Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I Stepped on a Lego

I stepped on a Lego earlier today

Lego pain is sneaky

At first, you don’t feel it

It seems to take a moment to register


POW! The sharp sensation

like your foot is being sliced

or stung by a jellyfish.

Eyes begin to water

A shout wells up in your throat

You fight, oh you fight, but you just can’t help it!


Then they arrive, timid and meek

knowing by the tone of your voice

That there is trouble coming.

You look at them, not seeing children

but vicious, foot torturing terrorists.

You slowly bend down and pick up the offending Lego,

with a maniacal smile you stand back up

Limping, blood dripping from the rip on your foot

you hobble over to the nearest chair.

“Which of YOU left out the Lego's?”

Eyes dart from child to child

knowing they will all deny the atrocity

you decide to punish them all.

You consider laying out a line of Legos

and making them walk across it

Like one of those coal walking ritual things

“Let’s see how you like it!” runs through your mind

In light of the possible legal ramifications

You decide to send them all to the couch with a book

while you vacuum up the left out pieces in front of them.

You are sure that you will need surgery to recover

A splint, a cast, stitches…

Then the youngest of the perpetrators toddles over

“Mommy, you hurt? I kiss it for you. You can have my spiderman bandaid”

Sigh, punishments dealt,

Snuggle on the couch

“If you ever leave your legos out again, I will throw EVERY ONE OF THEM AWAY”.

Then smother them in kisses and go grab some shoes.

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Free Texas State Fair Tickets for Homeschoolers

Photo Credit

This is the procedure you will need to follow in order to receive your free tickets to the State Fair of Texas. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully:

All requests must be made in writing. No requests made by phone or email will be accepted.

Free Home School tickets for the 2012 State Fair of Texas are good any Thursday during the run of the Fair.

The program is for Kindergarten thru 12th grade beginning with 5 year olds - no PRE-K. We do not have a ticket program for children younger than 5 years.

The program is for families living within a 100 mile radius of the Fairground. Each family must submit individually to avoid duplicate requests. We do not accept requests from home school groups or associations.

Please submit your request on school letterhead, if you have it. If not, any paper/stationery is fine, just make sure to include your name and address. Include the ages and grade levels of each student. Requests without this information will be returned unfilled. We can send one teacher ticket per family. If you would like a teacher ticket, please include your request in the body of your letter. Include a daytime phone number where we can reach you in case you have left out any information. Include a business size stamped envelope.

Please DO NOT address the envelope in any way as we will print address labels. The envelope must be business size because of the length of the tickets. All requests must be POSTMARKED AND COMPLETE by the deadline date of Friday, May 25, 2012. Incomplete requests and requests arriving after this date will be returned unfilled.




PO BOX 150009

DALLAS, TX 75315

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Operation Wipe Down!

I have to clean house today!  I am ashamed to say that it is a DISASTER.  If I were to invite Merry Maids over, I would have to kick the stuff out of the way of the front door in order to open it.  If I were to have a police officer knock on the door, he would draw his gun upon entry, because I am sure he would think the place had been destroyed during a robbery.   If I were to have a medical emergency, there wouldn't be a place to put the stretcher!  I am so ashamed!

So, this morning we are cleaning house.  I am going to fix the mess and then swear to never let this happen again.
I am going to attempt to post my progress on our Facebook page!  Hop over there to join me, see pics of my progress, and maybe even post your own goals for the day!

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Remembering What's Important

It is a mistake, but I do it constantly. I look up threads on homeschool forums where parents are posting what they are doing for their child's school year. Parents, what am I saying? These aren't just parents. These are mutant, ninja, super parents. Parents that fit 4 math curriculums, Latin, 2 musical instruments, a formal art program, 2 hours worth of read alouds, creative writing classes, soccer, gymnastics, super fun crafts 3 times a week, play dates and all this on top of the "normal curriculum".

As homeschooling parents we tend to want to compete. Not just with the public school system but also with each other. We teeter on the edge of insecurity so we overcompensate by adding in so many supplements that we end up overloading our children and ourselves. More, more, more. Mustn't leave any "gaps". How will my child get into college if we don't do this and that. In the rush of trying to get it all in we forget why we started homeschooling to begin with. It is moments like these when I am grateful for friends who bring me back down to Earth. They remind me that while academics are important and extra curriculars are great, they are not the primary reason that we homeschool. Today, I remember that I do not need to be super mom.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Homeschool Statistics

Homeschool Domination
Created by: College At Home

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A Sunday at the Pediatric Clinic

This was a Facebook note I did a few years ago.  It is fun to use Facebook to record memories that I may have otherwise forgot.  :D  My kids are doing MUCH better from their recent health issues!

