"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." ~Lin Yutang

Monday, February 28, 2011

february 2011 happenings

  • biggest deal this month:  started introducing starboy to the potty. 
  • i started a more rigorous housekeeping schedule, but still didn't get as much deep cleaning as i would have liked to.
  • i did deep-clean the shower heads, the master bedroom, the bathrooms, and the carpets.  (wow, that doesn't look like anything!)
  • attended an awesome and oh-so-elite Superbowl party for the first time.
  • attended my monthly bible study (mentorship class).  this month was on intimacy (ew la la).
  • celebrated a special 3-year-oldie's birthday! 
  • attended my two eldest daughters acting debut.
  • went up to mccall for a hot loverly date.
  • tried out some heart hair-dos.
  • starboy had his first ear infection and his first dose of antibiotics.  :(
  • filed and received 2010 taxes. 
  • got caught up on bills.
  • adejay had her first ear infection (since i've known her).
  • added a nice new sewing center to our master bedroom.  -it just needs organized now!-
  • we attended our second annual clogging competition in nampa... such fun!
  • continued to babysit one sweet boy three times each week.
  • continued a weekly support group.
  • had a VERY emotional and sensitive month.
  • continued a weekly prayer group.
  • received two negative tests.  and i'm not pregnant either.
  • babysat 4 extra boys in one day.  also decided i didn't want to do that again.
  • slept for almost a whole weekend.  -helped in the above decision.
  • spent some one-on-one time with a sweet and loving friend.  (i'm sorry this isn't on the monthly run-down every month!  i wish it could be on each one four times!!!)
  • got some new bras (FINALLY)!
  • started a new "honesty" journey.
  • had starboy pee or poop (or both) on the toilet more often than not this month.

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Sunday, February 27, 2011

a wild night and then some

howdy duty.  last night i was able to go out with my sweet and loving mr.  it was fun.  we went to a restaurant and ate and then watched the ufc 127 fights.  they were good fights too.  the last couple times we've gone to watch, they've ended up disappointing.  so, it was fun.  the place we go ends up being PACKED, and usually we end up asking someone if we can sit with them, so this time we invited a couple to sit with us.  it was fun to get to know the new couple too. 
yesterday i took the day off.  i mean, i cleaned the kitchen and did a boat-load of dishes, but i didn't do much else.  i didn't get out of my pajamas until otter pop called and asked if we could have a date!  we watched a movie four times.  i did a wee bit of napping too.
on friday, i got a call at 6 in the morning from a lady who needed a babysitter.  i've watched her young son a few times before (he's just 10 days older than starboy), but she had her two older sons (ages almost 10, and 11) with her too.  i couldn't think of a good excuse not to, so i said i would and she dropped them off about an hour later.  i was kinda afraid that the older boys would be bored stiff because my older girls had school and we don't have THAT many things to keep normal kids occupied.  but they found our box of games and they stayed occupied the whole day.  they did get "bored" when i made them stay quiet for our quiet time, but they did well other than that.  it was a hard day for me though.  i also had told my little boy's mom who i usually babysit that i was free to watch him too.  usually i just watch him monday through wednesday.  by the end of the day (about 6 was when the three boys went home), i was TIRED!  i felt exhausted, actually.  so, now i know what it would feel like to have 9 kids (six boys and three girls)... 

so, there's a little update for you.  now you know why it's been a little quiet in our neck of the woods.  not like you wondered... or missed me...
Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Friday, February 25, 2011

meet my husband...

               Don't be fooled by me.
               Don't be fooled by the face I wear
               for I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
               masks that I'm afraid to take off,
               and none of them is me.

Pretending is an art that's second nature with me, 
but don't be fooled, 
for God's sake don't be fooled. 
I give you the impression that I'm secure, 
that all is sunny and unruffled with me,
within as well as without, 
that confidence is my name and coolness my game, 
that the water's calm and I'm in command and that I need no one, 
but don't believe me.
My surface may seem smooth but my surface is my mask, 
ever-varying and ever-concealing. 
Beneath lies no complacence. 
Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness. 
But I hide this. 
I don't want anybody to know it. 
I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed. 
That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind, 
a nonchalant sophisticated facade, 
to help me pretend, 
to shield me from the glance that knows.

