Monday, August 31, 2015

{In the Kitchen}

First up, shampoo.  Yes, shampoo in the kitchen.

I've been making our own shampoo for a couple of months now.   It's super easy and inexpensive.  You may be thinking "why bother?".

Well there are four reasons.  Two people in our house have some scalp issues, one person in our house has major allergy issues and the fourth person does not want to buy expensive, all natural shampoo or harsh chemically loaded dandruff shampoo.

I found this recipe, but I do not use the herbs.  It is super fast to mix up and I love this recipe because it still lathers up nicely, which a lot of the all natural products do not.  The verdict is still out on whether or not it will kick the dandruff, I'm still playing around with which oils are best for that, but it sure feels good and the price is right.

Also over the weekend we made gluten free apple pie.  I used a mix for the crust, Bob's Red Mill, and it was really good!  I'll admit that I was skeptical, but it was really, really good.  Callie has been begging for pie for ages and I just kept putting it off thinking that it wouldn't be any good.  It was fun though and I'm going to teach her how to make regular crust soon.  I used to make pies all the time but had stopped because of the wheat issue and life just gets busy.  But, life's too short not to have pie on a semi regular basis!


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wednesday With Words

I'm joining Dawn at Ladydusk for Wednesday with Words.

This month I've been reading Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.  I read this book years before I had Callie.  I don't remember what prompted it then, but I remember being profoundly moved by it.  I thought if everyone could read this book, surely it would change the attitudes that some people have towards those of different ethnic groups.  I also remember thinking when I had children they were going to read this book!

So here we are and Callie is old enough and we are studying the War Between the States {otherwise known as the Civil War, and as my Southern husband likes to call it, the War of Northern Aggression :)} in American history.

There are so many lines in this book that I find moving, but the following, written towards the beginning of the book,  I found not only moving, but absolutely fascinating.  What an interesting thought about the continent of people who have suffered so severely for so long.

"If ever Africa shall show an elevated and cultivated race,-and come it must, some time, her turn to figure in the great drama of human improvement,-life will awake there with a gorgeousness and splendor of which our cold western tribes faintly have conceived. In that far-off mystic land of gold, and gems, and spices, and waving palms, and wondrous flowers, and miraculous fertility, will awake new forms of art, new styles of splendor; and the negro race, no longer despised and trodden down, will perhaps, show forth some of the latest and most magnificent revelations of human life.  Certainly they will, in their gentleness, their lowly docility of heart, their aptitude to repose on a superior mind and rest on a higher power, their child-like simplicity of affection, and facility of forgiveness.  In all these they will exhibit the highest form of the peculiarly Christian life, and, perhaps, as God chasteneth whom he loveth, he hath chosen poor Africa in the furnace of affliction, to make her the highest and noblest in that kingdom which he will set up, when every other kingdom has been tried, and failed; for the first shall be last, and the last first."

I am close to the end.  It's making me crazy because I can't remember how it all turns out. 

The other quote that I wanted to share I read last night.  I wonder if I would have this perspective after being beaten half to death because of refusing to beat someone else?

Tom is talking to a fellow slave, Cassy, after a severe beating. Because of their experiences Cassy is convinced there is no God or if there is He has turned against them.

"Ye said the Lord took sides against us, because He lets us be 'bused and knocked round; but ye see what come on His own Son,-the blessed Lord of Glory,-wa'nt He allays poor? and have we, any on us, yet come so low as He come?  The Lord han't forgot us, I'm sartin' o' that ar'.  If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign, Scripture says; but, if we deny Him, He also will deny us.  Didn't they all suffer?-the Lord and all His?  It tells how they was stoned and sawn asunder, and wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, and was destitute, afflicted, tormented.  Sufferin' a'nt no reason to make us think the Lord's turned agin' us; but jest the contrary, if only we hold on to Him, and doesn't give up to sin."

The language differences may make it a little tricky for Callie, but I hope she will like the book even a little as much as I do.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ready or Not!

It's that time of year again! 

 Never has the planning of a school year and First Day of School been so tricky!  Plan A had to be scrapped for Plan B (which was a blessing as far as delaying our start date a bit) and it was quite a feat finding a day that would work for both families.  {You can read about our First Day traditions here}.  Outside classes and activities as the kids get older are a good thing, but they are not without their challenges.



