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New Beginnings

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Welcome to the new Leading Little Ones blog! I’m excited to begin blogging more often and share some exciting new developments for my blog. That’s coming soon, so stay tuned!

I have added a few of some of my old posts for you to read while I get my new stuff up and running. Until then, I want to share with you my desire for this blog and for my life as a wife and mother. To begin, I want to say I am not an expert. I do not have a degree in child development. I am not a doctor. My kids are not perfect. My house is not spotless. I have piles of laundry in my bedroom. I have dishes in my sink and stains on my clothes. But that’s okay. I am just a young mom who wants to share with other new and expecting moms, the things that I have learned (and am learning) the hard way. But, most of all, I want to share what I am still learning so that I can offer encouragement to those who struggle in the same ways.

     As we all know, moms are not perfect. We are human just like the rest of the world. However, we have to be an example to our children. We have a great responsibility from God to lead those entrusted in our care. Most of this blog is my frustration, fear, weakness, and joy of early motherhood written in black and white. But, through Christ’s strength, I will attempt to raise godly, joyful, loving children who live for the Lord…and hopefully I will be able to finish the laundry and the dishes too.

     Growing up, I was an only child until I was eight years old. So, at family gatherings, I loved to hold, play, and rock my little cousins when they were babies. (I was the second oldest of twelve grandchildren.) I can remember caring for my younger cousins with such awe and desire. “I can’t wait until I am a mommy”, I would think to myself. Then, when I became an older sister, I was able to help care for my younger brother! What a joy! Or so I thought. Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed my little brother. But it was then, and the years that followed, that I realized how difficult it could be to raise a child.

But this difficulty is also very rewarding. 3 John v4 says:

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

That’s what I desire! That my children will walk in truth. But that takes work and investment in those little hearts.

This blog is the documentation of the ups and downs of motherhood! You can keep up with me by subscribing or you can also check out my new Facebook page. Be sure to “like” it and share with your friends! From cooking, to cleaning, home schooling, and biblical child care, there’s something for everyone!

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Laundry, laundry, everywhere! (Including homemade laundry detergent recipe!)

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Photo by Average Jane

If I could name one major challenge that I’ve had during my career as a wife and mother…it would be laundry. It used to rival doing dishes. But now laundry is my only despised household chore. I’m not sure why I hate it so much. But my disdain is completely evident. Piles, piles everywhere.

I came across this post that has tips to make laundry easier and simpler. So of course, I was interested. One thing that hit me was the name of this website. Simplify 101. Simplify. In my mind, simple is best. It’s just getting to the point of simplicity that’s the hard part. So, I am trying to make laundry (and other things in my house…) simpler by de-cluttering, thinning out everyone’s wardrobe, and storing items we aren’t currently using but want to keep.

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With five people in our household, we have a lot of clothes. Organizing laundry is full time job anyway, but add that on top of three kids, daily cleaning, dishes, gardening, writing, cooking, ministry…and you get prioritizing. And laundry makes the bottom of the priority list.  Unfortunately, that makes things even harder because cleaning the bedroom or even making the bed isn’t very easy when there are piles of laundry everywhere.

So, Aby, the writer of the laundry post, suggests to get started whittling down the laundry by cleaning and putting away every piece of clothing you own. Everything. She says:

Get Caught up! Yep, that’s right. Step one is a laundry fest. Get every single article of clothing and all your linens washed, folded and put way — even the hand-washables! Block out a day, a few evenings, however long it takes, and get caught up. Laundry is your mission, but you can have some fun along the way too. Fold while you watch your favorite T.V. show. Bring a portable CD player into the laundry room. Have some snacks. Read a great book between loads. Do whatever you need to do, but get caught up!

That’s the hardest step for me! She goes on to talk about the other steps- 2.) Do laundry a little more often. 3.) Make it simple. 4.)Separate as you go. I would even add one more. If you can, hang laundry outside to dry. That way, you at least get a little fresh air and sunshine!

So I will be working on step 1. Slowly. You can keep up with me by following along with my laundry/homemaking posts. And don’t be shy… share some of your worst laundry nightmares, or your biggest challenge in keeping a home and share it below.

Along the lines of laundry, I have a wonderful recipe for you! It’s our homemade laundry detergent recipe! Get excited! No more buying that expensive, watered down, chemical-laden, dyed,  laundry soap from the store. This recipe will only cost you about $10 to start and $1 per batch after that. Check out the original recipe here.

This recipe will last us about 4-5 months. Sometimes more. I think it has lasted up to 6 months before. It’s fresh smelling even if you don’t add essential oils. It is even gentle and tough enough for cloth diapers. This soap is a lifesaver. And what’s even better? My husband makes it for us!

Homemade Laundry Detergent

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)

So get in there, make some soap, and do some laundry! You know I will be!