Monday, November 24, 2008

Okey Dokey

So it appears we'll be Okey's for awhile. When we left NC we knew the Lord was telling us to sell and move from Tx (though I will way miss the weather) but we didn't know exactly where we'd be going. We were assuming it was NC, since that's where we want to go...well kinda, we want to be closer to our great friends, but John's not hip on the congestedness of that popular place. But anyway, God will lead and lead he is. We are moving in the direction God wants us and it's so fun to be right in the center of his will....ahhh. Feeling God move and direct like this, John's decided we're not making ANY plans EVER until the Lord gives the green light. It's way easier/better to wait on him.
Pretty neat the way God worked to whole thing out,Butch and Marybeth, whom we didn't know well upon going there a few weeks ago (this was where-Oklahoma, that is- we went for John to help with the house...see previous post) offered to let us live in their old house once they complete their new house. Wow! We knew it was from the Lord almost right away. So on to our new adventure (as soon as our place sells!).....

Friday, November 21, 2008

Funniest thing

About the soap business.....men are funny. So we come home from North Carolina and John tells me he's "ready to be done with soap" That's fine with me cuz if he doesn't want to do it then I don't either. (Can you say burnout??....doing it all alone gets hard) So he said since we knew we were moving that he wanted me to put all products at 50% off on the site. So I wrote going out of business on the homepage along with the discount. This stirred quite a reaction in our faithful customers but hey, what can you do? A couple of days later John tells me, "I don't think we're done with skincare. Why'd you put going out of business on there? I didn't tell you to that." To which I reply, "'I'm ready to be done with soap.' sounds like going out of business to me." So he said we weren't done but when we restart it will be when he's ready (when he'll be a more active participant in the whole thing...GREAT!) So I assumed this would be a few months from now once we resettle somewhere. Well yesterday he says to me, "Why is the store not open?" -- "I haven't opened it yet...we really need to pray about what to do with the website, I don't want to keep paying for it if we are not going to do this [though I REALLY don't want to redo all that someday]." He said, "I just told you....open the store." I squealed. Not a ooo-I'm-so-happy squeal, but a you-are-confusing-the-crump-out-of-me squeal. He laughs. I think he is enjoying this. Anyway, alot will change at Wildwood Acres, but it seems we're not out of business. :) If you are a faithful customer or are just interested in our crazy lives, keep checking out our website for all the new changes. (As we are in the process of moving, these changes will be slow, but they will come.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

She returns...

Man I hate how long it takes me to get back to blogging, but I'm a wee stretched I guess. But by the time I blog I have 8 million things to say and don't feel like typing for a year. Sheez. Anywho....I don't really know where to start except that God is smackin' us left and right with answered prayers, it's so cool....LOVE IT!! We've already had an offer on our place. John was praying for a buyer who would be as relaxed as he is about things (reason being we have a mud building and other Akiki eccentrics that not your average home owner would be diggin', but hey, we thought we were staying here forever) and that is exactly what this buyer would be. We still aren't sure if that's what we'll do, but it's so nice to know it's there. :) I'm gonna cut this short at that, but I have alot more to say, where we're going, what about soap?, but....kiddos call.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Here I am

Though I never intended to let two full months pass without nary a blog entry, I've done it and that's that. But here I am to share the latest.....not sure if I can sum up two and a half months of the Akiki Chronicles in one post but I'll at least get started. The most resent news is God is absolutely amazing and I love him so. Okay, so I should start a little before that. In early September, we were heartily praying about what in the world we should do next, do for income, do about our debt (desperately wanting to get out of debt especially after listening to Financial Freedom with Jim Sammons....SOOO hairy good, and I highly, HIGHLY recommend it...more on that later...), do about Texas (stay here or move), la la, we had so many huge decisions to make that we were beginning to despair. Then God sent us to NC for a few weeks to pray for our dear friend Steve Hingle and be with our friends there. While there, the Lord showed us, somewhat what to do, which was to sell our place here in Texas and move. So, we came home with that intent. But here we are a couple of weeks later with no income and asking God, what in the meantime? Here's where we differ from the mainstream (hold up, stop the clock, the Akiki's are by no means mainstream in any sense of the word, so when I say Here we differ, that doesn't make a hankin' lot of sense, but bare with me), one would logically say, Uh, hello, man get job...problem solved. After all isn't that what we should do? Well, something in us said no, though it makes no logical hairy sense and we couldn't understand it. But what about your business you say? John was ready to stop soap (but not really...that's a whole different post...) and didn't feel he should landscape anymore so what do we do until our place sells? Two days ago, Tuesday, we were praying and John decided to fast and pray about this caution we feel about taking a job right now. It's so weird I tell ya and he's getting ALOT of pressure from the outside to get a "job". Now we know that he very well could and that'd not necessarily be wrong, but it wouldn't be God's best for us right now and that's what we want (John's words). So, despite all this conflicting thoughts he's had on the subject, we were going with what God told us. Okay, yesterday, he decided to fast and pray for 48 hours, and the kids and I prayed for the Lord to clearly show dad something before we started school, and as we were praying that, John got a call from a friend, well actually we don't know them very well, it's the sister of a friend and the Lord had laid us on their hearts so they extended an invitation for us to come there and they would pay John to help them build their house!! Voila, income!!! God be glorified. It was as if he said, "I'm here, don't ever doubt my love for you." We were so amazed at God's timing and all that. So I'll leave you with that so you can revel in God's goodness and I'll share more later.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Color