But such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only hope,               and I know it.              
That is, if it's followed by acceptance,              
if it's followed by love.              
It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself,              
from my own self-built prison walls,              
from the barriers I so painstakingly erect.              
It's the only thing that will assure me              
of what I can't assure myself,              
that I'm really worth something.              
But I don't tell you this. 
I don't dare to, I'm afraid to.              
I'm afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance,              
                                        will not be followed by love.              
                                        I'm afraid you'll think less of me,              
                                        that you'll laugh, and your laugh would kill me.              
                                        I'm afraid that deep-down I'm nothing              
                                        and that you will see this and reject me.
So I play my game, my desperate pretending game,              
with a facade of assurance without              
and a trembling child within.              
So begins the glittering but empty parade of masks,              
and my life becomes a front.              
I idly chatter to you in the suave tones of surface talk.              
I tell you everything that's really nothing,              
and nothing of what's everything,              
of what's crying within me.              
So when I'm going through my routine              
do not be fooled by what I'm saying.              
Please listen carefully and try to hear what I'm not saying,               what I'd like to be able to say,              
what for survival I need to say,              
but what I can't say.
               I don't like hiding.
               I don't like playing superficial phony games.
               I want to stop playing them.
               I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me
               but you've got to help me.
               You've got to hold out your hand
               even when that's the last thing I seem to want.
               Only you can wipe away from my eyes
               the blank stare of the breathing dead.
               Only you can call me into aliveness.
               Each time you're kind, and gentle, and encouraging,
               each time you try to understand because you really care,
               my heart begins to grow wings--
                                                       very small wings,                                                      
                                                       very feeble wings,                                                      
                                                       but wings!
With your power to touch me into feeling              
you can breathe life into me.              
I want you to know that.              
I want you to know how important you are to me,              
how you can be a creator--an honest-to-God creator--              
of the person that is me              
if you choose to.              
You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,               you alone can remove my mask,              
you alone can release me from my shadow-world of panic,               from my lonely prison,              
if you choose to.              
Please choose to.

               Do not pass me by.
               It will not be easy for you.
               A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
               The nearer you approach to me
               the blinder I may strike back.
               It's irrational, but despite what the books say about man
               often I am irrational.
               I fight against the very thing I cry out for.
               But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls
               and in this lies my hope.
               Please try to beat down those walls
               with firm hands but with gentle hands
               for a child is very sensitive.

               Who am I, you may wonder?
               I am someone you know very well.
               For I am every man you meet
               and I am every woman you meet.
[Please Hear What I'm Not Saying  --- Charles C. Finn, September 1966]

found: http://www.poetrybycharlescfinn.com/pleasehear.html

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

an award? for ME?!

i was tickled pink today when i got a comment from a reader who i don't even know!  i was tickled even pinker when it was her giving me a blogger award.  i've seen these on popular blogs, but i am new to blogging and never thought anyone but a handful of peeps (mostly family) read mine! 
anyway, i was awarded The Versatile Blogger award.  when i checked out the stranger's blog, i found this:

"The rules for this award are to tell 7 things about yourself and contact and award 15 blogs this award as well...So here goes:''
rules for an award???  well that's just silly!  right?!  am i right?!
well, i'll do my best, but i'm sure i don't read nearly enough blogs to award it to 15 others!!!  so this will have to be a post in progress... for a very very long time!  i'll try to remember to top-post each time i find another worthwhile versatile blog to share with you.

7 things about me:
  1. i love (heart) being a mom and wife.  i'm versatile because i'm a real life woman!
  2. i want to live my life in a way that i never have to look back and regret anything.  i know i'm not perfect and i'll make mistakes (mistakenly) and i'll LEARN from those mistakes!  but, i hope to follow the Holy Spirit's leading enough to not make the kind of mistakes that you can't take back and the lesson learned haunts you for the rest of your life!
  3. i should have been born 100 years ago (at least).  i'm so old-fashioned in just about every way!
  4. i love all colors fairly equally.
  5. i LOVE to enjoy God's amazing and beautiful creation of the great outdoors!!!!
  6. i like learning new things in different ways.
  7. i trust God to lead my life... He's much better at it than me! 
and now, i will pass on the award to:  (drum roll rolling.....................................)

