Thursday, December 30, 2010

Free Driving Record

Okay, so my memory was a little foggy on when and if I had gotten a speeding ticket last year when pulled over, and so I wanted to look online to find out the answer.  Unfortunately, all the other "help" sites are entirely too ambiguous, and all of the links they provided took me to websites that wanted to charge $30-$40 for my driving record.  That's a high price to pay for a bad I kept searching.  I found 2 reputable sites that recommended calling my insurance company to get the records.  Naive me thought, "well that's a grand idea".  NOT.  Turns out that some insurance companies don't update your records if you've been with them for awhile.  So, genius me ended up inadvertantly telling my own insurance company that I had reasons for them to update my history, and thus hike my rates.  AHHH.  Wish that "help" article would have mentioned that!  Oh well.  Honesty is the best policy.  Besides, we wouldn't want those insurance agents to have to skimp on their sports cars and fine wine.

So, if you're thinking about obtaining your current driving record, take it from me, DON'T call your insurance agent.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kids Songs

Hey, so I recently decided to compile all the songs Emma and I sing (mostly me really).  I decided to do this because in the car mostly, Emma has been asking me to sing songs one after another constantly...which can be tiring on a long drive.  I often can't think of all the songs we sing, and was surprised to see how many there were!  This list isn't even all of them...I got tired after awhile, and decided to stop.  Oh and if you're wondering why I chose to list those particular praise songs, it's because Emma knows them from the Praise Baby DVD's.

So maybe this list will be helpful to someone else who is endlessly singing to their kids also.

Sidenote:  I haven't critiqued every song, but as I was looking through other lists online, I noticed some of the most famous songs sung with kids are way off, as in not biblical...totally secular way of thinking or just plain confusing.  For example, think of Santa Claus is Coming to Town.  It says, "he sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake".  Either kids are going to think he's God, or a stalker.  Also, take for instance This Land is Your Land.  "This land is your land, this land is my land"...ummm, NO.  This land is God's land thank you very much.  Anywho, just a thought.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Foiled Again - by David R. Reid

This devotion really rocked me.  I think it's a must read for any Christian, or person who just wonders what is this whole life about anyway?  I had never thought about life, from the time before Adam, to our eternal stage in quite this way.  Dr. Dave goes through the time line from Satan's perspective, illustrating how he tries time and time again to foil God's prophesy that "the heel crusher" (one who destroys Satan) would come from the "seed of Adam" (a human).  Each time God reveals more to us humans, Satan learns more as well, and therefore tries to use that information to end the possibility of a someone who could destroy him.  God is so sovereign though.  Satan could never succeed, and we know that through Jesus Christ's resurrection, that Satan has already lost.  Praise God!  Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Picture:  Foiled is a term used in fencing by the one who is losing.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Painting my Piano

I am SO excited to have my mom's piano in my home now.  And I was even more excited when she said I could do whatever I wanted to it!  That, of course, meant I was going to paint it. 

At first, I thought I should sand it...I was worried about dust getting in the mechanisms.  I sanded the bench and a few small pieces of the piano itself, then decided to just prime it and go for it.  First I wiped it down with mineral spirits (paint thinner).  Then, I used Oil based Kilz primer, tinted gray.  I put on 2 coats, so there was absolutely no wood showing, except for above the keys, where the Wurlitzer symbol is...I left that wood.  (The picture to the left shows the gray primer.)

Then, I went to Jerry's and got a oil based green paint (Jade green - Benjamin Moore).  Unfortunately, after painting the entire piano, I realized that it looked like a highway sign...all it needed was "Exit 31" written in white letters to top it off.  (The picture to the right makes it look way better than it was).  

So, I went back to Jerry's and they nicely added some blue to it.  It ended up very much like Benjamin Moore's "Jade Garden", which is another color I was interested in.  (The picture to the left is after 1 coat.  Emma is trying to play it with the keys still taped off.)

