Style | Naturally Curly Hair

Some of you will want to click on through since you don't have any bend or curl to your hair whatsoever.  Others of you, who understand the personality of naturally curly hair, will want to stick around.  This is my curly hair routine and it is so easy and low-maintenance that it has quickly become my go-to hair style.  

There are a few items you must have for this to work properly.  One of those items is a Norwex towel to wrap your hair in after the shower.  It is a must-have.  There is something about it that has changed the way my hair dries.  It absorbs the water, but doesn't make my hair frizzy.  This also works way better than the t-shirt trick I have tried to no avail.  I also recommend an oil, defrizzing hair cream, and sea salt spray.  That's it.  That's all you need for this style.  

The first step is to take a shower.  Whatever you do, don't brush your hair after you wash it.  If you want, brush it before you shower or while you condition, but NOT afterwards. I wash my hair and run my fingers through it while it conditions, then I wrap it in the towel while I moisturize my face and get dressed.  This next part is also important.  Take the towel off (it should be on for 5 minutes, or so, to absorb the moisture) and gently set your part.  I do a middle part when I fix my hair like this.  I take care not to comb my hair with my fingers while I do this.  Just gently place pieces where you want them.  

Next, you will put your oil and frizz cream in your palm.  Mix them and gently scrunch them in your curls.  The less you mess with your hair the better.  That's why I mix my products before applying.  Let your hair air-dry from this point forward.  I don't wash my hair every day, so I will sleep on it after it dries and fix a few pieces in the morning and go!

Once your hair is pretty much dry, use the sea salt spray to add a bit of texture and to help with any frizz/fly-aways.  This is truly so simple.  If you have a few pieces that need help, since most of us don't have perfectly uniform curls, touch them up with a curling wand or flat iron.  

If you have damaged hair, this method is perfect since you don't use heat on your hair.  It gives it a much needed break from the dryer and iron. 

I have some other tutorials on my side bar.  Be sure to check them out!

Motherhood | Parenting Simple

There is so much noise about parenting and what is right or wrong.  Mark and I have paved our way with lots of trial and error and a whole lotta prayer.  It's one of those things that I like to keep simple.  When there are fuzzy boundaries and lots of wavering, I get inconsistent and that is never good.

There are many things that we adopted from our own upbringing and a few that we put in the parenting toolbox on our own.  I would say most people would consider us "old school" in regards to parenting, and I'm pretty okay with that.

+ The most important aspect of parenting is consistency.  We try our best to be very consistent.  I tell people often that I go to bed so tired from being consistent all of the time.  When I'm not consistent, everything else crumbles.  So, without a doubt, this is the most important part of our parent plan.  Bedtime is consistent.  There is a bit of wiggle room, but if we don't jump back into routine quickly, then bedtime is accompanied with lots of whining from the kids and frustration for us.  That is just one example.  We try to be consistent with food choices, discipline, daily schedules, etc. just to keep the boat moving smoothly.

+ Family time is another great part of parenting.  I think everyone has a vision of what they want their family time to look like.  Some people like to go and be out and about, others want to be at athletic events, some want to play video games, and the list goes on.  We prefer to be outside playing.  We stay home a lot.  It is easy with the younger girls to stay put and enjoy our scenery.  We don't have a ton of amenities close by, so staying home is a great option for us.  If we lived close to museums and awesome libraries, then we'd totally spend our days there, but since we don't we stay close to home.

+ Having dinner together every evening is part of our parenting.  This time gives us the opportunity to share our day and listen to the kids tell stories.  It is one of my favorite times of the day.  I can't wait for Mark to come home and when he does, we all sit down to eat whatever I have thrown together that day.  This bit of consistency and togetherness really builds a bond between us all.  I truly believe that having a set meal time for the entire family to gather is super important in the dynamic of the home.

+ One simple foundation for our parenting is to keep our yelling to a minimum.  I have a tendency to actually whisper when I'm really upset.  There are times when yelling is required, for emergencies or when I need undivided attention right away, for example, but I do my best to not yell.  Yelling isn't a regular occurrence and when I do feel like it is becoming habitual, I nip it in the bud right away.  I want a peaceful home, not one filled with frustration and yelling.

+ Simplicity and Nature.  Two things I thrive on.  This even moves over into the toys I prefer my kiddos have.  Now, they certainly have some really awesome plastic, noise-making toys, but I love them to have the old-school, wooden toys.  It's just that simple.  They can build towers with simple blocks for hours.  They got some magnetic blocks for Christmas and they love them!  I feel like they allow them to use their imagination more and to create their own sounds, instead of having a battery power the sound.  Instead of video games, we send our kids outside.  Even if they don't want to go out (which isn't very often) we send them out and they end up having so much fun playing with dirt and sticks.  Ella has a rock collection in the fire pit, Guinnyth has managed to transport our sweet corn under the play set (daddy wasn't too thrilled about this one;)), and Liam moves the dirt all day, every day.  Fresh air and dirt are good for them. Encourage them to love it!

