What projects do you have going on?
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
What projects do you have going on?
Sunday, September 27, 2009
When reading through the book of James there are so many things that speak to me and encourage me or challenge me. The verse above is one that challenges me. Especially the confess your sins to one another part. I totally believe that I need to confess my sins and I do that to God on a daily basis but the confessing to one another part.... that doesn't happen so much. I think about it sometimes and then something inside me makes me feel a little scared, shy, timid, PROUD, I don't know what all but then I shrink back from sharing and asking for prayer.
This is something I want to change. That doesn't mean this blog will become this tell all place (As far as I am concerned that isn't what blogs are for, I hope to make this an encouraging and uplifting place) but in life with my family and close friends and brothers and sisters at church, I want to be open with my struggles. Be willing to admit that I have problems and failures and then ask for prayer. It says that prayer can accomplish much and I really, really believe that but why do I not make use of that prayer to the full extent?
How about you? What do you think on this verse? Does it challenge you too or is it something that you have practised and seen the benefits of?
Thursday, September 24, 2009
The latest thing that I have tried making is Dishwasher Detergent. I found the recipe over at "Blessings Overflowing". I had to go out a buy liquid Castile soap but otherwise it was normal kitchen ingredients. I found the Castile soap at our health food store (where you could buy it from a bulk container) and they had 3 different scents (scented with essential oils, not perfumes) Eucalyptus, Lavender and Peppermint. I chose peppermint and have really been enjoying it. It makes our whole kitchen area smell wonderful while the dishwasher is going. Since the soap already had a scent, I left the tea tree oil (which is good for disinfecting but also has a scent ) out of the recipe as I didn't want to get to many scents mixed together. If the Castile soap you find doesn't have peppermint oil in it, I am sure you could add it on your own if you so desired.
The recipe was very easy to mix up and it is easy to store. I decided to use an old oil jar. And what is really neat about it is that it works! I have tried my own detergent recipes in the past that have not been successful so I am very happy about that! I actually think it works quite a lot better than the Cascade that I had been using, and it smells so much better!
Other ways that we have become more natural are:
- Making my own Laundry Soap with this recipe from the Simple Dollar. This has saved me a lot of money! I also like not having to shop for detergent, whenever I need more I simply pull out the simple ingredients and make another batch. I don't necessarily think this works better than store bought stuff but it works okay and I really appreciate that it is more natural and way cheaper!
- Baking Soda for scrubbing toilets, sinks, etc. This works great and is a great deal!
- Baking Soda instead of toothpaste. I don't do this 100% of the time but I do a lot and it works just fine.
- Vinegar rinse instead of conditioner. This has been working lovely. I also have tried the No'poo method, using baking soda instead of shampoo. This work for a while but then I started having some difficulties and when I tried it again lately the baking soda really bothered my scalp. I am hoping to make this homemade "shampoo" soon and try it.
- We do also use natural Melalucca products for shower cleaning, windows, to spray on the toilet, etc. It lasts a long time but when I run out of that I will probably experiment with some homemade recipes. (Though I am pretty attached to their shower cleaner as it works very well with hard water stains!)
- For mopping I simply use warm water with vinegar.
- To avoid SLS we also don't buy soft soap but rather use bar soap for washing hands and washing up while showering.
- Currently I am still using normal dish soap but I was given this recipe and will probably try it soon:
Shred 2 bars of Octagon Soap (have you ever heard of this?) into 4 1/2 to 5 quarts water in a pot on the stove. Heat it until it dissolves. Then turn stove off and add 1 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup washing soda and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Stir. When cooled pour into sealed containers. It says it doesn't suds as much but it will get the dishes clean.
I am curious to hear any more ways to make natural cleaners, especially if they are frugal too!
What do you do at your house?
For more frugal tips visit Life as Mom.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
means that it has been around for a while. :-) It also was falling apart. But if you know me, I hate to waste things and I hate to just throw things away if there is possibly any life left in them. So a couple nights ago Megan and I got busy and fixed it!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Bea snuggled up on Auntie Keren's lap after trying to cuddle up with my bunch but couldn't quite get comfortable. We were taking care of the 3 oldest Edwards kids too. (The whole family couldn't come as Gregory was pretty sick.)
