Hello, September!!!

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For everyone who knows me, September is my favorite month and the first day of fall (September 22nd this year) is comparable to one’s traditional New Year’s Day. For me, there is nothing better than the smells of fall. For some, the smell of pumpkin invading their olfactory senses at every turn is offensive but for me, it’s just short of heaven. Not forgetting the smells of home-cooked stews, baked goods, and freshly fallen leaves. Oh! Fall, please hurry!

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Yesterday, I celebrated the birth of my oldest daughter.

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MY FACEBOOK POST (don’t judge me.  I know it’s full of errors. I grabbed my laptop before placing my feet on the floor and opening my eyes completely). Anywhooooo: Fourteen years ago today the most amazing child was born to this earth. We had no idea that she would to into the young lady she has. It’s hard to describe her because if I did you would NEVER believe me. If you know her, you would be hard-pressed to find fault. So she’s extremely smart, incredibly funny, super talented, the life of the party and so much more. Their is not a goal that she won’t destroy. This child…words can’t do her Justice. LOL. That was not intentional. LOL She is the my superstar!!!Justice Horne, you have taken me on the ride of y life and I know that there is so much greatness ahead. We started the countdown to your birthday and now 8 more days until until you start high school at CAPA–the school you declared you would attend since you were in 2nd grade and now it’s here (just like everything else you speak). You have that magic, babygirl!!! You are your only competition and you know it!!! May you continue to shine in the eyes of others because you will always shine brightly in mine, Superstar!!! Happy birthday!!! Are you ready for some shopping??? — feeling proud.

We celebrated at home rather than traveling to a city of her choice. She’s so humble and laid back. Instead, she just wanted to shop. For as great as she is, she reminds me that every once in a while, she’s a normal (overachieving) teenager. After shopping, instead of an elaborate meal, all she wanted were burgers (mine was turkey) and root beer (substituted by a glass of white wine for me) .We surprised her with a cake that read: Happy Birthday Jay-Boogie and an ice cream station.

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While in the mall, I was standing in front of The Loft and decided to walk in. Hmmmm…I must have been under a rock. The clothes I saw were perfect for my new position at work but my existing attitude of liking to look nice but feeling comfortable and not too overdone. So mommy placed an online order to celebrate the great job I’ve done with birthing and raising her 🙂 .

Then as I looked at the confirmation email, I glanced at the order placed at Nordstrom (due to lack of sizes) and realized that the associate ordered the wrong size. SMH!!! Soooo, a mother’s work is never done??? One more thing to be handled today. There is one more BIG surprise that hasn’t been ordered yet. I can’t wait until she gets it. Stay tuned for pics…

Now, back to fall. There are so many great things on my agenda and I am looking forward to tackling them all…with grace!

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DIY Liquid Hand Soap

We decided to make hand soap tonight for three reasons: 1. It’s more economical, 2. I am trying to ease my kids into using more natural products (the next time I do this I will attempt to make my own soap first) and 3. We ran out!!

I had been contemplating making hand soap for a few weeks and thought that it may be a good activity to share with the girls. Well, they seemed to really enjoy it and this could be something that they pass down for generations. My grandmother showed me how to make things from basic ingredients and I sorta got away from that. I am officially back!

So onto the process. We started with the following ingredients:

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We used Poland Spring but regular tap water will do.

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My oldest daughter grated the entire bar of soap into a small bowl.

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We then combined the grated soap with 1 tablespoon of Glycerin (which I searched for and finally found at Walgreens. It was available online and in certain brick and mortar stores. Don’t get frustrated!!! It’s out there.), and 10 cups of water in a big pot.

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We “cooked” it over medium high heat to dissolve the soap (constantly stirring). It took about 5 minutes to mesh. The next step was to allow the mixture to cool for another 5 minutes and transfer it in to the blender. We filled the blender all the way up and then dumped some back in the pot. Then we decided on halfway and that caused the mixture to foam all the way to the top making it hard to pour. (I would recommend the use of a funnel. Did we use one??? LOL).

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From that first batch we decided to only fill the blender a third of the way and got a nice amount. We did this about 4 more times. Oh did I tell you that somebody pushed the button without putting the top on?? A mess!!! I used the extra suds to clean the countertop *shrugs*.

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This is what the mixture yielded (minus ALL of the soap on the counter & floor….CLEAN KITCHEN!!!). These bottles will sit on the counter tonight to (hopefully) thicken a bit. I can say that the soap is very cleansing, smells good and feels great on the skin.

