Monday, September 12, 2011

I am a C...

I am C-H...

I am C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N

And I have C-H-R-I-S-T in my H-E-A-R-T and I will L-I-V-E E-T-E-R-N-A-L-L-Y!

God has laid this song on my heart for about a week now.  Throughout the day it just pops up in my head.  And here i sit again with these words.  God is funny sometimes, the way he tries to grab our attention!  I sit here finally GETTING what he's been trying to say to me for some time.  Own it.  OWN who you are.  Own me.  OWN ME AS YOUR LORD and SAVIOR!

In the world we live in, Christianity is not the "in" thing.  It's often what sets you apart as "the weird one".  I have friends who are not Christians.  And I find myself almost downplaying my belief around them to "fit in".  But here is the thing...I believe that as a Christian, I am not called to fit in.  I am called to stand out!  I want people to look at me and see my heart.  And wonder what sets me apart-what makes me different!  I want them to wonder what I have that seems to be missing from their own lives.  I want them to long for what I have, so they can ask me about, and I can share it with them, so they can have it too!

I will be honest, I often fear that if "so and so" knows I am a believer...will they still "like" me?  Will I lose friends if I stand up and say that I believe that Jesus Christ is the one true God?  Who knows.  All I know is that that is a risk that I am willing to take. Matthew 10:33 says " But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven."  So I will not disown my Lord, not even by omission.

So here I am.  A Christian.  Take me or leave me. But if you take me; you take all of me...

And as for me and my house...we will serve the Lord.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

midwifery and the great divide....

As many of you know I have been volunteering for Friends of Michigan Midwives for a few months now.  Yesterday I turned in my resignation for my position.  When I started working with them, I was under the assumption that this included ALL midwives.  And that our goal was openly supported by ALL midwives.  Afterall...we were their friends.  Friends help each other out.  After my last conference call with several other volunteers, I was left was a sour taste in my mouth.  Something was stated (that I have now been told I must have misunderstood) that just didn't sit well with me, so I started digging.

Upon my research, this is NOT a group that includes all midwives.  This is a group whose sole purpose is to push/back/support a bill, that on the surface (imo) seems great.  Making Midwifery legal in the state of Michigan.  Upon digging, and asking questions...not so great.

There are a TON of midwives that do not want State Licensure.  Midwifery in the state of MI is not legal.  NOR is it illegal.  It is one of those gray areas.  The bill would cover CPMs (certified professional midwives), and all other midwives who are not CPMs now must become CPMs (there is claim that midwives would be grandmothered in for 3-4 years).  The claim is so there is a standard of care.  But I have seen OB's...they are suppose to have a standard of care, right?  And they are elminating vbacs, pushing epis, pushin inductions, pushing time-frames on moms/births... So for me, standard of care doesn't really mean much.  What I want is midwives that trust birth.  As a parent who spent a lot of time researching homebirths, and researching midwives I feel that moms, and dads are 100% capable of finding a midwife with a GOOD record, a midwife they can trust.  A midwife with experience, and education (which doesn't always mean "book taught").  The more I think about state licensure for midwives, the more I realize the power that is being taken away from parents.  I have heard that Licensure will require neonatal resuscitation...isn't that just smart practice?  As a mom...that would be one of the FIRST questions I'd ask interviewing a midwife.  What happens IF something goes wrong...what training/education do you have?  Licensure is not needed for that.  Another is that there would be 3rd party reimbursment from medicaid to cover homebirths.   I have even been quoted talking about this recently in an online publication.  BUT here is the thing...for me, someone who is planning to become a midwife...I am so passionate about homebirths that should I ever have a client who cant afford me...I will find a way to make it work.  Barter some or even ALL of my services.  There are midwives already that DO this.  So 3rd party reimbursment just makes it about money (again, imo).

The State of MI is not even ASKING that midwives become licensed.  They want them to be registered with NARM (North American Registry of Midwives.  So fine, lets just ask that Midwives all take the NARM exam.  And leave State licensure out of it.  I get very concerned when people start involving the government...who has proven time after time they just care about money and will screw anyone over, no matter promises have been made along the way.  This bill MAY be great.  It MAY be the best bill outta all the others in the states.  But once it's introduced...midwives WILL lose power eventually.

