Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Homemade Baby Wipes

I've used store bought baby wipes for all my kids and just recently switched over to making my own....and I'm in love with it!! I usually buy the bulk box from Walmart and every single time I bought yet another box I'd sigh and think about the money and about the chemicals I'm purchasing to put on my little ones. :-/

It really hasn't been that long that disposable wipes have been around, and yet its a pretty foreign concept to make your own reusable wipes or to use cloth diapers. Even my grandmother, who used reusable diapers and wipes, is totally amazed that I would do this to myself! :) She is very supportive of me, but it still amazed in a slightly impressed/she's crazy way. :)

I generally take my time about doing something new. I like to research my options, read what other mama's have used/done and learn about their methods. So I probably took close to a month before actually making the switch, but its what works for me.

My husband likes to wear shirts till they are dead...sometimes longer. hehehehe He had one shirt that he would pull out every now and then and wear....even with my encouraging him to not! It didn't have holes in it or anything like that....but it was way past dead. So one day, I turned it into rags. :) My stock pile was running sadly low, so instead of purchasing some more, I decided to be thrifty (which he loves) and use his shirt. Since I was being thrifty with his money, he had to love it....or least appreciate it. hehehehehehe :)

So! Instead of buying materials to make wipes, I decided to once again be thrifty...using his dead shirts. Just a warning ladies - I'd run it by your husband before cutting up his shirts. The first shirt I cut up, he knew it needed to die (for real), which is why I felt free to cut it up without asking him. The other shirts though, I ran it by him first. :)

By using old t-shirts you're, of course, being a thrifty wife, but because they have been worn so much, they are soft enough to be used on your little one.

                                            The dog toy is not needed to make baby wipes :)

Now that you've got your supplies ready, start cutting! I ended up cutting some of mine a wee bit too small....okay a lot too small, but now I know for next time. :) I store them in a plastic wipe box and pour my solution over it, which consists of:
2 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Dr. Bronner's Unscented Baby-Milk Pure-Castile Soap

After using the wipes, I take them into my laundry room and put them into a largish tupperware that I have no lid for. I keep a mixture of vinegar and water in it for them to soak in till I'm ready to wash them. Generally I wash them with some towels, just to make me feel better. :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Counting my blessings.....

Its been quite a while since I've been on here. A lot has happened to our family lately. Toward the end of October we found out we were expecting our fifth Blessing and we were soooo excited!! I knew right away that I was pregnant, but tried to talk myself out of it so I wouldn't get my hopes up too much. :) I was over the moon when my pregnancy test came back positive. I also knew from the beginning that I wasn't going to get to keep this sweet baby. I kept telling myself I was just being dramatic or something. But that feeling stayed strong with me, even after I got the positive test. I took a test the next morning and it was negative. :( The LORD saw fit to take our sweet one home to be with Him. We were heartbroken. I clung to the knowledge that "the LORD gives and the LORD takes away, Blessed be the name of the LORD!" I had a rough two weeks grieving and recovering. It was such a comfort to see the love and hear of the prayers from family and our church family and friends across the country, and even the world. I had people in Cambodia praying for me! The LORD was gracious though and I am doing so well, as is the rest of the family.

November 16th brought a big event in our house. Our oldest turned 8! EIGHT!!! sigh. Time certainly flies. We tried to convincer her to just skip her birthday this year, but she wouldn't buy it. :D We are so blessed to have our sweet Abby! Her servants heart is a joy to see, as is her love for her Saviour.


For Thanksgiving we were able to go to my mom's this year and had a blast! All six of us siblings were together for the first time in a long while. And I got to see cousins I hadn't seen in over ten years! Such fun!! The food was delicious and the visiting was wonderful!!

This past week all four of my youngin's have been sick. :( It made for a very long week and even longer nights sometimes. But we are alive to tell about it...Mama is a little sleep deprived, but hey! I'll live. :) I made a batch of Elderberry Syrup and its almost gone now. Its amazing the power of herbs. I saw a big difference in how they felt when they did take it and when I forgot to give it to them. They were so much more miserable when they didn't get it on time. Gotta love herbs. :) Thankfully neither Mama or Dad have gotten it - we felt like we were, but haven't yet. yay!!



Monday, October 15, 2012

A week off!..sorta =)

For our homeschooling we do three weeks of school and then take one week off. I love this! It gives me a chance to catch up housework that I've had to let slide because of teaching school and it gives me a break as well. By the beginning of the third week of school I'm starting to feel a little burned out and that I'm not teaching as well. Having that week off energizes me and I feel so ready to tackle another three weeks of school! 

