Monday, May 31, 2010

Some funny stuff...

Children never cease to amaze me with the funny things they come up with...the things they'll do or say and the window it gives me into how their funny little brains work. I wish I were more organized and spent the time to write all of the things down that I'd like to remember, but I don't...but occasionally I do sit down and record some of these gems.

Yesterday I was getting Luke ready for church and I put his long sleeved button up shirt on him, followed by his blue sweater vest. He looked down and said, "I look like a doctor!". I thought it was so cute and so thoughtful...and interesting since I don't know when the last time he saw a doctor dressed up nicely would have been.

Last night Abby was lying on her bed, sticking out her belly as far as it would go and she said, "I'm having contractions!!!". Goofy girl!

Speaking of that goofy girl...she fell out of her bed last night. That's not a terribly uncommon happening for her...she is a WILD sleeper. The other night I woke up and she was sitting up against the wall, straight up, sleeping. I had to tell her to lie down. The whole thing with her falling out of bed amazes me though because our beds are REALLY close together, so close in fact, that it's rather difficult to go between them and turn around in the opposite the space she fell into when she fell out of bed could NOT have been comfortable. She had NO recollection of it this morning. Amazing.

Savannah doesn't have as many funny, silly stories because she's a big, mature 8 year old...but she is definitely a sweetie and a cutie. This morning I woke to Luke, all dressed and ready for the day because his big sister Savannah had gotten him up, she took him potty, wiped his bottom (to make him fresh after sleeping in a wet diaper), and she got him dressed. What a blessing it is to have such a HUGE helper. I know that with the arrival of this little one, I'm going to have Savannah and Abby to count on for all the help I'll need with Luke (who is himself quite independent), and also with the baby. What a blessing to have older children to help out.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Soap Nuts vs. Vinegar...a cleaning test (also my opinion of Charlie's Soap vs. Soap Nuts for laundry)

I've been reading up on natural/frugal cleaning products at Passionate Homemaking and have decided that although I don't have "environmental" qualms with harsh cleaning products, I do have "health and well-being" reasons to look into natural AND frugal cleaning products. I'm not completely sold on the whole "natural" cleaning thing as I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Clorox Clean-up and will never stop using that in my bathrooms and kitchen to make sure all the cooties are killed, HOWEVER, today as I was cleaning my bathroom, I sprayed vinegar all over the mirror and didn't have to be concerned that it was landing on the toothbrushes. That brings me peace of mind. I want my children to grow up as healthy as possible, and I can definitely see the benefits of limiting their exposure to toxic chemicals. Soooo, that said, I've ordered myself some Soap Nuts and have decided to give them a whirl.

I'm quite sure that I'm going to go the cloth diaper route with this baby, so I have been looking at different laundry detergents and have discovered that Charlie's Soap is a fantastic product; inexpensive, non-toxic, biodegradable, etc. It's also highly recommended for most cloth I bought some of that. I tried Charlie's Soap and I tried Soap Nuts for my laundry. I have to be fair and say that I've only used Soap Nuts ONCE, vs. using Charlie's Soap regularly lately. I'm a big fan of Charlie's Soap for laundry. My clothes look good, they smell good...and I know that this TINY bag of laundry detergent is going to last me a very, very long time.

Okay, back to the Soap Nuts vs. Vinegar thing. So today I decided that I'd clean the bathroom counter and toilet with Soap Nuts--I'd made the concentrated liquid about a week ago and it's been sitting around in the fridge waiting for me to put it into a spray bottle. So I did...and I'm glad I did. I used vinegar on the mirror (not sure how soap nuts would work on glass, I haven't tried that yet), and soap nuts on the toilet. It worked great on the toilet...didn't leave streaks, and it looks nice and clean (as I said above...I'm a bit of a germaphobe and would not feel confident using SOLELY soap nuts on my toilet--but I wanted to see how it would look), then I went to the bathroom counter. The counter always seems to be dirty...go figure with 3 children and 3 (sometimes 4) adults sharing one bathroom!! So I used soap nuts on one half and vinegar on the other. I had already convinced myself that vinegar would be the way to go...but lo and behold!! I was NOT a fan of how the vinegar worked versus the soap nuts! The vinegar was pretty similar to using straight water (although I know it was doing more than what water would do), I don't like when I wipe something down, for any watery stuff to stay on the counter. With the soap nuts spray, it wiped neatly, left no streaks and looked wonderful. Here I had convinced myself that maybe soap nuts were just not for me...I am now a believer! Now I just need to find MORE ways to utilize them, tangible ways that I know I'll use them (because I'm not sure about using them as shampoo!).

