Thursday, March 24, 2005

How to make your own laundry detergent

I mentioned in my little ditty entry that I make my own laundry detergent, and someone asked for the recipe. Happy to oblige! I actually got this recipe from a friend whose family lives (and works) a farm. They use this detergent for their clothes and were very happy with it. That was enough of a testimonial for me to give it a try!

What you need is:

Fels Naptha Soap
Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda

Just to clarify, yes, that is the right spelling for the Fels Naptha, and the Arm & Hammer is NOT baking soda. Washing soda is different.

You can sometimes find these items in an obscure spot in the laundry detergent aisle, usually on or near the top shelf. The Fels Naptha can be quite hard to find. Fortunately, I have a store near me that sells it, and whenever I go there I buy several bars of it at once even thought it lasts me a very long time. I have a friend who found is someplace on the internet, but it was a higher price than what I pay for it. (I generally pay about $1.30 or so per bar)

OK. To make the detergent:

Get out your cheese grater and grate one third of the bar of the Fels Naptha Soap into a soup pan. Add some water (approx. 2-4 cups--it doesn't really matter), heat on med. high and stir it until the soap is dissolved.

Then add a half cup of EACH the Super Washing Soda and the Borax. Keep heating and stirring until dissolved. Then turn the heat down to med. and stir intermittently for several minutes until it is thickened somewhat. It should get a consistency like honey, although obviously it partially depends on how much water you added to it!

After that you can turn off the heat. You need two gallon jugs or the equivalent of that capacity in whatever combination containers you want to store your detergent in. I just reuse 2 water jugs.

I pour half of the mixture into each jug (I just eyeball it to get it even) and then add hot water to each one (Slowly, since it can get a lot of bubbles) and fill each to the top. Voila! Detergent! The original instructions I have say to wait until the next day before using it, but I have no idea why.

For top-loading washers, use a half cup of this detergent. For front loaders, use a quarter cup.

I also use this detergent to pretreat spots and it does a very good job.

The one complaint my husband has about this detergent is that it has so scent. (I actually dislike purfumed detergents, so to me it is great) All you have to do to create a scent is to use some essential oil. We like using peppermint oil (I put in probably 15-25 drops per gallon. Just sniff to your liking) but you could also use lavender or any other scent that you like. It usually works better to add the oil when the detergent is at least partially cooled, although it isn't mandatory.

A gallon of this detergent lasts a nice long time, and it's super cheap. I don't mind making it since it's so easy. Usually one of my children offers to do the grating, so it's kind of a no-brainer after that point. I just make it while I'm cleaning the kitchen or something. No big deal.

Let me know if you try it!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Go check out The Big Yellow House

Chris over at the Big Yellow House (look on the linky list) has got some funny tidbits for us this week. They actually caught a WEASEL in their house! Yes, inside! (I wonder if we have a weasel in our house and that is the cause of the stink......hmmmm.) She also wrote a darn funny obituary for herself that any mother of a few kids could appreciate. Go. Laugh. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A little ditty

Holy Stinkers, Batman! Who woulda thought that a dinky little post about a mystery stink would prompt people to come out from the woodwork and comment. I rarely get 5 comments on anything. I should write about stink more often, I guess.

Well, the stink goes on. It's in a room where there are no potatoes and no laundry and no bathroom. There is a spare (but new) refrigerator in there so it may be possible that something fell out of it and is rotting away. Or, you know, there could be some dead mouse or something, I guess. Who knows. Although I don't care for the stink, I also don't care to find some dead creature half decomposed! Sounds like a job for a husband, don't you think?

Other than that, I don't have anything serious that I want to share tonite, so instead I'll pass along this little email quiz thing for your entertainment, and especially for you bloggers who needed something to post and didn't know what it would be.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:15 am

2. Diamonds or Pearls? Diamonds

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Possibly Bringing Down the House which we saw when I was about 100 months pregnant a little over 2 years ago. I don't think we've been to the theater since then. We like our Netflix and staying home.

4. What is your favorite TV show? Well, I actually don't watch any TV. But if I could I would watch Survivor.

5. What did you have for breakfast? A fruit smoothie, which is what I have every day.

6. What is your middle name? Lorraine

7. What is your favorite cuisine? I guess Italian. Isn't that lame?

8. What foods do you dislike? Liver and onions, tongue, clams and oysters, and SQUASH!

9. What is your favorite chip flavor? chocolate!

10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Brave Faith by Jana Stanfield

11. Since last year at this time have you lost weight, gained weight, or stayed at the same weight? LOST WEIGHT!

12. Favorite sandwich? grilled cheese and ham with guacamole

13. What characteristics do you despise? sour, angry, whiny, grouchy

14. Favorite item of clothing? Some comfy jeans I have--but they're too big now and are starting to look kind of dumb. Time to go shopping, I guess!

