Monday, November 30, 2009

the Holiday season starts....

This past weekend was very hectic! but in a good way! Of course we knew it was going to be a bit busy due to the holiday weekend, but we sure did pack it as full as our stomaches!!

So, Patrick was off Wednesday till today! Now this should be a good thing as its great that he's here to help with the girls and to just be around when I have errands to run. So, for that I'm thankful when he's home, but I got to be honest it's a struggle some days to have him around too! I have become set in my ways with my free time. I have a semi schedule that I like to semi follow and it's a challenge to do that with an extra person around, but with the mommy degree comes a minor in flexibility. So, Family dinner Wednesday night with Patrick's family, Thursday held dinner plans with my family and then Friday brought the annual Christmas Tree shopping experience and all the decorations and lights!



I love Christmas and this is such a great time for me... the lights, the decorations, the stockings, the tree, the ornaments, my snow buddy village, the music and of course the nativity sets! It's like Christmas threw up at our house. I just love it!! This was such a great year weather wise for it all! Though it does feel a little funny hanging Christmas lights in light jackets and decorating the tree with the windows open! You've got to love Kansas! I thought this year would be soo great with both the girls old enough to help me, well Lexi I might have been a little premature on allowing her to help... but luckily she only broke 1 ornament... so far : ) And really for the most part it was great! Just to see their little faces light up at each ornament I brought out was soo fun! My one splurge every year is a picture frame tree ornament with the year on it. So every year at Christmas those are my very favorite ornaments to put up. I love watching the girls grow up right before my very eyes and I'm sure that these will always be my favorite ornaments! but the best part of this time of year is all the beautiful memories that I get from it! So, here's to wishing every one a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Photographer am I... sometimes

The following families are good friends of ours that recently asked me if I'd take their Christmas pictures this year. This is of course a great honor and yet again a good reminder why I prefer to shoot seniors! Kids are a challenge : ) Also, a good reminder that digital is not film photography and how much I do miss film! Oh well..

So, here's to a Merry Christmas from one little photographer to all the others out there!
































Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Little Suzy Soapmaker!

So, I bought some homemade laundry soap at the Farmers Market over the summer and I love it! It wasn't any more expensive then the storebought stuff, but it was soo much better! I loved it and it got me to thinking... thankfully there is a world of information out there on the internet including so many recipes for homemade goods such as laundry soap, dishwashing detergent and liquid hand soap! So, I bookmarked a site that has many of these recipes for me to try Someday... well finally someday has come!


So, here are the ingredients....
Borax
Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
Ivory bar Soap
wooden spoon
1/2 cup measuring cup
kitchen grater



This is soo easy to make and I even recruited Zoe to help me "shave" the soap. Which she loved doing. So, you take a regular kitchen grater and grate your bar of soap... whatever kind of soap you choose. I chose Ivory b/c it's not too sented and not too expensive. There is an actual laundry bar soap- Fels-Naptha that you can also use.
I picked up all my soap making supplies at my local grocery store. I was not able to find them at Wal-Mart but only at Dillons. I have not checked at the Hy Vee yet, but I'm curious to see if they have it there. It's all relatively cheap in the grand scheme of things. It will be more up front, but not in the long run! Take for instance you buy at 76 oz box of Borax and only use about 4 oz. Wow! you'll get a lot of batches out of this one box!

Then you mix 1/2 cup of Borax, 1/2 cup of Washing Soda and the grated up bar of soap! Now, it says you should use a wooden spoon to mix to a fine powder, but I realized that it's soo much easier and faster to just use the utensils God gave you at the end of your arms! Mix till a fine powder- laundry detergent fineness. Then use 1 tblsp in each load. If you want you can add 1/4 cup of Baking soda to help deodorize more. It is not a necessity, but doesn't hurt. Another thing you can add is 2-4 drops of essential oil drops- lavender, peppermint oil, tea tree oil... I'm sure there are a lot of other options out there that I have yet to experience! I can't wait to though! This makes about 16 oz laundry detergent or 32 loads. I double up the batch but if you wanted to do seasonal smells then just do about 16 oz at a time.

Now if you really want to capitalize on the initial cost then make some Dishwashing Detergent at the same time. You make it with the ingredients you now have on hand... 1/2 cup borax, 1/2 cup washing soda, 1/4 cup kosher salt, and 2 oz or 1/4 cup citric acid. Now to find the citric acid....you can use 10-20 packets of lemon kool-aid- unsweetened or check your local health food store. Put it in a container and shake shake shake! Depending on if your water is hard or not you might need to use more or less citric acid. If you end up with a foggy film on your dishes then try adding more citric acid. I also use about 1/4 cup of white vinegar as a rinse agent instead of store bought jet dry. This makes about 32 oz. Use 1 tablespoon for each load.

So, now you can become little miss Suzy Soapmaker youself! Really, this is easy, it took me about 15-20 minutes to do each batch. I also think I'll give these out as Christmas gifts in jars that I can decorate really cute! Cheap and Practical for all! So, good luck and enjoy!

Photo Booth!

Here's my favorite photo from the past week! I just love seeing them in dresses and how cute they look! The amazing thing is that I just bought this dress for Zoe about 1 1/2 months ago and it's already too short! She's growing like a weed and I just don't even notice it till I go to put her in her 4T or in this case 5T dress. Why don't they make the dresses longer? Is this just my problem or do other people out there struggle finding the right length dresses? Is it really cute seeing a 4 year old's little bum hanging out? I mean, what a way to encourage immodosty for the rest of their lives! How sad! Ok, off my soap box!


Anyways.... Here's the photo finally! Dancing on the sofa after church!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Reading

I love reading. I think it really is my very favorite thing to do, so for the girls to have a love of it too would just make my whole little world complete!

So, we've been working on "reading" with Zoe and I've learned that Rote memorization is the first step. I've also learned that having Zoe have some books that she can "read" helps me have more free time when she "reads" to Lexi! I can't wait till she can read for real, but for now this is a great start and I'm soo excited for her...and me : )


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