Rebekah has not been feeling well lately so I decide that I have reached the point I am no longer comfortable treating her with out the advice of her doctor. My pediatrician's office has a lovely walk in clinic on Saturdays and Sunday afternoons. With visions of swine flu dancing in my head, we go to the doctor's office. I arrive a half hour before the clinic opens to ensure I don't have to wait a long time.
There were 12 cars in the parking lot.
Mine made number 13. Everyone was waiting in their vehicles. I decide to stand by the door. 

So, maybe there were not this many people, but that is how it  felt.

I had a plan. Stand by the front door. The weather was nice and I could save gas from not idling. Then as soon as they open the door, take the stairs not the elevator. I may not be tall, but I have relatively long legs. Take full strides. Woo Hoo!
As soon as I get Bekah out of the car seat, everyone else in the parking lot read my mind. Some reach the door before me. There is a small crowd. At least 15 adults and as many children. We are standing in a semi cirle around the door. The atmosphere was not quite tense but, not quite laid back either.
A couple women start chatting. One has a two year old. She woke up with a cough. (She sound croupy to me. I wanted to tell her so in hopes she would go home and save those behind her from waiting.) Another had a 5 month old. He looked otherwise well, but his mother said he was up and crying off and on all night. He also ran a fever yesterday. A whole 99 degrees. Another had an older child, 7 or 8, this mother says to her daughter, "Don't stand or sit anywhere near those babies when we go inside." To offer an explanation to us, "I think she has THE flu. I work for a pharmacy." The mother of the 5 month old said she was scared of THE flu and wanted to make sure junior did not have it. The mother with the two year old nodded in agreement.
I wanted to say, "Well, my kid has green runny poop", and then point her at them like she was a weapon so they would let me in first. I held back.
The facade of niceness among the crowd ended as soon as the poor nurse opened the door. I was like the fourth one in. The race was ON!

Come on! Let's GO! GO! GO!
Three of us head for the stairs. Everyone else runs to the elevator. Two year old mom gets to the stairs first. I get there second. Five month old is close behind. The nurse who opened the door took the stairs and looked down at us from the second set and says, "You all can take the elevator." HA! We say we are fine. Two year old mom says she is worried about the germs and close quarters. Ummm yeah, me too....
Stair people get there first. Two year old mom still in front, she is practically running. Her kid is heavier than mine, I think I can get around her..... I move to the left, then five month old mom behind tries to come around..... I move back to the right.
I hear footsteps of parents and children coming from the elevator. We three in the front pick up our pace. We may as well be running instead of that goofy "I am walking really fast but yet trying to appear normal and not desperate walk" I ALWAYS power walk at the doctor's office :)
We reach the desk. I came in a very close second. I pick up the pen and hurridly write Bekah's name down as if the lady behind me was going to snatch the pen from me and jump in front.....
Sit down. In and out of that office in 40 minutes.

It was sooooo worth the race! 

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Project Post Card Part Deux

We did this about 2 years ago but thought it would be fun to do it again!

Project Postcard:

I am starting a new project with the girls and am hoping that some of you will be willing to help out! We are going to collect postcards from all of the 50 US States. As we collect the cards we will notebook about that state. The problem is that I don't know someone in all 50 states (depending on the response we might expand and try for post cards from all over the world!). Thats where you come in. If you are in a state other than Texas or know someone in a state other than Texas we would love to exchange post cards with you or your child! Here is what I am hoping for:

1. One postcard from each state

2. The cards dont have to be from children but if you have a child who can send it all the better

3. After getting your card in the mail my children will send a postcard back.

If you would like to send a postcard please email me at and I will send you the information you need.

I am going to mark off here as we get postcards from each state so you can see where we still need them from:


New Hampshire
 New Jersey
 New Mexico
 New York
North Carolina
 North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

We are not against getting more than one from a state so if you would like to swap post cards send one even if it is marked out! We are very excited to see where all we can get postcards from!