Keren and Matt doing dishes.
Brandt had some good sermons from the book of Jonah.
The boys played in the fire a lot during services but when a question was asked you would find out they were really listening too.
Time to pack up and go home.
Thanks be to God for the wonderful weather, the good messages and singing, yummy food and fun times with friends!
Monday, September 21, 2009
call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.
Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.
3. Cookbooks that were a gift to Mara from Ula our 95 year old friend. The top cookbook (copyright 1965) has been a big inspiration to Mara and made her very interested in cooking.
4. My sweet little sister recently turned 18.
6. Diligent workers!
8. Trees! Tall white birches, evergreens and poplar, I love all kinds of trees! Thank you God for their beauty, their shade and their usefulness!
9. Pictures that make me always smile!
10. Lots of lovely rain today that is so good for our garden.
11. God's love and forgiveness.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Megan likes to pack for any event, even just going to town or to church. She and Mara have a bunch of purses and tote bags that she loves to pull out and fill with stuffed animals, dolls, craft items, who knows what all. There are many times that I need to take stuff places, for instance craft stuff for class at church or food for fellowship dinner and when Megan sees me "packing" then she really gets in the act and packs a bunch too. I will go out to the van to find the front seat just loaded with her bags.
Anyway on to the story. Just one month ago (on the 15th) was the funeral of our dear friend Opal. It was a very busy day at our house as I also had a wedding to do flowers for so the morning of the funeral I was getting flowers ready and getting food packed up for the lunch after the funeral. To be very honest other than helping the kids get dressed appropriately, they were rather on their own.
At breakfast I had a bunch of bananas sitting on the table to be eaten if desired but nobody did and off we went to the funeral (my dear husband delivered the wedding flowers for me!). When we got to the church building we unloaded the stuff for lunch and all went in. Once in Megan wanted to go back outside and said something about bananas. I wasn't paying to much attention to her but said she needed to stay in and that we hadn't brought any bananas.
Fast forward to later at home. I was looking for a snack and thought of the bunch of bananas. Where were they? I couldn't find them anywhere. Aha! Maybe that is why Megan was talking about them. I looked in the van. Not there. Did Megan get them out after the funeral? Maybe they were at the church building. I looked the next day but didn't see them anywhere. I figured maybe she put them somewhere outside and decided not to worry about them.
Fast forward a week or so. I was in the girls walk in closet and their was this faint fruity smell. What was it? Is it bananas? "Mara, I think you had better clean out your closet." So Mara cleaned it like most 9 year olds clean. No bananas. We forget about it.
Fast forward to last week. "Mara, your closet smells like banana bread! Do you remember those missing bananas? Do you think....?" "Please clean your closet really thoroughly!"
"Sorry Mom, no bananas."
At this point I really should have taken the time to help thoroughly clean as a Mom can sometimes clean a little better than a 9 year old but I was a little busy so....
This week on Tuesday, exactly one month after the funeral, I went in their closet and it smelled bad! Not like banana bread anymore this was yucky, rotten bananas! It was cleaning time!!
Out came everything and as I was moving the shoe rack which held the bags on the top shelf a swarm of fruit flies fluttered up to meet me. I do believe we are finding the location! Sure enough, in a bag which was underneath other bags was a black soft mess of very old bananas! The missing bananas were found and they quickly got deposited in the trash!
*In case you were wondering why we didn't get Megan's assistance in finding them in the first place, I think we tried. Often when we ask Megan to show us where something is (which we greatly suspect she has mislocated) we usually get led on a wild goose chase going inside, outside, upstairs, downstairs and on and on, all the while she appears to be very confident that we will run across it any moment.
Linked up at We are THAT family to celebrate her 2nd Blog anniversary.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
We did a little before hand prep by going shopping on Tuesday and buying a new slipcover (I splurged and spent $50 at Target) for our love seat downstairs and we also bought a gallon of brown paint ($34) at Home Depot.
This is the boy's dresser which we picked up at a garage sale. The top was not very desirable but I always figured I could do something with it. However I never got anything done. It was something Ken didn't like to much so I put that on the list.