Next on my agenda will be to try to make my own dishwasher detergent and laundry detergent (this may have to wait until we move into our own home). I also just ordered the entire Homestead Blessings DVD collection and am looking forward to trying my hand at soap making and yogurt making among other stay tuned!

Random Thoughts on a Rainy May Afternoon

It's raining, it's's MAY for heaven's sake!!! This has to be the craziest spring we've ever least as long as I've been alive. We have had more rainy days per week than sunny since, oh, November?! We've had a few tastes of "spring" so far this spring, but no more than 2 or 3 nice days in a row, rudely interrupted by rain or snow...or both. Yesterday and today have been extremely unsettled...sun, rain, thundershowers,'s crazy! Thankfully we haven't planted a garden yet, otherwise all the plants would be dead. It's fun to sit here though and watch the critters outside. It amazes me how, in the midst of a downpour, you can open the door and hear the robins singing their little hearts out. It was hailing pea-sized hail a while ago and the squirrels were out collecting nuts, as if it was just another nice, spring day. My dad had taken his backhoe out and tilled the earth so he could get rid of some of the weeds and prepare the ground for some rye seed he was going to plant (apparently it's a great grass seed--so far it looks very pretty where he's planted it before) and the act of digging up that earth along with this rain has made the birds (including the wild turkeys) and the squirrels some very happy campers. It looks as if most of the seed may have been washed away though...bummer. Oh well, another opportunity for the children to learn to scatter seed (they really enjoy that).

So here I am, 38 weeks pregnant today...trying to summon the energy to do the things I'd like to do, all while fighting the urge to curl up and nap the afternoon away. I feel the time with my children before this baby arrives slipping away, and I'm unable to grasp hold of it due to lack of energy/stamina/desire. I think I'm in a better state of mind this time around though, knowing that adding a child to this family is in no way taking away from what we've already got. Another child is a blessing, an addition, a new adventure. In the past I've always seen a baby as a time sink. I know that sounds horrible, but it's true. I've always kinda had a fear of babies (I'm sure having a baby like Savannah didn't help that fear out!), of the time they take, the sleep they rob...and haven't truly seen them as an asset until a certain age (usually around 2-3 when they become more independent). However, I've done some heart-searching and have realized that I've been looking at it all wrong. In the past week or so I've had a couple of panic attacks (okay, not THAT serious), thinking, "Oh my goodness...I'm NOT READY", but as I've prayed about it (granted, I have not prayed ENOUGH), I've come to realize that I'm really looking forward to meeting this precious little blessing. Even though it will be a slight upheaval to life as we know it, the joy and pleasure he will add to this family is truly something to look forward to. So now I'm finding myself eager to go into labor (think it'll happen naturally this time?!?!) so that I can meet him and we can begin this adventure as a family of 6--while trying not to rush this precious time I have with my children before he arrives (no doubt a little SUNSHINE would help the wait though!). I honestly cannot believe that I'm 38 weeks pregnant though. I feel the strain on my body, the exhaustion and the aches and pains...but it's unbelievable that I could possibly have this baby at any time. The reality is that I WILL have this baby within 3 weeks or so, and 3 weeks is NOT very far away. I have an appointment next week on the 1st of June, then again on the 8th of June and Jeremy's leave begins on the 11th of June (although I'm officially due on the 10th). The girls are going away to camp on the 7th thru 9th (and they've informed me that if I go into labor while they're at camp, they do NOT want to be disturbed!). Hahaha. So these last days are filling up quickly, the weather is due to turn nice soon...and very soon I'll be the mommy to 4 sweet babies. God is so good.