Friday, April 30, 2010

Shampoo Free--Day Four

Day 2--Not so bad

Day 3--A little greasy

Day 4--Greaseball. Seriously. It's a little nasty. I'm going to try to stick it out. I read that you can comb corn starch through it to help.

I'm thinking I shouldn't wash my hair every day (unless I run or something)...she implies that on the page, though she doesn't say how often to wash. Hmmm...

We shall see how it goes.

My race is in 9 days.

9. Days.

I was hoping to run today, but I don't know if it will happen due to the weather we are having.

My garden is growing well, but some pesky pests are eating holes in my bean leaves. I am researching some natural pest killers. If you have ideas, I'd love 'em.

I really don't have much to say, but I knew for sure you needed a shampoo update. :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Shampoo-Free: Day One

I know you're super excited to read about me not using shampoo. I mean, you want to live vicariously through me, and you might even try it if I'm successful with it. Right?

Nah, you're probably thinking, "That is disgusting, and she is crazy!"

I think you're both right.

I bought a bunch of stuff yesterday to prepare for my making all-natural home cleaners spree, and I was out of shampoo, anyway. Remember, here is the link for how to go shampoo-free. So, I rinsed out my Aveda bottle (which is pretty natural and smells DIVINE), and filled it with one cup of warm water mixed with 1 tbsp. of baking soda. I just used a little bit squirted on my head (b/c it's watery and won't stay in the hand). Let it sit a bit, then rinsed. Voila!

I shower at night (because there is no way I am getting up before 5 to shower) because I have three chilluns who can't be left unsupervised. It works for me. Anyway, I slept on wet hair (don't tell my grandma), and my hair looked just as crazy as it normally does. I got it wet and finger-styled it. Done.

I am going to make the apple-cider vinegar rinse to use a couple of times a week. I may give it a whirl tonight.

My hair feels clean. Dave said it doesn't smell. It was manageable. But, it's still Day One. I'm a bit worried about the greasy de-tox. I have heard it can last a couple of weeks. I'm hoping I don't have to worry about it. At least my hair is short, and I can use barrettes to distract. :)

Who is going to cross-over into crunchy-granola land with me?

In other news, I have not gotten to run since Sunday night. Circumstances have prevented me from doing so. I think I am going to get to go today. I will just modify a bit more.

Sam is getting braver all the time with his leg. He kind of makes me nervous sometimes, and I have had to get onto him about putting weight on it. I am so nervous he is going to reinjure himself.

I now understand the gardening addiction. It is so much fun to see stuff grow. The square foot gardening model makes it relatively painless too--very little weeding. I actually went out and bought a large strawberry plant last night and put it in a pot. I just keep wanting to grow MORE. :) I will get some pictures on here soon.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Couch to 5K--Week 9--Already!!!

It is Week 9. I am a bit behind, but my friend, Lee, modified my running plan. Here's what it will look like this week:

Monday: Run 20 min.

Wednesday: Run 10 min, Walk 5, Run 10

Friday: Run 21 min.

Sunday: Run 25 min.

I ran 19 minutes last night and walked 5. It was hard--I wasn't paying close enough attention to my breathing. Once I got it even, it got easier. I was 40 seconds shy of running 2 miles during the 19 minutes. I was very proud of myself. That's a little under a 10-minute mile. I have less than two weeks to be more comfortable running that far. I would still really love to run the whole 5K (3.1 miles), but we shall see. My ankle pain is so-so. We will see if my vitamins do their job.

Also, I am on a "making natural cleaners" kick. It is so cool! I never realized how many cleaning solutions you can make yourself. Last night, I was reading online about clogged drains--our kitchen sink was clogged, and I really hate using and paying for Drano. Most natural sites said that you should first try a plunger--that will sometimes do the trick (or a pipe snake). If not that, then try this:

1 cup washing soda (not baking soda)
3 cups of boiling water

Wash that down the drain, if it doesn't work, chase it with 1 cup of vinegar.

We tried that, and stuff started coming up into the sink--nasty. Dave grabbed the plunger, plunged it once, and skadoosh--the sink drained immediately. Awesome. My sink also looked a lot shinier! The washing soda is awesome. Arm and Hammer puts it out, and it is usually in the laundry aisle. Not all Wal-Marts carry it--you are more likely to find it at a Kroger, Reasors, etc.

Here are some links to other natural, safe, cheaper homemade cleaners:

Furniture Polish
(instead of Pledge--which is neurotoxic!!!--who knew?)

