Photo by Chunky Monkey Photography

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Perfect Day

I love days like today.  When I don't have to rush to go somewhere first thing in the morning.  When my husband comes home from work and slips into bed with me (and Jack today, lol) for a little nap before the house wakes up.  A good cooked breakfast instead of the usual oatmeal or cereal that we have during the week. Relaxing and enjoying each the company of our sweet little family.  Afternoon naps. The boys hanging out and getting along.  And now... Now I sit in the cozy kitchen chair and watch Kash as he talks to Daddy and Jack through the window while they are out grilling our supper.  Our delicious supper of steak & shrimp with corn-on-the-cob, new potatoes and squash in foil packets... I love a good grilled supper! 

Besides the tragic death of a chick, we have had a perfect day!

Friday, April 27, 2012


In case you missed it (I can't remember if I blogged about it already and my computer is too slow for me to go back and look!) we have chickens.  They started in a box in our garage and recently made it to a coop built by my amazing husbands with 3 of his little helpers :)

This man... I kinda sorta love him a lot

It fills my heart with joy to see the boys working along side daddy!

Another fact you may not know is that we have a great dane.  The boys do a good job taking care of him and the chicks. But, the dog, Captain, wants to taste the chicks.  He stands gaurd just waiting for the right moment to get in. He tried digging and may try again but we're hoping the has given up on that.  When it's time to tend to the chicks, Captain MUST be put inside the house.  He really is waiting for just the right moment to slip into the coop...and a couple of days ago, he got his chance.  I was inside tending to Kash when I heard Nelson hollering outside.  I sent Henry out to check and then he started yelling.  I rushed outside leaving Jack & Kash in the house to find Nelson in a panic, Henry yelling and crying, and Captain running across the yard with a chick in his mouth.  I start yelling for him to drop it and he does.  But he goes right back for it and grabs it up again!  I finally got him to drop it again and while Nelson and I try to catch/distract him, Henry catches the chick and puts it back. During all of this, I have escalated to screaming at Captain, then at Nelson (when I stopped I heard our elderly neighbor outside talking to his dog...oops), and Kash & Jack are trying to get out the back door... why not? They probably think we're having fun out there! After the chick is returned to the coop, we get Captain inside so I can check on the chick.  It's fine.. phew..  BUT we count and there is a chick missing! What?! Henry goes inside to stay with the little ones while Nelson and I search high and low. Is it possible that Captain had a snack without us realizing it?!!!?? Finally, Nelson finds the chick in the wood pile behind the coop.  When he uncovers it, it runs.  We chase it around and it finally runs through a gap in the fence.  Nelson calls Henry back out and they go to the other side of the fence. (Henry is our official chicken catcher).  The chick comes back through the fence and I miss it.  Then I run it back through the fence where it darts across the street.  Henry corners it and catches it near the neighbors fence.  Sigh..... The chicks survived their little adventure, Henry hates Captain now (aka chicken killer even though he didn't actually kill any) and Nelson is certain to put the dog up before opening the coop.  :) A day in the life.....

Monday, April 16, 2012


It is unusually quiet here right now. The only sounds I hear are clothes tumbling in the dryer and birds chirping. It's actually kind of nice. I am glad it is short lived though... I enjoy the noise my family makes. Except the crying noise I heard a lot yesterday. Kash figured out the crying loudly while throwing my head back thing yesterday and he does it quite well. He has really not been cranky or ornery a day in his life.. not even when he is sick... until yesterday. I am so glad that today he is back to his sweet self! He's having his morning nap right now. James picked up the 2 oldest early from school and took them and Jack to the hardware store to get supplies to finish up the chicken coop. It's coming along nicely. And I ... I have been reading the Sonlight catalog. I really think this is it and I am so excited about it! I also learned today that a friend is about to make the decision to homeschool too. It will be nice to have a friend living so close to learn on this adventure with.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent?