In other states, breech births and multiples births have been used a a bargaining chip to pass the bill.  I have heard that this wont happen here.  I have also heard (although now being told I misunderstood) this MAY happen here.  They are not putting any definition of birth in the bill.  They are leaving it in the hands of the midwives to decide what births they want to attend.  Okay, again, that seems great.  BUT...look at what has just happened with the Medical Marijuana Dispensaries.  The Medical Marijuna law is vague.  Now the State is staying that dispensaries are illegal.  And dispite the revenue these business were bringing to the state (at least the ones that were actually doing the business legit) these businesses are being raided and forced to close.  Who is to say that this same thing WILL NOT happen with midwifery?  What happens if a Licensed midwife attend a birth, something goes wrong.  Someone sues (b/c we live in a sue happy country), the state says, "well, the law doesn't cover breech births", even tho the midwife is licensed...she goes to jail.  MAYBE I am stretching it, maybe I am not.

ANOTHER concern, if a midwife chooses not to get her license, the claim is that her status would stay just as it is now.  That just can't be.  B/c right now we are riding the gray area.  Remember, not legal, not illegal.  Licensure would make the other midwives ILLEGAL.  And then the witch hunt begins...turning in the midwives who are now marked with the scarlet A...better yet, scarlet UM (unlicensed midwife).   It divides what once was a beautiful into two groups...the legal midwives vs. the illegal midwives.  Right now, even though there may be a great divide in opinions/views...all midwives are in the same boat...floating in the gray area together.

I know that in posting this, I am stepping across the line and joining what others are calling the naysayers.  But it is what it is.  I have found my voice.  And I will use it.  This affects my future as a midwife someday.  And I refuse to sit silent in fear of offending anyone.  I truly hope that my friends on "the other side" of this divide understand that I have to make my own choices, and that they still love me for me.  But I must cross over to the other side now.  And I hold my head up high doing so.

I have recently come across someone who has a very LOUD voice against state licensure...Carla Hartley.  In fact, I have an appointment to speak with her over the phone tomorrow (and I am rather excited about it!).  Here is what she writes about this....and I agree, 100%.


Etymology: L, licere, to be allowed
the granting of permission by a competent authority (usually a government agency) to an organization or individual to engage in a practice or activity that would otherwise be illegal. Kinds of licensure include the issuing of licenses for general hospitals or nursing homes, for health professionals such as physicians, and for the production or distribution of biologic products. Licensure is usually granted on the basis of education and examination rather than performance. It is usually permanent, but a periodic fee, demonstration of competence, or continuing education may be required. Licensure may be revoked by the granting agency for incompetence, criminal acts, or other reasons stipulated in the rules governing the specific area of licensure

Ask yourself:
• Has history proven that licensure of midwives is a good thing for birthing women or for midwifery?
• Does licensing restrict or expand "with woman" midwifery service?
• Does a licensed midwife have the freedom to serve the birthing women who hire her or does she really work for the license grantor?
• Does the added expense of licensing help hold midwifery service down to something the average family can afford?
• If birth is a normal function and midwifery is not medicine why would we need MALPRACTICE insurance or licensing or other medical related red tape and approval?
• Is licensure based on a false premise that birth is a MEDICAL event?
• Do birthing women need to be protected from midwives?
• Does licensing increase the competition and contention among midwives?
• Can you agree to acting as an agent of the state, promising to report other non-licensed midwives as part of your license agreement?
• Does a license mean a midwife is a BETTER midwife than one who is not licensed or just the perception of "official" therefore better?
• What will the trade-offs be once you are licensed?
• Does a license protect the midwife from persecution or prosecution?
• Will papering up make you a better "with woman" midwife?

Remember...those who grant the license may alter its conditions and take it away at any time. A license is not FREEDOM TO PRACTICE--it is REGULATION OF PRACTICE.
 (by carla hartley)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

food really does matter!

