Friday, September 25, 2009

Living large in a little space. 800 squ.ft family going on 7

I haven't written in so long and I really do want to put more here on my blog but being blessed with 4 little ones who are still small and pregnant tired and sick does cause a bit of a motivational obstacle. I however am feeling motivated due to encouraging someone who was discouraged about there small home, which was much bigger then ours. I think we've done pretty good learning to live and be content and happy in our current home. It wasn't always this way. There was a time that this 800 sq ft seemed it would drive me to insanity. that's before I learned to think outside the box. Or maybe more accurately figured out just how much is hiding inside that box.
Let me give you a little tour of our Haven and home. It is in no way conventional, but in every way it works. Almost, something needs to be tweaked with the bathroom situation there was a time where we had no other option but to put a toddler to pea in the bathroom sink while an older brother pead down the tub drain because someone else was doing something else in the big toilet. So that's a little gross and only happened once but even then there is bleach and I've learned how to use it. Certainly this situation isn't ideal but it is not a crisis.
When you enter our homes on most day you will be greeted by the smell of dinner in the crock pot as I do not have an oven, I have two burners and a mini fridge. I have learned that many things people refrigerate don't have to be. Potatoes, onions, apples, garlic, some things can last a couple days oranges, carrots, celery, grapefruits, raisins, green and red peepers, tomatoes. So when you look at our kitchen you will see many baskets and really I think the affect is quite charming. Walking in our front door you walk right where we sleep, there is a toddler mattress propped against the wall for evening time when we lay it down where our 2yr. old Shepherd sleeps with us. We have two little tuck away spaces in our small sleeping area for when older children have bad dreams. One is under the large entertainment center we have taken the doors off and it stays bare the other is on top of a end table turned sitting bench we added cushion. This area was once the entrance way to a downstairs. There is a big arch and one step into the rest of our space. When you step down this step you see empty space with large gymnastic mats. Two drawers of whole made blocks and one small box of toys. In the window sill two cardboard boxes with school activity learning books, a small toy box with dress up clothes, and one large clset full of all children s church clothes and extra toys in plastic containers. Things like legos, magnetic alphabet pieces... After that you find a fold up recline chair with a massage pad for Papa. against the farthest end of our house you will see an L shaped counter top witch my husband built a frame for. We use this for both the adult and children s computer. It is also our table there where a few other matching pieces that were salvaged and he made legs for them also. The bigger one slides under the main L counter and is pulled out when needed. Every meal, for craft time or devotions... in the corner is my mini kitchen a tall bar with a few cupboards. My little fridge the shelve above it my husband built. Our bahtroom which is also our clothes closet and stores the family dressers. We have painted in a wall of chalk board for school and a chalk board inside of the clothes closet. we are about to add another that will also be magnetic. The children s bedroom is 7 ft. by 10 ft. it is only a partial wall and holds a set of bunk beds and a play house with a bed on top where our son sleeps. The open wall has a large book shelf. Our 3 oldest sleep in this room together. Our 3 yr. old daughter is afraid to sleep alone so both girls sleep in the top bunk, so moving Shepherd into the big kids room shouldn't be to hard. The bottom bunk is empty. Then the new baby will take over the toddler mattress. After that we may have to look into building a loft. I'm truly hoping by then we will be in a new home but if not....

Saturday, May 9, 2009

This is my beautiful Mother, with two of our children! She didn't try to make herself the ceter of our universe she pointed us towards Jesus. When it came time to give us wings and let us go she did. She watched us leave the nest and bravely held back tears. She didn't beg us to stay close when she knew God had called us far. She was a single Mother and she gave up ALL of her dreams for ours to come true! She is a true Christian. Happy Mothers Day Mother, I love you!
We live so far apart however: It is better to have a mother far in distance but close in heart then a mother close in distance but far in heart.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Starting the day with prayer makes all the difference in the world!

