up kitchen cleaner solution
Make up all-purpose cleaner solution
Extra laundry loads

As you can see, I still have much to do today! Thankfully, the pork is in the crockpot simmering away in teriyaki, ginger & garlic and all I need to do is throw in the broccoli & water chestnuts and cook the rice, easy-peasy. So off I go, on to the cleaning and playing in the kitchen, woo hoo!

I love my job! Really. I mean it. I really love what I do.