The Nadel family- Enjoy reading our everyday adventures!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Homemade Cleaning Recipes

In the practice of frugality, I read several library books years ago, and wrote down various recipes for home cleaning. I have saved them in a yellow folder in my cookbook shelf, and pull them out when I need to make more! I like the idea of buying a few basic products and making them on my own. Here are several of the common ones I make...

Homemade Glass Cleaner
1 c. rubbing alcohol
1 c. water
1 Tbsp white vinegar

Place in spray bottle, shake. Great on chrome, mirrors, tiles too! You can add blue food coloring if you want.


Window Cleaner (from Grocery Shrink)   Cost: 1 cent!
4 cups water
2 drops Joy dish detergent
1 drop blue food coloring

Mix in 32 spray bottle, shake to combine.

Dry carpet cleaner
2 cups baking soda
1/3 cup corn starch
1 Tbsp ground gloves

Store in jar with tight fitting lid. Shake and sprinkle on carpet, leave on overnight. Vacuum up next day.

Carpet Cleaner (non-greasy spills)
1/2 tsp dishwashing liquid
1 tbsp vinegar
1 cup warm water

Mix and blot on stain, rinse.

Disinfecting spray cleaner (from Grocery Shrink)    Cost: 59 cents!
This recipe is based on castille soap and an awesomely healthy cleaner. Just a touch of borax makes it disinfecting without becoming a toxin. You can change the scent by adding a few drops of essential oil, or by buying the castle soap that is already infused with essential oils.

1/4 cup vinegar (4 cents)
2 tsp borax (less than 1/2 cent)
1/4 cup liquid castille soap (Dr. Bronner's is the best brand, we like peppermint, any flavor will work.) (55 cents)
2 cups hot water
1 drop food coloring (optional)

Swirl all ingredients together in spray bottle. Shake before using.  Spray and wipe. Ideal for countertops, table tops, stove tops, high chair trays, etc.,

Soft Scrub
Works on greasy stuff, baked on around burners or around stove hood.

Make a paste with baking soda and hand washing dish detergent. Rub in a stiff brush or non-scratching pad. Rinse well.

Adding water to this to clean really dilutes the cleaning power. Save water for the end.

Toilet Cleaner  Cost: (from Grocery Shrink) 27 cents!
Add one cup borax to the toilet bowl and leave overnight. (Protect pets and babies from the toilet!) Swish with brush in morning and flush!

You can read more about Grocery Shrink in this blog post here.  Some of the other cleaners are from The Complete Cheapskate by Mary Hunt.

I've found inexpensive spray bottles at the dollar store, but they don't always last. My favorite spray bottles are the old ones that my name brand glass cleaner/ disinfectant came in.

Do you have any homemade cleaning recipes that you make? Please feel free to share!

Psalm 18:20
The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.

Psalm 51:2
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

Psalm 51:7
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

American Girl class: Caroline Week 2

American Girl class: Caroline Week 2
We had another fun class this week learning about Caroline! After discussing Caroline's Secret Message (book 2 in the series), we dove into our craft!

Our craft this week was Handkerchief Baby Bonnets. I had planned to do some knot-tying with natural cord from the craft store, as Caroline did in the first book with her father. But the bonnets took longer than I thought they would, so... maybe we'll tie knots next time!

I found the outline for easy bonnets here. For the bonnets, I found mens handkerchiefs at Target, 6 in a package. I took them out of the package and did the ironing ahead of time, so that was done. The girls had to sew a running stitch inside the lower CREASE (I did it wrong the first time, that is important!), then turn the ruffle up inside the bonnet and stitch it inside. Then they sewed two pink ribbons, made into bows, one on each side. It was a cute and fun craft, but took about 45 minutes! It really is a baby bonnet, not big enough for a girl and too big for a doll.


We quickly snuck in our snack, which was Ginger Cake and Spiced Cider. You can find the cake recipe that we used here. The ginger cake was delicious-- one mom made it with icing, and one without. They were delicious both ways!

 The purple boxes on the tables are new trashcans! I finally got rid of my old paper gift bags, and found some collapsible, square boxes that will work great!

We will be discussing A Surprise for Caroline (book 3) next week and making another craft with handkerchiefs! I am enjoying the girls a lot! I hope they are enjoying it too!

2 Samuel 15:30
But David continued up the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went; his head was covered and he was barefoot. All the people with him covered their heads too and were weeping as they went up.

1 Corinthians 11:3-8
But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head. A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man;

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: A Weekend Away!

