Roy, Sheena, D, K, A, C and L

Roy, Sheena, D, K, A, C and L

Visit My Friend Melanie -- She's AMAZING!


Our Family Photographer

Our Family Photographer
Marissa Gifford Photography

Sunday, August 28, 2011


We went to an amusement park this weekend for Roy's work party.  I wasn't totally sure how the kids would do but was looking forward to it still the same.  We started with a catered lunch at the picnic area before heading off to ride the rides!  First was the ferris wheel.  D,K and Roy were able to fit in one cart while A and I took another cart.  I was reminded shortly into the ride that I really don't like ferris wheels.  A on the other hand loved it -- especially when the seat rocked.  I tried not to feel like the world's biggest sissy for telling my 2 year old to stop rocking the cart! 
After the ferris wheel we headed to the carousel.  We were trying to ease the kids into the rides.  I think it worked because D wouldn't ride on anything that moved on the carousel but you'll see that we got braver as the day went on!
 We soon headed over to the kiddie rides.  This is a bad picture of everyone riding the kiddie coaster except me (someone had to take the pictures... really, I like roller coasters!  I rode the big white one that went upside down before we left.)  You can see Roy.  Right next to him is A who you can't see.  A few seats back you can see K and next to her with a fraction of his head showing is D.  There was no good angle to get a picture.
 Right next to the kiddie coaster was the Frog Hopper.  This turned out to be everyone's favorite ride.  Especially A's!  We rode this ride so many times I lost count.  It is the kid's version of the Tower of Terror.  Not quite as high and instead of a straight drop it bounce-drops. 
K and A's First Ride

K and A's Last Ride
We rode the rocking tug boat, all the little kiddie rides that go around in a circle ie cars, motorcycles, airplanes.  We also rode the hot air balloon ride that takes you in a circle and rises in the air.  It has it own controls for spinning your "balloon" and D took great pleasure in seeing how fast he could spin it!  All 3 kids rode the Tilt-A-Whirl.  Even A who got carsick going for a ride in Grandpa's truck enjoyed the Tilt-A-Whirl. 

 We headed over to the big-person side of the park to check out some of those rides.  Roy and D went on the Disc-O which is basically a flat disc that rocks back and forth on a track while spinning fast.  They both felt a bit motion sick after that. 
After spending several hours riding all the rides they were eligible to ride we headed home.  This is what happened about 10 feet outside the gate on the way to the van.  She just couldn't take it anymore!  The other two crashed in the van on the way home.  It was such a great and fun day!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Liquid Laundry Soap Recipe

Due to the high demand from all 3 of you I am posting my top secret and highly confidential soap recipe. (Actually, it's a handout from a RS meeting.)

Liquid Laundry Soap

4 cups hot water

1 Fels-Naptha soap bar

1 cup Washing Soda

1/2 cup Borax

  1. Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap melts and is dissolved.

  2. Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full with hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and leave over night.

  3. Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap then fill to top with water. Shake before each use.

  4. Optional: add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons.

Yield: 10 gallons diluted, 5 gallons undiluted

Use: Top load machine: about 2/3 cup (180 loads) Front load machine: 1/4 cup (640 loads)

Tips from the master

  1. You can find Fels-Naptha soap in the cleaning/laundry section of your store. It is not carried everywhere so check a few places. One of my Walmarts has it, one does not. I couldn't find it in Target but WinCo has it. I've never paid more than $1 for it. I'm sure it will vary by location.

  2. Don't boil the soap when you are melting it. I don't remember why. I just remember you aren't supposed to. Probably because you don't want to cook the soap, just melt it!

  3. When you are mixing it up, it looks like lemonade. Do not drink it. It is not lemonade.

  4. I stop following the directions after #2. Like I said, I don't dilute anymore and I've never bothered to add essential oils. Neither of those steps are necessary.

  5. If you do add essential oils, only add it to small (1-2 gallons) amounts of soap at a time. If you put the oil in the whole thing, they will dissapate before you get around to using it. Thus wasting your essential oils.

  6. I use the measuring scoop from my last store bought package of laundry soap. Filled to the top it is about 2/3 cup.

  7. Also, like I said in the last post, this stuff does separate with the top gelling. I've found that shaking the bucket a bit mixes it around enough. Otherwise you can keep a stick or something handy to stir it before you use it. I think it is the Borax that makes it gel like that.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Laundry Soap Update

Long long ago (ya know, 8 months ago) I made laundry soap and said I'd let you know how it goes. So now I'm letting you know.
This week I ran out of the laundry soap I made in December. That's right. I do laundry ALL. THE. TIME. No really. At least it seems like it. And yet, the soap lasted 8 months! I started out diluting it 50/50 with water like the recipe recommends but found that Roy was putting 2 scoops in whenever he did laundry. He felt like it wasn't strong enough. Why then would I bother diluting it?! So about halfway through the 5 gallon bucket of soap I stopped mixing it with water and just used it straight. I feel like the clothes come out just as clean as when I was using other detergents. When I remember, I just use the soap straight from the bucket as a pretreater for stains.
In short, I plan to continue making my own soap. It costs less than $2 to make a 5 gallon bucket. It is super easy to make, hypoallergenic, extremely low suds (like non-existant), clean scent. The only draw back is that it does separate a bit while it sits. I usually just give the bucket a shake to mix the gel with the liquid - problem solved!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I've been offline lately. I have only even checked my email a couple of times in the last two weeks. I'm not going to say I'm back but here's a post anyway.

