finding happiness in everything

Posts tagged ‘family’

Memorial Day


My Daddy. Vietnam War Veteran.

My Daddy. Vietnam War Veteran.

Happy Memorial day everyone! As millions of workers are off today for remembrance of fallen American soldiers and their loved ones left behind, please take a moment to say thank you to a veteran or an active duty soldier.  I believe there is more awareness now due to media coverage of all types, but there are still many soldiers that are forgotten, left behind and the memories of their unselfish service is forgotten or fading.

It only takes a moment of time to say thank you. Sometimes, that is all someone needs to hear… just 2 words – Thank You.

I personally thank you if you have ever served in any branch of our US military. I appreciate the freedoms you contributed to. I appreciate the peace you helped maintain. You didn’t have to be on the battle front to be important, you simply served. It’s an honor and my gratitude overflows.

It doesn’t matter where you are now or what you “became”.  Your life matters. Your service matters. You matter!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!

**My father served. My Husband served and many other members of my family have served. A great number of my friends have served or are still serving. So my passion for veterans is well seated. Please pass along this note of gratitude to encourage others to say a simple THANK YOU to our men and women in uniform past and present.

 

 

Love,

Chrissy

Let’s Pin each other – Update for 9/30/2015


Hello all you wonderful pinning peeps! I have sadly been absent from Pinterest for too long. I logged in today and realized there are over 2000+ request to be added to the 2 Let’s Pin Each Other boards.  So here is what I will ask for TODAY ONLY (9/24/2015):

If you have previously asked to be added to either board and have not been added yet, send another request today. I will add you when I get the notification.

My problem adding people has been that Pinterest only shows me 2 names and then says “and 79 others” have asked to be added…so let’s try this again folks (because the 79 others are being left out!

Update for 9/30/2015: I am still only receiving notifications lumped together on Pinterest so help me out. Let’s do this:

Follow me and the board(s) Let’s Pin Each Other and/or Let’s Pin Each Other 2 and also leave me a comment below with your user name and I will do my best to add everyone as swiftly as possible!

I’m in an adding mood, so let’s do this.    And….go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love y’all,

Chrissy

Truth about Home Made Laundry Soap


Please scroll to the bottom for an update – 9/29/2014 – After using for almost a year…

Working from home gives a person much-needed time to take care of things around the house and sometimes, when business is slow it even allows for hobbies, crafts, or whatever you may choose to do in your spare time. I’ve so enjoyed working from home and here’s one thing I did with my spare time…

Last month I had a bit of down time and began to search on the internet again for DIY projects and penny-pinching budgeting ideas.  (I’ve always been a penny pincher, so this is nothing new for me. I’ve always been a couponer, but not to the extreme. I compare cost & value of the return before buying anything. I guess this comes from years of necessity and became a lifestyle overtime. I’m the gal that signs up to get free samples from various companies and will send out a tweet or make a status update to receive a free roll of toilet paper. It’s habit. It’s also saved me thousands of dollars over time if you add it all up though.)

My husband knew I was pinching pennies and saw a post on Facebook about making homemade laundry soap. He piqued my curiosity. After he left for his business day and I completed the necessary office work I needed to do, I began to browse the internet to learn more about this concept.

I kid you not, I found over 200 websites, articles, posts and write-ups about making homemade laundry detergent (soap) before I ever thought about going to Pinterest! I also found many articles indicating that people got upset when the word “detergent” was used instead of “soap”.  Amongst the many articles, I was able to identify a common trend. Although many people had written about this subject, there were only about 40 different recipes for liquid laundry soap and 37 for powdered. People were sharing the same recipes over and over again.

The reviews, comments, articles and posts were pretty straight forward. People either absolutely loved using this type of laundry cleaner or they hated it with a passion! The one aspect of this concept that captured my attention was the money-saving factor, so I wanted to put this theory to the test using my family’s usage and budget for laundry care.

Below are the results. It is important to know that at this time, I have only used the dry/powered form of home made laundry soap. I opted for this method because it is more cost effective and time saving than the liquid recipe.

