Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hair Experiment

From time to time I get on a new hair kick.

One year I decided I was going to train my hair to get curly.  So I bought the book, Curly Girl, followed her plan and voila, curly hair was born.  By the way, if you have slightly wavy hair that gets frizzy on a humid day, you can release a the curl with a few weeks of training.

Mine used to be an ugly wave, and now I have perfect ringlets in some places.  The first weeks of any new hair plan are not the prettiest so plan on wearing a bigger than usual pair of earrings to try to compensate for the logistical nightmares you are dealing with.

It seems like a lot of my friends hair have morphed into lovely, long, straight locks lately.  So I have been polling around on the "how often do you shampoo issue."

The results have been about half and half, so I am a little puzzled.  Half of my good hair friends shampoo every day, the other half only shampoo one to two times a week.

Years ago I had a very knowledgeable friend tell me that if I could go 5 straight days in a row without shampooing, then my hair would look amazing and be very healthy looking.

Finding 5 straight days in a row where you can have nappy hair is no easy feat.  But I did it, and she was right.  The day I finally got to wash my hair it looked amazing.  People even commented on my hair the day I finally got to wash it.

Hair has never been my strong suit.  I can do makeup, I can't do hair.  I can't wrap pretty gifts either.  My sister got those good genes.  Her hair and gifts always make the rest of us look like a bunch of losers.

Today I am on day 3 of no washing.  I could make it to day 5 except for the fact that we have an outing with church folk tomorrow night.  It is hard to imagine that I won't break down and wash it for our gathering.  This issue is consuming a lot of my brain space right now.  Because if I can make it through tomorrow night then I can for sure make it to Saturday.

My girlfriend who only washes twice a week told me about her experience when she broke off from the every day shampoo.  She said one summer she just decided to go for it.  She endured the first couple weeks of gross hair and then everything evened out.  Now she washes her hair on Wednesdays and Sundays.  And her hair is long and gorgeous.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I finally ordered the book, 7.

After some discussion with friends, I knew it was not your run of the mill book on a decluttering of the stuff.  The first time I picked it up to start reading I wanted to put it down.

It's a little on the intense side.

Selfishly, I wasn't sure if I wanted to dive into the waters, for fear of what God might do to my heart or ask of me.

But I couldn't put it down.  I've pondered "jumping in" for months so when a friend of mine said she wanted to read it, we both jumped in together.

The book is not about community, but if you are not sure what good community looks like, read the book. 

If you have had the suspicion that their is more to life and maybe you've missed something, read the book.

If you've been bored and discontent with the grind, read the book.

If you love to hear testimonies of what God does when someone surrenders to God in obedience, read the book.

And I want to be best friends with Jen Hatmaker.  Is there a long line of you ahead of me who also want to be her bff?  She's our age and she's funny and she loves to cook Pioneer Woman food.

It has been a little funny reading the book though.  Our life feels pretty normal and unwierdish.  Until I realize we don't watch TV and school our kids at home.  I don't grind my own grain at home, but still. 

My new best friend Jen watches TV.  I don't know if she is going to care that we don't watch as much TV.

She does other things too.  Like gives away half of her salary to her poor neighbor.

And grilling out for the homeless community on Easter.

And she's given the shoes off her feet to the poor.  Twice.

I'm only part way through and cannot put the book down.

So this is my first, feeble, pitiful attempt to being content and not indulging in excess today.  Tonight we are having a sweet family over for dinner.

We are having nachos.  And I want to make shortcakes for dessert.  But the shortcake idea is a last minute addition and I only have half a carton of berries and no fresh cream to whip. 

Since I live in the land of excess, however, I have a carton of frozen Cool Whip in the freezer.  So I am making myself not go to the store for fresh cream.  I know, a pathetic offering and first step toward cutting out the excess, but I have a suspicion that the road to contentment and less is a long one.

There are other convictions churning up inside of me, but for today my faith takes on flesh by using a carton of frozen whipped topping instead of whipping up my own fresh cream.

So, does that make me weird if I don't grind my own grain but do whip fresh cream for shortcakes?

Oh dang.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Kroger

This is just how it goes.

The fridge is empty.  Cupboards bare.  You like that, the Little House On The Prairie-ish reference to the cupboards?

