Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Homemade Cleaners

I have gone down the road of homemade cleaners and so far so good! we are trying to save money and this has truly helped! So Far we make our own Laundry Soap, Dishwasher Detergent, and All Purpose Cleaner. Actually my husband and I have fun making it together after the kids go to bed at night. It gives us time to talk and work together. Even using coupons these items can get terribly expensive and we only have three kids so far! I usually am washing at least one load a day (most of the time more), The Dishwasher runs at least once a day (again mostly more) and I wash my counters off a thousand times a day with all purpose cleaner. It not only help to save money but it is nice to know exactly what chemicals I am using. OK, now for the recipes!

Laundry Detergent

1 Cup Washing Soda ( this is totally different from Baking Soda. I found it at Harris teeter.)
1 Cup Borax ( Found this at either Food Lion or Harris Teeter)
1 Bar of washing Soap- Grated Soap (usually in the detergent isle.)

I use a five gallon bucket with lid to store this.

Mix Four Cups of water with Grated Soap in Sauce Pan over medium heat stirring constantly. Stir until Soap is totally Melted. Mix in Washing Soda and Borax until dissolved.

Pour into Bucket and fill with Water. Stir around. Put lid on and let sit overnight. This soap will most likely come out as a different texture every time. We have had watery Soap, Mushy Soap, and even Jelly Soap. They all work the same!

Dish Washer Detergent

1 cup Washing Soda
1 Cup Borax
1/2 cup Kosher Salt
4 Packs Kool-Aid lemonade Flavor ( no other Flavor)

Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container. Use two tablespoons for each wash.

All purpose Cleaner

White Vinegar
dish washing liquid
Lemon Juice

Fill a spray bottle halfway full with water. Fill the remainder with Vinegar. Add three drops of Dish washing Liquid and 1/2 cup lemon Juice. Shake up.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011



I have always been the type to not open my mouth about something I am opinionated on for fear of offending someone. I know how I feel about the situation but I leave it unspoken. I am really upset at the moment over a few accidents that have happened close to home because of an irresponsible parent. These accidents took several children's lives. The sad part is these children's lives could have been spared. If only these parents would have properly restrained their children.

"Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among children in the U.S."-National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

I have seen 2 and 3 year olds sitting in a booster seat with just a seat belt holding them in. At such a young age little Spinal Cords are still growing and firming. In the case of a crash a good five point harness carseat will hold the child in place while the booster seat and seat belt will make the body react like a spaghetti noodle. The body will flop side to side. If it bends too much it will break. Watch the difference in the video below. the child on the left is secured using a five point harness carseat. The child on the right is secured using a high back booster. Which would you prefer for your child? The Second Video is just a high back booster.

The Requirements for a high back booster seat are age 4 and over 40 pounds. This is the MINIMUM. Like I stated before Children are a lot safer in a five point harness carseat. They should stay in a five point harness carseat as long as possible. There are many on the market for older kids that can keep them safer longer. Britax makes a carseat called the Britax Frontier. It is a forward facing only carseat. It is used as a Five point harness until the child reaches 85 pounds and then is used as a high back booster until your child is over 120 pounds. This carseat can only be used if your child is over 2 years of age (more on this later). Graco and Evenflo also have Carseats to serve both functions but leaving the child harnessed as long as possible. These two carseats go up to 65 pounds harnessed. Children should be in a booster seat until 4 feet 9 inches tall and between 8-12 years of age. This is via the American Academy of Pediatrics.

I have pulled up beside a mother at an intersection who had a baby (5-6 months old) strapped into a bucket seat style carseat(type that only can go rearfacing). This carseat was in the front seat and facing forward. I called the police and gave them the women's licence plate number. I have seen 8-9 month old babies who are "BIG" as their parents state because they are 20 pounds. These Babies are turned Forward facing because they reached the Weight. The Bare Minimum is the AGE and WEIGHT (1 years old AND 20 pounds). In April 2011 the American Academy of Pediatrics Published a new policy that Children should stay rearfacing until age two years or the weight and height limit of your carseat.
Notice how during the force of impact the child's body goes down into the carseat and the force of impact is sent throughout the entire body when the child is rearfacing. It supports the neck, head, and spine. When a child is forward facing their neck is thrown forward and can result in a broken neck.

