Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ula Hoffer

Dear Sweet Ula, How do I begin to tell of all the wonderful things I remember about you. Living with you for those few short months was such a special time in my life that I will never forget. We would stay up late to play Rummikub and you would tell so many stories of bygone days while we ate ice cream and your delicious warm rhubarb crisp. You would talk about your late husband, milking the many cows you had and all the foster children you took in, not to mention your own two daughters, Ruth and Nancy, and all your grandchildren. You had such a gift with young people. Always eager for the next party, bonfire, hayride and/or camp-out you would have for them, and laughing at their antics when most people your age could no longer tolerate all the "noise". I remember one time I came home late from work and you were waiting to tell me of the skunk you chased away from the door because you didn't want me to meet up with it. You always had a smile on your face and a scripture on your lips. You wrote so many people encouraging letters and when your hand got too shaky to write anymore you let Nancy set you up with a word-processor. You had such a love for Christ that you would share with anyone willing to listen. You were an inspiration to me and I shall never forget you. Thank you! It won't be the same visiting Bemidji without you there but I can be at peace with the knowledge that we will see you again someday. Until then, all my love.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Making good-smelling laundry detergent

I think it's about time I wrote a new blog, don't you? So what better subject to write about than saving money!! Yep, did you know that you can save a ton of money each year by making your own laundry detergent? Hmmm, if you can make laundry detergent, just imagine the possibilities this opens up to you!! What about dishwasher detergent!? I spend a small fortune on that stuff, someone send me the recipe!! I know it's out there. So I have been making my own laundry soap since January. I used 4 Fels-Naptha soap bars, 4 cups of Borax and 4 cups of Arm and Hammer washing powder. It lasted for 6 months!! Just pennies a load. I could tell it was getting my clothes clean but I do love a good smell to my clothes when I put them on. Especially my towels when I stick my face in them after my shower. They didn't stink, just didn't smell good either. I wasn't planning on changing anything though until the love of my life said that he wished our clothes would smell good. Like when I used to use Softener. So to Pinterest I went and was not disappointed. I didn't even have to look it up. I just started scrolling to see what was new and a little ways down the page was some homemade laundry detergent. This blogger was having the same problem I had and had come up with a solution, so I immediately headed out to the store, (Ok, it was the next morning) and bought all the necessary supplies.
I was rather disappointed to find that this great state of Louisiana does not carry the Zote soap, that she had used, anywhere near me. I think the closest place was down by the gulf somewhere. I really wanted the pink color too! But it wasn't to be had and ordering off the internet wasn't an option if I wanted to keep it cheap. Sure it was $1.75 a bar but they wanted $10 for shipping!!! Highway robbery I tell you!!!! So I used the yellow Fels-Naptha bars and with the purple crystals we got to make LSU colored soap as the girls so delightedly pointed out. Speaking of the girls they were very eager to help me out. Here's some pictures of the process.
It's funny, but when it came time to clean up the dishes and the fine powder of dust that coated everything, my little helpers had conveniently disappeared. Strange! But anyway, here's the finished product!
And yes, I tested it right away and it has met the approval of my husband and I! My clothes now smell good again :-) As far as the cost and how much it made, she said hers was $28. I'm wondering if that was before she added the 2nd bottle of Crystals, which was $8 something because my total came to almost $40. Still, if it lasts for the whole year, or pretty close to it anyway since my family is slightly larger than hers, I will be one happy mama! Along with those two bottles in the previous picture, I also have this much left in the bucket.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Girl Scout....To be or not to be...

I read an article that's going around on Facebook this morning that made me aware of somethings I didn't know about the Girl Scouts. My girls are in Girl Scouts so this is certainly something I need to check into. Please be aware, this article is not me for or against it, it's my rambling thoughts about whether or not we should be involved. The article says that this organization supports abortion and allows little boys who cross-dress to be involved among other things. This is not something I want my girls to be a part of. The other part of me is saying, but my girls know nothing about all this, I didn't know anything about all this. What we know is what our little troop here is doing. Here is the mission statement: Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. They memorize this promise: On my honor I will try: To serve God and my country, To help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law. What is the law you may ask? The Law: I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and to be a sister to every Girl Scout. When this is all you know Girl Scouts seems like a wonderful organization to be a part of. Do I want to be associated with something like this? No. But where do I draw the line? Walmart also supports abortion and is also partnered with NGLCC, a national Gay and Lesbian group. What's the difference and yet we shop at Walmart almost daily supporting them. I thought Target also supported this but all I can find is that they support Anti-Gay politicians. So if we're going to choose to stop supporting and being a part of Girl Scouts, we have to include Walmart in this also. And I'm sure there's tons of other businesses out there that we must research and boycott. Especially check into your clothing brands, like for instance Hilfiger and Abercrombie and Fitch. So are there other organizations out there that my girls can be a part of that's all good? They really love Girl Scouts but I do have to think of my example in this community. Which also brings me to wonder, what about the influence we may have over our leader who is a non-Christian. There are 6 families from our church represented in the two troops in our town. We make up over half the troops. We've gotten to know her really well. Will us pulling out make her resent us and our church? Okay, I need some thoughts on this please.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In Remembrance of my Father-In-Law; Larry Corder

