Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Oldest

My oldest daughter, Raeley
is a free spirit
always has been.
I don't know how old she was when I realized this.
It was the way she held picture books
and looked at the pictures
I never could explain it, but she didn't just look,
She saw.
She would point out a small, overlooked detail.
Like it was the reason the book was written.
She was very sensitive about her environment.
It needed to look good. It had to look good.
It was the way she studied people's faces
like she could figure out who they were.
She doesn't mind what people say about her.
She doesn't care about fitting in.
She cares about being true to herself.
Doing what she likes,
and seeing the world through her eyes.
She is strongly opinionated about what matters to her.
Right now it's the state of our country.
Back then it was equality between kids,
Being nice,
and justice for all.
Most of all it was loyalty.
My oldest daughter, fiercely loyal.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent

It's so easy, even a 7 year old can do it. I wish I would have timed how quickly this went. And OHHH, the savings! It's also better for the economy. Since I have had the Borax for a LONG time, and didn't save the receipts from the other, I googled the prices.

Cameron actually made the recipe for me, and next time it will be faster because I won't have to measure the water, I just sharpie'd a fill-line on the bucket.

1 cup Arm and Hammer washing soda
1/2 cup Borax
1 bar Zote* soap (I bought a 14 oz bar so I cut it in thirds)

Heat 4 cups of water in a pot. When boiling, bring it down to simmer. While water heats, grate soap. I used a Salad Shooter. Remember, it's soap, so it will wash off easy! Add washing soda and Borax. Mix until melted. Fill a large container (with lid) with 3 gallons of water. I used a paint bucket from WalMart that cost less than $3. Add melted soap and stir. Let sit 24 hours until it gels. Mix well. That's it!

*Fels Naptha is also a natural soap that is good to use, just stay away from perfumed bars with heavy dyes and scents.

Here's the price breakdown:
Arm and Hammer Washing Soda $3.50 55 oz (7 loads) ($0.50)
20 Mule Team Borax $9 76 oz (19 loads) ($0.47)
Zote Soap $1 at Big Lots 14 oz (3 loads) ($0.33)
$1.30 for 4 gallons ($0.015 a load) - that's right - one and a half cents a load.

My laundry detergent of choice cost $7 for 44 loads ($0.16 a load)

I saved the last container of detergent I bought and filled it with the detergent. I use one for one in the measuring cup- really a little more of the homemade stuff.

You just gotta try this!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

You don't have to use words to be mean

My twin sister is homeschooling her daughter now.
I don't think she ever thought she would homeschool, but she'll be great.
I mean, really great.
One of those homeschool moms I would look at and go, wow, I never would have thought of doing that with my kids! Of course, that was back in the day when I had time to put a little creativity in my homeschooling. Now I buy creative homeschool curriculum.

Sweet Angela, seven years old. Kissed by an angel on her cheek (birthmark) and teased mercilessly by the kids at school. So unhappy this past year. Now she's happy and safe because she doesn't have to go to back to that place anymore.
But she still cries about it.

Sweet Angela, with the big eyes and charming smile. She had to endure children pointing and laughing at her on a daily basis. She had to endure the kids passing notes about her. Worst of all, she had to endure kids acting as if she didn't exist. She didn't put this into words earlier for her mom to bring her home sooner. Oh, there were teacher meetings, and dealing with bullies who would verbally tease. The kids learned. It's not what they said. It wasn't the words that hurt. Sometimes it's about asking the right questions. Sometimes it's about understanding the definitions.

Bullying. It can even happen in the home. Do my kids bully each other? Do I listen when they tell me about what one of their siblings did to them? Bullying - here is a beautiful post with a recommended book read,The Wounded Spirit by Frank Peretti. I'm getting the book. And I'm going to listen to my kids.

Sometimes it's hard to live so far away when cousins need hugs. And cousins need to give hugs. Daughters #2 and #3 may be coming home next year to learn also. Pray for them, will ya?