A glimpse into my life

We must be doing something right…

Growing up, we were taught to respect our elders, help others who needed help, watch our language, and treat others as we wanted to be treated.  I’m amazed at how many people don’t seem to teach these values to their children (or maybe they try, and the children have no interest in following them??).  I’ve been observing people quite a bit over the past week, and have just been amazed (saddened, really) about how many people don’t seem to care about the other people around them.  I try to go out of my way to help others, and if someone takes the time to help me, I show them how much I appreciate it.

I’ve noticed I’ve passed these values on to Dalton.  He always has a kind word to say to others, always helps without being asked, genuinely cares for others around him…the list goes on.  I could go on and on about the wonderful things he does for those around him, and how selfless he is, but Aly would never allow me enough time to say it all.  I know we have something very special in him, and I’m very glad to know we must be doing something right…  🙂

Dalton helping his Papa work in Gamma’s yard–trimming the grass after weeding and mulching around her bush (which he offered to do without being asked to).


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Kids in the kitchen

Making tortillas

I believe the earlier kids are allowed to help in the kitchen, the better cooks they will be.  I know a few adults who were not allowed in the kitchen as children, and they have no desire to cook now.  Dalton loves being in the kitchen with me, and he’s already turning into quite the little chef.  He can follow a recipe and measure all ingredients.  One of the only things I don’t let him do yet is prepping items that need cut (I’d rather not see him chop off a finger or two).  He’s gotten a few small burns over the years, but it’s made him more aware in the kitchen, and has become more careful when dealing with the hot surfaces.  I look forward to Aly being old enough to help me out in the kitchen.  Sure, it can be messier or take longer when kids are helping, but the benefits they get from learning how to be in the kitchen are worth it.  Plus, what a way to get some family time in!

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This Month In Review

Wow, I can’t believe May has come and gone!  It was a very crazy month here between ant invasions (they are persistent little buggers), Shyla (the dog) eating a burp cloth and having to have surgery, David going up to visit his father (who has cancer), and me finishing up the school year with my preschool kiddos.  So here’s a look back at a few of the photos from the month, and hopefully June provides me with more opportunities to update.


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Laundry Detergent–Update

Wow, I flew through the laundry detergent I made, but I guess that’s what happens when you have a rusted clogged tub pipe, ant infestations (persistent little buggers, even finding the one sucker that was sitting in it’s wrapper in my sons room….), flooded kitchen, and a deep cleaning happen all within a span of a week (give or take a day or two)–every towel in the house got washed at least 10 times it seems.  Also, that probably explains why I feel like I’m due for a nervous breakdown.  🙂  I cannot say enough good things about the laundry detergent I made–it works great!  I use a tablespoon in each wash, and it seems to be the perfect amount.  I start the washer with hot water, just enough to get it piping hot (ours heats up really quickly), then fill a little plastic cup with water.  I then turn the washer back to cold for most laundry loads.  I put the detergent in the cup of hot water, stir it around to melt the soap a bit, and then dump it in the washer.  The detergent is cleaning our cloth diapers wonderfully, and Alyanna is having no reaction to the soap (yay!).  I would say my laundry detergent is a hit!  Not to mention a lot cheaper.

Miss my first post with the recipe?  Check it out here.

What cleaning supply should I try to make next?

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Homemade tortillas

I’ve really been enjoying making my own tortillas the past few weeks.  I love the way they taste, and they are much cheaper than the ones you can buy in the store (even though mine still aren’t round at all, but that’s just a work in progress).  This is the recipe I use–don’t remember where I picked it up from, but I’ve adjusted it a bit from how I first made them.

ade Tortillas (12-14 nine inch ones)

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting your work area
1/16 tsp baking powder (I know, such a small amount)
1/4 c butter, softened
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 c warm water

  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
  2. Using your hands, mix the butter in until it resembles a course cornmeal consistency.
  3. Slowly pour the water in while mixing until a soft dough is formed (I don’t always use all the water).  My dough always stays a bit sticky at this point.
  4. Set the dough on a lightly floured surface, and turn the bowl over it.  Let it rest for about 20 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into about 12 pieces.  Roll the dough as thinly as possible, making round tortillas.
  6. Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Once it’s hot (I test by sprinkling water on it), put a tortilla on it, and cook it for 15-30 seconds on each side.  You know it’s done when bubbles form and it’s lightly browned.

These stay good in the fridge for up to a week (we haven’t tried freezing them yet–they don’t last that long around here!).  Enjoy!
What do you enjoy on your tortillas?  I’m always looking for new things to try.


Homemade laundry detergent

I finally took the plunge and made my own laundry detergent.  I’ve wanted to try it for quite a few years now, and finally decided that now was the time.  After checking out a few recipes online, I finally settled on making one almost identical to the one on the Duggar’s website.  I’m really hoping this detergent works well, especially with our cloth diapers (it seems we run through quite a bit of detergent washing them).

Homemade Laundry Detergent
(32-64 loads, depending on amount used)

1 bar Fels-Naptha soap (I found it in with the laundry detergents)

1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

1/2 cup Borax

1 cup laundry detergent

  1. Grate the bar of soap.
  2. Put the grated soap into the food processor and mix until it’s finer pieces.
  3. Add all the other ingredients and mix until well combined.
  4. Store in an air-tight container.

To use:  start the washer with HOT water (to make sure all the soap melts)–you can switch to cold after the soap is melted.  Use 1 tablespoon-2 tablespoons detergent.

Breakdown of the cost of making this:

  • Fels-Naptha soap–$1.04/bar
  • Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda–$3.29/box, and I’ll get about 6 uses per box, which makes it $.55/batch
  • Borax–$3.49/box, and I’ll get about 21 uses per box, which makes it $.17/batch
  • Detergent–$5.99/box, and I’ll get about 15 uses per box, which makes it $.40/batch

So, it costs $2.16 per batch, and $.03 per tablespoon.  Really looking forward to seeing how this works out–look for an update in a few weeks!


Scratch cooking

Recently I’ve become very upset with how much artificial foods we eat everyday.  It seems like so many foods now have high fructose corn syrup (I’ve seen applesauce with it in there–seriously?  Isn’t applesauce sweet enough??), or they have a slew of ingredients that I cannot pronounce.  It doesn’t seem right to be putting all that crap into our bodies.  I also shop with a very limited budget for food, and all the “convenience” foods really are expensive when you factor in how little they make.  So, I’ve been cooking a lot more from scratch.  I’ve learned to make tortillas (sure, they aren’t round, or really any shape yet, but boy are they good!) which Dalton absolutely loves.  I’ve been making muffins and storing them in the freezer to grab as a quick breakfast on my way out the door with a piece of fruit and a hard boiled egg (much healthier than a huge bowl of frosted cereal).  I have hummus in the fridge to snack on with veggies.  I have a (very spicy) black bean and corn salad chilling out in the fridge for lunches.  It takes a bit more work, but I think it’ll be a lot healthier for us in the long run.

So dinner tonight?  I think it looks pretty yummy, don’t you?  Homemade tortilla with rice and the black bean and corn salad.  I think I’ll enjoy some pineapple with it, too.

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A day in our life….

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The many faces of Alyanna


Why I haven’t updated in a few days…

It’s kinda hard to type with baby sleeping in the way….or up on the shoulder….  Hoping to get a post or two up soon.  I have them in my mind, but can’t type them out easily when trying to cuddle with my bug.  🙂

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