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

emotionally sensitive = me, lately

when charting cycles, it's "fun" to find out things like how our hormones affect our behavior.  because of course they do, because that's what they do.  but it's even more fun to find a correlation of the behaviors and the time of the cycle to study to find out which hormones are high and which are low and maybe something you could eat or do (exercise, get sun, journal, etc.) in which to help relieve some of the distress that is caused by the behaviors and/or unbalanced hormones.
our bodies hormones are changing daily, so "unbalanced hormones" is kinda a dumb phrase... but it gets across my point. 
sometimes we find that eating sugar helps the way we feel.  but that's an unhealthy answer.  there are HEALTHY answers to build our emotions in a positive direction.  let me list a few.  first are the obvious ones:
  1. praise the Lord
  2. exercise
  3. eat healthy
  4. adrenaline-induced activities
  5. getting outdoors
  6. journal/blogging
  7. praying
  8. reading
  9. talking
  10. singing/dancing
and then some other ideas, that maybe you wouldn't think of, right off:
  1. cleaning
  2. laundry
  3. hard labor
  4. gardening
  5. drinking water
  6. taking a freezing cold shower
  7. listen to music
  8. accomplish a goal or finish a project
  9. make love to your spouse
  10. giving (of your time or money)
  11. taking a nice hot bath or shower
  12. showing gratitude
  13. look at pictures of loved ones (this sure helped me yesterday!)
  14. primp yourself (massage, manicure, pedicure, hair done, face done, etc.)
  15. find your passion and pursue it!
i would like to encourage you to learn about your fertility.  i can't repeat myself enough on this.  really.  if you're a man... learn about your woman's fertility.  next, i really really really encourage you to chart.  chart anything and everything.  you'd be amazed at what you'd learn!  and then, lastly, i really encourage you to find the healthy way that works for you to boost your attitude and pursue positive emotions. 

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

a blitz of the internet

our internet has been on the fritz lately.  we've had crazy weather, so maybe it wasn't a fritz as much as a blitz...  i don't know.  maybe there isn't a difference.  today i gave a call though and now it's ALL fixed!  phew.
crazy weather = we had several nice days followed by a gloriously warm day where i was able to open all the windows and let the air blow through.  i turned the heat completely off and just let fresh air clean everything up (germs, you know).  we've been sick off and on and off and on this month and it's just ridiculous!  little starboy had his first ear infection and pink eye!  where we got it, i don't know!!!  then i got all congested and congested (oh, i'm sorry, did i repeat myself?  i'm so congested i didn't hear myself the first time!).  and now adejay (who is NEVER sick, mind you) has an ear infection too along with major congestion.  boo is sick and will be sick (breathing congestion and nasal congestion) 'till summer i'm sure!  aleemay hunkered through it and didn't miss any school, but also wasn't feeling 100%.  mr. had a few days a bit back that he had to miss work even.  he's been healthy since.  jones is being quite the trooper.  i don't think he's gotten anything ... yet. 
so that was a rabbit trail.  i was saying all that to explain my desire to open up the house.  and we did, all day one day.  and then that next night it snowed.  and it's snowed or rained or hailed or all three each day since i think.  that's what i meant by crazy weather!
with the not so nice weather, i forget to have a happy heart.  so, please pray for my patience and my love and joy to return quickly...
here, i'll post some recent pix (with captions) to help:
i guess some won't need captions.  they'll just make you smile! 

starboy goes into the kitchen while i'm doing kitchen stuff.  he'll turn this stool over and sit inside it!  it was especially cute this time because he still had his coat on and he was just sippin' away at his milk...  nothing weird about that!!!  sometimes he'll slide all the way down and sit on the base/top of it and get stuck. 
another one that doesn't need a caption. 
yeah.  i love him! 
and her!!! 
and her!!!!!!!  this is otter pop's little 80's lady!  this was a birthday outfit she got...  yeah, it's coming back! 
he looks mean, but he's not.  unless you give him "the claw"!!!!!! 
my little prince charming.   
and my binkins.   
now this one needs explanation!  there was a church function that they had everyone dressed up as a nerd.  i'll tell you what though!  sometimes some people just CAN'T look nerdy, no matter how hard you try!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

menu time. let's do it!

