Sunday, May 24, 2015

Better Than a Congregation

Before you get your stomach in a twist about the importance of churches,
THIS is not THAT blog. ;-)
A group of alligators is called a "congregation". 
And that's what I've BEEN using in my hair for a VERY VERY long time.
But they hurt. 
And I have so much hair, I have to use two or three of them.
Not very chic....

Then I was approached by a Lilla Rose Consultant!
I had actually never heard of them.
But I thought another product review would be fun!
So, she sent me this little package.
Isn't it pretty??

Here's the back of the package. :-D

When you open the padded envelope, there is another envelope inside.
There is also a little insert. 
I'll show you what that looks like in a second.

I LOVE envelopes like these.  Something very nostalgic about them.
And nostalgic is how the flexi will make you feel too!
They are like something out of Anne Of Green Gables.
I can just picture Ann (with an e) with one of these
little baubles in her beautiful red hair!

Sorry, see, I built up that picture in your mind, and then BAM!!!
Me, silver hair, and fresh from the shower.
You're welcome!

But look how pretty this little thing is!
(and getting a pic of the back of your hair, through a foggy mirror, is NOT the easiest thing.
This little quick twist, all up "do" is all I could think of.
Until my friend sent me this video.
It's awesome!!! 
And she gave me some GREAT ideas!!

A half up, with a twist.
This girl is PICKY about what she lets me put in her hair.
Nothing itchy, nothing that pulls, and it has to be pretty.
^^ That being said,^^
she has lost nearly everything I put in her hair, but the great thing about this
flexi is that it's one piece!!

Our oldest daughter has THICK hair like her momma.
This particular flexi is a large, and with wet hair, it fit perfectly over the base of her braid.
The insert that comes with your flexi has 5 fun options and directions to wear your
new flexi!
Sorry it's a little wrinkly, my 9yr old was using it as a menu for her
new hair salon.
Now for the fun part!!!!
I have a FREE flexi clip to giveaway!!
It's a small.
To be entered to win, just subscribe or comment!
I will DEFINITELY be buying a few of these gorgeous clips.
I'm thinking I need one in each size.
Here's the link if you want to host a party too!
The drawing will be tomorrow night.
Here are a few informational graphics, for when you get your flexi clip!!!

These really are gorgeous, and I'm so excited to have one now!!
Thank you Tricia!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

30th Annual Kempe Gala

Last year in January we started considering adopting Gabe and Jazzy.
I said in the video package that it wasn't something we were doing lightly...
That doesn't even, even, even come close to being descriptive enough.
Things were getting really rough.
Our church was trying to be supportive.
They had a separate class for them during the Sunday Services, they had a rotating schedule of teachers so that we could have an hour break each week.
Our families tried to be supportive.
They said things like, "We don't know how you do it." and "We're proud of you."
And if you're reading this... We love you all.

Here's the truth, no matter how much people support you, or try to help you manage, you are joining a new culture of people.  Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Neighbors, who have been given this task by God, to raise, nurture and love special needs children.
And you are an island.
You will be left out of birthdays, dinners, weddings, functions where there will be other children, but you are now a category of your own.
Insensitive and clueless and even well meaning people will say, "If you would just tell him 'NO' once in a while, he would behave better."  Or, "If you loved them like you love your other children, they would obey." Here's another one, "Maybe, before you left the car, you could remind them to obey once you got inside."
This is where the Kempe Center came into our lives.
We were overwhelmed. We were scared. We were alone.  We could not see how we could possibly commit to these little people, who had such great needs, in a world where they were not only not accepted, but not understood.
As a last ditch effort to maintain our placement our GAL suggested the Kempe Center. 
We had three or four sessions with their intake team, and after a little adjustment period, they sent out a Dr. to our home! 
RIGHT AWAY I felt better.
Our situation hadn't changed.
Our children still had significant needs.
But we felt understood. Cared for. Someone knew that we felt alone and was committed to talking it through each week and troubleshooting until we came up with something that made a difference.
After a few months, and seeing a little progress we decided that we could do this.
We would step into the full time, and forever roles, rather than the temporary ones.
Our children are not perfect.
(No-one's are!)
But we are committed to making a difference.
We are committed to forever.  Looking for answers and struggling right along with them.
That's what parents do!