I've yet to meet any other people who are as into color as John and I. I mean...we really like colorful things. It's funny. Due to a potty accident from the toddler (thanks for the incentive Thatch) we tore out the carpet in our bathroom and painted. Now, mind you we don't live in our dream mud house yet, but we do like beauty, so we're trying to make the best with what we got. Good plan, eh? So we painted. John's idea of the color "lime" was the outer skin of the fruit where I was thinking more the inner light color. And we were gonna do the floor blue, I was thinking dark navy, he opted for bright, but it turned out great and we liked it. And because I can't just paint and leave it at that, I had to add a little pinache, flair, whatever you call it. So the plan was a squiggly from ceiling to floor to opposite wall to ceiling, so I mixed the two colors (outer skin lime and bright blue) and white and the result??? GROOVY! The wall squiggly turned out blue and the floor squiggly turned out green. So cool.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

More zippin'

In my last post, some of the pics weren't that good, but I'll try to get better ones. Here's a short video of Gabe zip lining. :)
~I really should do You Tube...this video is a little whizzey..sorry.~
video

Zip-it!!






We decided life can't be all work and no play. After all it is the play that makes the work more tolerable, even enjoyable. So we decided to put more energy into planning "fun"...what do I mean plan fun? Well, we want a natural swimming pool...we have to put more effort into making that happen...we want to help the kids build a clubhouse...again, focus. We can't spend our lives working like mad cats and never having fun. No please. So to start our new "fun" tradition. We ziiiiiiiiiip!!! (Note: Don't let this deceive you into thinking that prior to this we were no fun....laughing, happy kids attest to our grooviness.) So back to the zipping, John decided that zip line madness needed to come to our home. His dad put one up for him when he was a boy and he wanted his kids to have one too. Well, not only the big kids, but the toddler is LOVING this new idea. John took Thatch and Cherish halfway down the line, set up the ladder and had them go from there. Weeee. But once the ladder moved to it's orginal *high* starting point, he decided he need to go from there too. So, yes, our 2 year old, does whole 90ft line. Sweet mama, he's brave, eh? So this is how it goes, I climb the ladder, John hands him up, I lift him over my head, John runs in case he drops and he squeals with delight. Actually, by nature, Thatch doesn't squeal, he grunts, and swings his arms in this macho-monkey-man type pose as if to say, "Um hmm, beat that." And for all of you who gasp at the danger of it, just know we had him do it multiple times from the lower part before we let him tackle the high side, and John runs with him, and I say in a repetitive quicklike manner, "Thank you Jesus he won't fall, thank you Jesus he won't fall, thank you..." So it's all good.




Oh, and yes, Cherish does it too, but she hasn't scaled the heights her younger brother has yet. Feminine wisdom?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I think, I can

We've tried gardening before with minimal success. This year was better, but our goals soar even higher. We want sustainable living. Self-sufficiency. Mmmm, breath it in. Ahhh. So I'm canning like a crazy woman. So far, we've done green tomato relish, squash relish, potatoes (not sure how these will jive but we were given several free potatoes so...), rotel, and BLUEBERRIES!! Yum! Still to come is more rotel and/or tomato something, jams(oh, I forgot we did strawberry freezer jam...yumomanificient!)...which will include wild grapes that grow on our property...I did blackberry but we didn't get much and have already eaten it all :(, and PEACHES!! Yum! Today was a big day well, I'm not done yet, just taking a breather. It's fun and I'm learning. We hope to have even more next year...did I say that already? John's planted some trees and we are getting more in the fall (fruit and nut). It's so fun.

Back to my canning....I've decided the time is drawing nigh when I should write my own cookbook...my husband has said I should for years, my boys tell me at least biweekly that I should, and after making relish I've decided, they're right. Who writes these recipes?? In the words of our wise 6 year old, "They must be sugar pigs." I halfed the sugar in the recipes I had for relish...half I tell you and less than half in some cases because we don't like things overly sweet. Well, they were too sweet by Akiki standards and we were all bummed. So I revamped the recipes and will NOT conform. I'm bummed because of all the work I put into it and it would be so yum if not for the extra sweetness. It is beyond our comprehension how people can palate foods that sweet. I was wise to the sweet ploy by the time I made rotel and it is just right...finally. So here's to better success with my own recipe!


The kids oinkin' the rest of the blueberries.






Pretty berries!


















So far....







Our garden...to be bigger next year.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Zevulun Kade

Bath time...hey, what's that?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Family photos







I thought I had a good camera but I'm seeing my friends pics and thinking, those look better...oh well, contentment is bliss. We did some photos and here they are...I'll blog more later, gotta get off this machine. :)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cob-o-licious

Schwew. Man, I've wanted to blog for a while, but who knew you'd find so many old friends on Facebook. As secretary to my man, I've been assigned the task of scheduling our days so that we are more efficient in our endeavors, so that's something I'm working on. Of course we can't be too punch clockish or it won't jive. But anyway, I should be doing that instead of this, but....today we cobbed....it's looking neat, John's adding rocks and bottles (for groovy light) and I'm way excited, because, you guessed it folks, when this puppy's done, we move on to the HOUSE. Hot diggidy spank! I am so excited. Of course we'll have to do careful planning, praying and more planning before we start, but yipppeeeeeeeeee. In our last cobbing effort I was assigned the task of de-labeling some of the bottles....and I stabbed myself with John's pocket machete (he calls it a knife but it's the size of Montana) and right in the joint too, man that hurt. Big waaaa. So this time I actually got muddy and cobbed, love it but don't get to do it as often as the rest of the crew, may have to nurse, cook, clean, soap, you know. I'm busy. So....it was fun. So here's a pic of my hunky man sitting on our progress....