15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation where would you go? Hawaii

16. What color is your bathroom? yellow, like the rest of my house

17. Favorite brand of clothing? whatever fits and is comfortable, sometimes Lands' End

18. Where would you retire to? someplace quiet

19. Favorite time of day? night after the kids are asleep

20. What is your most memorable birthday? hmmmm..... I don't know!

21. Where were you born? New York

22. Favorite sport to watch? track and field (aka watching my kids run up and down the hallway or the backyard hill)

23. What are you reading now or what did you read most recently? I'm reading Reading Lolita in Tehran for my book group. So far it's hard to get into.

24. If you could be famous for something, what would you like it to be? Well, on a light note, how about for developing an amazing, safe, and effective head lice repellant that helps millions of people! "The Lice Lady!"

25. What fabric detergent do you use? I make my own

27. Are you a morning person or a night owl? night owl

28. What is your shoe size? 9

Did you ever have a funky smell in your house that you thought meant that something was dead or rotting, except you couldn't figure out what it was?

Yeah. Me too.

I wonder how many days it will take before the stink clears.....

Friday, March 18, 2005

Supermom is on the run!

Well, I've been a busy little Supermom's in the past few days. My brochures came in and so I got on the phone and got in the car and started driving around to tell the world about Supermom's No-Lice Advice and No-Lice Products. I'm thinking that one of my more important business supplies will be a brown paper bag, so that I can breathe into it when I start to feel a little panicky about whether or not people are going to buy my wares.

Of course, I know I have a good product and that there is definitely a need for it. But, until I see those sales coming in, I think I'll be feeling somewhat nervous.

I've actually had very positive responses from almost everyone that I've dealt with. Day cares and preschools have been the best. Schools are proving to be trickier because everybody is worried about legal liability. The teachers, nurses, and principals seem to love the idea of the products, but I don't know whether or not I am going to make it past that point.

My last meeting of today has put me in need of some regrouping and recovery. I went in to talk with the superintendant of my own school district. He's a big, imposing-looking man who assumed a kind of grouchy look and posture as I told him about my products and what I have to offer. He didn't so much as nod, smile, gesture, or flinch as I spoke, which was kind of unnerving. Once I wrapped up what I had to say, he started asking me, "Is this FDA approved?" and of course the answer is no because this item is neither a food nor a drug and the FDA does not regulate herbal products. (Plus, you know, WHAT A JOKE! As if the FDA's approval of something guarantees that it's safe! yeah, right....) At this news he was incredulous. "Well then who approves it?" I told him that no one approves it. It doesn't have to be approved. He was like, "Well, if you put cream on your skin, it's been FDA approved!" and I told him that no, the FDA does not approve skin cream or vitamins or most of the rest of the stuff you use every day, and that as far as I know there is no approval agency that goes around approving things. This was hard news for him to take. I was able to think on my feet by noticing the hand sanitizer on his desk and I asked him if I could look at it. I read the back and pointed out that all it contains is directions, disclaimers (Including instructions to call Poison Control immediately if ingested--and I pointed out that we use this in every classroom at the schools every day, to which I did get a nod and chuckle), ingredients, and manufacturing information. So, see, sir? It isn't FDA approved. Furthermore, we have no proof here that it works. We can't see those germs! How do we know that it even kills germs? (Obviously, the company making hand sanitizer has probably put a bunch of money into proving that it works and that it is safe.)

It was kind of hard for him to wrap his mind around the idea that I make this myself. He actually said to me, "Well, are you just a mother?" I said in a humorous tone, "Yes, just a lowly mother of 6 children! Just a mom, that's me." I let him feel like a jerk for that for a few seconds before I explained to him that I am also studying natural health, which seemed to give me one bit more respect over being Just a Mother. (He said he meant he wondered if I was a scientist or something. It went something like, "Well, mothers are all well and good and everything, but....")

So, anyhow, he asked me all sorts of questions, bemoaned the legal ways of the world these days, and said that he felt that it would be too risky for the school to even pass out the information as an FYI because somebody out there might decide that their Johnny got some terrible allergic reaction due to my spray, and then go off suing the school district and me. Which I realize is a distinct possibility and I can completely understand if the schools think that is too great a risk. But, it seems like there should be some sort of legal disclaimer the school could make when giving out the information that could cover them AND allow the parents to learn a better way to play the lice game.