Laundry Detergent

Window Cleaner

Dishwasher Detergent

Deodorant (not an anti-perspirant): HERE and HERE (two different kinds)


Isn't it weird to use these homemade cleaners? No, it's just weird that we've been buying stuff (chemical-laden, at that) because the TV tells us to. Or it is what our mom used. Or we don't want to take the time to make them. But seriously, most of of them take a few minutes to prepare. Give it a try, and see how you like it! I am going to!

Also, Sam is doing really well. He's been in his cast for a week now. Only two more weeks to see if he can bear weight on it! He is getting around like a champ. If anything, he has been a little demanding. :)

Our garden is going crazy! Everything has sprouted except for the red bell peppers and the marigolds. We are so excited about it! Yea for fresh veggies!!!

Have a blessed week!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day and Mildly Interesting Stuff

So, it is Earth Day. I've been thinking more and more about sustainability practices and making wise choices concerning our planet. I have no idea if global warming is true or not, but that is not my motivation for making greener choices.

As a Christian, I believe it is part of my role as a human to "subdue the earth and have dominion over it." I believe that if I must be a good steward of the earth. So, here are some things I'm thinking about changing:

  • Being more careful to conserve water--watering my garden from a watering can rather than using the hose, short showers, not leaving the water running in the sink--little stuff.
  • I am seriously contemplating only buying secondhand clothes--refashioning if necessary.
  • Learning to can my own food to reduce my waste of tin cans from the grocery store.
  • Using soaps/detergents that are biodegradable.
I'm sure there are more I'll think of later. I want to somehow remove myself from the consumerist mindset I'm stuck in.

Reduce your waste.

Re-use what you have.

Recycle what you can't reuse.

We can all make a difference, and it will even save you money.

And onto the other mildly interesting stuff...

I ran on Monday. It hurt a bit. I saw my OMT dentist, and he said I have plantar fasciitis. He did some muscular releases on my feet, and my shin splints DISAPPEARED. He did an ankle strap release on my foot, declared my ankle as strained, and then gave me a vitamin. We shall see. I was supposed to run yesterday, but our schedule was biznizzy. It didn't happen. I will go today--at some point.

The race is in 2 weeks. Holy cow.

Our garden is sprouting things!!! We are excited and hoping they all make it! I have uploaded pics from my phone to Facebook, so if you're my friend there and want to see mini-plants, check 'em out!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Give Me a Break with the Bullets, Already!!!

Here it comes:

  • My run on Friday was fine except that my right knee, shin, and ankle killed. I did not get to run on Sunday (and not because I'm that guy from "Chariots of Fire") mostly because of circumstances and the weather.
  • Sam broke his leg on Saturday, but we didn't take him to the hospital until Sunday. We really didn't think anything would show up on the x-ray, but Dave saw something. The radiologist missed it, but then upon reexamination, agreed there was something there. Then, we did a CT scan of his leg which did show a hairline fracture of his tibia.
  • How did he break it? On a trampoline. It was a bit bizarre, but he got double-bounced and there were two other kids on there (one was a bigger kid). The orthopaedist told my friend (the SAME thing happened to her son when he was 5) that when he came down, there was no give on the trampoline, so it was like falling on concrete. So, even though he didn't fall OFF of the trampoline, he still broke a bone. Sheesh.
  • I'm trying to figure out what is a good balance as a mom--I don't want to be overprotective of my kids, but I had a BAD feeling about him jumping out there. I didn't want to tell him that he couldn't jump and have fun with the other kids. What do you do in that situation when your intuition says "NO!!!!" Do you listen to it like you would the Holy Spirit??? I just wonder.
  • I am slowly gathering homeschooling materials. I want to look at math books. I need to search for a fair so I can see them in person. I just want something that will work well with my personality and Sam's learning style (I'm not really sure what that is, either!).
  • I am finishing The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and I LOVE IT. If you haven't read it yet, you should. It is delightful--witty and funny, but also serious and sad in parts. It is an interesting reflection on the post-WW2 years.
  • We bought Sam some Legos to play with during his convalescence. We bought Maryn a Tinkerbell doll so she wouldn't feel left out. We didn't get Lucy anything because she doesn't know. :)
  • Big news! Lucy gained 14 ounces last month! I switched her to lactose-free milk. I don't know for sure that is what helped, but I am sticking with it for a while. We are thrilled. She is now in the CDC growth chart's 3rd percentile, and the WHO breastfed chart's 10th percentile. Yea!!!
  • Got to see my niece and nephew this weekend for his 5th birthday party (and my other family too!). It was so great. I love those kids. They are so funny. Especially Case. He says the funniest things. Addison is ADORABLE and chubby all over. I had a hard time not kissing her neck non-stop. :) I see both of her parents in her, but she does look an awful lot like my brother. It's a little weird!
Well, I think that'll do. If you come up with any great ideas for a bored 5 yr. old boy, let me know! So far, he's okay...but 4 weeks is a long time!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Week Lame-O: Couch to 5k (Week 7ish)

This week has just sucked--in so many areas. I feel the fog lifting though, and for that, I am grateful.