This past weekend we had a lovely time away from home, in the mountains at a friends' cabin. Such a beautiful, peaceful place. We enjoyed lots of time to relax, watch "The Three Stooges" (our kids hadn't  seen it before!) and play a few games (of pool mostly!) 
Hope you enjoy the few pics!
My silly girls at the grocery store, trying on sunglasses!
My hubby's sweet momma has been knitting up a storm this winter! I was happy to receive a cozy pair of fingerless gloves!
Look at that crooked smile! Enjoyed monkey bread for breakfast!
Some new selfies... a good hair day!

We visited a local ice park, my daughter took these COOL ice pictures!

Mallory enjoyed a bubble bath in the big tub ALONE!

Caleb is happiest at the cabin when he is playing pool with someone, anyone!

We also went to a local hot springs pool, and had a good long soak. The kids also ice skated on an ice rink in town, and my phone was being fritzy, so I didn't get any pictures! This is the same cabin we visited last August, you can see that post here.

Psalm 121:1
I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?

Matthew 14:22-24
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

Luke 3:5
Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Back pain update!

Back pain update!

Some of my more diligent readers may remember this post from last February when I wrote about my back pain. In April, I began to have more constant pain in my low back (after lying on my front for a while, which I have since learned is bad!) I tried ice, heat, and took lots of ibuprofen, but my pain was pretty continuous throughout the summer. In July, at my yearly check-up with my Dr., we discussed it. She asked me to try a few things and come back in the end of July. I went back in the end of the month, and she adjusted my back. She then sent me in to physical therapist.

After three months of physical therapy, there was little to no change in my pain. I did my back exercises each day too! My therapist finally told me that I had to get an MRI. Ugh, not cheap! So I did that, and made an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. He reviewed my MRI with me, and told me that it was arthritis. I cried a little out of relief, and also out of disappointment at the results. If I could have had back surgery, my pain would have gone away sooner. But back surgery would not have been easy either!

In December, my back doctor gave me a cortisone injection in my lower back, which helped my back pain lessen quite a bit. It never totally went away. After a few weeks, he gave me some anti-inflammatory medicine, but I don't take it very often, since it makes me sleepy.

After the new year, my hubby hurt his back. He was doing a workout and hurt for over a week. He tried ice, heat and ibuprofen but the pain didn't go away. Friends recommended a Christian chiropractor in town, and my hubby saw him several times with great results. I've not wanted to go to a chiropractor in many years, since I had a bad experience with one in college.

But I did go to this same chiropractor. The first thing he did was send me to get back x-rays. He would then be able to see what he was dealing with and a good course of action. I appreciated this, and feel he is very thorough and prepared. He reviewed the x-rays with me, looked at my scoliosis and kyphosis and planned three sessions a week for the first phase. So far my pain has lessened each week, which is awesome! I find that my hips tend to pop out of joint, and this causes pain in between chiro sessions. I look forward to getting more back in line over the next few months and feeling pain free soon!

God can use pain in our lives for good, we don't know why He causes events to happen at the time. But I can't help but think that this chiropractor (who is a Christian!) was put into my life to help my pain. So for now, I am quite thankful for the pain relief that I do get from my sessions. If you are a local friend and need a good chiropractor, let me know and I can give you a card for a free first session! I am very happy each week for my time in the back massage chairs-- they're wonderful!

I also learned some back health techniques which I am working on, including not crossing my legs, which is a hard habit to break!

How about you-- do you see a chiropractor? Do you think it helps your back pain?

Psalm 38:6-8
I am bowed down and brought very low;
all day long I go about mourning.
My back is filled with searing pain;
there is no health in my body.
I am feeble and utterly crushed;
I groan in anguish of heart.

Psalm 69:29
But as for me, afflicted and in pain— may your salvation, God, protect me.

Isaiah 53:3
He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Revelation 21:4
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Recipe: Chicken Tortilla Casserole

This recipe is my sister's, one that I had at her home last summer and I really enjoyed. I finally remembered to ask her for the recipe, and here it is! A big thanks to my little sister!!

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Shredded cheddar cheese
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
Cooked chicken (canned, rotisserie or cook yourself)
1 can of Rotel tomatoes
1 can of cream soup (mushroom, chicken, etc.)
8-inch tortillas


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. 

2. Chop the onion and green pepper. Sauté in a little oil. 

3. Mix in the Rotel tomatoes. 

4. Add the soup and mix well. Add the chicken and mix well. Heat through. 

5. Spray a 9x9 or 8x8 baking dish. Layer like a lasagna – tortillas, cheese, then mixture. Reserve some cheese for the top. 