I'm proud of myself, because although it felt very uncomfortable to get that initial NO from this man, I was able to continue to talk with him, respond reasonably, not shake when holding my papers, address his concerns, and he ended up talking himself into keeping the information and checking with his attorneys to see what they would say (Which he predicted would be a resounding NO). He was able to tell me that he knows there is a huge need and he would love to get this information out to parents. That's something, anyhow!

So, I suffered through my first direct possible rejection and I survived it. Yay me!

Now I need to get over it (deep breath.....deep breath....) and focus on the many other very positive contacts I made, the sales that were organized and will take place next week, my new and improved Supermom's web site that is up and running, and all the other blessings in life!

I also want to tell you that although it took me nearly a month of frustration trying to get my Supermom's site up, I finally found a WONDERFUL blog designer who has done a GREAT job for me. She has done an excellent job of helping me put my little blog site together, she's been a very good communicator, and has worked fast. She also has great prices on both the design, banner ads, and lots of other extras that she can do.

Math Month

This morning my 12 year old Sullen was sitting in the living room with me before it was time to go to school. He's not a morning person, and this week he has been especially grouchy because he hasn't been sleeping well and his back hurt.

So, I chat with him while he drinks his breakfast smoothie. Today he tells me, "Yeah, it's 'Math Month" at school."
"So what does that mean for you?" I ask.
"Well, it means that if you want to make a poster about math you can get extra credit." he says dryly. Sullen has something like a 96 in math so it's hardly tempting to him to get extra credit.
"Well, I guess some people might want to do that. What kind of poster would you make?"
So Sullen tells me his poster idea:


Catchy, eh?

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Two Funny Stories

For some reason, I have been thinking of two funny things that happened to me in my childhood. They've been replaying in my mind for a little more than a week now. I don't know why they popped into my mind, but they've become some sort of encouragement to me about the person I am. I'm relating it all to my soon-to-be-launched business, Supermom's Health and Wellness. Maybe my life experiences are coming back into my consciousness in order to cheer me along my way, reminding me that I have always been a gal that can roll with the punches and come out alright on the other side.

I wish I could tell you these stories complete with tone of voice and facial expression, but hopefully you can manage to be amused without that added treat.

Story #1 Farm Fresh Eggs
There was this old farm house that we passed every now and then when I was about 12 years old. There was a sign out by the road that said "Farm Fresh Eggs." One day my mother and I were driving along and mom decided we should stop in and buy some eggs. We had never been there before since we were new to the area, and I guess that day was as good as any to get our hands on some *Farm Fresh* eggs.

So, we pull up to the house and my mom hands me some money and tells me to go to the door and get 2 dozen eggs. (My mother has a long history of making me go to the doors of unfamiliar people. She made me go borrow a cup of sugar and all that kind of thing probably since I was old enough to walk myself over to the neighbor's house. I figured out early on that she was a chicken to go do it herself, but she'd always laugh and say she was helping to train me to be able to talk to people. It worked!)

So I go up to the side door of this house and knock-knock-knock. It was a sceen door that wasn't even latched shut, so it was kind of bouncing open a bit with each knock. I could see right into the living room. Everything was kind of dark and quiet in there. It didn't even really seem like anybody was home, but I figured someone had to be there or else their door would be closed and locked.

So, I stood there and knocked some more. And then I heard some sounds of life. Just some quiet shuffle-shuffle of feet and maybe a newspaper being turned or something. So, I kept knocking at polite little intervals, and also added in some of those do-you-notice-me fake coughs.

Meanwhile, my mom is sitting in the car looking at me, mouthing "What's going on? Is anybody there?" and I am standing on the porch of this farmhouse shrugging my shoulders.

A few minutes later a man approx. 50-60 years old comes shuffling along through the living room of this house, coming past the door where I am knocking. When he saw me he looked kind of surprised and slightly alarmed, which made me think that he hadn't even heard me knocking, and was just happening to walk past the door. He stops in his tracks and grunts something to me which I optimistically interpreted as something like, "Hello!" or "Can I help you?" So, I bravely said, "Hello! I'd like to buy some Farm Fresh Eggs!"

Now, don't ask me *why* I felt the need to specify that I was wanting the *Farm* *Fresh* eggs, because I have no idea. I wasn't brought up specifying Garden Fresh Peas or Orchard Fresh Apples or any such thing. I guess that sign in front of their house just really stuck in my head. "I'm gonna go get me some FARM FRESH Eggs! Yessirree!"