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Whole Grain Pancakes - A Taste Sensation

Recently, my cousin introduced me to freshly milled wheat.  It is very, very good.  Unfortunately, I do not have a mill, so I have to go to her house and mill the wheat, then take it home and put it in the freezer.  While I was there one morning, I had the opportunity to observe her making breakfast.  She had soaked her grains in her blender overnight.  She simply turned the blender on and added eggs and I am assuming some type of leavening agent and salt. I am not sure about that last part, as I was not watching because I am sure that I was trying not to blow up her mill at this point.  Anyway, I have not gotten this down to perfect measurements yet, so this is not a beginner recipe but if you know anything about making from scratch pancakes, you will be able to figure it out.

So, these are the pancakes from Heaven.  I know, I will never be hired as a food photographer.
Take a cup or so of soft pastry wheat berries and put in a good quality blender or food processor.  Pour in an equal amount milk.  Go to bed. Sleep (hopefully 8 hours). Wake up. Turn on blender. Add a teaspoon and a half of baking soda, a teaspoon of salt, and 3 tbsp of rapadura or organic sugar and 2 eggs. Throw in a bit of vanilla and more milk to make a smooth pancake batter.  Pour about a fourth of a cup full on a hot, oiled skillet or griddle and cook until edges are dry, flip pancake and cook until done.  Serve with syrup, jelly, honey or whatever floats your boat.

I did this this morning. I promise I was in pancake heaven.  I tried to explain to Anna how good they were when we were video chatting this morning.  She doesn't like pancakes or other yummy breads like that because she doesn't like "soggy bread".  I know, she is weird, but she agreed to live vicariously through me.  So, I will let her tell you how good it was:

"The first bite of anything is always the best bite. Especially, when you are not entirely sure of what you are getting and even more so when expectations have been built up and they actually deliver. I had stepped briefly away to tend to a child, so Jessica had already taken that initial first bite. Immediately apon my return she sighed into the computer "Anna, these are the best pancakes I have ever eaten". This is where my vicarious experience begins. Suddenly, I am transported there, to her breakfast table (or her recliner as it is also known as), and I begin to experience pancakes like never before. As Jessica takes each bite and her pupils dialate and her facial muscles relax into what can only be described as, a look of euphoria, I begin to question my stance on certain bread products. The rich, nutty flavor of freshly ground wheat grain, baking soda, and other ingredients elicit moans of "mmmmmmm" over and over again until finally Jessica is left on her chair with the look of something between complete bliss and deliriousness. Then I wish I had experienced the first bite. Never have I vicariously experienced pancakes as good as these."

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Victories Come in All Shapes and Sizes

It is 3 AM.  I am a mommy sandwich.  I would say I was "nestled" between my two youngest daughters, but that would imply that I am comfortable, which I am not.  That is why I am up, typing a blog post at 3:30 in the morning, rather than sleeping.  It no longer is about finding my inner brilliance or wanting to see how my mind works at certain hours and has everything to do with the fact that I am awake, a state that I don't wish for at this hour.

It is quiet, now that all the crying has stopped, and I have found myself recounting the past few days.  There has been trouble at the ranch y'all.  (Although, I believe it unnecessary, I put that apostrophe after that y in y'all, to halfway attempt to please all you spelling and grammar purists, of which I am not at 3 AM, even though, yall is a real word, apostrophe or no, in the state of Tennessee.)<-----That was a lot of commas; who wants to dissect that sentence?

Anyway, as I mentioned in my 1 AM post not too long ago (if it turns up hyperlinked, it will be because Anna was smart enough and had the wherewithal to do it -ha!)we have had some trouble. So much so, if you recall, my dh sent in an offering to the church, with our credit card.  We have had some surgery, sickness and such over the past couple weeks, beginning with the, ahh, "noodling" of my dog. Then my seven year old daughter had the tonsillectomy, my three year old daughter had the respiratory turned ear infection that resulted in a slight rupture of her eardrum, my six year old son got a couple of teeth capped and now one is infected and he is on the schedule for a root canal next week.   Now my handicapped brother that I take care of is sick, too.  Like I said, there is trouble. My dh may want to considered burning a tenth of our food storage on an alter somewhere.  *ahem*

It is hard to find victory during these times. You have to be looking for it. I am fixing to get waaay personal.

