He fills the longing soul with good things. Ps. 107:9



Mother's Day

May 8, 2011

David and his dad did the dishes!!

After dinner, we all went over to Wesley Manor to visit Mimi (David's Grandma Fry)

So glad the kids have been privileged to know their great grandmas!

Corin - chillaxin on the floor while we talked

Grandpa Fry - taking his Sunday afternoon Mother's Day nap in his chair at Wesley Manor! Or...maybe he's playing with his SmartPhone...?

At home, the kids had love and surprises planned for me.  One of my surprises was a puppet show written and designed by them!

It was a happy Mother's Day and I'm a happy mamma.

Corin + Mud Puddles = HAPPINESS

"Always jump in the puddles!  
Always skip alongside the flowers.  
The only fights worth fighting 
are the pillow and food varieties." 
~Terri Guillemets

Boy, n.:  a noise with dirt on it.  
~Not Your Average Dictionary

There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child.  There are seven million.  
~Walt Streightiff 

When I grow up I want to be a little boy.  
~Joseph Heller, Something Happened, 1974

Children have neither past nor future; 
they enjoy the present, which very few of us do.  
~Jean de la Bruyere


Rachel's New Baby!

(Yay!  I'm blogging May Pictures already!  And to think it's not even July yet.)

May 1, 2011

After our half marathon in Louisville, we went back to my folks' house in Cincy to spend Sunday together.  Well...My dear old friend Rachel (McIntyre) Bender cooperated quite well and had her fourth baby (1st girl!) on Sunday morning.

So I got to go hold baby Leah before heading home to Frankfort.  Rachel and I have been friends since 5th grade.

 We've been through a lot together...puberty, boys, broken hearts, confusing years, college, first pastorates, living in the South, and NOW...having 4 babies each!

As they say, old friends are gold.

Love you, Rachel.

Derby Half Marathon - April 30

 Our first half marathon (13.1 miles) was the weekend after IHC.  On Friday, we loaded up the kids and drove to Louisville for the Derby Festival Half.

The night before a long distance race, runners have a bizarre practice called "Carb-loading."  This helps your body store up valuable glycogen, which is running fuel for your muscles.  The downtown Old Spaghetti factory was packed with carb-loaders.

Before and after the running expo (where we picked up our race packets, shirts and bibs) we enjoyed walking around downtown Louisville, seeing the sights.
And we stopped for some of our own carbo-loading.  Our normally jolly Corin-boy was cRAnKy!
Kayla and her almost-"singing in the rain" moment, a la Gene Kelly.

Mom and Rachelle drove to Louisville to be with us.  We  had a separate room for them and the kids so that David and I could get a great night of sleep and not wake the kids up when we got up well before dawn for the race.  Our bibs and running gear were laid out, ready to go.  And we slept great!

 The race was incredible.  My  most miserable time of running is usually the first mile or two.  But the feeling at this race was so fun & relaxed, I don't even remember feeling that warm-up time.  We started way in the back, so it was a blast.  The people up front tend to be a lot more intense (obviously).  We didn't have a time goal, so we enjoyed starting in the back where people wore costumes and signs and happy smiles instead of compression socks and GU's and scowls.  And the fact that we passed people the whole 13 miles was kinda fun, too.

We enjoyed the route through downtown Louisville.  It's absolutely amazing how much energy you get from the crowds cheering from the sides of the streets.  I felt like I was on a high the whole time.  We even got to run a lap around the inside of  Churchill Downs..just days before the Kentucky Derby!  I wished I had a hat.  And then...the finish line! And Cheering!  And Medals!

  This race was sponsored by Walmart, so the post-race goodies are plentiful.  It is extremely important to feed your muscles right after a race so they will rebuild well.  Free chocolate milk, bagels, bananas and more abound!  AND we got free massages.  So yeah.  It was a pretty awesome time.

We let the kids do a few fun things at the after- race party.

Corin needs to work on his contentment level.  He was not happy with his allotted number of rides. : )

I just absolutely love this sight.  The silver things are disposable warm-up blankets runners use before and after races to keep from chilling and keep their muscles warm.
See the stacks of Powerade and boxes and boxes of bananas?

