Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wonder Balm

Ok- so I've been making this recipe for a long time. Since before the African kids came home. I got it as a recipe for home made "hair grease." It has worked miracles on their ethnic hair- bringing it from brittle, falling out, thin, missing patches on their scalp hair to thick, luscious, shiny hair. Our family and some of our extended family have been using the balm for rough elbows, 'winter' dry hands and also for cracked/dry heels. Same results- miraculous!

When I went to the home school convention, I used throw away diapers for Angel Baby. She's got extremely sensitive skin and I tried to change them very often- but to no avail she got a raw bottom and a big red patch of raw skin from the disposable diapers. I tried Desitin for a day and it wasn't helping much- it started to make the one patch look like a scab. She was still in a lot of pain and I could barely wipe her skin. My immediate thought- THE BALM! I made a new recipe and modified it a little bit to help heal her back-side. The first day after using it, I could see the red turning to pink. No scabs, no pain when wiping, nothing... today is the 3rd day and I can barely see the spot. All redness is gone!

So, I had to share. Make some for yourself, share it, pass it on! Modify it how you want and see what it will do!

1 cup coconut oil (I use the cheap stuff at Walmart)- it's near all the oils
1 cup olive oil (I used flax seed oil when making the diaper balm)
1/3 cup beeswax (this is where I bought mine- it lasts a LONG time)
*Essential oil for fragrance- but not necessary (we've used lavender or jasmine for girls and sandalwood and/or patchouli for boys). I used Melaleuca oil for the diaper balm (you can find Tea Tree oil at Walmart, I would use at least 1/2 tsp. to be therapeutic).

~You take your chunk of beeswax and shave off pieces to fill a 1/3 cup measuring cup (I use a cutting board and a big, sharp knife). Use a double boiler (I use an empty Pyrex bowl over a small pot of boiling water) to melt the beeswax. Then add in 1 cup of either oil. Let the beeswax get hot again and allow everything to melt completely. Then add in the remaining 1 cup of oil and stir/melt until everything is a liquid. Add your fragrance- it's trial and error how much you need. If you take a spoon out and allow it to cool, you can rub it into your skin and smell. If it's not enough fragrance, add more to your bowl.

I've stored the balm in pint sized canning jars or Tupperware type containers with lids. It really doesn't matter, use what you have. Just pour the VERY HOT liquid into your storage containers and seal (please keep little ones away from the stove when making this recipe). When I made this last batch it was for 3 different people. I doubled the recipe and added the fragrance to the storage containers instead of directly into the balm. That way each container had a separate fragrance and I only made it once.

*For the reusable diapers I just used a disposable liner (that's meant to go inside those kinds of diapers) to protect the diapers from the oils. Then when I washed them, I just rinsed one extra time (than usual) with hot water. Everything has worked out great!

I also use home made baby wipes. Here's that recipe if you're interested:
Bounty Napkins (half of the package- 100 napkins for each recipe)
2 cups water
1 Tbsp. baby oil (I use Burt's Bees)
1 Tbsp. baby soap, liquid hand soap or body wash
*I use lavender essential oil (I use about 10 drops in the water solution)
~Mix together the water solution in a container and add in the 100 napkins (half the package). Put the lid on the container and turn it upside down to allow all the liquid to soak through. When it's soaked through, turn it back over and wipes!

I hope you can use these recipes, share them with others and LOVE them! Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Helping Hands

This past weekend I attended the homeschool convention in Searcy, AR. I went two years ago and I was so excited to finally go back again. I had to come home early last time (remember my post about my Hubby and poison ivy??) I took along Angel Baby and Dear Daughter #3 (our 8 year old). She attended the children's program during the days and I had Angel baby with me. I experienced the convention to its fullest and saw all I wanted/needed to see. I made sure I covered every square inch of that convention- many times so I wouldn't miss anything.

The very last workshop I attended was about organization. I love to organize, always have. It interests me and I'm OCD at heart- I would label shelves if I could. Maybe some day when all the kids are grown and gone and I have nothing else better to do. Seriously, I dream about how I could organize shelves and label them...

Anyway, the woman who put on this workshop gave me a few new tips that I'll be putting into practice very soon. She also renewed my desire to organize the 'hot spots' in our home (and maintain them better) as well as tackle the rest of our attic -maybe.

Today I am revamping our chore lists for each child and placing them on a 'helping hands' board. Each child will have a small, magnetic white board with all their daily chores listed (weekly will be on a larger board where weekly/extra chores are listed for everyone). I'm going to have each child trace their hand on construction paper and cut it out. After laminating it, I will place a magnetic strip on the back and when they're working on a specific chore (each chore is in the form of a picture), they can place their 'helping hand' over that picture. They will move it from chore to chore until everything is completed.

I'm also changing up our weekly/ extra chore board a little by making rotating lists. There are a few extra things I've added that are divided up by everyone equally. I thought I would rotate those extra things so each child only does that particular task once or twice in a month. We rotate dishes so why not rotate things like vacuuming corners, cleaning certain windows of finger prints, dusting and wiping window sills/trim?