Installing the carseat correctly is another major factor in keeping your child safe. One of the biggest points not made enough is READ YOUR MANUAL! Read it from front to back! Then read it again. it is the only thing that can tell you how your particular carseat needs to be. All carseats install differently so this is really major.
When installing rearfacing you should position it so that the level, line, or whatever your carseat has is even with the floor. If your car has a LATCH System (most 2001 models and above) you hook the LATCH into the anchors built into your car. Then you pull as hard as you can. Put all your weight into your child's carseat to get it tight. Your Child's carseat should not move more than 1 inch from side to side or up and down. I Like my carseats not to move at all! If you are seat belting your child's seat in then pull the seat belt through the routing path. Then pull the seat belt all the way out. Click it in place. Once you do this put all your weight in your child's carseat and pull the seat belt as tight as you can. Since you pulled it all the way out it should be locking into place so that it can't be pulled back out. Once again it should not move more than one inch to each side or up and down.
When installing Forward Facing it is basically the same concept. All cars from 2000 and up have a Tether system. Most cars older than this can have one installed for a very small fee. A Tether is a hook built into the ceiling, floor, seat,ETC for you to hook your carseat into from the back. this saves the carseat from moving forward in the event of a crash.

I cannot tell you how many times I have seen a child where the harness was so loose your could stick another child in on top of that child. How many times I have seen the "Chest Clip" down at the belly button. These are the two major problems with how children come detached from their carseat during an accident. When your child is rearfacing the straps for the carseat should be at or BELOW the Child's shoulders. When forward facing the straps should be at or ABOVE the child's shoulders. The "CHEST STRAP" is called a chest strap for a reason. it should be on your child's chest not at their belly button. The top of the clip should be right below their armpits. After hooking your child in your should tighten the straps. When the straps are tightened you should not be able to fit two fingers in between the straps. You should also not be able to pinch the strap together.

Installing your child in a booster seat correctly is just as important as installing a carseat correctly. the seat belt route should be at the top of your child's shoulder. Not Below, Not Above. The seat belt should be routed correctly through the armrests and the seat belt should always be over your child's shoulder not under. Pull the seat belt all the way out and then back in so it locks in place.

It always helps to research every possible thing about something before deciding what is best for your child. just because "they" do it does not mean you have to do it. you do what is best for your child and what is safe. There are tons of Websites out there to give you accurate information. There are even more You Tube videos of crash tests and stories of children who have been killed in crashes.

Tasty Tuesdays: Husband's Favorite Meal

For our weekly recipe I thought I would post the man of the house's favorite meal I make for him. There isnt much he will not eat although there is a lot he doesnt care for... Does that make since? LOL! Over the past 7 years I have learned a lot about how he likes to eat though. His food cannot touch on his plate.... Which means Casseroles are usually out of the question.... SO is Chicken Pie! (MY FAVORITE!) He also only eats one thing at a time and eats clockwise around his plate. I married a weirdo and I know it! so on the menu.
BBQ Meatloaf
Roasted Carrots
Steamed Okra
Yeast Rolls

Now remember I am a mom to three 4 and under so NO I donot make all of this from scratch. I have to have a break at some point.

BBQ Meatloaf
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons mustard
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
mix up Hamburger, seasoned breadcrumbs, onion, egg, salt, pepper, 1 can of tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon ketchup, 1 tablespoon mustard, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. form into loaf. put in glass dish. Mix 1 can of tomato sauce, 3 tablespoons vinegar, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 2 tablespoons mustard, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce. Pour over loaf. Cook in oven on 350 degrees for 1 hour. every fifteen minutes or so baste loaf with sauce.
Roasted Carrots

1 Bag of Whole Carrots
Greek Seasoning
Salt and pepper
olive oil

Wash Carrots and slice in half longways. Lay in shallow pan and sprinkle Greek seasoning generously over carrots along with salt and pepper. Pour Olive Oil over the top. Cook in oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

The Rest is easy! Frozen okra either Boiled or steamed whichever you prefer. Marie Colander's Yummy Yeast Rolls heated up in oven!
Dinner is Served!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Strawberry Picking

A few weeks back we took the kids out to pick strawberries. They had a blast! Lucky for me I wore the baby so I didnt have to bend over to pick, Seth did it for me! I believe that more were eaten then picked though. Some friends from Church tagged along. We went home with tons of strawberries. half were eaten, half were frozen just waiting for me to turn into Jam. One day soon hopefully!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Old and Wonderful City Park

