Monday, December 31, 2012

Make Your Own Clothes Soap

Every year for Christmas, my sisters, mom and I try to make gifts for everyone.  Not only does it save a lot of money, but we are big believers in putting our heart and soul into gifts.  In the past, we've made candles, soup/cookies in a jar, decorative potpourri warmer,

pottery, baked goods, just to name a few.  Some of you have read my bust on candle luminaries,

which turned out to be the biggest pain in the rear end that it ended up being a birthday present for my sister.  Ok, that didn't sound too good.  It took about 12 balloons to make 3 luminaries and they still cracked when I looked at them because they were so stinkin' fragile.  The point is that my sister really liked them and I hope they hold up well for her.  Anyway, this year, my bright idea for Christmas presents was to make homemade laundry soap.  Probably one of the best homemade gifts I've made so far.
My kitchen smelled so good for weeks and I actually liked doing laundry.  This recipe, including the jar and scoop only cost a little over $2 per jar to make.  There are up to 56 loads per jar, which came to about 2 - 3 cents per load.  I added Purex crystals to the jar mostly for color but is not necessary.  This recipe will fill four mason jars.

6 cups Borax
4 cups Baking Soda
4 cups Washing Soda
2 bars of Fels Naptha laundry bar soap, shredded
5 capfuls of Purex crystals (optional)

Shred both soap bars in a large bowl.

Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Divide into four mason jars.  You can print this label if you want to give it as a gift.  I've never used Google docs before so if the link doesn't work, shoot me an email and i'll send it to you in an email.

You only need a tablespoon of soap per load.  Believe it or not, it does a pretty good job.  If you have an HE washer, you'll notice that your cycles won't last quite as long.  It's a low-sudsing recipe which gets your clothes clean but doesn't make your washer work hard.  It's gentle enough for baby clothes so you can save a lot of money by not having to buy Dreft.

Fabric softener is not necessary but since it's winter, I add about a half a teaspoon of softener just to avoid static electricity.  You can even put a squirt of vinegar in your rinse cycle and it will make your clothes super soft.  No, it won't make your clothes smell like vinegar.  Try using it on your bed sheets.  Ahh!!!

Baking soda takes the smell out of your clothes, washing soda softens the water and Borax enhances the soap, and of course the soap cleans.

I would love to hear how you like this soap, or if you have a different recipe, leave a comment below.

Happy laundrying!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Merry (belated) Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone!  I've been MIA not only because it's been Christmas, but because my children have become more of a priority for me.  I've learned that the more I pay attention to them, the better they behave.  I suppose I should've figured that out a looooong time ago and perhaps I have, it's just that after 8 1/2 years of staying home with them and giving them 100% of my attention all the time, I thought I could at least spend a little time here and there for me.  Again, perhaps I'm wrong....

Yes, my kids have needed my attention but my computer has needed even more of my attention.  My computer got hit with a horrible virus a.k.a. "Babylon search engine" that ate up my memory and made my computer run slow.  It took 4 days to fix it and my fan was running so much, the keyboard was hot to the touch.  Among trying to fix my computer, I was working diligently on getting my yearly slideshow done for Christmas.  I create a slideshow of my girls every year that's set to music for my family for Christmas.  Sure beats sitting with a boring album and it takes way less time organizing it than it takes putting photos in an album.

The first disc takes about four hours to save and burn. Any additional disc takes about an hour.  As I was burning the third disc, we watched the slideshow and I learned that one of the songs was silent.  So all over it began and this was Christmas morning.  Not too happy there, especially since I was up until 2 am.  So that's my story of why I haven't been writing lately.

We had a fabulous Christmas, except my 5-year-old ran a temperature for a few days.  She's such a tough cookie and got through most of Christmas day.  You know a child is sick when she says she'd rather go home than to go to another grandparents' house to get more presents.  The next day, I took her to the doctor and she had a really bad ear infection.  Why can't adults be that tough?

So my little girls got an iPod Touch this year.  Yes, my 5-year-old got one too.  I wasn't too keen on that idea at first but then I decided I'd rather pay a lot of money on something so my kids don't fight over it everyday.  Yeah, Parent of the Year Award right here.  But I will say that Ellen can work a computer and an iPad better than any other 5-year-old I know.  AND I can have my iPad back and the kids don't have to complain about me taking over their games anymore.  So, it's a WIN-WIN in my book!