6. Bake, covered for approximately 45 minutes.

7. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until bubbly.
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. (Luke 13:34 NIV)

When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given the first dream such a positive interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I had a dream, too. In my dream there were three baskets of white pastries stacked on my head. The top basket contained all kinds of pastries for Pharaoh, but the birds came and ate them from the basket on my head.” (Genesis 40:16, 17 NLT)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Kids' Christmas pictures

I just had to share my kids' Christmas pictures that we had taken this past December. I love each of them! The kids are getting so big!
 Bethany, age 5

 Mallory, age 7

 Caleb, age 11

 Rebekah, age 14 1/2

 My four blessings

 All in a row...


Do you get professional photos taken of your family each year? We've done lots of the kids, not as many as the whole family. We are missing our friend that moved out-of-town and took wonderful photos of us in the past. Hopefully she'll be back in town next year!

Mark 10:24
The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!

Luke 18:16
But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

John 1:12
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—

American Girl class: Caroline Week 1

Caroline- Week 1
We had a fun first class this week, learning about Caroline! I think the girls had fun too, I know they enjoyed the snack!

Boat with Craft Sticks directions

Supplies needed: (for each boat)

1 Blue piece of construction paper
3 X 8 1/2” Strip of white construction paper
3” square of felt of white material
13 whole wooden popsicle sticks, plus 2 to be broken (15 total)
cloud tracers


1. Place popsicle sticks on blue construction paper on the lower half of the paper. Two sticks should go across the 8 1/2” side of the paper. Break two sticks in half.

2. Cut square of felt/ fabric in half, making two triangles.

3. Glue popsicle sticks across the paper, as shown in picture-- three lines of two sticks, three lines of 1 1/2 sticks, and three whole sticks, with one half stick at the bottom. One whole stick will point up in the middle.

4. Glue felt onto top of popsicle stick in the middle to make a sail. Allow to dry.

5. Trace, cut and glue clouds onto top of paper in the “sky.”

Now you have a wooden boat with a sail!


*If you don’t have popsicle sticks, you can substitute brown construction paper or half of a paper plate.

Snack this week was Biscuits with honey and ginger tea.
I found the Easy Biscuit recipe here.

I also printed these Geography pages: 
USA map found here.
New York here.
Ontario find here.
Canada flag here.

The girls colored them, put on the US map where Caroline was from, and placed them in their geography notebooks. We also discussed the five Great Lakes and looked at a map of them.
At the end of class, we spun some tops like Caroline & Lydia (her cousin) did in the book. I bought 6 for $1 at the Dollar Tree. It was a fun class and I am looking forward to more classes on Caroline!

    Jonah 1:3, 5, 7
    But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord...All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep...Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.

    Luke 8:22-24
    One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out.  As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

DIY: Jewelry Shelf Hanger

Some of my faithful readers may remember my love necklace hanger from this post. While I liked it, I had been thinking for some time that I needed one that had more space than just three hooks. I looked on pinterest and other web sites, and saw one somewhere that I liked... but I couldn't find it when I tried a few weeks later.

My hubby had made this wooden shelf for our old house. I liked the color and stain, but we didn't have a place for it in our new house. It sat in the garage for over three years, when I decided to dust it off and see if it would work. My hubby agreed that it would, and I bought a package of 20 gold cup hooks at Wal-mart (I think we used 18). We placed them in three staggered lines on the underside of the shelf. I had some pretty tea-cups that I had in my kitchen for several years on display. I decided they would look nice on top of the shelf, but they are not glued down. I helped my hubby mount it on the wall next to my dresser, and I am so happy to have more space for my necklaces to hang!
In the tea cups I have charms to necklaces that I change occasionally. I also have a bracelet assister on the shelf (to help put bracelets on with one hand.)

I really love it, and it adds a new taste to my room!

How do you store your necklaces? What kind of hanger do you have? I'd love to hear about it!

Exodus 35:22
All who were willing, men and women alike, came and brought gold jewelry of all kinds: brooches, earrings, rings and ornaments. They all presented their gold as a wave offering to the Lord.

Proverbs 20:15
Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.

Song of Songs 1:10
Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels.

Song of Songs 4:9
You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Recipe: Taco Soup

Recipe: Taco Soup

Several months ago, at a MOPS meeting, we discussed recipes at a small group table. There were lots of dinner suggestions tossed around, such as potato soup (which I make and love) and taco soup. That was not a soup I made, so I tucked the note away until I had time to find a recipe. About this time of winter, I get tired of the same casserole and soup recipes that I've been making for two months, and want to try something new. (I may look into other suggestions from that same meeting soon too!)

