Thursday, December 18, 2008
Something I really cherish about our family is the time we spend reading aloud together. We try to choose books that will appeal to all ages, but this is not always easy, as two year olds just aren't interested sometimes. But we certainly try! We've read anything from "adventure" such as God's Smuggler, to "family growth" books such as Family Driven Faith, to even simple things like Character Building stories.Currently, we are reading our yearly Advent book, Tabitha's Travels. This is the third book of a series. The first two are Jotham's Journey and Bartholomew's Passage. This happens to be our sixth year of reading these Advent books and we just love them. Sometimes we'll pile on the couch for our reading and other times we'll sit around the table sipping hot cocoa. But tonight was a beauty! Our neighbor had given us a bag of Hubba Bubba suckers, so we decided to save them especially for reading time. We sat around the table and let the kids go to town on their suckers. It was the most peacefully quiet reading yet!!!
Once we have finished our Advent book, we'll begin our new book, 10 P's in a Pod. I'm really excited about this one because I've heard and read many great reviews.......we can't wait!
If your family already reads together often, then you know how special it is (most of the time...lol)! If not, I would encourage you to pick a great book and start reading to the family! You'll love it and your children will too!
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Well, making our own laundry detergent has proven to be one of our best money savers over the last two to three years. And we only have to invest about 15-20 minutes of our time every three to four months.
Not bad, eh?
Not only is this a great way to save money, but this detergent is also safe for HE washers, because of the low suds ingredients.
I'll give the recipe in a small batch so that you can try it without wasting too much if you don't like it!
But you'll like! You WILL!!
Homemade Powder Laundry Detergent
1 Fels Naptha Laundry Bar (or Zote) I buy this at Walmart in the laundry aisle.
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Super Washing Soda (NOT baking soda...it must say Super Washing Soda.....it's usually located right next to the Borax but not all stores carry this....you may have to shop around. If you live in Texas, HEB carries it.)
If you just bought one bar and one box each of these, it will cost you only about $5 and depending on family size will last three to six months. Although, you'll need about three bars of Fels Naptha or Zote to go through your entire boxes of powders.
Grate bar. If you have a food processor with a cheese grater attachment, use it! Before we had this, we had to grate the bar by hand on a box grater.
In a processor or blender, combine 1 cup of grated bar, 1/2 cup Borax, and 1/2 cup of Washing Soda. Process or blend until you get a fine powder consistency. It's best to do this in small batches to get a fine powder. Repeat this until you run out of your grated bar. If you've bought several bars....well, keep on goin'! Store in an air tight container.
For small to medium loads, use 1 tablespoon. Seriously! This is why it lasts so long!
For large or heavily soiled loads, use 2 tablespoons. It's that simple! Then, fabric soften as desired!
A side note: I've heard people say that they didn't like the ZOTE because it has a waxy texture, whereas the Fels Naptha has a flaky texture. I personally don't have a problem with Zote. My clothes get clean and they smell good. However, since my Walmart now sells Fels Naptha, I buy that.
My little girls love that ZOTE is pink! ;-) Try both and see what you like best. Let me know what you think!
*Update: We still make our detergent most of the time, but occasionally, we buy the big bucket from Sams, which is also economical.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
"Most sensible people say that adults cannot be expected to appreciate Christmas as much as children appreciate it. But I am not sure that even sensible people are always right; and this has been my principle reason for deciding to be silly -- a decision that is now irrevocable. It may be because I am silly, but I rather think that, relatively to the rest of the year, I enjoy Christmas more than I did when I was a child. My faith demands that such be the case. The more mature I become the more I need to embrace the joys of the incarnation. The more mature I become, the more I need to be but a child".
~ G.K. Chesterton
ht: Kristen S.