PHANEROO \fan-er-o-oo\Greek: to manifest in word or deed.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

One Giant Step for Lily-kind

Lily made one giant step this weekend. She spent the night with her Grandmama and Granddad at their house for the very first time. I was so proud of our little routine-adhering daughter. I was so proud of her when she decided - it was her idea - to spend the night with them. Because we weren't planning for her to stay overnight on Thanksgiving night, we did not come prepared with her sleeping accessories, which includes Kitty, Zebra, paci's, and a fleece pillow and blanket her Aunt Heather made for her. Also, she likes to sleep in an oversized T-shirt and "bedtime" socks that she pulls up almost to her knees. Not only did she decide to spend the night, but she did so knowing that she would not have any of these items with her. Luckily, I had already left to go home to get the boys down for a nap when she decided to stay. I may have gotten teary-eyed if I had to say "goodbye" to her for the night. We were prepared to get a call in the middle of the night asking us to come get her. We slept with the phone beside us. BJ called Grandmama Friday morning to check on them. I guess for her first time she did ok. She woke up around 2 a.m. complaining that she was hot - she was sleeping in between Grandmama and Granddad in their bed. When it appeared that Lily was not going back to sleep, Grandmama and Lily got up, ate snacks and watched Animal Planet. Lily crashed Friday afternoon shortly before we arrived to join them for dinner. Last night I asked Lily if she had a good time spending the night with Grandmama and Granddad. She said, "Yes, but I woke up and cried. I wanted to come home." I told her it was ok and then I asked her if she'd like to to stay overnight again. I didn't get a response. Perhaps she needs some time to think it over.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Crispy, But Not Crunchy

Have you heard the term crunchy? This is a new one on me. I don't get out much. My web surfing is pretty much limited to my friends and family blogs, or when I'm looking for something specific - like the hard to find Giddy Up and Go Pony so Lily can have a very merry Christmas. While I was researching cheap alternatives to beauty products last week I came across this whole community that calls themselves crunchy. I think that's funny. I've always called myself crispy, as in, "Wow! Emily is really crispy around the edges after going 7 months without sleep." Honestly though, I don't like labels like "crunchy." I only want to be associated with one label given to me by my Savior. Although, I am accepting of the following job titles: wife, mom, sister, and daughter (and occasionally crispy around the edges).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Naturally Healthy & Not-So-Beautiful

The no-poo method was a complete bust, for me at least. I gave up after 2.5 days, not even 3 full days. My hair felt crispy and oily all at the same time. I knew it was time for a good shampooing. Thank you sodium lauryl sulfates!

I just received some advice to try Tres Semme and White Rain. I cannot remember if I've ever used Tres Semme, but I know I've never tried White Rain. White Rain brings back horrible memories of my 1990's big hair since White Rain was the hair spray brand of choice. But I'm always willing to try something at least once. If White Rain works, compared to my salon products, I'll save about $18 a month. Or if Tres Semme works I'll save about $14 a month. I'll give it a whirl this week.

On the other hand, I LOVE the oil cleansing method. I'm sticking with this method unless my face just totally rejects it and has a complete breakout. My skin actually looks healthier, smoother and it's clean and not oily. The first time I used the oil cleansing method my skin said, "Ahhh! Thank you!" I didn't realize how much I was drying out and probably ruining my skin while trying to rid myself of oily skin. I've since learned that this is completely a wrong way to approach oily skin and I am repenting of my evil ways. Thank you Castor Oil and EVOO!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Naturally Healthy & Beautiful (and Cheap!)

Every single time, about once per month, I'm standing in the health/beauty aisles in the discount retail store feeling guilty for my desire to purchase the $29.99 shampoos and $16.99 facial cleansers that come in 2 oz bottles and not the $0.99 ones that come in gallon jugs. I've tried repeatedly to use the $0.99 products, and now I have a cabinet full of partially used jugs all because they don't work very well. So in the end I return to the store to buy the shampoo that costs $19.99 because it works relatively better than the $0.99 but cheaper than the $29.99 ones. My expectations for a shampoo that costs more than $20 is way too high. It should be a bottled miracle. I haven't found that yet. So, just for fun, I decided to try a technique called no-poo. It's going shampoo free and only uses all-natural ingredients (three to be exact and one of those is water). It's supposed to help retain your natural moisture and reduce hair washings. And while I was researching no-poo, I came across a blog that spoke about the oil cleansing method for facial cleansing. I was instantly intrigued. What?! Wash away oil and makeup with oil? That's ground-breaking!