I found this recipe on here. I liked it because it is basic and easy. Quick + easy= winner for me!! This recipe is similar to the chicken chili recipe that I make, but different enough to be a new blend of flavors. Our family loved it! (Well, 5/6 of us, but my son doesn't like 3/4 of what I make, so we can't hardly count him in that mix.)

Quick and Easy Taco Soup
Recipe makes 8 servings


1 (14 ounce) can vegetable broth (such as Swanson®)

2 (15.25 ounce) cans Mexican-style corn with red and green peppers

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (10 ounce) container chunky salsa

1 (8 ounce) package tortilla chips

1 (8 ounce) package shredded Mexican cheese blend


Combine vegetable broth, corn, black beans, and salsa in a pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Crush tortilla chips into individual bowls and top with Mexican cheese. Ladle soup over chips and cheese.

It will definitely be one that I will make again! I used regular frozen corn and cheddar cheese as a substitute (since that's what I had) and it was just scrumptious!

Let me know if you try it, I'd love to hear your review! (Even though it's not an original recipe!)

Proverbs 15:17
Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred.

Daniel 1:1216
“Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.
... So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.

Romans 14:2
One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Preparing for Caroline

I am beginning to teach another class of Caroline, the American Girl soon. I've not taught Caroline, while I have taught most of the other historical characters. (See my tab above for links to those classes.) I read the Caroline books over the summer, and wrote notes and ideas. Then I looked online and did a little research. I came up with enough ideas for six weeks of classes, and I know the girls are SO excited!

Here is what my plan is (which is not set in stone):
Caroline Study outline (6 weeks)
Caroline Abbott, from Sackets Harbor, New York (1812)

1/21/14  Book 1: Meet Caroline--*PLEASE READ BEFORE FIRST CLASS!
Craft: Ship-building w/ popsicle sticks; play with tops
Geography pages— New York/ Ontario, U.S./ Canada
Snack: Warm biscuits and honey, ginger tea

1/28/14 Book 2: Caroline's Secret Message
Craft: Knot-making, handkerchief doll’s bonnet
Snack: Ginger cakes, spiced cider

2/4/14  Book 3: A Surprise for Caroline
Craft: Handkerchief dolls, hoop races, discuss ice skating
Snack: Boiled cornmeal with maple syrup

2/11/14  Book 4: Caroline Takes a Chance
Craft: Paper dolls, penmanship practice
Snack: Mini-cinnamon roll, peppermint tea

2/18/14  Book 5: Caroline's Battle
Craft: Needlework card, discuss U.S. Flag (craft?)
Snack: Burnt Sugar Cake

2/25/14  Book 6: Changes for Caroline
Craft: Cinch bag, discuss Independence Day
Snack: Wild strawberries in cream

*This outline may change without notice... If I can’t find the craft supplies I need or the snack recipes. My main intention with the crafts (and snacks) are to heighten the girls interest in learning about different periods of history. Hopefully the above collection of crafts will do just that!

Ezekiel 27:24
In your marketplace they traded with you beautiful garments, blue fabric, embroidered work and multicolored rugs with cords twisted and tightly knotted.

1 Kings 9:26
King Solomon also built ships at Ezion Geber, which is near Elath in Edom, on the shore of the Red Sea.

Proverbs 31:14
She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.

1 Timothy 1:18-19

Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Christmas highlights 2013

We had a wonderful Christmas! 

We began by attending our church's Christmas Eve service which always ends with candles lit during "Silent Night." It is overwhelming for me, so much beauty and joy-- my favorite service. I like Easter a lot too, but there is such a sweet focus on God, Jesus and His birth, it is just a precious few moments. 
 Opening gifts at home:
 Mallory in her new jammies, opened a gift from Bethany... (Mal woke up sick that morning...)
 Caleb's "big" gift/ surprise-- a wooden bat for our baseball loving boy!
 A nice wool coat and scarf for our big beautiful girl!

Then we went to my Mom's house and spent most of the day there...
 Mallory got a scarf making set from Grandma!
 Bethany in her new vest getting "examined" by her cousin with his new Dr. kit!
Rebekah opened a new sweater from Grandma!

Joshua and my brother-in-law got matching shirts! We joked that Joshua should shave his head and they should go to the mall, being "twins" just like teenage girls do! :-D
Mallory having recovered from her stomach virus, happily held her baby cousin!
We loved holding my sweet niece and catching her grins... these are just a few!

Cousins waiting to eat dinner...
My sister and her family had to leave too soon! I loved holding my precious niece and putting her to sleep before they left. The time went too fast!

Matthew 1:21
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

John 20:31
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

John 3:16

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Luke 11:13
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
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