Monday, May 19, 2008

The fruit....

Big fan of grapefruits as I am...that is not the fruit I speak of. Reflecting on my previous post we see that John told me to hold off on new products, well.....a couple of days ago I came home with a fire under my rump to clean up our property. My husband is the grooviest guy I know but not one for the organizing. And I..um...am. So...that can be a wee frustrating if you haven't read Created to Be His Helpmeet and know how to roll wid it. So I'm tryin' to roll, really I am, but this day...well, I gathered the kids and said, "We're purging." So we began cleaning like mad hatters and it was glorious. Oh wait, let me rewind, first he came home as I was standing by our burn barrel (we do alot of burning and keep it confined to a big 5 gallon drum..the burn barrel) I was fighting back tears...no it wasn't the smoke in my eyes I was just so tired of trashy funky clutteredness. URGH. So he said, "I gotta go...don't look so overwhelmed." Oh, mama, YOU'RE TELLIN' ME NOT TO LOOK OVERWHELMED!!! THIS PLACE IS TRASHED!! So I shed a few tears and got to work. The boys and I were busy when he got back...lateeda, clean clean clean...anyway, later that night I said, "Hey thanks for puttin' the brakes on me, it forced me to get outside, I love bein' out there." He said, "Yeah, I like having you out there, you're the one with all the motivation to get things done. I need you." WHAT? Stop the clock did he just say he needed me? Sweet molasses...gooey. Love it. (the fruit) Then today, he said, "What am I doin' this week?" I laughed...he said, "No really I need you to be my help meet and tell me what I'm doing?" That meant he wanted me to organize/prioritize what he needs to get done. HELLO...women are you reading this? The point is I could have missed all those sweet complimentary phrases if I'd let his clutteryness get me crabby. (The tears I shed were simply...gotta let 'em fall, help me Lord.) You see I didn't clean alone, no he did alot (and my boys rock!!)but he needs my energy to drive him so to speak. I just love this whole help meet thing God's got goin' in us girlies.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Slowuh Downuh

I've wanted to post for an eon now, but too busy. So I'm squeezin this one in before school while the kids finish up breakfast. I'm so thankful for kids that can cook....Mon-Fri one of the older three boys makes breakfast. They do a simple grain cereal. Saturdays and Sundays are our "fancy schmancy" breakfasts where mom whacks up some muffins, biscuits, pancakes or waffles. I was crankin' out one of the deliciousO meals every other day and it was just too much, sucking up too much of our school time. Soooooo I made it a boy task and they love it. :) Dogged good kids I have.

So as my profile describes I like to move at lightning speed. Get it done...now. That's how I feel about it. So I have a page long list of new products to add to our business, and I was working on two new ones yesterday. Then I asked John a question and he answered my formulating question by....putting the brakes on me. What? That 's not what I asked. Urgh. But as I listened to him tell me why...I realize he's right. He wants me to take a few weeks and not work on anything new . He loves all my ideas and thinks they will sell great but I've got to slowuh downuh. Gotta be a mom & wife who has a life, right? But as I'm thanking him for putting on the brakes, my mind is reeling with what, when, how I'm gonna do my new stuff. (A couple of things I have started he said I could finish.) Isn't that funny? It's like this, I'm gonna make an eye cream, I want one for me, and I've been asked as well. But he says wait. I'm making a baby vapor rub, teething support, & diaper spray...want that for my little perfix, but J says wait. Ahhhhhhh.........I recall him saying, "Are you gonna accept this or argue with me?" --"Accept it." Now I know what you're thinking, I must have been arguing for him to have said that, but I was just, um, well okay....technically it was arguing, but...stop, the important thing is I smilingly submitted inside and out, I just tried not to at first, but he's right.
He said I could finish my acne tonic and my new hair experiments and I think he may let me work on candles too, BUT that's only because all that stuff was started already. We'll see....and I guess I don't need to be in such a hurry. :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Blib blab blob

It's been awhile so I'll probably gab about several things...thus the reason for my broad range title. So we're back from Canton, yep....back. It was really, um, bad this time....I would be very discouraged if it hadn't been for the tornado that seemingly turned everyone off to the idea of shopping. Yep, tornado in Canton. So we decided to take a break from it until fall....two reasons...being outside on the "grounds" would be way more, well, way better. And seeing as how we live in hot-tamale-ville it would be a bad idea to take natural skincare products and sell them outside for 4 days in a row in the blairy hot summer. So we thought we should wait until it cools off. Also, fall+Canton=BUSY...so that's that. But our efforts were not in vain, we met some great people, lots of interest in our company and wholesale ordering....so we're praying that all pans out. We still feel Canton is gonna work for us....I had a feeling we should go outside, but agreed that inside would logically be where everyone would go to "cool off" and grab a bite at the food court. Problem is Canton's Trade Days has been going on forever, yep forever, and this building is new....3 years new, and your average hard core Cantoner has never even heard of it. So that equals less shopping traffic which is a real drag for those of us trying to earn a living at this. So we shall wait and do it in the fall...didn't I say that already.
But God is faithful and we came home yet again to more online orders. Our business is really growing and starting to pick up the pace. YIPPPEEEE.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ka-BOOM!