So, this man looks at me, grunts again, and shuffles off to what appeared to be the kitchen.

And then I waited. Because, you know, I figured he was off getting those fresh eggs for me.

And I waited some more. And my mom is still sitting in the car mouthing, "What's going on? What's happening?" and I am standing there shrugging and making that just-one-minute finger gesture, because of course that man was going to come right back with those eggs we were after.

And, after waiting some more, I decided I'd have to knock again. So, knock-knock-knock. And I waited some more.

After too many more minutes to be normal, here comes the man again, this time shuffling by from the opposite direction, and he's not carrying any eggs. Once again he sees me, looks surprised and slightly alarmed, and grunts at me. So, what do I do? I go with his apparent theory that he's never seen me before.

"Hello! I'd like to buy some Farm Fresh Eggs...?"

And he looks at me, grunts, and walks away.

And so I'm standing there trying to figure out, "What's a girl to do? Is he going to get me the eggs or what?"

My mom rolled down her window to get a progress report and I went over to the car to explain the strange interaction I had just had. She basically started cackling as only my mother can do (when she really gets going you can hear it in a tri-state area) and I think I went back to the door to try some more.

I don't really remember how many more times the man walked by, looked surprised and alarmed, grunted and walked away, but eventually I got the picture that I was *not* going to get any Farm Fresh Eggs out of him. So we drove away eggless with my mother cackling so hard it's a wonder she could drive safely, and forevermore when we could drive by that house she would go blank-faced and grunt at me, and then say in a perky voice, "Hello! I'd like to buy some Farm Fresh Eggs!"

As it turns out, we ended up getting to know the people that lived in that house. If my memory is correct, I believe that the man I saw was somehow mentally handicapped and was home alone. Needless to say, he wasn't the one that normally served the egg customers.

Story #2: Four Foot Eleven
When I was a little girl I went to this Wednesday night program at my church called Pioneer Girls. It was basically a church version of Girl Scouts. You had badges to earn and projects to do, camp to go to, and so on. One year when I was maybe 10 years old we were working on a Grandparents Badge, and we were organizing a special night where we invited our grandparents to come, we had special refreshments, and we were supposed to come prepared to do some sort of talent for them. Seeing as how I thought I was the world's greatest sing-along-with-the-record child singer, I decided to sing one of my current favorites, a song called "Four Foot Eleven" by Evie. (Evie was my favorite for many years. I even continued to think Evie was cool until I was in 7th grade and I actually invited a neighbor boy over to listen to my "cool music" one day. You should have seen his face! He was a big Police fan, so little old Evie wasn't exactly his style.)

Now, this story would be funny enough just imaging me (already about 5'2") singing Four Foot Eleven (a bit of the lyrics: "I'm only 4 foot eleven but I'm goin' to heaven and that makes me feel 10 feet tall!") along to a *record* for the grandparents. But, wait! There's more!

When it got to be my turn to sing I turned on my record and started singing away.....but, Houston, we had a problem! The record player was dying, so the record started playing v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y. What's a girl to do in a situation like this? Well, I certainly wasn't going to burst into tears! I wasn't going to sit down in the middle of my song and be all embarrassed! No sirree--The Show Must Go On! So, I did what any thinking-on-her-feet kind of girl would do. I quickly sauntered over to the ailing record player, and used my finger to speed it up! Now, let me tell you, it isn't all that easy to find just the right speed for your finger to go when you are trying to sing along with a record. But, somehow I managed it. I stood there, with my finger propelling my Evie record round and round, singing away to "Four Foot Eleven" and if I recall correctly, I got some great feedback from the grandparents about how I dealt with my problem.

So, all of that to say, Supermom's is launching this week and I'm really excited about it. I know there will probably be some tricky moments along the way, but I'm reminding myself that I'm a Can-Do kind of gal from way-back-when. It should be an exciting ride. :)

Also, special recognition to Suzy Q's husband for the cracks about the Garden Fresh Peas and Orchard Fresh Apples. He came up with that when I was telling them my little story.

AND, last but not least, I just found a site with Evie's records! Now I'm thinking Evie tunes left and right, and I just want to say, I STILL LIKE EVIE! If you've got some old Evie music that you want to donate to me, just let me know. I'd love to get my hands on those tapes and records--quite a few years of my life were lived out with those songs playing in the background. I'm off to look on and ebay to see what I can find!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

A little bit o this and a little bit o that..... (everybody chicken dance now!)

