Saturday, November 21, 2009

Laundry Soap

I think I posted my homemade laundry soap recipe a few years ago. It worked well, and I continued to use it. I did notice it didn't always work so well in the summer months when we were extra dirty and the clothes were sweaty. Well, I found the secret ingredient--thanks to my friend Heather--you can go to her site and click on September 2008, if you want to see a picture-recipe of how to make the soap. It's really a snap. It takes me maybe 15 minutes to make it. This time, I made 8 gallons of it. I'm going to see how long it lasts me. I do use bleach or Oxi-Clean on my whites, Oxi-Clean Spray and Wash on tough stains, and dryer sheets to help w/ static. (you can use 1 cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle...but I never catch my machine at this point:) [You can find Washing Soda, Borax, and Baking Soda in big boxes in the laundry section of the grocery store...Walmart and Meijer carry them. Fels Naptha is a bit harder to find, although I'm told Meijer does carry it. The True Value Hardware Store is another place that carry's it. I get mine over in Amishville :)]
Oh, besides it being "healthier" soap, it's also super cheap. To make 4 gallons costs next to nothing. It's a fun experiment...esp. during the winter, when we're looking for fun things to do inside. Try it!

Megan’s Laundry Soap Recipe:
Yeild: 4 gallons of Laundry Soap
1 bar Fels Naptha Soap, grated
1 c. Washing Soda
1 c. Borax
1 c. Baking Soda
4 gallons of hot water
~Mix grated soap into 1 gallon of boiling water. Simmer till soap is dissolved. Take off of heat, and stir in 1 c. of each: Washing Soda, Baking Soda, and Borax. Stir till dissolved. Pour into 5 gallon bucket, then add 3 gallons of hot water and stir. Let stand 24 hrs. to thicken. Use 1 cup (give or take) per load:)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Monday Therapy

I find that writing things down is therapy for me. This was written several days ago, and I debated about whether or not to post it...but I'm gonna. So here was my encouragement to myself. :) It's rather dis-jointed, but oh, well. I don't have time to write an's some scattered thoughts...

It's amazing how a few hours away from home, makes me miss it so much! If I'm out, I love coming home! Today I started my day w/ a new perspective of who I am. I am not "just a wife and a mom" Rather, my career and professional position is "Wife and Mother"--that's a much more positive twist. It seriously kept me enthusiastic about my "job" all day long! :) (hee) Lots of people invest lots of their time and energy into their career. I have chosen to make my investment is in my husband and my children. They are where my time and energy (and $$$) is focused. I truly believe I was created for this work. It is THE most fulfilling job I could ever ask for! It's not that I never do other things--we don't stop being a daughter, sister, friend, wife...once we become a mother--but being a wife and a mom comes 1st. Contrary to what modern culture tells us, being a wife, mom, and "domestic engineer" is noble work, actually it's more than that, it's an eternal work! And, I might add, that's it's full-time work! This job of mine, profession, rather, is the hardest one I've ever had. And, I've done my fair share of what I deem, "hard work" :) All other jobs I've had, had an end. Motherhood has no end. My "job" isn't over at 5 p.m., or when the sun goes down...I'm on call 24/7!

I've had 3 excellent examples of Professional Mothers in my life. They came in the form of my own Mom, and my 2 Grandmas. When I think of successful women, they pop into my mind first. (there are others, of course) They are successful in my book, because they are godly women who chose each day to put others ahead of themselves. They have lived out the scripture that says, "But whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister; and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all." (Mark 10:43-44) It's an unnatural and uncommon way to live: to be great, be a servant/ die to SELF in order to truly live. I believe that the women (and men) who have chosen to live in this way, possess great strength and the key to a blessed life. Selflessness takes great sacrifice, but it is the pathway to peace and joy. All done for Jesus, that is.

My Mom sometimes laments that she doesn't have any talent or hobbies. Well, I will say, I believe she just doesn't see her greatest talents. She is a wonderful nurturer, organizer :), and teacher. Maybe she will see it in time, but maybe not. I believe all of us kids were all better off for not having a Mom with lots of hobbies and outside interests. I'll have to remind her that WE were her hobby and her interest. :) She was there for us 100%, and still is, though in a different way. Her position is changing perhaps, from being "the nurturer" to being "the prayer warrior" :) Each equally important!

