Best Detergent Recipe EVER!

laundryI have been making my own laundry detergent for over four years, now and am VERY happy with the results. However, my whites started not looking quite as white.  So I’ve been playing with detergent recipes to get a good combination that seems to work and here it is:

2 bars ivory soap, shredded (a cheese shredder works best)

2 cups washing powder (not baking powder, Arm & Hammer Washing Powder is at Walmart and Kroger on the detergent aisle)

2 boxes baking soda

1/2 box Borax

1 box Purex Powdered Bleach

2 cups of Oxi-Clean for extra icky laundry

Use 1 small scoop (about 1″ deep, 1″ around) for regular loads, a heaping scoop for heavy stained loads.  I have made many batches of this recipe and each batch makes just under 3 gallons and lasts about 8 months.  I do 4-6 loads of laundry per week for my family of 4.  I haven’t even used half of the washing powder, borax or Oxi-Clean, yet.  MUCH cheaper than buying Tide (or even the cheap store brand stuff)…

headshot 2Tammy Lanham uses her passions for writing, speaking, and photography to entertain and encourage moms, marriages, and entrepreneurs.  She homeschools.  She volunteers.  She’s an entrepreneur.  She sleeps – sometimes.  Oh, and she eats chocolate.

Tammy is married to Tommy Lanham – a coach, leadership training expert, instructor, motivator, and a believer in Jesus whose mission is to equip and empower entrepreneurs, leaders, and dreamers to climb to their untapped potential.

Visit Tammy’s website:  www.TammyLanham.com 
Visit Tommy’s website:     www.TommyLanham.com  

 

 

 

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Power of a Wise Choice; 3 Case Studies

 

cancer surgery    Friends 2    Friends 3

 

Some of the most important friends in my world have had a bad week.  They may not know it but I have learned from them.

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tongue cancerFriend #1 – Chesi has tongue cancer, that’s right on her dad-gum tongue! Who has ever heard of that?!?  She had part of her tongue removed during surgery last week.  She’s young, has two young boys at home and she’s active in her community.  She could have easily let a cancer diagnosis cripple her.  But you know what?  She hasn’t. She’s fighting.  She’s a tough little booger!

Where’s Chesi’s choice?  Her reality is cancer.  There’s no choice there.  It’s what life has dealt her.  Her choice is her mindset.  I watched her be rolled back into surgery with tears in her eyes but a smile on her face as she waved to us.  This woman is making a choice to live, to stay positive and deal with her rotten reality named cancer.

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marriageFriends whose marriage is in trouble – It’s an awful situation. They both feel trapped.  They have resolved to live in a toxic life of misery.  They have options. But neither wants to see them because making any choices may be too painful.  Staying in the marriage may be a lifelong toxic choice at this point and getting out of the marriage may have it’s own lifelong toxic consequences.

Sometimes, there are no good options.  Sometimes choices suck.  But they are still there, however painful they may be.  Not making a choice can be just as painful as making one.

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My frobbery.pngriend, Emma, could be really bitter about the thief that stole over $1000 worth of fireworks from her business and then tried to run over her in the parking lot.

But when the news showed up and the cameras were in her face, Emma gave thanks and encouraging words of appreciation to the neighbors and bystanders that offered their help when she could have easily spewed hatred and anger towards the thief.
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Chesi, you are teaching me to keep a positive mindset and not let the realities of life get me down.  You are an inspiration.

My couple friends – you have taught me that I always have a choice. Even if the options suck, I am never trapped because there are always options. But not making a choice can be worse than making a terrible one.

Emma, you have taught me that I can choose my focus.  I can choose to be thankful and encouraging, even in a bad situation.  Thank you for that reminder.

3 lessons:
I can choose my mindset.  I can choose my focus.  There are always choices…  

 

headshot 2

Tammy Lanham uses her passions for writing, speaking and photography to entertain and encourage moms, marriages, and entrepreneurs.  She homeschools.  She volunteers.  She’s an entrepreneur.  She sleeps – sometimes.  Oh, and she eats chocolate.

Tammy is married to Tommy Lanham – a coach, leadership training expert, instructor, motivator, and a believer in Jesus. He is an experienced, trusted and highly enthusiastic speaker who communicates life changing truths in an entertaining way.

Visit Tammy’s website:  www.TammyLanham.com 
Visit Tommy’s website:     www.TommyLanham.com  

 

 

It must be aliens….