We got a jump start on this and started working on it on Wednesday while Ken was at work and we figured he wouldn't go in the boy's room while he was home for supper.
I have been working to get the boys' room decorated with geography stuff so we decided to go with that theme for the top of the dresser. I pulled out some old National Geographics and we had fun looking through them and cutting out pictures which we then modge podged on top. I also painted the sides of the dresser top dark blue.
The look is a little unique but we definitely had fun doing it, we used only stuff we had ($0) and when we get tired of it we can paint over it or something like that.
On Thursday we took a little break from home projects to work on gift projects, for a large part gifts for my little sister who turned 18. I will post more about those later.
PROJECT 2 (Friday)
Fixing up the Rocker. (Not a rocking chair but a lawn toy that the kids can sit on and rock- my brother made it several years ago.) This was a well enjoyed toy until one of the handles came off a year or so ago. For some silly reason we didn't get it fixed right away- partly because Ken was busy and I felt intimidated by the drill.
But I decided that it was time to go to work at it. It ended up being pretty easy!
After fixing the handle part the kids went to work at sanding it down and getting it ready for painting. Then they (with much assistance from me) went to work at painting it.
It looks ever so much better now, though I would like to give it another coat of paint! Cost was free as we used up paint we had left over from another project.
PROJECT 3 (Friday and touch ups on Saturday)
We had white doors in a white house and I thought they looked rather dull that way. Also they never actually had been painted, the white was just the primer they came with. So....
I painted them. I did two doors (and the little side thing) inside and out. I have one more door I need to do but didn't have time to tackle it this time. I had thought this would be a quick couple hour project but that was rather optimistic thinking. It ended up taking more like 5 hours for the first coat (and all the taping, etc.) and then the next day an hour or so more to give some main areas another coat and touch up places I missed. After taking the tape of I discovered some more areas I need to touch up but I haven't done that yet.
PROJECTS 4 and 5
This was in our family room. Ken's chair was one we bought second hand in the beginning of our marriage and it was looking terribly old. The love seat was a hand-me-down that still was nice to sit on but I didn't like the looks of very much. It was time to do something about it!
We put a purchased slipcover on the love seat so that was nice and easy but the chair was a bit of another matter. I wanted to recover it but to be honest I found the idea a little overwhelming. It was to the point that something had to be done, either I recover it or we just junk it and buy another one. So I figured if I get it torn apart and then can't recover it, it didn't make that much difference we would just buy a new one but it I could recover it then we would have saved a bunch of money.
So we decided to give it a try. Here Mara is helping to tear the old upholstery off. (All of the kids got to help with it.)
Here it is, in pieces. I had to take about 16 screws out (more practise for me with the drill).
Now the question: Will we get it back together again?
WE DID! Yea! The chair has a very different look now, as does the love seat. I decided to leave the skirt off of the chair as it would save time, take less fabric and just for the fun of a different look. The cost was nothing but time on the chair as the fabric had been given to me. Oh, we also had to use a bunch of staples to I guess they cost something but we had them on hand so I am not sure how much they cost.
The chair project we started on Saturday evening, we also worked on it on Sunday afternoon but after church on Sunday night we still had a lot to do. I decided we probably wouldn't get done before Ken made it back but we would still try. Ken was supposed to get home around 10 pm but he called around 9 and said it would be more like 11. The kids were eager to help get it done, some of them helped on the chair and others cleaned up the house so I could work on the chair. I decided they had better go to bed around 10 however but Jonathan pleaded to be able to help finish the project so I let him stay up until 11pm. At 11 we still weren't done but I sent Jonathan off to bed and then Ken calls and says he was running even later because he had to stop a few times because he was so tired. Anyway I kept working and I had just finished up and put the back on the chair when he pulled in the lane. It was perfect timing!
God really blessed throughout the time Ken was gone. I really don't prefer being a "single mother" (I am amazed by those who do it all the time!), but though we missed Ken we had a wonderful time working together to get the projects done. I had majorly overbooked us with all the projects (plus we had other engagements to go to each day as well) but God supplied us with extra energy and we made it!