Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

God bless you and your famly this Christmas Season.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Fun

Although we don't agree with the goulish Halloween traditions we do enjoy letting the kids dress up and participate in Trick-or-Treating. This year the big boys were Crusaders.
Here are a couple pictures of our Crusaders....and our little tiger.

This one is just a little bonus dress-up fun. Jacob said Arr-r-r-r-g!

Soap Pictures

OK, here are some of the new batches that I have been working oh so diligently on lately.

This one is my new favorite, it is Patchouli-Rose. Using a mixture of Patchouli, Rose and a few other floral scents this new scent was born for the Christmas Season, but will probably become a year round favorite.

This is my batch of Peppermint. It sold out really fast last year, so I am hoping to make two batches this year. It is a combination of lots of Peppermint oil and Tea Tree oil.

I also tried Frankinscense and Myrrh this year. The combination is a little difficult to describe; spicy, but very subtle compared to some of the other scents that I have come up with. It will be very appealing to people who like the softer scented soaps.

I think I will be calling this one Christmas Pine. It is a combination of several woody essential oils, peppermint, and a couple of pine essential oils.

This batch was an experiment with apple cider. My lye solution contained apple cider instead of water. The texture is a little different from the other batches that I have created, but the scent is wonderful. It is a warm spicy scent that reminds me of sipping cider in front of a warm fire in the winter time. It really does smell like a warm mulled cider.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Soap Update

I have been working on several batches of soap in order to get ready for winter and the Holiday Season. So far, I have made Rosemary Lemongrass(Ready Sept 12), Patchouli-Rose(Ready Oct. 30), and Frankinsense and Myrrh(Ready Nov. 5). I am hoping to be able to make a batch a day for the rest of this week if possible in order to have the new batches of holiday scents avaliable starting mid November.

Batches that I will hopefully be making in the coming weeks for December will include Peppermint, another rose scent, a "green" scent maybe a piney forest, a Chai and Spice, and a mulled wine soap using Red Wine and spices. It is quite a few new batches but I am hoping to get them all in.

The batches ready for October include a new batch of Patchouli-Lavender(Ready Oct. 20), Lavender(Ready Oct. 1), Oat and Grain(Ready Oct. 12), Rosemary-Mint(Ready Oct. 25), Sportsman(Ready Oct. 30), Orange-Eucalyptus(Ready Sept. 25) this batch has annatto seed added to it for an orange color with the brown swirl of cinnamon in honor of Halloween.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Gardening Fun At the Market

Saturday's market was lots of fun. Along with the usual things going on, Felder Rushing came to market to display his "Truck Garden", to do an informal demonstration on gardening, to talk about what plants are best for the South, and also to answer questions and give tips on the fall planting season that is fast approaching. It was really exciting to meet him, especially because I enjoy listening to his radio show and it is great to put a face with a voice. We were also able to get an autographed copy of "Can't Miss Container Gardening", and can't wait to try out some of the many ideas and projects contained within the pages. The first project we will have to try is to grow lettuce from a hanging pot. It is a beautiful display that creates texture in the garden, is great for limited space, and it makes great alternative use for a hanging pot. My favorite book, which we will have to order later, is geared for children called "dig, plant, grow", all the projects were created and constructed by children and gives countless projects to do with your children in the garden.

Rushing is the host of Mississippi Public Broadcasting's "The Gestalt Gardener. Felder is a 10th generation Southern gardener and the author of many gardening books and magazine articles. He has also worked at the Extension Service as an urban horticultural specialist. Rushing believes that with proper plant selection and the right "tools" anyone can have a successful garden. To demonstrate this he has a truck that he makes appearances with all over the country, in order to pass along his ideas of people-friendly gardening with his good humor and practical advice.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Jacob!

Yes, It's another birthday! This one is a big ONE, our baby is now a big boy! Jacob turned one on Saturday and is growing so fast. Although he isn't walking, yet, loves climbing on boxes and chairs and buckets. It is amazing that he is so agile while climbing, but will not attempt to take that second step away from any support object he uses to stand next to. Of course crawling has its advantages, because he does need all his speed to keep up with the brothers.

He is very "helpful" too, with the laundry "sorting clothes", going through my boxes of soap to make sure they smell okay, at the dishwasher "unloading" dishes, or at the computer "checking" email.

His favorite things are being outside, gardening(playing in the dirt), playing at the park, and listening to music and dancing. Jacob's favorite song right now is the Banana Boat Song(Day-0). Which is really funny, because his favorite food is bananas.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Birthday Boy

Happy Birthday Noah!
On Sunday Noah turned 3!
Mom thought it was on Monday but recovered the day okay. When it came time to decide on a cake Noah decided he wanted a green turtle cake. So with a couple of hours to whip something up, here are the results. Not my best design by far, but it did get big smiles out of the Birthday Boy. Just in case anyone is wondering where the green is, the turtle is green on the inside. So although it was spur of the moment, and the cake is primitive, we had a good day.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Time To Catch Up

Summer has come to an end and school has officially begun for us. It has been a while since our last post. Time seems to get away from us these days. Over the summer we had a great time out exploring the Memphis Zoo, National Forest and State Parks in our area, Summer camps, including cub scout and bible school camps. Playing with friends both old and new. Enjoying time out at a friend's farm. Spending time with family in Louisiana.

