Monday, April 23, 2012

Prepare Yourself To Listen to a Sermon

“We are told men ought not preach without preparation. Granted. But we add, men ought not to hear without preparation. Which do you think needs the most preparation, the sower or the ground? I would have the sower come with clean hands, but I would have the ground well-plowed and harrowed, well-turned over, and the clods broken before the seed comes in. It seems to me that there is more preparation needed by the ground than by the sower, more by the hearer than by the preacher.” --C. H. Spurgeon
We have to think about what we do to prepare ourselves to listen to the sermon.  How are we preparing ourselves on Saturday evening and Sunday morning?
May our participation in hearing the Word of God be that fertile ground where the gospel seeds produce bountiful fruit in our lives to the glory of God and the good of our fellow members!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I've been waiting to finish off my extra-large box of Cascade before making Homemade Dishwasher Detergent.  I finished the Cascade off in this morning's load, and spent less than 5 minutes making this.  I have spent a lot of time reading different recipes and have come up with a combination of what I've read.  Here's the recipe:

1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1/4 cup sea salt
4 packets unsweetened lemonade

I already had everything on hand, except the lemonade, from having made the homemade laundry detergent.  The packets of unsweetened lemonade are 10 cents each at my Walmart and serve the purpose of providing citric acid.  If you can find citric acid in powder form, that would work well instead.  I could only find liquid, so the lemonade will work, so I have read.

Also, I plan to use 1 tablespoon regular white vinegar in the Rinse Aid compartment of my dishwasher.  I have never used a Rinse Aid before, but I have read that it helps with a recipe such as this (and even with store-bought detergent).

With a family the size of mine, I'll probably be able to try this out by the end of the day.  I'll post my results soon.

Oh yeah, that little round thing that I'll put in with my detergent is silica, to prevent clumping.  I've read different solutions for the clumping that occurs because of a chemical reaction between the citric acid and the soda.  One is to find one of those silica packets from a vitamin bottle, or another is to tie a "toe end" of a piece of pantyhose together around some rice.  Well, I found a little silica gel container from a vitamin bottle before I found spare pantyhose around here, so that's what I'm using.

And, I do plan to make a batch big enough to fill that nifty container with, but I thought I should start small.

If you've tried something like this before, please comment with your experience.  Or, let me know if you try this recipe and how well it works for you.

EDIT:   I have used this a couple of times now, and my dishes seem as clean as they did with my former Cascade.  Once I used vinegar as the Rinse Aid, and once I didn't use any.  I didn't see any difference, however I am not a person who cares much if there are spots on my glasses or not.  Works great for me!  I've never used a rinse aid before anyway.

Something to note:  When I went to use the detergent the 2nd day, the powder had hardened in my container.  I hit it against the counter once and then just shook it a little.  It turned out fine.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I recently made homemade laundry detergent for the first time.  It was easy, quick, and cheap to make!  I'll show the basic recipe and then discuss why I'll be using a different recipe in the future.

I didn't have a Fels Naptha bar for the picture

1 Fels Naptha bar (I found it at Walmart with laundry detergents for 97 cents)
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax

Grate the Fels Naptha bar and then dissolve in 1 quart boiling water.  Add the Washing Soda and Borax.  Make sure it looks really dissolved.  Add 1 gallon hot water, maybe a little more.  Use 1/8 - 1/4 cup with each load in washer.  I just estimate in that green scoop you see in the picture.

Now, most recipes I found on the web say to mix with 2 gallons of hot water and use 1/2 cup with each load.  I'm sure that works well, maybe even better, but I had this great container to keep it in that wouldn't hold that much water.  So, I added hot water to fill my container, and I use less of the recipe with each load.

I've been using this for a few weeks, and everything gets as clean as my former box of Tide did.  You can add a few drops of essential oils if you want a certain smell to your clothes.  I'm fine without it.

Here's why I'll be trying a new recipe next time:
I must have some kind of allergy to the Fels Naptha.  I noticed when I was grating it, that my lips and tongue were stinging.  Now, everytime I use it to wash, my tongue stings.  Weird, huh?  I have always added Borax to my wash, so it's not that.  And, the washing soda doesn't seem to bother me.  It must be the Fels Naptha.

Here's my solution:
I'm too frugal to dump this out and not use it.  So, I get my laundry and washer all ready, then I hold my breath while I scoop the detergent out and put it in the washer.  I don't let my breath out until everything is closed up.  So, I have found that if I don't inhale it, I'm okay.  (I forgot that when I took the pictures though, ugh.)

I've never read of anyone else having this reaction, so try it!  My next try will be with an Ivory bar or maybe with Dawn.  I've read good things about using these too.

Leave me a comment if you try it or if you have any questions.