Wow, I honestly cannot believe I’m doing this.  I have been that “fat girl” all my life.  I was the last one picked to play sports in my PE class and I never played any team sports.  And all of a sudden I have a deisre to participate in a 5K on July 16th at the Bluegrass State Games!  Isn’t that crazy?  Last week as I was training to walk in that 5K, I had a desire to pick up some speed and jog a little.  It HAD to be aliens taking over my body because I literally despise running.

As most of you know, I’m a photographer and I photographed Louisville Bible College’s senior banquet and graduation this weekend.  On Friday night at the banquet, they had a fantastic seafood buffet and finished it up with a piece of chocolate meringue pie.  I had been “saving” my caloires all day so I could enjoy this meal guilt free and it was fabulous.  When I got to that pie, my mouth was watering.  It was actually frozen so I defrosted each bite in my mouth letting it slowly melt and savoring each morsel.  I have no idea what any of the speakers were saying or what was going on in that room because I was completely enjoying that piece of pie.  Now, here’s where the alien thing must have happened…. the next thing I know, I’m full and I push the last 2-3 bites of that fabulous frozen chocolate pie away from me!!  It’s chocolate pie for goodness sake!!  What in the world came over me???  Had to be aliens, just had to be….. have YOU ever seen any fat aliens??

Here are a few more instances that I am sure proves aliens are taking over my body:

I got up off the floor without getting on all fours and pushing myself up inches at a time…

I wore a pair of size 16’s and they’re about to fall off of me (I started in size 20/22)….

I went to the grocery store and bought healthy stuff…

I mowed our yard last week (hubby’s back is hurting) in 90 degree heat and I didn’t die…

I did a yoga session and could actually do most of the poses…

I played soccer with my children in the yard and actually ran faster than they did…

I ate asparagus and liked it….

I ate Doritos (my favorites) and they made me sick to my stomach…

See?  How else could you explain all this craziness???  Has to be aliens…. has to be…

I weighed in at 173.0 this week, down 1.0 from last week and a total of 31.4 pounds lost since I began this journey January 18, 2011.  Come on, join me in this journey and see if the aliens will take over your body, too!  😉  Click “Yep, I’m in!  Sign me up!” in the upper right hand side of this blog to begin the transformation!  Start watching for the space ships….  hehe…..

A New Decade of Pounds

My official weigh in this week is 188.4!  I’m out of the 190’s and in a new decade!  That’s -2.6 pounds for the week and -15.8 pounds for the year.  I’ve lost 62 sticks of butter!  🙂

This is been a unique week.  I fought cravings like crazy this week and I also had female stuff going on.  Typically during this time, I gain 5-7 pounds of water weight.  This time, I gained .4.  That’s a huge difference for me!  I’ve learned several things about cravings this week – when I have them, I eat what I’m craving.  God gave me that craving for a reason – my body needs it.  The thing I’m having to learn is that my body does not need 3 of what I’m craving!  I also have figured out I eat when I’m thinking about food so I change my thought pattern or get involved in something else (walk away from the kitchen, go play with the kids, walk out to the mailbox, turn on the radio, go work out).  I’m still doing 20 minutes a day on the eliptical (except for Sundays) and trying to work in other active times – going to the park, playing with the kids, going for a family walk, etc.

My food choices are changing.  That book I mentioned last week (Dr. Shapiro’s Picture Perfect Weight Loss 30 Day Plan) has been a very good resource for me.  Again the calories in 1 biscuit = 14 slices of toast with jelly… totally blew me away!  There’s so much more that I’ve learned from that book!  I’ve tried garden burgers this week, I ate salmon w/ roasted veggies (seriously, roasted veggies are FANTASTIC), roasted veggie pizza, salsa soup… I love to cook so I’ve had a fun time learning new recipes. 

I’ve stopped rewarding my kids with food as their treat for doing extra work or helping out around the house.  I didn’t realize how much I did that.  When my daughter lost a tooth this week, we gave her a book under her pillow instead of candy.  She loved it!  When we talk about celebrating, we don’t involve eating out.  This weekend is the opening weekend of the NCAA Basketball Tournament and my husband and son go spend a few days with my father-in-law.  It’s a girl’s weekend for my daughter and I and we were talking about what we wanted to do.  Instead of going out to eat, we decided it would be fun to go roller skating and then take some healthy foods to the park & have a picnic.  Creating memories…. and changing the way I (and my family) think about food.   I’ve always heard you have to change your relationship with food and I think I’m starting to understand what that entails.  I’ve still got a lot to learn but I’m getting there. 