I have tons of ideas brewing in my brain, including what I made for Christmas gifts this year to post.  Now that my computer is back and my life isn't so crazy hectic, please keep an eye out for more posts!

I gave my hubby a metal detector for Christmas this year.  He's been wanting one for a long time.  I always know when I nail it on a gift idea for him when he starts reading the manual right away.  Biggest compliment ever!

Merry Christmas, everyone!  I hope that you all had a great week and looking forward to a new year full of new possibilities and blessings!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Jesus Loves the Losers, Too

I've always been fascinated with culture.  I love learning how other people live and why they do the things they do.  I especially love learning about biblical times because most of us know some Bible stories and the people in them, but has anyone ever really thought about the people in those stories as real people?  You know, people with lives who probably had a personality, talked a certain way and maybe even had a hobby?

Back in biblical times, shepherds were considered the "low class".  They didn't socialize much, they weren't invited to parties because they've been known to steal, and because they were out in the fields with the sheep most of the time, they tend to smell.  They usually didn't have manners and they were outcasts most of the time.
When Jesus was born, guess who were the first guests to His party?  Yup, the shepherds.  These "low class" citizens were the first to visit the newborn baby Jesus.

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angle of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." ~Luke 2 : 8-12

 Jesus loves everyone.  Everyone. Jesus loves you.  No matter what mistakes you've made, no matter what broken bridges exist in your life, no matter if you've fallen to addiction, no matter if you've recently found God in your life or if you've known Him all your life.  Even if you feel you don't deserve God's love, Jesus loves you. He invites you to His party every year at Christmastime.  He wants you there with Him.  The shepherds were loved and were invited to visit the baby Jesus right after He was born.  He wants YOU there, too!

Santa Claus, Christmas lights and presents are nice, but the real present is You, Lord.  Be sure to keep Christ in Christmas.  He's the reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place.

"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."  ~ Matthew 1: 21

May you all have a wonderful and blessed Christmas this year!  God bless!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Insert Scream [here]

If your computer had ears, you'd be hearing me scream right now!  I've been writing for Yahoo! Voices for almost two years now and by a big surprise, my profile has been featured on the contributor's site.  My whole profile, all 212 articles of mine! 
This is not available to the public, but anyone who has a contributor profile can view that page.  Voices will spotlight nominated contributors so when someone logs in to their account and want to view help forums, winner circles, blogs, contests, etc they'll see ME! 

I am super excited about this as I've been a featured writer for parenting topics and crafts & hobbies each month for a year now.  I get guaranteed articles for pay and if the editors like what I write, they'll feature that particular article on another page of the community site.  That spikes up my performance views which means more money. 

Lately, I've been having heart-to-heart conversations with God about my role as a writer as I've not been motivated to write since September.  I recently got an email from the Yahoo! editors stating that they are doing away with the featured contributor program starting in January.  December is the last month I will be able to write featured articles.  That doesn't mean I won't be able to write for them anymore.  That just means I won't have guaranteed articles for higher pay.  That means I'd have to write double the amount of articles to match what I was making in the featured program.  I'd be crazy to pass this last month up but I'll be damned to hell if I can get motivated to write.  I try to talk myself into it but I just can't seem to scrape up a topic, no matter how hard I think about it.  I take it as a hint that this is not where I'm supposed to be right now, but it's killing me to pass up these last couple featured articles.  What is wrong with me????