I ran yesterday for the first time since Thursday. Almost a week. My ankle is STILL hurting. I am going to see my dentist/osteopath trained doctor on Wednesday--get my teeth cleaned and get an adjustment. Gotta love that! My friend has reworked my running schedule. Yesterday, I walked 5, ran 13, and walked 5. It was fine. My pace was a lot slower, but I was fine aerobically. It was the ankle pain that was the bother--it wasn't horrible, just achy.

I don't know if I will be able to achieve my goal of running the whole 5K, but I will see what I can do. I am definitely going to give it my best.

I think this is week 7. If so, here is what I'm going to do:

Friday--Run 13, Walk 5

Sunday--Run 7, Walk 5, Run 7, Walk 5

I'm morphing the schedule. I think I will be able to do it. I hope so. I'm a bit discouraged and frustrated over the whole thing. It's hard to have to take a week off and then not see the improvement I was looking for.

Anyone else still running? Signed up for races???

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pity Party, Anyone?

I'm having a big one at my house this afternoon if anyone wants to join in! I have had the worst attitude and self-absorbed morning. I want to get out of this PITy. Yes, it's a PIT. I've heard the only way to get out is to start being grateful, so here is my list:

I am grateful for:

A nice home that isn't falling apart.

Two paid-for vehicles.



Lots of food.



My dog.

God's timing and provision over and over.

My health.

All these extravagant extras that it is ridiculous that I own--an iPhone, a computer, a TV, a DVD player...all worthless junk in the long run, but I'm so thankful for them.


People like Brennan Manning who can't help but point to Jesus no matter what the subject.


The ever present Jesus.

The ever patient Jesus.

Theology of the Body.




Our Garden.


Air conditioning and heat.

My education.

My Parents.

My Brother and His family.

All my in-laws.

My aunt.

My grandma.

Freedom for the captives.

Beauty for ashes.








Communion of the Saints.

My Husband's Accomplishments

Dave's forgiveness when I'm acting ugly.

My kids' forgiveness when I get mad.

The way Lucy gets so excited to see me EVERY time.



People praying for me and I don't even know it.

What about you??????

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Crystal Bowersox and Eagerly Anticipated News

I love me some Bowersox. Seriously. She is the best contestant I've ever seen on American Idol. Of course, I haven't watched every season. She and Casey James are my favorites, and I am pretty dang sure I'll be buying albums from both of them. I'm even contemplating buying some iTunes on 'em right now.

I really like how relaxed they are on stage. I dig that they can play instruments and that they consistently sound good. Anyways, they are my pick for the TOP TWO. Don't know why I felt I needed to share my American Idol picks with you, but there you go.

Also, sorry for being a Debbie Downer over the last week. The funk took over, and I yielded to its pity party. Thankfully, Jesus is still the same, loving me and leading me patiently through it. Please don't worry about me--surely you have days like that too! Thanks for all the sweet love I've received. I really appreciate it.

As for this news I've been referring to for the past week...

DRUMROLL, PLEASE............................................................................................

We are going to homeschool. Surpised? We are! Let me tell ya a little about our journey in this arena. I posed a question, asking for opinions on my old blog a few years ago--you can read the entry and comments HERE. People are pretty opinionated when it comes to what kind of schooling you use for your kids. I have been one of those people.

No more. I have turned over a new leaf.

I am eating crow. Lots and lots of crow. Mmmmm, tasty.

I always said I would not homeschool unless we were in a jungle somewhere. Well, small-town Arkansas is our jungle, I guess. :) When we moved here, I found out about a church-run pre-k and kindergarten. It didn't go beyond that, so public school would inevitably be the destination following kindergarten.

I loved that the church school is four days a week, 8-12. Wonderful. But I knew I couldn't send Sam there for one year and then bring him home. He would be really sad, I'm pretty sure. But, the only other alternative was to send him to the public school. I was not really thrilled that the public school does not teach phonics at all. I have heard that the teachers and administration at the public school are wonderful people. I don't doubt that.

