Cleaning Car Upholstery on the CHEAP!

Kids are messy.

So am I.

Which ends up meaning my house on wheels, the van, (aka the prison bus) gets really (REALLY) dirty very frequently.

A whirlwind of running around and a very festive July which included 4 birthdays within a month, a national holiday, a camping trip, Lake Michigan sand dunes and another beach outing made for a very sandy, sticky (because eating ice cream in the car is a MUST when it’s hot!), filthy car.

When I looked at the upholstery that hadn’t be cleaned (other than a quick vacuum) for MONTHS I almost talked myself into buying a new vehicle. But then it dawned on me that NO one in their right mind would want to sit in this thing, let alone buy it looking like this.

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I thought that with the amount of staining and the time elapsed since it was stained (who KNOWS how long that was there) I would have to rent a mobile carpet cleaner. But I am cheap frugal.  So, why not try to DIY with good ol’ soap and water.

I normally keep a bottle of cleaner mixed up for cleaning anything and everything so I grabbed it. Sometimes it is LOC (from Amway), other times it is Basic H (from Shaklee) and sometimes it’s just plain Dawn. Today it Dawn and water. If I was to guess I would say I dilute about 32 oz of water with a teaspoon or two of Dawn.

I sprayed the seat pretty thoroughly and scrubbed it with a dry terrycloth cleaning rag (just a cheap Walmart bar rag, but any wash cloth or rag would would work). I used a dry one so that it would aid in drying the seat as I scrubbed. AND. IT. WORKED. I have used this method before but it was really bad this time.

2But it really did wonders. It didn’t ALL come out, but come on now, it’s Dawn not magic fairy dust.  And I am not planning on driving around royalty. Unless, of course, you mean the 4 year old with the crown and wand that sometimes sits behinds me and sprinkles food on the floor…

So I guess I am NOT getting a new car. Which is kind of a bummer because I have been eying the shuttle bus that the local nursing home uses. Don’t laugh; I am not joking. It’s awesome. And roomy.

So here are the before and afters:

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2015-2016 Curriculum Haul

I am FINALLY done with not only making the decision of what to buy but the actual purchasing of those items as well. YAY! The 2015-2016 budget has been spent and now I am in the throes of PLANNING the aforementioned items so that I am not flying by the seat of my pants all year. Because that DOES NOT work for me.  I have to have a plan. A loose plan, albeit, but a plan nonetheless.homeschool haul1

This year’s budget was set at $1000 and I may end up going over a little.  BUT, to my defense, the items that threw me over my budget are one time purchases that will last for years and be used on 7 children over the course of the next 18 years. So, I am calling the extra $150 justified. That is my story and I am sticking to it!

Remember that I am schooling FIVE children so don’t run away in complete terror if you are new to this homeschool thing.  Also, a LARGE amount was spent on books for our home library. That amount could easily be eliminated by substituting library books if you are looking to save money. For us though, the extra money is worth it as I believe books are an investment. Also, the logistics of me getting to the library consistently only lasts a few weeks into a school year before I start procrastinating. Which leads to missing books I had planned. Which leads to having to rearrange a schedule. Which leads to making a new schedule.  Which leads to headache. I am not a fan of unnecessary headaches.

Without further ado:

My Budget List:

(I have added links if you would like to take a look at the places I purchased these)

Amazon (literature, atlases, bibles, resource books): $269.14

Mystery of History (Ancient and Bible history) $50.56

Institute for Excellence in Writing (LA) $276.00

Math U See (math) $51.73

Christianbook.com (Spelling, Math) $206.86

Gravitas Publications (Science) $103.22

Yet to Purchase: Rosetta Stone:French: $200 (estimated)

Grand Total: $1157.51

$1157.51/5 kids = $231.50 per child

If you would like to see what exactly what I purchased at each website here is the curriculum haul video I made to show everyone what we got for our money.

Mom and Dad’s Place

Back in February I instragramed this photo:

 

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My parents bought a sweet little red farmhouse that had sat empty for years.