...word explosion....that's what we call it around here when a toddler all of a sudden says everything. All of our kids have done it, sure they say 'Mama' or 'Daddee' and a few other random words, but then all of a sudden in the span of a couple of days, they say everything...all at once. Happens every time. Well we're there now with Thatch and it's way fun. Here's yesterdays schpeal:

Thatch, can you say daddy?
Daddee.
Can you say mommy?
Momma.
Can you say Quinn?
Din.
Can you say Gabe?
Dayb.
Can you say Eli?
Lie.
Can you say Cherish?
Tersh.
Can you say Thatch?
Tash.
Can you say Zev?
Vev.
Can you say Banjo?
Dog.

-----No that is not a typo, he really said dog. I laughed so hard...I thought I was gonna blow snot. He is so hankin' funny. So I asked again...

Can you say Banjo?
Dog.....O.
BANjo?
Dog.
Can you say Bill?
ill
Can you say Maine?
May
Can you say Topaz?
Passsz
Can you say chickens?
kinz
Can you say Banjo?
Dog.

Is he workin' us over?

ps Banjo is our dog.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

T-Hatch-a-mania

I jumped off my soapbox to give you a little kid antics. You may remember my previous post about this toddler of ours (T-Hatch, Tatcha, Tatch, Leeda, Leedalee...) not talking much, well, we knew it was there all the time and we told our kids, "He can talk, he just chooses not to." or "You guys already talk so much, he figures he'll let you do it." or "He's like dad." Whatever the case, he was 2 in February and talks the least of any of them at this age. Well, this morning he was scavenging the pulpy bits off of a grapefruit wedge John and I were sharing last night(Hello, I'm the one with water retention issues, can you not be eatin' all the grapefruits??). So in his scavenge-madness, I said, "Tatch, you eatin' a grapefruit?"
"Aahnge."
"No, they're grapefruits."
"Gaayfoots."
"GOOD!! Can you say orange?"
"Aahnge."
"Can you say apple?"
"Aa-el."
Can you say oatmeal?
Hesitation, blank stare, mouthed words...no sound, then
"aaameee"
"Good, can you say Thatch?"
"Tash."
"Can you say Cherish?"
"Tersh"
"Can you say grapefruit?"
"Gaaaayfoot."
--Enter Gabe...."Gabe, come listen to Thatch, he's talkin' away. Thatch, say grapefruit." He gets this I-am-not-a-circus-animal-and-I-will-no-longer-perform-for-you look on his face, grins and runs away. Bummer. "Gabe, he was sayin' all kinds of stuff, I'm tellin' ya."

So that was Thatch, and a few minutes later I hear Cherish say, "Oh! Bill(our male goat) is chasing Maine (our doe) and that's why she's screamin'." Hmmm, could she be a girl with many brothers or what? Wonder why Bill was chasin' Maine.?.

A little Thatchedness...


























...and a little Zev action...









Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Beefed

A little venting...a little soapbox...whatever you wanna call it, I have something to say. Watch out. Hmmm, my husband might interject here--when does she not have something to say?--So girls talk alot, yeah so, well, anyway...I have a little beef to brood about. Can anyone tell me when we as a people started trusting man more than God to meet our health needs? Uh oh, what's she sayin'? I'm sayin' this...do you know that the prescription medications our society so puts their faith in to "heal" them are just chemical mimics of a God given herb (see Psalm 104:4 & Ezekiel 42:12)? And as my husband so wisely put it, "Yep, you can't patent an herb." In other words (for those of you who can't decipher that dry Syrian humor...), these meds we put our faith in were made in an attempt to make money....and they do just that. Huge pharmaceutical companies pay your doctor to....stop the clock, I readily admit scientific advancements have given us great gains in the medical field and we to some degree are better for it. Yaddie yaddie...BUT when we depend on the makings of man and forsake God's design (see Psalm 104:14 & Ezekiel 42:12) we are asking for trouble. And I believe we as a nation are seeing that in the overall health of the population. I am in no way denouncing doctors or their medical help, but I want to know (and think all believers should also) everything I can about herbs to better serve my family. In what little herbal experience I have in using several different ones over the last year making various skin concoctions, I have found them to be HIGHLY effective. It's so cool I made a "Cure All Tincture" a few weeks ago using some immune boosting herbs and cayenne(WHHHATCHOUT!) and when John was trying to get sick, it licked it. Licked it good. Yep. So cool. And all I can say about that is, what do we expect? How can man one up God? Exactly.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