For our week off this time, we are doing some really (much needed) deep cleaning. I wrote out what rooms I wanted done for each day of the week. Today we cleaned and organized the School Room, I cleaned the Kids Bathroom really good and took everything off my bar counter thingy, wiped it down really good and put only the things back that are meant to be on the bar. =)

Monday's are also my Laundry Day. I have to do laundry almost every day, but Monday's I focus on laundry. I catch up on laundry if I've gotten behind, wash bedding and rugs if needed and clean my laundry room. I somehow got behind this past week, so I did three loads of laundry on Saturday, so I was in pretty good shape today! =) I washed my older girls bedding and did two loads of laundry. But, sigh, I didn't clean my laundry room. But its okay because its on my list...for Thursday I believe. =) 

In my School Room we rearranged some of the shelving, did lots of cleaning and vacuuming, threw away papers and stuff, and organized our books. It looks and feel sooo good in there!!! I'm actually looking forward to making my lesson plans later in the week! 

During our week off, my kids play like crazy!! I do expect them to do their regular chores as well as help when asked too. Here is Felicity, 3.5, helping by wiping down her desk and her brothers desk. 


This is a terrible picture! My oldest, Abigail, 8 next month, is always on the move and I have a horrible time getting pictures of her doing stuff. If I ask her to pose, boy does she pose! But just random pictures of her....she's hard to get! One of her jobs was to wipe down our little drawer storage things, which badly needed it. :-/


We were almost done cleaning and I was sharpening pencils and putting those little eraser things on the ends, because somehow my daughter kills all of the erasers that come with the pencil. =) Micah, just turned 2!, is helping Mama by handing the erasers to me. He took the job very seriously. =)


Josie, 8 months yesterday, just got to play all day. =) She is teething and has been quite fussy, which isn't normal at all. I'm so looking forward to having my happy baby back!! As long as she had a cold carrot to gnaw on, she was pretty happy then. =) A cold carrot is my version of a teething ring. =)


The kids bathroom looks so nice and clean!!! I'm horrible at getting the bathrooms cleaned. sigh. I don't like cleaning them, which doesn't help, but I love having a clean bathroom! You'd think I'd be more motivated to actually clean them on the days assigned to them. grrr. Anywho, the kids was done today!

My other big job assigned for today was to clean off my bar counter thingy. I took everything off, wiped it down really good and put only the items that are meant to be on the bar back. =) I refilled my flour and rice jars and it just looks so nice! I realized later that I failed to refill my Coconut Oil Mason Jar. oops. I'll have to put that on my list so I don't forget.


Tomorrow we will be tacking Micah's room, the older girls room (including wiping down the fans), the Play Room, Laundry Room and cleaning/wiping out all the lower kitchen cabinets. Stay tuned for more exciting adventures of getting my house back in order!! =)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Elderberry Syrup

My kids have all had colds in some form for the last couple of weeks. Nothing bad, just enough for it to be bothersome to them with icky noses. Then I found out we had been exposed to Whooping Cough. bleh. So I started doing research on Whooping Cough, what it is, how to prevent and treat it. We tried a couple of different antibiotic/cough syrup recipes involving garlic....and not one single member of my family could take it. :-/ I had complaints of headaches, upset tummy, and just general not liking it. So we moved on to plan B. =) Making homemade Black Elderberry Syrup. I was buying it from my local health food store, but its not cheap, so I was thrilled to discover I could make it for myself for a whole lots cheaper...plus I knew exactly what was going into it. I found a wonderful new blog to follow (deeprootsathome.com) and she told and showed me how to make Elderberrry Sryup!! I found another site (wellnessmama.com) with a slightly different recipe. I didn't have cinnamon sticks or cloves, so I did a combination of the recipes. =)

1.) Add 1 cup fresh or 1/2 dried elderberries to your saucepan.


2.) Add in 3.5 cups of water and 1 tsp of powdered cinnamon


3.) Bring to a boil, then turn down and let it simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by about half. Next you pour your liquid through a strainer and smash the berries to get as much juice out of the berries as you can. Discard or compost your berries.


4.) Let your liquid cool completely before adding in 1 cup of honey. I used deeprootsathome note that she only used 3/4 cup of honey and I did the same. Mix the honey in well then pour into your jar of choice. It will keep in the fridge 2-3 weeks....although I've seen other sites that say it keeps a lot longer, so maybe its just best at the 2-3 week mark...I need to do more research. =)


Just for fun I thought I'd throw in this picture. =) This is what my 7 month old was doing while I was making this. I teach my kids to love vinegar starting at a very young age. :-P


Friday, September 14, 2012

5 easy ways to live simpler, cheaper and healthier

Here are 5 ways that our family lives cheaper, simpler and healthier. What are some things your family does?

