Monday, January 30, 2012


This morning I was in the kitchen preparing breakfast for the boys when I heard some happy little voices.  I assumed that Jackson and Jeffrey were playing instead of getting ready for school.  I walked down the hall getting ready to firmly (aka yell--I'm working on that) remind the boys of one of our morning rules "no playing till everything is done."  As I walked into Jeffrey's room I heard him singing, "I'm so happy so very happy I have the love Jesus in my heart" while making his bed.  By the way he does great for a 4yr. old with a queen size bed.  I quickly backed out of his room and just listened for a minute in the hall.  What an excellent reminder it was to hear Jeffrey sing this morning.  So often I complain as I go about doing the every day things that have to be done over and over again.  But I should be happy and singing because I do have the love of Jesus in my heart.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why Homemade?

Besides that it is super fun to make homemade products there are several reasons I choose homemade.
1. Better for my family--I know exactly what is in the food or product I make.
2. Better for the environment
3. Usually but not always cheaper

Here is what I have made in the last couple of weeks.

Whole Wheat Bread recipe can be found at  We all really like the bread and it is very close to store bought sandwich bread.  Now I know exactly what is in the bread my family eats and no plastic bag and twisty tie to throw away.

Deodorant--I will give you the recipe only after we see if it works.

Dishwasher detergent--so far it is working well, but will let y'all know after several weeks.

Bath salts--I am giving this to a friend so I will let y'all know what she thinks.

Breakfast tacos--I made these tacos to place in the freezer and then Josh can just grap one to go each morning.  After making the tortillas I filled them with scrambled eggs and cheese.  I wrapped each taco in a paper towel and then foil.  The foil allows them to be frozen and the paper towel allows them to be place in the microwave (remove foil first).

Flour tortillas
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup warm water

Combine flour and salt in medium bowl.  Use a fork to rub shortening into flour.  Stir in water until dough forms.  Knead dough on floured surface 2 to 3 minutes until smooth and elastic.  Cover and let stand 30 minutes at room temperature.  Knead dough a few times. Divide evenly into 8 pieces for 10 inch or 12 pieces for 12 inch tortillas.  Shape pieces into balls; cover with cloth to keep from drying out.  Using rolling pin, roll out each dough ball on floured surface, turning over frequently, into circles.  Heat ungreased heavy griddle or skillet over medium-high heat until a little water sprinkled on surface sizzles.  I like to use my electric griddle and cook 6 tortillas at a time.  Cook about 30 seconds until top is bubbly and bottom is flecked with brown spots.  Turn tortillas over; cook 20 seconds until flecked with brown spots.  If tortilla puffs up while second side is cooking, press it down gently with spatula.  Remove tortilla to foil. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Stewardship Review

Months ago, maybe even close to a year, I decide that I wanted to be a better steward of all that God has given me.  One of the main ways has been to work towards a waste free life.  So I have tried to not waste time, money and the environment.  I haven't done so well with not wasting time.  I did OK with the money and really did a lot this past year to improve our families affect on the environment.  We now only put out the trash once a month instead of twice a week.  We compost all food scarps (no meat), grass clippings, leaves, etc.  We all have lunch kits and use reusable container instead of baggies.  We have cut down on our water by using "gray" water for the plants.  For example if I soak a pot I would water a plant with that water instead of just pouring it down the drain.  We also have a pitcher to pour water in that someone didn't finish.  I take my shopping bags to the store and remember to take them in most of the time.  I make a lot of stuff from scratch now including cleaners and food.  I have also tried to use what we have instead of buy more stuff.  For example I did not buy an wrapping paper, bows, ribbon or bags this year for Christmas.  I used bags and tissue paper from last year and the boys made wrapping paper.  We had left over paper and paint supplies from a paint party and so the boys and the neighbors kiddos had a fun afternoon painting and I got some wrapping paper.

Things I tried and didn't like:
1. homemade mustard
2. homemade ketchup
3. cotton cloth with safety pins instead of dryer sheets
4. homemade shampoo

Things I tried and liked:
1. homemade mayo
2. homemade Italian  & ranch dressing
3. homemade oreos
4. homemade soft scrub & glass cleaner
5. 7th generation compostable dryer sheets
6. homemade hummus
7. dive cup (ladies google this, I got my from amazon)
8. homemade taco season, spaghetti season, onion soup mix
9. homemade face cleaner
10. hankies (no more tissues)

What I want to try in 2012:
1. homemade lotion
2. homemade deodorant
3. homemade hamburger buns
4. homemade pita bread and chips
5. buying resale instead of new (this one will be hard)
6. no "poo" hair cleaning method
7. homemade sunscreen & bug spray/lotion

I will let y'all now how all these new things turn out once I try them.