Recently I began to see people talking about making their own laundry detergent. When my cousin and a friend both started making their own and talking about how much they liked it I decided to give it a try! I found a recipe similar to what they are using only in a powder form ( I like dry detergent). I was very skeptical about the amount of detergent it calls for using in each load... I do have poopy diapers and dirty little boy clothes that I'm washing you know! I went ahead and use the recommended amount and didn't see any bubbles (I know.. bubbles do not equal clean clothes) and when they were done washing there was no scent. At. All. For my own peace of mind I upped the amount and got the same result... clean, unscented clothes. The soap I use does have a scent but I chose a soap that claimed to rinse clean leaving no residue and that's apparently what is happening.

Every recipe I have found online has the same 3 ingredients with only the brand of soap changed. and occasionally a different amount of borax.

What I am using is:

1 c. Borax*
1 c. Super Washing Soda
1 bar of Kirk's Coco Castille Soap, grated.**
Stir together and use 1 T for regular loads and 2 T for heavily soiled.***

The benefits? It is CHEAP. I didn't keep my reciepts but a big box of Borax and Super Washing Soda are around $5 each and a 3 pack of Kirk's is $0.99. So with that I have made 3 batches and have tons of borax and soda left... I just need to get more soap. I don't know the exact numbers per load or how many loads... but I do know it is much cheaper than the Tide I was using.

The downside? I do not like grating soap. But that's what I have kids for. :)

If you prefer liquid detergent it has the same ingredients plus lots of water and some cooking. Here's a link to the recipe for liquid detergent that my friend uses.

*One recipe I found called for 1/2 c of borax.
** There are other brands of Castille but I chose this one because it is made with coconut oil (another love of mine) and is clean rinsing... can't have residue on our cloth diapers. My friend and cousin use Fels-Naptha or Zote soap and loves them. The store I was at did not have either of those but I would like to eventually try them for comparison. I think if you like your clothes more scented, you would want to add a cloth with essential oils on it in your dryer.
***I use 3T for heavily soiled loads and 2T for regular. I don't know if it is necessary or not but it makes me feel better.

I plan to try a home made dish washing detergent next. Do you have any home made cleaner recipes you'd like to share?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nelson's Birth Story