My 12 year old just got past her second period, ever.  It was the period from hell.  It finally gave way to the attitude from the same location.  My oldest child has not been without her difficulties.  She has severe ADHD and sometimes I am sure she lays awake at night wondering which one of my buttons is she going to toy with tomorrow.  Medication helps.  In fact, I am going to take this moment to thank Leandro Painizzon, the chemist who discovered and named Ritalin. Thank you sir, I am forever grateful, and I hope your wife enjoys having a drug named after her.  My daughter came out of a desperate situation when she was given to me at the age of five.  She missed the normalcy of life as a 5 year old, never knowing when dinner was, whether or not the electricity was going to be on or if she was going to be warm at night.  She experienced times that she was not safe in her own home, even though the man she called daddy was right there.  That really has hurt her in a lot of different ways and the impact is long lasting and presents a multitude of challenges for her and us.

Last night, a friend brought us dinner and entertained me for a bit, and asked what else could she do to help.  I told her that I did not know, that I was just really overwhelmed.  She lovingly pointed to my 12 year old and asserted, "Make that one help you." My husband sat across from me, vigorously nodding his assent.  They don't understand that making her help me would overwhelm me to the point that I would just be run over.  Making her do anything can be an arduous process, not because she doesn't want to help, but because her version of help and mine, would be really different. Her version of help includes cooking whatever concoction she comes up with and leaving the mess. Trying to get her to clean up the mess would take over an hour *IF* I consistently followed up.  Her version of help would be to go clean my room, helping herself to my jewelry and makeup along the way, until she forgot why she was even in my room to begin with.

Having her help is hard and takes a lot of work on my part.  Sometimes, she is the most helpful when she is quietly watching a movie or reading a book.

I know none of that sounds like victory.  A 12 year old girl that is not a lot of help to her family?!  It sounds like someone (me) really dropped that child training ball, sounds like no one cared enough to teach her things, or cared enough to be consistent with her.  None of that is true by the way, but I do know how it sounds, and have felt the judgement and disappointment of others who have not walked in my Asics GT 2160's.

But, when you stop and get to know us and her, and you know where she has been and where we have been, you can recognize the victory.  The victory starts with her being here, a very much loved part of our family.  The victory is that she can read now. The victory is that she is learning to ask for help and trusts that she can and will get it. The victory is that she is safe and can sleep at night.  The victory is that she can turn on the TV, the light switch, and the faucet and there will be electricity and water.  The victory is that she now will do what she is told more often than she doesn't. The victory is that she has found that truthfulness is better than the lie.

As God allows time, maturity, and hard work continue, I know that my child will find more victories, she will continue to make progress and grow into a young woman of grace.  I may not be the one who teaches her how to menu plan, julienne, mend a garment, to be proactive when it concerns helping around the house,or maybe I will,  but hopefully, with God's grace, I will teach her what she needs to know in order to be taught those things.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

When it Rains You Need to Alternate Tylenol and Motrin...

Normally, inspiration for blog posts hit during the most inopportune times.  Like when I am sailing down the interstate at 75 miles an hour with 4 kids in the backseat or when I am in the shower or in the middle of the night when I wake up to pee (You don't?!).  It comes as an entire post, a sentence fragment, or just an idea.  Luckily for you, but not for me, I happen to be up at 1 AM, with a laptop handy, so you get to see how my mind works in the middle of the night - and frankly, so do I, since I forget what I thought of most of the time.  I remain convinced, however, that if I could just retain my thoughts long enough to actually put them on paper or computer screem, that I may prove to be secretly brilliant.

Last week, I had our 1 year old Labrador neutered.  He took it pretty dang hard.  The first night he whined and cried and carried on until I was forced out of my bed to hunt down the doggie downers.  I resisted taking one and instead, put it in a piece of cheese and tricked poor Brown Dog into thinking I was *that nice* to give him a yummy 3 AM snack.  After the big fake out, I commanded him to go to bed, and threw yet another piece of cheese (this one was not laced) into the kennel, and shut the door on his sad, confused self.  Then I went back to bed where I slept for another 3 glorious hours.  The best thing about having him neutered was the response from my six year old son after I explained to him about "what happened" to Brown Dog.  He looked at me, kinda greenish, and said, "I think I am going to throw up." Oh and my 7 year old daughter has been telling everyone that comes in the house to "be gentle with Brown Dog, he got noodled." HAHA!  Ok, so that was two things.  If you haven't, you really should "noodle" your dog or cat, the kids are hysterical.