1.) Use Cloth Napkins
We have been using cloth napkins for several months now and the only time it was an issue was towards the beginning....when I didn't have a good stock of them. =) I buy a pack of rags from Walmart that has different colors in it. I don't particularly like using the white ones as napkins and now that I'm building up my stock of them, I am starting to use the white ones for cleaning purposes and keeping the colored as napkins. I just bought a new pack and they have some beautiful fall colors!! I'm going to have to get some more of those. =) Its so nice to walk past the napkins and know I'm saving close to $4 on something that will just get thrown away. Now, if we are having a big dinner party, I will gladly go out buy some for that. =)


2.) Re-grow your Green Onions
Instead of throwing out the ends (roots) of your green onions, put them in a pretty jar, add some water and they will start to grow again! Attempt to remember to change the water every 2-3 days. =) Not only do you save money, but its fun and decorates your kitchen counter.


3.) Make Your Own Cleaning Solution
Vinegar is my best friend when it comes to cleaning! I bought a spray bottle for about or less than (can't remember exactly) $2. I fill it about half full with vinegar, finish filling it with water, shake to mix it up and get to cleanin'! You can add your favorite essential oil if you'd like. I love to add 10-15 drops of cinnamon or lemon. Lemon is wonderful to use as its a natural disinfectant. I think my favorite place to use lemon is in my fridge. mmmmm!! You could get a second spray bottle, fill it with water, add 20-25 drops of your favorite essential oil and spritz about the room for a natural air freshener. My kids have a blast doing that job. =)


4.) Make Your Own Scrubbing Powder
I found this simple recipe here - http://www.thenewhomemaker.com/dishwasherpowder
Simply add 1 cup Borax, 1 cup Baking Soda, 1/4 Salt, 1/4 cup Citric Acid to a jar, shake/mix up and you're ready to go! This can also be used as dishwasher detergent. I didn't want to spend the money on citric acid, so I used the suggestion she gives of getting Lemonade flavored Koolaid. Worked great! My dishwasher died, so I only use it for cleaning purposes right now. I use it for cleaning sinks, toilets, and tubs. Smells super yummy! When I was pregnant with my fourth, I actually wanted to eat it. :-/ Don't worry! I didn't! My husband bought me a steak to ensure I wouldn't try it. (I'll have to remember that for the next one hehehehehe)


5.) Herbs!!
We rarely use medicine - prescription or over the counter meds. I think the only kind of medicine I have in the house is Tylenol. Our family LOVES to use home remedies! And we've had great success with them. This is my herb basket that I keep stocked with some handy herbs. Some of the "staple" herbs I keep in my house are Garlic Tablets (odorless :-P), Echinacea, Vitamin C, Black Elderberry (I just found a recipe to make my own, so I'll let ya know how it turns out), Magnesium, Papaya, Arnica (tablets and cream) and Calcium/Magnesium. These are the herbs we use the most for everyday things. I've recently done some research on Red Raspberry and I'm thinking its going to become a staple too. =)


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lice!

Did that just strike fear into your heart?! It did mine!!

When I was little, we had a small run-in with lice and I can remember sitting for a long time while my mom picked through my hair. I'm the oldest of six, so my poor mother had to do all six of us. Well, I have four little ones and had to do everyone, so I really felt grateful for all that time my mother put into ridding our hair of lice.

I had taken my kids thrifting and Lissy was the only one to try on a dress. She was the worst one, so we can only assume we got it from the thrift store. Now I'm at the point where I never want to go thrifting again. :-/ I'm really hoping I get over that soon since I can't afford to not go thrifting. :)

I had gone to get my hair cut and was told by the stylist cutting my hair that I should probably go to a dermatologist to get my head seen. I had several flea bites on my head and thought she was crazy if she thought I was going to see a doctor for flea bites. She made some other comments and I finally put the pieces together - she thought I had lice but wasn't allowed to outright say so. When I got home I started checking heads and sure enough! There they were. The nasty things.

I was horrified that I didn't realize sooner. I had been itching, but knew for a fact I had several bites, so that was that for me. Lissy had been itching a lot so I had checked her head a number of times to see if there was a flea crawling around in her hair. But I never saw anything. I never even considered lice! And until someone told me that I had them, I didn't know what to look for. That was a very rough evening for me - both emotionally and physically.