I decided to set some specific number goals with my life coach last week and we decided a reasonable goal for me to reach is 173 by June 1, 2011.  (Getting closer to you Tom Hailey!!)  That would put me at -31.4 pounds for the year and 23 pounds left to my goal weight of 150.  We broke that down into smaller weekly goals of 1.5 pounds per week or to take some weekly pressure off, we decided on 6 pounds per month.  That’s a good, slow, steady weight loss that I can accomplish.  This is a marathon – a slow and steady race that will not be won if I’m in a hurry.  My sponsor, Terri, is amazing.  I know I talk about her & Brian (the coach) every week but I cannot stress how vital it is to have a support system OTHER than your spouse.  It’s too much responsibility to put on your spouse so I urge you… don’t put that pressure on them.  The relationship dynamic is too challenging. 

I appreciate all of your support, your encouraging comments and your prayers.  I shared this battle with my church family this week and they have been very supportive and encouraging.  I encourage you to share your battle with someone.  It’s insanely hard to open up and share this stuff with strangers on facebook & the internet but it was especially difficult for me to share this with my church family – the folks that see me eat a doughnut Sunday mornings or see me in the grocery store weekly.  It adds a whole new level of accountability and support.  Thanks for reading my ramblings….  subscribe to this blog to read my ramblings every week!  😉  Click on “Yep, I’m in!  Sign me up!” in the right hand column of this blog and you’ll get a reminder whenever I post stuff on here.  Share comments with me – let me know how you’re doing on this road to recovery. 

If you do what you did, you get what you got.

It’s a disc golf basket!

Today is my husband’s 39th Birthday….  I post lots of other stuff here but today, this is part of a scavenger hunt for him to find out what his present is… 

Tommy Lanham, THIS is your present:

We adore you!  Happy Birthday sweet husband!

Day 3 – still sober

I’m amazed at how God is faithful.  I know He is and has always been – I tend to be forgetful.  I’ve been making wise food choices and sticking to my commitment to working out every day for an entire 48 hours, now.  I know it sounds silly but I’m very proud of myself.  You’ve got to remember, for me, this is like a drunk trying to stay sober.  I eat when I get emotional or when I’m under stress.  Over the past 48 hours, my kids have run fevers of over 104 and I’ve been cleaning up vomit.  I had the potential to really fall off the wagon.  I’m not setting any longterm goals, I’m making it through THIS day first.  I was frustrated yesterday because I usually try to have a quiet time in the mornings and because my children were sick, I was unable to do so.  My husband came home on his lunch hour so I could run & get some groceries before  the snow storm hit and when I turned on the radio, I heard the song “Voice of Truth” by Casting Crowns.  Try reading through these lyrics with MY eyes – the eyes of someone without the strength (on my own) to lose this weight…

Oh,what I would do to have
the kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown
Where Jesus is,
And he’s holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name
and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I’ve tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
time and time again
“Boy, you’ll never win,
You you’ll never win

But the Voice of truth tells me a different story
the Voice of truth says “do not be afraid!”
and the Voice of truth says “this is for My glory
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth

Oh, what I would do
to have the kind of strength it takes
To stand before a giant
with just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound
of a thousand warriors
shaking in their armor
Wishing they’d have had the strength to stand

But the giant’s calling out
my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I’ve tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
time and time again
“Boy you’ll never win,
you’ll never win.”

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
the Voice of truth says “do not be afraid!”
and the Voice of truth says “this is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth

But the stone was just the right size
to put the giant on the ground
and the waves they don’t seem so high
from on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
when I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
singing over me

But the Voice of truth tells me a different story
The Voice of truth says “do not be afraid!”
And the Voice of truth says “this is for my glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me (calling out to me)
I will choose to listen and believe (I will choose to listen and believe)
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth

I will listen and believe
I will listen and believe the Voice of truth
I will listen and believe
‘Cause Jesus you are the Voice of truth
And I will listen to you.. oh you are the Voice of truth

So, I’m not listening to myself because myself tells me I’ve done this a thousand times before and it never works.   I choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth that tells me I’m doing this for His glory.  I will not be afriad.  I covet your prayers.

PART 2: 

Snow Storm’s a Comin’

Whenever I hear the words “snow storm” I go into a nesting mode… I feel like I should have my home ready for anything that might happen.  It should be clean, organized, all the laundry done, the dishes done, the fridge full of easy to prepare foods – you never know, right?  What if it snows 3 feet and every neighbor in the area loses their electricity except us?  I HAVE to be able to feed and sleep all of them here, right?  I know it’s a little insane… 🙂  Seriously though, you never know what the weather holds so I’ve been organizing and cleaning.  This morning, I watched this news story and realized how very unorganized I am (and I only have 2 kids).

http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/the-bateses-and-their-18-children-23906649

World Photographic Club Competition Winner!! Yay!!