I just wanted to share my success with all my readers.  So if anyone has a parenting topic or a craft idea I can write about, please comment and I'll see what I can do.  Someone please kick me in the butt to jumpstart my brain!!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Candle Luminaries

I love making Christmas presents.  My husband would say the reason for that is that I'm "tighter than a tick's ass", which is true, but mostly because I love getting homemade gifts and I especially love giving homemade gifts.  They're unique, they take time and I always think about that person while I'm making their gift so it becomes personal.  I found these candle luminaries online and I'm so glad I got started on this project early.  Most of my readers know how much I love crafts and I especially love trying new crafts, but this one......  it took a high rating on the patience bar.  Sorry, family and friends.  You're probably not getting these this year.  There's not enough time in the day to get enough of these done. 
So here's what you do:

  • Melt wax in a double boiler.  180 degrees is optimal temperature.
  • Fill a balloon with barely lukewarm water.  The best size is about a tennis ball size, (which will eventually look like the far left side in the above picture).  Try to get as much air out of the balloon as you can before you tie it.  The middle one was full of water.  The far right one... well, the balloon was goofy and it had a weird shape when I filled it with water.  You can try to blow up the balloon to stretch the latex and then fill with water to get a more round shape.
  • Slowly dip the balloon in the hot wax, but be careful not to dip above the water level or the balloon may break.
  • Lift the balloon and repeat 2-3 times.
  • Place on a cookie sheet or plate to flatten the bottom of the balloon.  Allow to cool for a minute or two.
  • Repeat this process at least several more times.
Here's the tricky part:  You have to try your best to dip the balloon each time to the same level at the top.  If you allow a few layers to be super thin, you're luminary will rip towards the end of this project.  The top line of the melted wax must be just as thick as the rest of balloon.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  We'll fix that later. It just needs to be thick.  The black balloon is a good example.  It didn't make it because the top line wasn't thick enough.  Also, don't hold the balloon in the hot wax for more than a few seconds.  The wax will stick to the balloon and it won't survive the next step.
  • Once I got the thickness I wanted, I placed the balloon in the freezer for a few minutes.
  • Take a skewer, pin or toothpick and carefully pop the balloon in the sink.  You WILL get wet!  It's best to pop the balloon quicker, rather than slower for a couple of reasons:  A small, slow hole will squirt water a lot higher and farther than you'll be prepared for, and if the wax stuck to the balloon, it will make your luminary fall apart.  Here's another important tip:  manipulate the little air bubble to the top in the balloon and pop a hole there.  Much quicker, more efficient and you'll get wet.  Just sayin...

  • Now we'll perfect the top.  I used a glass pie pan and placed it on a very, very low heat on the stove.  Set the top of the luminary on the warm plate until the edges are even.

Voila!  Place a battery-operated tea light inside and you've got yourself a very cool luminary.

These luminaries were a pain in my bee-hind to make.  I used a 2-pound block of wax, 11 balloons and I only got 3 luminaries in two days.... all for one of the kids to poke a side in and ruin my one and only best luminary (it was my 11th one I made).  These babies are super fragile but oh-so-neat.  The good thing about this project is that if you screw up, put the wax back in the double boiler and use it again.

So there you have it.  A super cheap and easy craft to make for Christmas gifts, but only if you plan on spending a lot of time over a hot splattering stove.  Once I can get more balloons, I'm sure I'll be back to make more.  I'm obsessed over this because I can't end my project like this.  I will work on it until I perfect the darn thing. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Words That End in "-ia"

Converstations in my house have become code.  If someone came over to visit, and they heard my children talking to each other, they would not have a clue what my children were saying.  Here's a few examples:

"Hey!  You hit me..."

"Marrrrr-CELL-aaah... I was standing here, stupid, Ugly-a."

"Sor-ry, Ellen-a."

As I tend to yell at my kids for rolling their eyes, my eyeballs have a hard time keeping straight when I hear this kind of talk.  It's hard not to giggle but other times, I just want to pitch a fit and stomp out of the room like they do.  Afterall, I've learned from the best.... or maybe they learned it from me?  Is that a born-with kind of trait?  Either way, I've been having a hard time concentrating on anything around here, let alone write or do anything I want to do.

I have to admit, things have been pretty peaceful around here... no wait.  There's not much peace when it comes to the kids.  There's been a lot more peace inside of me when my children have a hard time getting along.  I don't know what it is, perhaps I've been waking up early everyday and spending a little time with God and prayer before my crazy day begins.  I've found myself much more able to handle the "words ending in '-ia'" attitudes and back talking when I can start my day with peace.  Maybe I've learned to let some things go and not hold myself up to a standard I think is appropriate, when really it's too much for me to handle.