Today was a good day not nessasarily because something huge happened, but because there was just a good solid rythm to it. God given of course! Starting the day with prayer always helps, it doesn't matter that it may be really short like 7 min. it's something and it's what I can give right now. My Mother taught me the importance of prayer as a little girl. She was a single Mother and would drag my brother and I to prayer every morning for an hour before school and sometimes after school for another hour. She taught us how deserately we needed God. She taught us who God was and to have a real relationship with him. I told my Mom how frustrated I was about the lack of prayer time in my life now. She told me to do what I could and don't be so hard on myself. So for now with 4 under the age of 6 we pray for 7 min. we pray at bedtime and sometimes I pray in the shower. God is good and perhapse I can pray more, but for now I will pray at least for these times and stop looking for long uninterupted time so I can start!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Apple cider vinegar gets rid of headlice!!

I couldn't really think of anything worth blogging on that is simple enough to post in the small time I have to do so. I guess my purpose of this blog is multiple and it seems to change in my mind. I do know I want it to be a place where I can share the little that I have learned and do learn with anyone who would like to know. So I thought most people do not know how well apple cider vinegar works for head lice. Thankfully we have not yet had to deal with this with our 4 young children but growing up in a lower income community and doing bus ministry in an inner city I had to deal with it a lot. I was able to share what my Mother had learned. The medicine doesn't always work even after washing and spraying everything and bagging the rest. Kerosene doesn't work, oil doesn't work, and many other natural things did not work for us or our neighbors. But my lovely Mother is a student of anything from the prairie days or old times. In any culture she devours old autobiographies and when they are good she tries it and shares the results and the knowledge with me. While reading one of these books she came across using apple cider vinegar for head lice. I can't believe it is so unheard of. It works so well!!! Perhaps it is too simple and people just can't believe after everything they've gone through all they really needed was the jar of apple cider vinegar.
What you need to do:First if you have long hair you should pull it into a ponytail and braid that.Then you wet your hair very slightly (It shouldn't be dripping) After that, pour in enough of the vinegar to saturate it. (Try not to get excess on your skin it will itch)Leave it on for about an hour or more if it seems to be stubborn lice.Last, wash it out. You don't need to treat anything else in your house.You don't need the nit comb....Repeat the whole process 2 weeks later to be sure if you want, I never did.Apple cider vinegar is good for you and your hair.
The way it works: It makes the eggs fall off of the hair it strips there sticky stuff (-=It suffocates the adults.
I hope that someone has found this helpful it really works!!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A poor mans medicinals

Okay so I was wondering what it was that I did today when my husband came home for lunch and asked. When he left I thought about it and realized today I was the family doctor. Besides the normal things I do, such as Homeschooling, making meals from scratch, taking care of all our animals. There are 7 big chickens in the coop, 5 baby chicks that need special care also one rabbit and one cat, also tending to my garden and doing all the other things that I do. So I decided I would like to share with you how to make some basic medicines cheaply. The children caught a cold. They all have runny noses and so the first recipe is for a basic cough medicine.

Basic cough medicine:
Take one whole onion and chop it as fine as you can. Then pour in just enough honey to cover the onion. You need to let the mixture sit for a good 12 hrs for it to work well. Then take about a teaspoon, 3 times a day. More or less is fine.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember babies under 1 should not have honey, so this is not for small babies. It is however, very easy to make and use. I wish I had thought about blogging it as I made it, so I could have taken step by step pictures. We didn't have a lot growing up and my Mom used what she could. This is what she made for us.
My personal ear infection mix:
My next problem came about as a result of the cold. My youngest woke up with an ear ache pulling at his ear, so I went out to the garden, got some oregano, came back in got a clove of garlic and olive oil to make the next medicinal for an earache.
Cut the oregano in strips. Cut the garlic in slices. Put in enough olive oil to cover both and warm just a bit warmer than room temperature. This is going in the ear and should just be comfortably warm. If it is a nice day you may even want to let the sun warm it for you. This mixture works so well and is my own compilation. The first ingredient is warm olive oil. My Grandmother Rose told me this is what they used when she was young. Next my friend Maribel who is of Nicaraguan decent told me they use fresh oregano. Finally my friend Renada who is from Chekslovakia told me they use a clove of garlic. When my precious 6 1/2yr. old son had an ear infection about 1 1/2 yrs ago I didn't want to take any chances and mixed all three with immediate results. However, if you only have one item, use that. You are only going to be putting clear oil into the ear with a dropper, not any of the pieces of herbs. That is why it is not necessary to cut them too small. If you do not have the oil, warm what you have in a small amount of water, again remembering you don't want to put any pieces in the ear. Just drop the mixture in the ear and don't worry if it comes back out. I couldn't find the dropper and had to use a Q-tip. A dropper is much better!!!