Our family unit:

  • 2 adults, 3 teenagers wearing adult sized clothing = 5 people wearing adult sized clothing

Our family usage/dirt/stain/category levels:

  • 3 teenage boys that are heavy sweaters, 1 of which plays football – uniforms and all 3 regularly have grass stains, ground in dirt, and are very rough on their clothing. Each of these 3 boys creates 1 load of laundry each per day for 5 days and 1 load for the weekend = 6 loads per boy per day. Together they create 24 loads of laundry per week.
  • 1 man who regularly comes home covered in grime from work. Grime is defined by (Tar, sweat, shingle dust, sawdust, dirt from ground, goo from gutter cleaning, bark, silicon – caulk – foam insulation, dust from drywall, paint: all kinds such as latex, oil & water-based, ink {lots of ink stains}, and all types of other junk that may cling to him from someone’s attic or crawl space. Plus…and this is a bonus: he also comes home with mystery stains!   Aren’t I a lucky woman? Although he is the most stained member of our home, he only creates about 2 loads of laundry per week.
  • 1 woman (we all know what types of stains those are…) I create 2 loads of laundry per week.
  • Bedding = I wash 1 set of bedding per week. = 2 loads (Comforter washes by itself)
  • Towels = With 5 people showering daily, we create 3 loads of towels to wash per week.

Total loads washed per week on average: 30 large loads and 3 regular loads = 33 loads

What I normally spend on store bought detergents, stain removers, and additives= $40.96 monthly. Divided by 4 weeks = $10.24 per week.

$10.24 divided by 33 loads = $0.31 per load.

Home made laundry soap recipe and costs: (brand names omitted)

  • All Natural Super Washing Soda (NOT BAKING SODA) 55oz box powder = $3.53

    Washing Soda

    Washing Soda

  • All Natural Detergent Booster & Multipurpose Household Cleaner 76oz box powder = $4.32

    Detergent Booster

    Detergent Booster

  • 1 bar of Laundry Soap & Stain Remover (located in laundry aisle of retail or grocery store) = $1.09

    Laundry Soap

    Laundry Soap

Make it – Mix in a large bowl (that you’ll never eat out of again) 2 cups of Washing Soda, 2 cups of Detergent Booster. Smooth and de-clump powder mixture. Getting all lumps out is important. Mix together well. (I used my hands). Last, using a cheese grater (that you’ll never use for food again) grate 1 entire bar of laundry soap into itty bitty flake pieces directly into the bowl of the powder mixture. This was time consuming for me, so I did it while watching television with the kids. Stir to mix up the entire product when finished grating bar of soap. Store in an airtight container. This mixture makes approximately 1 quart of laundry soap. (I make 2 batches at one time so I only have to do this once a month.)

Usage: 1 tablespoon for small or regular loads. 2 tablespoons for large or heavy loads. Definitely use 2 tablespoons for very very dirty clothes.

The Results

I read that this recipe would create enough laundry soap for 64 loads. I discovered that the 1 quart mixture listed above actually only washed 48 loads of our laundry. We do tend to possibly have more heavily soiled clothing than most people (description above).

The cost break out:

1 box of washing soda will make 4 batches. $3.53 divided by 4 = $0.88 per batch. 1 box of laundry detergent booster will make 5 batches. $4.32 divided by 5 = $0.86 per batch. Each batch needs one full bar of laundry soap. $1.09 per bar.

$0.88+$0.86+$1.09 = $2.83

$2.83 divided by 48 loads of laundry = $0.06 per load

So after doing the math, it truly is a cost saver!

But, how effectively does it clean?

Below are my ratings on a scale from 1-10. (1 = not effective at all  10 = very effective)

  1. Removing smells from clothing: 10
  2. Removing standard dirt and stains: 9
  3. Color fade: 7
  4. Whites: 1
  5. Whites after adding bleach: 9
  6. Hard to remove stains without pre-treating: 2
  7. Hard to remove stains after pre-treating: 8 (pre-treat by using left over bar of laundry soap rubbed directly on stain on clothing while dry)
  8. Fragrance: 10 (it has no smell after it comes out of the dryer!
  9. Softens clothes: 9
  10. Static removal: 0 – you’ll still need to use dryer sheets
  11. Skin irritation: 10 – No skin irritation detected after using for 1 month

Time and Effort

Making this formula did take a little time and effort but was far less effort than used in making the liquid recipes I found.

Was it worth it?

So far, I have already noticed a difference in our laundry care budget. But since using this method, I have also worried about our utility bill. I use to wash our laundry on the cold cycle when possible to avoid using our water heater, but used it on the warm cycle when needed for stain removal.

With this recipe for laundry soap, it is most effective to run hot water into the basin of the washer long enough to effectively dissolve the powdered mixture before adding clothing. Our utility bill actually came in a couple of days ago and it has not been affected. Actually it dropped down from what it has been, but I attribute this to the changes in the weather and not running the AC unit. Fall is such a lovely time of the year 🙂 So, I cannot truly calculate a cost analysis yet to factor in utility usage. However, things are looking good so far!

I plan on using this recipe and soap until I run out of ingredients. I have been told about some other great alternative products that are cost saving also and I want to try those too. I’ll compare the actual cost of those products after I’ve tried them and share with you.