 We finally got a date on the calendar and settled on the zoo as our outing.  It had been a few years since any of us had been.  Since that time the zoo has added orangutans and koala bears.  The koala bears are on loan from the San Diego zoo and will be leaving soon.  They were sleeping when we were there, but you could still tell that they were sooo cute!!  The orangutans were funny, but I'm not sure I would use the word cute. 

The planning of our classes has also required some flexibility.  Callie was suppose to be taking two classes at our local co-op, but one has been cancelled, so that will require a Plan B also.  We were disappointed, but know that it will all work out in the end and could be a blessing in disguise.

The day before our official First Day Of School Field Trip, the weather was so cool and fall like that we just had to go to Eagle Creek park.  Callie had recently mentioned wanting to go and this was the perfect day.  Eagle Creek is a city park of Indianapolis, along a reservoir, with  trails and a great nature and ornithology center.  It was so beautiful and peaceful.  If we had brought a hammock and supper, I don't think I would have left!  It was really good to take notice of God's beautiful creation and just take a deep breath, knowing that once school, ballet and co-op starts, things will get a little nuts.  There won't be as much freedom to just run to Eagle Creek if we want to.  I'm so glad I didn't talk myself  into staying home and "getting things done"!  When are things ever "done?"


I'm pretty excited about the great books we'll be reading this year.  I'm almost finished pre-reading Callie's first Literature selection, Uncle Tom's Cabin, and you'll hear more about it later.  Kate's first book will be A Little Princess.  I've read it once or twice to Callie and at least once when I was young.  I have no problem reading it again!  Some books just never get old.  The one I really can't wait for is Little Lord Fauntleroy!  Oh my goodness!  I love that book.  One of my all time favorites and the best movie with Ricky Schroeder, which unfortunately I cannot find on DVD.  Someone really needs to do that! 
{Actually, Amazon has it.  For $40!  I don't think so!!}

The school room has been cleaned out and dusted, the chalkboard wall at the bottom of the steps is full of inspiration (go here for a free devotional, the cover of which I printed and hung)  and we have a bouquet of sharpened pencils.

Say a little prayer for us? :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

State Fair 2015

You know the summer would not be complete around here without our annual trip to the State Fair.  This year we were not able to get there early in the day like we usually do.  By the time we got there it was packed!  And a couple of hours later it was crazy packed!!

Two dollar Tuesday is definitely the best day to go and keep the costs down.  It's even a better deal  than free day because the rides and a lot of the food are discounted too.  However.  Go during the day!  Don't say you weren't warned.

We were pretty rushed this year since it was later and some of the buildings were closing and there were some things we didn't get to do, but we did have a fun evening.  And we learned an important lesson!

The next post will probably be of the academic sort.  Oh Summer, it goes so fast!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mommy and Daddy's Fun Weekend

The girls have had several play dates and outings with friends this summer and finally, it was our turn.  We celebrated 24 years of marriage this year!!  We even took them out to eat with us on our anniversary!  We never do that, but it's just the way it turned out this year.  It was fun and they wanted to hear funny stories about us.  I think they've heard them all before, but they like to hear them again.  Like when a faulty Icee machine spewed red slushy in my face and all through my big 80's hair and Cameron laughed and laughed.  That was just before we started dating.
The following weekend though, we dropped them off at their Indiana grandparents and we got to go play!!  By Ourselves!!!!!!!!!!
We spent the weekend in Southern Indiana with our oldest and dearest friends who I went to high school with.  She knows me and loves me anyway! 

I have a really great picture of them after running the Color Run, but if I put it here, she may not love me anymore!

After cleaning up and a quick lunch we headed out to some salvage antique stores.  It didn't occur to me to take pictures there but I should have.  The doors!  The stoves! The refrigerators!  The cabinets!  Oh my!  They were awesome!

