Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dryer Fabric Softner

A friend sent me these recipes. I have not tried them yet, but wanted to share them with you. Let me know if you try them and what you think about them.

Dryer Fabric Softener #1

1/2 cup baking soda
1 TBS cornstarch
1 TBS arrowroot powder
2 drops of essential rose oil (optional)

Place all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Place a small amount in a small cloth bag that can be well tied or secured with a drawstring. Place it in the dryers with a load of laundry. Be sure the bag is well sealed or it will become a bit messy.

Super Soft Fabric Softener

1 TBS of unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cup boiling water

Dissolve above ingredients. Add the softener to the final rinse after the washing cycle is completed.

Funny Animals

Recently I was not able to find my daughter's cat, Ms. Kitty. We looked everywhere for her. Well, as you can see, we found her resting quite comfortably in my large potted plant in my entryway. She was enjoying the warm sun that was coming through the window close by. We just had to laugh. At first I didn't want her in there, because I was afraid she would knock out a whole bunch of dirt onto the floor. She didn't move even one inch of dirt. In fact, we took all kinds of pictures of her as well as just stand and laugh at her. She did not move an inch. There was no way she was going to move from that spot. Cats are so funny. They are very agile on their feet and very clean. At first I didn't like the cat, but after a few years she has grown on me. She can be very lovable and is far easier to take care of that our dog.

Until next time...

Happy Blogging

Monday, September 22, 2008

Scotland the Brave!

Scotland the Brave!
at the 2008 Renaissance Festival

Yesterday our family went to Bonner Springs, KS to the Annual Renaissance Festival. We had a good time. We met some good friends up there. All of us have Scottish roots so we thought it would be a great time to see some of the "highland games" being presented. Matthew came in fourth place to the Haggis throwing contest. There were some games, but not as many as we thought there would be. There were a lot of men in kilts. One of the things that the boys did was taste haggis. Haggis is a traditional Scottish food that is basically the innards of a sheep, mixed with spices and cooked inside a sheep stomach. Yuck. Two out of three liked it. I didn't even try it. It was really nice to hear the bagpipes playing in the back ground. Even though it was a somewhat nice day, (it was great to see good friends), I think we will be heading to a different type of Scottish Highland Games next time. In the state of Missouri, there are literally hundreds of festivals available to enjoy. Until next time.....

Saturday, September 6, 2008

New Shoes

It has been very exciting at our house over the last two months. In August, Maggie got her letter from her ballet teacher, stating that she was ready to begin pointe class. What an exciting time in a little girls life. Before embarking on this journey six years ago, I never realized just what a milestone this was. We went up to Kansas City and had grandma (my mom) go with us. Mom had been a dancer when she was younger and she and Maggie were able to share in this experience. She started her class today and I will have her post her experiences later on. Way to go Maggie. ~Love Mom

Friday, July 25, 2008

Our Vacation

This year we went to Branson, Missouri for our family vacation. We went to a conference, called Defending Your Family Faith Conference with several great speakers to listen to. We really enjoyed what the speakers had to say. It was great just knowing that how you believe is within the will of God. Ken Ham, from Answers in Genesis, spoke about creation evagelism. Doug Phillips, of Vision Forum, spoke about the family and the father's role in the family. Dr. Voddie Backam spoke about the validity of the Bible.
We also went to see the Titanic Museum, which was very interesting. As you went in, you were given a passport of an actual passenger. You followed your passenger thru the museum and at the end, you found out if you survived or not. There were some actual artifacts from the ship itself. We went out to eat with friends and then we all headed to the gocarts. What fun that was. Our conference was concluded Friday night and we headed out to St. James to see some old friends of ours that used to live at Lake of the Ozarks when we lived there. It was great to see them again.

This week our niece is here visiting and we leave tomorrow for Lake of the Ozarks to spend some time with old friends again. Boy I can't wait for school to start back up again. I need to stay home. I need to go back to church. I hope they remember me there.

