A Homemade Kind of Chistmas

At the last minute, we decided we wanted to give our family members one last gift.  A gift of clean clothes.  A gift of homemade laundry detergent.  You may remember we we finally bit the bullet and made our own laundry soap.  Again, not hard, but it did take just a little bit of time.  


We used the same recipe for the gift detergent, but this time around we added Oxy Clean for a bit of a booster.  I think this will make my brother happy.  It was his suggestion when we told him about our new domestic venture.  

Thankfully we had just about everything on hand.  The only thing we bought were the really cute scoops.  Christina, if you’re reading this, we got them at Cook’s Nook in Mac.  As James Earle Jones would say “Totes McDorbs!”


Our supplies included:  pint canning jars, with lids, scraps of fabric, and Avery labels.  For the detergent we used a cup of washing soda, Borax, and a bar of Ivory Soap.  

I initially cut my fabric squares into 7″by 7″.  I found they were a bit too big for the jar and ended up cutting the squares down to 5″ by 5″.  Once the small squares were cut, I ironed them.



Dramatic.  I know.  🙂  

Then came time to put the lids on.  Once they were on, I glued a string of twine around the lid that hold the scoop and an Avery label was placed on the side instructing the user how much they need to use per load.  Batta bam, batta bing, this is what we ended up with:


On this Christmas Eve day, we pray you and your family have a safe and blessed season.  


Secret Santa

Let’s be real here.  I’m not perfect.  And it was 8:00 last night when I finally knew what I wanted to give to my Secret Santa.  And I think I pulled it off.

At school we were given a name of another staff member and we were to give them a total of three presents over a two week span.  I almost failed.  Miserably.  I’m not sure what it was, but it was really hard for me to remember to not only get the gifts, but put them in my selected staff member’s box.  Grrr….So, knowing I had one more gift to go before revealing my identity I wanted to make it a good one.

When I got home from the basketball game last night I went straight to my craft closet and pulled out a wreath form I bought at Etc. Shop for a $1.50 last spring.  I then pulled out some ribbon, ornaments, and my trusty hot glue gun.


I kind of knew what I wanted, but knew that as I played with the wreath I would get more ideas.

The first step was to wrap the burlap-esqe (yes, I just made that a word), ribbon around the form.


To hold the ribbon down, I place a few dots of hot glue.  I thought about using pins, but I didn’t want them to show.  Plus, I figured hot glue might hold longer.  Once I was happy with the wrapped ribbon, I moved on to adding my ornaments.  Initially I thought I would use the ornaments I had my kids use for their parent gift at school.  This was a box of ornaments I bought after Christmas two years ago for 75 cents a box.  That’s right.  🙂  After I glued the first two down I knew I needed more than just a red and a green.  I needed something else.  That’s when I looked at the bowl of ornaments I placed on our table for decoration.  The light bulb went off!  I plucked a blue and some some gold ornament balls.

This is what I ended up with:


Before I called it quits on my first wreath-making-extravaganza, I added a bit of ribbon at the top for hanging.  And then, bam, this is what the final product ended looking like:


Simple?  Yes.  Cheap?  Yes.  Did she like it?  Yes!

What did you get your Secret Santa?

Christmas Break

We are only a few hours away from a break.  I’m spending tonight at a middle school boys’ basketball game, but I’m already thinking of things I want to accomplish over break.  It isn’t a long list, but the items on the list are most definitely things I’m excited about.

Such as…

Finishing a book.  I am in the middle of Super Freakanomics and am really anticipating finishing it.  Seriously.  It connects seemingly unlike things.  It’s a very interesting read.  Unfortunately, I have felt that other things are a bit more important like school.

Sanding and Staining the closet doors.  Our closet doors a bit…ugly.  They have an “orangey” tint to them and never look like their clean.  Plus the previous tenants of our house had an interesting choice of decor.  At least from what I can tell…there are still thumb tacks in our bedroom closet doors.  On one of the walls in the spare room I counted at least 20 nails nailed in an arc.  Classy.  In other words it’s time for us to clean these suckers up!

At this point the plan is to stain the doors the same color as the french door in the kitchen.  It should look goooodddd!

Movie marathon.  Both Adam and I enjoy a good movie.  What we don’t like is spending $10 on a movie ticket.  But with some good movies coming out over Christmas break, I think we’ll bite the bullet, er, tickets.  Movies we’re thinking of seeing include:  Anchor Man 2

Saving Mr. Banks

American Hustle

The Wolf of Wall Street

Our movie marathon also includes Sleepless in Seattle (which we’ve already watched once in the last week…Hey, Diane!) and An Affair to Remember.  We have a lot of movies to watch…

Basement Plan.  It has been a few months since we’ve shared our plans to add a bedroom and bathroom to our little schoolhouse.  I would really like to finalize a plan, so when our contractors are ready to start construction we’re ready for them.

Organize Spare Bedroom Closet. The spare room’s closet is getting a bit…out of hand.  So, my plan is to whip it back in to shape.  Target came to my rescue with some cute green baskets.  Can’t wait to see what I can do with them!

Relax.  Something I’m looking forward to the most is being able to take naps during the day.  Hallelujah!  🙂

So what is on your list of things to do during the Holiday season?

Continue reading “Christmas Break”

Control Freak

If I were to describe who I am this would be part of the description.  And honestly I don’t know if I would have described myself that way if it weren’t for a recent conversation with my cousin.  I might have said “I like things done in particular way”.  But, really, control freak is a more accurate description.  

When I’m at school you’ll often hear me say “I’m going to be particular here…” when it comes to students’ letter formation or how they read math sentences.  At times, I think it’s ok to want control of some situations.  Situations where you are the leader.  Situations where you are the one who holds the key to open new knowledge.  But there are times, when you need to learn to step back.  And it wasn’t until this week that I made the decision to let go.  Let go of the control I so desperately want to have when it comes to our fertility.

This has been on my mind since our sermon on Sunday.  Our associate pastor preached on repentance and letting go.  Day one of God’s voice.

It was while I was putting things away after school on Monday that I really let God’s voice speak to  me.  I have to let go.  That’s it.  But of course that’s easier said than done.  

Then Tuesday after school while searching for a few resources, I came across a blog post by one of my favorite first grade teacher who blogs at The Inspired Apple.  Her family, unfortunately, had to go through a failed adoption.  But through the grace of God, they were able to adopt their daughter one week after they were told by their adoption agency the mother decided to keep the baby.  Her message to me through this post was to let go.  Again.  

Did I mention I’m also a bit stubborn too?  I guess I had to hear it three days in a row.  Make that four days in a row if you count my cousin calling me a control freak tonight.  🙂

So, my blogging friends and family, I encourage you to help keep me faithful.  Faithful to truly let God have the reigns on this journey called life. I know deep in my soul God has a plan for our family.  And His timing is going to be perfect.