God & Toof Bits

Okay the lowdown is this....several months ago while doin' some research for a new product (can't remember which one) I came across Dr. Gerard F. Judd's research concerning our teeth. He was researching why American's get so many cavities compared to other countries yet we go to the dentist all the time. Soooo, what I found surprised me. He says the best thing to brush our teeth with is soap! Why? Because the glycerin that's in all toothpastes (even the natural ones) coats our teeth with a film that Dr. Judd says takes 27 rinses to rinse off, whereas soap takes 2. Wow. And he says reenamelization is the key to strong teeth and our teeth can only do that when they're clean AND they aren't clean if they're coated with glycerin. Cool, huh? So I tried it, brushing with soap...and WHOA MAN, it was so way different. But when you really think about it, isn't this probably how people used to brush their teeth before everything got all civilized and chemical laden and "better" ?? So anyway, from this was born Toof Bits, our all natural soap for teeth. They have, to our surprise, really taken off. We sell quite a bit of it. And John in his wisdom, did some google ads for it and (and this brings me to the reason for this blog) today I got a call from a lady who did a search, found da Bits and wanted to put us on her ezine (internet magazine). I said, "SSShyeah." No really I was way more professional...but it's a deal where we send her samples which she distributes in a "Go Natural" sample box she's promoting in exchange for getting a permanent link with her ezine and exposure to whomever tries the Bits. I was silently thanking God for this yet another open door to our skincare business. I sometimes get a little wowed thinking, "Wow, I made this, and people like it." Sweet. (So for those of you who read this, if you know of other places where we can link please let me know.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Little Gooey

I like gooey. Gooey as Chasity's unabridged dictionary defines it is...adj. Melty moments, love and sweetness. I always used to define those sweet husband/wife love moments as melty or gooey. So I like gooey. Now my kids know that term and I'll try to grab up my oldest and squeeze him and he'll pull away until I say, "Aww c'mon, be gooey with me." To which he'll grin and say "Muuuuzzer." Don't know how I attracted that word as my name, could be akin to it's owner saying things like 'hankin'? This all started when I described my feelings toward my husband as 'melt all over each other lovin' goodness' So I really dig my man, can you tell? And, I really dig my kids which brings me to my reason for posting. This one's for my mom, I love you mom!!! One cannot fully imagine the depth of love a mother has until she is one herself, I hold my 5 month old Zevulun (Zev, Bebalun, Bugas, Budgis, Tevvy, Tev, Bebalin Kade, Ungu---see I'm not the only one around here that makes up words) and am completely and utterly gooey, every time. Can't help it, the goo just flows, what can I say? I'm addicted. He's a complete little miracle, a whole new person and I could just smooch him all day. I once read that being a mother was like having your heart walking outside of your body (ya with me here?), well, I can relate, I love my six blessings so much that 1/6th of me walks around in each of them, pulling at my soul and causing me to cry out for wisdom daily. One look in a pair of eyes and I'm hopelessly lost in the goo.















Our friend Tom gettin' a little gooey with Zev.

Monday, April 14, 2008

No hairy way

Yes it's my hair again. Most people don't post about weird stuff like their hair, you say, well, it's my blog and today we're talkin' hair, so grab your popcorn and read along. So...funny how we take for granted the little things in life, like not having split ends. So when I noticed them, I thought, 'Oh, my good gravy what am I going to do about this???' Yes a bit of paranoia struck, because I make an awesome shampoo bar, I mean I loaded that thing with every good hair ingredient I could find, except eggs and beer, but I'm thinking of making a sister bar with these ingredients. Hold your socks! Anyway, my hair made me scairt. So I decided to get a trim and talk with my hair lady. Turns out, I was being way to rough on my hair in combing it wet and was causing it to break and split...kinda sense does that make? urgh. So I went home made my new hair conditioning oil..(not sure what I'm gonna call it yet...any ideas?) and applied just a dab to my fingers and ran them through my hair, washed it, combed more gently and sweet molasses if it didn't look great!!!!! I was giddy. So here's my hair tips....don't overcomb when your hair is wet, start at the bottom, working in sections and holding it midway...and don't tug, for goodness sakes, what are you thinkin'? Secondly, let your final rinse be the coolest water you can stand, this lays down the hair cuticle giving you comb-easy-shiny hair. Cool, hmm? So I'm loving my hair adventures and my hair creations....happy combing.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

We are a-cobbin'

Ahhh...finally we are cobbing again. Man I've missed it. Co...what? I know I know, most people think we're weirdos wanting a house of mud and such but hey...we're...um...different. So anyway, we have grand plans and grand dreams, but it begins with an outhouse, no ordinary outhouse, a cobesque outhouse. We have style. I will post the finished privvy when it's done, but for now, here's the kids muddin' up. (Special thanks to John and Will Lindsey for their supportive role in the cobmania!)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Never stop

Well Canton was good, and what's even better is that we got several online orders recently. Thank you Jesus!!! John's got some landscaping work lined up this month and we are going to book some additional festivals. We're doing it!! This is what I wanted and it is way fun. So now that I'm home I decided I want to make myself a purse before I jump back on the formulating wagon. I'm ready to formulate my new stuff brewing in my head, but first...my purse. I'm a one-strap-across-the-body kinda purse girl, and I used to carry those type always, but they are small and now that I have *many* kids, I like to be able to carry a diaper, few wipes, pair of skivs if I need to, oh, and I'm an organizer, compulsive-throw-things kind of organizer. So I wanted this bag with pockets here and there, and the messenger style, I guess, what is messenger style anyway? So I got all crafty and did it. Now mind you it's my first attempt and if you looked close you'd see and error or three. BUT overall, it turned out okay. Especially my applique...oh, and check out the flower stem...it goes just over the corner of the pocket right? Why you think it does that, eh? Yep, I messed up that corner and was covering it up...it was originally just going to be the flower, no stem...clever, eh?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Quinn workin' the crowd