Spending Saturdays at Taylor's Farmers Market has also been a very enjoyable part of our summer this year. Not only has it given me a great outlet for marketing the soap that I make, it has given the boys the opportunity to meet many people who have enriched our life and become good friends; great music and musicians that have inspired, especially Nathan who is determined to start guitar lessons this fall; good food from local farmers; and several great artistisans, who have also been inspiring by developing an interest in crafting and creating.

Our experimental garden from pots has just about come to its end; although it did not produce very much, the boys enjoyed watching everything grow and change and watch nature through the bugs and animals that visited our garden. Mostly, we enjoyed watching the visiting chicken who often came to rest in our pots and pecked at our tomatoes. The most bizarre happening was when the squirrel came and stole one of the last remaining tomatoes from the plants. In the spring we will be able to try again hopefully in the ground at our new home.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Taylor Farmer's Market

Recently we have been attending the Taylor Farmers Market in Taylor, Mississippi. We have been going for several weeks now and make it a family outing. It is on Saturday mornings and lasts from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. We wake up very early get packed up and set off for a fun day of selling soap, enjoying local bands and Mr. John Daigle singing and playing the banjo in the morning, and enjoying the bounty that is brought in front of us weekly in the form of baked, preserved, and fresh fruits, vegetables, breads and goodies. Also within walking distance, of the market is a beautiful new neighborhood called Plein Air, and Antique shop, and a great restaurant called Emileigh's that serves a wonderful breakfast and lunch daily. A friend of mine and her children who makes great lemonade, fresh juice, and teas take pictures while we are out there. Here is the link:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

First Haircut...Yes, it finally happened!

It is official! Noah has had his first haircut. The beautiful blonde curls are gone. Here is how it happened.

First we put his hair in pony tails so I could save the curls.

It was a bit of a game until we sat him in the chair and things got serious. When the cape came out he got worried.

He calmed down and the pony tails came off and that was enough for him.

After he calmed down again and the clippers came out he thought it was fun to be tickled.

So Here is the new Noah!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Louisiana In July

For the Fourth of July we went to Louisiana to visit Grandparents and other family. While there we went to a few places that we just miss seeing. Eventually I will add more...when they get developed.This first picture is at Cypress Lake in Lafayette, Louisiana on the University of Louisiana, Lafayette Campus. The alligators shown were just a few feet from us at the wall.

These pictures were taken at a park near the University. The turtle on the right was at this park when my sister, brother and I were babies. We try to take pictures there every year. It is fun to go back and see pictures as the kids and the concrete turtle changes over the years.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Soap Cutting Today

Today I cut my recent batches of soap. Lavender and Oat and Grain. They start out as a twelve pound block of soap that is then cut into three logs. The bars are cut out of the logs to get the final size. Every bar is unique because they are cut by hand with a knife. Often, I think about getting a special tool to get more precise measurment of each bar and a uniform appearence, but then realize that it is a labor of love and makes each one special.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Greatest Vacation Bible School Ever!

This was a great week. Nathan got to enjoy being at a Bible School Day Camp that helps children learn to trust themselves, others, and God. They were given the opportunity to ride horses, swim in the lake and creek, play in the woods, climb towers, use various zip lines, and swings and ropes hanging in the trees. They were encouraged to safely explore situations that could be frightening and grow in faith and trust.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Garden Update

What can you say about gardening in Mississippi except that it can be a very daunting task...You get fooled into believing that it is spring time, then all of a sudden it is winter again, then it bounces between hot and cold for a time and wham-bam summer hits in full force and it is 80 degrees at 7:00 in the morning and 90 degrees until nearly sunset. So with that said my experiment continues. My first run with tomatoes failed because they were damaged by a late frost and I do not think they will recover. The second set of tomatoes are doing beautifully and so far there are at least 10 beautiful tomatoes several as big as my palm. The peppers that were planted are okay but not thriving. The cucumbers are struggling and may recover...time will tell. The eggplant is hanging in there. The herbs are doing very well and it has been nice to have fresh herbs to use in cooking.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bugging out at the Library

Today was lots of fun at our public library in Oxford. The library hosted a bug seminar. Mr. Sam Testa came and talked about bugs with the children and then everyone went outside to go "bug hunting". They brought pond water and all the children were allowed to dip into the water and sift through the water they gathered in order to see what they could find. It was great to see all the different kinds of pond life. We learned about many different larve that live in water. Some things found were dragonfly larve, damselfly larve, water boatmen, seed shrimp, salamander larve, salamanders and tadpoles. If you look carefully in the rocks you can see the two tadpoles that we have brought home to observe. They seem to be Leapord Frog tadpoles.