No Shampooing/No Deodorant…

Wow, what I life I lead in titles!

So… no shampooing.  I LOVE my solution!  I still have not shampooed, in the traditional sense.  But I have discovered, thanks to my friend, all natural solid shampoo bars at New Seasons!  (There is also this wonderful website: Herbal Shampoo Bars for other options.)

The list of ingredients on my bar are all pronounceable oils. I suds up (using the term “suds” loosly) and massage into my scalp and hair.  It rinses out cleanly and my hair is soft and wonderful.  Even my husband has used it and enjoys the break from baking soda.

I also learned recently that conditioner can be used to clean hair.  This blew my mind.  I decided to give it a try on a weekend when I could easily jump back into the shower after my hair dried, if I didn’t like the result.  I used the same amount I do when conditioning with it, and massaged it in, rinsed and let it dry.  It was amazing.  No kidding!  I was blown away, and my hair smells wonderful.

So, between these two options, I now very contentedly do not shampoo – traditionally speaking.  I have noticed even grater health in my scalp and hair and really enjoy my results.

Now… deodorant.  The homemade version I was using gave us a rash.  Huh. Yep.  I have pretty much deduced that I used way to much essential oil.  The recipe called for around 28 drops.  We, however, did not like the smell of the Cocoa butter and tried to cover it up with close to 100 drops.  There are warnings all over the paperwork for the essential oils that they can cause skin irritation if improperly used.  This is my learning curve here.

So, we went off of the batch I made, and have been waiting a bit of room in the budget to try a different butter for the base in my next batch.

In the meantime, we have tried several other natural brands from stores.  NOTHING works!  It is very sad. And I may have been able to buy an new butter with the money we have spent trying new ones in the mean time (tho we do shop thrift-fully…) I have been very tempted to can the whole envevor and go back to my old stad-by… however I just read this:  Deodorants and Antiperspirants

I am now looking for alternatives and will keep you posted.  For now, if you run into us at the gym and wave to us from a distance, we understand.  😉

Schooling: home vs. public vs. private

A sometime heated debate…

I am a former homeschooling mom who dipped her kiddos into public school systems in two states and landed them in a private classical school in a third state.  I have to say, though views change drastically from circle to circle, I observed that in the state where schools were top priority for state funding the debate was immensely less heated on all sides.  I have observed that where funding priorities are skewed at the state level, the debates are increasingly more intense.

Homeshooling for our family was a calling.  It was not something I was looking for or desiring, but something that grew into our lives as we got to know our daughter better each year.  I am not a natural, and gratefully was surrounded by some pretty incredible support and resources.  However, when the Holy Spirit moved I was excited to put the kids into school.  We interviewed several and purposefully chose the public school, which decorated its halls with Bible verses, lacking their references, and teachers held high standards for students and were inspiring and loving.  The kids thrived, and I survived through a challenging and risky pregnancy.

We moved.  Lack of job and loss of a family member motivated this change. Our options were greatly reduced by a new state’s guidelines, restrictions and rules and made the nearest public school one of our only option. We interviewed the principal and the teacher and felt less enthusiastic, but at peace.  Baby was born and after testing was proclaimed healthy and life settled down.  It became very apparent that the time had come to go back to homeschooling as skills slacked and behavior suffered.  We pulled the kids out of school in December and finished off the year at home.

The following year, wiser and less sleep deprived we continued homeschool with a new curriculum, but lacking in the support and resources.  As baby grew and Daddy traveled for his new job and kids tested boundaries I was stretched beyond a healthy limit.  We needed a solution badly.

Again, the Holy Spirit moved and a door opened.  One that we grew more excited to enter as we investigated deeper.  St. Stephen’s Academy, a Classical Christian school, offered both the academic methodology we like and the principals we desire to raise our children with.  They also offered financial aid, something the other private schools did not offer.  As we interviewed and were interviewed we were asked the question; “you’ve indicated that you need financial aid, are you able to and willing to make the sacrifices needed to afford this education if you do not get the full aid you requested?”

Of course we are willing.  What parent isn’t?

As I observe the differences from state to state and circle to circle, I see this very question being asked and answered in varying forms and degrees: Are you willing to make sacrifices for your kids’ education? And I have observed that the heat is added when the details of what a sacrifice looks like come into play.

Personally, sacrifice has come in many forms.  Time and sanity, willingness to stretch and grow, and now financially.  At each phase of our parental career to date we have looked the details over carefully and lined up the action points with the goals, the values with the methods and relied heavily on the leading of the Holy Spirit.  We have made many mistakes and we have achieved many goals and for better or worse our kids have survived, if not thrived, so far.

