Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hair Toys!

I know, I know, I'm a little crazy with posting more things about hair. I suppose it is just turning into a hobby!

BUT, I purchased the most wonderfully awesome hair toy a couple weeks ago and wanted to show it off. That, and tell you to buy one! This is my sister modeling a Lilla Rose Flexi-Clip on her henna head (aren't her curls and color just fab?). Finally, something that will hold our thick, thick updos and look good doing it! The flexi's jewels are wired together and the metal stick is permanently attached. Little notches on the stick allow it to clasp and hold firmly in your hair. Wonderful invention!

Lilla Rose has a beautiful, full line of hair jewelry and other accessories...available in a vast range of sizes so if you don't have a mop on your head, you can still wear their snazzy pretties. I might be hosting a home party if I have some more friends let me know if you like the things you see on the website.

Jo's hair is so thick that this flexi in a size large can barely handle a half-up twist. She'll definitely need an extra large for an updo. I want to order a medium for ponytails and an extra large for buns.

Next, I'd like to introduce you to my old friends, my Clairol hot rollers. They arrived gift wrapped under the Christmas tree back in 1988 or so. I fell in love day 1. I hope they last for years to come!

My hair loves them too!

And, the hair toy for today:

I've been looking for the stick that fits this jewel for a few months. Found it this morning in the bottom of the bowl I keep my shower scrunchies in on the shelves in my bathroom. Right under my nose the whole time! It was purchased on my honeymoon in of the many do-dahs I picked up from the tourist trap markets...and I think the only one left in my possession. It's made to perhaps go over a ponytail, but doesn't like to stay in my hair that way. Then it's also too small to hold my slick hair in a twist, so this half-up twist held with a pony elastic first, then the clip placed over it works just right.

Special Gifts

I continually thank God for all the dear friends he has blessed me with in every season of life! Really, I'm almost speechless. There simply is nothing better to me than to be able to sit with someone and not say a word and feel completely comfortable...even warm and fuzzy. So I thought I would just post some recent pictures of me and a few of the sweet people in my life. (There are many more!)

This first one is my Aunt Cle. She lives near Tampa, Florida so we only get to see each other once or twice a year...though I'd sure love to go to her more often, she usually comes here with my Uncle Ed on their way to/from friends and family in North Central Kansas and Denver. She speaks into my life with wisdom in so many ways and I love her to pieces!

Kathy here is more than just my friend...she is also one of my home school partners and fellow slave as she helps me clean my house during our weekly (well, when we don't make a good excuse) cleaning exchange! I mean really, if someone has cleaned the dirt off your kitchen floor or wiped the toothpaste crud in your sink they pretty much have to either love you or be paid good money! We have many adventures together and our kiddos are great friends too!

My dear Maria just turned 40! Gasp! Of course, you'd never know it to look at the beautiful girl. For sure I have loved watching her grow in grace and wisdom over the last almost 9 years of our friendship. She's the one I call when I'm sobbing about whatever and need someone to list to my woes and help me pull up my bootstraps!

Oh yes, and Maria is always prim and proper (ha):

This is Peaceful, and no, I didn't choose her as a friend just because of her awesome hippy name! We met, oh, probably our first week or two in college. We lived on the same floor of our dorm. As it turns out, she went to high school with my husband and was one of his favorite girl friends (not in the romantic sense) growing up! She is now a home educator herself to her 4 beautiful girls and lives about an hour away out in the country. We don't see each other often enough, but can pick up a conversation in an instant...and we're thankful for our Facebook inboxes!

There is one lady in my life that I've known a little bit longer than all the sister Jodi! I can't say enough about how she has blessed my entire life! Even this morning when she called with my 6:15 wake up call...she let me know that it was 20 degrees outside my window but on its way up to 43. Why, thank you very much, that was so helpful in getting me out of my warm and cozy bed :) . (I did get up, btw). We usually talk everyday and help each grow through the ups and downs of life. We are going to try and travel back and forth to our homes every 4-6 weeks this year. With 6 kiddos between us it's a little crazy, but two mommas makes it even more fun!

And, last but not least, the best friend that I chose to live my daily life with, side by side. This is my Eric. There is a peaceful joy that comes with the deep love and commitment of marriage. We're almost to the 15 year mark...and some days it seems we're still just two kids in love! Yay!