If you’ve had an experience making and using homemade laundry soap, I’d love to hear from you. Many of my friends I asked about this (before I tried it) had very distinct reactions. They either loved or hated it…well, most of them hated it honestly.

I’d love to hear from you and what you think!

Love always

Chrissy 🙂

UPDATE – 9/29/2014

After using the homemade laundry soap for almost year, we have switched back to other commercially produced products. Here’s why: I noticed that even running a natural cleaning solution (such as vinegar) through the washing machine weekly, the homemade laundry soap caused a terrible build up of stinky scum in the washer. After resorting to the commercially developed washing machine cleaners, the scum and smell were successfully removed by running it through the machine 6 times. 

Did you read that? I had to run harsh chemicals through the machine 6 times (or washes) in a row to remove the build up!

So in the end, I like the homemade laundry soap, but it was a terrible mess in the washing machine and since I had to resort to running the cleanser through 6 times to get the machine truly clean somewhat defeated the purpose of saving money using this method.

I’m not going to say that I’ll never use this method again, but I am saying that I am no longer using this method primarily.

Sounds like a Big Fish Story – but it’s true!


I must share with you the craziness that was yesterday. Since my husband met me, he has told me that he loved the adventure of everyday with us. He had read some of our adventures right here on this blog and had heard even more stories that the kids and I shared with him verbally.

So many oddities and yet, they were all very real and true. Our lives were a bit hard to believe until he joined us and has been able to experience some of his own crazy adventures daily 😉

Yesterday was such a strange day, I just have to tell you about it. I normally only share my personal adventures, but this one …is just really weird.

He travels a lot. His mother and other family live in Indiana and we live here in good ole’ Tennessee. While in transit yesterday from Tennessee to Indiana, I gave him a quick call just to say “I love you” and ask how he was doing. While we are on the line with one another, I hear his voice trail off as he begins to scream “OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!!!”

He had dropped the phone (thus his voice sounding distant yet still very loud on the line).  I tried to get his attention, “Honey? Sweetie? Are you there?  Can you hear me?”.  Finally he picks the phone up and says, “Chrissy!!! Something just hit me! It came out of the sky. What was that?”. His voice is calm, yet excited. He sounds shaken, yet composed. I am not sure how else to describe it.

“Are you okay? What happened?” I ask. My heart is racing and I am imagining all types of things like Superman landing on earth…on the hood of his truck.

“It came from the sky Chrissy! Do you understand? It hit me. There is glass inside the truck. The dash is busted. My GPS is hanging from the cord. There’s a HUGE gash in the hood of the truck. I think it hit more than just me. There’s another car that pulled off the road and at least another one that just…kept driving.” His voice is anxious.

I wanted to comfort him…but I didn’t know what to say. So, I switched into emergency mode. “Praise God you are alright!!! Hang tight honey. I need to ask you some questions, so don’t get frustrated with me. I’ll call the insurance company immediately after you answer, okay?”

“Yeah” he replied.

“Where are you?” I asked.

He replied, “Just past Corbin.”

“Oh…you’re in Kentucky. Okay. Mile marker?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t seen one.” He answered.

“Stay where you are, if you can, okay? I’ll get you a tow truck and call you right back.” And with that, we disconnected. I called our insurance company (which by the way is TOTALLY awesome) and they did a 3-way call to connect my husband. The lady from the insurance company pinned down the location as close as she could and sent a tow truck out, scheduled the adjuster to come view the truck damage in KY, and set up the rental car company reservation so he could continue his trip. (Major shout out to Geico here!)

During one of the transfers from roadside assistance to the claims area, I was lost from the 3-way call. I paced the floors, talked to the kids, wrung my hands, pulled up his location on Google Maps and worried myself silly until the insurance company called me again.

After speaking with the insurance company again, I called my husband back. I let him talk, vent and say anything on his mind so he could release some of that understandable anxiety I’m sure he had. He recounted the occurrence for me again and again…”it fell from the sky!”

One of the emergency highway people stopped in to check on him and showed him a huge piece of…metal?…iron?…or whatever it was to him. They said they had just retrieved it out of the highway to prevent other motorist from having an accident. (He took a picture of it, but he hasn’t sent the picture to me yet so I can see.) He asked the people if he could keep it and they declined stating that their boss might need it for something.

The other vehicle that also pulled off the side of the road had a blown tire. They spoke with my husband as well. Everyone checked on everyone else to ensure everyone was okay and then the other motorist left.

Is this crazy or what?