many months ago i watched parts of Food Inc. on youtube.  it was only about 10 minutes of it, and it was very disturbing.  so much so, i didn't want to watch the rest of it.  not because i didn't agree with it, but because it made me aware of what i am really eating.  and the fact that the people that are suppose to protecting us, and keeping our foods safe...have pockets padded by the people who are doing the damage to our foods.  i was sickened seeing thousands of chickens, pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones (to make bigger breasts, and more "meat") that they can barely walk.    it's things that we don't think about...where are food is really coming from.  when we go to the grocery store and get meat (whether it's chicken, beef, pork, turkey), in our minds we picture these animals prior to slaughter living on a beautiful farm, with lush green grass, farmers that know them by name, big red barn, stray barn cats running all over.  don't lie...ya'll have the same fantasy!  ;)  but it's so far from the truth!  these animals are all treated inhumane!  and we should be ashamed of ourselves for standing by with a blind eye.  these animals live in feed lots.  bunched together, standing in their own fecal matter.  corn fed (because it's cheaper and government subsidized). 

i finally gave in to my own selfish...ummm shall we say, protection of the truth...and watched Food Inc in it's entirety.  it make me sick to my stomach.  that i had been a guilty party in all of this.  being naive to the truth makes us just as guilty as monsanto (in my eyes!).  if you don't know who monsanto better start researching.   monsanto created roundup.  and roundup ready seeds.  meaning, seeds that dont die when roundup is sprayed on it.  meaning...GMO...genetically modified foods.  fake version of what GOD created.

once you learn the truth, you can't go back to the way you lived before.  changes must be made.  and ben and are are taking giant leaps to change what we eat and what we feed our kids.  we have purchased a cow share from a farm in howard city, so that we can legally get raw milk.  raw milk is unpasteurized.  straight from the cow.  nothing added, nothing taken away.  raw mil, despite what the FDA says, is better for you than pasteurized.  we also have started going weekly to the farmers markets.  buying organic, locally grown foods.  talking to the farmers about how they grow (natural vs pesticides).  reading food labels.  knowing what ingredients are safe, and what should be avoided at all cost!    I am making these changes not just for myself, but for my kids, and my grandkids, and great-grandkids.  these changes NEED to be made so that we can have a future someday.  a future without cancer, and disease.  yes, this IS possible!  but we have to demand it.  our government will give us exactly what we ask them for, and if all we ask is a world full of GMO'd foods, cheap, foods...they will continue to provide it.  but is we stand up NOW and demand better...eventually we WILL get better. 

i highly suggest that you get your hands on Food Inc., Foodmatters, The Future of Food.  find out what you are eating.  what you are feeding your kids, and make a difference in their lives starting TODAY. 

yummy granola bars

these are MUCH better than store bought! 

2 cups organic rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup organic flour (next time I make this I am going to try my spelt flour)
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (or carob chips)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raw honey
1 egg, beaten (i use eggs fresh from the farm, if you buy them at the store buy organic brown eggs)
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (make sure it's REAL or mexican vanilla, not artificial flavored!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 9×13 inch baking pan. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, mini chocolate chips,  and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using a wooden spoon. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 30  in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. I recommend using a plastic knife to cut these out to get a perfectly cut bar with minimal crumbs.

*you can take this basic recipe and add whatever else you like in your bars!  ben wants peanut butter chips next time!  :)

homemade salsa using fresh tomatoes

i never measure when i cook, so i don't have exact measurements on this.  it's all to taste really.  and will really depend on how many tomatoes and peppers you have.  here is the basic recipe i use:
  • fresh tomoatoes (boil for 1 min, ice bath, peel skins)
  • green chilies
  • chopped onion
  • minced garlic clove(s)
  • jalapeno(s), quarted then sliced, keeping seeds (you are brave you can take the spice!)
  • pinch or two of sugar
  • pinch or two of salt
  • pinch ground cumin
  • fresh cilantro (to taste)
  • juice from a fresh lime (half to whole)
add everything to your blender or food processor,  mix till you get the consistency you like! 

if you are planning to can your salsa, make sure you sterilize jars and lids.  add salsa to jars leaving 1/4 inch from top.  add jars to boiling water bath.  boil 15 minutes.  take jars out of bath, and set on counter for 12-24 hours.


Friday, August 12, 2011

homemade toothpaste

i have been looking for a toothpaste recipe for awhile now.  i just made this, and went to do the test brush...FABULOUS!

coconut oil toothpaste
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp baking soda
  • 20-25 drops essential oil.  (i used lavendar because i am in love with the stuff! but feel free to use peppermint oil)
  • 1tsp xylitol crystals
  • 2 tsp vegetable glycerin (optional---makes it creamy and easier to spread on the brush)
mix it all together a glass baby food jar (works great for this---AND you are recycling/reusing something-BONUS!).  mix till creamy.  it's as simple as that!  enjoy!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

"when you grow up"

I was recently asked by our 3 year old neighbor

"Miss Kathy, what do you wanna be when you grow up?"