Today Heaven welcomed home a wonderful man. He was the father of my husband and I have so many things to thank him for. He was a soft-spoken man who made a big impact in so many lives. He served this country in the Vietnam War and after the war he lived his life serving God and helping others. A lot of the good qualities I find in Jason, I know came from him. He and Diana couldn't have children of their own so they adopted Jason and gave him a Godly, loving home to grow up in. My husband didn't plan on being a preacher when he was in high school. But his dad told him that if he would just go to one year of Bible College they would pay for it. He went and, as they say, the rest is history. Jason has been preaching ever since. So not only did Larry help people through his own personal life but also through the ministry of his son. You don't find very many parents who want their children to go into the ministry because as everybody knows, it's not one of the best paying jobs. But he and Diana couldn't have been more proud of Jason as he stood up and received his Bachelor and got his first preaching job.
Larry was a wonderful Grandfather. The only thing I regret about waiting so long to have children, is that he and Diana didn't have longer to be grandparents. They got to enjoy being grandparents for three years with our first daughter Kelsey, and welcomed our second daughter, McKayla, into this world before Diana was taken from us with cancer and Larry had his first stroke. It makes me sad to think of how much our girls will miss by not truly knowing them. Thankfully the girls did get to know Larry, how he was after his stroke, and could still see that he was a sweet loving Grandfather and they came to love him and prayed for him every night. I'm so glad we have Heaven to look forward to and know that we will all be together again free of strokes and cancer. For right now though, we have many happy memories and will carry on the legacy he left behind.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Thank You Note to My Parents

Dear Mom and Dad,

In this crazy world we live in today I see so many different parenting techniques, and although I know yours weren't perfect, because well, nobody's are, you had it right in so many ways.
Thank you for being my parents and not trying to be my friend. Because in so doing you made it possible for us to be friends today, otherwise I might have a lot of regrets in my life that I would've blamed you for.
Thank you for taking me to church and church events religiously. I knew for a fact that God was the most important thing in your life. It also gave me the opportunity to meet other kids my age with parents like mine. It let me know that we weren't alone in this world when all my school friends thought so differently than I did. I made some of my best friends at those events and lived for summer camps where I could spend a whole week with them and relax knowing my Christian beliefs wouldn't be harassed and degraded by my peers.
Thank you for telling me in no uncertain terms that I could not date non-believers. Even if in the eighth grade I had to say no to a boy I had a serious crush on and lost a lot of friends in the process. We were friends with many of the same people, and I was mad at you, but looking back I realize now in making that decision you helped me choose better companions who weren't "fair-weather" friends which made me be a better friend to others. It also protected me from making even bigger mistakes. He had a reputation with past girlfriends and still I was attracted to him, had you consented I would have too.
Thank you for not trusting me with a lot of freedom at a young age and allowing me to hang out with my friends at the mall or movies or parties or dances. I know what went on at some of those and knowing myself, I would have participated.
Thank you for not letting me wear the skimpy clothing I wanted to wear because even though I didn't know (or did I...) you knew what it did to a young man and you knew that it cheapened my body. You saved me from making a lifetime of mistakes because you realized I was just a child who needed to be molded in a good Christian environment before releasing me to test my own convictions.
Thank you for trusting me and believing in me when it was time for me try out my wings and leave the nest. I pray that I will be the same for my children and later down the road I will see them raising their families in the Lord as well. God blessed me abundantly when he gave me to you and I thank Him everyday for the both of you.

With much love and thanks, Michelle

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Our trip to Atlanta Georgia

Jason had a Youth Minister's Seminar in Duluth Georgia, which is a suburb of Atlanta and since the girls had Spring Break at the same time we decided to go with him. Before I realized the two were at the same time I was really dreading him leaving us because it seems to be getting harder and harder for the girls to see him go to these things. Last time they both cried themselves to sleep when he left. So needless to say, they were very excited when they found out we were going with him. He was busy all day, with the exception of a couple hours at lunch and then he would be done by six in the evening, so the girls and I had time to kill. The first day we found an ice skating rink with open skating. They were absolutely thrilled!