Shortly after that, my 6 year old son had caps put on a couple of his teeth.  My dh enjoyed telling half the church population that, "Brown dog got snipped and my kid got capped." Nice, I know.  I love him anyway.
Then, a couple days later, my 7 year old had to see her pediatrician.  She was complaining about neck pain.  Somehow or another, we left with an appointment to see an ENT, which resulted in her being scheduled for a tonsilectomy and an adenoidectomy.  While waiting for that day to arrive, my 3 year old got a cough a high fever.  One trip to the doctor later left us with a child diagnosed with a respitory infection.  That night, as I was kissing and hugging all my babies before bedtime, I noticed, my son's face was swollen on one side and his lips were lopsided.  That required a trip to the dentist first thing the next morning.  One of the teeth that were capped were infected and now we have and antibiotic and a root canal scheduled for him next week.

My husband decided that maybe we should have tithed off that income tax return and charged it to our credit card. I find that hysterical at 1 AM in the morning. HAHA!

Onward forward to the day of my daughter's surgery.  She did good. She is in a lot of pain but otherwise doing well.  My son now has a migraine and my baby woke me up at 1 AM crying. Her ear hurts. Boo. I know what that means, her respitory infection has turned into an ear infection.

It seems when it rains, sometimes it pours, and it is hard to see the blessings in life.  I want to go bang my head on a wall, repeatedly, until this is all a fuzzy memory.  But, instead, I am also remembering how hard it was a year ago to find anyone to care for my girls when my son was sick. This time around, a bunch of new friends later, I had no less than 3 offers of childcare, and someone even brought us dinner tonight.  I did not have to worry about what I was going to do with kids or what I was going to do for dinner and that was a huge blessing indeed! 

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

The "Good Enough" Homeschool Mom

"Let all things be done decently and in order." I Corinthians 14:40

I must have read a zillion articles about putting away your "inner perfectionist". One of Fly Lady's main ideas is to let go of perfectionism and we see posts all the time about making sure that we don't to be everything to all people. But what of those who don't suffer from this "inner perfectionist"? What if we struggle with the opposite? What if, *ducking now*, what we actually struggle with is quite the opposite? What if we struggle with "inner that's good enough"? Or as some may call it, laziness?

I am pointing the finger at myself. When I see posts about slowing down, about letting the house be good enough, or about not stressing when things aren't perfect, I snicker. Sometimes I am even guilty of poking a bit of good natured fun at anyone who would spend all day scrubbing floors or the mom that never lets her child go outside without fixed hair. That just isn't me. And that is ok! What is not ok, is for those of us not blessed (or cursed) with this inner perfectionist, to let our homes become places of chaos which often leads to a feeling of self-pity as we "fail" to measure up. Here are a few tips from this "good enough" homeschooling mom:

1. Have a basic plan of attack. It doesn't have to be super detailed. In fact that will probably be another "failure" to your name as some of us are just not built for detailed plans! I have reviewed just about every type of schedule and the one that works best for me is the very basic one. I write down each room and I put how long I want to work in those rooms. Most of the time it is 15 minutes. On some days its 30 if I need to mop or do any other deep cleaning. Be sure to meal plan as part of your plan of attack! I also suggest at least one time a week cooking a double meal and freezing the second one. This will give you some easy on days where things don't go quite to plan.

2. Don't be an overachiever. I want my house to look great when my husband comes home, but if I try to be an overachieving house wife I usually end up either ignoring my children while I clean or running around doing bits and pieces without actually accomplishing anything! I went through a stage during our transition to real food where I wanted all of our snacks to be fresh, from scratch, homemade by me. That worked once. Find places where you can bend and then BEND. I don't make my own fruit leather. I buy it from Amazon and I feel no guilt about doing so. That goes for most of our other snacks as well!

3. Prioritize. Ask your husband what areas he finds most important. If it is the bathrooms, then put that at the top and bottom of your list (so that most of the work is done in the morning and you can touch it up in the evening before he gets home). After your husband's priorities, write yours. I like to do the top 3 for each person. If nothing else gets done, try to do the top 3. This goes for schooling the kids too. Do your kids do better in the morning or in the afternoon? Do you start strong and then fizzle? Write down your school priorities and work from the top down.