So this morning I sit down to plan a menu so I can go to the Kroger.  As I am dreaming about food to grill because hey, it is Memorial Oven, I mean weekend, and everyone knows you have to grill, put up the pool and plant the pink wave petunias.

So I head over to my computer to see what kind of meat is on sale this week.  I am vacillating between grilling chicken, burgers and dogs, or some kind of other something delish.  It is going to be a quick Internet trip.  Check Kroger ad, get off, be productive, etc etc etc...

Naturally the first thing I do when I log in is to check and see if any online houses have popped up in the last 12 hours since my browsing session ended last night because my computer ran out of battery and I was too lazy to go get the cord.

That led to creeping on Shane's FB page which led to checking a blog or two which led to checking my email which led to, well, you get the point.  Here I am forty five minutes later.  Log off, sit down, pick up my empty grocery list and say, dadgumit, I never even got around to seeing what is on sale at the Kroger this week.

Because you are special to me I wanted to share what may interest you and your grill this weekend.

  • Sanderson Farm drums or thighs
  • Ground beef, although I have a strict chuck, round, or sirloin policy.  Don't you  just hate meat snobs?
  • Pork Picnic shoulder roast...hmmm, Pioneer Women can help us with that cut
  • Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce is on sale.  If you've never tried it, trust me, you'll never buy the Kraft mockery again
  • Folding camper chairs are $7.99.  I really do love these things.  Do not try to grill these though.  There is not enough Sweet Baby Ray's in the world to make them palatable.
  • Sanderson Farms split chicken breasts are a great price.
  • And that last, but not least.  The one that made me gasp out loud.  I am serious.  Blackberries and blueberries are under $3.  God Bless America.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

To Co-Op or Not?

When you homeschool there is something you can join called a co-op.  It is a group of homeschooler's who join together one or more days a week to share the teaching load.  Most of my friends are part of a co-op and they absolutely love, love, love it!  They have found a community of families that become like family to them.

Every year we have explored joining a co-op and every year we feel like it is not the right time for us to join.

I have wanted to feel the peace about joining a co-op.  We went to an informational meeting last week and I was pumped!  I was hoping that maybe next year would be the year we jumped on the bandwagon.

But when we came home and talked about it we were both in agreement.  Next year is not our year.  And I was kind of sad about it, but am certain we both heard the Lord the same on the issue.

One of my favorite things about teaching the boys at home is the freedom and flexibility we have.  It is seriously wonderful and a big asset.  We have such a full life and freedom to take advantage of different kinds of opportunities.

Next year will be my 4th year to have the boys at home.  Recently I have heard other mom's talk about how you find your groove and there comes a point when you settle in to what works best for your family.

I get that.  We are settling in.  We have found our groove.  It's a laid back groove.  Every day we read, write, practice math and spelling.  But it's not a rigid thing.  Our homeschool is not a mini-public school classroom mimicked in the home.  It is a little of the necessity of learning the basics and a whole lotta living real life together.

My non-negotiables are every day you have to read, write and practice math.  My hope is that our boys will develop (with our help!) a passion for reading and thus develop a passion for learning.  Our history and science lessons have been through the venue of reading good stories on the topics.  I never enjoyed the learning part of school-it is so sweet to watch my wide-eyed boys as they listen to a story being read.  They don't even realize they are learning!

There is a quote that says something along the lines of, "There is no education but self-education."  I wholeheartedly agree with this.  My boys can memorize something to pass a test.  But when they read about it and internalize it themselves, it becomes part of who they are.

In school I studied for many tests.  I could learn the answer to make the grade.  And I don't remember half of it.  But the things I've studied on my own, the things I discovered on my own, those are the things that have stayed with me.

We are wrapping up the year.  I had hoped to be done at the end of April and we're almost there but have a few more things to complete.  What a sense of satisfaction to see a handful of books we finished and mastered.

There is probably always going to be the temptation to wander if we did enough.  Beginning in 3rd grade, all homeschooled kids take a standardized test to make sure they are on track.  I think that will give me a huge sense of relief, just to make sure we're on the right track.

If you are considering bringing your kids home, my top pick for a resource is Educating the WholeHearted Child by Clay Clarkson.  I refer to that book all the time.

Our boys are watching us go through the process of seeking God's will on starting a ministry house (where we invite college students to live with us).  To me, regardless of where they attend school, these are the most valuable types of lessons they will learn from us while under our roof...learning how to follow God and seek His will.