I felt like a horrible mother for not realizing sooner and that because I didn't know, my daughter was having to go though this. My back and neck hurt soooo bad after going through four kids. But we survived to tell about it! :)

We decided to get the chemical lice treatment to use on Abby and Lissy and go natural for the rest of us. I wasn't comfortable putting those chemicals on the babies and I couldn't use it because I'm nursing. After doing the chemical treatments and going through the process of combing lice and eggs out of their hair, we slathered everyones hair with coconut oil. I did some research on natural ways to get rid of lice and found that coconut oil was a good way to go. We had just bought a huge, five gallon bucket of it, so I went with that. Not only am I rid of lice, but my hair is now very healthy after several treatments of coconut oil. :)


I set up what I called "my laboratory" (I'd sometimes have to accompany that with an evil laugh. Bwa ha ha!!) and every morning and evening I'd check everyones hair. That really cut into my day, let me tell ya! :) I set it up in the living room, right in front of my computer. We would either have a movie going on my computer, or have an ipad set up with a movie or playing on a DS, like Abby is in the picture. Micah's hair is all crazy as I had just slathered oil all over him and hadn't combed it down yet. :)

My husband was sooo sweet and helpful! He jumped right in and started on dishes, laundry, picking up around the house a bit, changing my lice water and helping keep up with the other kids while I just focused on combing through hair. I couldn't have done it without him.

That was such a very long week, but its all done now.....I think. I saw some white bits in Lissy's hair earlier, but I'm pretty sure it was just dandruff...but I'm paranoid. So I'll check her in the morning. :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Caring for Sick Infants

Having a sick little one isn't easy at all and having a sick infant is very hard! .....I can't decide which is worse, a sick toddler or infant... :-/

I got a phone call this morning from a Grandma who was calling for her daughter-in-law. She has a little baby who isn't feeling well today and Grandma wanted to know how I would care for my baby, as they are only weeks apart in age. This baby's doctor advised to give Baby Tylenol Drops, but Mama wasn't willing to do that. Yay for her!! =)My personal opinion is that Tylenol has a time and place (I've used it many times), but only after trying some home remedies first.

I exclusively breastfeed my babies till at least six months. I prefer to not start solids until 7-8 months though. So when I'm nursing and I have a sick baby, what can I do? Take herbs!!


My advice to Grandma was for the Mama to take Echinacea, Vitamin C and two Garlic Tablets every two hours and try to get Baby to nurse more often. Baby will get some of the herbs from breastfeeding and help their little body fight off the sickness.

Those days of sick babies can be so hard on mama's! Quite often, baby just wants to be held and cuddled by mama. When you have other little ones running around, that can be quite challenging. I try to just focus on staying hydrated, taking my herbs, remembering that this too will pass, and try to enjoy the extra cuddle time with the kids. =) Whenever I have a few minutes, I work as quick as I can in one area to try and keep a little order. It will be over in a few days and then I can get the house back under control. But those time when sickness invades and the kids need Mama, that's more important that a clean house....no matter how much I want it. =)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Preparing for Sunday

Saturdays are spent preparing to Worship our Savior on Sunday. With four little ones, its very important in our family that we are well prepared, otherwise our Sunday mornings are crazy and we don't usually feel prepared to worship and learn.

Here are some things we do to make sure we are well prepared to leave Sunday mornings.

We line up everyones shoes Saturday evening.....


Lay all the kids clothes our and Dad and I make sure our clothes are ready to go....


I pack the diaper bag with diapers, wipes, extra clothes for the little ones, water cups, a some sort of snack, usually bananas or popcorn to be eaten on the way home or in the nursery if we get desperate.


I plan to either have a crockpot meal, so that all I have to do Sunday morning is throw the ingredients in the pot and turn it on, or have a very simple meal that has very little prep work for when we get home. 




We eat our big meal after we get home from Morning Worship, then everyone takes naps. =) Then we all eat a biggerish snack and head to church. I will usually take yogurt, cheese sticks, bananas, rice cakes or popcorn for the kids to get one more snack before the Evening Service starts. Then they get more of that snack when we get home for the night. The kids have fun getting to eat snacky foods on Sunday's. =)

Sweet Fellowship!

