DIY Cleaners

I suspect DIYing and being/going natural is part of my DNA. My parents weren’t hippies per se but have a lot of the “natural, granola, be out in nature” type thinking and way of life associated with hippies. I consider it a blessing of sorts that we didn’t have much growing up, material wise. Many of the things we needed we made. Both of my parents were very resourceful people, still are. If I get lost in the woods I’d want my parents there. If my sink, garden, moving van needs fixing, weeded, organized and/or packed, my parents are the ones to call. My mom baked/made so much from scratch when I was growing up out of necessity and love. So DIYing is in my blood and makes me feel comforted and somewhat successful.

While I have tried my hand at many DIY projects over the years, making my own cleaning products has come up again and again. Each time getting a bit more detailed and successful. Now that I have more time I have delved in once again. This time I expanded to everyday cleaning supplies. I literally got rid of almost all of the store-bought products and made my own. Some of the store-bought cleaners literally left me coughing and were too hard for me to breath.

IMG_3210I don’t quite remember where I found her site but clean mama (I am sure she’s mentioned her name on her blog, but I can’t find it) from cleanmama.net. Anyway, her site and shop was the kick I needed to get going. I ordered some labels…super helpful when making and remaking the solutions. Her style is right up my alley as well. I also ordered spray bottles and a microfiber cloth to start off with.

IMG_3211Most of the items I had already. White vinegar, rubbing alcohol, dish soap. I didn’t have any essential oils. I bought the ones clean mama recommended. (I know I am way behind on the essential oil bandwagon. More on that in a different post.)

IMG_3205Then I FINALLY made Number 2 spray. Why did I wait so long? This really works and smells so good. I triple the recipe. Now our old Glade air freshener sits barely used.

IMG_3214Another clean mama recipe/solution I love is her Nightly Sink Scrub. While I don’t use it daily (as with anything it loses its novelty.)I do use it regularly.  I have used both peppermint and cinnamon essential oils at different mixings. Both smell lovely and refreshing. The kids like when I use it too. They love the smell. Our sink gets nice and shiny as well.

IMG_3212Laundry detergent was my first go at DIY cleaning solutions. I used it consistently for awhile. However, I noticed that after washing our clothes with this detergent about 4-5 times, they weren’t as clean. So, I’d use Tide for a wash or two, then go back to the homemade. The homemade detergent also helped our oldest daughter with a skin condition she had. Due to the lack of time at one point, I just went back to Tide. Now I use the homemade for washing our floor mats, rugs, dog beds, human bedding and the like. Clean mama’s recipe is on the container, but I use a slightly different one. The jury is still out on the dryer balls at this time.

IMG_3213This is a closer look at my detergent. I use a food processor for making it.

IMG_3215This is store bought on a whim. Won’t buy it again as it really doesn’t work.

IMG_3216Now for my favorite cleaning solution. Makes everything sparkle and shine while disinfecting. I may just switch over and clean everything (except our granite counter tops) with it. Simply super easy to make. Just two ingredients! Cut up some lemons, put them in a jar. Fill with white vinegar and cover. Let sit for at least a week. Pour the yellow loveliness into a spray bottle and there you are. Sanitize, clean, disinfect and save money.

IMG_3217No fancy bottle required.

IMG_3218Okay, I am breaking from the whole natural, DIY theme BUT I had to share. We do use disinfecting wipes. It is so easy for the kids to help clean. So easy for a quick wipe up or wipe down. We literally LOVE the smell of these. We recently had two dog incidents where our noses were grateful for these. One, our big dog threw up a bit in the living room. A quick wipe down after the cleanup and the room smelled so fresh. Second, our little dog or maybe the big one, don’t honestly know, peed and peed that stinky, rank pee that smelled up the whole house. It took us hours to find it. Anyway, after clean up, we wiped the floor down and our noses were doing the happy dance because of these wipes.

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The General

When we set out on our adoption journey I honestly didn’t want a toddler. To start over. I hated potty training and had ZERO desire to do it again. The car seats, the messes, the sippy cups…the time and energy toddlers take. I am an “older” mom. There are 40 years between me and the General. But God had other plans. And we are thankful He knows better.

Our youngest man cub literally longs to be in charge, to be the boss in almost every situation. Hence the nickname, The General. While it has been challenging, we are leaning on God to teach us how to equip The General for the obvious call to leadership God put in him.

IMG_2814Here he is trying to negotiate bedtime with Dad (a former Marine, mind you). While we got a few good laughs, the General’s strategies didn’t work.

IMG_2957  This pose comes naturally to him, as he is ever ready to defend and protect. (Yes, those are flip flops on his shoulders.)

IMG_2974His independent nature overrides any fear or hesitation most of the time. Sometimes his sense of adventure + independent nature + lack of proper fear can = a nervous momma.

IMG_2812He LOVES Jesus and wants to preach one day. He has it all planned out. The general will stand in the back at church with the “Big Guys” who too feel called to preach and make plans to preach in each other’s churches. “I am just a kid” is not in his DNA. Here when we set up our first nativity scene he kept staring at Jesus and Mary. He had questions but most of all he wanted to make sure Mary and Jesus would be alright out there all night. I am telling you the urge to protect is very strong in him. It is so precious and enduring too. He has stood up to people in defense of others. He is also convicting quick to forgive.

IMG_2972Raising a leader is an honor while at the same time, challenging. Teaching when to lead, when to follow. When to be on top and when to support can be tough for a kindergartner, heck, to be honest, for some adults too.

IMG_2711No one wants to raise a dictatorial tyrant. (Seriously, he came out like this. Not even sure if he has ever seen Hilter, but by golly…) Thankfully, God put a sweet tenderness in the General to balance out his need to be the boss. He is ever ready to give hugs, compliment and encourage. He knows no stranger and EVERYWHERE we go people LOVE him. Out of all six of our kids, he is the most social. If you were to look up social butterfly you’d see his sweet face. Cannot wait to see what God has in store for him.

IMG_2712What are your tips on raising independent leaders?