Today my 12 year old son Sullen got the education he needed about online safety. He plays an online game called Runescape, which we felt was basically safe. He has worked and worked at building up the riches and power of his little runescape character. And today, what happened? Somebody suckered him.

It was easy, actually. They told him that they had some awesome cheat codes that they would share with him if he would tell them his passcode.

And he did it.


First of all, it's against the rules at Runescape to use any cheat codes, and we went over that with him when he got the account.

Secondly, he supposedly understands not to give out passcodes or other personal information.

These were the kinds of things that made us hesitate to let him get into online gaming in the first place.

And there he is, handing over his actual passcode easy as pie to somebody who laughed their rear off as they skittered away from him, changed the passcode, and ran off with the booty.

Poor Sullen was crying as he came to tell us that something bad had happened. I think he was mainly devastated to know that his character was long gone. Personally, I'm concerned because we had just signed him up to be a member, so we have payment information there. Hopefully the Runescape people have that someplace safe even from someone with the passcode. We have contacted them and hope to get it straight tomorrow.

So, other than our bank account getting messed with, I have to say that I think it's good that he had this experience. He has been so busy acting like he already knew all the online safety stuff.... It's good for him to have a situation that causes him some personal loss, and makes a better impression for the long run.

I'm still struggling to find someone to put together my Supermom's site. My MIA blog designer resurfaced long enough to give me a refund, which was great. BUT SHE WASTED 3 WEEKS OF MY TIME! Now I'm a week away from seriously selling, and I don't have the site ready to go. UGH. I have some inquiries going right now, and my dear sister is trying to make sense of my raw ingredients to see if she can help me. Somehow, we're going to have a site up, even if it means it's up with a crappy blogger template and the crappy paypal shopping cart. The show must go on, is all I know.

My adorable and fun baby, Squiggy Magoo, turns 2 on Saturday. It's hard to believe that we're plum out of babies around here! We haven't had that situation in a verrrrrrrryyyyyyyyy long time. Next thing you know we'll be done with breastfeeding, diapers, car seats, and little people in our bed. After that, the sky's the limit! Romantic trips to Hawaii? Not having to pay through the nose for a babysitter? No big bedtime trauma? Oh, the possibilities are quite amazing. But, alas, I think I'll enjoy these sweet little guy days while they last. There's a lot of nice things about little people, too. :)

Monday, March 07, 2005

10 Traits of Healthy Women

My dear friend Suzy Q sent me info about this wonderful web site Healthy Inspiration: Helping Women Be All They Can Be.
The site's author, Barbara McFarland, is working to help women be healthier in their lives. She has a book and coordinating products to educate and inspire women to develop these 10 Traits of Healthy Women:

1. Balanced
2. Confident
3. Fit
4. Humorous
5. Loving
6. Passionate
7. Optimistic
8. Self-Accepting
9. Self-Nurturing
10. Spiritual

I was excited to see this message and these resources available because these are things I have been learning more and more over the past few years. As I am improving in these areas along my journey, I am encouraged and see more and more the value and importance of them. I also see how very hard it can be to do these things. These traits may not come easily, but we need them!

There is a
mother-daughter program that looks really neat, products specifically aimed at teenage girls, and a corporate wellness program too.

I encourage you women to go check it out, and I encourage you men to also check it out, and to surprise the women in your life by purchasing the book, poster, and tip sheet as a gift! It can be a little way for you to let your loved one know that you want them to be the best they can be.

It Ain't Easy Bein' Cheesy

You know, one part of being a parent that has been difficult for me is the part where you are supposed to keep a straight face/serious face/disappointed face when one of your kids does something that they shouldn't. I'm not much of an actress. I have a very expressive face, and pretty much however I feel is what you see there. I have a really hard time managing the stern face when the situation actually cracks me up.

The one time I did really well with this was way back when I just had one kiddo. It was nap time, he was probably 2, and although I normally never would have subjected him or me to a trip to the grocery store, whatever I needed there was absolutely important, so we went in. My son was generally a really cheerful and fun little guy, but he was totally tired and crabby that day. I got him set up in the cart and we rolled on into Kroger with him fussing and crying and red-faced. I told him that if he didn't calm down people were going to be looking at him and wondering why he was such a fusser. And did he care? No sirree. He carried on as we went through the produce department, until we noticed an older woman watching him throwing his big fit. So what did little Prince Charming do? He yelled out nice and clear,


I managed to make the appropriate shocked look, the apologetic nod to the woman, and the stern parental words to my son.

But, inside? I was laying on the floor in the produce dept. laughing til I hurt.

