Monday, May 19, 2014

Therapist List

Charlotte was complaining about having to let the dogs out. Ruby tells her, "Don't worry, I'll put it on your therapist list!"

I asked, "What do you mean?"

Ruby: I'm sort of her therapist. Every day we go in my room and make clay projects and work through stuff. Like, not yelling so much and stuff.

Where does she get this stuff?

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Doing My Nails: My Experience with Nail Polish, Shellac and Jamberry

I love to have my nails polished. I always have. For many years I gave up on polishing or having a manicure because I would have chips in a matter of hours. It drove me crazy.

I am very rough on my nails. I'm bad to use them to scratch up stuff or not wear gloves when gardening or washing dishes. My nails are prone to pealing and I have a couple that are bad to split horizontally about a quarter of an inch down the side of the nail. None of these things make having pretty polished nails easy.

About four years ago a friend introduced me to shellac, also known as gel polish. It was advertised to last two weeks or more, for most people. For me it lasts 7-10 days at most. But that is so much better than the mere hours regular polish lasts. After a few months of going to have my nails done I decided to invest in the uv light and polish to be able to do my own shellac manicures. It was totally worth the money for me.

Recently a friend started selling Jamberry nail wraps. I was intrigued. There were so many styles to choose from and they were supposed to last as long as shellac polish. I decided to ask for a sample. I applied the sample to my index nails and did the rest of my in shellac polish.

At the end of 11 days, I had a bit of wear on the tips of the jamberries, seven of the shellac nails still looked great, but my thumb nail had chipped so badly I had completely removed the polish from that nail. Overall, they preformed similarly.

Here are the main differences I noticed in the original sample trial:

Jamberries do not require uv lights for application, all you need is a heat source.

When one of the jamberries started lifting at the tip of my nail, I applied a bit of heat and it was as good as new. When the same thing happened with my shellac, there was no way to fix it. I've tried to glue the shellac back down with nail or super glue. That typically only gains me a few hours to at most an extra day of wear.

Removing jamberries is much easier than removing shellac polish. Jamberries took seconds compared to ten minutes of foil wrapped nails plus a significant amount of gentle scraping for the shellac.

I ordered jamberries for myself and all three girls. When they arrived, I gave everyone a manicure.



Eliza Claire


Here is what I learned from our manicures:

Preparation is key. On the girls I used vinegar to clean the nails before applying. I had varying degrees of success. I was supposed to use rubbing alcohol but I was too lazy to go find it. I have since started using 100% acetone with great results. I had to reapply six of Ruby's. Once I did they lasted well over a week. I had to reapply a couple of Charlotte's. About a week later she started loosing hers in the bath each night. Eliza Claire's did the best. The all lasted at least 10 days. She has now lost 3. They other seven are still firmly attached. I wholeheartedly believe that if I had used acetone to prep their nails and the heat application method (heating the wrap a bit before applying) they would all still be on.

If a single nail messes up it is easy and quick to apply a new one. In less than three minutes it is applied and ready to go. Shellac is not a quick fix it would require at least 15 minutes.

I could stop at any time during applying my jamberries to deal with anything that comes up with out worrying about messing up a partially completed manicure. This is huge as it never fails that someone needs something as soon as I start doing my nails.

My nails that split aren't a problem with jamberries. I have an index finger that is split under the Jamberry, it was like that when I applied them. The Jamberry has protected it and has stayed on beautifully. With shellac, when this happens the nail breaks and usually ends up with an ugly chip.

Start up costs are cheaper with Jamberry. My initial investment in the shellac system was roughly $100. With Jamberry, I could get started for $15.

Jamberry has many fun designs that I can't achieve with regular polish.

I won't do shellac on the girls due to the need of the uv light. Jamberries held up well for them and they are even harder on their nails than I am on mine.

Here are my nails today, eleven days later. A little wear but still in good enough shape I can't talk myself into redoing them yet.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Stealing Her Joy

Last week Charlotte and Ruby decided they were going to build hammocks in the back yard with some old sheets. I was completely fine with this idea. I thought it was fun, creative and going to allow them to use their problem solving skills. I know, it is shocking that my first answer wasn't "No!" I was completely on board, even if I did not think they would be successful.

