family


Yes, I will admit I make my own laundry soap! I officially made the switch April 5th and have been going strong ever since.

I had been using soap nuts, which seems to work okay for regular clothes, but was not working well for my cloth diapers at all. So then I went to Rockin’ Green for my diapers and Soap Nuts for the clothes. That seemed to do the trick, but it was a bit pricey ($16 for 90 loads) just for a couple of loads a week. I wanted something that could be used for both! So I hunted down the Dugger recipe (I’m sure you’ve heard of the family, 19 kids….) and tried it out. So here’s my take on it!

There are only 3 ingredients: 1 cup Borax, 1 cup Washing Soda (not baking soda…) and 1 and 1/2 bars of soap. They recommended using a specific type of soap that I cannot get here, so I went with Ivory Soap.

Please note that I doubled the receipe in this batch

First grate the soap (much handier if you use a food processor, make sure to REALLY wash well after using), then add the Borax, Washing Soda, and grated soap into the food processor and pulverize until it looks like laundry detergent.

All ingredients mixed together

You can add a scent (although I haven’t yet) to customize your laundry wants.  Total time to do this (including running downstairs to get the ingredients) 5min.

Final results in a pretty jar

Now for a breakdown in costs.
Borax =$6.99 for 2Kg
Washing Soda =$6.97 for 3Kg
Ivory Soap = $4.29 for 10 bars

Okay, now if my math is right (using all sorts of conversion such as cups to oz to kg, etc….)  it cost roughly $1.96 to make 1 batch of laundry soap. 

How long does it last?  It all depends on how much you do laundry!  I do laundry roughly 11 times a week (6 people and 1 is in cloth diapers) and use between 1 – 2 tbsp per load.   The first batch lasted me about a month, which is around 60 loads of laundry.  The last time I went to the grocery store I priced out powdered detergent for the same amount of loads which came out to $8.98  (This is the cheapest no name brand I found, it can go up from there)  A minimum savings of $7.02!  If you want your savings to go even further you make this into a liquid.  I haven’t done that yet because I don’t own a big enough bucket.  Of course you can always wait for these items to go on sale and get an even better deal.

The results: So far it has been working great with my cloth diapers.  No stink issues and I haven’t had to strip them either.  When I was using the Rockin’ Green I would have to strip them every other week.  As for the regular clothes, it does an ‘okay’ job.  I have to admit it doesn’t get the kids stains out as good as I hoped, but then again I”m really bad about pre-treating stains.  Although when I do a combo of borax/baking soda/vinegar it seems to do the job…I just have to remember to do it BEFORE I wash the clothes.  Oh, I forgot to mention that I have a front loading washing machine…..

Any thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?  Now go out there and start saving money!!

I read on a blog recently on how to re-use your old broken up crayons and make them into new, fun and exciting crayons. Yes, I’ve got 4 kids and have TONS of broken bits of crayons. So I figured I would try this out. First, have the kids peel all the paper off the broken bits and break them into smaller pieces. That actually kept them busy for about 10min!

No plastic animals were hurt during this procedure

Then stick all the broken bits into a mold of your choice. I found this one at Extra Foods for $2. I think its a silicone ice cube tray? But it seemed to do the trick.

Filling the tray with the broken pieces

Next, I heated the oven to 170 degrees C, 200 degrees C, finally 250 degrees C  (Yes, I was getting impatient because the darn crayons were not melting) and let them sit there for 2 min at a time constantly checking on their meltedness.  (Is that a word?)  Finally they were melted, took them out and stuck them in the freezer to cool down. 

Melted waxy crayons

I think I may have popped them out of the mold too soon because half of them broke!  But the ones that made it looked pretty cool.   And besides you can always melt them down again and make new ones!

The final product (at least the ones that made it|)

And Hannah had no problems jumping in right away and colouring with them 🙂  So if you’re looking for something to do on a cool and rainy Sunday, this is the perfect trick!

Action Drawing. This is Hannah's Potato Head Monster.