I have to say that if I were a Canton shopper and passed by a booth like ours I would be drawn in by all it's colorful grooviness and neatness of product. Funkatabulous! That's my style...obviously, we designed it. But alas, not everyone is like me...some people need a little encouragement...coercing if you will....enter Quinn...lovingly dubbed as Q (when he lets me). I suggested he ask people if they'd like to try a handmade lotion or body butter and he was all for it. But it's rather intimidating to strike up chat with someone you don't know. So he was nervous. I told him he'd get paid a small commission on sales he brings in and that he could do it when he was ready...no pressure. It didn't take long to hear the cha-CHING in his thoughts and he was out there bringin' 'em in.
It was great...he brought in almost all of our sells. It really is a family business and our kids were a valuable asset. Gabe and Eli tried their hand at it, but didn't get much time in. More next month.
So here's Quinn at work....














...and our booth....we learned alot, like we need bigger signs!

Canton Madness

Well we came...we sold...we conquered...sort of. Things were slow and our sells were not as high as we wanted. BUT, this was our first time, and as Quinn reminded me, "Mom this is just the first time. You said you talked to a lady that didn't sell anything her first month, and we're doing WAY better than that." --"You're right, babe, we're doing fine." And really we were, he was a star salesman and we got to meet some real nice people. We will give it until Dec and if it seems not worth the expense we'll stop. Our goal is for our business to mostly come from the web, so we can really be home. We don't mind doing shows, in fact, Canton was pretty fun, but we want mostly to do festivals and the net....and you know it really doesn't matter, if Canton's what it takes to keep us going, then Canton here we come, I guess I just say that because renting the both costa some moolah and that's a drag, but it's exposure and John had the brilliant idea of giving away 15% off coupons...encouraging online sales. What a thinker he is, eh? So that will hopefully bring in more for us this month.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tails

Gabe found a rabbit. An answer to his prayer after losing a turtle that he found. So we're all kinda likin' the little guy and man he cracks me up when he tries to hop out of his cage....so funny. He chows lettuce and carrots which as we all know is great roughage and well, he, you know, makes a mess. So Gabe cleans out his "home" often...which is for now a rubbermaid, that he can scale the side of and jump out....here's a 3 minute video of last nights entertainment with Tails....
video

Soooo hankin' busy

I love my life, and can I just say....this is exactly what I prayed for, my husband to quit his well paying job so we could work together and live together as a family. Live simply, eat simply, build simply. I love it. Creativity....I remember praying for this once upon a time and now I just love to marvel at how creative some people are. It seems the more one seeks Jesus, the more the creative juice flows...neat, huh? Serving the Creator makes one innately more creative. Just my theory. So here we are....John made these way swank counters for our new trade show adventure. And I painted our logo on them. Way cute. Diggin it. So that was this morning after I had a yum breakfast cooked for me by my family (it's my birthday today!). Our work....

Friday, March 21, 2008

Pickedy pic pics

"Gabe, uh, you cut my head off." -- "Gabe, I told you to stand here, now the sun's all wrong."-- "Gabe, that's great....we'll use that one!" He was a good sport and I didn't expect expert photography from a 7 year old, and he probably wished he hadn't happened by at that time, but oh well, you're the man. It's beautiful in Texas this time of year, and I was trying to get some more pics of us on the website. We still have a few models to include....dad..Gabe, and hopefully some more family shots....it's just hard to get us all together sometimes. Photo day....













This was supposed to be a hair pic, but he didn't get my hair, but hey, I'm wearing my new Fresh Touch shade of LiP-iX! :) Hey Thatch.

It really is a family affair....

Picture it...seven of us at our not so big table making products for our business. Yes seven of us. That includes all of us except Zev, the baby. WHOA! It started with me making tooth powder, and a bunch of "Can I help??"s and before you know it, we're all there, working together. It was grand. And yes, we all washed our hands. So Quinn and Eli and dad made the tooth powder, while Cherish, Gabe, & mom made the face scrub. Sorry Thatch. He was there, with his spoon ready to help put the scrub in the jar, but....um...no. So it was good, and they're learning. They so want to "bring a stick to the fire" and really that's the whole reason we're doing this. John recently ordered some more cutting tools so the older ones will be able to cut labels. That will ROCK! They already do the shrink wrapping very well. In fact, Cherish put the shrink bands on all my new LiP-iX! She's amazing! She said as I labeled and she did shrink bands, "I'll slow down mom so you can keep up." Thanks, Cher...!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Thatch-a-patch

Cute, chubby, not-to-talkative....what more could you want in a two year old? So I was getting my little T-man dressed after a bath a couple of days ago...hold on, let me rewind....living in a houseful of men, I find that they...um...can't find a hairy thing!!! Being as I'm John's beloved helpmeet, I smile and enjoy the praise he bestows me when I find something he needs or is looking for. However, when my boys ask me, "Mom, where's the _____?" I say, "Look with your eyes not your mouth." And when this doesn't work, I'll lovingly say, "Up your nose." So, "Mom, where's my drill." -- "Up your nose." "Muuuuuuzzzer."(endearing term my little sweet petites have for me.) Back to Thatch...is that a great name or what? When he grows up, we'll tell him our dream of a cob home and fascination with thatched roofing inspired his name. Anyway, bath...getting dressed, and as he lay there in all his splendor, I had a goo moment and tickled and loved on him, smacking his belly, saying, "I love-ah, love, love you, T-hatch. Can you say 'Mama'? "ma-ma"--- "Mama"---"ma-ma"---"Can you say 'Daddy'? Where's daddy?" To which he inserts his index finger in his left nostril and says, "Noz" ---Dagged funny kid he is.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Headless chickens