i have three carry-over recipes from last menu...  it's no wonder it was a holy-grocery list last time, because we didn't starve for even one night and i STILL had THREE carry-overs!!!  here they are:
  • chicken sandwiches (patties grilled with pineapple and swiss cheese topping it), served with corn and homemade french fries (by the mr.)
  • crock pot pork chops, served with mashed potatoes and granny-green beans.
  • fried chicken, served with corn and zucchini melody and mashed taters.
and now for the rest of the two-weeks:
  • beef stroganoff (out of my hamburger cook book), served with salad.
  • my enchiladas (that i haven't posted a recipe for, but maybe i will this time.  my husband specifically requested my "old-school enchiladas" --they way i used to make them!  it's the easiest way.  they're just nothing fancy... just delicious!!!!!  so, look for that later in the next couple weeks.), served with rice and corn.
  • roasted pork loin with veggies.
  • crock pot apricot chicken (i may be doing a blog for this recipe too.  everyone should have it.  it's so easy and yummy!), served with a vinaigrette salad and rice.
  • tacos.
  • white chili served with tortilla chips.
  • grilled hamburgers, served with baked beans and corn.
this seems like a lame menu, but i am out of steam.  a good friend, i'll call her "sister" challenged her readers to try some new recipes.  i'm ALWAYS trying new recipes (that's probably what i think is lame about this menu.  they're all old.), but you might want to go to her blog and read her thoughts and join the challenge.

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Friday, February 18, 2011

how come all the vegetarians get all the good veggies?!

this is something i noticed just this past week.  yeah, i know, i'm kinda slow.  but i've been trying to incorporate more fruits and veggies in our meals.  sometimes it's easy, but other meals that i would serve solo (such as spaghetti), because they do have a vegetable in them, it's just not much of a serving.  so, i thought about store-bought spaghetti sauce, because i bought some recently for a chicken parmesan recipe.  at the store, i thought the tastiest spaghetti sauce (or marinara, whatever) was a garden combo sauce.  when i poured it on, it was loaded (well, loaded for a 20 oz. jar) with chunks of veggies!  and, of course it was good.  so i thought, how come i don't put veggies in my spaghetti sauce?!  well, i don't because it's not called for in my recipe.  and, well, i AM a recipe follower!!!  so, that's when i thought about it.  garden combo spaghetti sauce is good.  i KNOW that vegetarian lasagna is good.  most vegetarian dishes are good!  we do love veggies... why don't we make more things vegetarian way?!
so i did.
i made vegetarian spaghetti... with meatballs.  :)  because i'm clever, that's why!  ;)

i cut up all sorts of goodies:  zucchini, squash, carrots, celery, cucumbers, i may have even put an apple in there!  onions were called for later.

added it all to the barbecue sauce that is our family's spaghetti sauce recipe.

here's the recipe from granny's recipe book she gave me. 
barbecue sauce
1 46 oz. can of tomato (or vegetable) juice.  1/2 c. brn. sugar.  1 Tbsp chili powder.  1/2 c. ketchup.  1/2 tsp black pepper.  1 tsp. salt.  2 Tbsp vinegar.  1/4 tsp of each: garlic salt, celery salt, barbecue salt, savory salt.  2 dashes worcestershire sauce.  1 lg. onion fried to brown in 1 Tbsp bacon grease.
bring to boil.  lower heat and simmer 5 minutes (at least.  the longer you simmer it, the better).  makes 2 quarts.  this is good with any meat as a barbecue sauce.  if you're making it for spaghetti, cook spaghetti 'till tender and drain.  brown hamburger and then put into the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.  remove from heat and pour over spaghetti.  let blend for 15 minutes before serving (again, at least.  the longer it blends, the better).

this is proof that i don't ALWAYS follow the directions because clearly the hamburger wasn't mixed with the sauce...  and then i didn't take another "after" picture to show you how delish it ended up being.  so you'll have to imagine that one.  but it was good.  the veggies cooked and soaked in the sauce for so long that there wasn't a change in the taste at all.  just a few different textures for your palate and more vitamins and nutrients for the body!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

do unto others as you would have them do unto you (a blog-rambling of a mother)

here's a lesson i wish i could just put in a child-rearing chip and insert in each of my kids at birth.  not necessarily in their rear per se... 

