Are We Housekeepers or Homekeepers?

"If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place, I am a housekeeper, not a homemaker.
If I only have time for waxing and polishing, my children will learn of cleanliness, not godliness.
Love leaves the dust in search of a child's laugh.
Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on the newly cleaned window.
Love wipes up the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.
Love is the key that opens salvation's message to a child's heart.
Before I became a mother, I took glory in my house of perfection;
but now, I glory in God's perfection of my child."

-Family Life Magazine, May 1982

It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be DONE. :-) Don't let the home cleaning chores be your focus, instead look at each chore as a way to minister to your family and to grow relationships with your children (afterall you are teaching THEM to do the job someday!).  Here are some tools and tips to help you clean your home. Enjoy!

Liquid Laundry Detergent

Mix Fels Naptha soap in a saucepan with 3 pints of water, and heat on low until dissolved. Stir in Washing Soda and Borax. Stir until thickened, and remove from heat. Add 1 Quart Hot Water to 2 Gallon Bucket. Add soap mixture, and mix well. Fill bucket with cold water, and mix well. Set aside for 24 hours, or until mixture thickens. Use 1/2 cup of mixture per load.

Soap Making - Yes you really Can!!

No Fail Crisco Soap

2- 3lb. cans of solid shortening (Crisco or the best buy of the day)
1 can of Red Devil lye (12 oz.)
2 cups of water

Take the Crisco and place it into an enamel ware pan and place on stove to melt and heat. Bring everything outside. Take the two cups of cold water and place into glass bowl and slowly add lye while stirring with a wooden spoon (use wood only).  Stir until the water turns clear.  This needs to be done in a well ventilated area because of the the fumes from the lye. It usually isn't that bad but don't take the chance. Take it outside instead! This is the point where putting on eye protection and gloves is a MUST. Splashes happen and if it does happen to get on skin, a bit of apple cider vinegar applied full strength ASAP will take the sting/burn right out. (Thanks to my friend Sherry for that tip!) .  When the lye and crisco are warm to the touch (not hot)  pour the lye mixture into the crisco stirring constantly. keep stirring until you get trace.  (Trace is the the consistency of cake frosting or until you drop it back into itself and it leaves little plops or trails.  Now more fun! This is when you can add herbs or coloring (grated crayons) and stir and pour into any plastic molds you have.  Be sure to grease the molds with crisco for easy removal.  A pringles can makes a great round mold.  let the soap cure for 24 hours then take out of molds and let cure for 2 to 4 weeks before you wrap and store or use. Don't be tempted to use the soap before it has cured. Doing so will most likely leave you with tingling, burning skin. OUCH.

This is a very basic recipe. Before molding you can divide the mixture and add a cup of cornmeal to make a good hand cleaning soap or a cup of baby oatmeal to make a good hand/facial soap. You can add essential oils to give it a fragrance.  Adding tea tree oil makes a good antiseptic soap. For a better, thicker lather (my husband's requirement for "good soap" substitute up to half the amount of Crisco with Coconut oil. This goes great if you are studying (in your homeschool) anything prior to the 1920's. This is when most families started to buy soap rather than make it. Here are a few more websites you can visit for more in depth instructions.

Soap Making Tutorial (with Pictures)
Many Simple Recipes
Goat Milks Soap - the best for sensitive skin

If you're anything like me though, you'll do this once, LOVE it, then wonder how in the world you are going to find time to do it ever again!!! SOLUTION:

 My good friend Sherry makes the BEST handmade soaps!  My daughter has eczema and her oatmeal soap is absolutely WONDERFUL for Abby's sensitive skin. She does an awesome job and offers SO many choices I couldn't begin to list them all here. You can email me for purchasing information  and I'll put you in touch with Sherry at Homestead Hill. Their homeschooling family of 12 will appreciate your business!

Scents For The Home
<>Dilute an essential oil using the ratio of 10 drops of oil to 7 tablespoons of water and use it in a metal or ceramic sprayer as the oils will deteriorate if stored in plastic.