Until next time,
Happy Blogging-

Saturday, July 12, 2008


-This summer we are having so much fun just enjoying family time together. Each week we head to the library and then to the pool where we swim. My favorite part of the pool is jumping off the diving board. My mom has been challenging me to flip off the board, but the last time I tried I back flopped and it HURT! The pool is a neat place. We have never been there before. When I get home, I start reading again, so I can get another pool pass the next week. ~~~Matthew

This is Maggie.... my summer has been really fun. We have gone to the pool every week as a reward for reading. The pool is really fun because it has four slides, a really big pool and a lazy river. My favorite part of the pool is the really fast slide. You go really fast down this steep slide and when you hit the water, it makes a big splash. We are going on vacation to Branson. I can't wait to ride the go-carts. We are going with friends of ours from our church. My cousin will be coming down when we get back and I am going to get to see a friend of mine that lives in St. James that I have not seen in a while. I am going to go to another friend's house at Lake Ozark and to grandma's house before we head back to school in August. Talk to you later.

From Gavin~~~ My summer is a lot of fun. There is a pool in Pittsburg that is really fun. It has four slides, and two diving boards. You can jump off the edge of the pool and there is a really wide slide that you can fit three people. We have a summer reading program at the library that we can get a pool pass every week. My friend Mitchell came to stay for a week. He brought his paintball guns down with him. We played paint ball all week. We are going on vacation. I can't wait.

I have enjoyed being home with my kids this summer. We spend so much time running in the school year that it is hard to have that quite time together. As you can see we have had fun at the pool. That is what the kids look forward to every week. What kid wouldn't? My garden is going gang busters. I have TONS of green beans that Mags and I have put up already and they are just getting started. I have a new plant in the garden this year... squash. Boy, it is going crazy. I will have so much squash that I won't know what to do with it. Well, I must go pack for vacation. Talk to you soon. ~~~Gayla

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I have carpet!!

One month ago the septic system failed and well let's just say that the carpet got WET. Yuck. It went thru most of the back of the house. We spent most of the night sucking up water to no avail. Our friends came from town to help. Finally we just pulled up the carpet after moving everything into the entryway, garage, and schoolroom. The five of us spent the next four weeks sleeping in the schoolroom. Life was just a bit hard at times, but we did manage. Well, as of this Tuesday, we had beautiful new carpet put into our entire house. PRAISE THE LORD. Now we just have to unpack everything. It is taking some time, but I have some friends coming tomorrow to help me get things back in order. It is amazing what we appreciate when we don't have it. I never thought living on concrete would be so cold and hollow. Everything echoed. It just seemed things were not complete. So, now I am enjoying my carpet as I watch the next batch of torrential weather come in . Tornadoes and hail on the way. This will be the fifth or sixth this season. Hey, how do you like my carpet dance that I am doing in the above picture?

I remember...

When I married my husband, I acquired a wonderful set of in laws. My father in law was tops in my book. He really made me think outside the box about many things that I had never even considered. He was always challenging me with different things. One of the things that he introduced me to was the beauty of nature. I remember helping him plant Iris and other plants. He was always patient with me and answered all of my never ending questions. I helped him weed his many flower beds. He was just a great teacher in all areas and always looked out for everyone. I remember a time when I was wanting to spray paint something. I was pregnant with my first child. Keith gently walked over to me and asked to see the paint can. He read the back of it and then told me that he didn't want me painting. He had someone else do it. He was concerned for my health and the safety of my unborn child. I had not even thought about it. I figured that I was outside and that it would be ok, but he was really insistent about it. I talked with him for hours and hours at a time. He never ceased to amaze me in his knowledge about almost everything. He helped me find out about my ancestoral history. I grew up thinking that I was Irish, but found out that I am actually Scottish. No wonder I never wanted to wear green on St. Patrick's Day. hehe. The picture above is one of his roses that he planted. This year it was absolutely beautiful. I had to capture it in picture. We had to say good bye to Kieth in 1994, just 5 months after my first child was born. Keith went to be with Jesus. Even though he has been gone for 13 years, it is still as if we lost him yesterday. What a priviledge I had to have six wonderful years with him. I miss him and can't wait to see him in Heaven.

Fun In the Sun!

Last Saturday night I had my Chase Dance Academy recital in Lamar, Missouri. It was really fun dancing with my friends- Margaret, Maddie, Molly, and Courtney. My teacher, Rebecca did a great job with our dances. We did a dance to Fun in the Sun; Car Wash (Shark Tales); Oronoco Flow and Hot Hot Hot. My favorite was Car Wash.

Car Wash

Margaret, Maggie and Maddie are practicing before recital.