My final medicinal for ring worm:
For ring worm by the eye: My daughter got ring worm right by her eye around the tear duct. Going to the doctor without insurance is expensive and I hate to say it, but where I am we lack a really good doctor and we've never obtained much help when we've gone. So I set about trying to study what to use that would be safe for her by the eye. Now I know most of you will not have neem available to you but I am blessed with a neem tree in our back yard. I would be willing to sell it to you in small quantities if you are interested, available in dry powder or leaf form. I'm not looking to start a business but would appreciate compensation for my time and effort.
I studied and found a few things that seem to be listed often for treating ring worm. The first item was sea salt which is readily available at the grocery store. The idea is that it helps dry out the ring worm which is a fungus and must stay damp to live. The second item I chose to incorporate was apple cider vinegar. I knew that my mother used it VERY deluded as an eye rinse for pink eye, so I thought this would be a good option. Lastly, the neem is known for many things, one of them being it is anti fungal. Neem is safe for all ages internally so I figured it was safe externally also. I mixed the three ingredients with water to dilute the vinegar. (9 parts water to 1 part vinegar) Then I smashed in dried neem leaves. I took the mixture and set it out to sun. I began to use this on my daughter and it is working beautifully. It does not work as quickly as many things mind you, it is slow. The ring worm is now barely visible. At one point it looked dark and scary because of it's location. My mother cautioned me to continue use even after the ring worm is no longer visible. It is a condition that penetrates down a few layers and may still be there lingering out of sight. You must not wash ring worm. It needs to dry out and wetting it restrengthens it. I made more today because I ran out. If the ring worm is anywhere else you may simply coat it with clear fingernail polish. Apply a fresh coat daily over the old coat. This will suffocate it. This is what I did with my medicine cabinet today. Perhaps you found something useful!

Monday, April 27, 2009

How to cloth diaper using receiving blankets

This post is to teach you how to cloth diaper using rags and receiving blankets. It is so very frugal and easy once you get the hang of it! Happy,simple,and affordable cloth diapering!!!

1. first lay out receiving blanket pattern side down unlike picture which is face up.

2. fold blanket in half and flatten

3. Fold in half again and flatten

4. Take only the top layer of fabric and begin to pull up and to the side.

5.straighten the diapers and corners. Then while holding both sides of the top flip the whole diaper over.
6.Next for extra absorbency add a soaker layer, or rag. I used cut up old towels. I think it is important to have the soaker layers all be the same size, but it is only to make folding easier, and not important. Try to fold so that the soaker is the same length as the diaper up and down. It is best to fold until the fold ends in the middle weather it takes two or three folds to get there is not important.

7. Next fold in the soaker layer. Two folds works well for me.

Now it is ready to either put on baby or fold to use when needed.

I find it important to keep my hand tucked in the diaper while pinning to protect my little one. I haven't jabbed myself yet but I could.

Last but not least if you would like to keep your blankets unstained and make clean up easier. You can fold a regular cloth diaper in half the long way twice w/ the open side crease down and centered in the middle of the diaper both horizontally and vertically. this enables you to be able to take that part out should there be a poopoo diaper and just holding both ends swirl it in the toilet to clean. No hands on scrubbing for this girl.(-= These diapers wash very well and don't smell at all!!! They also line dry well because they are made from such thin materials when unfolded. I love them and love diapering this way!!!