Christen Young

My life, my story. My life for His glory.

Category: Doing More With Less (page 1 of 2)

Quick No-Grate Dry Laundry Detergent


I have been promising for the past two years that I would post this on my blog, so here it finally is. I have been making my own laundry detergent for almost a decade now and have been continually revising the process to make a better and easier detergent.  I did not think that I could ever come up with an easier recipe than my “5 Minute Liquid Laundry Detergent”, but then I was challenged to make a dry version. Continue reading

“Thea & Aaron’s Northern Virginia Creative, DIY Wedding”

This summer I had the blessing to attend my brother Aaron’s wedding in Northern Virginia.  This is a beautiful feature about my handsome brother, Aaron Jeschke and his beautiful bride Thea’s wedding.  I would like to credit Aaron a little but, but it is way more likely that Thea came up with all these simply gorgeous DIY ideas for their wedding.

Heavenly Holidays

I probably should have posted this before the holidays, but here is an article that I wrote in November 2010 for our MOPS newsletter:

My childhood was filled with the typical trials and tribulations that young children face such as arguing with my parents, fights with siblings, or tears over more serious issues.  I would consider them “growing pains” of sort.  Some of these more difficult moments stand out in my mind, but they do not cloud my heart.  The memories that I choose to treasure are the ones that fill my heart with warmth and joy.
Holidays are particularly precious to me as they are for many people.  These memories make me smile and block out other more hurtful moments.  Growing up, my family did not have an abundance of extra money for huge holiday gifts.  My dad is a minister and his meager minister salary did not go very far as we had an eleven member family and usually were hosting a college student in need as well.  Despite the lack of funds, our Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays were extravagantly prepared for.  What we lacked in money, we made up for in traditions.  Using hand-me-down decorations we sprinkled our house with holiday spirit.  At Thanksgiving, we dressed as Pilgrims and Indians during the day and we usually put on some sort of play production which inevitably ended with us laughing and rolling around on the floor.  We also each had jobs to prepare for the meal such as polishing the silver, arranging flowers, or cooking parts of the delicious feast.  Cherished memories were made as we gathered together around a huge table supplemented by smaller card tables pushed together and enjoyed family stories and fellowship.
Christmas traditions were also of the utmost importance.  We never got many presents, but the fun was in the gathered family and not the stocking full of underwear and socks.  We weren’t allowed to see the presents under the Christmas tree before breakfast.  So, we would wake up and run down the stairs, and then cover our eyes as we passed by the room with the Christmas tree.  We always had cinnamon rolls for breakfast, then opened our stockings, and then marched–yes, marched from oldest to youngest into the Christmas tree room to the music of “Joy to the World”.  We would always squeal with excitement to see the tree surrounded by a pile of presents.  I barely remember the presents that I got most Christmas’s but the holiday traditions are forever stamped in my memory.
Whether you have a lot or a little, working to create lasting memories with your family does not cost a thing.  Emphasize the time you spend together in special ways or traditions.  Share with your family the special traditions that you had growing up.  Make time for special meals or special moments.  Powerful memories are made not based on what you get, but instead how you feel and the joy and love that you share.  The holiday fun and family times that you are creating now will be loved and appreciated by your children and talked about for years to come.  Treasured moments make treasured memories that we hold in our hearts forever.

“Happy Meal Toys” (and others) for Haiti

Every year for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) one of our favorite spring service projects is collecting small toys for the children in Haiti through Lifeline Christian Mission.  It is the perfect opportunity for spring cleaning as you can collect all the gently used small toys, balls, baby dolls, and “Happy Meal” type toys, etc. that pile up around your house.  We don’t often eat fast food so we don’t usually accumulate kids meal type toys that way, but they still seem to pop up everywhere around our house as tokens of friendship from other children, as goody bag gifts, or as treasure box prizes at school where other families get rid of their toys and pass them along to everyone else.  However we may get them, they still are excess for our family while they could be a blessing to the children in Haiti who have nothing.  So, throughout the year, we bag these little goodies up and save them for this ministry. 

If your family or a church or organization would like to get involved in collecting your gently used or new toys for Haiti then there is the info below thanks to my MOPS mentor, Linda.
Toys for Haiti:
921 Eastwind Dr.  Suite 133
Westerville, OH  43081-3363
NO guns & be careful to watch for things w/skulls, demon looking stuff or anything that could be linked to Voodoo.
Things to send: Balls, especially soccer balls. jewelry, hair bows, clips, dominoes, kids musical instruments, jacks, jump ropes, puzzles, marbles, dolls, clay, etch-a-sketch.   It would be really nice if they could find some black dolls for the girls if they are purchasing things new.  You can also find fun stuff in the toy travel section.
If they are recycling toys just make sure they are in nice condition. 

You can just box everything up and mail it to Lifeline.
Get involved in blessing others through this ministry or post if you have other ministry service project ideas to share with others.

Inexpensive Bleach Recipe

After posting my latest laundry detergent recipe, I received a wonderful message from my Aunt-in-law sharing a really neat tip about an inexpensive bleach recipe.  It is the first time that I have ever gotten a bleach recipe so I am eager to try it out, but I thought that I would share it with everyone else too.  If anyone has any other great money saving tips, I would love to share them on my blog also.  The following is her message with the recipe and details of what to do.  If anyone else tries it out before I get a chance, then you’ll have to post on here how it worked for you.

Here is her recipe for inexpensive bleach:
…it has a shelf life of almost forever whereas the bleach you buy fizzles after 1-2 years. This is made from “Dry Shock” for swimming pools., which in it’s dry form lasts years and years. Get the plain variety, with no algaecides or fungicides. Very inexpensive and can be gotten at any pool supply store. It is pure enough to be used to purify water for drinking if the need ever arises. 

for bleach:
1 heaping teaspoon of the calcium hypochlorite (pool shock)
2 gallons of water – mix thoroughly and store iin plastic bottles

to purify water for drinking: 
2 1/2 tablespoons of the bleach to 1 gallon of water
Let stand covered 30 minutes, aerate to taste
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