It's Getting Closer....

Closer to wash day, that is!! Today is day 12 without a washing machine and believe it or not, we all still have clean undies! At Bunco Monday night my girlfriends asked if I'd hit the laundromat yet...and funny thing is it hadn't even crossed my mind that that was an option. I think after 9 1/2 years of going to the laundromat before owning our own home, my brain decided to hit the delete button on loading clothes baskets into the car (or pulling them down flights of stairs and across the courtyard in a one-wheeled giant trash barrel as it may have been).

Anyways, here are my pretty gallons of paint! the light turquoise or "Meadow Mist" as Valspar (this was our first time using this brand & not sure we'll use it again) has named it. The light color is called basket and is a rich cream with yellow undertones. I looove new paint! After painting every room in our home almost twice, I'm not as enthusiastic about the actual painting these days, but I've still got skills and can cut in with a brush alone quite nicely, thank you very much! Every time I'm on the step stool carefully painting the line next to the ceiling I think of Matt from HGTV's Room by Room...I watched almost every episode of that show for 5 years when we lived in married student housing at UT and he totally taught me tons of painting tricks! This is a picture of all of us priming...the kiddos love to help paint!

And here it is. Shades of aqua are my favorite colors, but my home is mostly painted with warm tones of green and yellow, so blues don't go with the flow so well.

Therefore, we added it on the wall that you can't see from the hall, but that will give me great joy when I go in to work on the dreaded piles. Eric worked on the floor last night...the same easy peel and stick tiles that we laid in our upstairs bath. He'll finish that tonight, try to hook up the electric outlets tomorrow and maybe, just maybe, we'll be ready to roll on Saturday! Finishing touches like all the trim, shelving, racks etc. can be added as time goes.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Our Resident Poet

Poetry is one of the most delightful subjects in our homeschool. I have always been a fan of verses especially for children and the kiddos are learning to enjoy little ditties here and there. This year we've focused on Robert Frost, which seems to be some of Kai's inspiration here...we just read "The Pasture" last week and today we studied a photograph of a lonely pony out on a mountainside. I suppose it's hard to tell with a Kindergartner! Kai would like to be a veterinarian when he grows up, but his start in poetry isn't half bad:

The Horse Wind
by Kai Eastwood, age 5

While the wind goes by
Everybody cheers
for the great wind of the horses

The horses and the darkness of of the night
And while it goes by the wind blows on them.
Their tails wish in the wind
And the gates go by.

As it goes--
The defending of the horses
is the night of the wind.

And poem #2 (actually written last week):

The Fielders
by Kai Eastwood, age 5

Out in the trees the wind blows.
The wind blows when the tree goes.
And out in the light the darkness comes.

And in the darkness the bats come.
And out in the field
You see the cornstalk grow.

There are millions of cornstalks to grow.
The horses that ride in the deep end
Out in the fields where everything grows.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Word on the Street

Almost the end of January, but I finally have it! My theme word for the year! It seems to be the thing to do out here in blog-land so I decided to jump on the bandwagon (thank you Amy, Megan & many others).

If you've read my earlier post, you'll know I was tossing around the word "work". Ugh. That really didn't sound like much fun and I wanted to at least inspire myself when I saw my word posted here and there. So I prayed some more about it and today it came to me. I was valiantly searching my house for the bag of chore magnets that go to one of our kid chore charts...remodeling does not go well with "everything in it's place" as the places have to change!! Anyway, while digging around I caught a glimpse of the cool sign that my dear friend Maria gave me for my birthday a couple years ago. It simply says "GROW".

Grow. That is what I need to do. In order to do it? I must set goals. I must trust God to help me change. I must nurture my life rather than let it pass by. Yes, I must work. But I can work. I can start small and grow bit by bit. At the end of the year? Perhaps a gentler and quieter spirit? Perhaps I will love others more than today? Perhaps I will know right where that bag of magnets can be found!

Meanwhile...I went to the "Tea with Jane Austen" this afternoon at the Lee's Summit library with a few great friends. Unfortunately, Jane couldn't make it, but the ladies from JASNA added the perfect in full costume! I didn't grab Sandra in time for a picture but here are (from L to R) Kathy, Amy, Megan & me after an enjoyable teatime!