Gel Scented Jars

2 cups Concentrated Potpourri Liquid
4 envelops Knox gelatin
1 tablespoon salt (to deter molding)

Heat 1 cup potpourri until almost boiling. Remove from heat. Add 4 envelopes Knox Gelatin and 1 tablespoon salt. Stir until dissolved. Add remaining 1 cup potpourri. Pour into clean jars and allow to set. If in a hurry, lightly cover and refrigerate them to speed the process. (From Dollar Stretcher)

Furniture Polish
This is a simple polish to make, and the addition of wood oils will
give it an attractive resiny fragrance.  Makes 1 cup

3-oz. natural beeswax
3/4 cup pure turpentine
20 drops cedar wood oil
10 drops sandalwood oil
Step 1: Grate the beeswax coarsely and place in a screw-top jar.
Step 2: Pour on the turpentine, screw on the lid and let sit for one week, stirring occasionally until the mixture becomes a smooth cream. Add the essential oils and mix well. The polish is then ready to use.

Popular since Tudor times a pomander will give off its scent for years. The Victorians hung pomanders in their closets to ward off moths. Makes 6 pomanders
4 oz. ground cinnamon
2 oz. ground cloves
1/2 oz. ground allspice
1/2 oz. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 oz. ground coriander
1 oz. ground orris root (this, along with the spices act as a preservative)
6 Seville oranges (select firm, unblemished ones) or lemons or limes may be used instead
4 oz. whole cloves

Mix all the ground spices and orris root thoroughly in a lidded earthenware dish large enough to hold all the oranges. Stud the oranges with cloves, using a toothpick or large needle to make the holes. Roll the oranges in the spice mixture and leave them to cure. Cover the dish and stand in a warm place for at least four weeks. Turn the pomanders daily. If the spice mix feels damp, leave the lid at an angle to allow the moisture to evaporate. After four weeks the oranges will have shrunk and hardened. Tie with a ribbon if desired and hang in wardrobes, cupboards, Christmas tree or display in a bowl. A pomander's scent usually lasts for several years, yet may be refreshed by dipping the pomander in warm water, then rolling it in fresh spices to which a drop or two of cinnamon or clove oil has been added. Leave the pomander in the mixture for a few days then use as before.

Herb Spheres
Use your creativity to create beautifully scented spheres.
1 Styrofoam Ball (size may very)
1 Cup dried herbs or potpourri, dried rose petals or dried small flowers for a 6" size ball

Pour herbs mixture into a bowl. You may chose to ground leaves or petals in a coffee grinder or food processor or glue them on separately. Cover an area of the ball with glue and roll ball through mixture, covering an area at a time. Cloves may be glued on separately. Cover ball with waxed paper and firmly press. Allow to dry completely before adding ribbon.

Door Sachets
Make small fabric bags and fill them with potpourri or cotton balls impregnated with essential oil (ensure that the oil is at the center of the cotton or it may stain the fabric). Fasten the sachets with ribbon or cord and hang them on door handles. As the door is opened and closed it will waft the fragrance around the room.

Lavender Sachet Bags
The most traditional of all scented bags, the lavender bag has enjoyed such enduring popularity because it is deliciously fragrant and keeps moths at bay. Makes 5 bags.

3 oz. lavender
1 oz. ground orris root
25 drops lavender oil

Divide the filling equally between fabric bags and fasten each bag with a tie, ribbon or cord.

Modest Clothing &Cloth Diapering Page
Make Your Own Cloth Diapers

Sewing Links
Learn How To Sew
How To Choose  A Sewing Machine
Free Sewing Tips, Tricks  & Patterns
Everything Sewing
Upholstery Page

Crocheting & Knitting
WONDERFUL How-To Crochet Site!!!
Learn To Knit
Fiber Images
Basic Crocheting Instruction (Lots of kintting things here too!)
Free Projects

Easy Quilting Projects
Cottonwood Quilts
Quilt Design
HUNDREDS of Free Quilt Patterns

Home Cleaning & Organizing
LOADS of free recipes HERE for household cleansers. The best way to make money is NOT SPEND IT! :-)
Homemaking for the New Mom
Printable Household Notebooks
One Income Families
The Homemaker's Journal
Large Family Logistics

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