Saturday, June 26, 2010

This Summer

Hi.  Remember me?  My name is Heather.  I'm the one who created this blog and hasn't blogged since June 1st.  I used to talk about gardens and homemade products.  Once in a while I'd put something random about my kids in there.  Is it coming back to you yet?  Yes?!  That's me!  Good.  You remember.  

I think I've committed one of the most carnal sins a blogger can make....I haven't blogged in 25 days!  Isn't that blog death or something?  Although, I do use the term "blogger" loosely when it comes to me.  

If you haven't guessed already, I'm a starter.  I like to start things, get the ball rolling and then... watch that ball roll right down the hill.  Do I run after it?  No.  That's what a maintainer is for.  The maintainer runs after the ball to keep it in the court.  I haven't quite figured out how to be a maintainer.  Hence the name of my blog, Diary of a "disciplined" Mom.  I'm working on it though.

I'm writing to say that I won't be blogging much this summer.  Summer is a busy time for our family.  What am I saying?  Life is a busy for my family, but now that my girls are on summer break I'm struggling to maintain everything all at once.  I know, poor me.  "Boo hoo, your kids are home for the summer."  I realize many families homeschool and have their kiddos home year 'round.  I'm not complaining about them being home, I'm simply stating the facts.  I am working on sorting through my priorities for the summer.  The time we have as our kids are growing goes so fast, I don't want to waste a minute!  

With that being said, here is the beginning of our Summer Break To-Do List:
  • Go camping
  • Spend a day at the library
  • Bake
  • Go swimming
  • Catch lightening bugs
  • Go to Cosi
  • Go to the Zoo
  • Roast marshmallows over a camp fire
  • Make homemade ice cream 
  • Play mini golf
  • Paint pottery

Here's what I will be doing: 
  • Making sure that none of these events listed above end up in a hospital visit
  • Finding creative ways to use these outings as opportunities for building character
  • Gardening (my humble little garden is doing GREAT!  I'll share pics later in the summer)
  • Working at my church - which I love!  
  • Praying about the "discipline" part of my life
  • Coming up with blog ideas for the Fall.  I want to start a new series, just not sure what it is yet.
  • Reading
  • Celebrating birthdays and anniversaries!
  • Spending time with my family

So this is why I won't be blogging much this summer.  I hope you hang in there and keep checking back.  

What are your plans for the summer?  If you have a family, what are some creative ways you build character in them?  

Thanks for stopping by,


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Dishwasher Dilemma

I've posted several recipes for making your own household and beauty products. One of the products that has been giving me a bit of trouble is the dishwashing detergent. I've tried a few different things but still had that white film all over my dishes. Well, I found a solution: Kool-Aid. Let me explain. 

I've been doing some research into rinsing agents, what works and what doesn't. A really good rinsing agent is citric acid. Citric acid is useful in sprouting, canning, drying or freezing. It can be used to preserve Vitamin C content, retard spoilage by bacterial growth and prevent discoloration.  You can buy citric acid in powder form or you can get citric acid from Lemonade Kool-Aid.  I chose to go with the Dollar General generic (Clover Valley) at 10 packs for $1.00. I figured it's $1.00 (I already had the other ingredients), why not give it a try?  

I reluctantly put the ingredients in the dishwasher, shut the door and waited for the end of the cycle.  When I came back, with Hubby by my side, we opened the door and guess what we saw?  Sparkling clean dishes!  Finally!  This is the one area that Hubby was having a hard time with.  He'd OFTEN say, "If you want to switch back to store bought dishwasher detergent, I wouldn't mind." Poor Love.  He's been so patient and supportive.  

Here's the recipe, in case you want to wow your husband (or wife.  or cat. whatever.)  with your dishwasher detergent skills: 

1/2 c borax
1/2 c washing soda (not baking soda)
15 packs of lemonade Kool-Aid (or generic kool-aid like stuff) 
1/4 c salt 

Mix all of the ingredients together in a container.  Give it a good shake.  Use 1 tbsp per load.   

A few notes about the recipe:
  • Just use the packets of kool-aid.  Don't make the drink with the water and the sugar and then add it.
  • The next day, you may find your mixture has hardened.  That's the citric acid. Just give it a good scrape with a spoon to loosen it up before scooping it into the dishwasher.
  • If you want, you can add white vinegar to the rinse compartment.  I didn't do this, but you can if you want to. I didn't actually have a need to.  But if it makes you feel better or you find that you can't live without white vinegar, go for it.
  • Don't use colorful drink mix, it will stain your dishes and the inside of your dishwasher.  Stick with the light colored ones.  
  • For added scent put 15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil into the detergent container.  Mix well.  If you don't want to commit to the whole container, just add a couple drops into your detergent compartment after you put 1 tbsp of detergent.  

One of the best things about this recipe is that you can buy all of these things at the grocery store.  You may spend a few more dollars to start, but these ingredients last forever!  You'll definitely get a return on your investment.  

Enjoy your clean dishes!  I'll hopefully be posting my deodorant recipe soon. I'm so close to perfecting it!  

Thanks for stopping by,



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