Monday, September 21, 2009

Cleaning Solution

I got a great recipe from my pastor's wife Rachel. No, this post is not about to solve the recurring "what's for dinner?" question, but it's pretty helpful all the same.

When we got Jonathan, I started thinking about all the chemicals I cleaned the house with. Especially the bathroom. And I realized that I wasn't comfortable using any of my usual cleaners around him. So I started looking for cleaning solutions that didn't scare me. Rachel volunteered her cleaning recipe, and I fell in love. Well, maybe not in love, but I sure do like it. I pretty much use it for everything (except dusting and glass) now. Bathrooms, kitchen, floors, even scrubbing the grime off my kitchen cabinets is less of a drag. I still keep toilet bowl cleaner, windex, scrubbing bubbles, for occasional use, but this has become my primary cleaner of choice.

I know several people have asked for the recipe, and I can't keep up with who I've passed it out to, so I'm posting it below. Amounts and proportions are kind of estimates, so be warned:

3 cups hot water
1 oz vinegar
2 tsp Borax
3-4 drops Tea Tree essential oil (this has anitbacterial properties)
3-4 drops essential oil (this is optional, it just makes it smell prettier)

Mix it all together in a spray bottle, and you're in business! The essential oils can be a bit pricey in comparison to the other ingredients, but they last close to forever, since you use so little at a time. A couple shopping tips: I could only find the essential oils at the CS HEB, and my spray bottle is from the garden department at Walmart.

Anyway, I hope that gets the recipe out to everyone who still wanted it. Now I have this itch to go clean something...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Clean Sweep

A few months ago, I was feeling totally overwhelmed by trying to get , much less keep, my house clean. My house felt so dirty, that when I finally had a few minutes in which to clean, I didn't even know where to start, and ended up cleaning nothing. Brilliant, right? Needless to say, my house was only getting dirtier, making the task seem that much more overwhelming.

Finally it ocurred to me to make a weekly cleaning schedule. Keeping in mind our weekly activities, I assigned each room a day to be cleaned. For example, the youth group comes over to our house on Wednesday nights. Instead of scheduling the den for a Tuesday night cleaning, to try and clean it up for them (trust me, they don't notice) I scheduled the den for Wednesday night. With a dozen youth running in and out of our house, a lot of dirt gets tracked into our den. So I sweep and dust that night, after they leave. Of course, most people like to clean before they have people over, so if you regularly have visitors, schedule to clean the rooms they'll see and use on days right before they come over. That way you have less last-minute cleaning to do, and you'll feel less frazzled by the time your company arrives.

I wish I could tell you that no dust has sat on any horizontal surface for longer than 6 days since I started this schedule. But I can't. But at least I know that if I get a few minutes tonight after we put the Little Guy to bed, I'll have a clean...(checking schedule)...Master Bath.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I need to apologize to anyone here in Texas who tried to take advantage of the Kraft savings deal that I posted about a few days ago. My hubby went to the grocery store and found that of the grocery stores available to us, Albertson's is the only one partnered with Kraft for this promo. Unfortunately, Texas is one of the five states that isn't participating in this deal. So, if you live in B/CS, accept my apologies for toying with your saving senses.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Build on the Rock

In the last few weeks, two Bible passages jumped out at me because of their emphasis on wisdom and building one's house.

I'm leading a Bible study with some of the girls in our youth group, and we're going to be studying Proverbs 31:10-31. As I started preparing, I read a commentary that brought into focus the fact that all of the practical wisdom in Proverbs 31 is based on and rooted in the wisdom that comes from seeking the Lord. Without godly wisdom, any practical wisdom is worthless.

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Then a couple weeks ago, in our Sunday evening service, our pastor read the Sermon on the Mount. The last thing included in Matthew's account of the Sermon is the parable of the houses built on rock and sand.

24"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

Again, I was reminded that all the building with wordly wisdom will not stand. It is Christ and His Word that our lives and families must be built on.