So, the object that hit the truck took a gouge out of the hood in 2 places,  then it flipped up onto the windshield and made 3 huge splatters in the glass busting the entire windshield, last it flipped over the cab and took a chunk out of the snug cover on the back of the truck. As it rolled off the truck, it struck the car driving behind him and blew out their tire. Last it must have bounced off of 1 or 2 other cars that just kept on driving.

It fell from the sky. No dump trucks on the highway. No trucks hauling anything. No overpass nearby. No bridges to drive under. It fell from the sky!

Here it is. The strange object from the sky…

It fell from the Sky in Kentucky!

It fell from the Sky in Kentucky!

Later in the evening, I shared the day’s events with my father over the phone. He asked if there was an airport near that portion of I75N. I couldn’t locate one on the map, so I don’t know. What if it came off an airplane? What if it fell from space? What if, what if, what if?

I’m just thankful that I still have my husband, he’s alive, and he’s safe & healthy.

What an adventure!!!!!!!!

Wanna see?

image

image

Round & Round – PTSD


Over the last month I’ve noticed the flashbacks coming more often. There’s nothing that provokes them that I can determine. With the increased frequency, each scene becomes more vivid & even if there are variances in them, it’s always his last few hours alive that play over & over in my head.

There are so many emotions in those last hours…mine…his…the kids. Thoughts about what he said to each child, reactions to his words to them. “You’re making too much noise. Daddy loves you. Go to your room & be really quiet.” Why?

Why won’t it stop? It’s driving me mad 😦 Each flashback brings sadness, worry, pain, tears, anxiety & anger.

Why? It’s been 3 years & 9 months since it happened! Why do I remember it more vividly than giving birth to our children? Why?

I have no answers. All why’s? are rhetorical. No one can answer.

I hate PTSD. I hate these flashbacks. I hate not remembering good things & just his death.

I’m struggling again 😦 I think I need to go see the doctor. I haven’t talked to him about PTSD since January of 2012. I should be better…I should be over the traumatic event.

Those last few hours…I hear his voice more now. I can see him in my mind clearly. He wants my daddy to baptize him. He waited until the end & now he wants to be baptized. His arm hurts, so he keeps raising it above his head to stretch it out.

He cried. It’s the first time in 14 years I’ve seen him cry & it’s breathtakingly pitiful. He didn’t want his mother to leave. He’s tired & lays down to rest. Unaware of his bodily state, he urinated in the bed. He asks me to help him move to the couch, but doesn’t tell me he wet the bed. He was 50. That would have embarrassed him. He’s so very tired. He says he’s going to nap & I go answer the phone. He didn’t want me to.

“Let the damn phone ring”, he says. I explain that I must. It’s his daughters. They’ve been calling for over an hour. They’re worried. I need to give them an update. “Take the battery out of it Chrissy”, he pleads. But, I couldn’t resist. I just had to answer that phone. Stupid me!! After a few minutes on the phone I hear him…he’s gurgling 😦

Couldn’t breathe. The mass over his lungs burst. He was drowning in his own blood. Throw phone. Scream!!! Call 911. Idiot answers. The rest I’ve already written about before, so why rehash it?

Why remember it? Why can’t my mind rewrite the memory? I pray & God gives me peace. Jesus usually sends angles to rock me to sleep, but not tonight. I’m tormented.

I try to focus on how far God has brought us – the kids & I. We are blessed beyond measure, so why is this happening again? Why can’t I just hit ctrl-alt-delete & end task?
Why can’t I reboot? It’s stuck there…playing out in my head…over & over.

I’ve remarried. 3 years & 2 months after he died, I remarried. The kids are happy & thriving. I’m happy 98% of the time & then out of nowhere, BAM! It starts again.
Why?  I’m happy now, I remind myself. I’m safe. I’m secure. I’m loved. We’re all healthy.

I thought there were suppose to be triggers…identifiable triggers so I could avoid them. I don’t see a provocative pattern except night fall, bed time, alone with my thoughts while my new husband snores away.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is torture. Maybe it’s provoked by an underlying subconscious thought pattern I’m oblivious to. Maybe I’m one of the unlucky ones.

Maybe I’m all alone with this disorder. Maybe there’s just too many maybes 😦

I’ve prayed for so many of you, whether we’ve met or not. Please keep our family in your prayers as I fight through this struggle. Please 🙂 & ask the Lord to protect the children’s minds from such torment too. Theirs is a different scenario, but traumatic as well. They watched me attempt to save his life in front of them. They saw their daddy’s blood on my face as I blew into is chest in vain.

Oh Jesus, please take this from us 😦

PTSD is an evil monster of the mind!

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