So as soon as BJ returned home today from work, I whisked out the door to head to the grocer to obtain my beauty products: castor oil, safflower oil (they didn't have sunflower seed oil and sunflower and safflower sounded close enough), EV olive oil, coconut oil, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar. I'm sure the cashier thought I had some really unhealthy eating habits, and the castor oil was probably the clencher (castor oil is best known as a natural laxative).

Today has been my first day with these "new" products and I promise to report back on my findings after a trial period. I started with the following recipes, but I bet they'll need to be tweaked as I go.

No-poo recipe: 1 T baking soda mixed in 1 cup water. I cheated and just poured about 1 T baking soda into my palm, wet it in the shower and then massaged it onto my scalp and hair. I let it sit for the duration of my shower...don't know why but thought it couldn't hurt. Then, after I rinsed it out with water I did the recommended rinse with 1 T apple cider vinegar in 1 cup water. I followed these directions because I didn't want to end up smelling like a pickle. And then I went an additional step and conditioned with cocunut oil. If you don't know, cocunut oil comes in a solid form but turns to a liquid when it heats up. I let it sit under the running water while I showered and by the end of my shower it was liquified.

The oil cleansing recipe: Blend 30% Castor Oil with 70% Safflower Oil (Sunflower Seed Oil or EV Olive Oil is recommended) , massaged onto my face, and then placed a warm, wet washcloth across my face to let the steam and water remove the excess.

So far I have nothing exciting to report. The oil cleansing method was surprising in that my face didn't feel like an oil slick afterwards. It actually felt clean and moisturized. And for the hair, I will probably not condition with cocunut oil as it's not weightless and it just made my thick, limp hair seem even limper. Only time will tell if these products work in the long haul. I'm skeptical.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


God has led me to some awesome, much overlooked books of the Bible lately. I usually tend towards the writings of Paul in the NT, but lately I've been spending some time in the minor prophets - Malachi and Zechariah to be exact. The themes of these books are "'Return to me and I will return to you,' says the Lord Almighty" (Mal 3:6) Yesterday God gave me a very clear visual of what that looks like. Imagine a shelter with a strong roof and foundation - that's God's word. Everything under that shelter is protected from destructive elements. Outside of his shelter there are forces ready to destroy and kill. I shouldn't go wherever I want hoping that God's shelter will be with me, and I shouldn't get distracted and wonder outside of the shelter. No, his shelter does not move and it does not change. He says in Zechariah "Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices. But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the Lord" (Zec 1:4). Sometimes I wonder if we don't even know that our ways are evil or that we have evil practices in our lives. Maybe we've had well-meaning intentions or we've gotten caught up in a popular belief circulating in our culture. We've traded God's strong shelter for a weak umbrella. For too long we have not listened and paid attention to the Lord. We have aimlessly wondered outside the shelter making us vulnerable to the destructive forces of the storm.

Dear Lord, thank you for your shelter {your word} and providing safety under it. Please reveal to me where I am exposed to storms in all areas of my life - my marriage, motherhood, emotions, finances, and everywhere - and guide me back to your shelter. You have promised that once I return to you, you will return to me. Thank you for your promises and for fulfilling all your promises through your Word {Jesus Christ}.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Crazy Praise!

You wanna know why I've been praising God like crazy for the past 2 days? Check this out.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Little Man, Big Personality

Little Big Man's nickname has grown to fit him perfectly. Schaeffer is a little man with a big personality. At bedtime we read a few books together in his rocking chair. We squeeze into the chair side by side so we can both see the pages of the book. Last night when we finished reading, I got up to put the books away. I turned around and Schaeffer was lying across the chair with legs tossed over one arm of the chair and his head propped up on the other arm. He then said, "Ahh, much better." He cracks me up!

Schaeffer's language skills are quite quirky and funny. He says things like "oh, sure!" when asked to do something. And he copies his big sis all the time. My least favorite is how he has picked up from her the word "FINE!" when he's mad at us for telling him no. I love to listen to him do make-believe play and making his action figures talk to each other. Most of the time it sounds like a bunch of garble-de-goo, but it's so conversational I know he must be deep into meaningful communication.
Being the middle, sometimes he gets overlooked. But he is still my baby boy! I still rock him like a baby in my lap at naptime and bedtime. It's snuggle time and I think we both really love it. I sometimes imagine what it might look like when he's 18 and we are both trying to fit into the rocking chair.

Construction Zone - Unzoned

Earlier this week BJ and I pulled the plug on the new house venture. I'll just say this...things began to get complicated with the sellers and we decided to walk away. We felt it was God's way of leading us in a different direction. Until we know what direction we are to take next, we are happy to be staying in our current home.