Now, if I can get a handle on all my lists...and organize those....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Song of the day

One of the things I've learned in the past few years is to remember to praise God, even in our lack. We've been through many hills and valleys, especially the last couple of years. God has used these recent years to teach us a lot about our faith and our priorities. I don't know why, but it still blows my mind when God comes through for us in big ways as well as small ways. I know He loves us and I know we have so many blessings, I know He would never leave us, I know, I know, I know... But the more I know and the closer I get to Him, it still blows my mind!

Today, God came through for us again- in a big way. Something that we've been trying not to stress about, something that is hard for us to not be in total control of. It seems that for us, God is an '11 1/2 hour' God in our times of need. He comes through on time, all the time- but not till the bitter end. This is no doubt to stretch our faith and to continue to teach us to rely on Him.

We have two more 'big things' that are right around the corner. Things that we MUST rely on Him for because we CANNOT do them on our own power. It's just not possible...

So, today, after God faithfully showed up yet again, I was just so overwhelmed and overcome with praise and thanksgiving. So, this is my song for the day. I've played it over and over, the chorus rings so true in my heart. I can't stop the tears from flowing, I can't thank Him enough for His continuing love and mercy... Thank you, Father...again.

I will love You, Lord always
Not just for the things You've done for me
And I will praise You all my days
Not just for the change You've made in me
But I'll praise You for You are holy, Lord
And I'll lift my hands, but You are worthy of so much more

For You are awesome, God of the Nations,
Lion of Judah, Rock of the Ages, Alpha, Omega
You're worthy of all praise
More than these hands I'll raise
I'll live a life of praise
I'll live a life of praise

I will serve You, Lord always, for You are my strength
When I am weak
I will never be afraid for You are my rock and You protect me
But I'll praise You for You are holy, Lord
And I'll lift my hands, but You are worthy of so much more

Saturday, May 09, 2009

'Mom, I like being a girl'

Dear Daughter #3 was in the car with me yesterday as we drove to check out a newly opened 'second hand' store. I had Princess and Angel Baby with me too, so it was just us girls. We looked around for a few things and then browsed through the 'flea market' items that were up front. Princess picked a pink, sparkly purse, some lip gloss and some plastic bracelets. DD#3 got a 'rhinestone' anklet, lip gloss and a floral print skirt. Pretty much all the kids got one or two things (I really went in there for shorts for the boys!).

On our drive home, DD#3 said to me, "Mom, I like being a girl. We get to wear makeup, dresses and we can have babies. Boys can't do that."

Well said, my dear, well said.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I love technology!

Well, this is partly true and partly sarcastic. You see, this is the first time in about 3 or 4 days (I can't even remember!) that I've been able to use our satellite internet on our home computer. Praise the Lord we were able to spring for a cheap laptop a few months ago and categorize it as a 'business expense.' I've been able to transfer some things over to the laptop and bring it with me to church/ school and download things. When the weather gets anything but perfect, our satellite internet is VERY slow or doesn't even work at all!

I got an iPhone about two years ago and after a few months of using it, I put it in the drawer. Now, mind you this is the 'old' iPhone- not the cool and super powerful 3G iPhone... We didn't have wireless internet at home then and had zero reception out here so the phone was basically useless for a lot of the fun stuff. I got so frustrated with it, I put it in the drawer until about a week ago.

I've been hearing about, looking at and dreaming about all the different 'apps' I could be using. I have a Facebook account and knew I could be linking my messages/status with my phone and it just bothered me that I couldn't do any of that (and I WANTED to!). Hubby told me that he thought a new tower went up near us for AT&T. That was all I needed to hear to drag that old iPhone out of the drawer and do some number crunching to see if we could afford to activate it. I talked to the AT&T people and found the cheapest plan (and data plan) possible so our cellphone payments wouldn't go up hardly at all.

I switched my service over to AT&T and did all the messy business of moving my number over, etc. I had an account there before so old stuff needed to merge with the new stuff, etc. I got it all done, found some cool 'apps,' downloaded them to my iTunes (which took forever on our slow satellite) change in my phone....WHAT??? Then the bad weather hit so I had zero way to download anything or try to fix my phone (which I had wiped out in hopes to restore with new information).

It ate away at me...I tried to ignore it...I tried to 'make' the home computer ate away at me some more. UGH!!!!!!!!!!! Technology is supposed to help people, not make them want to tear their hair out!

Long story short, after our power was out for 8 hours and all the schools were closed because a tornado went through our town- I packed up the kids (and my laptop) and went to our church. The kids played upstairs in their rec room and I used the wi-fi. PRAISE THE LORD- I was able to accomplish everything I wanted to do (in a short amount of time)! Although, now I want to move because the internet is SO fast with high speed service. Too bad I can't live in the country, in the middle of the city.

I suppose there's just some things I'll have to learn to deal with, maybe. **And if you see me carrying my laptop around- everywhere I go, you know why...