What I feel when I am approached by a strongly opinionated concerned advice giver is that they’re almost always more interested in their methods, sacrifices, Scriptural interpretations and even mistakes, being validated and accepted.  In some cases, it feels as if they just want to confirm that we are doing it wrong and they are doing or did it right.

I enjoy that we live in a country that values education for our children and has established standards and researched methods.  I am grateful for the freedom to express, voice, and live out my opinions.  And I appreciate that there is a fine line between living within standards and fully allowing variable forms of free living.  The cost of living to free blurring lines of respecting all peoples thus preventing freedom, and the price of living to rigid cutting freedom thus preventing respect.

What saddens me is when opinions over-rule respect.  When being right overcomes relationships.  When gaining validation outweighs perspective.  And, when insecurity squelches thoughtfulness.

For those of us within the Church, whatever the motives, methods, morals, reasons or inspirations, valuing our children’s education enough to make appropriate sacrifices seems to me to be something to encourage each other in, rather than heatedly debate and draw drastic stances on. Producing division rather than unity. Unity not being of the same opinion.  Rather, unity being like-minded in the mind of Christ, who put others before Himself in the ultimate demonstration of love.

Remembering that what our children are schooled in most perceptively is their parents’ heart attitudes, in my opinion, is the greater challenge parents face when debating schooling methods.

“…What you say flows from what is in your heart.” ~ Luke 6:45

Predictions Of Thought

From here to there lies unmarked distances.  Reality to dream.  Known to Possibility.  Safe to unknown.

We never find courage without facing fear.

We never discover tomorrow without living through today.  What we choose today determines the life of tomorrow, how far we travel between here and there in each given hour.  What wishes may be.

What we think determines what we believe and what we believe dictates how we live in the moments.

We never grow beyond what we believe.

Through our beliefs we can grow beyond our limitations.  One thought at a time.

What are you believing? Are you feeding yourself with Truth?  
Are you nourishing your courage with dug-in-deep roots? 

“He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.” ~Ps.1:3

No Shampoo: week… ?

So all I know is that it is now a new month, and I am really craving a new hair cut, so it’s been several weeks that we have gone without shampoo.

Since starting this I have done more reading and more experimenting.  I don’t know what I feel about this. The things I have learned about some of the ingredients in shampoos and soap are pretty intense, and a bit overwhelming.  Honestly, I didn’t stop shampooing because of these things either – it was all vanity! But now…

Now I don’t know.  I am in that phase where it is still new enough that I don’t have a groove down with what works and what doesn’t.  I feel like I have more “this isn’t working” days than I do “I love this” days.  And the novelty has worn off.  My husband loves it still.  He’s looking at the $$ signs and enjoying the simplicity.

Me?  It’s still a vanity thing that is now complicated by knowledge… – an interesting sight to brows if you want to read up on things like I have. I don’t know the credibility of this information, but it seems to be consistent with other information I find elsewhere.

So here I am.  I may be going back to shampoo, but doing so much less often… I may stick it out a while longer.  Part of me would really love to see what my hair looks like completely healthy – which from what I have read can take up to six months, especially my hair, which is in the extremely dry category.  (I have read that other types of hair/skin adjust at different rates, mine being one of the slowest)

My current routine: I have placed a bottle of 1/2 tsp baking soda mixed with 12oz water and a squirt of honey in my shower that I massage into my scalp a few times a week, which keeps my hair fresh.  I follow that with a spray bottle (also kept in my shower) of about 16 oz water mixed with a tbsp of apple cider vinegar and a few drops of essential oil (Gardenia), which I spritz on and rins out while detangling.  I also use a deep conditioner regularly, and styling products.  I have discovered, tho, that if I use too much styling creme my hair looks greasier within a few hours.

My husband’s comment, “Your hair is staying closer to your head, that’s a good thing.”  With memories of being called “fro lady”  and “Bo Bo” that is, indeed, a good thing.A “hair” picture… not the greatest… but this is generally what it looks like having not shampooed for several weeks.  I have a leave-in conditioner and curl gel spray in this photo.



Today I give myself permission

to be late if necessary

to laugh at my own mistakes

to snuggle longer

to cry over sappy commercials

to enjoy my toddler’s messes

to take a deep breath

to drive slower and enjoy the falling leaves

to let people down if it means keeping my promises to those closest to me

to enjoy today, even if my lists are long and my accomplishments few, resting in the simple gift of now.