But, I have zero peace about sending the kids there. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth in peace. I got a text the other day notifying me that the applications for church school were available. My head started to swim. I had so many thoughts and questions I'd never considered before.

I hadn't prayed about it--beyond the fact that I knew the Lord said I didn't HAVE TO homeschool. I liked that. I felt peace that my decision was still mine. This time, though, I just realized how my biggest reason not to homeschool was fear.

Fear of failure.
Fear of ruining my kids.
Fear of responsibility.

Dave and I prayed over our decision, and the Lord quickly made it clear that He has equipped me to do this. I love how gentle He is. I love how he gives me the room to make a decision. I don't feel that if I sent the kids to school I would be out of His will--I just know that this is a better decision for our family right now.

That's another thing. We are taking this a year at a time. We are not sold out to it or committed beyond THIS YEAR. We are open to new directions from the Lord. We always want to do what is best for our kids, and for now, that is homeschooling.


I have been chatting with homeschooling moms about their kindergarten experiences, and I keep getting the same answer. Keep it simple. So, I am. I haven't fully decided on my curriculum, but I have very good ideas for what I want to use.

It looks as if I will also be joining a LOW KEY co-op in a nearby town. I think it will be fun--especially because I will have friends there already. Sam is super excited about that.

I'm actually excited about this. I never thought I would be!

I'm experiencing a new level of confidence about it as well. That is relieving to have peace AND feel confident.

So, that's my news. We are homeschooling. Kind of anti-climatic, don't you think?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Tids and Bits

Here comes the bullet list:

  • My ankle is still hurting. Doing exercises for it and resting. I ran last night, but the pain is still present. More rest. I really hope I am ready for the race in a month!
  • I really want to go on vacation with my husband. I hope it will become a reality!
  • We are building a square-foot garden. Go HERE for details.
  • I am in a funk. I need a nap. I want to go on a date. I don't want to do anything that resembles work.
  • I can't seem to kick my soda habit.
  • I want to blog, but my head is fuzzy. I think I'll blame it on the pollen.
  • I have important things to share, but a bullet list is not the place (not pregnant FYI).
  • I have a headache.
  • Sam had a stomach bug. No one else has gotten it. Yet. Hopefully won't. He's still not 100%, but at least he's not throwing up anymore.
  • I think I am bulleted out.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Mental Eyes Are Bigger Than My Emotional Stomach

I've bitten off more than I can chew--emotionally. Jesus is so gentle, even in that. He reminded me this evening that He will heal me in His timing. He will do the transforming--I just have to be teachable and receptive. He will overcome my struggles for me as I rest in Him.

I don't want anyone to worry about me. I'm okay, really. I think I underestimated the emotional toll that weaning and hormones combined might have on someone with as delicate a constitution as myself (a little Jane Austen for ya).

There are several areas of my life that I suddenly felt I had to repair--parenting, marriage, my own baggage and life patterns. It's just too much all at once.

I am thankful for the grace and peace that comes when I listen to the One whose opinions are just and true and perfectly timed. His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness to me.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Solving Amanda

I first want to say that this post is not directly at anyone in particular. It is merely an introspection into who I am and figuring out what is okay and what is not.

I am a strong personality. I am assertive in arguments. I desire resolution--immediately. I am organized (in my own way). I prize efficiency above many other things. I like punctuality. I am intentional.

I take initiative.

These aren't bad qualities, though they can rear an ugly head when not used in a positive spirit. What I have been considering recently (and many times over the years), is that I take initiative in most of my relationships. What I'm trying to figure out is if it is my fatal flaw (yes, a bit arrogant comparing myself to a Byronic hero).

Do I take initiative more out of my desire and value of relationships or out of a needy place in my life?

Do I initiate conversations because I'm lonely or because I value the relationship?

Why does this seem to be a pattern in my life? Are others just letting everyone else initiate their relationships? Or am I just such a strong personality that I don't give them a chance to do so? Do my friends take me for granted? I often wonder what would happen if I stopped taking initiative.

It seems in so many of my relationships that I am the one who takes the initiative to hang out, to call on the phone, to travel, to visit. If I were to stop, would my friends still be my friends? Would we hang out? Would we talk?

I don't know why I am this way. I am really soul-searching here trying to figure out why I give SO much in my friendships. I want to see if there is something broken in me that Jesus needs to heal. I don't want to be unhealthy in my friendships. I want to make sure that me taking initiative is out of value rather than brokenness. Do I need to set boundaries for myself in this?