Since that point, my skills in this are have gone downhill.

Tonite my oldest child proposed that we give out new chore areas. I have our house divided up into what we call areas, and each of the 3 oldest kids has one area that they are supposed to pick up every day. We generally switch these along with the marking periods at school, and at the beginning and end of summer break. He was sick of his area, and it's the right time, so I declared a change. My daughter was going to switch spots with him, although she wasn't real happy about it. I had actually cleaned *her* area myself today while they were at school, so I proposed that she would help him clean his area today. She wasn't exactly being cooperative, and my oldest son chimes in,

"Don't be a prissy sissy!"

She got a very offended look on her face (parents of more than one child over the age of 5 will recognize this as the face that is made when one wants to get the other sibling in trouble by acting much more offended and hurt than they actually are) and looked at me for help.

"Did you hear that?! He called me a prissy sissy!"

And all I could do was start to laugh.

"What did you say to her? Pissy Sissy?"

And then the rhyme avalanche began, as only 12 year old boys can do:

Don't be a prissy pissy sis!

Pissy sis strikes back!

My prissy sissy is pretty pissy!

Prissy sis is pissed!

Prissy sissy is having a hissy!

It's a prissy sissy hissy fit!

And the grand finale, sung to the tune of John Jacob Jingleheimer Shmidt:

"Our Girl is a pretty pissy sis!
She's pretty prissy too.
Whenever we go out
the people always hiss
There goes pretty prissy pissy hissy sis!"

How is a mother with a sense of humor supposed to maintain law and order under such circumstances?

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Romance Novels, anyone?

My good buddy SuzieQ sent me this link to revamped romance novel covers. A mighty good laugh.....

Tuesday Tea Time

I've discovered a wonderful web site called Brave Writer. The woman behind it all is a homeschooling mother who loves to write and to coach others in writing. She has a lot of really neat resources and services such as a manual that actually teaches home educators how to teach writing, email newsletters that offer lots of ideas for writing, reading, and making your lifestyle one that encourages both as a natural activity, a blog where she shares even more ideas, online classes for writing, and so on. I was so thrilled to find out about Brave Writer because this is one of the areas I struggle with. Although I know *how* to write fairly well (my blog doesn't count since I'm hurrying and not turning it in to a teacher!) I have never felt that I could effectively convey to anyone else how to write well. It comes easy for me, and that's all I know!

One of the things that she suggests is a Tuesday Tea with your children. You make all sorts of tea-type foods, tea or some drink your family will enjoy, and have each person come prepared to share some poetry or a portion of literature that they thought was worth sharing. Since I'm new to Brave Writer I don't know if I've got the entire thing understood, but today when I got a reminder email from her egroup about having Tuesday Tea Time I decided to go for it since my kids are home from school today.

So I announced to the children that we were going to have tea and that they needed to get their chore areas cleaned up, and figure out what they were going to read or present to the group during tea. I made mini muffins, peanut butter balls (one of my family's favorites), little sandwiches, and a bunch of other fun little tea foods. We had peppermint tea and hot cocoa and water to drink (depending on the preference of the kiddo). I used a red tablecloth that has snowflakes on it, since we're having a snow day off of school, and of course we lit candles.

These are little peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! Posted by Hello

Apple slices with star cut-outs. Fun! Posted by Hello

They were delighted with the way everything looked, and we had lots of fun reading to each other.

My daughter (almost 9) read us a little book that she likes. My 12 year old son read several selections from Shel Silverstein's fabulous poetry book Where the Sidewalk Ends. Jake (6 years old) isn't such a strong reader and didn't want to read out loud, so he choose to show and tell about a new game we had gotten from his Ladybug magazine. I read my favorite poem, Smart, which is also by Shel Silverstein (who has been my very favorite poet since I was a child and discovered him--he's brilliant and hilarious!) . Here's the poem:


My dad gave me one dollar bill
'Cause I'm his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
'Cause two is more than one!

And then I took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three dimes--I guess he don't know
That three is more than two!

Just then, along came old blind Bates
And just 'cause he can't see
He gave me four nickels for my three dimes
And four is more than three!

And I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
Down at the seed-feed store,
And the fool gave me five pennies for them,
And five is more than four!

And then I went and showed my dad,
And he got red in the cheeks
And closed his eyes and shook his head--
Too proud of me to speak!

Cute, huh?

