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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Butterfly garden

Hi friends and family!

The kids and I got to experience something very cool. We were able to release brand new butterflies that had never flown before into the Butterfly Garden in the Phx Botanical Gardens. They ship the butterflies at 50 degrees because they do not use their wings until it is at least 60 degrees because that is the temperature that flowers open at (I learned something new that day too!). We ripped open the envelopes and ours flew right out, no holding them for a minute for their wings to warm up. They hopped onto the flowers and ate and then fluttered around. We probably released a dozen. How fortunate and blessed are we?! How many people get to experience that in their lifetimes? The thought never crossed my mind. The woman there said that they get butterflies about once a week and release them whenever they end up getting them. There is no set timeline or day. Pretty neat, right?! Ok, I think I may have loved it more than the kiddos, but I think My Little Princess enjoyed it a ton too. She kept asking if she could release more. Mr. Chaos shied away at first flight, but then pointed and yelled, "WHAT'S DAT?!?!" :) I did bring the camera and am so very glad I did!!!!

God's creation is so awesome!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How do your flowers grow?

With cockleshells and silver bells and pretty maids all in a row!

One of my very favorite movies is The Secret Garden. I just love how Mary discovers the garden and it becomes her secret, safe place and she heals the garden, herself, and her family there.

I thought I had killed my hibiscus tree, but it is leafing our and shows a ton of new growth.

The vinca my daughter and I grew from seeds is in full bloom. We got maybe a handful of flowers last year, but we have a ton this year! Yay!

I also have a bunch of rosebuds on my three rosebushes. Roses are my favorite flowers so this makes me incredibly happy. I promised pictures in my last garden post. Enjoy!

Blessings, R

Monday, April 25, 2011

An Easter Post

Hello all!

This Easter many people focus on the death of Christ on the cross. They talk about why it was necessary. They talk about the state of the human condition. They talk about Christ's sacrifice. They contrast His perfect life with our imperfect ones. They describe the extraordinary gift of Christ taking our place and enduring the wrath of a holy God for our sins. This is indeed incredible.

The thing, however, that stands our to me on Easter is the spectacular promise expressed in Christ's resurrection. My Lord lives. His grave, unlike other prophets and great teachers, is empty. He completely conquered death. His victory, and thus ours, is total. We will live together in paradise. This is His promise and He made it possible, not just through His death, but His resurrection.

His death is the gift--His resurrection is the promise!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Homemade laundry detergent

Hi all,

I have been looking for ways to cut costs here and there and one way I thought I might do that was to make my own laundry detergent! After talking with a few friends who make a lot of their own laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, etc. I decided it was worth the try. If I hated it then I could pass along the stuff I do not use to them. Let me first say that I love my Melaleuca laundry detergent, but it is spendy when I have to use extra because Mr. Fantastic Husband Man has a job that gets his clothes double dirty. So, my friend Morgan over at Becoming Homegrown said her recipe was posted on her blog. I used it and I have to say I am liking the results so far! I am on my second batch of the stuff and we shall see if I continue to love it. That being said a few of my MN peeps asked if it worked if I could share it. This is posted over at Morgan's blog, but I am stealing it to post here as well.

Oh, and I did the math, and if I did it correctly with all my conversion, etc., this is ridiculously cheap!!! Like seven cents a load, y'all!! So, use a little extra if you like. On Morgan's blog there are pictures as well. I was not that nice to think of taking pictures of the process for you. You can sift through over there if you want pictures. :) I also added a splash of lavender essential oil to have the clothes smelling lavender-y. It was strong in the soap, but by the time I had dried the clothes I could just faintly smell it. From Morgan:

Supplies Needed:
1 bar Ivory soap, grated
1/2 Cup Washing Soda (Arm and Hammer, but not baking soda)
(I found the washing soda at Fry's)
1/2 Cup Borax
2 Gallon Bucket
1 Quart Hot Water
Hot Water
Mix grated soap in a saucepan with 3 pints of water, and heat on low until dissolved. Stir in Washing Soda and Borax. (This is where I added the lavender) Stir until thickened, and remove from heat. Add 1 Quart Hot Water to 2 Gallon Bucket. Add soap mixture, and mix well. Fill bucket with hot water, and mix well. Set aside for 24 hours, or until mixture thickens. Stir occasionally. Store it in milk jugs or empty laundry soap containers, give it a good shake then pour. 
Use 1/2 cup of mixture per load. Use the same amount in your front load washers as well. 
It will be chunky.

I had to convert the quarts and everything to cups for easier measurement for myself. 

Let me know if you try this!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I have this friend...

Hey all,

Want to know some stuff that inspires and motivates me? My children are a big one. After my workout this morning, which I really wanted to skip, they both ran over saying "Mama!!" and both gave me two of the biggest hugs ever! That was the best feeling in the world, y'all. After I got out of the shower my daughter told me I looked so beautiful. Who couldn't use this kind of encouragement and affirmation?! I must be doing something right.

Also, I was reading recently that we as women should be doing our part to look nice for our husbands. This may seem sexist to some, but I believe her intent was to say encourage us to do our part in the relationship so that we feel good about ourselves and that confidence will come through and that is very attractive. Plus, who doesn't want to have the best marriage possible? Part of this is to continue to be attractive to one another. So, do your part and you will feel good about you! Bonus!

Now, I just wanted to take the time to praise a friend of mine. She has been working out practically every day for over a month now and I am so proud of her. I have not been working out nearly as often and I am envious and inspired by her all at the same time. I related these feelings to her and she said that she did not consider herself inspiring, but I do. Hear that, girlie?! I DO! I find your commitment to your health, your workouts, your kids, your husband, and yourself inspiring. I am writing it on my blog. I am letting the world know that I find you inspiring. Keep up the excellent work, my friend. We will be swapping clothes in no time! ;)


Monday, April 11, 2011

'Tis Spring in the Valley!

Hello all!

It is still springtime in the Valley here, though we are perilously close to summer, and my roses are blooming!!! Sadly, I did not take any pictures of them, but I promise I will next time one blooms. I am hoping this is soon.

Do you remember when I mentioned that if you want another child maybe you should consider planting a garden and still be able to sleep through the night? Well, I have to say that I, in the past, killed every plant I ever owned. My mom has a notoriously brown thumb as well though she claims she used to have some beautiful plants back in the day (which I believe, but she was rather busy raising me to care much about plants after I came along). This is no longer the case, friends!!! My rose bushes are all green and leafy and I have already enjoyed six, (SIX!!), roses from one bush. Also, my hibiscus has come back as well. It lost all its leaves and I thought I may have kill it, but not the case! I am super thrilled by this. In case you were unaware of that fact after reading my elation to this point you have been so informed.

I hope you all are having a beautiful spring and looking forward to your summer. I am looking forward to swimming--a lot!