I was pondering how motherhood carries such a dichotomy! On the one hand, it's the hardest job I've ever had, but yet it is the most rewarding one I've ever had. It's the most painful thing I've ever experienced (in many ways), but yet, I'm willing to subject myself to the pain, because I know the fruits of reward there are. There is less and less time for Self, but that's a good thing! I've never known such depths of love, fear, protection, and pain, but somehow there's that desire to know those depths. Motherhood brings out the best and the worst. I've never experienced such excruciating sleep deprivation until I had a 2 year old, an infant who wasn't sleeping through the night, and was pregnant w/ horrible insomnia. (**sidenote: whew! but I did actually live to tell the story! I've never heard of anyone dying from sleep deprivation, although I sometimes wondered it I would. Lack of sleep is a VERY real thing when you're the one going through it!**)After becoming a mom, there's some kind of mechanism that causes you to forget the pain of labor and delivery (oh, and sleep deprivation)---how is that? I don't think I'll ever grow out of the desire for pregancy and's a subject of interest that I don't think will dissipate, since experiencing both of those joys. Motherhood is a refining fire, a perspective change, and a tool used by God to raise up more saints.

It's so easy to get bogged down in the daily grind, and not see the forest for the trees. In about 20-25 years, my kids will be grown-ups like me, and although I'll still be their mother, I'll also be their sister-in -Christ...Lord willing, for all eternity. Oh, to have the perspective that these babies of mine will be adults furthuring God's Kingdom. The thought of being a Mother, by Profession has added a bit of sparkle to this otherwise, very grey November Monday. The promise in Prov. 22:6 has such hope and such responsibility..."Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Today I'm spurred on to train my children in God's ways and to view my work as a high and holy calling, as long as it's done unto the Lord. So, there, I've written down some of my scattered thoughts. I need to come back to this when I'm having what I call, "A Crazy Day!" This is an encouragement to myself, and a documentation that I do have some time to think....some days. :)

This idea has been SO freeing to me as a mom of young children...

This is from an interview w/ Stacy MacDonald and Jennie Chancey. Together they wrote an excellent and firey anti-feministic book titled, "Passionate Housewives Desperate for God" It's about time for me to re-read it! Great Christmas gift idea! Anyway...just thought this was so good...

"We’re not being selfish to desire rest and a time to recharge. On top of that, studying the Bible and spending time with the Lord every day is crucial to our walk with Him. The problem comes when we think we must have a time of absolute peace and quiet without our children to accomplish this. We’re often told that we have to “take care of ourselves” or no one else will. There are days during the season of babies and toddlers when this type of “quiet time” may be nearly impossible. The season when a woman has grown or older children is going to look very different than the season when a woman has babies and toddlers.
I found that for me it was very frustrating for people to tell me that I “had” to have a time of solitude to keep my sanity or to have a good relationship with the Lord. Most days I could barely go to the bathroom without an audience, so how was I supposed to have a thirty minute “quiet time” of spiritual bliss with the Lord? I wound up resenting my husband and children and being full of self pity because, it seemed to me, God didn’t care how much I wanted to be with Him.
Then the Lord showed me I could have a “quiet time” with Him while the children played at my feet, or read quietly on the couch; it was so freeing to me. I didn’t need to shut myself away from them – in fact sometimes I would pull them into my study (or prayer time), depending on their age. Or I’d get them a snack and read my Bible at the counter.
And if you’re like me and you’re easily distracted, you can take advantage of nap time (or early bed time for the little ones) to do the deeper studying. Just remember that sometimes moms need naps too. Don’t sacrifice sleep trying to fit your “quiet time” into someone else’s mold. [I have so been here!]Get your sleep and learn to shape your quiet time the way God ordains for this season of your life!
Trust God to provide you with moments with Him throughout the day. In the book, I describe these times as “prayer droplets.” Put Scripture or small Bibles around your house in places where you’re likely to be sitting..."
"I think a spiritual "quiet time" has been turned into an unbiblical idol for many women. They feel guilty if they don't take an hour to read and pray before starting the day (or before going to sleep). [Yes! I've been here too!] They wonder how God can expect them to have this one-on-one time with so many little folks needing them and so much going on in the household. Our point is simply that God is looking for a quiet heart. He wants us to rest in Him even when the toddlers are in our lap or we're nursing a baby. It is possible to read His Word with the children all around or while nursing or even while folding laundry (put in the Bible on audio!). And we can truly lift up our hearts to Him and "pray without ceasing" throughout the day. No closet required!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


align="center"> The Pumpkin Sequence...
(William doing his own thing and Madeline had had enough of that pose!)

William-happy w/ his
Madeline- wants the big one

(My fav)
Lots of faces...

Pictures take a lot of work!!

Madeline Hope...

My fav....


Up in a tree...


The reality of picture-taking the end...
By the end, we had hungry, crabby little people. :)



Here are some of us. We're not that natural in front of the camera...but I'm glad we got these. Can't believe it'll be our 5 year anniversary in less than a month!

...and, p.s...thanks for all your opinions...hope there's some more, though. everyone seems to have had different ones...hee...