children don't really seem to be selfish right at birth, but that's probably because they really do need absolutely EVERYTHING done for them, so it's not selfish of them... it's just them.  at about age 4ish, it seems they hit a real selfish streak.  it seems like i'm telling my kids "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" about once per hour on average every day.  that's a total exaggeration, but really! why is it so hard to grasp?! 
even as adults, we struggle with this concept!!!  how many problems in life could be avoided or solved if we could put this concept into practice?!  the root of this concept is respect.  we need to respect and honor others. 
is it honoring to argue with others in a way that belittles them?  is it respectful to raise your voice at ANY one?  sometimes we worry that we shouldn't let ourselves be stomped all over.  we should have more self-respect than that.  but is that biblical?  standing up for the truth is biblical and it's biblical to respect others.  sometimes our actions inadvertently disrespects those around us.  but, if we ALWAYS keep "do unto others..." at the forefront of our minds in ALL aspects (speak unto others, act unto others, respond unto others, behave unto others...), we are being respectful. 
  • when you talk to someone about someone else, make sure that you wouldn't say anything that you wouldn't say if they were standing right there listening... or something that you wouldn't want someone else to say about you.  truth or not truth... be respectful. 
my young tweenager is struggling with a few relationships at school.  she comes home so frustrated that "they just can't be friends!"  we can't control others, but we can control ourselves.  if we just do unto them, as we would have them do unto us, we have done our part.  that should set our minds at ease.  always act in a way that you have no regrets.  that's always choosing to do what's right.  100% of the time. 

how do YOU struggle in this area?  what do YOU do, to help you?

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

are you still encouraging?!

i'm halfway done with the 30-day husband encouragement challenge.  here are some words for encouragement to YOU for this challenge:
"Let your speech always be with grace." (Colossians 4:6a)
Focus today on how you represent your husband in your home, your church, and your community. In this challenge to encourage, ask: "If everything my family and friends knew about my husband came from a filter of what I've said about him, what would they think of my husband?" Do you need to change the filter?
Do you speak positively about your husband to others, or do you complain and criticize? Your speech should reflect 1 Corinthians 13 love. Your words should be kind, and should never "rejoice in iniquity" (v. 6). Refrain from listing your husband's faults to others. Satan likes to trick us in this area; be wary of sharing barbed "prayer requests."
Remember, "Love will cover a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8b). Present your husband before others today in a strong, positive manner. Slip in a "good word" for your spouse. Resist the urge to correct or belittle him in front of others. Some of what you say may come back to him, and you want your words to be sweet, building him up and never tearing him down.
Don't forget: you are always criticizing--or encouraging--before an audience. God hears your conversations when you are alone with your husband in your own home. May your speech be always seasoned with grace.
While you are considering how your speech can reflect the grace of the Lord in your husband's life, don't forget that your words can also encourage others. When you share what God is doing in your life through this "30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge", others will be blessed. Perhaps other wives will be moved to take up this challenge.

a good book to read:  "For Women Only" by shaunti feldhahn  ---it's one of those life-changing books. 

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

what is LOVE?

this might have been a better post for valentine's day, but ah... who am i to celebrate love only on Feb. 14th?! 
yesterday's post (healthy, in terms of relationship) made me think a lot about what the Bible says about anger -and i did link that site to all the verses referencing anger in the Bible.  but then i got to thinking about the real discussion issue of "disillusioning kids about marriage".  my end point was that open communication with the kids about relationships is key. 
so, how do you open lines of communication about relationships with your kids???  well, i think that probably the best place to start is by teaching them about love -from a Biblical standpoint. 
what is love?  1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 familiarly states what TRUE LOVE really is, "  Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."  (NLT) 
something that i was taught, that i appreciate every single day of my life, is that love isn't a feeling.  if you look at the above verses, does it say ANYWHERE anything about feelings?  does it say, love feels patient and feels kind?  does it say, when you're in love you feel not jealous or boastful or proud or rude?  no.  no no no.  love IS patient.  love IS kind... rejoices whenever the truth wins out... IS always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 
what is love?  1 john 4: 7-12, 16-19 deepens our level of love by challenging us in our faith, "7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
  9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
  11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us...
16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
  God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
  18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.19 We love each other* because he loved us first."  why do we CHOOSE to love???  because  He first loved us!

what do you think?  what are some things that you do to open communication with your kids about relationships?