From there we went to Newburg, IN and walked around a bit.  Another great antique store, some amazing peach cheesecake, a cute little British telephone booth  and some beautiful views and homes were tolerated well by the men.  {They were rewarded with beef brisket, amazing too, and a very violent movie that evening} :)

I'd love to try this place out next time

the place where we got the cheesecake was just getting ready to close

I used to live in this general area in high school, but who paid attention to such things back then?  All I knew was that Newburg was on the way to "The Mall".  I have a whole new appreciation for it now.  There was a bookshop that we didn't go in, but I know Callie would love to check it out. 
We had a really great time!  We hadn't been away together in a looong time.  It was a great way to celebrate!
The only downside was that my mom got sick while we were gone.  My sisters kept me posted, reassured me that we didn't need to come home, and took good care of the girls.  Thank you very much Alyson and Valerie!!  And thank you Grandmother for being always willing!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

More Summer Fun

 Well, I'm a bit behind on posting events.  The days are full and by the time evening time comes I'm too tired to put together words and pictures!  This summer has gone by so quickly.  We've tried to balance the fun activities with time at home to do projects too.  It's tricky when one daughter wants one thing and the other wants the opposite.  Thankfully, they both end up enjoying whatever we do once we get going.  Or not going as the case might be.
This particular weekend, there was no debating.  COUSINS!!!  This time some of the boys came, but we were missing a girl too.  Her church camp didn't call to clear their schedule with us!  The nerve! ;)
We missed them, but we did manage.
There was swimming...... 

See the long string of kids in the middle?  Those are ours.  At one point they were a huge donut in the middle.

and water balloons.......

and lots of general goofiness and smiles and laughter. 
Thank you for bringing them Aunt Valerie!!


Friday, July 24, 2015

July {shortened} Daybook

{Outside My Window}  Sunny and warm.  This may actually be a week without rain.  I don't remember the last time we had that.  Maybe it hasn't been that long, but it feels like it has and the ground sure is soaked.  (I started this Monday, and Yay!!  No rain)

{Listening To}  Right now the dryer. ;)  But earlier this week I listened to this recording of a speech Andrew Pudewa gave .  It was fantastic!  If you have high school students I strongly recommend listening to it and having them listen too.  Callie hasn't yet, but she will and I know she will enjoy it.  He is such a great speaker!

{I am Thankful For}  I could list so many things and just go on and on, but I'll stick to just a couple of things. 

First of all, Kate's first 4H judging experience went really well.  If you know her, you know how quiet and shy she is out in public.  Talking to strangers is something we practice and talk about before hand.  Even when she does talk, people can hardly hear her.  Anyway, the judge was so, so nice and even though Kate had a major allergy attack of sneezing and snorting, I think it actually helped a little.  It helped break the ice and was kind of funny.  People were offering essential oils and drug advice! 

And Callie's project did well too!

I'm very thankful for this summer.  It has been a pretty good balance of a restful break from homeschooling and full of play and fun and getting together with friends.  The girl's friends and my friends too.  It's not over yet, there are some fun things still to come.  I do feel the clock ticking though! 


{I'm Reading}  A few weeks ago I read Design Mom  How To Live With Kids: A Room-By-Room Guide.  What a fun book!  Well, if you're into that sort of thing. ;)  It's full of all kinds of great ideas for each area of your home.  They are fun, practical and still nice to look at!  What I really loved about this book was the way it made me think of ideas for our house to "work" better.  Ideas that she didn't even talk about, but it just really got my creative juices flowing.  I made a whole list of small things to do or change around.

Last week I read Belle: The Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief Justice.  We watched the movie several months ago and it was sooo good!  The costumes, the setting, the story.  I highly recommend it.  Callie saw the book at the library and brought it home for me.  It's the true story behind the movie.  I always read what she brings me and I've never regretted it.

{In the Kitchen}  Callie and I  made a gluten free blueberry cobbler/crumble this week.  It was pretty good.  I don't usually like cooked or warm fruit desserts, but I'm expanding my horizons.  The home made whipped cream helped! ;) 

{I am Creating}   First Day of School plans, book lists, schedules, and just a wee bit of panic. ;)

{Around the House}  The general chaos of summer is showing right now.  I'm hoping in the next couple of weeks to make it even worse by painting the school room before school starts.   We'll see.  I'm getting a few little projects done here and there.  Spray painting a chair (ran out of spray paint though), mending things that have been by the sewing machine forever, and trying to clean out and get rid of some things.

{One of my Favorite Things}

When they are arguing, I want to throw them out to the barn and lock the door.  When they are giggling and having fun, I want to squeeze them to pieces!!