Without thinking, I just laughed and said I don't know sweetie... her mom quickly replied

"Miss Kathy is going to be a Doula"

It hit me.  I FINALLY know what I want to be!  I can not tell you how amazing it feel to finally have found the path that is meant to be!  I have officially signed up for classes with Child Birth International.  And if all goes well, by the end of the year (maybe sooner!) I will be a Certified Doula.

I have also just been asked if I would like to be the Regional Coordinator for Friends of Michigan Midwives!  It's a volunteer position, but I feel totally honored to be able to be a part of this organiztion!  FoMM helps promote Michigan Midwives.  I am so excited to meet all the local midwives and other birth junkies!  ;)

It feels awesome to finally KNOW what I want to be when I grow up!  Ben said to me the other night that he really feels that this is what I was meant to be.  I couldn't agree more!  I am even thinking of taking it one step further someday and becoming a midwife!  :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Homemade Yogurt

My friend Heather recently taught me to make my own yogurt.  LOVE it!  LOOOOOOOOOOVE it!  It's super easy to make too!  Here is how:

1/2 gallon of milk (I use raw, farm fresh milk).  let is sit out until it's room temperature.  Get a large pot, add milk and boil/scald it while whisking---(takes about 20 minutes).  Once it starts to froth, remove it from heat and let sit to cool (about 2 hours).  The easiest way to explain how to test the tempature is to stick the tip of your pinky finger and you should be able to hold it there about 10 seconds (very scientific, I know!).  It should still be warm, not cold.  If it's too cold, set it back on the stove-top and heat till you can do the fingertip test.  Whisk in your starter (a little bit of yogurt from you previous batch---OR you can use store bought plain yogurt to start it if you can't get a better starter).  Place in your containers (remember to save out some for a starter for the next time you make it).  Let it sit for 24 hours.  DO NOT MOVE IT, OR PEEK INSIDE TO CHECK ON IT.  Keep the lids on.  After 24 hours, your yogurt is ready to eat!  I add either honey, or jam to flavor it.  It is SOOOOOOOOOO  yummy!  You will fall in love!  :)

Friday, April 29, 2011


something has been weighing heavy on my heart.  and i think i just need to take time to acknowledge it.  i feel like i am at a place in my life where the way i was heading suddenly isn't the way i want to go any more.  what do i mean?  well, i have been dreaming for as long as i can remember about being a photographer.  i love it!  i have started working on my studio in my house, and have been busy buying props, and backdrops.  but a few months ago it started feeling like that wasn't the direction i was suppose to be heading.  at least not right now.  i can't explain why i feel this way.  in fact it almost upsets me!  i just lately feel like i am forcing myself in a direction that it not meant to be.  i feel i am being called to a different path.  one that excites me, but it's hard to change direction in the middle of the road, no matter how exciting the new path is!  after alayna's birth, something sparked in me.  this fire for birth.  for helping other moms find their inner strength.  one that i was so unaware i had until i experienced natural, unmedicated childbirth.  i see and hear too often people talking about birth in fear.  saying they just can't "without drugs".  i used to compare childbirth to stubbing my toe!  i would tell people that i have a very low pain threshold---stubbing my toe about made me cry so there was no way i could delivery a baby without an epidural!  my friend jaime was pregnant at the same time i was.  one day she told me that she was planning a homebirth.  i remember thinking that is was totally insane.  in fact, i set out to research and prove all the reasons why she was crazy.  why it was dangerous for both mom and baby not to be in a hospital.  after all, i had delivered a baby who ended up in the nicu for 10 days.  i knew that things could go wrong.  it was all too real to me.  but upon researching, and talking with people, i began to understand why jaime would want to be as far away from the hospital as she could.  and i began to realize that haylee's 10 day nicu stay could have totally been avoided if it hadn't been for the doctors interventions (ie: pitocin, epidural, breaking my water).  i was 35 weeks along when i delivered her.  they never once tried to stop my labor.  i realized that had i been under the care of a midwife...things would have gone so differently.  and then when i was at one of my appointments with alayna at the OB's office (under the care of a medwife), laynie was breech.  i asked what our options where if she didn't turn before i delivered and the said, well, you'd have a c-section.  that was it.  that was all i needed to hear.  no one was cutting me open unless my baby was in distress.  and just because she was upside down (err right side up?)...that didn't make her in distress.  i walked out of that appointment knowing i would never go back.  knowing in my heart that i would be delivering this little one at home. surrounded by my family and my friends.  not random doctors and nurses and med students.  not attached to tubes and machines.  not stuck on my back numb to the most beautiful moment that was occurring.  i would not be numb.  i wanted to feel every contraction, every push.  jumping forward to the day alayna was born...i was prepared.  i was supported.  i was surrounded by love and support.  i delivered alayna in a pool in our bedroom.  only loving hands touched me, supported me, gave me strength to push on.  the energy in the room was incredible!  one that you will not ever feel in a sterile hospital setting (please remember, my first three where born in the i truly feel i can say that).  pushing her out, i was the first one to touch her.  pulled her out of the water and into my arms.  and it was the most empowering moment of my entire life!!  in that moment something in me changed.  i found my inner strength.  this is my desire for every pregnant woman out there.  to feel prepared.  to be educated.  to not be afraid.  even if they choose not to birth at home, i want them to know that they were BORN to deliver babies.  and to stand up for themselves against the doctors.  to trust their bodies.  because when they do it's the most empowering thing that they will ever experience.  this is why i am seriously considering becoming a doula.  maybe even a midwife.  i am not sure when this will happen.  i am enjoying being a homeschool mama just soaking up time and love with my kids! i haven't decided what exactly i will do with the photography business.  like i said, i love it!  maybe i can have the best of both worlds and just do birth photography!  :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

