Thursday, July 31, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
My dear friend Cheryl has the most fantastic back yard. Some things you should know about Cheryl---she is an author with a gift for writing Western Historicals, she is a collector of vintage and antique things; and because she collects things, her yard has lots of vintage and antique things sitting around making it look like a slice of days gone by. Cheryl (with the help of Mr. Jay) has a multitude of wild flowers growing and wonderful colors all over the yard. Below is a Cardinal in an antique bird bath.
To see any of these photos better, click on the photo and it will open up to full size. Make sure you tell Sean he did a great job of taking photos for me!!!
So why were we at Cheryl's house?? Well, at Rebekah's birthday, the idea was tossed out that her beautiful dress should be showcased somehow. The idea of bare feet in a garden was mentioned and everyone loved the idea. Since then, we've been scouting out parks and flower beds where we could sneak some photos. Only problem--Rebekah thinks all flowers are for picking and chooses not to hear "no" on this subject. Hmmm--picking flowers in the public parks...that is sort of frowned upon and is a little bit against the law.
Then we remembered Cheryl's beautiful yard. She's a bama (grandma) and would forgive Rebekah if a few flowers were picked. We asked and she graciously agreed. Her DH Jay spent the weekend making the yard beautiful and we took advantage of a slightly cool evening to take over their house and yard.
I wish we could have posed Rebekah by more of the 'things' placed around the yard. Rebekah put herself in charge of the photo shoot. The mission was to run as fast as she could away from the camera while yelling cheese. It was a game of catch me if you can. It only took a couple hours and over 100 shots, but I hope you agree that some of these are priceless.
After a few rounds of Peek a Boo, our princess was tired and resting on Mom. Love those cuddles!!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
treatments go. So far, I'm loving it.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
This is what Rebekah did. She is 'sleeping' in the empty shelves.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Now, some laundry facts I know.
- The bulk of the lint in your dryer is fibers from your clothes which is why they wear out over time.
- Detergents don't need to suds to be effective. In fact, the more suds you get, the more phosphate types of chemicals would be found in your detergent.
- When everyone started going to 'super-concentrated' detergents, they took out the fillers (such as shredded styrofoam) to reduce the package size.
- Tide can rust your machine over time and is one of the most harsh detergents on the market.
Recently, my friend Holly posted a blog that she made her own POWDERED laundry detergent. I was so excited and started researching. In the end, I decided to use her recipe and see how it went. I made it earlier this week and LOVE it. So quick and easy!! (I'm sure Holly thinks I'm ripping off her idea, but I'm so thankful that she kept going until she found me a powdered recipe that makes less than 5 gallons at a time!!!)
First you go to the laundry product aisle of your grocery store, Target or Walmart and pick up the following three items:1. Fels Naptha Laundry Soap (or Ivory Bar Soap)
3. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not Baking Soda and not the new powdered A&H laundry detergent) This ingredient was the hardest to find, but I got it at my Kroger store. My fancy Walmart didn't have it.
To make the detergent, grate the Fels Naptha (or Ivory) and make 2 Cups of shred. (About 2/3 bar of Fels makes 2 Cups shredded soap.) I used my Pampered Chef grater and had it done in less than 5 minutes. You can use a hand grater or even your food processor. Mix the soap shred with 1 Cup Borax and 1 Cup Washing Soda into an airtight container. Add 1 Tbsp. per load (2 if heavily soiled). It won't give you lots of suds, but it will clean your clothes better than the expensive commercial stuff.
This recipe makes 4 Cups of detergent which is 32-64 loads of laundry (16 Tbsp. per cup x 4 Cups = 64 loads unless you use 2 Tbsp per load which cuts it to 32 loads).
I'm also giving up on fabric softeners to go back to good old fashioned White Distilled Vinegar. I use the Downy Ball and fill it to the line with vinegar. It will remove ALL scents from the laundry and you will NOT have a vinegar smell on your clothes. This tip was all from Holly and I researched it out as well.
Vinegar is a natural way to soften clothes without harming the fibers of the cloth. It removes odor (like sweaty kid smell) and leaves your clothes soft. I don't like smells added to my clothes, but if that is important to you, check out Holly's find with her Dryer Sachets. She is in love with them, but I'm happy with my now smell-free clothes.
Other benefits I'm finding to the whole make your own thing are that I'm being more environmentally friendly, I'm using less harmful chemicals on my family and I am saving money. Everyone thinks money was my motivation, but in this case, not true. However, to give you a handle on the costs, the Fels Naptha was $0.98 for one bar. The Borax was $3.20 for a 76oz box and the A&H Washing Soda was $3.01 for a 55oz box.
I used 2/3 of the soap (let's call it a full $1.00) plus 1/8 box Borax (actually it was less, but I'm rounding up to make sure I'm not cheating on the price) at $0.40 plus 1/6 box Washing Soda at $0.51. For 34-64 loads of laundry, it cost me $1.91. Even at only 32 loads, the cost per load is $0.06 per load. For 64 loads, it's down to $0.03 per load. And I might have 2 boxes in the cupboard, but not a 5 gallon bucket. I'm thrilled.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Here is a video of Andrew's skit.
Rebekah stole his nose after the show. She had her binky (she calls it a gee-gee) in her mouth since she was a TIRED girl. She calls herself Geh-kah, so it's Gehkah with a gee-gee and a funny nose.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Sunday, July 06, 2008
What's a sprayground?? It's a playground--made of water. We have one close to the new house but didn't get to use it much last year. It's on our Summer List and we made it there last week. About an hour during the heat of the day is all this mama can take. I'd like to go more often in the evening around dinner time. Picnic and frolic as it cools down at the end of the day.
At first, Nathan didn't want to do anything but go home. Rebekah wanted to run in circles around the edges, but NOT get wet. Andrew wanted the rest of them to stop whining and start playing. We met Nathan's friend from school at the sprayground and he was anxious to get Nathan to relax and have fun.
Eventually, Nathan got a girl to give up the water cannon. He wanted to squirt people and she wanted to be squirted.
Andrew taught sissy how to push the button to keep the water going and she made it her personal mission in life to leave no child without spray. She guarded the button and scolded the children as they tried to push it. Then (after she said no water), he picked her up and ran her through the rainbow sprayer. She decided the water was pretty fun and ended up soaked.
Eventually, Nathan got soaked as well. After about an hour and fifteen minutes, we packed up and headed home for lunch and naps. The boys didn't nap, but Rebekah and I took LONG naps. Good thing Sean was working from home that afternoon and could be the grownup in charge. I was too pooped after the fun in the sun to be in charge of anything but napping.