As with most things in my life, I like to keep it simple.  It's just how I roll.  I have simple discipline strategies that I use and don't stray from.  I keep a simple routine that helps us all get in a daily rhythm.  For me, consistency and simplicity are the most important aspects of our (my) parenting strategy.  We want our kids to have good memories and to always want to come back to home base.  I'd love to hear what you incorporate in your parenting.

Faith | The Rubbish Within

There is so much spinning and whirling around on the internet.  It's like an epic storm of acceptance, insults, self-love, idolatry, rendering verdicts, and the list could go on.  I sit in the quietness of naptime examining where I stand in all of this madness and my heart is reeling.

I have definite opinions, but none of that ultimately matters.  The big deal, and it is, in fact, a big deal, is that souls are being fought over.  Some will be won and some will be given over to their evil desires (Romans 1:24,25).  Those desires differ from person to person and it is important to know that every desire, aside from those planted in your soul by the Holy Spirit, are evil (Romans 3:10).  Where one lonely victim's flesh is acceptable by the world's standards, another's is pitched into the blazing fire and regarded as rubbish.

Those evil desires are indeed just that- rubbish.  The flaw is that any sin at all is accepted by God's people.  For we know that those outside of God's will, in fact, accept all sorts of sinful behavior .  And, if you do accept sin as less than sin, you must, then, question your own heart and motives.  Sin is cunning and creeps in like a snake through a rabbit hole.  It disguises itself as holy and puts on the skins of sheep.  So many times I sit thinking my self-love is under control, only to realize that it is a consuming fire that has overtaken me as I drown in a veil of pride.

Tozer says it brilliantly when he states, "In human experience that veil is made of spiritual tissue; it is composed of the sentient, quivering stuff of which our whole beings consist, and to touch it is to touch us where we feel pain.  To tear it away is to injure us, to hurt us and make us bleed.  To say otherwise is to make the cross no cross and death no death at all.  It is never fun to die.  To rip through the dear and tender stuff of which life is made can never be anything but deeply painful.  Yet that is what the cross did to Jesus and it is what the cross would do to every man to set him free."

It is painful to be stripped of sin.  To put away the flesh and allow Jesus' blood to do its sanctifying work is inwardly painful.  But, to live eternally with Him, you must allow that.  You must surrender.  If there isn't any pain, then there will be no morning.  If there is no dying to the fleshly desires, no matter how infinite or minuscule, then there is serious need for self-inspection and knees better be hitting the floor in absolute surrender to Christ and His cross.  To love Him is to love all of Him.  Anything less is merely rubbish by eternal standards.

The Happenings | I'm Still Here


Wow!  It's been so long since I've spent any time on this space, I was a bit worried that I had forgotten how to write, or that y'all had left me.  This summer is quickly slipping away from me and I'm not sure I'm ready for it to go.  I have so much work to do before we start school and, right now, I'm really enjoying the relaxation of summer- mornings spent outside, long naps, camping, coming in at night dirty from the day.

The big kids are down playing together while the baby sleeps her morning away.  I sit and wonder how long I have before she's done with her morning nap.  I hope she hangs on for awhile because rocking and swaying her before bed is one of my favorite things to do.  She hangs limp in my arms as her blue eyes slowly open and close.  I might be holding on a little tighter this time because I am keenly aware that the next time I rock a baby I love this much, it'll be when I'm rocking my first grandchild, and that is a long way down the road.

So, as I prepare myself for school to start and my baby to no longer need naptime cuddles, I'm also beginning to get my fanny in gear.  I started running a few weeks ago and it has been so, so good.  Don't get any big ideas about the quality of running I do.  I am the turtle- slow and steady.  It has been awhile since I really pushed my body and it continues to tell me that I have neglected it.  I haven't pushed myself for far too long and it shows.  I am not aiming for the body I had in high school (the one I didn't appreciate) and I'm not aiming at a marathon (I'm the turtle, remember?  No one wants to wait for me to finish a marathon).  I am striving for a healthy, strong body that has endurance.  I can't stress enough how important it is to be healthy.  You don't have to be skinny, but you should care about putting good things into your body and being disciplined enough to move yourself for a little bit every day.  There you have it- my short motivational speech.  ;)

The kids have a couple more months of falling to sleep at night with the sun still up.  I have a few more weeks before we officially begin our school year routine.  We have so many big changes coming up and I can't wait to share them, but for now, adios!