We knew this experience was going to be hard to beat.  It was an absolute blast.


Random April Pics of the Kids

Not sure why, but Corin's cuteness just gets me everytime he drinks out of his cereal bowl.

This was before Daddy started chopping all his hair off

Caiden has been saving his chore money for a LONG time to buy some costumes.  This was his reaction when I handed him his "save" envelope and told him he had enough and we were headed to the store!

At Walmart, picking out his stuff with his OWN money!  It was awesome.

Looks like maybe he was telling me how to take the picture.

Corin was FURIOUS when I first put this outfit on him.  He wanted the shorts to go all the way down, and kept trying to pull them down to his feet.

4-year-old Heartbreaker


April Home Projects - Homemade Laundry Soap!

Whereas the sprouted bread recipe may never become a staple around here, I believe that homeade laundry soap is here for GOOD!  Where have you BEEN the last 10 years of my homemaking career?
I guess I'd always thought it would take too long or not work well or maybe I just didn't give it much thought at all.  But I tried it, love it, and now my clothes are happy and my budget is happy!

It is unbelievably inexpensive to make.  My mother-in-law bought the ingredients, shared her first batch with me and got me started.  She found all of the ingredients at Rural King, and I think she said she got it all for under $10.00...and it is enough for multiple batches (I get about 7 gallons each batch)!  I'm almost ready to go back and restock, so I'll have a better idea of what the exact cost is then.  We have been splitting the batches since it makes so much.

Grate the bar and melt it on stove...

Stir it in a bucket with water and powdered ingredients...
Let it sit overnight

Pour into jugs and add water.  IT IS REALLY THAT SIMPLE!!

Here is the original recipe copied directly from Jo Walker Dahler.  I know there are lots of recipes out there, but I'm happy with this one for now!

Jo's Recipe:
"Tips for laundry soap: We use Fels-Napatha bar soap in the homemade soap recipes, but you can use Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castile or Zote bars. Don't use heavily perfumed soaps. We buy Fels-Naptha by the case from our local grocer or online. Washing Soda and Borax can normally be found on the laundry or cleaning aisle. Recipe cost approx. $2. Yields 10 gallons.

4 Cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup Washing Soda (this is not baking soda)
1/2 Cup Borax
(easier if you have a funnel on hand)

Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water.

Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well untill all powder is dissolved.

Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with the soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has co-led.
Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil

Yield:  Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

Top Load Machine-5/8 cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
Front Load Machine-1/4 cup per load (Approx 640 loads)

Tip:  I went to Walmart bakery and asked for a 5 gallon bucket. They just gave me one (their white icing comes in 5 gallon buckets. I had to wash it, but....who cares...it was free)

I think I get the fels-naptha from Marsh. The soda and borax, I think I got at Meijers. Walmart probably carries it too.

This is very easy to make. I just use milk jugs, juice jugs, whatever gallon jugs I could get with lids. Save up 10 before you start.
It really does gel, so when I make mine, I don't fill it to the top when I'm making it. As I open a new one. I shake it up well (or have
Craig do it for me) and want to have "head space" in the jug to shake with. Then I fill it to the top before I use the new jug."

A few of my own notes:  
  1. I do not get 10 gallons out of this.  Maybe I don't fill the 5-gallon bucket up enough.  
  2. I like my soap strong, and have a double load washing machine,  so I use 2 full cups per load and I love the results.  
  3. One batch I got mixed up and put the powdered ingredients in the pan when I melted the grated soap.  I was not as happy with the results...it seemed clumpier.  
  4. I love the smell!  Very fresh and soft and clean and natural.  And I have even stopped using liquid softener (more $$$ saved!).  
  5. Oh.....and I use my mother-in-law's big red (clean) oil funnel.  It really helps to have a big funnel opening when you pour the soap from the 5-gallon bucket into the tiny jug holes.  Don't push the funnel down in tight to the jug, or the air seal doesn't let the soap funnel through quickly.  Lift the funnel just slightly and use a butter knife if any thicker detergent gets stuck.  Definitely a two-person job!  My kids love it.