After 2 coats and some touch ups, the piano is finished (minus the legs of the bench and the music stand, which I'm thinking of painting white.)  I love it!  And after it fully dries, I don't foresee any problems with chipping.  My plants look so good on it, and since it's oil based paint, in high gloss, it will be super durable and easy to wipe clean. 

As far as I can tell, the sound of the piano wasn't altered.  It went from hard wood floors to carpet, so I'm thinking that the dampening is from that, not the paint.

Monday, June 28, 2010

California Brown Rice Cooking Instructions

Okay, so you would think that when you type in "cooking directions for California Brown Rice", or "How to Cook California Brown Rice" to google, you would get a straight forward answer...but no.  So, here ya go.

Combine 1.5 cups of water with 1 cup brown rice. 
Let it come to a boil.  
Cover the pot and turn the temperature to the lowest setting.  
Let sit covered for 30-45 minutes.  
Turn off heat.  
Let sit uncovered for 10 minutes.

And in case you're wondering, I bought the rice, threw out the bag (with the instructions) and put it in this pretty glass container on my counter.  Didn't even think about the directions being on the bag.  So, I took a picture of the instructions on the bag the next time I went grocery shopping.  Gotta love cell phones with cameras!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Crestwood Lodge

After months of preparation and days of building, it's finally done!  The Crestwood Lodge (aka:  The Frantz Castle) was completed as of a few hours ago, June 7th, 2010.  Here are some pictures to enlighten you of the transformation.

There used to be a tree in the yard that died, and consequently cost us $300 to remove.

Then, eventually, I planted a meek, yet entertaining none the less, garden.

Finally, we removed the garden and sectioned off an area which we filled with Fiberex from Rexius.

Lots and lots of a million wheel barrels full.

And here it is partway done.  (I love this, because it looks like my dad isn't doing anything...totally not true...just funny.)

And vwalah!  A finished swing set.  Complete with climbing wall, slide, ladder, fort, counter and stools, swings, and glider.

Now all we have to do is truck in the sand for the sandbox!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Guitar Tuning Nightmares Explained

So I bought a new guitar, and Scott and I spent an hour last night trying to figure out why when he tuned it, it sounded one way, and when I did it, it was different.  Also, when he played it, it sounded in tune, and when I did, it didn't.  We discovered some really interesting things, and then I found this awesome article.  It's a must read for any guitar player who wants to be in tune.  SO COOL.

Here's the article

Here is a short overview (my summary):
  •  Best Tuner is one with an LED light
  • 1) switch your guitar to its rhythm (neck) pickup, if it has one;
  • 2) roll your guitar's tone knobs all the way off, to remove all the highs; and then
  • 3) pluck the open string right over the twelfth fret, not over the pickup. Try it; you'll be amazed.
  • Tune standing up if you will be standing (yes this makes a difference)
  • Everyone use the same tuner...they can have subtle differences
  • Use heavy strings (they stay in tune longer)
So, all that REALLY helps.  And on top of that, you have to learn how to use the intonation adjusters at the bridge.  This is a whole other story, because you use a screw driver to accurately tune the notes on the 12th fret along with the open can actually make a HUGE difference when you go up the neck, whether it stays in tune or not. Read the section titled "intonation hell" for more.  He also talks about the effect of the truss rod.  Apparently, my new guitar falls into the category he talks about of guitars that have a sharp first fret.  There may be no way to correct this as of yet....I'm still looking into it.

Also, for the crappy news for me, apparently smaller fingers are much more likely to be able to push strings out of tune on an electric guitar.  I'm going to try heavier strings, but the deal is, a smaller finger can create a more V shaped arc between frets than a rounder, larger finger, which creates a more of an undefined U shape.  Believe it or not, this V shape creates out of tune notes if you push too hard.  Oh well, I just need to find some finger fatteners.  HAHA.  Happy tuning!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Gamma Vignette

This was one of several video montages that my friend Jayson Bosteder shot for a client of his. He has a local business, PushPlay productions. It was filmed for Meredith, one of America's leading media and marketing companies. It was to be used on the Gamma Women website to showcase their "new report uncovering the rise of Gamma women: a growing segment – significant both in number and influence – that is creating a groundswell in today’s new media and marketing landscape."