Ruby came in to get duct tape. Their plan was to tape the sheets up. I told her they could t use the duct tape on the sheets. A few minutes later they were braiding duct tape to make a rope. At this point, I very clearly told them, "no duct tape, at all." It was my only rule of this project. I went back to making dinner.

About 30 minutes later they came in very excited. They had made a hammock! They were very proud of themselves and I was very proud of me for sticking with the project and making it work. Until, I walked outside and saw...

Yep, that's a whole lot of duct tape holding up that hammock. I sent my daughter to her room for willfully disobeying. She was furious. When she tried to yell at me I told her she could write her feelings down and share them with me but she was not going to yell at me.

She returned a bit later with this:

After we calmly discussed how creative and determined she was, we addressed the willfully breaking the rules. She conceded that I did have a point. Then she and Ruby skipped back out and made two more hammocks with no duct tape! Ironic isn't it?

My guess is that duct tape will never come off of the swing set


Wednesday, May 07, 2014

One of the Best Parts of my Week

Wednesday night means activities at church for our family. I love children's choir, dinner and bible study, but none of these are my favorite part of the evening. My favorite part is taking home three middle schoolers after youth group.

Of course, one of them is mine. The other two live on my way home so it is not problem to drop them off. I love how excited they are from their youth group experience. I love listening to them giggle, suggest games to download on their phones, and converse. It is loud, silly, fun and just downright awesome.

Tonight's new game to be talked about and tried was Duck or Llama. It had them howling. Check it out. It sounds completely stupid but they were having a blast playing it.

It is also fun to get to be part of conversations with these kids. They are great kids who know how to politely have a conversation with an adult. I love getting to know them a bit better every week. It's impossible not to be in a good mood with these three in the car.

Meredith and Kathryn, thank you for the privilege of spending time with your kids. Please know it truly is one of my favorite parts of my week.


Monday, May 05, 2014


Rehm came home last week giddy with excitement. He had an idea for a science project he wanted to do.

Rehm: Mom I've got this great idea I want to try!

Me: What's that?

Rehm: Auqaphonics!

Me: you mean aquaponics?

Rehm: Um, maybe. Yeah, that's what I mean.

Me: Ok, why aquaponics?

Rehm: It sounds really fun!

Me: Research it and write me a proposal and we'll see what we can do. It sounds like a great summer project for you.

Rehm: Really, you're not just going to tell me "no?"

Me: Why would I do that?

Later, I posted something about Rehm's desire to try aquaponics on Facebook. One of my friends made a joke about pot. Then the whole situation made a lot more sense.

Rehm's social studies class had recently done projects on the largest cash crops in Texas. Rehm had been assigned marijuana. Did you know it's the number six cash crop? I'm still surprised it was assigned as a research topic.

I asked him if his idea for aquaponics came from his social studies research. He confirmed that it did. Suddenly his summer project didn't seem quite so awesome.

He had said all along he was going to grow herbs...


Disclaimer (so none of the grandparents need to call): Just to be clear, no one will be growing any illegal substances at our house and Rehm never had any intentions to do so. He truly found the concept of the symbiotic system of growing fish and plants together to be intriguing. In fact, we will probably give aquaponics a try with some goldfish and Italian herbs. Rehm is already planning in his head the delicious pasta sauces he will make with them (the herbs not the goldfish).

Eliza Claire's Dream

A school project from Martin Luther King, Jr. Day came home today.

It says: I have a dream that everyone will have comfortable shoes, which are the right sizes. I want people to have shoes because people are getting cut. I can help by giving people shoes

In the picture a road. The person on the left has shoes on his/her feet and is giving a box of shoes to the barefoot person. They are by the road because the barefoot person is homeless.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, May 03, 2014

My Husband is a Beer Snob

He hasn't always been a beer snob. Over the last few years he has become the can't buy beer at the grocery store, can't just order a shiner beer snob.

Most of the time his beer snobbery does not bother me as it does not effect me. Tonight we are at Bangers, One hundred and one beers on tap and sausage made in house.

He asks what I want. I say a beer. He wants me to taste one before he orders. It's ok, not amazing. He asks what I want, I say a beer.

Finally I tell him, "I liked it when I could just say I wanted a beer and you brought me a shiner and there was no big discussion to be had.