I can still remember as a kid riding the train through the tunnel and screaming at the top of my lungs. I remember going round and round on the Carousel. I also remember riding the tiny little boats and ringing the bell. Little did I know that 20 years later I would be taking my own children to the same park to have the same kind of fun! 25 cent rides went up to 75 cent rides but oh well it is still worth it! Since then they have improved by adding Airplanes and Helicopters and Trucks and Tractors. They have also covered all the rides to keep them shady. Nothing like a mini theme park 5 minutes from your house!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

IHM Conference and Basilica (DC)

Two weeks ago my friend Jennifer and I were able to travel to Washington DC for the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Home school Conference. It was a blast but very exhausting! I swear we didn't even have much time to eat the whole weekend. I totally forgot to take pics but the wonderful Lacy over at Catholic Icing got some great pics (Jennifer and I are in one!) and explained it wonderfully. So make sure to go check it out! I am glad I had a chance to go and glad that I was able to meet some pretty awesome people while I was there.

We cut out early Saturday afternoon and went to visit the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It was a wonderful experience that I will never forget! I took some pictures with my little rinky dink camera but Jennifer got some awesome shots so I will share hers instead! Also, all captions are by her as well. Our tour guide had a very strong accent and talked in a deep voice so with my hearing loss I wasn't able to understand much that he said. Luckily Jen Explained it all to me afterwards! The Basilica of the National Shrine is the largest Roman Catholic Church in North America and one of the ten largest in the Nation. It has over 70 Chapels throughout! This place will truly take your breath away. I recommend anyone visiting the area (Catholic or not) to check it out!

Depiction of Mary in the Book of Revelation. The Baby Jesus is being carefully taken out of harm's way by two angels. Everything is in mosaics.
The relief is 58' X 17' high and is made from a slab of Travertine Marble. It depicts the Universal Call to Holiness.
Jesus stares down at you while you are at Mass. His right eye is relaxed and looking upon you with love, his left eye is raised and he is looking upon you in judgement. His hands are 5' tall and his head is 7' tall. Everything you see is in mosaics. I think the 3 angels below Him represent Faith, Hope & Charity.
There are 5 domes in the ceiling of the Upper Church. The largest dome is the 2nd largest in DC - only smaller to the Capitol building.

Depiction of Pentecost
This is the gorgeous Blessed Sacrament chapel where the Eucharist is exposed for adoration and prayer. Everything was breathtaking.

This is the Eastern Rite chapel where Bishops & priests of the Eastern Rite can celebrate Mass.
Our Lady of Vietnam.Everything on the ceilings and walls are done in mosaics.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Elon Farmer's Market

Yesterday was an ultra busy day! The kids and I (with my hubby's help) baked brownies and a bunch of different types of muffins, bagged them up, and headed over to our local farmer's market for kid's day. We set up a table and got to selling! They actually made out with some good dough! They made a total of $21 and came home with only three bags of muffins. there were a total of 24 to start with! They had fun and it was a great way
to help teach EJ all about money. She did really good! I was very proud at how
quickly she caught on. Of course I priced everything at $1 to make it easy for her. At one point a lady handed her a $5 bill and she gave her correct change back without me helping!

The Butterfly Lady made a visit while we were there. She taught the children about the life cycle of a butterfly, how to tell the difference between a moth and butterfly, and released some butterflies. EJ was her helper and got to dress up as a butterfly. We also bought some of her caterpillars and will let them live their cycle in our butterfly tent. If you are interested in her caterpillars she offers them free as long as you pay shipping/handling. Her caterpillars will turn into beautiful Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) Butterflies! This is ten times cheaper than buying them from Insect Lore.

All in all we had a blast! We did have a brownie thief while we were there though. He got caught red handed!!! Or should I say chocolate handed!

And just so you know the little one doesn't get left out here is that beautiful little girl! She was an angel the whole day just like always!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Multitude Monday

22. Blessed to have my friends. They understand me and don't run for the hills!

23. Blessed to have the most wonderful husband in the world. Even after keeping the kids all weekend long he still greets me with a smile.

24. Blessed to have fellow Catholic homeschooling friends. There is nothing like facing this journey with other like minded friends.

25. Blessed to have prayer. Such a serene feeling after speaking to God.

26. Blessed to Have food on our tables. I know that there are a lot of families who cannot be blessed for this.