"Gamma women share and exchange information, ideas, opinions, contacts and recommendations with their wide-reaching network using multiple media and channels of communication. This is in sharp contrast to the ‘Alpha’ style of communication – a top down model of selectively passing along information. While a Gamma’s sense of self is guided by her internal beliefs, passions, and priorities, an Alpha is driven by external social hierarchies or other indicators of status or popularity. "

Find the whole article at -

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sumo Board Shelf

My most recent project:  The computer ledge in our dining room.

For awhile now, I've been looking for a space saving alternative to a desk in our dining room for our laptop.  After much research, I decided to put up a ledge using Sumo Board Shelving that I purchased at Jerry's.  It's not$100 for everything I had to buy to put it together...but I love it!  Here's my review. 

Pros:  It's stylish, minimalistic in appearance.  You can remove the shelves whenever you want to create more space, or just because.  You get to decide at what height you're sitting.  The shelves are made of a lightweight technology so they can hold up to 88lbs of weight.  They SHOULD be easy to install.  Which leads me to the cons.

Cons:  If your wall is warped (like mine is) it makes it VERY VERY hard to install.  But I overcame, and all is well.  The only other con is that it does give when you lean on it, so you feel like you need to be careful when you have your elbows on it and go to stand up.

It's a little tricky to put two pieces together, as I did.  I bought one long piece, and one short one.  What worked the best was reversing the board placement with the metal tracking placement, so the two boards meet together as snugly as possible.  I then created a linen panel that hangs to hide any cords.  LOVE IT!

My Daughter the Evangelist

Yesterday, Emma and I were in line at Joanne Fabric's to get a piece of linen cut for a project that I'm working on.  There were several people in line, and only 1 person helping, so it was taking awhile.  Emma was talking up a storm, making all the people smile.  Then she said, "go, church?", to which I replied, "we don't have church today".  People thought it was cute.  Then she started getting bored, so I began looking through my purse to find something for her to do, but I didn't really have much.  I grabbed my bible and asked her if she wanted to read.  She yelled "Bible" at the top of her lungs.  Then said, "mommy, read?".  Now whenever she asks me to read my bible I say, "God loves you, Jesus is God, and Jesus loves you".  Of course, saying these words in public made everyone a little uncomfortable, so I noticed.  Oh well!  It's true.  As if this wasn't good enough, Emma then said, "pray!"  At this point, she usually names things or points to things she wants to pray for.  She began pointing to everyone in the line.  So, one by one, we prayed out loud for each person in the line.  It was the most amazing, wonderful feeling ever to share that with my daughter.  She made my day.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Ross Sisters Video


My stepmom sent this to me today, and you won't be disappointed if you watch it through.  After they're done singing...just watch.  I'm convinced that we are getting less talented over time.  This morning I was listening to an old Mickey Mouse Club CD with my daughter and realized that the kids (young kids) are singing CRAZY hard harmonies, perfectly in tune....and that was before you could fake it with computers!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

After Service Coffee

Oh my, this cartoon says it all.  I am reminded that as we greet at church, not to be blind to the new people around us.  If we only converse with people we know, how does that make any new people feel?  I'm so thankful to be a part of a church that welcomes.  May we never become a bubble.
Check out his other cartoons too.  He's got some good ones.  

Jason Boyett Blog

I came across a blog today.  Take it for what it is.  He's a pretty hilarious writer, yet they are serious topics.  He's not always right on with his thinking, but then again, when are any of us right on everything?  His comments are thought provoking, and others make good points in their responses.  The important thing to gleen from reading any blog like this is that this is what people are thinking about and not saying.  It should be a lesson to us.  The church is not perfect and we can't pretend that it is, or we can't get well.


