My cute niece Ruby had a birthday this last week and i was able to whip up this little bag and get it shipped to her by her birthday! it's like a new record! cause i'm not super good with getting things in the mail "on time" to get to the person by the actual day of the birthday.

she loves pandas and so i did a little freezer paper stencil action...you know how i love that technique.

and we filled this little bag with some squinkies (not pictured) but i thought she might like a bag to carry around treasures, since i am a bag person:)  i think she liked it! it was fun to make. and i do love grommets!


herding cats...

you've heard this expression before right? something along the lines of, "Man, it was so hard to get my kids out the door, it was like herding cats!"

the point being, cats don't really do what they are told and sometimes kids don't either.  if your children do what they are told all the time, please discontinue reading and move to the head of the line:)

so i had a moment today where i was trying to get ethan ready to go to school. we had the snack, the water bottle, the homework...what we needed were socks and shoes...and the three kids were playing together loudly and running around which is great, but it was time to get ready to go...it took about 15 minutes to get shoes and socks on just Ethan.  {I don't make Avery and Blake wear shoes when we take Ethan because they don't get out and we don't go anywhere but back home.}  i digress...15 minutes! i was shocked how long it took!  like i was herding cats....

and then i read this essay during nap time, that my cousin had posted on her facebook...and it made me cry...and laugh. but i seriously think there is a lot of truth in what this woman is saying...go read it...i'll still be here when you get back....did you read it?  okay then, so i don't necessarily feel pressured to have my spices magnetized and alphabetized but i understand the idea behind what she is saying.  don't take your eye off the ball here...which reminded me of this quote from Neil L. Anderson from the October 2011 General Conference (he's quoting a woman named Rachel Jankovic)

"Growing up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood...Children rank way below college.  Below world travel for sure.  Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure.  Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get."  She then adds: "Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling.  You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps.  It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for."

And those two things, the essay and that talk, today have made me ponder my own mothering.  we haven't felt very good lately, and when i don't feel well, i'm a little cranky. we've had pink eye, coughing, sore throats, stomach cramps/diarrhea...i am hoping we are done with the sickies for a while. But even if we aren't, my children deserve the best i can muster.  i love them. they are amazing.  they make me laugh, they make me cry, they make me frustrated, they make me proud, happy and thrilled.  so, not that everyday won't be a little bit of herding cats and saying the same thing 80 times, but that i may have a better perspective on WHY i am herding these particular cats and WHY i am telling these particular darlings the same things over and over...i am writing it here....perhaps i'll even come back to read it again and again. cause it seems like i'm the one that has to be told things over and over sometimes to get the point.

proof that we did do eastery things this weekend...we went to our ward egg hunt on Friday and then couldn't do the family things on saturday cause Avery came down with pink eye.  we didn't go to church either, for the same reason, quarantined.  but they sure had fun at this egg hunt and then the indoor one we had on easter morning:)  

most of all this easter i was glad to remember our Savior and the amazing gift of his Atonement and Resurrection, without which, we could not return to live with our Heavenly Father again.  It is because of His matchless gift, that our families can be together forever as well.  Amen to that.
(this is Christian, just 3 days old:))


Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap

i have wanted to try making my own laundry soap for a while.  today, our regular detergent is almost gone, so i decided it was time to give it a whirl....

there are A LOT of tutorials, guides, recipes and ways to make laundry soap. i decided i wanted to make powdered instead of liquid...most of the recipes are based on the same three ingredients.

this i the kind i used, you can also use Fels Naptha, Ivory etc. needs to be a bar, not heavily perfumed, this bar is actually about 3 times the size of one Fels Naptha, for the same price, so i tripled the recipe.

NOT the same as baking soda, found in the aisle with the detergent...


the tutorial i referenced is here

since my bar of ZOTE soap was bigger than the average Fels Naptha, i did my soap in three batches.  i grated a third of the bar at a time, mixed it with 1 cup each of the washing soda and the borax in a large bowl, and then i put it in my kitchenaid blender (you could also use a food processor, i just don't have one). i found that you can't  have the blender going with it in there too long, cause it gets hot, the mixture starts to clump and won't mix as well. but for a short mix in the blender,  this very effectively turned the grated soap to powder and incorporated the ingredients well.

the tutorial i used says to use 2 TBSP per batch of clothes. i read a few though and they all range from 1-2 TBSP, so do what you think works best for you.

i think this is going to be very economical and from what i've read, it works really well too. i am excited to try it out. i used probably about 1/2 the box of Washing Soda, but not half of the borax, so there's enough left to do another triple batch, i am sure.

:Price Breakdown:
ZOTE soap: $.97
Washing Soda: $3.24 (for entire box, 55 oz, i used 24 oz) price for 24 oz = $1.41
Borax: $3.38 (for entire box, 76 oz, i used 24 oz) price for 24 oz = $1.06

total for a triple batch: $3.44

i will let you know how long it lasts...look for updates as it gets used:)  just something i wanted to try...


Superstition Springs Farm

it's actually a dairy, not a farm. no crops are grown there.  just LOTS of cows.  did you know that ice cream is made mostly from the milk from Jersey cows (brown and white normally) and not our black and white friends?
another fact, i never thought about, a cow has to have just had a baby and is technically "nursing" when it gives milk. so the cows are giving birth around the clock, the calves are sent to a special farm just for them, cause if they were drinking mama's milk, none of the rest of us would be:)

they had some animals you could pet, poor angora bunny, can't even hardly see him for all the lovin' he was SUPER fluffy.

they got to hold a chicken

avery loves animals in a big way.
blake really liked holding that chicken!
we got to go on a hay ride and see the dairy in all it's splendor
the sun was in little man's face, so not a good pic

they also got to try some flavored milk. avery got chocolate i think
B got butterscotch
and Ethan got strawberry

we went with avery's class and it was tons of fun:)  glad we got to go