My teacher, Ms. Danielle, from Carthage Dance Studio was also at the recital. My mom help put up the set. The set was really cool. Grandma Marilyn, Grandma Rindy and Papa Ron, Aunt Lisa, Uncle Steve, Daddy, Matthew and Gavin all came to see me. There were people from our church there also.

Afterwards, we got ice cream from Dairy Queen and while we were there, the tornado sirens went off. We went over to my friend, Margaret's house and sat in the basement until we could go home. My next dance recital is June 7th and 8th at the Carthage High School. This one is for The Dancers Studio in Carthage, Missouri.

(created by Maggie)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Our new toy

My daughter and I have a great friend who has had a clothes line in her back yard for as long as we have known her. The other day she had messed up her back and we went over to help her hang laundry out. My daughter said that it would be neat if we had one. So, that is exactly what we did. We went out THAT DAY and bought a clothes line with some clothes pins and a cute little bag to hold them in. We went home and had my husband put it up in the yard. We put up our first load outside last Tuesday and have not been able to get one dry since. It has rained and rained almost all week. In fact, our septic tank backed up on Wednesday and soaked the carpet... we are currently living in our living room and school room. We had to pull up all of the carpet after spending hours trying to soak up all the water. What a mess. We are waiting for new carpet, but it will be several weeks before we can get it in. Oh well, I am thankful for the new carpet and the clean house. No organisms growing in my carpet to worry about or mold growing up the wall. God is truly good, because we have no money in the resident budget to do this, but my husband's boss said "Do it and let me worry about it." I am so looking forward to dry weather. How are things around your house?

Until next time,
~~Gayla and Maggie

Friday, April 18, 2008

All American History

We recently finished all of our World history curriculum and needed to start American History. The problem was, we couldn't find a curriculum that suited us. All of them were either bibliography only or a typical textbook style. There would be only a paragraph or two over the important things such as Washington. Go figure?! Two paragraphs on Washington. Well, let me tell ya, I have found an AWSOME history curriculum. It is call All American history. Volume 1 covers the explorers to the Jacksonian Era. There are at least 100 pagers per unit over the information. Did you know there were two Massachussetts colonies? I didn't. Each colony is covered at length. We have been having a blast learning about our history.

Something else that I like about this curriculum is that it is ACCURATE! It actually has the Bill of Rights in the back that is pretty close to word for word.

We have been supplementing the study with documentaries from Netflix. We have watched shows on Jamestown and we just finished Colonial House, which was a PBS publication. There is so much you can do with this curriculum. We will be posting our progress so keep watching for updates.

Matthew and Maggie say "We love it!"


Wednesday, April 2, 2008


You have heard the saying, "I am having a bad day", but actually I seem to be having a bad year so far. It all started in January when my son came down sick, then I got sick at the end of the month and stayed sick until last week. I just kept getting this nasty crud over and over again. Sinuses and congestion issues were the culprits. During this time, BOTH of our vehicles went on the blink. We have been trying to get them fixed, but are still having trouble. We thought our car was fixed, but Sunday I got in it to head to church and it died on me as I was pulling out of the drive way. We have replaced spark plugs, wires, fuel filters, fuel pumps, and coil packs. Still not running right. We have put shocks and struts on our van, still not running right. Then there are other things that keep popping up.....ARGH!!!!!!!!!!! Will it ever end? I feel as if we are under an attack from Satan and it is not letting up much. The little guy up there is laughing... which is the only thing I can do at this point. Crying doesn't seem to make anything better.

I have been trying to keep myself busy with other things, such as decluttering my house. I have been given some home made cleaning recipies to make. I have made them and I love them. Here they are:

Homemade Laundry Detergent:
6c water
1/3 bar Fels Naptha laundry bar, grated
1/2c Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)
1/2c 20 Mule Borax
1 1/2gallons, plus 1 pint hot water

In a large pot, put 6c water and grated soap. Boil until dissolved and turn off heat. Pour in soda, Borax and the rest of the water. Mix well and let sit over night. It will gel up as it cools. Put in containers and use 1/2c solution for moderately soiled clothes or 1c for heavily soiled clothes. I love the smell of this soap. A friend of mine does not make this into a liquid. She uses 1 1/2c Borax, 1bar of the soap and 1 1/2c washing soda. Mixes well and use 2 TBSP powder soap per load.