The one RIGHT next to us… as in a hop, a skip and, quite possibly, not even a jump away from us!

This old four square a few hundred feet from our home once belonged to our neighbors who became dear friends. We were so sad to see them go. They had become almost family and I still miss their everyday presence from our lives. But God moved them onward and there sat their little red farmhouse. Built in the early 1900’s and solid as a brick-you-know-what-house. It had a few outbuildings that accompanied it and a GORGEOUS Georgian basement topped with a wrap around porch.

It finally went up for auction in February and my parents literally STOLE it. I am so happy the did. It has been such a blessing to be just a short walk from my parents and the kids are enjoying being able to visit “Gramma and Papa” easily.

IMG_4238{To Grandmother’s house we go… literally!}

So here’s a little video footage on our trip to grandmother’s house:

Recipe Doubling Guide

I have had a few people asking me to post my recipe doubling guide in an easier format. I am pretty sure that now that I am using WordPress I can do so… So here goes nothing:

RECIPE DOUBLING GUIDE

For those of you who don’t know what this AMAZING piece of paper is, BRACE YOURSELF! 😉 It takes a measurement of something and then shows you what it is if you want to double your recipe…  UP TO 6X’s!!! So say you have a wonderful muffin recipe that yields 1 dozen but you have a bajillion kids like me and need 6 dozen. Well, you just look at the “6 column”. Which saves you from having to convert 23 ingredients x6 while 3 kids are begging to lick the spoon, 2 kids are hanging from the pot rack, 1 kid is eating dog food off the floor and yet 2 more have dumped the entire 25 pound bag of flour onto the kitchen floor and are proceeding to make indoor snow angels. Not that has EVER happened in this quaint and quiet abode…cough, cough. Which will save you from ruining 72 muffins because you forget to sextuple the baking powder amount. Again, not that this has ever happened in real life. Totally hypothetically, of course!

For example if you need to use 3 T of cinnamon in one batch you would need 1 cup + 2 T in 6 batches.

Seriously, it’s life changing I tell you. Life. Changing.

Especially if you’re a larger family and double (or triple or quadruple) EVERYTHING.

Back to Eden Garden Update – July 2015

On June 10th I posted THIS VIDEO and was preparing to convert our regular (tilled) garden into a deep mulch/no till garden using the Back to Eden technique.

I started adding mulch soon after and didn’t quite get it finished. I got about 1/2 to 1/3 of the garden mulched in with wood chips before things started to take off and get to the point where spreading mulch wasn’t very easy anymore.  Because of the some of the garden was a deep mulch garden and the other a traditional garden.  Seeing the two variations side by side was awesome. The mulch REALLY did make a big difference in the time spent weeding and watering (I haven’t watered ONCE this year).

I still did have some issues with squash bugs and cucumber beetles but I only lost 3-4 plants because of them and I expect to loose some each year as I do not spray or use any chemical (organic or not) on my garden.

All in all I am very pleased with the way it has turned out and how well the garden has been maintaining itself this year.  To see it yourself I took a little video of it while picking beans last night.

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

Lets face it, ladies… foaming hand soap is WAY easier than the goopey liquid hand soap and is much easier for kids to use.

But it also is used up a lot faster. Which makes it more expensive.

Here is a little trick I started doing several years ago that saves me quite a bit of money and I only have to buy soap about once a year or so!

Basically foaming hand soap is essentially regular liquid soap and water in a special pump.  For the last couple of years I have been making it by mixing NON-antibacterial liquid soap from SAMs and water inside of a foaming hand soap bottle. BOOM. DONE. Money saved. You’re welcome!

I talk about WHY I choose a NON anti-bacterial soap in the video and HERE is the article that explains it a bit more scientifically.

Welcome to the NEW www.AFarmhouseFull.com

So I have made the decision to jump on the wordpress bandwagon and I am COMPLETELY over my head. But like most things in my life I will figure it out as I go.  I am planning on doing “Throwback Thursdays” and posting old blog posts from my previous blogs for you to enjoy and adding new blog posts (hopefully weekly). Bear with me as I get used to the new format!