Competition Winner

The winner for our “Love” competition is…

Tammy Lanham – New Castle, United States

Came home to this email tonight from the World Photographic Club: 

The World Photographic Club competition entitled Love is now closed for voting. The World Photographic Club is delighted to inform you that your submission received the greatest number of votes and You are therefore the winner of this Competition!

Congralulations! Your submission is now displayed on the homepage of the site for all to see!

From all at the World Photographic Club

 

Isn’t that just cool!?!?  I’ve entered several contests and done quite well in several.  I won the Jessamine Journal’s Amateur contest back in 2002 (before I went pro in this) and have won some honorable mentions at the Kentucky State Fair.  Then I got published in the American Profile Magazine and this May, I was published in People Magazine (the picture from above – of my Grandma “Nanny” and my kids).   This win is especially significant because it was an international competition judged by peer photographers.  God knows when I need a boost and I think this was His blessing.  All the glory goes to Him…

Summer Time / Family Time / Mosquito Time???…

Tonight was so much fun with the Gatliff family!  But let me tell you something –  6:30 photo shoot in the woods in late summer in southern Kentucky should be accompanied by LOTS of bug spray!!!!  These guys were troopers!  We were constantly swatting and I had to delete some of the images because there were mosquitos on their faces!  Poor guys!  But the hard work paid off – we got some great images!  What a fun family these guys were!  We really had to work to keep Dad under control – 🙂  He’s a nut!  Such fun… did I mention that I love what I do?????

This shoot also included Mrs. Amy Gatliff, author of The Power To Never Give Up… a book my husband Tommy Lanham, endorsed.  Here’s a link:  http://amygatliff.tatepublishing.net/  It’s a great story!  Worth the read!

PEOPLE MAGAZINE!!

in People Magazine, May 17th, 2010 issue p. 49So my mom called me last night to ask me if I knew the good news?  She told me my cousin Shannon had been calling me & couldn’t get me.  Well, Shannon had told us all this past weekend that she was pregnant.  I thought THAT was the good news.  Then my mom so lovingly said, “NO, ding-dong!  Your image of Nanny & the kids is in People Magazine!!!”  After I got done squealing & screaming, I hung up and drove like an idiot to WalMart to buy 5 copies!  And right there, on page 49 of the May 17th issue, there is the image of my grandma “Nanny” and my 2 kids.  People Magazine has a readership of 3.75 million – LOTS of people can see MY image!  I’m so excited! 

I went back to Rehoboth over Thanksgiving (2009) and did a “Barn Collection” series.  Had about half a dozen people sign up for one of these sessions.  Since I already had my equipment with me, I took my stuff down to Nanny’s house & began taking some images & got this gorgeous one!  Notice the scratch on my daughter’s face – she just finished duking it out with a dog & she lost… 🙂  That’s okay, though.  Was still a great image. 

So, I’ve contacted 5 different newspapers & issued a press release.  Several will be doing a story on the piece & I’ll have lots more to blog about over the coming weeks!  God is so good – it’s because of Him that I have the talent & passion to do this!

Tammy Lanham

May 5, 2010

I’m back!  I had a blast w/ bride-to-be Libby Poe (Whitehead) trying on dresses in Louisville, Kentucky yesterday!  She was so worried about finding a dress & she fell in love with the very first one she tried on.  I can’t share any dress images, yet because her fiance, Michael, isn’t going to see it until she walks down the aisle on 10/10/10.  We hung out at Mall St. Matthews afterwards & enjoyed the new fountains inside.  What a great day & I can’t wait to share more images!

March, 2010

Well, this is my first attempt at a blog – I guess I should tell you a little about myself.  I’m married to America’s Expert Enthusiator (www.TommyLanham.com) and I have 2 amazing children whom I homeschool.  I started Upwards Photography in 2002 in Nicholasville, Kentucky and  moved to New Castle, Kentucky in March, 2010.  Here, I’ve relaunched my business as Tammy Lanham Image Designs (www.TammyLanham.com).

I love Jesus and our church family here.   I listen to Dave Ramsey & Toby Mac (they both make me want to dance!) as well as an eclectic mix of all kinds of music.  One of my favorite all time artists is Johnny Cash.  I also enjoy Bob Dylan, John Prine, Toby Mac, Kris Allen, Third Day, Sugarland, Tim McGraw… see?  I told you, it’s an eclectic mix.  🙂

My purpose statement is to PLAYPassionately provide for our family as we Laugh together in Authentic relationship Yielding to God.