I'm not looking for answers from my readers. I am just verbally processing what is going on in my head. Please don't feel a need to counsel me or try to make me feel better about this. I'm not upset, just curious. I pray for Holy Spirit insight into my own heart which He knows better than I.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Milestones of Varying Sorts

Milestone #1--Halfway through the Couch to 5K plan!

I can't believe I have made it to the halfway mark. To celebrate, I hurt my ankle. I am not really sure what it is, but more than likely, it is joint weakness (because I'm hyper-mobile). I am resting, and NOT running today.

I am also modifying my plan. A friend of ours, Lee, is a super runner--like a running genius or something. He's also in Physical Therapy school. He is looking over my plan and seeing if it needs to be modified. He explained that these plans must be taken with a grain of salt because each person responds differently to a regimen and may need different things. My goal is to run the 5K without walking, but we will see what happens after he makes his recommendations. He did give me some exercises to do to stabilize that joint.

Milestone #2--I have forgotten to talk about Lucy. She is walking!!! She's been walking for about 3-4 weeks! We are so thankful. Although, now, she wants to walk everywhere and doesn't want you to hold her hand or pick her up. :)

Milestone #3--Lucy is weaned. I know there are varying opinions on how to wean and when to wean. It wasn't (and isn't) easy for either of us, but it is done. :( and :)

Milestone #4--I finished the baby gift--a quilt! I made it for my friend, Kristina, and her new baby girl, Ali. I fell in love with it. I do every time I make something. I'm working on the sweater for Gayla's dear Lilah. Pictures to come.

Milestone #5--Sam finished the Beginning Reading set of Hooked on Phonics. He was so proud of himself. I'm looking for other material for him to teach further. They have revamped the Hooked on Phonics sets since I bought the last one, and I wasn't sure I liked it as well, so I want to go another route. He needs to learn blends and long vowels and silent e's and that sort of thing. If you have ideas, I welcome them.

Milestone #6--I don't know if I ever announced it, but Maryn is completely potty-trained. Finally. Once in a blue moon, she may have an accident while playing and distracted, but she is golden. Day and night. I'm so thankful and proud!!!

I think that's all for now. A big post is coming up this week...stay tuned (no, I'm NOT PREGNANT).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Couch to 5K--I've got rhythm.

My piano teacher told me I didn't have rhythm. Oh well. I don't like to count.

But, I'm getting into a running rhythm. As I run and get about 4-5 minutes into it, I suddenly am okay with running. I could go farther than my daily time limit (but I don't).

Yesterday, I walked 5 min, ran 10 min, walked 5 min. I actually ran a full mile in that ten minutes, so that felt nice. I could have kept running farther too. I'm learning to watch my pace too. I am usually running anywhere from 8:30 min/mi. to 10:30 min/mi. Not too shabby for a beginner, I'd say.

Tomorrow is 5, 11, 5. Dang. Next week looks SCARY. I thought this week did. Not compared to next week!

In other news, Dave and I were able to pay off our van and a small student loan!!! Only 4 more student loans to go!!! We are excited and feeling free!!! It feels amazing to say--I am no longer under your thumb!!!

We are discussing our financial goals and home improvement goals (the kind that actually keeps the house from inefficiency and falling apart--not remodeling). This year has become the year of freedom and discipline for us, and we are LOVING it.

Resurrection weekend has had me contemplative, thinking about the sacrifices of Jesus for us. May I never lose sight of it!

Off to book club in about 30 minutes to lead a discussion on The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne. If you haven't read it, you should. It is BRILLIANT. Much love to you all!

He is risen! He is risen, indeed!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Couch to 5k--Pressing Forward!

Week 5 has not been horrible yet. Yesterday's run was completed on a fairly flat track in town, so I did not have to contend with the steep hills this time. I ran 6 min, walked 5 min, ran 6 again, and walked 8 (I got too far from my starting point and had to walk extra). I ended up going 2.08 miles. I was tired, and it was hard, but it felt good.

My kids have too much stuff. They seem to not be able to take care of or pick up their toys without there being discipline involved. I am seriously considering getting rid of 90% of their stuff. Someone, please convince me otherwise. :)

Looking forward to a delicious dinner tonight--homemade salsa and chips, seasoned black beans, summery salad, and mexicali chicken. Mmmmm. And friends. New friends. Good times. I have nothing else to prattle on, I need to wash more dishes.