With all that being said, I've been having a really hard time staying motivated to write.  Yahoo! is taking away the Featured Contributor Program starting the first of the year, which means I will no longer be a featured writer with Yahoo!.  In a way, I'm not really sad about that.  I'll miss the income but my lack of motivation with writing has gone so low that I wasn't taking advantage of any of the writing opportunities anyway.  My husband and I talk occasionally about my future options when the kids are in school full time.  Will I go back to work?  Back to school?  Stay home?  My options are so open, it actually drives me crazy thinking about all the cool stuff I could do.

Jeff gave me my Christmas present early this year.  He has a hard time keeping a secret and I love teasing him about that, but honestly I'm so happy he didn't wait.  He gave me a Nikon D7000 camera, which is a really, really, really nice camera.  A kind of camera I've always wanted.  It's killing me that it's been crappy outside the last couple of days and there's not much to take pictures of outside when it looks so crappy out.  So in the meantime, the kids will just have to put up with me practicing on them.  Thank goodness the world has gone digital.  I can't even begin to think how much money we'd spend on film with a camera like this.  It's just too fun taking pictures!  Here are a few pictures I've (we've) taken so far....

You can see a couple other pictures on my right side bar.  Once that sun comes out, I'll be out keeping busy so don't be surprised if I don't write again for a while.  Or maybe I'll be posting lots of pictures very soon.  I pray you all get a bit of peace in your heart and your days are sunny and happy!

Friday, November 16, 2012

What's With the Fork?

There was a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live.  As she was getting her things "in order", she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.  She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like to read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.  The woman also requested to be buried with her favorite Bible.

Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her. "This is very important," the woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."  The pastor stood looking at the woman, not knowing quite what to say. 

"That surprises you, doesn't it?" the woman asked. 

"Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor.

The woman explained, "In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'keep your fork.'"  It was my favorite part because I knew something better was coming... like velvety chocolate cake or a piece of deep-dish apple pie.  Something wonderful and with substance!  So, I just want people to see me there in the casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder:

"What's with the fork?"

"Then I want you to tell them:  'Keep your fork... The best is yet to come.'"

The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman good-bye.  He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death.  But he also knew that the woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did.  She KNEW something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing, her favorite Bible and the fork in her right hand.  Over and over, the pastor heard the question,

"What's with the fork?"

And over and over he smiled.  During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died.  He also told them about the fork and what it symbolized to her.  The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.  He was right. 

So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you, oh so gently, that the best is yet to come!

In loving memory
Mary Dickendasher
April 8, 1927 - October 18, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday 11/14/12

A brisk morning....

Monday, November 12, 2012

Little Girls After My Own Heart

I recently discovered that I have an allergic reaction to wheat.  Since I can no longer have wheat bread, I've taken up baking my own bread again.  I don't know what it is about baking bread.  I love the way it makes my house smell and feel cozy and warm.  I also like to bask in the accomplishment of baking bread as it takes an incredible amount of patience.  One day I had made bread just in time for it to come out of the oven during dinner and it was perfect timing as I planned on having spaghetti.  I even made a salad and it turned out to be quite a nice meal without a lot of effort, it only looked like a lot of effort.  My daughters had asked if they could invite our neighbor friends over for dinner and I was happy to agree.  As these two little girls came over, Ellen was eager to show her friend our new garbage can.  She stepped on the pedal and the lid slammed up and her friend says enthusiastically, "I just knew you were going to do that!"  Ellen was just as excited about a new garbage can as I was!

A few minutes later, our neighbor friends commented how good my house smelled.  "It smells just like bread," they said. 

So as these four little girls and myself sat down for dinner, all the girls accepted salad and loaded their plates up with spaghetti.  As we bowed our heads to pray, each child took turns to thank God for the fresh bread and blessed the hands that made our meal.  To top it all off after our friends left, neither of my girls fought all evening, they were good listeners, they got their homework done and took showers without arguing.  I was beside myself in awe over how nice of an evening we had.