I had such a sweet time of fellowship with my kids this morning! I've found that if my kids are up before 7:30, it doesn't go well. :-/ So, the way it works is if they wake before 7:30, they have to stay laying down somewhere so they get enough rest. At 7:30 they are allowed to get up. Breakfast is at 8. For whatever reason all four were up before 7:30. sigh. Josie was awake at 6:40 wanting to nurse, so I fed her then got my shower. When I got out, the middle littles were awake and Abby was behind them after a few minutes. I had Josie in her bouncy seat and the older three were laying in my bed. They still had about 10 minutes before they were technically allowed up, so we had story time. I asked if they wanted me to read a story and Felicity, 3, excitedly says "Yes! A Jesus story!!" =) I was already planning on reading them a Bible story, but it was so sweet to hear her request that.

We all laid on the bed and I read them Luke chapter 4. They aren't usually all up then, so it was extra sweet to have that time of fellowship together!


Calendars to (attempt to) keep me organized =)

After reading the book Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman, which is an extremely helpful book, I started making my own Home Management Book. It was fun and its very helpful! My oldest daughter, 7, was looking through mine as I was teaching her how to use it. She was very inspired (and dramatic =D) and decided to make one for herself to use in her bedroom. It was cute to see her working so hard on it. =)

Once I got my Home Management book up and running, I started nailing down my daily and weekly schedules. Once I got it figured it out and how it works best for us, I started making up a monthly calendar for chores. After doing that for two months I was kinda burned out on it. Sad, I know. BUT! It took a couple of hours to make it. I am holding out on buying a ready made, large calendar, so I make my own. =) I take four pieces of construction paper, set them together in a square, line up the edges and put a few pieces of tape on it. Then I take my trusty ruler and marker and measure out the squares. Then I have to copy everything over from the previous month and adjust as needed for that particular month. I also used it for my meals. Takes me a couple of hours to finish it completely. Then I got the brilliant idea to just make one calendar for just chores on it! Then I wouldn't have to make it every single month. Am I good or what?! (yeah, I can be a little slow sometimes...oy) =)


I know you can't read it, but I thought I'd throw a picture in here so you could see what it kinda looks like. I have the days of the week across the top. The red ink are the chores that are (supposed) to be done each day.
~Monday is Laundry Day in our house. Each week I rotate between washing the kids bedding and mom and dads bedding. (yes I do wash it other times if its needed hehehehe). Each week I have a cleaning chore for the laundry room. I have to do laundry throughout the week of course, but I try to get it all done on Monday, so I'm all caught up.
~Tuesday is Kitchen Day. Each day is a chore(s) that is in the kitchen or dining room. I also use that day to do some extra cooking or baking that isn't a part of my normal cooking -  yogurt, laundry soap....
~Wednesday is my Office day. For chores I use it to straighten dresser drawers and closets and to work on the next months menu/grocery list. I try to do any sewing repairs that are needed on that day as well. Not really Office work I know, but it works for me. =)
~Thursdays are basically my Bathroom Days, but that sounds odd, so lets call it my Cleaning Day. =) I am super bad about cleaning my bathrooms. Its not like its hard, I'm not grossed out....I just don't remember to do it! Frustrating. So! I designated a day for it. =) We have three bathrooms, but one is a guest bathroom and doesn't get used all that much. So one week we deep clean the kids bathroom and spot clean the other two. The next week we deep clean mom and dads and spot clean the others and so on. I also have assigned walls that we dust. 
~Fridays are our Family Rest Day. My husband is a Pastor and we don't feel like we get a true day of rest on Sundays. He doesn't for sure, since its an actual work day for him. So we have set aside Fridays to rest. I try to not do a lot of work around the house, just light chores, so he can just relax and not feel bad for not doing much. Friday is also our library day, one of my daughters favorite things to do. =) We occasionally go out as a family to do something fun, but generally we just stay home, rest and enjoy being with each other. 
~Saturday is Prep For Sunday/Outside Chore Day. =) Our week rotates around Sunday, so most of Saturday is spent getting the house in good order and prepared for Sunday. 
~Sunday is the LORD's Day. My husband has taken to doing dishes for me on Sunday's, which is so very nice! I used to just leave them to Monday, but it doesn't really work anymore with the kids. =) Since dishes isn't a normal chore for him, he does them for me, so I can still honor the Sabbath and not work. =) 

So, now I have a Master Chore Calendar hanging above my desk where everyone can see it. =) I make a monthly menu calendar though, since that changes every month. For that, I take four pieces of printer paper, tape it together just like the other, and draw my lines, add the dates and voila! I think it looks so very boring, so I get a pretty blue crayon and color along the edges of my paper. =) 


Looks kinda pinkish purplish...but its not. =) Having these calendars has been such a help to me! I know exactly what needs to be done each day and what I'm to be cooking. I can get my meat out for thawing a couple of days in advance so I'm well prepared. Love it! =)

Monday, July 16, 2012

I've decided something.....

