A Billion or so Pictures :)

I am tired as we have had a long day, so I will not be narrating too much.  Here is Angelina's birthday in pictures:

The birthday girl showed up in our room this morning and after lots of birthday cuddles, The hubby asked what she wanted for her special birthday breakfast.  Her response was immediate - "Tuptakes!"  Our birthday tradition is the girls get to make their own cupcakes, and it was on the schedule for the afternoon, so we bumped it up to first thing. (after dad made eggs, bacon and potato pancakes first!)

She generously agreed to let Trinity help.

After church we headed to Incredible Pizza Co. to celebrate, with a pitstop first.  I found a digital camera for $20 on craigslist - just what we needed!  You'll notice the difference in the rest of the pics! (I'm soooo happy!)

First stop was a spin on the wheel for a prize for the birthday girl.

She won 100 tickets (which is probably the equivalent of .05cents! ha!) Her birthday bear had to come along - they were inseparable today. :)

Talkin' to Grandma C

Her turn to talk to Grandma C

The hubby and Trinity got in line for go-kart racing so Angelina went back for some more driving of her own.

Lined up to start the race - starting out last...

That's them all the way on the left in last place...

A couple of crashes and they pull out in front! (picture Angelina and I going wild in the peanut gallery!)

The victors!

What a day!  We had enough time to breathe, frost and sprinkle the cupcakes, and then off to our new small group.  Thank goodness that it was an all you can eat buffet at Incredible Pizza Co., because we took a break from the games and went back out in the afternoon for drinks, snacks, and dessert to fill us up and back into the Fairgrounds for more games!  This was such a great treat for us and pretty cost effective.  I had bought a $10 off coupon from Restaurant.com for .40cents during their 09/09/09 special so it only cost us $16 and change to get in.  We had leftover game cards from when we were invited to the pre-opening party where we got in free and were given $40 in game cards, plus 4 mini-golf for free coupons.  What a blessing for us to have such a fun packed day out and a new camera to boot!  Thanks be to God, our provider!

Grace and peace be with you!


Still haven't done my apples.  Bad mommy.

 The Pears are Done!

Yesterday I finally got through the last 2 bushels of pears.  Most of them had rotted by now and it was quite the chore to salvage good pear.  I decided the best use was going to be pearsauce since finding good firm pear for canning was not likely.  I still only ended up with 7 quart bags (I only dump 2 cups worth in each bag) for the freezer.  Too bad so many got wasted by my procrastination.  I am sure the black walnuts will suffer the same fate.  Tomorrow I am avowed to conquer the 2+ bushels of apples that are starting to rot!

How do you keep kids occupied while spending unending hours slogging through pears?  Give them plastic knives and rotten pears to cut up!  They had a blast "helping" me. :)

I also tried to make salsa today, but didn't end up with enough to fill 2 quarts.  I need to get some pint jars and fill as many as I can and then the rest we will just eat.  Kind of bummed, because I actually went through the whole canning process and then bothered to check online if it was okay not to have full jars. (thwok - sound of me thumping myself on the head!)

Okay, so my camera sucks.  And, indoor, self-portraits aren't the greatest!  This cracked me up though when I saw my pinky sticking up in the air, all hoity-toity!  But, the picture is good enough to tell that my hair doesn't look disgusting, even 11 days since a shampoo.  I think it is actually starting to get more manageable, but it is sooo subjective.  The experiment continues...

Stay tuned for more!

Oh, we also have been having success with our experiment with H202, or in layman's term, Hydrogen Peroxide.  We purchased food grade 35% h202 and have been taking it with distilled water. (except when I forgot and used tap for several days - oops!)  Everything I have read said that you shouldn't use tap water, but at the same time, when they call for soaking in it in a bath, they don't say you have to use distilled water for the bath, so really what is the difference?  If the stuff in your tap water is going to undo some of the good effects, then the same should be true of bath water.  I don't get it.  So I will use whether I have distilled water or not.  (great link here for more info)

So far, so good.  I had a dry, red patch that has been on my arm for more months than I can remember clear up in 2 days of taking h202.  I haven't really been that consistent, but I am going to make a concerted effort and record my findings here.

 Trinity, Our Praise and Worship Girl

Trinity loves to make up songs to sing.  Most of them are about God.  This morning I sat down and wrote down the words as she was singing.  She loved it and then wanted to sing some songs especially for dictation for me. :)   Here are her songs:

We know that God is ours
That God is ours today.
When we know that God is ours today,
we love Him and keep His promise in our heart.
And we know He does love us.

We go everywhere with God.
He is never without us, because He is there for us.
We love you God, we know.
We love you God, we know.

We know you are our God, Jesus.
When we sing to you that makes you happy.
When we praise you, it's really good for you.
And thank you God for no tornadoes come our way.
We love you God.

We know you are coming for us.
And when we are grumpy and mad,
we call on you God.
And we love you God.

We sing for you God
and when we have food for us to eat,
we thank you God for the wonderful things.

Do-do-do-do, I love my mommy and daddy,
When God is around us we all love Him.
When you sing for us, we know,
God you are love, we praise and love you.

Singing, God we know you love us,
When He goes along
When He goes along with us,
We all are happy, happy.  Do-do-do-do-do-do-do.
Everybody likes God.  He provides us food. 
We love God.

Great God, great God, great God,
we sing about you, Great God.
You provide food.  You are so great.
You provide food for the animals.
When we get mad, we tell you God.

Grace and peace be with you!

 How I am Awake, I do not know!