I want the Word to be in my heart, on my tongue and even in my house for others to see. I've thought of (or heard of) a few ways to keep the Word more in front of my eyes, and I thought I'd share:

  • My mother-in-law used to post notecards with Bible verses in random places throughout the house, that her family would see on a regular basis. For example, my husband tells a story about pulling open the fruit drawer in the fridge to find that Galatians 5:22, describing the fruits of the Spirit, was taped to the inside of the drawer. It didn't take him long to memorize that verse, without even working at it, just from seeing it every day.
  • Write a verse on a notecard or post-it and tape it to the side of your mirror.
  • My mom once got a gift of a decorative 4" x 5" frame, with the encouragement to write out a Bible verse, put it in the frame, and then put the frame near the kitchen sink.
  • Keep a notecard with a Bible verse in your pocket. Every time you reach for your keys, cell phone, etc, pull out the card and read the verse.
  • Memorize a verse with your family. Brian and I try (emphasis on try) to memorize verses together and quiz each other on one at mealtimes. This keeps us fresh, but also puts the Word in front of Jonathan as well.
  • Grab a stencil and a brush, and paint a verse as a border along the ceiling line of your wall.

Those are just a few ways I've heard of or used. I'd love to hear some of the ways you've worked on memorizing or displaying the Word in your own home.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Grocery Savings Opportunities

Several companies or manufacturers are running great sales and savings events on groceries, so I wanted to pass them along to you!

You can get $25 in free groceries from Kraft, with the combination of a coupon and mail-in rebate. Starting Friday, until the 23rd of this month, if you buy $25 of qualifying Kraft products, you will get a $5 coupon for your next purchase, as well as a $20 rebate form to mail in. There are a few dozen products that qualify, so I'm sure at least a few of them are things you regularly buy, or can stock up on. Go here for the list or products.

Kellogs and Dell are partnered up right now to offer you savings. If you send 10 proofs of purchase (of qualifying products) and your original receipt from the purchase, with the rebate form, to Kellogs you'll get a $10 rebate form and a coupon code good for $70 towards the purchase of select Dell laptops. We're actually thinking about buying a new computer soon, so this might just come in handy for the Franklin Family. To take advantage of this offer, you will have to register on Kellog's website, which is here.

Post has a $2 off coupon for their new cereal, Honey Bunches of Oats with Pecans. However, you do need java enabled on your computer to download the coupon. Click here for the Post website.

I hear that Albertsons is running a buy $30, get $15 back (in coupons) sale. Go here for more information about that. This sales ends the 11th, so don't wait too long.

I got almost all of the above information from a great site called The Bargain Jargon. The author is a stay at home mom who makes that possible by paying very close attention to sales and probably never paying full price for anything. She is amazing in the work she puts into saving money. Check her out here.

That's all for now. It's time to contribute to the "putting the son to bed" campaign.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Vacuum Cleaning

When was the last time you looked under your vacuum cleaner?

1 year?
2 years?

Go ahead, take a look. Pretty disgusting, huh?

Now imagine what it would look like if it had been 8 years. That's what I found today. I was trying to vacuum a rug, and was having no success. I changed the (very full) bag, thinking that would fix the problem. I still wasn't getting good sucking power, so something prompted me to flip that puppy over and check out the beater bar.

Ewww. 8 years worth of dirt, dust, hair and other unmentionables. Twenty minutes later, after attacking the vacuum with a screwdriver, utility knife and needle-nose pliers, the vacuum worked again! Hurrah!

So today's house building tip...clean your vacuum!

Friday, July 31, 2009

First Post

Here is the obligatory first post on my new blog. I had plans of actually posting something substantial for the first post (to avoid the "first post" post) but I spent so much time making the site look like and say what I wanted, that there's no time left for substance. Oh well. Maybe tomorrow. Should I post about meal-planning, decorating tips, or organizing? Wait, who am I asking? No one even knows this blog exists yet. Maybe I should work on that tomorrow too...