Little girls after my own heart!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Stifling a gigle is very hard to do

As I've mentioned before, I've been really out of it lately and my brain is still trying to catch up.  The time change has not helped me at all and I still can't seem to adjust to the new time.  Last night's dinner was a perfect example.  This time change has affected my whole family.  My daughter-in-law and my granddaughter stayed for dinner.  Yes, I actually cooked dinner.... with vegetables, too!  Ellen was acting up and it was very clear that she was very tired.  She's been getting up around 6am since the time change and the child will not nap to save her soul.  While we were eating, I was in my own little world, being tired myself.  Here's how a conversation went, or so what I THINK I heard...

Daddy:  Ellen, sit up and eat.
Ellen:  I'm full.
Daddy:  You didn't eat enough.  Eat more meat.
Ellen:  (Continues to lift her feet up in the air and twist around in her seat)
Daddy:  Ellen, if you don't sit up and eat, you're going straight to bed.  We do not behave this way at the....
Ellen:  Blah blah blah....

What?  Did I really just hear that?  I know I was out of it but my husband was so beside himself when Ellen sang that little song, Daddy about lost it and sent her to the corner.  Stifling our giggles was very difficult as my 8 year old was watching the whole thing.  My little 5-year-old somewhere learned this attitude and it was so unexpected, we weren't quite sure how to react because well, it was funny... but NO!  It was NOT!

So recently, I really thought I had hit rock bottom.  I thought I needed to make some changes, and some changes I accept full responsibility for; however, it dawned on me at 2 am this morning why I've felt rock bottom.  Our new "little" puppy has his nights and days mixed up.  He's been waking me up anywhere between 2 am and 5:30 am and once he wakes me up, I'm up.  I can't seem to get back into a deep sleep and trying to fight a cold, I've been a mess. 

Victor is 7 months old.  He came from the training facility where we had Koda trained.  So Victor has never been in a house, never been left alone and since he's still a "puppy", everything is new to him.  I've had to scrape up every bit of patience and finally after a week, he stopped pooping and whining in his kennel.  Now, he likes to scratch the bottom of his kennel in the middle of the night.  I. AM. TIRED!  I really should be in bed now but since my littlest one keeps waking up about the same time I do, I've gotten very little "me" time.  What's that new saying these days?  "I'm a 'hot' mess"?  Whatever.

So here are some pictures of Victor.  He's a very sweet dog.  Easily trained.  He doesn't bark, loves kids, doesn't go upstairs but I will tell you that I've never known a puppy to be so freakin' lazy!  He loves his walks and to play fetch, but good gracious, this dog can lay around and do nothing all day if we didn't play with him and motivate him. 
Ellen & Victor

Marcella & Victor

 We had to get a raised dog dish because Victor loved carrying around his water dish.  At least my kitchen floor was clean.... well.... sort of.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dusting Cobwebs

It's time to dust off the cobwebs in my little corner of the Internet as it has been 11 weeks and 6 days since I've last written anything.  Well, I've written a couple of Yahoo! articles, which took the featured page and I became one of the top 500 writers of Yahoo!.  That's an accomplishment for me, but sadly those couple of articles that hit my pages hard still didn't keep my writing motivation alive.  It feels good to be back, I think.  As my fingers hit each key on the keyboard, it feels like home.  Like a comforting feeling I had as a child come swarming back to me, but still I'm only half motivated to continue.  I've got lots to say and so much has happened in the past three months.  I could blog for a couple of weeks of all the craziness my life has brought, but yet this is taking a lot of effort to get this far in writing anything.  This sounds sad, like I'm closing a chapter in my life, but that's not how I'm looking at this.  I saw these last few months as a way of God trying to change the paths in my life, like spending time at the computer is not where God has wanted me to be for a while.  There were other things that God was trying to get me to turn to and I still haven't figure out what that path is.  To be bluntly honest, I've had blinders on my eyes this whole time, wasting time playing games on the iPad, talking on the phone and creating excuses to not get anything done.  Have I been sitting around doing nothing?  Absolutely not! 


