Homemade Dishwasher Powder

            Well, my homemade laundry soap was so popular that I thought I’d let you all in on my homemade dishwasher powder.  It’s actually even easier to make than the laundry powder.  🙂

            1 cup borax

            1 cup washing soda

            ¼ cup citric acid

            Mix it all up and put it in a water tight container.  Use 1 or 2 tablespoons for each load.

            If the powder leaves a residue, add ¼ cup sea salt.  The kind of water you have determines whether or not you need to add salt.  The citric acid can be purchased at health food stores.

            If you want to add a fragrance, add it after the other ingredients are well mixed by sprinkling over the top and mixing well.  Start with ¼ teaspoon and add more a little at a time until it smells the way you want it to.

            I haven’t figured out the math on this one yet, but I know it’s cheaper than the stuff I used to buy at the store and it’s better for the environment.  So that’s a win-win as far as I’m concerned!

            What things do you do at your house to save money and/or help protect the environment?  Do you have a favorite homemade cleaning product?  I would really love to hear about it!

Speedy Spice Cake

            After I posted about apples a few weeks ago, I had several requests for the spice cake recipe that I use applesauce in.  So, without further ado, I give you Speedy Spice Cake.

               2 2/3 cup Bisquick

            ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

            1 cup white sugar

             6 Tbs. vegetable oil

            2 eggs

            ½ tsp. cream of tartar

            2 tsp. vanilla

            1 tsp. cinnamon

            ½ tsp. ground cloves

            Mix until moistened.  Add 1 cup applesauce and ½ cup cold water.  Add ½ cup raisins and ½ cup chopped nuts or 1 cup of either.

            Beat on medium speed for 1 minute.

            Pour into greased and floured 9×13 or 10×13 pan.

            Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-45 minutes.

            Remove pan from oven and allow to cool slightly.

            Dust with powdered sugar.  This step is optional, but I always do it. 🙂             This is great warm or cold.  I try to have it still warm for the kids my son (only one in school now) when he gets home from school.  Gets me extra points. 🙂  Yummy!  Enjoy!


            My baby girl started working full-time last week.  Or nearly full-time – 35 hours.  At the age of 16 she has finished high school and is seeking direction for her life. She knows what she wants to do, just not exactly how and when.  So in the meantime she is kind of in limbo.  It is unfortunate that our society has no rite of passage for our young people.  At 16 she is a very mature young lady, but because of her age is unable to pursue several options that are available to 18-year olds.  This has caused much frustration and has contributed to the limbo state.

            I also have been seeking direction and wisdom for this time.  This is almost as difficult for me as it is for her.  As a mom, how do I transition from having a highschooler to having a graduated, full-time working, young woman in my household?  I told her the other day that this is a process that we are going through together.  And because it’s new territory for both of us, we need to work through it together.

            How much freedom is appropriate for a 16-year old high school graduate?  How much is too much?  Too little?  Where do I let go?  Where do I hold on?  Do I allow her to make her own decisions about everything, or do I still retain veto power in some areas?  What about household chores?  What about curfews?  The questions are endless.  I guess I missed that class in Mommy School.

            Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t trust her or her judgment.  As I said before she’s very mature.  She’s hard-working, extremely capable, and smart.  She has a strong foundation of right and wrong and doesn’t follow the crowd.  So what is it then?  Why is this so hard?  I think it’s this:  I’m afraid I haven’t prepared her for something the world may throw at her, and I won’t be there to protect her.  As a single mom for most of my children’s lives, I have assumed the responsibility of protector for them.  That is an area that Father has been teaching me in recently.  It is actually not my responsibility to “protect” them from the world at this age.  It is my responsibility to point them to Father as protector.

            My daughter is not ignorant of the world.  She has a strong sense of who she is.  She has a vision for her life that burns fiercely.  And she has a relationship with Father that is growing as she learns to listen for His voice.  So, as I daily, sometimes hourly, give this care into Father’s very capable hands, He is gently helping us make this transition.  And as we move from mother and daughter toward two women following after God living in the same house, I am confident that special joys await us along this road.