The other thing I read was the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, which I guess is actually a tie for my favorite poem, since that's essentially what it is. If you have children 6 or younger and you don't have this book, Get It! But, when you read it, you have to get into it with some really good rhythm. I've heard people read it without rhythm and trust me, it isn't nearly as clever that way. My kids loved it that I stood up with the book, stomped my feet for the beat, and read the story in a really fun way. (voices, actions, facial expression) It helped that I've read it so many times over the years that I have it nearly memorized. Comes in handy when you have to stomp, turn the pages, and hold the book so everybody can see the pictures! :)

So, our first-ever Tuesday Tea Time--it was great! Maybe you'd enjoy giving it a try with your family. :)

So where did we leave off?

Since it's been a week since my last post, you might've been able to guess that the pace of things in DollyMama Land has been pretty wild. We did have some continued sickness last week, even until Thursday-Friday. Thankfully, everybody is doing well now, so I *think* we might be over it. (Oh dear Lord let us be over it!!)

Last weekend I attended another one of my natural health seminars. This one was about Iridology, which is the study of the iris of the eye. (the part surrounding the pupil that has the color that makes you see brown eyes or blue eyes or hazel eyes). It was very interesting to learn how the fibers, density, consistency, colors, shades, shapes, and other markings in the eye are indicative of issues in the body and tendencies of the individual. Amazingly, the genetic structure of the eye that you are born with indicates things like your general personality traits. For instance, someone who is a very high-energy Type A person will tend to have a particular fliber structure and density in the iris, and people with very laid back personalities will tend to have an entirely different type of fiber structure. Very interesting to see that these things may not be so much about birth order or outside influence, but instead who we are right from the womb.

So now I have an Iridology lens so that I can do lots of practicing looking into eyes. Would you like to come over and let me gaze deeply into your eye?

I also learned some information that was really valuable to me about seasonal disorders such as when people tend to be low-energy and more depressed in the winter, and also some stuff about how electromagnetic energy can effect us. Two simple changes that I made in response to what I learned have already helped me. One was about the need for light first thing in the morning in order to turn off the body's melatonin production which in turn helps us to be more alert and energetic in our day. The other thing I did was to get rid of the clock radio that was next to my head. I switched to using my pocket pc for an alarm, and I have slept much better! I realized that I have had terrible sleep quality which I was attributing to my youngest child (even though none of my other babies ever made me lose sleep), but actually it has been for the 2 school years that my kids have gone to school, and that is the only time in recent history that I have had a clock near me at night. So, good things from simple changes....I love it!

My Supermom No-Lice Hair and Body Spray is *just about* ready. We got our labels yesterday and produced enough product to fill all of the bottles we currently have in stock. We have more bottles on the way, a brochure that should be complete this week, and a web designer person that is MIA and if she doesn't show up soon with the finished work or with a refund, you will all hear about who it is. This is someone with a new blog design business, and she has NOT done this job in the time frame that she told me she would. I am very diappointed that my business is being held up in this way. It was supposed to be done 2 weeks ago, and now she isn't even communicating with me. grrrr.......

So, anyways, Be Careful Who You Hire For Your Blog Design, people! Make sure it is a place that has a reputation that is reliable. If not, you might not want to pay them up front!

Getting back to the No-Lice Spray, I have a limited number of bottles in stock that I am able to ship now, although I don't have any Robi Combs or metal egg combs in stock yet. So if you're wanting some No-Lice Spray soon, just email me at SuperMomsHealth (at) hotmail (dot) com and let me know and we can set it up! Just $15 for a 16 ounce bottle. I'm getting TONS of positive comments about the spray. People LOVE the scent, which is a nice mild peppermint. Always puts a smile on faces. The bottle is very nice and comfortable in the hand, and the fine mist sprayer top works very well. I think you'll be pleased. I sure am.