super easy chicken tortilla soup *crockpot style*

i created this recipe by tweaking another recipe.   the original recipe called for putting the mix over rice, and didn't have much flavor or spice!  we love this!  kids don't dig it too much so i make them something else when i do this for ben and i. 

place4-6 frozen (yup, frozen) chicken breast in a crockpot
add 1 can green chilies and diced tomatoes
1 cup (this is an estimate here) corn
1 can black beans
top with one jar salsa
any other seasonings you want to spice it up

cook for 4-6 hours.  your cook time will depend on how quickly the chick cooks.  once chicken is done, pull it out, shred it, and toss back in crockpot.  top with 1 package cream cheese.  let that melt, mix it in, and shredded cheese.  we usually crush tortilla chips up in our bowl before we eat it.  we seriously love this stuff!  hope you do too!!  :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

best. bread. ever!

monday night i decided that my sourdough starter was ready to use!  i was given a recipe by a friend, but it was giving via text message...and i had deleted the text!  so i went to the internet to find a good recipe!  i have never made sourdough before, so i wasn't even sure what to look for when looking for the "perfect recipe".  i went with one that looked hopes that it was also good!  i mixed it all up, and then let it sit overnight to rise.  when we got up tuesday morning it smelled fabulous in the kitchen (i love the smell of bread rising!!).  i kneaded the dough, separated it into two pans, let that rise for a bit, and then...fingers crossed stuck it in the oven (okay, my fingers weren't really crossed as i stuck it in the oven---that would make holding the pans rather difficult!).

again my kitchen smelled fabulous!!  nothing beats the smell of freshly baking bread!!  now, this may sound very odd, but after the bread came out of the oven, we didn't devour it.  i actually let it cool, and put it away for the next day.  this is only because i had another loaf of bread that i wanted to finish was very tempting however not to toss that loaf out just so we could eat the fresh bread! 

today for lunch i used the sourdough.  and it was a hit!!!  it was sweeter than i expected and so soft and moist!  the kids loved it!  they ate it all down to the crumbs!!  this is huge for my kids seeing as the normal haaaaate eating the crust of the bread!  here is the recipe.  just remember, you need to make your starter first!  and that takes a few get moving!!!  go make your starter right now!!!!  :)

(recipe is from

  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn oil
  • 6 cups bread flour


  1. Mix sugar, corn oil, salt, water, and 1 cup of sourdough starter together in a large bowl. Sift the flour and add to the mixture. Grease or oil the dough. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise overnight.
  2. The next day, knead the dough for 10 minutes. Divide in half, and place into two greased 4 x 8 inch bread pans. Allow the dough to double in size.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 to 45 minutes, or until bread is golden brown and taps hollow. Turn out to cool on wire racks.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

homemade laundry soap

many of you have asked me for the laundry soap recipe i use.  i used the powdered one, but b/c i have a front loader i plan to switch to the liquid one next.  makes a lot so make sure you have a big 5 gallon bucket!  or do what heather and I plan to...make a batch with a friend and split it!  
*these were taken off the Duggars website (*

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value
4  Cups - hot tap water
1  Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax
- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of 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 let sit overnight to thicken.
-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)
*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased online here (at Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!