Aside from the mess, we enjoyed making the soap and will make more in the future. I am actually looking forward to a DIY PLAYDAY with my friend and her daughters. I am also excited to make many more household products.

**************UPDATE***************

So we left the soap in the containers overnight. When we checked them this morning, they were a glob of jelly rolling around in the jars. We shook them and they were the consistency (excuse me; I have a weak stomach and understand when statements make people queasy)  of spit saliva (better!). That really bothered me to the point that I was severely disinterested.

I had some things to do this morning and returned home to finish more tasks and take a nap. I jumped up!!! I wanted to make the mixture a bit more “lemony” so I added a cup of lemon juice. I poured a half of  a cup in each container and shook it WELL. Now the consistency it left, I liked. I also poured a bit in my palm and washed my hands. It cleanses!!! Note: it does NOT have a lot of suds but suds don’t equal clean. Those sudsy soaps often have “agents” added to create suds to help people believe in the psychology of the suds. Well, I am like my soap (until I run out and attempt another process) and I will also be making lotion bars to put some moisture back into my skin.

La Araña Pequeñita

My five year old is learning about European countries. Spain is the country she is being exposed to currently. We watched the movie Ferdinand the Bull and will be reading the book as well.

The highlight of my night. My five year old and my ten year old singing The Itsy Bitsy Spider. The five year old sang in English while the older one sang in Spanish. It was music to my ears.

The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.
And the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again.

La araña pequeñita subió, subió, subió, 
Vino la  lluvia y se la llevó. 
Salió el sol y todo lo secó. 
Y la araña pequeñita subió, subió, subió.

Addicted to Paint

Last night (after cleaning my art space and making smoothies (no sugar added) with the children I was exhausted. I was physically drained but my soul wanted to be creative. My sould needed to paint something–anything. So, I pulled out a tote of organized painting supplies, some oil pastels and random pieces of “paper”.

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a gym schedule

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and another!

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a piece of cardstock from some scrapbook packaging

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a brown lunch bag

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a piece of watercolor paper

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a bacon box

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and a check stub.

I was having so much fun that my 10 year old daughter pulled out a pop tart box that she had saved and wanted to paint. At this point, it was after 10 o’clock but hey–it was a Friday night. My son who is 15 years old sat with us “artists”and  was accompanied by another one of my daughters (a five year old who was trying to convince me that it is okay for her to paint at that time of night. Even my exhaustion knew that that would be a complete disaster!!!!).

We joked and joked and joked some more. It was awesome! The children really seemed to have enjoyed themselves and so did I. In this instance, I’m so glad I  succumed to my addiction.

Pumpkin’s Salad

She decided to make a fruit salad for lunch.

I love that my daughter wanted to make a fruit salad (topped with whipped cream) for lunch. I homeschool her so she pretty much gets to explore & create her own experiences everyday.  We are exploring plants and reading all sorts of “bunny tales”. She amazes me daily.

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Learning how to add

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She was so proud of herself! (and so was I.)

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I Am Thankful for Sharpies!!!

I love Sharpies!! They are great for writing and so when I stumbled upon this at Blue Cricket Design it was love at first sight.

Anyway, I am thinking of all of the many opportunities to write–and even draw–on these canvases. I’ initially though about one of the children’s birthdays but there isn’t one of those until June. So I’ll just have to create an opportunity to do this or …hmmm…we can make placemats during Family Fun Night!!! Problem solved.

A star was born

The day was Wednesday, September 1, 1999–another day that would change my life forever.  FAST FORWARD.

Thursday, September 1, 2011 (12 years later). As I was making caramel apples to take to her classmates I couldn’t help but to thank God that he blessed me with such a beautiful young lady (inside and out). Those thoughts have been constant recurring thoughts and I couldn’t contain my emotions as I prepared this message for her…

“Happy 12th birthday to my beautiful superstar!! You are more than even I               could’ve ever imagined. Keep conquering every challenge that is placed in front       of you with humility an grace; my model, dancer, honor student…my firstborn girl.     You may not realize it but you are the perfect example of a big sister. You make       me so proud. I love you big girl!!”

The realization that my baby was no longer a baby was overwhelming to me. She is now a twelve year old girl who continues to exceed my expectations.  There is NOTHING that she has applied herself to and failed…absolutely nothing!!

She is my star…my shining light .

She is the apple of my eye