He asked what I wanted, again. I said, "just get me a damn beer!" Sorry mom, for the language and the beverage.

He brought me a hefeweizen that has a bacon after taste. I have no clue which local, artsy fartsy brewery it's from. But at least I now have a beer.

Now, I'm going to have to pick a sausage. Oh, joy!

Happy Birthday Honey,
Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, April 25, 2014

I am on a Roll!

Yesterday Ruby wanted a new mommy.  Today Rehm told me he hated me.  I must be doing something extremely right...or extremely wrong.

Rehm has gotten in a habit of being really slow in the morning. He procrastinates and barely gets done what he is supposed to before time to leave for school.  I don't know what he is doing but he is so slow!  It is driving me crazy.

This morning was no exception.  He went to print a practice log for band and took 15 minutes to get it printed and filled out.  I kept calling up asking why it was taking so long.  I'm sure he was surfing the web or on his phone.  Finally, I told him to quit "fiddle-farting" around and get moving.

He decided to be a snot.  He was complaining that fiddle-fart didn't make any sense and wasn't even a real word.  I countered that it was two very real words.  He kept on and finally stated, "I prefer procrastinate to fiddle-fart.  It is more proper."  I about hit him.  Not really, but the snark, attitude and fiddle-farting continued.

He needed to take out the trash.  I had asked him to do it last night.  Of course, he procrastinated and did not do it last night.  He had every intention of not doing it this morning.  He went so far as to tell me if it was such problem that I should take it out.  Yeah, that went over really well.  He took the trash out.

Finally, he was ready to go to school.  He likes to get there about an hour before school starts.  This morning we did not have to take anyone else to school.  He got his stuff together and told me he would wait in the car.  I took my sweet time getting out of the house.  I was not very happy with him and decided to give him a taste of his own medicine.

We get to the end of our street and I turn the opposite direction of school.

Rehm:  Where are we going.

Me:  To school.

Rehm:  But this is the wrong way.

Me: No its not.

We get to another intersection and again I turn further away from the direction of school.

Rehm: Umm, school is not this way.

Me:  Sure it is.

Rehm:  I get what you're doing.  You're trying to prove a point aren't you?

Me: Nope, I just wanted to go this way to school this morning.

Rehm:  But this is not the way to school.

Me:  We can get there from here.

Rehm:  I need to be at school by now!  I'm running late.

Me:  No, you're not.  School doesn't start for another 45 minutes.

Rehm:  But I have something I need to get done!

Me:  What is it?

Rehm:  I need to finish my science homework.  I'm supposed to be at school already.  Now, I'm late! We are nowhere near school! I get it you are trying to prove a point!  Will you take me to school now?

Me:  I am taking you to school.  (Again I turn the wrong way)

Rehm is pretty angry with me by this point.

Rehm:  I hate you.  You are being a hippocrit! You always tell us to be loving and kind and you are not being either of those things!  I need to go to school!

Me:  We are going to school.  So why have you started fiddle-farting around and not getting stuff done?

Rehm:   You never focus on me!  You only spend time with the girls!

Me:  I'm spending time with you now!  Just think of all the extra time we are getting with each other this morning. 

Rehm:  MOM! I need to go to school.

We are now within sight of the school, but I still don't feel that I have adequately made my point, so I turn away from the school again.

Rehm:  Mom, the school is right there!  I can see it!  Are we going in another circle?

Me:  Um, no, I would call it more of a square.

A few blocks later he realizes we are finally on our usual route to school.  He apparently feels safe at this point and makes some absolutely ridiculous statement about how none of his procrastinating is his fault.  Needless to say, I altered our path again. 

Rehm: You are so mean!  Why can't you just take me to school.

Me:  I am taking you to school.  If I were mean, I would have made you walk.  I'm just spending quality time focusing on you, you mentioned I was too focused on your sisters.  This is me, focusing on you.

We finally get to school a good 20 minutes later than I typically drop him off.  He is not happy with me.  He makes that very clear. He gets his stuff and goes in the building.  I look down and notice his band practice sheets laying on the floorboard.  Yep, the practice sheets that took him forever to complete because he was procrastinating, those.  Oh, the irony.

Ah, parenting.