Wednesday, June 26, 2013


What is one thing that always needs to be done?

Dishes. And laundry, but I'm tackling one thing at a time.

Every appliance in my house is old, including my dishwasher. One day I was fretting over the fact it will finally fail soon- and then it hit me. Dishwashers are really a luxury. A want, not a need.

Slowly, I began to accept the idea of hand washing my dishes instead of using the dishwasher. I have to wash them ahead of time, anyway, and if I don't, the whole load ends up dirtier than before the machine washed them.

Then I started to get excited about it. Before we had a dishwasher growing up, I gained memories of drying dishes next to my mom- I remember kind of liking it :)

Currently, our mission is to wash dishes after each meal. I have reduced their chores to three a day after meals in order to focus on developing this habit. One girl sweeps the kitchen, one cleans off the table (everyone is responsible for taking their own plate to the sink), and one helps me do the dishes. Max vacuums under the table.

The very first thing we do is rinse and scrape as clean as possible, stacking dishes according to wash order.

If something- especially pots and pans- are extra greasy, I sprinkle some baking soda on it to soak up the grease. ( I put it in a small mason jar with a few holes poked in the lid).

We use this homemade soap.

The first sink is for washing. I like to soak them a few minutes before washing if needed. The water is as hot as tolerated, with a few squirts of soap.

Glasses first, silverware second, then dishes and baking pans.

Second sink is for rinse. I pour a little vinegar in the hot water because it helps with reducing water marks and greasy dishes. I love my soap, but it is not sudsy like the store brand and does not always get rid of grease. Vinegar does help. Lemon juice works as well.

Place on racks to dry. If possible, it is most sanitary to air dry. It's also less work :) Otherwise, towel dry. Make sure they are completely dry before putting dishes away in order to prevent bacteria growth.

It is best when we put some music on and work together, and then it is done- no waiting for the dishwasher to finish. I'm loving the elimination of the dishwasher!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Why I Love Refried Beans

When we would go to Wichita, dinner was at La Chanitas. I would get some sort of combo including refried beans with shredded lettuce and mild salsa. Since then, I've always loved refried beans.

Pork burgers. Like hamburgers but oh my gosh so much better at the county fair in the Pork Producer's booth.

Grilled T-bones. I seldom eat these at a restaurant because his were always the best.

I also blame him for my unhealthy love for ice cream. Braum's.

Dads make great memories.

I had a preventative talk with Savannah about boys the other day. I said she didn't need to worry about dating and boys until she was ready to get married, which will be for a while.
She shrugged her shoulders and said, "That's okay, I'll just date Daddy until then".

For them, it will be eggrolls or sticky rice.

Dos Reales' chicken salad.

Drinks with things floating around in them.

And ice cream.

Friday, June 7, 2013

These Things I Know

My children, excited about our vacation starting very early in the morning, decided to go to bed at 7:00 so they would be well rested.

It's 11:00 and they are still awake. And so am I, very much so.

I have not blogged much lately. Partly because I am too tired, because I've spewed my heart out into cyberspace enough, and because I don't know how to properly communicate burning thoughts and lessons my life brings.

Max will turn four in a week. I started this blog a few months after he was born. Was there life before Max? My world was changed at that point. Not just because of him, but because that was when I started homeschool. That was when my niece, Ellie came to stay with me. Since then, she's left but will forever be a part of our family. We've had little, we've had more... dreams fulfilled and dreams still in expectations. Dreams that died out. It's been hard. It's been a blast. It was and still is the desires of my heart. All of it.

I feel like a completely different person than Wendi four years ago. I have a long way to go.

I have resigned to teetering between being a teacher at heart and reluctant to open my mouth. I want to study and teach homemaking for the mother that has all odds against her, but I can't do this until my heart is right. God has shown me homemaking is a matter of the heart. Mine must have been in need of much training, because he just keeps showing me things. And I appear to be failing at homemaking.

This are the things, however, I know:

  • There is always something to be thankful about, and those are the things you must set your mind on, or joy will not have power in your life. Joy is essential. So is thanksgiving. If you cannot think of anything, ask God.

  • You cannot expect God to bless your plans. Learn His plans, obey, and expect abundant blessings. If you don't know what His plans are, ask God.

  • Learn to be content in the present with an expectation of future increase. Be who you were made to be, tuning out the standards of anyone else and looking to God's word as a user manual for your life. Disesteem the world's opinion of you and delve into the reality of who you really are. If you don't know who you are, ask God.

  • Accept God's grace. He knows where you are. Grace when you miss a payment. Grace when you can't keep up with the laundry. Grace when you are not sure how to handle a child. Accept the grace and then ask for wisdom. There has been no perfect wife or mother yet, and you won't be the first. Need wisdom? Ask God.

  • Don't expect your children to fit into your busy life. Slow down and be there for them when and where they need you... and loosen up when and where they need you. They are not here for you, but you are here for them. This is like planting seeds that will produce much good in the future.

  • Allow the Holy Spirit to work in every area, especially when you cannot do it yourself. Watch to see what He will do.

  • Involve the kids. Let them help when they are willing. Expect them to even if they are not willing. It starts as an added chore for us, but ends as great help for us and good work ethic for them. Inviting them to follow our example is priceless.

  • No matter how much chaos surrounds us, keep yourself in perfect peace. Peace is where the life of the home starts.

  • Bad things will happen. These are temporary. To handle them, see above.

  • Good things will happen. Celebrate them, then repeat above.

  • Above all, magnify God. Study His word, and resolve to live in it as truth. This seems radical since we've been lied to so much. It is, however, essential for the very same reason.
Good night and God bless.