Saturday, August 30, 2014

A very different birthday this year

Today, my eldest child celebrated his 15th heavenly birthday. We had plans to mark the occasion with a small celebration at the cemetery like we often do. That was not meant to be this year.

Instead we spent the day in Illinois. My brother-in-law Dallas, Michael's eldest brother died suddenly, and unexpectedly on Tuesday. We are here to say goodbye and to try to offer some comfort to our dear sister-in-law Cathi and nephew Griffin.

Like Sam, Dallas has left us much too soon. This is not the natural order of things. We aren't supposed to be saying goodbye to him, yet. It's just not right.

Spending Sam's birthday honoring Dallas and loving our family through this unimaginable time does on some level feel appropriate. Sam taught me how to love fully and unconditionally. He taught me that grief is not a bad emotion. He taught me that the pain comes because of how deeply we love and that love is always worth the potential pain. He taught me that those we love may cease to walk this earth with us but they are never gone from us. We continue to carry them in our heart. He taught me that my God is bigger than death and my God never stops holding and comforting me, especially in my deepest sorrows.






My son has taught me that we are not saying "goodbye" to Dallas. We are saying "until we meet again."

So on this day, I thank Sam for teaching me so many lessons about love, faith, and grief. Because of my love for Sam, I am equipped for loving my family at this difficult, sorrowful time.

Sam had a wonderful day with his Uncle Dallas, I'm sure. And I know I spent Sam's birthday exactly how and where I was supposed to.

I ask you all to continue to pray for our family. Grief is a long and difficult road. Dallas loved well and has left a large hole in many people's lives.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Late Night Drama

Charlotte just came in my room to tell me that Sandy the hermit crab looked "really, really creepy" and Charlotte was "pretty sure she was dead!"

I went to look. Without disturbing Sandy or using a flashlight, it appears to me that Sandy is molting. If so, it's a good thing as it means she is growing. We've had her over a year, so I wouldn't be surprised.

Charlotte is so freaked out by something that lives in a glass box with no means of escape, that she has refused to sleep in her room. She is now asleep on her sister's floor.

More details and pictures to follow tomorrow.

Now back to my late night reading,
Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, July 31, 2014

One Good Summer Hour

This hour was awesome.









Tomorrow we will be working on them more.

The aftermath of enforcing chore time is another story. I'm done being awesome Pinterest mom now. I've checked it of my summer bucket list.


Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, July 26, 2014

On returning home from camp







My camper just asked me if I got her anything while she was at camp. When I asked what she meant, she explained that several of her fellow campers usually got a charm or bracelet or something when they got home.

Really??? Honey child you got to go to camp and we remembered to pick you up. Count your blessing, we could have left you there.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

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.

Ruby




Charlotte




Eliza Claire




Jennifer



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.

Jenn

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

Jenn