Five Confessions: Annoyed by "Worship"

Church Generation Gap

 I read an article recently that talked about a very low profile issue in the church and I found it interesting.  I pray that as a body of believers, we would not see age, but rather one's spirit, and their love for the Lord.  Here's an excerpt from the article:

Churches tend to isolate the generations along peer lines. The result is often a lack of meaningful relationships between teenagers and most adults. It’s therefore no wonder that when we dismiss them from youth group following high school, young adults fail to make a positive transition into the adult ministries of the church. Their high school world featured a different program, often a different philosophy of ministry, a different meeting location, different pastors, different musical styles, and very few positive relationships with godly adults.

I appreciate the intergenerational emphasis in Gary L. McIntosh’s book One Church, Four Generations: “It is crucial that the worship team be intergenerational. The leaders who are seen on the platform influence the people who will attend the service. When people come to a church, one of the first things they do is look around to find people like themselves.” He makes a good point. Our churches must be God-honoring places where children, young people, young adults, and older adults alike serve and worship God. It is a shame if churches willingly overlook or exclude any particular age group. 

Canon - EF-S 17-55/2.8 Lens

I recently purchased a new lens for my camera, and love it!

  • Image stabilization (for shaky hands like mine)
  • USM Wide-Angle Telephoto Digital Zoom (a good "every occasion/stay on the camera" lens)
  • For APS-C Sized Digital SLR Cameras (mine is a Rebel XTi)
  • 2.8 Aperture (allows for incredible background blur)
  • Upgraded Automatic focus (super more waiting to focus!)
  • Sells new for around $1000  (I got one refurbished, cheaper)
What I love about this lens is that it takes great portraits (which I'm doing all the time with my kids), but it's also good for everything, so I don't have to change lenses ever!  If you're willing to carry a little more weight, it's the best bang for the buck.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bum Genius Diapers

I use cloth diapers with both of my girls, and I'm in love with my BumGenius all-in-ones.  The cloth diaper community calls these AIO's.  In fact, there are many things that I have learned since I started cloth diapering, and so I figured I'd share.

The most important things to consider are:
1) What kinds of cloth diapers are there?
2) How do you wash them?
3) What are you saving by doing cloth diapers?

*Pocket Diapers - these are outer covers that you insert a liner into. 
*All-in-Ones (AIO) - which means there is no's all one piece, just like a disposable diaper, but cloth.
*Old School Pre-folds - ah yes, you remember these.  They pin on the sides and you cover them with plastic underwear otherwise known as "plastic pants".

(Some diapers come in One Size Fits All, and others you buy in XS, S, M, L sizes.  That's what I have.  I prefer the different sizes even though I spent more money because the others are very bulky when your baby is smaller.  They use snaps to pleat the material, thus making the diaper smaller.  But all the material is still there that's needed to diaper a 2 year old.  Also, you end up buying inserts of all different sizes anyway.)

I keep a dry diaper pale (cleverly hidden in a basket that I got at TJMax) in our bathroom.  I say dry, because some people do wet pales.  Diapers with newborn poop (you know, the runny stuff) get rinsed in the sink before I throw them into the pale.  You can omit this step by putting a piece of rice paper on the diaper which you can then flush.  They are inexpensive.  I got mine in a roll of 100 for $10 at Bambini.  Anywho, non-infant poop (the solid stuff) just gets plopped in the toilet and the diaper goes in the pale.  No rinsing.  YAY!  Pee diapers can stink after awhile, so I spray them with BumGenius all natural odor remover that I get at Fletchers.  This is only really necessary if you're letting your diapers sit longer than a day.  As for washing, I do a wash on cold to get all the pee out, and I use half the amount of soap (very little).  Then I wash them on hot with the other half of the soap.  Then I do an extra rinse.  Then I dry them.  I have to dry them twice because my washer doesn't spin them very well.  The reason for the cold wash first is that diapers soaked in pee smell terrible when mixed with hot water.  It's a good way to stink up your whole house. Oh and they don't stain at all.  I use Arm-n-Hammer with OxyClean.  You can't use detergent with any additives or it will ruin the diapers.