Not Mad Dog Hill...

We were hoping to go tackle the infamous "Mad Dog Hill" in Belton yesterday with our friends, the Thomases. But alas, just like something I would do (according to Eric) Kathy brought every stitch of snow gear possible and left her sleds at home! So over to their house we went...and got to try out the very fine sledding hill right across from their backyard!

This is the first "in-the-snow" experience for baby Zane. I think he was toast by the time the above group shot was taken! Okay, maybe he was toast from the was just a balmy 17 degrees.

Kai is fearless (surprise, surprise)!

And Elena-bug loves anything remotely in the fun catergory!

Luckily, I was the one with the camera and did not get on the other side of the lens. Kathy, on the other hand...

We really had a great time with the kiddos and took them out for lunch at Pizza Shoppe afterward! Just another reason homeschooling rocks...with school done by 10 a.m. the sledding hills are all to ourselves!

Today there was more snow action in our front yard with the neighbor kids. Forts and snowballs to go along with a clowny snowman. Elena and Caden were out there for at least two hours solid! Three more inches tomorrow and maybe we'll make it over to Mad Dog Hill this week.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Snow Much Fun!

We are in the midst of our second snowstorm of the winter...yea! 5"-7" are expected to fall here in the next 24 hours and we are hunkered down here at our nice and cozy warm home. Actually, yesterday we had a brand-spankin' new furnace installed...complete with a whole-house humidifier.

Our poor snowman (from our first storm) evidently needs some "HELP!" This is from the creative minds of children who read too much Calvin & Hobbes!

The laundry room relocation is coming along. Eric is taking a day of vacation tomorrow in order to work mudding and taping the drywall. I have paint colors picked out and am ready for action!

I purchased all the tile yesterday and will be ready to stick it down as soon as the drywall mess is finished. We're kind of on borrowed time as our washer has been unhooked since Saturday...just 4 days, but in an almost all-cloth household the timer is seemingly ticking loudly. I keep telling the kids to use extra fast-food napkins instead of our normal cloth ones...they don't get it. Zane, on the other hand, likes his paper diapers with pictures of "Minna-minna Mouche" (Mickey & Minnie) on the front.

Speaking of laundry, my new book came in the mail yesterday! I'm so excited to delve into it...Large Family Logistics is the title. Although I don't have a "large" family per se, I figure anything I can glean from a momma with nine children can help me out with my household of 5 plus two frogs. I've already read a little and it's great...the first chapter was about becoming a wise woman (a Proverbs 31 woman, no less) and can't we all use a little more wisdom? Her writing style is friendly, readable and practical. I have great expectations!

It seems most gals out here in blog-land are adopting theme words or mottos for 2011. I've yet to come up with just the right one to fit moi, but I'm leaning towards "work". Yup. Work. My sister Jodi is very encouraging and has found some great online resources geared toward helping us be better women, wives and mommas.

Our favorite so far is Kat over at Inspired to Action. Her whole site is dedicated to giving moms practical, Godly advice, and believe me, I need it! The first thing she recommends? Getting up early. Oh, boy, here it goes again! I had the best several weeks of motherhood EVER when I did that last year. But I am lazy. (See why that theme word might be the winner?) Anyway, I've been up around 6:30 a.m. everyday since Sunday--Jo and I are giving each other a gentle wake up call. Of course, God has had both of us laying in bed awake waiting for the alarm every morning since we started...I love it when He gets funny.

I'm so thankful for all the women who take the time to keep a blog like Kat's. Full of mission and ideas to share. I really have learned so much from people around the world for everything from homeschooling to tips for vacations to what to cook for dinner to how to color my hair. And it makes me laugh at my own mish-mash of topics. I almost want to start a revolution with some grand and wonderful blog...but then it just wouldn't be little bits of my life would it? Blessings! Resa

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Awww, not the bread sacks!!

We took our kids, plus a couple extras in the form of my sweet nieces, sledding yesterday. It was much fun and even little Stella managed to tromp up and down the big hills. Everyone stayed cozy warm in layers of snow pants, mittens, stocking caps and boots.

