Sunday, August 28, 2011

Home-Made Liquid Laundry Soap

Ah, one of my favorite money-saving tricks! Making laundry soap at home. I got the recipe from the Duggar Family's website. (The 19 Kids and Counting family). This recipe makes 10 gallons of laundry soap and probably costs about $2.00 for that size of batch. It's also REALLY easy!! You need Borax, Fels-Naptha soap bar, water, and Arm & Hammer washing soda. The box of Borax is probably $3.00-4.00, same with the washing soda. The bar of soap is about $.50 each. Here's how to make it:

-Grate bar of soap and add to sauce pan with 4 cups water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full with hot tap water. Add melted soap, 1 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken. (I don't always wait over night for it to thicken, usually I pour it into the laundry soap containers and add water, then shake before each use).

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (Will gel).

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil. (I buy mine at Wal-Mart in the candle section. it's $2.00 per essential oil and they last forever).

-Top load machine - 5/8 cup per load (approximately 180 loads)

-Front load machine - 1/4 cup per load (approximately 640 loads)

**Baking soda will NOT work, nor will Arm & Hammer detergent. It must be Sodium Carbonate!

There it is in all it's glory. So simple, so wise. Smells great, cleans clothes very well. There's also a recipe on the Duggar Family's website for how to make fabric softener, which I have yet to try but looks awesome. Thanks for taking your time to read, I hope everybody tries this! Why not try?!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Few Soul Refreshers

I have been reading through the Bible with some other women in my church. We meet weekly and read about half a book each week. We started in Genesis a couple of months ago, now we're into Deuteronomy. I haven't been able to make it for the past 3 weeks so I've been doing my catch-up reading on my own. To be honest, Number was a little tough. I felt very A.D.D. reading through Numbers, it was hard to follow the story line and not check-out. Anyway, I started Deueteronomy today and my soul became refreshed. This book is a gem! Here are some of the verses that stood out to me and blessed me completely. I've been given the advice recently to read the Bible until it brings me to a point of repentance and or rejoicing. I needed to dwell on these verses for a while before finishing the chapter, they make me rejoice.

Deut. 4:29-31

Deut. 6:4-9

Deut. 8:3(b)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I love my Husband

I love my Husband

The last few days I have been thinking about how I want to write a post about how much I love Brian. I have no real structure in mind for this post, but I do just need to share my thoughts about him. I have gotten emotional a few times this past week thinking about how much I love him and how good he is to me – a true blessing from the Lord!

Brian works so hard. I was having a really hard time working at Great Harvest, the early mornings and sheer exhaustion I felt after work and in my first trimester. I voiced these concerns to him, and every time he encouraged me to quit. I was scared. I’ve never quit a job before – just gotten fired, ha. I finally put in my notice and worked 3 more weeks. This was so scary for me, I was worried about our finances. The thing I love is that Brian is committed to provide for our needs. He didn’t want me to hold the burden of working outside the home if I didn’t want to. His only requirement was that I would cook and feed him daily. NO problem! My passion… I love cooking! I love knowing that even in the super tight months (every month is tight, some are super tight though☺) he is committed to providing for us completely. I work on the side, occasionally babysitting and helping Tara ( with weddings and photo-shoots, however he has not required that of me. I do enjoy it though!

I love him for never nagging me…ever, about anything. He is totally pleased that I cook, take care of bills, keep the house clean, prepare for little Ruby(aka NESTING mania!), and most of all support and encourage him. He has so much going on between being a business owner, an associate pastor, a community group leader, the head of the community group leaders at our church, a drummer for our worship team, and the list goes on. He loves coming home to a cooked meal and someone to talk to. He bounces ideas (and he has LOTS of them…everyday…) off me, tells me struggles or highlights of his day, then he has someone to date. ☺ He takes our date nights seriously – we try to do one intentional date per week, sometimes it’s more. When I feel I’ve failed him in one way or another, he is quick to forgive me.

He loves talking to me, he loves listening to me. My favorite thing right now is when he talks to our daughter, Ruby. He doesn’t feel goofy for talking to my belly, he just does it. He has long conversations with her about lots of fun stuff. ☺ He is so excited to have a little girl on the way. She is going to have him wrapped around her finger, he admits it. He’s going to be the best daddy. He is going to teach our little girl what a godly man looks and lives like. He’s going to teach her so many cool things.