Monday, D went in to the fracture clinic to have his arm checked out by a pediatric orthopedist. They took some xrays and decided they would indeed change his cast. In order to make sure he didn't move his arm while the cast was off they put him in chinese fingercuffs dangling from a pole. It looked a bit like a torture device but didn't seem to hurt him. This cast is much smaller and less heavy but actually covers more of his arm. Hopefully he'll be able to move into a shorter cast soon and free up his elbow.

Old Cast:

Chinese Finger Torture:

New Cast:

We mostly haven't done much this week. We went to the new library in town. The kids' section is the entire 3rd floor. It is much like an indoor playground with large play areas and interactive learning toys.

I got a new pool for the kids (girls since D can't swim right now). I picked it up at 4 pm on Saturday evening and K has pretty much been in her swimsuit ever since. She did wear pj's to bed and a dress to church but other than that...

We've spent a lot of time picking the trim colors for the house. Roy painted it blue while I was in Utah. We've finally decided on two shades of white for the trim. One is a sandy cream color that looks good on the rain gutters and around the top of the roof. Around the windows we are putting a white-tinted-blue shade that looks really crisp and nice. Finally we want to make our shutters, windowboxes and door pop with a red wine color. Hopefully things don't look too much like a kaleidoscope. I don't think they will. Of course, if I thought they would I wouldn't do it ;)

We had a ward BBQ on Wednesday that Roy was in charge of. What possessed Roy to volunteer to head up a party I'll never know. I usually have to drag him to these things against his will. It was a very basic event that everyone enjoyed a great deal. I'm proud of him. This is a good start. Maybe I'll put him in charge of D's birthday party this year.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

D's Arm

I got about 4 hours of work in before sending the kids on a bike ride to get some energy out. Truthfully, D was bouncing around like kangaroo and driving me a bit batty. I sat down at the kitchen table to finish my lunch. I had about 5 minutes to enjoy before looking up to see a neighbor I don't know walking D's bike while he walked beside her. He had apparently wrecked on his bike and was coming home. I rushed out to thank the neighbor. I was looking for blood and didn't notice his arm at first. As soon as I looked at his arm I could tell it was broken. I sent him in to sit down while I grabbed some diapers and wipes and both girls to take next door. Luckily my neighbor was home and could take the girls while I took care of D. I called Roy and told him I thought D had a broken arm. He agreed to meet us at the ER.

Our ER has free valet parking. What a BRILLIANT idea! I hope other ER's are following suit. D requested a wheelchair to go in. It was just was well, he was starting to shock a bit. As soon as we walked in the doors the receptionist said, "Oh, we have a nasty broken arm here." Yeah....

We got right back to a room and got his arm stablized. D was awesome. He wanted to know everything that was going on. The nurse explained about the IV and D managed to hold his arm still with minimal freaking out. I had grabbed D's teddy bear for a companion for him. The nurse taped an IV onto bear as well.

The Osteo-surgeon had just gone into a surgery and would not be available for about 2 hours. We watched some movies while we waited. D was being very brave. He also had narcotics.

When the surgeon came she explained she was going to give D large amounts of narcotics and sedatives to help put him in a relaxed and alternate state of consciensness. He would not be asleep but he would also not remember the procedure. After large amounts meds, even more than the DRs usually give kids his age they asked us to leave the room. Roy and I waited outside the door. D yelled his little lungs out. He cried and screamed and I felt awful. The ER nurses kept assuring us that he would not remember a thing. Funny then that one of the first things he asked me when he was awake was if I heard him yelling.

They put a cast on him and told us to make an appointment with a pediatric orthopedist for Monday. They gave us more narcatics and sent us home. He is doing really well. Aside from not being able to ride any rides at the fair on Saturday, he is perfectly happy with everything.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The rest of our trip

The kids had an amazing time with their G&G Pyatt and various cousins. They played, swam and 4-wheeled their little hearts out. I went up the mountain where G&G P are manning a girl's camp for the summer to spend the day with family and pick up the kiddos. It was a lot of fun and I got to meet Angela - my sil who I hadn't had the pleasure of meeting until then.

D was having so much fun, he asked if he could stay until August 31. If I could have gotten him home without having to go back to get him I may have considered it!

Thursday and Friday were spent in the final preparations for Justin's wedding on Saturday as well as playing with cousins from West Virginia. Friday we had a little birthday party for Bean who turned 5. This means that for one month, my mom's grandchildren are ages 6,5,4,3,2,1. Next month D turns 7 and Geets turns 2.

Saturday was a long and exhausting day of wedding stuff. It is good to have it over but it was a pleasant day of family and friends. It was great to see relatives that I don't usually get to see on my trips.

Sunday and Monday were more good days of playing with cousins. Tuesday we headed to Brigham City to visit my bil and sil. Wednesday we made the long trek home. It was a long and virtually uneventful trip. Most remarkable was the death of the DVD player about 7 hours from home. And still we made it.