Hi! Thanks for stopping by...

I love.... God, hubby, my posse of kids, wool, jelly beans, quilting, my Canon 50d, watermelon, fabric, Philadelphia Soft Pretzels, TastyCakes, my Bunco girls, laughing, my chickens, antique quilts, buttons, sewing, photography, freshly bathed babies, camping, the sound of snow falling at night, Fiestaware, Elm Creek Quilt books, and a whole lot more! I am a Pastor's wife,a homeschooling mom, a proud Navy mom, and am just downright busy!

Monday, March 28, 2011

More from the desert...

#1 - The computer I use for pictures is down and at the computer hospital. I am bummed. I feel detached from the world. Yet, I feel FREE!

#2 - Mcgyver & 2 hunks worked to clear a garden area for me yesterday. They still have work to do in it, but I will have an additional 4 x 10 area. I am hoping for a 6 x 10.  I weeded the side garden area  yesterday and also by the peach & almond tree. Filled up a huge container with weeds. Today, hunk #4, Chicklet, and I went to the nursery and bought some plants. We didn't get too much, as we have some seeds here at home we're going to plant as well. We bought 4 tomato plants, 2 summer squash, 2 zucchini, 2 cucumbers, 2 watermelons, 4 marigolds, and one lemon balm plant.  I have some heirloom tomato seeds, peach seeds, apricot, red & green pepper, and lemon seeds were going to start soon. Sooner than later.

#3 - Diet is going okay, not great.  One part I miss w/ the computer gone is tracking my Fitbit info. I guess I could plug it into this desktop and let it sync. I should do that for sure.

#4 - It's getting hot. Don't like hot. Like a gentle warm w/ a nice, cool breeze. Someone needs to get my order down right!

#5 - Going to go on a quick walk w/ my friend/neighbor. Need to get some more exercise in!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Going a Little Green!

 I've been hearing about homemade laundry detergent lately.   I have a few friends who have made it. Some have made liquid and others dry detergent.

I had the ingredients on hand to make the dry:
1 bar Ivory Soap (or Fels Naptha), grated
1 cup Borax
2 cups baking soda.
(the recipe calls for washing soda (use gloves) but I had baking soda here. I had the family size. See one of my original posts re 'burning down the house.))

I picked up a used cheese grater at the thrift store yesterday for grating the soap. I thought it would be harder than it was to remove the soap off the grater. It was easy w/ a brush.

Anyway, I grated the Ivory Soap Bar into an old candy bucket.  

  Looks like coconut, no?

Then I added the Borax and baking soda.

Then I mixed it up well!

Wouldn't you know it? All my laundry was caught up. How often does that happen?
Anyway, I scrounged up some socks, underwear, and a few t-shirts for my 'experiment'!
I added 2 scoops of detergent. Each scoop measures approximately 1 1/2 TBSP of detergent.

2 scoops! No candy!

The hard part about this is that the detergent doesn't produce suds, probably because there is no phosphate. I read that most detergents that advertise 'Phosphate Free' actually substitute something I can't pronounce instead. It's called nitrioltriacetic acid (NTA), which is actually carcinogenic in small amounts. Can you imagine big amounts? 

I feel like I defeated my purpose of saving money. I usually do not wash such a small load, and on hot. Yikes. But... I had to have a picture of it washing!  It's all in the name of science! You can see the dirty water. Hey - I have 4 boys, what do you expect?  

I will let you know how it performs and how long it lasts. I know it's cheaper than Era or Gain!

** UPDATE 4/4/11**
I love the soap! It seems to get everything clean and it and the clothes smell fresh! I even scored a bottle of the liquid last week and I like that a lot too!  I am making another batch of dry, as I ran out this morning. This time I am using the Fels Naptha soap and Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (both available at Smiths in the laundry/softener aisle).  The Fels Naptha is harder to grate, took about 10 minutes longer to do so, but it smells good.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Manic Monday!

It is Monday.
It is manic.
Think I'll write a song about it....

Friday, March 11, 2011


This is my FitBit!

This little thing here is the size of a little USB drive and weighs almost nothing. It's purpose is to help track calories burned, track steps/mileage, track sleep patterns, and make dinner. Ok - so not the dinner thing. But I can dream! I keep track of my calories in, and this tracks all burned. It tells me (percentage wise) when I am more active than not, and it's disturbing to see how few calories I burn while sitting here at this stupid computer. What I really like about this, though, is that there is no fee to use the website. Every time I walk by the computer, the info syncs automatically. It offers me accountability. I need that!   Ps.... my sleep efficiency is 99%!  Love it!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Maybe You Can Go Back Again...

 Many years (and babies ago), a little blue house came into the family. First Auntie & Uncle lived there with baby cousins. It was a magical place!
Then, this family moved in with 3 little hunks and one in the 'oven'! The sky goes on forever and ever, stars abound in the millions, and the snowflakes fall like fairy dust. Along came a Chicklet too. 
Magical days.

Then, life goes on, kids get bigger, parents need help, so this family moved to the desert. Almost 10 years ago! This house was sold to a sweet couple with a little girl. Their life was turned upside down and they had to sell it and move on.  They sold it to a young couple who  were did some nice remodeling. But they gave their lives to the world and they didn't last in this little house. Over the years, this family has seen the price of the house skyrocket, then nosedive. It came down soooo amazingly low, that this family talked & decided to investigate! Grandma made an offer, the bank accepted, and McGyver and I, along w/ Hunk #4 and Chicklet drove out to the mountains to  check out the little blue house. 

The poor little blue house has seen some hard times. It needs lots of love and attention. We are praying about if we can give it the love and attention it needs. It certainly needs this McGyver! 

The picture below is the view out the kitchen window.

This is the house Auntie & Uncle built themselves. It's magical too!

Tonight we sat outback in the hot tub and stared at the gazillion bazillion stars!  It makes us realize how little we are and how BIG our GOD is!