Monday, February 23, 2009

Bird Watching With A Buddy

Mark decided to sit in the back yard & do some bird watching today. He is really cute out there with his bird book, binoculars, and Ben for a side kick! Of course, they are BOTH wearing their fleece jackets - tee hee!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Spring = More Chickens (We Hope!)

The eggs arrive tomorrow! We're hoping they'll hatch successfully.

This picture is of our Cochin hens. If you're looking for a breed that makes a great pet but still lays eggs, I highly recommend these - we love ours!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Spring Chickens!

Spring has begun here & even my hens are feeling it. One of them is especially "broody", which means she really wants to have babies. So, she is dutifully & hopefully sitting on her eggs night and day, not knowing that they are unfertilized & so, will never hatch. Maybe I have more sympathy for her since I ,too, have struggled with wanting more children & not being able to? Anyway, today I ordered her three fertilized eggs (at $10 a piece! Crazy eh? But...adoption IS expensive! Tee Hee!) They will arrive this Friday by Fed Ex so we'll be here waiting to rush them back to the chicken house & tuck them under "Priscilla", the Cochin hen. They are supposed to hatch in approximately 21 days so we'll be expecting chicks around March 13 I think. Can't wait! :)

Laundry Soap Results - Read comments for the fine print!!

The results are in & they are pretty good! I've used the home made detergent on about 5 loads & they all smell fresh & look clean. I'd like a stronger fragrance but to get that I'd need to add some essential oil, which I don't have yet.

So, here is the recipe (that I got off the Duggar Family website):

Liquid Laundry Soap

4c. hot tap water
1 bar Ivory soap
1 c. washing soda
1/2 c. borax

Grate soap bar and add to pot of water.
Stir constantly over med-low heat until soap dissolves.
Fill a 5 gallon bucket about half full of hot tap water.
Add soap mixture, baking soda & borax.
Stir well until powder dissolves.
Fill bucket to top with more hot tap water.
Stir, cover, and let sit overnight.
Stir again. Fill a laundry soap dispenser half full of soap mixture & then fill up with more hot water.
Shake before each use.

Optional: Add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons once mixture has cooled.

Yield: 10 gallons laundry soap

Top load machine: 5/8 c. per load

180 loads=approx. $2.00

I was surprised that it only took about half an hour to make this detergent & Mark loved helping by grating the soap bar & stirring the pot. The borax & washing soda were easy to find in the laundry soap section at Walmart. Let me know if you try it out & how it works for you. I'm going to try some different scents using the essential oils. Does anyone know where to buy that stuff at a reasonable price?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Laundry Soap Experiment

We are happy little penny-pinchers at our house. So, I decided to try making home made laundry soap. It is supposed to cost only about $2 per 180 loads. Mark & I mixed up the potion today (only took about 1/2 hour) & will try it out tomorrow. If it is a success, I'll post the recipe.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Valentine

I've decided to tell a bit about my "love story" this week, since it is Valentines Day on Saturday. Plus, it's fun to remember back to when John & I first met in College in 1994.

The first thing I noticed about John was that he had gorgeous eyes. A close second was that he had great manners. (I LOVE good manners!) We became friends & stayed that way for almost a year. It was great because we got to know each other without the pressure of "dating".

John's love language is acts of service, so in keeping with his nature, he offered to start typing my papers for me. The first one he did just happened to be about my "philosophy of dating"! I think he was pretty sneaky, I mean, smart! :) We ended up beginning our dating relationship by praying together about it. We dated 4 months & were engaged 4 months!

We've been married for 13 years now but time has not lessened our love. Sure, we have our ups n' downs, but we work hard to work through them. Praying together every day has been a huge strength for our marriage. The key for us is definitely our shared faith in, and relationship with, God. Life can be really, really hard, but God has always been so faithful to help us get through our tough times together. As we prepare to adopt, we know we are entering a time that we will be thrilled and delighted but also probably pretty stressed! We are absolutely COUNTING on God to give us the strength we'll need each day.

Anyhow...more on our love story another day! Happy Valentines Day everyone! :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

...where laughter lives: The Riggs Family

...where laughter lives: The Riggs Family

Please click on this link to check out a little girl named Abby, adopted from Guatemala, who needs our prayers!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Family Hike, Pee On My Shoe & Other Fun

Here is a shot of the mountain, taken by Mark.

We thought we'd take advantage of the gorgeous day (high of 65F) & go hiking, which is one of our favorite family activities.

The disgusted look on my face is my reaction to Ben (black & white dog) accidentally peeing on my shoe! He is getting old & his aim is awful! Blah!

Here are all the guys part way up the mountain.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Just Living... :)

Sorry about the lack of postings, but we are "just living" these days.

I'm busy with home schooling; we're doing Saxon Math I, Hooked on Phonics, Spelling, Geography with a stamp collection, and a fantastic gym class, among other things.

My home business has slowed down, so we are going through the house (drawers & closets & all) & organizing and reducing.

It's "just living" but I honestly love it! (usually!!)