I've decided that dishes.....


and laundry.......


grow when I'm not looking. =) I'm convinced of it! I JUST did dishes and I have some in my sink again! And the laundry...my baskets always have laundry in them. =)

Now the big question that I need an answer to....if laundry is always growing, then why do I have a sock bin half full of socks that don't have matches? sigh. My heavy pondering for the day. =)

My Mission Field

I've had a rough few days physically!! While tending to my son who had fallen and cut his lip, I had an iPad dropped on my foot. ouch!! I wasn't able to walk very well on it for 1.5 days, but it was a very pretty shade of blue. =) Then Saturday morning I was sitting on the ground talking to my baby, stretched and put my back out a little. grrr. I take good health, my feet and my back so for granted most of the time. So when I get injured or sick, it really makes me count my blessings and I strive to be grateful for them even when nothing is wrong.

I woke up this morning feeling pretty good! I still have a little pain in my back, but its not holding me back from doing my normal activities, and I can walk just fine on my foot. Praise the LORD!! I was sooo excited and so very thankful to be fully able to serve on my mission field!

What is my mission field? When someone says "mission field", most people think of a missionary working in a different country or of some sort of outreach program. As a wife and mama, my mission field that has been given to me from my Heavenly Father, is my husband and my kids. My focus is to be centered on serving my husband and kids. My goal is to train my children up in righteousness. What a high calling!! I love my job!!!

I freely admit I have moments, sometimes days, where I feel like I just want to give up. The day just isn't going right, my children aren't learning their lessons as quickly as I'd like them to, I can't get my attitude under control.....you know those days. But I need to recognize that I'm going to have hard days. That not having the right attitude is a sin issue and I need to get my heart right with my Saviour. Usually, when I get my heart right with GOD, the day goes so much better!! The kids might still be misbehaving and struggling with obedience, but because I'm looking at it with the correct attitude, it just gets better.

                                                                  Silly Little Ones =)


One thing we try to do in any counseling or disciplining we do with our children, is to bring them back to the Word of GOD. What a blessing it is!! I often hear my oldest encouraging the younger kids to not speak rudely, because Jesus doesn't like that and explaining how they should respond. Hearing that makes my heart smile! Its so rewarding to see the fruits of my labors.

I've had such a blessed morning, serving on my mission field, that I wanted to share it with you and to encourage you to keep serving on yours!! Its a lot of hard work being a mama, but its so rewarding! To know I'm raising up warriors for Christ's Kingdom......what an honor. Very humbling to think that GOD chose me to raise my children for Him.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Helping Mama

Having littles ones in the kitchen helping isn't always easy..or help keep you sane =) but its a great time of learning and can be great fun!! Two of my littles ones helped me make laundry soap this morning. First they helped me measure and pour the ingredients. We had to measure out six cups of water, so Micah helped me pour while Lissy counted - we got to work on coordination and math! They also got to stir the mixture together in the bucket and had a blast doing it!


Recipe is on another post titled Homemade Cleaning Solutions

Monday, July 9, 2012

Galations 6:9 - Do not grow weary



Ever had one of those days where you just want to curl up in your bed and wait for the next day to start so you can begin the day again with a fresh start? Or want to pull all your hair out? sigh. I was having one of those days this morning. I'm so thankful its gotten better!! I think every mama's theme verse should be Galations 6:9 - Do not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. =) I was quoting that verse to myself a lot this morning.

Two of my kids were sick all last week, my husband was traveling, we had to make a trip to the doctor, we had a traumatic event happen in our neighborhood....augh!!! With Dad traveling and kids being sick, their behavior wasn't the greatest. Most of it was due to being sick and being at an age where they don't know how to handle being sick, so it shows itself in crying....a LOT of crying.

We went to church yesterday morning, but I spent the entire time in the nursery because Micah felt miserable and didn't know how to handle it. Poor boy. I stayed home with the kids while my husband went to church and got to preach. I was soooo tired yesterday. Tired from the long week without Dad around. Tired from taking care of sick kids. Tired of hearing the kids cry all the time.....well, it felt like it was all the time anyways. =) This morning, I was ready to just throw in the towel.