We have roughly 10 days to do about 2 months worth of things to get ready for some big events coming up. Hold up, I'm getting ahead of myself. Have to tell you the coolness of God....so we prayed for a place to sell our wares...skincare stuff where people would buy it, use it, love it....God provided, Canton....don't know why we didn't think of this before but now we're doing it. Well it's a wee on the $$ side to rent a booth since its THE biggest flea-market-type-trade-show thingie in the world....WHOA...BUT after going there we were confident we could do well. (Thank you Lord for the repeated reminders as to the validity of this thought)....Anyway, no hankin' way could we do it without an RV because I need to nurse my Zev man and so on...oh and it's a 3 day event once a month, did I mention that? So three days without milkies and Zev might get kinda hungry. So we needed an RV...but the kicker is that we didn't want to spend much money. Good luck. I resolved to pray. GOD IS AMAZING!! He provided us with a new, hear me, NEW RV for....hold on to your socks, $1700...what in the??? Yep, is that cool or what? I was so hairy jazzed....it was a getting-married-don't-want-to-pay-300-bucks-a-month-RV-park rent-wanna-get-rid-of-this-trailer deal. WHAMMO! So then John goes to get this trailer and drives home without one of those stabilizer thingies, and it scairt him...bad. "Lots of prayin' and many bathroom stops." he said. So we wanna take it to Ky to the wedding we're going to but John said no way without the thing. But they are like $600 and we just didn't want to shell out any more just yet. So I prayed. And again...God!!! Bonnie Lloyd, groovy gal that she is, is gonna let us use theirs!! Woooheee, three cheers for Bonnie. So that's the short of it and man am I lovin my kids see God answer prayers so faithfully...how fun. So we're doing alot to get ready for Canton, a wedding and a thousand other things...ahhh...keep your head on.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Vines

I think it's gonna be one of those multi post hours...but whatayado? I gotta say it all while I've got the time. Not that this is really a good time, since I should be sleeping, but I got a catnap today and argh...rambling....so anyway, I am so so so very thankful to God for so many things and I wanna say a bit here about why. Step back with me to May '07, I'm about yay pregnant and decide to do a few flower beds, some herbs...it'll be great. Employ my children, dig, dig, dig, we're planting. But soon we all come down with the itchies....I must have missed that 4H lesson on identification of the beloved Poision Ivy vine since I managed to get covered in it....sweet mama, I never ever ever want to do that again ever. I did everything I could think of and then some, salt showers (ouch) and so many other didn't work for me remedies. So jump to the present and we have Eli, our beloved 6 year old, itching on his forehead, hands, eyelids, nose and neck. Guess he was huggin' the ivy. I told him to 'salve up' and it's gone....This is the second case this season and it's happened this way both times...1st day itchies...salve up....2nd day inflammation gone still slight itchies...salve up...3rd day scabs no itchies PRAISE GOD FOR HERBS!!!!!! Last season, we had two cases of next day disappearance. I cannot even tell you how exciting this is....thank you Lord for your blessings.

Color....

I love it. But not tonight. Have you ever worked with iron oxides....don't. See it's like this, my tinted moisturizer was not to my liking....so I'm formulating. Oh man...that can get old. I was asked to make a tinted moisturizer...great idea, I thought, I'd like one too. And I thought, easy schmeasy, just add some color to a lotion...not that easy. You need something to give it cohesion, to make the color come off on your face...well, voila, beeswax! The hmpf 'bee' people do it, why can't I? Uggh, too oily. Less beeswax, no color, still oily...ugh. Next...clay, aha, too dry. Ugh, what's a moisturizer if it's dry. So what's a girl to do? Yep, pray. Now, I pray about every thing and then some. What's the joy in life if you can't talk to your Creator, so I do...often, about every....yep, even tinted moisturizer. So tonight, did it, again...formulated, too thick, too gel-ley, too thin, too dry....AHHHH!!! Dry me crazy, but I think I got it. I won't jump up and do a happy-finally-got-it dance until I've worn it a few days and am happpy with it. But as of tonight the results are good. Good color come off-ed-ness (how else would you say that?), good feel, a little shea butta makes it so softy...ahhh. So I think we're good. Fin a hair a LY.....oh, wait, I said I wouldn't say it's good yet. Okay, give it a week....I'll let you know.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Burgers

So here's my recipe...well sort of.....it's more of a process or procedure, but you get the desired effect...yummy meatless burgers. No, I'm not anti-meat, I just like the lower cost of the beans. 

Spicy Lentil Black Bean Burgers

Okay I cook up both (this would be way better with pictures, but I didn't want to leave you waiting for my life to slow down...so here's to future posts with cute pics) 

Fill my food processor with yay amount of beans and yay amount of lentils...about half and half and maybe a dab more black beans, okay then another spoon of lentils. ...you get the point.

