Monday, June 28, 2010

Grandma's Camp

For 3 days all the Mitchell women and children got together and had a fantastic time at "Grandma's Camp."

This year we tie-dyed shirts...

and then wore them to Stone Mountain where we got to see the Laser Show.  Cade was a baby the last time I saw it, so that was fun for me.  Not so much for my kids because of the fireworks, though.  Ali said they were too loud "booming" and Cade was afraid they were going to fall on him and burn us all.  Oh well.

Aunt Jana was kind enough to braid all the girls' hair - even Ali's!

Thursday morning the crafts started early.  Grandma had some clay that the we rolled into coils and stacked up to make a toad house.  And when I say "we," I mean "I" with my kids'.  Cade actually helped with most of his, just had some trouble figuring out how not to break his coils.

Here he is taking his toad house out to dry.

We made coasters that afternoon with glass and plaster.  Again, when I say "we," I mean "the kids told me what they wanted and I did it."  I can't believe I didn't take any pictures... maybe I was too busy cutting glass and trying not to cut myself.  Cade wanted a great white shark (which I thought turned out great) and Ali had a pink flower.  I tried to talk them into all of us having one with an "M" on it for Mitchell so I could have a matching set of coasters, but they didn't go for it.  Better luck next year, I guess.

That night was movie night.  I fell asleep before the kids did.

Friday the fun began again with making boats for the boat races to be held later that day and painting tiles.  I was really happy with the kids doing these projects mostly on their own.

Here's my tile.  I was pretty happy with it.

Here are the kids painting their boats - 
 Ali's, of course, is pink and Cade's was a pirate ship with treasure on it.

In the afternoon the older boys set up a relay race.  The older girls had to ride on the scooters around the cones set up on the driveway, then back to the pool where they tagged the next group who had to swim across the pool barking and doing the dog paddle.  After they swam they tagged the girls again who scootered over to the little kids who then ran between some little cones after grabbing a life jacket.  

These kids took their training seriously.

Let the race begin!

After the relay races it was time for the boat races.

They had to blow into their sails and the first boat to touch the end of the pool was the winner.  There were obvious victories...

And some very sad losers...

And some kids who just made creepy pirate faces who were happy to be racing...

All in all, we learned that competition games should not be left to the last night when everyone is tired and cranky.

After the races, we had the talent show.  All the kids did a great job and it was a lot of fun to see what they came up with.  I was especially proud of Cade and Ali for singing their songs.  Ali went right up with her little lamb and sang, "Mary Had a Little Lamb" all by herself, nice and loud.  Cade was nervous about singing his song (one of his favorites from a Joe Scruggs CD we have), so Ali went up with him and sang right along.  It was so precious!

And what did Eliza do this whole trip, you ask?  Just a lot of laying around...

It wasn't too tough to find a volunteer to hold her.

A great big THANK YOU to Grandma Mitchell for all the fun.  I am so blessed to get along so well with my in-laws.  It makes me happy that my sisters-in-law can get together with our husbands' parents and have such a good time.  I know not everyone has relationships like that with their in-laws and I truly do count that blessing.  Thanks to all of you for the fun week!


Friday, June 18, 2010

So Stylish...

A few things my kids have been fashioning around the house lately...

A t-shirt I "upcycled" into a dress

Hats.  I don't know what the deal is lately, but almost every morning when they go out to take care of the chickens, Cade must have his cowboy hat (and boots) on.  So, naturally, Ali needs a hat, too. 

And matching PINK cloth diapers from my dear friend, Kendra.  LOVE THEM!!

What I love even more is that Ali is only in these at night now!  I decided to pick up potty training again when she started asking me, "Mom, is it ok if I pee in my diaper?"  So far this week (our first week back to potty training), she's only had 3 accidents.  Yay!!

Check out this head action!  

And of course a smile is always in fashion.  Especially when it comes from getting kisses from big brother.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

From Your Friendly Neighborhood Chicken Farmers

After a year of raising chickens and getting a few eggs here and there, we've finally got a bunch of our hens laying.  Hens that we incubated as eggs, watched hatch and took care of.  Hooray!!  We are getting more than enough for our needs, so if anyone is interested in buying some, just let us know.  $2 a dozen or we'd be willing to trade "trades."    

Face Wash

Does anybody else hate spending tons of money on the same things over and over again?  It is seriously one of my biggest pet peeves.  I absolutely hate buying face wash.  I always think, "Oh, I can just use soap..." but there I am again a few weeks later buying more expensive face wash because I'm breaking out.  Again.  (I thought once you weren't a teenager anymore that was supposed to stop.)

I was looking up some homemade recipes for face wash and came across the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM).  I almost laughed out loud as I thought, "Clean my oily face with oil?  Get real."  But then I read this:

"Fact: Oil dissolves oil. One of the most basic principals of chemistry is that "like dissolves like." The best way to desolve a non-polar solvent like sebum/oil, is by using another non-polar solvent similar in composition: Other oils. By using the right oils, you can cleanse your pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively, while replacing the dirty oil with beneficial ones extracted from natural botanicals, vegetables and fruit that heal, protect and nourish your skin. When done properly and consistently, the OCM can clear the skin from issues like oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, blackheads, whiteheads and other problems caused by mild to moderateacne--while leaving your skin healthy, balanced and properly moisturized."  [From]

So, I figured I'd give it a try.  For my oily skin, I mix 3 Tb. Castor oil with 1 Tb. extra virgin olive oil.  That's it.  I put it in an empty lotion container so I can use it more easily and since I have some tea tree oil, I add one drop of that with it.  Then you rub it on your dry face, run a washcloth under HOT water, then drape the washcloth on your face until it becomes room temperature.  (This part is my favorite because it's so relaxing.)  Then scrub it off.  It's also a great makeup remover.

I feel like my face has never been better.  I was a little frustrated because I found this right before I had Eliza, got my skin cleared up, then my hormones went out of control again after I had her.  Now that things have settled down, I'm loving my skin again.  And the best part is that it only costs a few cents every time I make it.  In fact, the first time I made a batch (doubled - so 6 Tb. Castor oil and 2 Tb. extra virgin olive oil) it lasted me about 2 months.  We always have olive oil on hand and the Castor oil cost under $2.  

I did find I still need an exfoliant scrub, so about twice a week I'll pour some of my concoction in a little bowl and mix in some sugar and give my face a good scrubbing.   Cause, really, what's better than sugar on your face?