When I was at my lowest point this morning, I received a big blessing. My sister texted me to ask how the kids were. I answered her and also told her that for some unknown reason I'd decided to start potty training my daughter and start summer school this morning, on top of having crying little ones. She responded "because we are mad mama's!! GOD helps you see "there is a time and a way for everything, although a man's trouble lies heavy on him". My theme verse for the day." It was such an encouragement to me! Even though I'd been saying Galations 6:9 all morning, it wasn't until someone else came along side to say they understood the type of day I was having and offered some encouragement that my day improved. It improved a lot after that sweet text!

As mamas we all have days that seem hard or like its the end of the world, but we need to remember that we have a Friend who is always there for us and will help us through our times of trial. I'm so thankful HE put someone in my life today to help encourage and inspire me.

Raising my four littles ones takes a lot of work, but its so rewarding! To know I'm raising them to further GOD's kingdom is an amazing thing!

To see their sweet faces.....

To see their grins (even cheesy ones).....


To see the love they have for each other....

Makes it all worth it!

Its the little things....

                            Look at this adorable bracelet my oldest daughter made for me!!!


The large M stands for Mama and the four square beads surrounding it have the first letter of each of my kids names - Abigail, Felicity, Micah and Josie. =) She came up with the idea all on her own and surprised me with it. I LOVE it!! Such a sweet gift!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Bruising or muscle pain? I have a solution for you!!!

Last night I was awake for about an hour with my knees and ankles aching like crazy. Ouch! I'm not used to driving a lot and I had spent almost three hours driving yesterday. Add in not having enough water yesterday, equals mama having aching knees and ankles. Sigh. I couldn't take it anymore so I forced myself to get up and get my Arnica Cream out of my purse. I rubbed it on wherever I ached and within a few minutes I noticed I wasn't hurting as bad. I was soon able to get to sleep again! Yay!!! Kids have a tendency to fall a lot, get bumps and bruises, especially when you're not at home where you can easily care for them, so I keep Arnica Cream in my purse for that reason. :)My little nephew is at the age where he's starting to stand and uses furniture to walk around....which means he falls more. He has benefited from my cream on more than one occasion. :) I have a friend, who is in her 50's, fall and bruised her arm super bad. It looked horrible! I offered her my cream and by the next day it looked 50% better! She's in love with the stuff now. :) You can also get Arnica Tablets that are great for muscle injuries. Using the cream externally on the injury helps it to heal that much faster.

Diaper rashes aren't much fun

If you've never had one of your kids have a diaper rash....please write me and tell me your secret!! :D My kids have all had them at some point, ranging from really bad to pretty minor. I've tried using aloe straight from a plant and buying a couple different types of natural diaper rash cream. The more I learn about products labeled "all natural" is that it's not always exactly all natural. But I've found something that works sooooo good on diaper rashes! Coconut Oil. You can buy it in most grocery stores now, in Whole Food stores, online in small jars or huge five gallon buckets. We recently bought one gallon of it from tropicaltraditions.com and went through it pretty fast. So next time the five gallon bucket goes on sale, we're buying it! Back to diaper rashes.....just rub a little coconut oil on your little ones rash and the next time you change the diaper, you should see improvement. Exiciting, no? :) My little one got a rash and I forgot we had the coconut oil, so I used the natural cream. It didn't do anything! When I changed her diaper the next time, I remembered the coconut oil and slathered it on. The next time I changed her diaper, it was almost gone!!! I was amazed!

I keep a small mason jar filled with coconut oil for external use - diaper rashes, of course, bites, cuts, cradle cap.....anything really! =) I keep a big mason jar filled with coconut oil on the counter next to my stove for cooking purposes.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Natural Flea Control





Don't you love home remedies?! I know I do!! We've been using natural remedies for a number of years now, and I'm amazed at how little I know sometimes. I'll be doing some research for a specific remedy and will learn something new about Tea Tree Oil or Garlic. Herbs and Oils are amazing things!!

I just bought a 4oz bottle of Tea Tree Oil from Amazon.com and when it arrived, they had sent me a 4oz bottle of Peppermint Oil instead. sigh. I bought the Tea Tree Oil to use for flea control. They have gotten sooo bad in this Florida heat. Bleh. I was all set to email Amazon and ask if they would give me a discount on Tea Tree oil or give me some credit since they made a mistake, but then I decided to do some research first. I learned that I can use Peppermint Oil for flea control too! In the exact same way too! Since the Peppermint cost less than the Tea Tree, I just asked for the difference in the prices to be refunded me. Amazon was great and gladly did that for me. yay!