Ah, boots. I do not own official snow boots. I have my pretty brown suede fuzzy (Ugg-ish) boots with embroidered flowers or two different pairs of high heeled leather-ish designs to choose from. Hmmm...guess it has to be the fuzzys. They were okay for a bit, but then they of course got wet and my piggys were a bit chilled. In comparison with my past snow life, however, they were fabulous!

When Jodi and I were about 9-15 years old, I suppose, we lived out in the country near our small hometown just west of Wichita. We did not have boots. We had tennies though, so anytime it was snowing Mom or Grandma would say "Here are the bread sacks!!" Oh, jeez. The bread sacks. Slipped over your tennis shoes and afixed to the leg of your jeans with a rubber band, the slippery plastic was our only choice to avoid soaked socks and frozen toes. Sure, we had lots of friends sporting their moon boots, all nice and cozy tromping through the drifts, but us? Yeah, we would pull those sacks off our feet before the bus picked us up and stash them in the bushes next to the fence at the end of our drive.

Turns out there were other bread sack wearers in our midst...notably Jodi's husband, Nate...and we never knew until laughing about it later. I do believe I will continue to keep garage saling for our snow boot selection so my kiddos never have to don the things...though I do occasionally have a stash of bread sacks on hand...just in case!

Thursday, January 06, 2011


New iMac in use! Resa's Pieces has had a facelift today...I still have some kinks to work out with a new gadget that will clean up my columns, but it's easier on my eyes for now. (Jodi, thanks for the Picnik tip...I was able to do pretty much what I wanted in about 15 minutes in comparison to the hour I spent messing in Word.) Picnik is the site I used to make the new photo should try it out! If anyone else has ideas for me, please let me know as I'm a little perplexed when it comes to tinkering with HTML.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Grandma Ruthie's Birthday

My Grandmother's birthday is today. She was born in 1927...and would have turned 84. This photo was taken on her 80th--the last birthday party she enjoyed on this earth. She was a funny duck...if I remember correctly, she even slipped out and left this party early so she wouldn't have to drive home in the dark...or to watch football...I can't remember which!

But it's amazing to me how many ways she lives on in our lives. So many little sayings that just come as easy as breathing in and out are followed by me reminding my children "you know who always said this?" or "that's straight from Grandma Ruth!". "Booty Ma'amer" is the most used means it's darn tootin' cold outside and I guess it started when I was visiting her one winter...younger than my little Zane and called her Ma'amer. I keep lists like her, I wear her jewelry regularly, my purse is compartmentalized just like she kept hers and when I remember, I grab her bowling shoes to slip on when we go. I've even been tempted to by some warm and fuzzy snow boots like she loved...but am not sure I'd wear them with my sweatpants.

Last week we were out visiting family in Wichita and one of my cousins that came to the annual "Snook Bowling Christmas" surprised me by a line of questioning that sounded like it came straight from Grandma's mouth. She was a little shocked when I told her that was just what Ruthie always would ask me! Later that night, my sister commented on how she noticed that very same cousin with identical mannerisms to Grandma...I shared my story and we laughed--not at our cousin, but at how much you just never know where the essence of our Grandma is going to show up!

On the day after Thanksgiving, I went out for some mega-shopping. I'd gone at midnight with a friend to get some deals, but then again super-early on my own. Every store I entered was filled with groups of people, mostly women, looking similar, laughing, enjoying the time just being together. I felt the twang of moments lost. I'm not near my mom or my sisters so some days my heart twists just a bit at the longing for sharing those times with them. On my 20 minute drive up to another shopping area the tears came. Sometimes I'm really lonely. Yes, even surrounded by friends at every corner, that emptiness can creep in and settle for a bit. I had the radio on, tuned to KLOVE with Christmasy tunes one after another. The DJ spoke: "Isn't it wonderful that because of our great Savior we can truly say that everyday is Thanksgiving". I stopped and marveled. Grandma Ruth said that "everyday is .... Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, your Birthday" all the time! So much that it would actually get annoying and I remember replying to her on more than one occasion that NO, it is not everyday, Grandma!

Ahh, Ruthie, speaking to me even through the radio...telling me to dry those tears and be glad for where I am now. And I am glad that she is still here, living on in my heart, while truly living in the presence of the King. Happy Birthday Grandma...I'll be listening. Love, Resa Ruth