Powdered Laundry Detergent - Top load machine
1   Fels-Naptha soap bar
1  Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½  Cup Borax
-Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use 1 Tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons. Yields: 3 Cups detergent. (Approx. 40 loads)
*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased online here (at Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!

TIPS FOR LAUNDRY SOAP: We use Fels-Naptha  bar soap in the homemade soap recipes, but you can use Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castile or Zote bars. Don't use heavily perfumed soaps. We buy Fels-Naptha by the case from our local grocer or online. Washing Soda and Borax can often be found on the laundry or cleaning aisle. Recipe cost approx. $2 per batch.

Friday, April 22, 2011

sourdough bread *starter*

never made sourdough bread before.  hopefully this turns out!  i just started my starter last night.  i stirred it this morning and looks good (i think...seeing as i have nothing to compare it it!).  it needs to rise for 2-5 days.  i am posting the recipe in case anyone wants to start this bread journey with me!  :)

2 cups all purpose flour (our any flour you decide to use)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar (this helps jumpstart the yeast process, but it's an optional step)
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)

mix flour, sugar, and yeast in a glass bowl (don't use plastic or metal). bowl needs to hold 2 quarts.  gradually stir in the water until it starts to form a foamy paste.  it will look lumpy, but it's okay.  cover with a dish cloth and let it sit in a warm, draft free place.  let sit out for 2-5 days, stirring once a day.  the start is ready when it develops a pleasant sour smell and looks bubbly.  once it starts bubbling, start to feed it daily with flour and water (you will remove 1 cup of the starter-use in baked item or give to friend, or toss.  replace with 1 cup flour 1 cup warm water).  let sit out for a few hours, covered  to become active before using in your baking.  remember, this is just the starter for the bread.  you will add this to your sourdough recipe.

i will post pictures of the bread once I make it and let you know how it turned out!  wish me luck!  :)

Dishwasher Soap

I have been making my own laundry soap and dishwasher soap for a while now.  Last night I realized...poor planning!  Used the last of the dishwasher detergent. kitchen is starting to get a bit outta hand but I didn't want to run to the store and give in to the "other stuff" (you know...the stuff with icky chemicals!).  So I decided I needed to make my own from whatever I had.  Castile soap...check.  Vinegar...makes a good rinse aid...check.  Citric Acid...cuts down the grease...check.  Water to dilute.  My castile is the peppermint, so it smells great too!  The load is almost done and I will put it away and reload with the bigger dishes from dinner tonight.  I think I will just make another larger batch and use this mix until it runs out!  I should probably pick up some washing soda and more citric acid tho...b/c I know the poor planning will happen again and I'll need a back up wash!  :)

Dishwasher Soap
1/2 cup Liquid Castile Soap
1/2 cup Water
1/8 cup Vinegar
1 Tablespoon-ish (didn't measure just guessed) Citric Acid

*Shake it up before using

Saturday, April 16, 2011


"never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit.  do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even when your whole world seems upset" st. francis de sales

i am even applying this to my parenting.  yelling at my kids gets me no where.  but when i am quiet, and talk to them.  when i get down to their level and look them in the eyes and talk...i see positive results.  yelling makes them sad.  yelling makes them cry.  yelling makes me sad.  talking...they understand that. 

life is too short to yell.  at anyone.  i refuse to lose my inner peace and allow anger to take over my life.  life isn't going to be easy all the time.  life may not ever be easy.  but i would much rather live each day peacefully, much rather enjoy every moment instead of rushing through it! i am enjoying having a calm spirit!  and i am sure my kids are enjoying having a quiet mom, peaceful mom!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

lets be real..

...i suck at this blogging thing.  i have good intentions when i start.  i just fail each time.  i can't even remember the password to log in to my last blog.  but i have the desire to where we go again!