What can happen when you turn your back

Today I was cooking and trying to put clean dishes away from dishwasher. I was midway through dishwasher when the pan needed a good stir. When I turned back to the dishwasher, this is what I found:

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Yup. Miss G managed to push bottom drawer in and crawl up onto door. Good thing there was no soap-and that we have a gate on the stairs or I am sure she would be taking quite a few tumbles attempting those too.

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“G”zilla

You know how Godzilla destroys all in his path? Well, G is going through that phase of picking up everything off the train table, out of the basket, or out of the baby Lego wagon and throwing it behind herself. This means her presence is pretty much made right away in a clean room. Like this-it was a cleaned up room from having family over yesterday. Now…

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Not so much. G took every letter off the boys magnetic easel. Every baby Lego and car is out of the wagon. Boys pajamas that were in a neatly folded pile are strewn across the floor. Luckily G can’t open the ice chest yet. If I had taken a picture in opposite direction you would’ve seen trains and tracks thrown everywhere from the table. All the baby rings, blocks, and anything else teething approved were thrown out of the basket. Add the boys playing as well and my downstairs looks like I never cleaned at all.
After all,how does that saying go? Oh ya. Cleaning up while kids play is like shoveling snow during a blizzard. Absolutely pointless. So for now my house will display the aftermath of “G”zilla.

J is for jam and Jonah

For this week, J was super excited. This week we are covering the letter “J” which J knows starts his name. He loved seeing our chart switch over to “J” and was hopping up and down in anticipation to put “J” on our chicka, chicka, boom boom tree.
While E took his nap and G ate her lunch, J made some freezer jam. I usually make cooked jam but that is less kid friendly, so freezer jam it was.
J mashed up some mixed berries-mostly strawberries and raspberries with some blackberries and blueberries. He measured out the needed amount in a giant measuring cup.

Then J measured out the sugar and mixed the two together.

When it was time he mixed in the pectin and finally spooned it into the jars.

 
I pretty much let him do it all. I would read the directions and let him figure it out himself. He did make a mess but part of the lesson was cleaning up after yourself.
J loved doing it all by himself and proudly showed E when he woke up. They even had toast with new jam for dessert! Update: J was so proud of his jam, he insisted that he take a jar to share with his friends at their playdate today!
As usual, J asked to do more school when we finished the jam;so we read about Jonah and the big fish in our preschool bible. We talked about how God is always there and can see what we are doing; just like God could see that Jonah was running away. I continued on how God didn’t like that Jonah wasn’t doing what he was told and Jonah got in trouble because of that. I reminded J that he has to do things that would make God happy, like share his toys with his brother/sister/friends and listen to mom/dad. I also told him if he ever needed God’s help or to say sorry for something he had done to make God unhappy, he should pray. J really understood that. (He asked if that is what we do when we pray at night before bed. I said yes, we are thanking him for the day and asking God to protect us through the night. J smiled and said his prayer extra loud last night). Then J colored the page that I had for him of Jonah praying inside the fish.

Good, bad, and the letter “I”

So I experienced all three of these within the past week of our homeschool adventure. The good: J and E both love to ask to “do school”. In one day we went through all but one activity that I had planned with the week! Which brings me to the bad: In one day the boys were so eager to learn that they kept going through activity after activity. They finished all but one of the many activities I had planned on for a week of homeschool. If they continue this trend, I may have to re-plan my schedule or at least add to it…which is even more work that I am supposed to fit into just regular mommy time (and keeping the house in some sort of running order). Sigh. But it is worth it when the kids can have time with Husband. I know that we will be able to raise them with Christian family values and significantly reduce their exposure to drugs/gangs/bad peer pressure.

But back to the past week. We continued on with the letter “I”. We talked about instruments. We read Our Marching Band and circa-my childhood, Bobby Bear and the Band. I had gathered all of our play instruments and we went over what each one was called and what sound it made. J and E each had a turn using each instrument before choosing which one they wanted to play in our own backyard marching band.

Then it was on to inches and inchworm. We read Inch by Inch which is about an inchworm that measures different birds until he is met with a challenge of measuring a song or being eaten. We then used our own rulers to see what an inch was and how long each of the inchworm were on our worksheet. J loved doing this one so much I had to make up an extra worksheet by hand!

And the boys weren’t done yet. “More school” was the demand. So we practiced our writing with an igloo worksheet. Then we made igloos out of sticky paper and cotton balls. J chose to use the full cotton ball while E dabbed the cotton ball leaving almost snow like wisps behind on the paper.

While it was a jammed packed day, I am glad to see that the boys are so eager to learn. It means we are on the right path of motivating them to discover and explore their world.

 

DIY laundry soap

I didn’t do it for a long time. Honestly I thought it was too “hippie” or too cheap to buy store laundry soap. However, I am converted. It is super simple to make, cleans clothes, and saves money.
The ultimate critic though is Husband. He hates the smell of even slightly funky towels. Seriously. He had been known to use a towel once and throw it back in wash pile because it had too much of a smell. Husband has said he hasn’t noticed any difference between the expensive store laundry soap and homemade! Had I known, I would’ve started a long time ago.
So we made the jump and we aren’t looking back. We have a standard top load washer, but what I have read it that is works just as well in the he washers.
Here is how we make it:

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1 cup borax and 1 cup washing soda (not baking soda! I found everything at Walmart and on Amazon.)

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Plus 1 bar soap shredded. I use Fels-Naptha-I have used Ivory but found that it didn’t always disolve into the wash despite “pre dissolving” in hot water.
You can either stir these ingredients together until the soap breaks small-from what I read about 5 minutes. I don’t have the patience. So

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Into the food processor it goes-in batches. J helps pulse the processor. I do go over that the soap shreds is NOT cheese. The color looks like cheddar so this is a very necessary reminder that has to be repeated. But J is good and is quite a proficient helper now.
This batch we happen to use 4 bars of soap so we made quite a bit. It will probably last- with 4-6 loads per week- about 4 months. Maybe longer. I don’t really pay attention.

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See,  super simple. Not for only hippies. 😉