Homemade Glass Cleaner:
Mix in a spray bottle the following,
1c rubbing isopropyl alcohol
1c water
1 TBS vinegar
1 TBS ammonia

This works better than Windex. It does not streak. You will love it!

Strong All-Purpose cleaner
Mix in a spray bottle the following:
1 TBS ammonia
1 TBS laundry soap (Era or the soap you already made)
2 c water
if you want, you can add cedar oil or pine oil to make it smell like Pine Sol.

Natural Fabric Softener
2c white vinegar
2c baking soda
4c water
Carefully combine all ingredients (the vinegar and soda will fizz), pour into a plastic bottle, cover and shake. Use 1/4c in your laundry's final rinse or in a Downy ball.

Homemade Comet:
1/2c Borax
1/2c baking soda
several drops of wintergreen oil

Thanks to Rebecca for all of these little goodies.

I am going to keep my self thinking upward. If we can just get the van fixed, we will at least have our main vehicle to use. We are hoping to get it paid off as soon as possible.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hurrah for the Hound!

Finally! The Beagles have arrived!! This year in the 2008 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, a very prestigious show, a hound won Best In Show. For the show's 100 year history, the coveted award went to poodles, terriers and those other small ankle biting dogs. In fact, it wasn't until a few years ago that the Beagle was even allowed to show in the WKC show. Look at this dog.... isn't it the most beautiful Beagle you ever saw? Uno, short for a very, very long name was also in the American Kennel Club show, but only place best of Breed. The thing that I think is so funny is that most of the other winners were very "proper" behaving animals. Not Uno. He could be heard "baying", which is a Beagle bark across the room. He was/is a fiesty hunting dog that took the crowd by storm. When he came out, the crowd went wild. He was on the national news this morning and they said that he was retired. His puppies will be thousands of dollars to buy. I love it. I am so excited... I have watched this show for years and always had to walk away defeated because my favorite dog in the whole wide world lost.... because he was not proper acting enough. Westminster is in England you know.... hehehehe

I have a Beagle myself. Which of course is why I am so excited. What do you think... should I start training her? She could send my kids to college.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Rough Legged Hawk

We had such a neat experience today. We have been watching this hawk living here on the park this winter. The only problem is that we were not able to identify it. It was always too far away and all you could see was the white breast. We knew that it was not a Red Tailed hawk because they don't usually have a white chest. We kept seeing this silly hawk perched everywhere. It was like he was teasing us.

On the way home from piano today, we started to pull into my drive and my 8yo said, "Mom, Look!" I looked up and right in front of me was this hawk. I was really excited. We sat there for a while and watched it. it was like he was posing for us. I ran home and grabbed my camera. I also got the bird books, binoculars and my husband. We sat at the top of the drive and watched this bird. He moved around and I was able to get several different views of him. After quite some time, we decided that it was a Rough Legged Hawk.

We were excited that we finally figured out what this bird was. Now we need to go home and draw it in our nature journals. When I look at birds and flowers I can't help but think that when God created them, He was saying "Look what I can do!" He didn't have to make the birds and flowers so beautiful. He could have made them bland and just functional. He could have put them on Earth just to do their jobs of pollinating or rodent control, but He didn't. He gave us something to look at and to study. What a mighty God we serve. Thank you God for everything you have created. How majestic you are.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Happy New Year!

I know that I am REALLY behind, but I wanted to say Happy New Year to everyone out there. I hope and pray that you have a great year in 2008. We started off the year sharing it with good friends. We are so blessed to have the support group that we have. Thank you God for your blessings.

My Friend, Heather

This Christmas my good friend, Heather came with her family to stay with us for a week. She got me a present and I got her a present for Christmas. We played with our presents alot as well as had lots of tea. We put on a play for my mom, her mom and Mrs. Vaught. We missed a whole part of the play while we were preforming it. We washed my dog, Sadie in the tub. Since I love to teach and I love to dance, I taught her some dance moves like leaps, turns and the splits. She needs more practice. We had fun spending together. We have known each other since we were three years old. I miss her sometimes and it is good when we can be together.

Dance Baby Dance

On December 15th and 16th, Maggie was in The Nutcracker Production in Carthage. She did great. She has many friends and family members come to watch her dance. There were several times during the performance that I cried. She was so beautiful. You keep dancing my little princess. Dance for Jesus.