Well, I stayed up until 1:30 last night canning pears.  I had no idea it was going to take me so long.  It definitely went more quickly when I canned tomatoes with Danelle down at her farm.  So, I was thinking it would just take me a couple hours to get some done and got started sometime after 8.  One thing is it just took so long to work through the pears because many of them are getting overly ripe patches on them now.  So, it was a long process of trying to cut away the soft stuff and preserve as much of the good pear as possible.  (I think I have an unnatural love for the word 'so')

Second snag was that the only pan I had deep enough to fit the quart jars in only held 3 jars at a time...and wouldn't you know I ended up with 4 quarts!  So, I had to do two sets of boiling and by the time I put lids on the bottom to keep the jars off the pan, they only just fit in the pan.  I literally had to fill the water up to the rim to get it to cover the jars, and I would have to replenish from time to time as it boiled because it would boil up and out of the pan.  Long and tedious, but I got it done.  (did you see it?  I used it again....)

Here are my 4 quarts of pears down in the cool, dark basement.  The perfect spot for canned items. :)

Yes, I am a extremely a little proud of myself for doing my first canning all by myself. :)

I still have tons of walnuts to pick up.  Here is just the few that I have collected, washed, and set out to dry.  I hope to get time to get out this afternoon and pick up some more...a little more everyday and hopefully I will be caught up to where it isn't such a chore.

Today was the start of women's bible study with BSF.  They have a really great preschool program for the girls.  They will be learning from the book of John this year too and paralleling what we are studying, in an age appropriate format of course.  I took the girls out to the mall afterwards to burn up some energy.  I am hoping that they will both fall asleep and I can get a nap too.  But anyway, I was talking with them about their class today and asked what they learned.  Trinity said they learned about Jesus today.  I told them that we learned that the Bible is God's inspired word.  Trinity said excitedly, "Me too!!"  Then I said we also learned that Jesus is God's son.  Once again, even more excited now, "ME TOO!"  I like that we will be able to share with each other each week what we are learning in God's word.

Since this was week one, and my hair was beginning to get a bit of a heavy, greasy feel to it, I decided to go ahead and do the baking soda scrub this morning.  I didn't want to meet everyone in my group for the first time feeling like a big ol' grease ball! (oh, the vanity!)  So here is a picture of my hair today.  I am now at day 9 since washing my hair with shampoo.

My hair feels great and seems a lot less frizzy than it was when using traditional shampoo/conditioner.  So I am definitely feeling like I can do this "NO POO" thing long term.  I am looking forward to getting through the adjustment period and seeing how my hair responds.  More healthy and beautiful is the goal - we will see!

Grace and peace be with you!

 No Poo update

I took this picture Saturday morning, 2 days after the baking soda/vinegar cleaning and 6 days after a shampoo.  Still looking good.  I am trying to get the top of my head in the shots b/c that is where it will look greasiest first. (sorry if t.m.i.!)

Apparently with this process, you go through a period where your hair will be kind of yuck for a week or so and then it is supposed to look better and be healthier than ever before if you can wait it out.  So far, I would say that my hair has definitely got a heavier feel to it, but with lots of brushing to distribute the oils, it doesn't look too bad.  It has officially been 8 days since I shampooed my hair and I plan on doing baking soda/vinegar treatment on Thursday.  More updates to come.

Now on to the work for the day: pick up black walnuts that have fallen over the weekend, (I can literally sit on the back porch at night and listen to the thud as the walnuts hit the ground) make and can another 2 batches salsa, make and freeze applejuice concentrate, can pear halves, and make another big batch of applesauce to freeze. 

Grace and peace with you!


This is what happens when you miss a cucumber when picking in your garden.

 No Poo (do I have your attention now?!)

I recently came across the "no poo" movement in reading blogs on the internet.  Seriously!  It is people who are giving up shampooing/conditioning their hair with traditional products.  I say that, because there is still an element of cleaning, but it is just far less than most people's normal routine.  The idea is that traditional hair products actually strip your hair of it's natural oils.  Then your body goes into overdrive to replenish, thus you have greasy hair and have to shampoo again...vicious circle. 

The alternative is to use a Tbs. of baking soda with a little water to make a paste and massage it on your scalp once a week.  You can follow with an apple cider vinegar rinse (1 Tbs vinegar to 1 cup water) in place of conditioner.  Google "no poo movement" and you will find all sorts of articles all with varying measurements.  I have decided to give this a try and see how it goes.  My hair was already a couple days past needing a wash, (you can get away with that in the country!) so I did the baking soda/vinegar rinse this morning.  I also used it to clean the girls hair.

Before - ewww!

After - looks good! and NO shampoo!

Cutie pie's hair looks clean too!

I looked at my blog and noticed that it is not putting in the spaces between my paragraphs.  Not sure what is going on with that.  I have tried going back and putting double spaces in my post, but when I publish - still no space.  If anyone knows what is up with that, I'm all ears!

Today we went to the Neil Smith Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City.  They are restoring the natural prairie habitat - a really cool project and great place to visit.  I would like to go back again sometime when David can come with us.   First we watched a short film about prairies, then we did a nature hike.  Next up was supposed to be seed collecting but Angelina was getting blisters on her heels so we skipped that part and went inside for the scavenger hunt.  They had a table with scrap paper where you could draw a picture of something that you had seen or learned that day.  I think the kids liked coloring pictures the best - at least they did it the longest!

If only I had a real camera....sigh.  So many pictures that would have been perfect with our old camera, come out blurry with this one.  So frustrating.  But at least I get pictures - that is way better than nothing. :) 

After the field trip the girls went to their first dance class.  No pics of that - I was trying not to be a distraction for the girls.  But I did have a great time watching them for a little bit - they were having a great time.   Angelina was almost beside herself with joy.  All the girls were lined up on pink dots (tape on the floor) for the class.  Angelina kept going over and hugging on Trinity, then back onto her dot.  Guess she couldn't contain herself!  It was sweet. :)

Grace and peace be with you!