Sunday, January 29, 2012

Home Made Laundry Soap

I have been creating my own laundry soap for almost two years. The first recipe I tried was a powder recipe and I consider that a big FLOP. It came out chunky and was just a big headache. The second recipe was a one batch liquid version posted by another blogger (I apologize but I do not remember who the blogger was, however the recipe, instructions and photos were very well done).
Then I came across a recipe posted by the Duggars on their website. The recipe I use now on a regular basis, is adapted from their recipe and from a generic liquid recipe found throughout the internet. You can find the Duggar's original recipe here. I consider this recipe VERY easy to use!

My Adapted recipe is as follows:

  •  3-4 cups hot tap water (enough to cover the top of the grated soap inside the saucepan)
  • 1 bar of Zote Soap (or Fels-Naptha)
  • 1 cup of Super Washing Soda
  • 1 cup borax
  • Essential Oils (optional)
(picture above shows a bar of zote soap already dissolved in the water on the stove top)
  • Grate the bar of soap and add to your saucepan (I have a special grater and saucepan I use just for this purpose). Stir continually over medium to low heat until all of the soap flakes/granules are dissolved.
(picture above is after mixing the dissolved zote, borax and washing soda)
  • Put the 1 cup of super washing soda and the 1 cup of borax into a 5 gallon bucket. Add the melted zote and water mixture to the washing soda and borax. Stir until all of the powder is dissolved.
  • Fill the 5 gallon bucket to the top with warm/hot water and stir well, then place the lid on and let the mixture thicken overnight.
  • The next day, stir the mixture (I usually use a paint stick to stir) as it will most likely be a solid gel. Take an empty plastic laundry bucket (empty, clean cat litter bucket or equivalent will work just as well) and fill it half full with the soap mixture. Then add water to fill it to the top and stir. Your soap is now ready to use! Store the original 5 gallon bucket out of sight, and use it to replenish your laundry bucket with as needed.
For front-loading machines: Use 1/2 cup per load (equals 320 loads - approximately one year)
For top-loading machines: Use 1 cup per load (equals 160 loads - approximately two per year)




The cost breakdown (please note ingredient cost is approximate as price varies per region):

  • Fels Naptha or Zote: $1.19
  • Washing Soda per recipe .33 (3.5 lb box has 7.3 cups at approx $2.40 a box, 1 cup used per load equals .33)
  • Borax per recipe .30 (cost of one 12 oz box is approx $3.00 and has 9.9 cups, 1 cup per recipe equals .30)
Total cost per recipe above: $1.82!
Total yearly laundry detergent cost for a family of 5? $3.64-$5.46 depending on if you make the laundry soap two times or three times.

Compare to: Costco Kirkland 28 lb powder detergent use 200 loads. Approx $18 a bucket ($36-$54) a year).

Do you buy a seperate fabric softener? You can save money by using a small amount of white vinegar in each load insteads!
Washing something particularly nasty? Pour 1/2-1 cup of baking soda into each load for extra cleaning power (and a splash of vinegar if you wish).

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Its A Winter Wonderland

Living in the Pacific Northwest, or more specifically in the Seattle area, does not offer much in the way of snow. Except this year we are blessed with an abundance of snowy white bliss... of course I can say this because I don't have to leave the house. I get to stay bundled by my warm cozy fire and watch the snow fall.

First snow fall on 1/15/12

The husband pulling an empty sled....

The boys first snowman! 1/18/12

Look at the ice on that nose! 1/19/12

Hope everyone is enjoying their winter, snow or no snow! Be safe out there!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Doctors Appointment

Good news first. I lost 7 lbs in 3 weeks! *happy dance*

Now I must admit that todays Doctors appointment was a bit of a dissapointment. Over the last week I have been feeling so much better. I had a lot of energy, I've slept less and I've actually gotten things done around the house that I hadn't done in weeks! The truth is, I believe in miracles. I believe that we have a loving God who can and will heal us, if it is His will for our lives. Unfortunatly we aren't usually given a 'heads up' on what that will is. So it is up to us to live our lives the best we can, and to walk forward in faith.... and I'm ok with that. I really am.  But I truly did think God had done a physical healing in me, until I saw the lab work today and realized that perhaps not yet. That doesn't mean He won't... and it doesn't mean that He hasn't been working in my life. After all, it is truly a blessing that I have felt so much better over the last week! I thank God for that.

So that brings me back to the reality of the matter. I won't be avoiding dialysis. I begged my Doctor for another two weeks. But insteads of two weeks of my hoping for improved labs, it will be two weeks of putting my head around the fact that in two weeks I WILL be starting dialysis. That is a good thing though because I won't fight so hard against it since I will have two weeks to get used to the idea and prepare. There are a lot of things I will have to figure out. Such as... if my husband goes back to work by the time I start dialysis, who will watch the boys for those 15-18 hours a week I will be gone? Are we going to be able to do homeschool co-op this session (starts January 21st)? How long will it take Medicare to kick in once dialysis starts (I keep hearing different things, anywhere from one month to three months)?
And oh so many more questions....

That brings me to the subject of health insurance. I still do not have health insurance. It took two months to hear back from DSHS, they finally sent me paperwork for disability insurance. I turned it in yesterday and was informed "it will take awhile to process". *sigh* As of right now we have two unpaid emergency room visits and unpaid lab work.
Due to the fact that I do not have health insurance, I will have to have an IJ catheter put in in two weeks. It will be considered 'emergency surgery'. If I had health insurance I could have had a fistula put in two months ago. The difference is that an IJ catheter is inserted into the main artery in your chest. It is considered a temporary site for dialysis due to the increased risk of infection. The most common type of dialysis is referred to as hemodialysis. Two months prior to the start of dialysis outpatient surgery is done which connects a artery to a vein (usually in your forearm) to create a larger blood vessel area, this is called a fistula.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Goal

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Different homeschool families have different reasons and goals for schooling their children at home. Initially when I started homeschooling my oldest son two years ago, my whole purpose was to keep him out of the public high school. There was not a good affordable option for Christian school and I was very worried about the wordly influence on him. At that time he was struggling with his grades, I believe a lot of that was due to a poor public school education in his younger years (kindergarten through 6th grade). I also knew that I wanted to homeschool my younger two boys when they reached the school age and I started to focus my thinking on the 'goal'. Originally I felt the importance was on excellent academics (getting ahead and achieving the most) and Godly influence. Then I began to wonder what my purpose in life was which led to my asking God to reveal His purpose in my life. One day the light bulb turned on and suddenly I knew the answer! My current purpose in life is to raise Godly sons. God has blessed me with three wonderful, precious, intelligent boys. He has entrusted them to me... me, not someone else. But me.
When this realization hit, I really started to think differently about what my main focus at home is all about. I went from reading a wide range of books, educational, Bible stories, fun books, etc... to really emphasizing on Bible stories, Godly charactar, reading from the Bible, worship time, etc. I still work on normal preschool/kindergarten things with my four year old, however that is not my focus. I realize now more than ever that I need to help my boys learn how to have a relationship with God, how to trust Him and more importantly how to pray. I also need to be an example for them! They are looking to me all day and I am the one setting the example of Godly character (or not). That in itself is very humbling.
There is a scripture verse that has impacted my heart, and I believe it fits well here.

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.