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

back on the wagon

i've back on the NATURAL kick.  i used up all our store bought deodorant/anti-perspirant a couple days ago.  i also found a great deal on some really good coconut oil on amazon about a month or two ago.  i really wanted to make my own deodorant a while back, but when i went to purchase the coconut oil... i just couldn't!!!  so i went back to my storage pantry and found a stick of deodorant/anti-perspirant that i had bought before i detoxed my pits.  and i used it.
anyway, i used this recipe for homemade and natural deodorant:  1/4 c. cornstarch.  1/4 c. baking soda.  6-8 Tbsp. coconut oil (in it's natural "hard" state).  it wasn't that hard.  it took me about 10 minutes.  you just mix together the two powders and slowly add the coconut oil, mashing/cutting it together until it's the consistancy of solid deodorant.  then i put it in my old deodorant bottles and stuck it in the fridge to really harden up more. 
have you ever tried "natural" deodorants?  they work for me, i just have to reapply about every 5 hours.  i really was stuck on anti-perspirants because i sweat.  like a soldier.  on an everyday basis.  i was impressed when my friend gave me a sample of this homemade deodorant and at the end of the day i didn't smell.  at all.  i didn't smell so much, that i could stick my pit in my husband's nose and there still wasn't a smell!!!  so, i dare you.  try it.  allow yourself to detox.  and i wish i could meaningfully gaurentee it, but i can't give you back a month of smelly pits.  just try it. 
today i went back off the shampoo and back to the soda wash.  it is natural and it is cheap.  and it works just great.  i stopped because of itchy scalp... but after using shampoo and conditioner again, the scalp was still itchy.  i figured out that it's just dry, just like the rest of my skin.  so, i rubbed in some coconut oil to my scalp and wa-lah!!!  all better.  last year this happened and i used vegetable oil.  that works too, but it's messy. 
for my new shampoo, i mix about 1 Tbsp baking soda in 1 c. water and shake it up vigorously.  (i use a peri bottle, so i use a double recipe.  i use it for soap as well.)  before i get in the shower i brush all the tangles out of my hair and pull all my loose hairs out.  before wetting my hair, i spray the soda-water on my scalp.  i get really close to my scalp and spray and then use my finger tips and scrub scrub scrub.  i don't scrub anything but the scalp.  i have to flip my head over to do the back.  after i'm sure that i've scrubbed every inch of my scalp, i go ahead and rinse.  i just shower it off, continuing the scrubbing motion of my scalp with my fingertips.  do not wad up the rest of the hair though.  the soda water will rinse down it to clean it.  then i apply the apple cider vinegar.  this is apple cider vinegar in one of those airplane-safe shampoo containers with a squirt top.  i just squirt it on the ENDS of my hair.  i put all my hair over to one side and squirt it well.  i then get a super-wide toothed comb and pick through it.  it's pretty de-tangled just from the vinegar, but this will get the rest out.  then you rinse the vinegar out well with water.  just shower it off.  and that's it.  when you get out, it will be just as if you used shampoo and conditioner.  plus cheaper (i think.  i haven't compared penny to penny, like laundry soap, but it seems cheaper) and all natural!  so, with that in mind, it's WAY cheaper than the "organic" or "natural" shampoo that almost always have some sort of chemicals in them! 
so, that's my natural post for the day.  go ahead... try it.  try it all. 
i'm reading up on lots of other homemade natural stuff to share.  i get a lot of great ideas from this great blog.  feel free to take a gander at some of her stuff, but don't dump me for her.  i wouldn't forgive you!  you can read us both. 