I love hugging my husband. Sometimes, on emotional days, his hugs soothe me. They completely calm me down. I find so much comfort in his arms. He is so gentle with me, he is one of the most humble people I know. He massages my back when it hurts from pregnancy. He give me snacks when I crave them but am too tired to get up.

We have a blast together! Sometimes when he’s too serious I start tickling him. It always ends up in a wrestling match and lots of laughter. I love wrestling him! ☺

Summer time makes me reminisce the beginning of our relationship. I have been pretty sentimental this summer, remembering our first conversation, first date, first long conversation in the park, first time holding hands, first time truly falling in love. We met and started dating in August 2009. We started our dating relationship one week after we met, and 4 days after our first date. I’ve been reading old journal entries from this special and sweet summer. Here’s an entry I think 4 days into our relationship:

“Just had another fabulous night with my Brian. Started off playing “settlers” at Gov cup – I watched. Then we went to Amy’s place til about 11. We intended to go star gazing tonight, but ended up walking around Bush Park. He was having a bit of a rough day because his friend was bummed. However, we proceeded to walk and talk, stopped on the race tracks, under the stars with the soft sounds of the night. Hugged for a few solid minutes – cheered him up, made me float on clouds. He mentioned that the only type of dancing he really feels comfortable with is slow dancing. He pulled out his phone, began playing ‘Fix You’ by Coldplay as we slow danced under the stars…
After finding out that my heels were bleeding from my cute new Wal-mart shoes, we found a bench to sit and talk more. He reminded me of the story of his parents: Met, 3 months later were married. He told me this always seemed foolish to him, that fast relationships have not seemed logical until this one. ☺
We shall see, O Lord!”

So sweet, so much fun. He also told me right around this time that he usually liked emo music or rock, but since he met me he couldn’t stop listening to the ever-cheerful Chris Rice. His song “Lemonade” was always on replay as Brian listened to it and thought of me. So sweet.

All this to say, I love my husband so much. He is everything I want and NEED in a man. I thank the Lord for him, though probably not enough. I am forever grateful for this blessing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I might have a heart-attack....

Oh.My.Heavens. This mobile I just found online melts my heart! I'm freaking out, it's so cute!!! I'm getting ideas to make my own mobile for Ruby and this is only the first sample I've seen so far... but I'm dying. I think I'll go with it. Holy cow, so beautiful!!!


I will keep you posted on what I do end up making for sure. :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Letter to my Daughter

This is a journal entry from the day after we found out we are having a little girl. Just typing the title made me tear up a bit..." my Daughter."

My sweet Ruby Joy,

My darling! I cannot get over you, my beautiful little girl. Daddy and I went in to find out your gender yesterday. We are so ecstatic you are a girl! I was right all along. :) You have many "aunties" and "uncles" around you who are so excited to meet you! They are all so excited that you are a girl and your name will be Ruby. We are 19 weeks along today, sweetheart!

I keep looking at your ultrasound photos - Darling, I cannot help but weep. You are forming so perfectly on your own. You are such a miracle! For the last week or so I have felt you move continuously, I love feeling you move! I always get excited figuring out if you're kicking, punching or just wiggling. Ruby, you bring joy to me! Daddy has yet to feel you move. However, Jessica Gerig felt you kickin' away this last Monday at our community group. :) Daddy and Aunt Tara are jealous.

I have never seen your dad quite as giddy as he was last night. We were at Walmart (at midnight) looking for a body pillow for me to sleep on. We though we'd start in the infant section of the store. Your daddy became so overwhelmed with joy as he remembered, "Baby! We're having a baby girl!" He was taken back by all the cute pink girl's things. He would touch the tiny socks or pj's and he had the sweetest tone of voice and facial expressions I have ever seen. He loves you very, very much, sweetheart. He will be such a great daddy, he already takes good care of us!

This coming Monday we are going to Canada! Your first vacation, Ruby! Sadly, you won't remember it very well though. :-p We are hanging out with your great grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins on my side! It will be so much fun!

I love you, Ruby Joy. I'm glad you are a girl. :) I am so excited to meet you! Love forever & ever,