4. Purge. The less stuff that is shoved into a house the easier it is to clean. It's just a simple fact. This also goes for activities. If you have co-op on Monday, dance on Tuesday, baseball on Wednesday, a play date on Thursday, and you volunteer on Friday's it is no wonder you can't get anything done! Purge activities as well as possessions.

5. It's ok to have "off" days. There will be days when the kids are sick, when errands have to be run or when the day just doesn't work with you. That is ok! When you have a plan on your "normal" days things on bad days won't be nearly as stressful. This is the day to pull out one of those freezer meals we talked about!
6. Sometimes it is ok for things to be good enough but don't give into idleness. Sometimes things just can't get done, but be sure that you are prayerfully considering the order of your day. We do not (and cannot) be perfect, but we are not to be idle or lazy either. Be sure that whatever your hands and your heart are doing, that they are glorifying God.

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Spring and Easter Activities

Time to get busy on some Spring activities like the recycled flowerpots pictured above! Here is a list of fun unit studies and art projects great for all ages!

Here is a neat craft and science project all in one! Dye carnations by putting cut flowers into colored water for a fun spring bouquet!

Remember how fun it was to blow the middle out of an egg? Well here is a neat way to use up those egg shells by making a bird you can hang and let "fly"!

Got younger ones? How about reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar and then making this paper inch worm!

What's one of the best things about spring returning? The birds are returning too! This easy bird feeder is great for kids of all ages and can also double as science!

Toysmith Solar Print Kit #4062 is another great way to incorporate science and fun! Use peices of nature and the power of the sun to create works of art!

This popcorn tree is the perfect pre-school project and is yummy too!

Suncatchers are always a hit in our house. Just use some tissue paper and contact paper to make a beautiful suncatcher!

My older kids at co-op love doing origami. Here is an origami basket.

Th fun project for teens, artistic inchies, can be displayed on the wall. offers a number of easter notebooks and lapbooking kits.

If you have any fun craft ideas for the spring please feel free to post!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent - An Honest Review

Laundry soap is expensive but oh so necessary.  When I heard about homemade soap, I was my usual skeptical self.  I mean, really, I have 4 kids whose favorite thing is getting as dirty as humanly possible!  It is a wonder they come clean with store bought detergent!  With my doubt in mind, I decided to give it a go.  I followed the instructions pretty closely.  Here is the recipe:
Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap
4  Cups - hot tap water
1  Bar of Fels-Naptha
1 Cup 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. Put melted soap mixture, washing soda, and borax into a 10 gallon bucket.  Add hot tap water to fill bucket.  Stir until dissolved. Let sit overnight. The mixture will turn into this clumpy gel looking stuff.  
Use 1/2 cup for top load machines and 1/4 cup for front loaders.
Now for the review:
It was a pain in the behind to grate the soap.  I did not want to spend the money on the Fels Naptha, and my baby is allergic to Ivory (another substitution), so I used a couple of bars of Johnson’s Buddies LOL.   When I was melting the soap, it tried to stick to the pot I was using.  That kinda shocked me a bit. Who knew that soap sticks!  That weirded me out to a whole new level of weird. You use soap to clean stuck on stuff.

Anyway, the ingredients were very inexpensive, less than 10 bucks for everything. I have a LOT of wasing soda and borax left over.  I did not have two 5 gallon buckets so I just made one and figured I would use half the amount in the wash.  To get the clothes clean enough for me, I ended up using 1/2 cup in my front loader.  You do need to pretreat things like ketchup, chocolate, coffee, and heavily soiled places (This means some items pretty much needed to be completely dipped in a vat of Shout).  Other than that, it works well!  The clothes smell clean.  I have a bedwetter in my house and those sheets came out smelling fresh and clean, I did use a dryer sheet as well.  Overall, even when I think about the cost of using a stain spray and doubling the recommended amount of detergent, it is still FAR less than other detergents.  I am going to play with this a bit.  I think I am going to use a bit more washing soda in the next batch.  I am also going to use my food processor to grate the soap and will probably NOT use Johnson's Buddies.
So I give it 5 stars for the savings, 3 stars for “on its own” cleaning, and 4 stars for cleaning when combined with a stain remover spray.
Do you use homemade laundry detergent? If so, what recipe?

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