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

healthy, in terms of relationships

i was told the other day that if kids don't see their parents fight, it disillusions them into thinking that marriage is perfect and easy.  i have been thinking and thinking and thinking about that comment.  i semi-agreed with the statement at the time, but the more i think about it... the more i disagree.
when mr. pop and i became one, united in marriage, we agreed that we would do everything in our power to not argue and fight in front of our kids.  we, actually have an agreement to not fight in public at all, but that's not the subject. 
both otter pop and i strongly feel that it is completely unhealthy for kids to witness and/or be involved (in any way) in a couple's hostility.  we also agree that letting the heat of the moment (in a non-sexual kind of way) take hold of your emotions, can in turn produce very mean, ugly, unkind, and untrue things out of one's mouth.  the Bible has a lot to say about anger and how to deal with it -a lot of proverbs.
we both do our best not to let our anger cause sinful disorder.  we try to do this by 1.) remembering to respect each other in everything we say and do.  2.) remembering that neither of us are perfect, nor is one better than the other (in ANY aspect)  3.) using forgiveness, because it is a powerful tool that can heal most wounds.
my mr. and i do disagree on some things, but by remembering 1 & 2, there isn't too much that should cause reason enough to get mad.  in the event that one of us becomes mad at the other (because it will still happen), we both still keep 1 & 2 in the forefront of our minds.  all it takes is a separation for one or both of us to realize what the deep rooted issue is.  after backing off, we can then talk things over in an un-heated discussion.  if we do choose to have an argument in front of the kids, we choose not to become heated and always portray respect towards one another in our words and actions.  if we mess up, as soon as we realize, we will publicly acknowledge our sin and also publicly ask for forgiveness. 
i still firmly believe that this approach, along with open and truthful communication with the offspring about relationship issues (all sorts of relationship issues), is much more beneficial for the kids.  i would rather my kids be disillusioned about happy marriages, than to put them through watching their parents argue and fight, witnessing verbal and/or physical abuse.   
what do YOU think about this discussion???

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Monday, February 14, 2011

through the looking glass AND character matters (because it does)

my two older girls had their big acting debut on saturday night.  it was a big day.  and they were both a HIT!  they were great!!!  i wish i could've recorded it all to prove it.  i was beaming with motherly pride.  they were GREAT!!! 
aleemay had a small/major role as Goldilocks in the pre-show, character matters.  she was adorable.  she spoke loud and slow and clear and sang out her lines like she didn't have an ounce of nervousness in her!  my favorite memory of the night was when she took center stage (along with the three bears) and there was an audible unanimous, "awwwww" from the audience.  she was awwwwwwwdorable though. 

adejay was cast in the main event, through the looking glass.  it's a short sequel to alice in wonderland.  adejay was cast as the red queen (the 2nd biggest role!)  when she announced the role she was cast for, everyone kinda nodded and either said, "because of your hair!" or just implied it.  i told her it was because she could play it out and be a great actor...  as it seems, i was right!  not only was she an AWESOME red queen, they put a wig on her!!!  hahaha all you doubters... she's an awesome actress!
my girls are awesome.  i love 'em.  it was such a fabulous night.  there was a big turnout and my girls had two full rows (at least) of fans.  if you weren't there, you really missed out!!! 

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." COMMENT! IT SHOWS ME THAT I'M BEING READ!!!

feb. 14

today is a loverly day.  valentine's day.  just loverly.

i've always hated valentine's day.  i never understood why we'd want to choose a day of the year to celebrate love.  i'm not a feminist, or a murderer of love, or anything like that, i just have never seen the fun in celebrating love once/year.

 i am a real firm believer in celebrating love every day.  i am a firm believer in practicing random acts of romanticism as frequently as your heart leads. 

(i love these random acters here)
i had to put them in here somewhere!!! 
this year, my husband felt lead to randomly practice romanticism yesterday. 

he surprised me (with short notice), set up childcare, and drove me up to mccall for a fancy dinner at steamers. 

i followed up the romanticism with a surprise of my own for him.  *picture NOT included!*  we had a wonderful and romantic evening and enjoyed eachothers company. 

dinner was not only fancy, but amazingly delicious.  and the company was not just enjoyable, but splendidly perfect. 

oh... and the scenery.  yes.  beautiful.  it was beyond beautiful, as mccall always is!

i hope you all enjoy your loverly day, whether it be your birthday, the 14th of february, or the middle of the month!  enjoy.  and don't forget to celebrate love... any time you feel like it!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."