Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Yep, I'm that girl.
I made my own laundry detergent.
But, let me tell you that this girl only paid $12 to make enough laundry detergent to last me over a year...AND it smells and cleans wonderfully. 
So, if any of you want to join in the thrifty fun of homemade cleaning products (I mean, what could be more fun than making soap?)...here's how it works!

Supplies: One 4lb box of Borax
One 4lb box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
One Value size box (a lil over 3 lbs) of Arm and Hammer Baking soda
3 bars of Fels Naptha
1 (or 2, whichever you prefer) small tubs of Oxyclean - I just used one small tub of the Sun oxygen because it was cheaper!
You can find all of these ingredients right next to each other on the laundry aisle at walmart. I checked Target too, but I couldn't find any of the items except baking soda!
1st: Grate the three bars of soap. This is the hardest part. Seriously, it was hard! I don't know if it was just because my grater is ghetto or if I am just a weakling...but this was tough! I won't tell you how long it took me to do it....2 hours....
Dump all of the ingredients (including the grated soap) into a trash bag and mix it up!
Then find a very cute (and LARGE) jar or bucket for you to store your detergent in. I had this leftover from our candy buffet and it still didn't fit all of it...so I put the extra in an ugly tupperware and hid it up on a shelf!

You only need one tablespoon of this stuff for a regular load and two for a large load. I'm just using the scoop from the oxyclean bucket!

So far it is working great! My clothes are clean and they smell pretty great! You can add a box of fabric softener too if you want extra smelly good stuff! ( I just use dryer sheets...)

So that's it. Pretty easy peasy...expect for that stinkin soap!

Friday, December 23, 2011

An Ozark Christmas

Every year David and his mom go to Branson for Thanksgiving, but since we were in the Philippines this year they didn't get to go. But, as soon as we announced we were coming home early Janie hopped online and booked a week in Branson for some Silver Dollar City fun! 

This year was even better though because my parents got to go! They have never been to Silver Dollar City during Christmas time, so it was fun to share that experience with them. 
My parents spent the first three days with us up there and then Janie drove up and met us for the last 3 days!

Tater patch has never tasted so good!

Eating at the Hard Luck Diner where the waiters/waitresses sing to you!

Visiting the Titanic museum. It was actually really awesome, but you couldn't take pictures inside so this is all I got. 

Stonehill Winery tour

It was a great trip and a great time to be able to catch up with our families before all the craziness of Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Home Sweet Homa

We are home!

Arrived at 12:40 pm on Tuesday, greeted our families, picked up our mounds of luggage, and immediately headed out for some mexican food.
It's good to be home.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

What I've become.

We will be back in America in just three short days. Three. 

It's going to be so strange to leave this place that has become so familiar to us where we have a group of people who love and care for us.

This trip has been life-changing, eye-opening, and all together just a wonderful time to learn more about myself and my relationship with God, David, and the world around me.

I've become a better person, christian, wife, and friend because of our time here. 

I've learned that our world is so much bigger than jobs, money, security, and stability. 
I would get on facebook to check up with our side of the world and I found myself getting frustrated at the things people were posting. Worries about getting a job, finishing a paper, winning a sports game, etc. It's so pointless in the grand scheme of things. Don't get me wrong, I'm not judging...I am talking to myself as much as anyone else. I just wish that we would spend more of our time worrying and praying for those who have nothing rather than praying to receive more of something we don't need.

I've learned that we shouldn't pity the poor.
Before we visited the villages, I tried to prepare myself for all of the pain and heartache we would see. I just knew that I would be overcome with pity and sadness for those living in poverty, but instead I found nothing but joy.
Every person I met was just overflowing with the most joyful spirit despite their living conditions or social status. It was intoxicating. I found myself leaving these slums happier than I was before entering them. These people were content living with their families even if they only made a dollar a day. Yes, living on a dollar a day is terrible and shouldn't be happening when so many of us have thousands in a savings account...but don't pity those people. Love them. And out of love comes generosity.

I've learned that experiences are what make us rich.
If you have not traveled, do it. You don't have to travel across the world to do missions for 3 months (although I highly recommend it,)...just travel. Anywhere and everywhere. There is nothing like experiencing another culture and getting to know the people in it! It's living at its best. So instead of saving up for that one new thing that will get old and break...use your savings to make your life richer and buy something that will stay with you forever. You only have one life...live.

I've learned that God is so much bigger than we make him out to be.
We put a limit on how great our God is when we focus our faith on doctrine and rules. God is so much bigger than our idea of church. Does it really matter if you are worshiping with or without instruments when people are going hungry? Does it really matter how big your building or your budget is when girls are being sold into prostitution? Does it really matter what the name on your church building says when so many people have never heard about the love of Jesus? I would hope that God cares more about healing our hurting world through his son Jesus, than whether or not we sing two or three songs before the closing prayer. But, maybe that's just me. 

And, I have also learned that if you can travel internationally with your spouse and survive...you can make it through anything. Seriously.

All that being said, it's been an amazing experience and one that has shaped me for life.
I am going to miss living here and being with the people, but I am so ready to get back to the states to be with our family, feel some cold weather, and eat something other than rice!

Friday, December 2, 2011

I got to go where?!

Hong Kong, folks. 
I got to go to Hong Kong. 
It was a once in a lifetime trip that I will never forget and am so thankful for!
Here's how we got there...

David and I decided before we left for the Philippines that we wanted to take a little vacay somewhere on the other side of the world since it would be a lot cheaper/easier to go while we were over there, instead of in America. 
We started researching destinations...Australia- so wonderful, but a little bit pricey for our budget, Tokyo- Even more pricey..., Singapore- pretty awesome, but not what we were looking for, Hong Kong- cheapest flight, world city, disneyland...perfect.
So, we used our vacation fund to plan the most wonderful trip!

We took about a thousand pictures (you think I'm kidding...), but I only posted 20 of them...give me a break...it was hard to narrow them down!

After landing in the Hong Kong airport
Victoria's Peak. This is located on one of the highest mountains in Hong Kong. There are restaurants, shops, and great views!
At the top of the peak.
Eating at a local hole-in-the-wall chinese restaurant at Stanley Market. You know it's good when you are the only tourists there!
 Fish Balls!
 Braving the crowds and the ever-persistent vendors at the famous Ladies' Market. They sell everything from knock-off designer bags to fake iphones and beats headphones. Seriously.
The Hong Kong skyline. Wow. 
 Visiting Big Buddah.
It was so huge! These pictures don't do it justice. 
Eating at our favorite place...Cafe de Coral. It's a popular Hong Kong fast food restaurant where you can order boxes of raw meat and cook it right at your table. Why doesn't America have something like this? Oh yea, it's called "The Melting Pot," but instead of fast food prices...they charge you a million dollars. Lame.

Of course we went to Disneyland. 

It was so wonderful. 

Sleeping Beauty's Castle

The day we went to Disneyland was the grand opening of their new park "Toy Story Land." It was actually pretty awesome. AND we were in the second group of people to ride the new RC Racer ride. Legit. 

Also, everything was already decorated for Christmas. It was beautiful. Although, it was hard to get in the Christmas spirit when it was 78 degrees outside. 

David and I have officially been bitten by the travel bug...and not just any travel bug...the international travel bug. Pray for us...and our budget.