Monday, January 25, 2010

Our Second Attempt at Homemade Laundry Soap!

Last year the children and I made our first attempt at homemade laundry soap. It seemed to work o.k., but I realized that I made a mistake in the recipe. I am using the Duggar family recipe which calls for Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda. Last year I used Baking Soda instead. Also, last year we used a Zote bar, and this time we tried Fels Naptha. We will see if there is much difference. I can say that the Fels Naptha is harder to grate. The kids think it is a blast grating it though. The Duggars say that the Super Washing Soda works much better than Baking Soda, so we will see how this mixture differs. Here are some pictures below.

Gabriel is holding the grated Fels Naptha soap. It looked like grated cheese.

Here my fascinated observers are checking out the soap after we melted it in four cups of hot water. I love the look of curiosity on their faces!

At this point, we filled up a five gallon bucket half way with warm water, added the melted soap, mixed in 1/2 cup of Borax and 1 cup of Super Washing Soda. Then we mixed all up and finished filling the bucket with warm water. My last step was to add in some peppermint essential oil when the mixture had cooled. It is supposed to sit overnight to thicken up.

Here you can see the ingredients we used. I will add that the Super Washing Soda is not easy to find. The only place I found it was at Kroger's. That is the whole reason I used Baking Soda last time. The Duggars say not to use Baking Soda, so I am excited to see how this recipe compares. Below is the recipe as I found it on the Duggar's web site. Now I have five gallons of laundry soap for a few dollars maybe. Think of the savings!

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value

4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased online here (at Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Homemade Burp Cloth

I love seeing all the cute crafts many bloggers post on their blogs. I do not think I have ever posted any of my own handiwork. I think that is because I never do crafty things anymore. :( I LOVED crafts when I was young with time on my hands. However, the last few years have not been the season for this sort of thing for me. Well, I'm hoping that will change a little as my oldest daughter, Lauren, is now at an age where she is showing lots of interest in homemaking skills, sewing, crafts, etc. So, recently I found a little white table at the Goodwill store and brought out the sewing machine again. I thought if it is out it will be easier to get to, and we will be more prone to try some small projects. This week I did put my hand to a very small project, and I am so happy that I actually accomplished something. :) There is a baby shower for a mommy in our church, and I decided to fancy up a burp cloth. Here is a picture of the finished product, and below you can see the supplies I used to make it. I bought the cloth at Hancock's for $1.99. It was a little square, and I feel sure there is enough left to make two more of these little cloths. I also bought some other squares of fun prints for some more baby gifts. Also, while I am at it I will have to make a few for our own new baby due in July. :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mothering Really Does Matter

"You are as much serving God in looking after your own children,
and training them up in God's fear,
and minding the house,
and making your household a church for God,

as you would be if you had been called
to lead an army to battle
for the Lord of hosts."

~Charles Spurgeon

What a great quote! Sometimes I am tempted to think the daily ins and outs of changing diapers, feeding children, disciplining bad behavior, assigning school work, cooking, laundry............and so forth don't count for much on my accomplishment list. According to God's will for me these things really do matter. I may grow weary in the tasks, but they never become unimportant priorities. It is nice to be reminded that the Lord is using me to equip the next generation for impacting His kingdom. Our home is the training ground for the children the Lord has entrusted us with. That is a responsibility of great magnitude.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A New Discipline for a New Year

I have been so challenged by the teaching minstry of Nancy Leigh DeMoss on Revive Our Hearts. She recently interviewed a lady who has made it her practice to memorize Scripture for all of her adult life. This lady has the Word of God oozing forth in her speech. She told how having God's Word hidden in her heart has helped her be a better mother raising her four children, has helped her witness, and of course has blessed her in her own Spiritual walk with the Lord. Now this lady is a grandmother and is teaching her grandchildren to memorize God's Word. Well, I felt really inspired to begin picking up Scripture memorization again. It is the very Word of God that I am trying to place within my heart. His Words are powerful and do not return void. Many times I feel inadequate to do all that I know I need to do and be. I know that memorizing God's Word will increase my steadfastness even in the weary moments. If we do not feed our physical bodies nourishing foods they grow unhealthy and weak. In the same way, if we DO feed our souls with spiritual nourishment we will be energized in doing what is good and right. So, this is something I am working at in this new year. I am working on verses out of I Peter chapter one. Here are a few of the verses:

"For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." I Peter 1:5-8

Here is the link for the Revive Our Hearts ministry; I recommend it to everyone as I am so encouraged by it.