So tomorrow I'll be bathing my dog, the putting several drops of Peppermint Oil in-between his shoulder blades and rubbing it in. Another tip I learned is to put Peppermint Oil on a cotton ball and just sit it on the counter. As the smell permeates the room, the fleas.....flee. =D I'm going to try to corral the fleas into one room (ha! yeah right!) and put salt down on the carpet and hopefully kill them all......or should I open the front door and see if they all run out? =D Kidding!

I'll have to let ya know how it works.

Croup, Fevers and Aching Ears, Oh my!

This past weekend I had one sick little boy. =( We left on Friday to go visit family, stay the night at my parents, then help get ready for our Presbytery Church Camp on Saturday. Friday night, we went to a friends house for dinner. She had just bought this house and hasn't done a lot to it, except start moving in and making the inside homey (its sooo cute!!!). Anyways, she has a small goldfish pond...thingy out front. My 20 month old son had no idea it was water as it had green algae stuff growing over the top of it. Both his dad and I were telling him no and to stop! He was trying to comprehend what we were saying and even trying to stop walking, but the ground sloped JUST a little right there and he had too much momentum.......so he fell in. He was fine for the first second, but then he went under. I was standing 3-4 steps away from him, holding the baby in her carseat, the two older girls were standing near him, but aren't old/big enough to do anything to help. I'm sooo thankful the LORD placed Daddy within one step of our little boy. He pulled him out very fast! Poor Micah was shaking he was so scared!

Okay....enough of my scary story. =) That night he started sounding croupy during the night and felt a little feverish. The next morning my mom watched our three oldest while Dad, the baby and I went food shopping for camp. When I got back, I realized he felt hot. Not warm, but HOT. My sister helped take his temp while I did something with one of the other kids. It read in at 104. Yikes!

I'm all for leaving fevers alone, but this was too high for his age. sigh. I don't like to use tylenol unless I really need to, and since I didn't have anything else with me, I gave him one children's chewable tylenol and started sponging him off. From Saturday till Sunday night at 10pm he ran a pretty consistent fever of 101-103.

I gave him Black Elderberry a couple of times and sponged him down when his fever spiked. We ended up having to give him tylenol once during the day and at least once during the night, when his fever wouldn't come down, even with sponging. Sunday all the kids and I stayed home from church. My husband is the Assistant Pastor, so he got to go to all the services. =) At one point during the day on Sunday, I cut open a Garlic Tablet, squeezed all the gel stuff out, put a little chocolate syrup and whipped cream on it and he ate it just fine. =) I know, I know! Sugar is horrible to have when you're sick as it breaks down your immune system, but I felt it was the best thing to do at the time.

Back to the scary story for a moment. =) Micah's mouth was open when he went under, so I was beginning to wonder what tropical jungle disease was in the water that he probably swallowed. Yikes!! I've never been relieved to have a child get sick, but when our second daughter, Felicity, got sick with the same symptoms - croup, fever, runny nose... - I was soooo relieved!! (and felt horrible for feeling that way!) She didn't have the high fever like her brother did, so I'm thinking his body was fighting some of the icky water germs, plus the sick bug he had, which produced the high fever.



                                         My sweet, sick little boy, getting some needed sleep


THEN, Tuesday night he slept horrible - kicking his feet, pulling at his ears and rubbing his head. =( We rarely go to the doctors office, so I didn't even think about the office being closed on July 4th so I called and called the office, and even called the doctors home phone number they gave on the recording. You're probably thinking "duh!"....yeah, I know. oy. Our family doctor is in Lakeland, 1.5 hours from us, so I loaded the van up Wednesday morning and we headed to my moms house..again. My husband is at camp all this week, as is my mom, dad and siblings. So we had the house to ourselves...which was really strange.

The LORD was very gracious and allowed us to be seen first thing this morning by the doctor. We willing drive the 1.5 hours to see this doctor because he has a very balanced view. He will prescribe antibiotics and medications, but also encourages you to live a healthy lifestyle and to use natural means to heal your body. His goal is to find the root cause and to not have to see you again. Its so refreshing to see him and have him say "If things don't improve, come back in to see me, but hopefully I won't have to see you again." The ear Micah had been tugging on was slightly red, so he probably did have some sort of ear infection, but his body had already cleared it up before we even saw the doctor. Yay!!!

Lessons learned - I can wait it out at home when my kids have ear problems. Now I know. =) I specifically asked if this happened in the future, if I could just treat them at home. So I was doing good! Yay for me! =) Give them garlic, echinacea, vitamin C and Black Elderberry. Make sure they are drinking lots of water and avoid sugars, even fruits.