I got to stay over night at my dear friend SuzieQ's house on Saturday since my iridology seminar was in her area. Her dad sells Miracle 2 products, and I have used several of them and needed a few products, so I decided to find out about becoming a dealer. I use enough of it that I would appreciate getting it wholesale, plus as I get closer to the point where I can see clients for my natural health consulting, it will be important for me to have products on hand for people to get when I recommend them. SO, anyhow, I saw her dad while I was in town and he started telling me about more of the Miracle 2 products and all sorts of amazing stories of how people have been helped by them. One thing I was particularly interested in was this laundry ball that they sell. Now, you all may be familiar with those laundry discs that have been in catalogs for a few years. First they came in sets of 2, then it was just one, and you used these in your laundry instead of detergent. Now Miracle 2 has this rubber ball (maybe 5 inches diameter) with little nubby spikes all over it. Not only is this thing used for laundry (in place of detergent), but it's also *therapeutic* which made me go, "Huh?" He told me that people in all sorts of pain from disease, joint problems, aches, back problems, debilitating illnesses, etc. had used this ball by simply rolling it on their sore spot or even just holding it there, and they received relief of their pain or healing from their ailment! My lower back was *killing* me from having driven nearly 3 hours that day, plus sitting in the seminar for 8 hours. I had been having back trouble for at least a month (and before that for a lifetime!), and it was the worst that day to the point where I was having pain spasms in my lower back and running down my leg during the class. I sat in the back row on purpose so that I could get up and down from my seat as much as I needed to (which was quite a bit). SO, anyhow, he tells me about the ball and I said half-jokingly that I needed to get one on my lower back PRONTO. He mentioned that Suzy Q had a laundry ball at her house that I could probably use, and I joked that I would need to sleep with it to try to help my back pain. He said in seriousness, "Why not? Give it a try!" So, I did.

When I got snuggled into bed at SuzyQ's house is got that laundry ball positioned where my back hurt, and left it there for the night. And, you know what? I really think it helped! While my back did not feel 100%, it was better than it had been in a month. I was able to sit through the whole day at my seminar without needing to stand and without even thinking that maybe I should. I didn't need to lay down during my lunch break like I had the previous day, plus I drove nearly 3 hours again that day. And I was really doing very well!

I don't think that after all the strain my back was under on Saturday that there was any way that just a night's sleep could have helped me that much. It never works that way for me any other time. In fact, usually when I wake up my back feels especially bad.

So, from my perspective, that laundry ball worked for my pain. I don't know how to explain it except to say that I think the healing comes from (insert Twilight Zone music here if you are a skeptic or just have a good sense of humor) an energetic level from the Miracle 2 product that is inside the ball. (you know, good vibes, man....)

I was so impressed with how much I felt it helped me that I decided to purchase a different package to sign up as a distributor just so that I could get my very own laundry ball. I also called my mom and told her about it since she, her husband, and my grandmother (that lives with my mom) all have chronic pain issues. I figured that it's totally painless and non-invasive, so why not give it a try, and then even if it doesn't seem to work for your pain, at least you can use it for your laundry. Right?? It is guaranteed for 3 years to not break, etc. but they don't actually know how long the thing will last. (more than three years, though. That's the minimum.) So, for $52 or whatever it costs, that's a lot less than people spend on detergent even for half a year!

Part of what came with my distributor package was my own Miracle 2 web site. If you're interested in going to look at what they've got, you can check it out here. It's all set up to take orders, even internationally!

We have used the Neutralizer Gel with great success on burns and other skin trouble. It is also part of what we are doing to help one of our children with some loss of skin pigmentation.

We have used the soap and neutralizer in baths where you soak for an hour at a time (if you can), which can help the body detox from all sorts of stuff and help with a wide variety of ailments. SuzyQ's dad has had amazing success with the bath soaks. He had one of his knees in very bad condition. I believe he told me that it had been stiff and painful for a long time. After regularly doing bath soaks with the Miracle 2 products for awhile his knee has been completely healed. He also experienced healing of a terrible rash on his legs that had been present for many months. Pretty cool stuff.

Now, one warning for you, is that if you go looking at the Miracle 2 site or get any of the products, you will see that it is very, uh, religious, in a way that may seem very hokey to you. It is very "Rejoice!" and "Glory to GOD!" and even lists prayer in the ingredients for many of the products. My husband and I are Christians, but even we widened our eyes in amazement of the approach. All I can tell you is that the man who came up with this stuff tells his story of how he got the idea for the products. Basically it came to him as a vision, in the form of a recipe, for things that he didn't even know what to do with. So, he felt that it was a miracle from God, and that God would use him and this recipe to bring healing to people. So this man is very careful to always give credit to God for revealing the product. So, hey, I know it probably sounds weird, but don't let that keep you away from the products. We're really impressed so far, and can just get a goofy look on our face when we're about to use one of the products, and say in our best televangelist voice, "Rejoice and be healed! Halleluia!" :)

Well, hey, I didn't mean to turn this into a commercial for Miracle 2. I had no intention of really selling it when I signed up, but that laundry/therapeutic ball really impressed me. It would be so cool if it could help more people!

My kids have a snow day today, so it should be a busy one around here! Unfortunately, we didn't find out about it until we already were waiting at the door for the bus. So, we were all awake and nobody got to sleep in. Hopefully I'll at least get a nice nap today.