Monday, April 16, 2012

4 weeks to a more organized home

Well, that's the plan I've read about on other blogs anyway.  It's day #11 of the 4 weeks, and this is the first day I've even attempted.  But, it only took about 15 minutes to do today's main project:  Clean your silverware drawer.  So, I thought I'd post before and after pictures.  I repurposed an oatmeal can with lid to keep all the corn cob thingys in, and I filled a small jar with all those twist-ties.  Much better!

Keep Learning!

"We have to abandon the idea that schooling is something restricted to youth.  How can it be, in a world where half the things a man knows at 20 are no longer true at 40-- and half the things he knows at 40 hadn't been discovered when he was 20?"  --Arthur C. Clarke

Friday, April 13, 2012

If Thou but Suffer God to Guide Thee

These are the words to a great encouraging hymn.  Our church uses the Baptist edition to the Trinity Hymnal, where this can be found.

If thou but suffer God to guide thee,
If thou but suffer God to guide thee,
And hope in Him through all thy ways,
He'll give thee strength whate'er betide thee,
And bear thee through the evil days.
Who trust in God's unchanging love
Builds on the rock that nought can move.

What can these anxious cares avail thee,
These never-ceasing moans and sighs?
What can it help, if thou bewail thee
O'er each dark moment as it flies?
Our cross and trials do but press
The heavier for our bitterness.

Only be still and wait His leisure
In cheerful hope, with heart content
To take whate'er thy Father's pleasure
And all-deserving love hath sent,
Nor doubt our inmost wants are known
To Him who chose us for His own.

He knows the time for joy, and truly
Will send it when He sees it meet,
When He has tried and purged thee throughly
And finds thee free from all deceit,
He comes to thee all unaware
And makes thee own His loving care.

Nor think amid the heat of trial
That God hath cast thee off unheard,
That he whose hopes meet no denial
Must surely be of God preferred;
Time passes and much change doth bring,
And sets a bound to everything.

All are alike before the Highest.
'Tis easy to our God, we know,
To raise thee up though low thou liest,
To make the rich man poor and low;
True wonders still by Him are wrought
Who setteth up and brings to nought.

Sing, pray, and keep His ways unswerving,
So do thine own part faithfully,
And trust His Word, though undeserving,
Thou yet shalt find it true for thee!
God never yet forsook at need
The soul that trusted Him indeed.

This hymn was written by Georg Neumark in Kiel, Germany, in 1641.  You can look at for more information on the situation in which Neumark wrote these verses.

Psalm 55:22
Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

When I read or sing the words to this hymn, it is a great sermon of the goodness and sovereignty of God.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


My 11-year-old daughter has become quite the baker (and cook!) lately.  She made the Homemade Magic Shell in the previous post.  She has a new blog called The Baker Bug with recipes she likes to make.

Homemade Magic Shell using coconut oil

Our most recent use of coconut oil is in making Homemade Magic Shell icecream topping, that yummy chocolate syrup that hardens when you pour in on icecream.  Our family has decided that it's better than store-bought.  And, I'm all for it since it's cheaper and has the health benefits of coconut oil in it.  Here's the recipe we use:
Homemade Magic Shell

1 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon sugar (you can use an alternate sweetener like stevia)

In a saucepan over low heat, melt all of the ingredients together and stir until combined.

That's it! Just keep it in your pantry, and don't refrigerate.

Try it now, and send your husband to the store for some icecream to serve it on. 

Remember, you can get $10 free if you join Vitacost and order your coconut oil (or whatever you want) from them. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

$10 free at Vitacost

$10 free at Vitacost

I have recently discovered  If you click on the above link, you'll get $10 free at Vitacost.  I used my $10 to get 54 oz. of organic coconut oil for around $11 with free shipping!  Look for future posts on how we're using coconut oil in our homemaking adventures.


We have 9 chickens right now. That’s 7 outside pecking around the grass, 1 in the crockpot for dinner tonight, and 1 in the freezer for another day. This is our 3rd group of chickens to raise. Originally, we wanted them for eggs, but when 1 turned out to be a rooster who crowed way too early in the morning, we decided they might taste good as well. We really enjoy having fresh eggs, and we have a couple of friends from church that enjoy buying them from us also. Someday, we hope to have more land than our current 1/3 acre so that we can have more chickens (and other animals) to be able to provide eggs for all of our friends that want them.

Introduction... My first post

This is my first blog post ever. I shared a little about myself on the “About” page. I have 7 children who are ages 2, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, and 13 right now. We homeschool them, so I will probably have posts that refer to their studies or whatever they are interested in at the time. My main purpose, though, is to post about my adventures in homemaking (making things at home rather than buying them pre-made) and what I’m learning from the Word of God. May this blog be for His glory!