After that we went and met Jason for lunch. Along with Dan Locke and a couple of his coworkers from Arizona. For some reason Kelsey took a liking to Dan a few years ago at Mathew and Emily's wedding and after that referred to him as "My friend Dan". She was only 3 years old at the time and since then his title has shortened to "Friend Dan". Even though this was McKayla's first time to meet Dan, that has always been her name for him as well. I think you can tell from this picture why they like him so much :-) When we parted ways again the girls and I went back to the Hotel to just relax.
For supper we met up with the four of them again and this time we went into Atlanta to eat at a Wild Buffalo Wing restaurant, or something like that. I can't seem to remember the name of that place. I want to call it Wild Bill's Buffalo Wings for some reason. We thought it was pretty cool because it was in a parking garage along with a two story Target and a three story Dick's Sporting Good's Store. You can tell we're from the country.

The next morning we had to check out of the motel by 11 so the girls and I found a park

We picked up Jason and had lunch in the food court at the mall. Much to the Kelsey and McKayla's delight, they also had a Carousel there.

We dropped Jason back off at the convention and then we headed to the Theater to watch Hop. I have to say, the GPS is probably one of the greatest inventions of all time! I found all these places like I knew where I was going, and that's saying something when you're talking about a country girl in the big city!

Unfortunately that brought our fun week to a close. It was time to go back and pick up Jason, say goodbye to Dan and hit the road. For our last Hurrah, we stopped at one of our favorite restaurants, Steak and Shake.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Changing tastes

This year for Christmas Kelsey told me she wanted a new room. Unfortunately she told me too late to get it done for Christmas but it started me thinking about it and so in February I decided to do it. I was a little sad because I had really liked the Tinkerbell room with it's two shades of green, light blue ceiling, my favorite color of purple on one wall, and the little "jewels" bedecking the border line. Not to mention the Tinkerbell fan I had found at Lowes for not such a good deal. I thought, well maybe McKayla's not ready to change, I won't do it if she's not ready. But.......sigh...... she was rather tired of Tinkerbell as well so I guess it was time. It had only been two years!

So we went to Home Depot to get some ideas for their new room. They went in the store with all kinds of ideas for a horse room, so we were ready to look at shades of brown, but we came out with all different shades of purple. Some of you know, purple just happens to be my favorite color but I want you to know I had nothing to do with their choice! I was happy with it though :-). We talked about all the different things we could do and then I got this crazy, let me repeat.....CRAZY, idea to do stripes! I drew it out on paper with the different colors and the girls thought that would work just peachy. Thankfully my dear friend Esther had some experience with stripes so she came and helped me get it all marked off. That in itself took a day! Just a little FYI for all of you painters out there.....that new froggy tape does not work as well as the old blue tape. I have pictures to prove it but won't bore you with them on here. So without further ado, here is the new room!
BTW, I love it and the girls thank me almost every day. I'm glad they convinced me to change it. :-) That white cabinet I had designed with big things in mind. I envisioned drawers along the bottom and doors alternating on the top two rows. After Jason finished the basic box he ran out of time, motivation, and/or money and I grew impatient and decided to just use it like that. Maybe someday we'll get around to finishing it. ;-)

I snagged the window curtains at Hobby Lobby on clearance and paid less for both of them than the original price of one. Gotta love that! As for their Tinkerbell fan, well, I put that on Craigslist and not even an hour later I had several who wanted it, along with the Tinkerbell lights. I ended up selling all of them to a friend from church so we're about to replace it with a simple white fan. Esther showed us the site for the instructions on those doll beds so Jason made them for their Valentine's present and I just got their sheets and pillows made a couple weeks ago. The girls each picked out their material they wanted. We still have to make the quilts. I thought I would use their old toddler clothes to make those.
This is something I found for their wall. I plan on building shelves and making a picture board also. As you can see on top of their cabinet, they have lots of little "treasures" that I would like to spread out more. One last thing I am having trouble finding in my price range is a soft fuzzy purple rug that is at least 6 1/2" x 5". This is proving to be a difficult task. There's also some little purple lamps at Target that I've been keeping my eye on for their dresser. I refuse to pay $30 a piece for them though. Maybe I can catch them on clearance one of these days. If you know of any place that has these items for a good price let me know! In the meantime, I'm hoping the girls will be happy with this room for longer than two years!