You'll need about 12 diapers if you're going to do laundry every day at the same time.  If you're like me, you'll need 20 so you can forget about them.  My diapers were about $15 per diaper.  And I have 12-20 diapers in each size; S, M, and L.  So all in all, they cost about $750.  I have spent $20 on rice paper, and $30 on spray.  So, the grand total is about:  $800.  I have used these for 2 kids, and plan to use them on any future kids.  Disposable diapers cost about $60-80 a month.  It would take you roughly a year to spend $800 on disposable diapers...for one kid.  So, unless you're planning on potty training your only child at 12months of age, even the fanciest of cloth diapers will be cheaper.  Our water and electric bills cost us around $10 more a month (but that's including just having another member of the family's clothing, burp cloths, sheets, towels..etc to wash).  Even with that cost, now it would take you 16 months of disposables to equal your cost of cloth ones.  Not to mention you'll probably have to pay for a bigger trash can (added expense) and they stink worse.  Oh, and yeah, yeah...the environment stuff too.

So, happy cloth diapering.  I promise I'm a normal person...not a hippie...I shave my armpits.  :)  You will love it, and your baby's bum will too.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fisher Price Baby Toys

My stepmom, Shirley, is the voice on some new Fisher Price toys.  They are so cute, and of course the singing is great!  Check them out at

Brilliant Basics Nursery Rhyme Keys by Fisher Price

Brilliant Basics Musical Pop up Bus

Carpet Cleaner Sticky Residue!

 I borrowed my dad's steam cleaner the other day and was pleased when my carpets looked so clean afterward.  But now, 3 days later, the carpets feel sticky and grimey.  What's the deal?  Well, here's the answer:  (Found at

"Does it get the job done right
Because the cleaning solutions are fully dissolved in the hot water, two problems are created. The dirty water recovery process cannot pick up all the solution so the carpet fibers, backing, and even the under pad remains damp. Depending on the ambient air humidity levels and the amount of water sprayed on, it can take as much as three or four days for your carpet to dry out. That is sufficient time for odor causing bacteria and unhealthy mildew to begin growing.
The second part of the problem of leaving moisture behind is that dissolved cleaning chemicals are being left on the carpet as well. When they dry, the detergent residue becomes sticky, and sticky carpet fibers will attract dirt and hold on to it. What this means is that you could have a nice clean looking carpet that is going to quickly become dirtier than it was before steam cleaning.
Most of the producers of steam cleaning chemicals and the service companies that use them have been working to develop cleaners with improved rinsing agents to overcome the sticky residue problem. Others look to ways of using less cleaning solution and therefore less moisture to pick up. Short of using trial and error, just who among them has made the greatest strides is difficult to determine."

I guess Stanley Steamers is getting my business next time.  Bring on the $99 special Stanley!  :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Leah Lou Frantz

Born:  February 16th, 2010 @ 6:30am
Weight:  8lbs 6oz
Length:  19.75"
Birth Time:  12hrs (I was induced)
Nicknames:  "Bee-uh" - By Emma, trying to say "Baby Leah"

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Worship Album - Release 2010

Our first worship album is COMPLETED, and will be available on by March 20, 2010.  It's mastered, licensed, and printed!  You can listen to a CD preview here.  For all you who know our church, Ekklesia, it will be available there as well, probably sometime in April.  Here's a sneak peak at the Cover.

Color Spot Incentives

Use these color spots on student's desks or in a folder.  Color in a spot (or use stickers) for exceptional work or behavior.  When kids fill up their whole sheet, you can reward them in whatever way you like.  (Hang it on the wall, free assignment, eraser...etc)

Classroom Incentive Cash

Just insert your face (or whatever object/animal you like) in the space provided, and you've got your very own classroom cash.  Let kids purchase items from a school store, or do an auction.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Moon Phases

I had the pleasure of teaching a 6th grade science class in Tennessee a unit on Space.  Here's a project we did for the moon phases.  Take every opportunity to let your students work together, and do hands on projects.  They almost all aced the moon phases part of the test.