 

I know I haven’t been posting much lately, well I do have a reason……On May 6th we were expecting our 5th baby to be born just before Christmas, we were so happy but also scared because we would officially be moving into the ‘larger’ family club. Less than a week later, we were burying the remains of our 7wk, 3 day old with the help of our former parish priest.

This was the second miscarriage I’ve experienced. The first one happened Sept 1st, 2002, only a few months after we were married. I don’t remember much about it. Not too much physical pain, but mostly emotional pain and anger. Now that I’ve had 4 living children, this one really hit us hard.  Over the years, my husband and I know and understand more about our Catholic Faith, so we really wanted to be sure that we did everything that we were supposed too for this lost child. We turned to the EWTN Q & A website, Catholic answers and any other websites that we could find on miscarriages.

The hardest part was telling my oldest daughter.  She’s almost 8, and was overjoyed at the possibility of another sibling, but when we told her we lost the baby she was devestated.  We reassured her that we had another Saint in Heaven watching over us and praying for us and that made her feel better.

Now that it has been almost a month since we lost the baby, and I’m starting to feel a bit better emotionally.  Who knows what God has in store for us?  A bigger family?  Who knows, we are just trying to say yes to his will…one day at a time.

I hope this post can help others who may be suffering or have suffered a miscarriage.

 FaithButton

It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that.

1 – I cleaned and purged…MY ROOM! I can finally see my dresser top, the closet floor and even my bathroom drawer. Unfortunately the master bedroom had become a dumping ground for everything. It’s good to gain back a bedroom.

2- The 40 bags for 40 days is slowly coming along. (See above) I think I got 3 bags alone in my own room.

3 – I’m slowly continuing on my Lenten journey. The psalms are being read daily, finally made it back to mass yesterday and I’m really trying hard to be present for the kids. Heck, as a family we even broke out Monopoly last weekend. I thought it would be too old for them, but guess what? The 7 yo had no problem playing, the 5 yo played with minimal help and even the 3 yo participated (she helped Dad be the banker).  They really enjoyed it and keep asking for more 🙂

How about you? Come share your small successes at Faith and Family Live.

This was my first attempt at making soft soled baby shoes. My poor little guy outgrew his hand-me-down shoes and was without anything on his feet for the last several weeks (except socks!). I came across this great tutorial several months ago and decided to give it a whirl. If you are even remotely crafty, just even a teeny tiny bit, this is a great project for you.

I did increase the pattern size by about 1/4″ since my son’s feet are bigger than the ones in the pattern. I also think I might take it in at the sides a bit for the next pair I make. Oh yes, there will be more!

My materials were:
remenant piece of sueded cloth for the soles
remenant piece of bamboo fleece for the lining of the soles
Riley Blake, Mind’s eye blue circles for the top/lining
Riley Blake, Mind’s eye brown plaid for the lining/top

Look how cute these turned out!

Here is the little man sporting his new shoes!

Okay, I’m a few weeks late on this one, but I have to share my big boys first birthday party. Look how much he’s grown in the past year! Did I mention he can walk now too?

Here’s his awesome cake.  A little bit of spray food colouring (did you know that they made that?), a paper template and a WHOLE lot of icing.  I think it turned out really well 🙂

The Dumptruck cupcake cake

Happy Birthday Little Man 🙂

Come inside and have some fun! Okay, we don’t have snowmaggedon (or whatever they are calling it) like they are in the East, but it sure was darn cold today. Woke up to -32 degrees C with a -45 degrees C windchill. Yes, school busses were cancelled, but we still managed to get in the car today and do a few errands. After all that was finished, Hannah was itching to do something fun. I remembered a great post on the Faith and Family blog mentioning…bring some snow inside for fun. (Now why didn’t I think of that?)

So Hannah put on her mitts, donned a nice bright pink apron and out I went to get a bucket of snow. Would you believe she had a blast for close to an hour? Mostly scooping it up and shaping it (once it melted a bit) into different size balls. What a great way to spend an hour. (And I got my T4 slips finished!)

Check out those mitts!

Bucket of snow

Having a blast!

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