After four years of guidance from my doctor, she finally allowed me to be on a prescription medication to lose weight.  No matter what I did, no matter how much exercise I'd done, eating less, eating more, starving myself, feeding myself, trying fad diets, entering weight loss challenges.... NOTHING was helping me lose weight.  While on this medicine, my life became even more crazy because my motivation to do anything and everything skyrocketed.  I loved it, but I hated it.  I had no appetite (score!), I was crazy motivated to stay busy all day (score!), but my family suffered because I had absolutely no appetite and nothing sounded good to me so I didn't cook much.  I was so motivated to do many things at once that my family suffered because I was too busy doing "(un)necessary" things to keep my energy level at bay.  All I had accomplished was increased dizzy spells, horrendous headaches, constant chaos and only a couple pounds less.  It was so not worth it!

Damn colds....

Then the weather got colder, my energy level dropped and then I got sick.  But I can say that the headaches went away, the dizzy spells were more under control and because of that, I became a bit more motivated to accomplish the important tasks.  I actually cleaned out two closets and a kitchen cabinet, cleaned behind major appliances, cleaned out one child's bedroom, donated blankets and coats to the homeless and started doing crafts with my children.  Sounds good, right?  Yes, but no. 

Ugh!  Excuses, Excuses....

Why am I telling the world all this?  Especially in a novel-size blog post to readers who don't have time to read this much?  Because I need to make myself accountable for hitting rock bottom.  I feel that sometimes I have to hit rock bottom to realize I'm going down the wrong path.  To remind myself that I can't hack this life without God and when I go this long without praying much, asking for help and working on my relationship with God that I get all out of whack and I can't get it together.  Tonight was a good example when 5:00 rolled around and I still didn't have dinner planned.  We ended up having fried chicken and french fries for dinner just before we ran really late for our evening program that none of us was really motivated to go to.  I've got lots of praying to do and it has a lot to do with changing these new bad habits that I've created.

Some good stuff....

These past three months haven't been bad.  We've gathered tons of apples from an apple farm and I made six apple pies for Thanksgiving (all from scratch), I've perfected (well, working on) my technique for baking bread, made a green tomato pie, got a new puppy and I've accomplished many other little tasks that have made me feel good about myself.  All of these new things will keep you in suspense as I will talk about them in my future blog posts, so stay tuned!

I miss all of you and your life journeys since I've been away.  I don't know if I will be writing again soon or if I will wake up tomorrow morning high on life and ready to get back to writing (and reading).  At this point, I'm taking it day by day;  not to "sweat the small stuff" and be patient while God works His wonders in my life.  I could really use some miracles!!

And before I leave ya, all blog posts need a picture.  Here are just a couple to get ya started!

God Bless!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday 8/22/12 w/ Linky!

I'm jumping on the Wordless Wednesday blog hopping party!  
Get on board and post some of your pictures!

We had some excitement in our garden this week.  A baby yellow finch was dropped off in our garden where he stayed for a couple of days.  He was nice enough to let us get some really close pictures of him.

Baby birds on the ground who look healthy, with feathers and don't seem to be hurt are called "fledglings".  They've left the nest for good and can live on the ground for up to 10 days.  As long as the momma or daddy bird comes around within an hour after noticing a baby bird, he'll be just fine.  The momma bird will make sure her baby is well taken care of.
Marcella was fascinated with this baby bird and tried very hard to convince me to bring him inside and take care of him herself.  Oh I remember the days of nursing injured birds. Like mother, like daughter!
Daddy bird keeping close eye on his baby in our backyard

 He made himself right at home and as you can see, he was very close to our kitchen window so we could watch all day.

 He eventually flew from the butterfly bush to the sad looking dead daisy bush.  He got himself up on the top and perched up there all proud for a while.
 Until we learned that our little visitor was a fledgling, we thought if we picked him up and put him closer to food and water, maybe he'd drink and want to fly away.  We learned that we are not momma birds and can't teach a baby bird fly.  Nature is so mysterious!

 The daddy bird was showing the baby bird how to fly.
Momma bird stopping by for baby's breakfast

The next evening, the baby bird flew from our cozy little garden to our neighbor's tree.  He spent the night up there and was gone the next day.  I tried to photoshop an arrow to show you where the baby bird is sitting but got too frustrated and gave up. (It's late)  If you can see the big gap into the tree from the right side, next to that is a small hole where you can see the sky.  It's almost exactly in the middle of the whole picture. There's a tiny tiny little round shape in that hole.  That's the baby's head.  We were so proud of our baby bird that he flew oh-so far!