April Home Projects - Sprouted Bread

In April I tried some new home projects.  Sometimes when you try new things, you win some, you lose some.  I had been having some stomach issues and my natural health practitioner told me I wasn't dealing with wheat well, but I tested okay for sprouted wheat (like Ezekiel 4:9 bread).

Ezekiel 4:9., "Take also unto thee Wheat, and Barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and Spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make bread of it..."

Sprouted wheat has been soaked as berries until little green sprouts pop out.  Then you bake your goods as usual and the wheat becomes a green "vegetable-like" food that is processed much easier by your body.  I love Ezekiel 4:9 bread, which is one of the most nutritious mixtures of grains you can feed your body. Healthy grains are a power house of nutrition.  Some of you have heard my mom tell the story of Elijah's depression from a nutrition teacher's perspective.....sleep, water, healthy grains.  Repeat.  It's powerful knowledge.  There are incredible B vitamins which bolster our nerves and I could go on and on. 

Anyway, I wanted to experiment with making sprouted bread myself.  So David bought me a 25-pound bag of wheat and I started experimenting. The sprouting part is easy.  But grinding the sprouted wheat is pretty intense.  I tried several machines before finally borrowing a food processor powerful enough to handle the heavy, sticky dough.  All in all, the recipe I used was simply gross.  The bread was too moist and has a strange flavor.  But I haven't totally given up.  I still plan to sprout some more and try a sprouted recipe for banana bread.  My family loves quickbreads, and it's one of the coolest ways to sneak in heavy flour, extra pureed vegetables, and even things like wheat germ and flaxseed meal.   They usually call for a lot of fat, but I like to substitute unsweetened applesauce.  And you can usually substitute at least part of the white sugar with pure maple syrup, agave, or some other natural sweetener.

My bag of wheat makes me happy.  Does that mean I need to get out more?

Why is this so beautiful?

See those little powerful sprouts?

Magic Bullet's awesome for smoothies.  Sprouted wheat?  Not so much.  Oh well.  I had to give it a try.

Oh my....I forgot how many steps there were to this until I looked back through my pictures!
Why is kneading bread so therapeutic?  Maybe I should just invest in some new playdoh.

I realize the whole wheat conversation is very extensive, and for some, very passionate. I am not - nor do I intend to be at this point - wheat free.   I have rye flour to try, and I'm open to trying spelt flour and I've tried gluten-free as well.  But my goal for this now is really just to experiment with the sprouted, and if I do find a recipe we love, building it in to my routine so that it isn't a huge task.  And if it doesn't happen - no big deal.  My baby is eating a piece of toasted Ezekiel 4:9 cinnamon raisin sprouted bread right now that I bought in the freezer section of my favorite grocery.  So life is good.

P.S.  Corin just came into the kitchen wanting another piece of toast.  (I just love it - begging for some of the best nutrition he could have!)  I couldn't believe he finished his first slice so quickly.  I wondered if he may have deposited it somewhere throughout the house (they're really not allowed to have food in any room but the kitchen, but I was - well - busy blogging.)  After a trip around our small house calling "Here, toasty-toasty!"  no toast showed up, so I guess he scarfed it down!  He's currently eating the center out of slice #2.

PS #2:  Lest I sound like a total health weirdo, we are very  normal.  We love Doritos and Oreos.   But that reminds me!!  I found all-natural Dorito-tasting tortilla chips (Kroger healthy living section) and we absolutely LOVE Paul Newman's organic oreos. They're called Newman-O's.  We don't get them very often. They're very expensive!  Come to think of it, though, who wants to be normal?

PS #3: There are so many layers to nutrition.  I'm feeling another big conversation coming on.  I want to blog sometime about the search for your individual family's healthy, sustainable balance.....

PS #4:  It's a pretty good sign I need to be writing/blogging more when I do a silly little blog and end up wanting to write and write and can't find a place to stop. 

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