Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You Make What?!

I make my own laundry detergent. Yes, you read that right. I make my own laundry detergent. I used to purchase a large bucket of laundry detergent from Sam's Club. Since we don't have a membership there anymore and I don't like spending money on name brand detergents I started making my own. It's so easy and so cheap! All you need is some water, washing soda, Borax, and a bar of Fels-Naptha soap. That's it! Easy right?

First you just need to grate your soap. I grate it right into the pot I am going to use. I have a pot, plastic spoon, and grater that I purchased from the Dollar General just for this project.

Once you have the bar shredded just add 4 cups of hot water and put it on the stove at a medium-low heat. Keep stirring until it's all melted. It will go from this.....

to this.

Oh, I should also add that you need a 5 gallon bucket. You can find one pretty cheap in the paint department of most home improvement stores. Fill the bucket up half way with hot water. Then add the soap you just melted, 1 cup of Washing Soda and 1/2 cup of Borax. (make sure it's WASHING soda...not baking soda). Then stir until it's all dissolved.

Once it's all dissolved finish filling up the bucket with hot water.

This bucket is what I used to buy my detergent in from Sam's club. I bought the screw top lid from Amazing Graze General Store. It makes it so easy to open/close the container and keep the soap safely out of Special K's reach.

Let it set overnight and it the morning it will become gel-like.

I will occasionally give the detergent a stir to break up the large pieces. I use about 1/8 c of detergent in my HE washer. For regular toploaders I think it's recommended to use 1/4 cup. Some people think it's easier to take an old detergent bottle, fill it half full with water, then fill the rest of the way with the soap. You shake it up (because it will gel) and then you would use 1/2 c. in a toploader and 1/4 c. in a front loader. You could even add tea tree oil or other essential oils to it if you like. I found that if you can smell the detergent on your clothes after they come out of the wash...then you have detergent build up. Your clothes shouldn't have a smell after coming out of the wash. (not much of one anyway.)

So...if you have any questions about making your own detergent feel free to ask. There are plenty of recipes on making your own (they are all pretty much the same) and recipes for powdered detergent as well.

Dragons, Knights, and a Soldier

This past weekend was so nice. The weather was pretty close to perfect if you ask me. Sunday afternoon brought a time for relaxing and playing with the children. Beloved became a dragon, Special K and Sweet E were princesses, and Big T and Little E were knights. Beloved swooped in and captured the princesses. So what were the knights to do.....but to rescue the damsels in distress. :-)

And run from the dragon,

And use the catapult to throw things at the dragon.

It was pretty much worthless trying to save the princesses when the oldest one wanted to be captured. :-)

While the battle was going on I had a chance to lounge in my chair I got for Mother's Day and enjoy the beautiful weather. Every once in a while the children and I would use our imaginations and see what the clouds turned into. For a split second we would see a turtle in the clouds and it would quickly change into a dog. We had so much fun and the sky was so blue. It was beautiful.

When Special K was freed she spent a lot of time by me and exploring the yard. She is just the cutest thing ever! I can't get enough of her.

I was so relaxed in my chair...enjoying the day I took pictures of just about anything. I even got this shot with the macro setting on the camera. Not too bad. :-) I don't know why...it's just the seam of my skirt, but I love how bright the blue is....the simplicity of it.

Then came a point when Sweet E wanted to be a knight for a little while and Big T wanted to jump ahead in time and be a soldier in the Revolutionary War.

All in all....I'd say it was a wonderful day that the Lord blessed us with. :-)

Mish Mash

This post is going to have a little of this and a little of that. I'm sorry...okay? But I fell WAY behind in my posts once again. And I am too lazy to write multiple posts. ;-)

First up we have Robin H0od. Little E was having a good ol' time with his bow. Too bad his overalls are a little too small. haha

And then I found proof of Little E touching the camera after he has been instructed multiple times not to touch it.

We finally built a second bench for our dining room table a couple of weeks ago. Here is an in-progress picture. It has a slight wobble to it, but it works just fine. Nice and sturdy. :-) (You can find the plans at Knock Off Wood/Ana White)

While we were building the bench Sweet E wanted to fly her kite. At least she wore herself out a little bit. :-)

Who's that coming down the road?

Why...it's my Dad and Mom riding bikes with the children! They gave our bikes a try and I think they liked our set-up.

Every time I thought they were going to stop, they would ride on by to do another lap around the neighborhood. :-)

Even after Dad stopped Mom took Sweet E around the block a couple more times. Special K and Little E were riding in the trailer and had a good time as well. Mom and Dad even got a couple of the "Oh Wows!" from people passing by. We always seem to get a lot of attention while out and about on our bikes. :-)

I have more pictures for yet another post on here and a big one on our school blog. But I better get to making dinner. Hope you all enjoy the pictures!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Soccer Time

I am so far behind on posting pictures, but I promised my sister I would get some soccer pictures up. The first soccer game was August 28th, but Sweet E is the only one that I got pictures of. Big T and Little E played at the same time and since we coach Little E's team....pictures did not happen that day. :-( But I did make up for not getting any pictures of Big T this past Saturday. I promised to get a lot of pictures and I did. :-) Still don't have any of Little E though. Running around a soccer field with a camera in my pocket doesn't seem like the best idea. Big T and Sweet E both scored a goal in their games. I missed seeing Sweet E's goal but I did get to see Big T dribble the ball all the way down the field and score! Anyway here are some pictures from Game #2 this past Saturday.

There she goes!

Then it was Big T's turn.

And they're off!

Now that is a face of determination!

It looks like she is fending off the whole other team!

I will do my best to post more photos tomorrow. Hopefully this will make my sister happy for a little while. :-) Love you Sissy!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A Classic

It's hard to believe this was 3 years ago! Sweet E is just too adorable :-)