So then we add, chopped onion

4-5 cloves of garlic...now hey, we like garlic 

3 jalapenos....CAUTION...these are hot, mmmkay? Might want to use less if feeding kiddos

3 tsp chili powder....yep I think that's how much I use

salt....shake shake shake

about 1 tsp black pepper

3 beaten eggs 

bread crumbs (I usually add cornmeal and flour here, cuz I never have breadcrumbs) not sure how much...

okay it'll be pretty wet so I cook them on a hot griddle like pancakes. You can make them the perfect size for your burger buns. They are way yum...sorry for the lack of real recipe but I trust you experienced cooks will do well. :) Enjoy your chow.

Hair Schmair

I hope I'm not the only blogger that posts more than once in the same day/hour. It's of a different subject so I thought I'd give it it's own post. I realized what caused my phase 3 drab hair....I'm experimenting with a natural hair gel and I added way too much jojoba oil to the first batch and voila, drab, greasy hair. AHHHH, my shampoo bar rocks!!! So, I'll keep you posted...oh, did I mention before that it never did any of that weird stuff to my daughters hair, hers has grown like wildfire and looks soooooooo cute. Thank you Jesus for creativity. Feels so good. 

Young, old, pimples to behold

Well it's a relief to know I'm not that old yet. So I've been using my Repairing Night Oil on my face and as Cory warned me it would, my face broke out. Bummer. *Rewind*But I have to tell you how jazzed I am about my Gentle Face Scrub.....I put rice bran powder and adzuki bean powder in it, both known for gentle exfoliation and blemish control and a few weeks ago I used it on a little grove of blackheads I had at the corner of my mouth....amazingly this gentle scrub deep cleansed those pores and my face was smooth and soft there. Oh my hank! I had no idea it would work that good......I mean seriously there were NO blackheads. I kept checking the mirror thinking, 'they'll be back' but apparantly, I've got a small miracle on my hands here. :) EEEEHEEE! So fast forward.....it seems my skin is not quite mature enough for the Repairing Night Oil....wheww....so I had a nice speckling of bumps last night, so you guessed it....I whipped out the scrub, oh my sweet molasses if it didn't do it again. I plan to add some info to the site about how great a' job this is doing on my pimplies. So now, I'm formulating a cream and such for younger skin. Glad I still fit in that category. More research....

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pig fat

Did you really think I'd put lard in my food??? Sheez. Gullible. Only in smoothies.

Of hair and soap

Shampoo bars...my not-so-recent discovery of beautiful hair. Okay so the long of it is, I have a handmade skincare business remember that whole self-employed frugal thing (gimme an F) and I had been asked for quite awhile about making a shampoo. I did a hankin' ton of research and made an awesome bar. But here's the deal, my hair went through three phases, one was this each-strand-feels-like-wire phase, not so nice and hard to comb. Phase 2 (a little less that a week later) was full, lucious beautiful full bouncy full hair. My dreams come true. *Here I divert from my current story to recap the past. Stay tuned.* My hair has always been limp and drab. Yeah. So much to my alternative energy minded hunk of a husband's chagrin, I dried my hair every time I washed it just to give it life. I tired of this too, not enough time in my life to be dryin' my hair (remember six kids...) plus I just wanted the ease of wash, comb and go...ahhh, call it hair envy, call it practicality, call it submission (husband not diggin' the hair dryer), call it whatever...I WANT GOOD HAIR! So I finally found this shampoo I thought would meet the need. I won't name names but the company rhymes with ShArbonne. So that shampoo was full of great oils and herbs for the hair, but also had the foaming agents, sodium lauryl bad guys, and other cruddy chemicals that eventually crudded up my hair too. Stinks man.**back to the story, I realized that this wire phase was because of my shampoo bar, gentle cleanser as it is stripping the cruddy shampoo off my hair, and what I got left was phase 2, clean, healthy full hair...full, I say. So, phase 3 had me confused....it was probably 1 1/2 weeks after phase 2 and it was almost drab again. What in the???? I was so bummed, but thought, no biggie, it's a very conditioning bar, I'll just make a lighter one (which I am currently formulating and still plan to do), BUT lo and behold, my hair is full again! Gimme an F, gimme a U......so I'm not quite sure what to make of it yet, but stay tuned as I'm sure this hair saga is not over.

Blog a dig dog

So here I am....blogging. After much consideration and no hankin' way do I have time for that, I made the plunge...how? Spicy bean and lentil burgers. Yup...it's all in the burgers. I was thinking I should give this recipe to Cory and thought, wow, yet another way a blog would be useful. I have so many things to say and have always wanted to keep a steady journal (never have...steadily) so I'm giving this a go. I am so busy so I don't promise everyday posts, but some consistency should avail...I hope.
What was I saying, oh yeah, the burgers...I am a mom of six, and we are self employed...sooo, that makes one think frugally...gimme an F...gimme an R....anyway, frugal's good, and I so love to find a tasty, cheap, healthy recipe that feeds alot of people. I emphasize the tasty, cheap and healthy here. Anyway....as we say at my house, I whacked up some burgers tonight that fit the bill. The bill of tasty, cheap and yep...healthy, if you don't count that 1/4 cup lard I added...AND there is plenty left over, so that means we have lunch tomorrow already..love that. Okay, maybe I'll do one of those cooly tutorial thingies with my little bean patties and pics and it'll be cool. So look for this tantalizing stretcher dish type recipe to come soon....