We were due with our 1st on March 30th, 2002. I had the typical morning sickness which I first thought was a stomach bug. It wasn't just in the mornings but it didn't last long and the rest of the pregnancy was a breeze. I gained just the right amount of weight even though I ate a "snack" (a whataburger jr w/cheese & jalepenos) every day on my way home from work and a bowl of Blue Bell's Tin Roof (before they changed it up!!) every morning for breakfast. We found out we were having a boy and were so excited! This was our true heart's desire! Towards the very end of the pregnancy my blood pressure was a little elevated. Not high but "high" for me. I was also a little swollen so as a precaution I was put on bedrest. The due date came and went and I cried. I was ready to meet this precious baby. Too hold him in my arms. I'm not gonna lie, I was also ready to get off bedrest and not be pregnant anymore! On April 9th I went in and had prostin applied to my cervix to get things ripened up so they could induce me on the 11th. Yes, you did read correctly above where my due date was March 30th! Nothing exciting happened and they sent me home to my mom's. We were staying with her because it was closer to the hospital and my doctor. A couple hours later I started having regular contractions every 3 minutes. Called the doctor and went to the hospital. I was monitored and walked the halls and after a while everything stopped and we went back home. The next day James and I made last minute preperations. We spent the evening at my aunt's house watching the Rangers play. I was having contractions but nothing significant. We went back to my moms to get some sleep and finish the Rangers game which went into overtime. My contractions were progressing but weren't any worse than when they sent me home so I didn't say anything. Then I couldn't get comfortable and kept getting out of bed pacing. I didn't realize it but my sweet mom was up too keeping an eye on me. Even though I didn't tell her what was going on, she knew. She too was so excited.... her first grandbaby would be here in the next day or so. Anyway, I was up and down all night. I went to the restroom around 1:00 a.m. It was the 11th and I was scheduled to be induced in a few hours. Well this baby decided he wasn't waiting for an induction. My water broke but I thought, nah, that was just my bladder. Ha! I got back in bed and immediately felt another gush and realized that it was not my bladder! I got James up and we loaded up and headed to the hospital. My mom followe up later after we got checked in. So the drive to the hospital went something like this. James: Are you okay?
Kassy: Yes. It's just like it was last night when they sent me home.
Kassy: Oh. That doesn't feel good.
James: Are you okay?
Kassy: Drive a little faster.
James: I'm going as fast as I can.
And we were there. LOL! It got so painful so quickly after my water broke. I was shocked and upset that I wasn't dilated past a 2 yet. I labored for a little while longer and got and epidural as soon as they would allow it. I will have to look up his time of birth ... I can't remember exactly which is his but it was either 1:something or 3:something p.m. Whenever it was, 2 hours before that I was fully dilated and ready to push. My epidural worked perfectly. I was able to get a good nap. I had pressure with the contractions but no pain. I had the urge to push. All good things. So I pushed. And pushed. And pushed some more. James and my mom were there supporting me. When it got close to 2 hours my doctor started talking about the possibility of this not working out like I had hoped. She said that word I didn't want to hear: C-section. Nothing like that to get me even more motivated to push that boy O-U-T! A few more pushes and she decided his sholders might be getting stuck (sholder dystocia) so she called for a vacuum and another doctor to come in and assist. He ended up being delivered without the vacuum 2 hours after pushing had started. He was AMAZING! Lots of long dark hair. A sweet face that was mushed and bruised. A conehead. Broad sholdered. Barrel chested. And he was PERFECT. Healthy, beautiful, a chunky 8 lbs 4 oz (did I mention I am only 5'2" so that is a big baby!), sweet sweet sweet. I couldn't get enough of him!! We all cried. Everyone rushed in as soon as they were allowed to. He was welcomed by so many people that loved him. He changed my life forever.

I am still amazed by him every day. Mostly because he is so smart and kind. He has such a tender heart. Still beautiful. Yes I can say that, I AM his mother. And because he loves God and his family so much. And sometimes it's because he is so much like me. We look alike. We act alike... which isn't always the best thing and causes us to butt heads... but he has taught me a lot about myself which I am greatful for! I am so blessed to be his Mom.

Happy Birthday Nelson! I know you have been my guinea pig and I haven't always done things exactly right but I love you and I always will!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Home School

It has been decided...we will begin home school for the boys when this school year is over! I am so excited! This has been on my heart for a while. As far as public schools go, the district we are in is good but at this moment, home school is what will be best for my boys. I will be attending the Home School Book Fair in Arlington next month. I've done my research so I have a couple of curriculum choices in mind and being able to talk to the reps and look at the books at the fair will finalize our decision. I also plan on sitting in on some of the seminars there. I want to be as prepared for this as possible. I'm looking forward to helping my boys have fun learning, using biblical based curriculum, going at their pace instead of the "no student left behind" pace, learning with them, growing closer as a family, having a more flexible schedule...and more! The only things I'm concerned about is keeping the little ones busy while I'm helping the older ones and .. keeping up with housework (it's a full time job in itself!). I know it will work out though.

Until recently, I had no idea there were SO many options. There is unschooling, classical, traditional, literature based... the list goes on. The programs we are leaning towards are literature based. My boys and I L-O-V-E to read. The information is presented in a way that makes it enjoyable to learn. Traditional is more of the textbook / worksheets / texting format you see in public schools. Unschooling is exactly that. Basically no structure and lots of free time to think and learn while going about your day. I'm not sure how that prepares anyone for real life (no judgement... I just don't get it). I've heard classical referred to as similar to the way college classes work. The good news about homeschool is I can tailor the style to each student. While the oldest two I really believe will thrive with the literature based program, I can use something different for #3 and #4 if needed.

If you are or have homeschooled your children or were homeschooled, please share your experience.