About a month ago, we were asked if we would be willing to be Kempe's family of the year.
Of course we said YES! :-D 
Here are some pics of one of THE MOST SPECTACULAR nights of our lives!

My man in a tux!!
This is actually the first tux I've ever seen him in.

The bus looked like a rolling Dry Cleaners.
Took me the whole day on Thursday to iron EVERY PIECE.

In the Lobby of the hotel.

A close up of the lace on my dress.
LOVED it so much!!!

We hadn't been in the room more than 10 seconds,
when I see him run up holding this cookie.

So amazing!!!
They thought of everything!

When Mr John suggested we get pizza delivered to the room,
I was thinking, Pizza Hut!
Again, he exceeded our expections!!!

A dessert bar!!!  WHAT?!?!?

My mom and dad drove up JUST for us!

I kinda love her, ALOT!

My guy cleans up GOOD!

We couldn't do what we do without them.
They hate it when we say that, but it's true.
We love you!

Ok, this is silly, but Miss Cheryl and I sat together for dinner.
And I was too wrapped up in our conversation to get a picture with her!
Miss Cheryl, you were a highlight of an amazing evening!!
Thank you for making us feel so comfortable.

Me and my guy,

When they started singing My Girl, I was STAR STRUCK!!!

Our Daddy and one of his girls. :-D

Our room was on the 33rd floor.
Everything should be served on chocolate shavings!!

Took these little babies home with us!
This was an amazing night, filled with so many amazing things.
Thank you Kempe Foundation for everything you did for us in the last year, and for a magical evening!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sally Hanson VS Jamberry

A few weeks ago someone in a home party came wearing Sally Hanson Salon Effects.
Then, not even a week later, someone gave them to me as a gift!!!
Well, my wheels started turning, and I thought, I wonder....
I wonder if they really are "just like Jamberry, only cheaper."
And thus, a spark of an idea for a review.
It was just a twinkling in my blogger's eye, but it was there.
I went through my old stash of nail polish, and lo and behold I had other
Sally Hanson products under my counter!
So, here are the products that I used.
To be fair, I used a base coat under all of them.
Only one coat of each.
Used them all according to their directions.
And didn't use a top coat over any of them.
First up is the Sally Hanson Nail Strips.
The first thing I noticed, THEY SMELL TERRIBLE!!!!
I mean, "WHOAH, turn a fan on, and open the windows" kind of terrible.
The second thing I noticed, FIVE MILLION SIZES!!!
And each one is a ONE TIME TRY.
I read that, in the directions, but I didn't believe them.
I'm a little bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my nails,
and the first strip I used felt a little crooked....

See, I told you. I went through two that I thought were the perfect size.
When they were gone,  I had to settle for the "I guess they'll fit" size.

I had to open the second package, and get into what was supposed to be the second set.
UGH, the smell when you break into that plastic wrap!!!

Can you tell that the pattern came off while I was trying to file off the excess.
Just kiddin', it's just polish.
I'm not super co-ordinated.

Here they are, all completed.
I should mention that the Jamberry wasn't the right size for the finger that I chose for it.
So, I just cut it!
It went right on, no problems at all.
No smell.
No fumes...
No gas mask required.

You can see what colors I'm drawn to naturally.
Here we are 1 week later.
The polish is all chipping and awful.
The Jamberry lacquer however, isn't chipping at all.
It almost looked like was fading....

Here's the polish up close.
That white line, is a break, WAYY up into the nail bed.

Here we have the Sally Hanson.
It is chipping away at the tips.
Another weird thing... it felt ... textured.
Or, maybe dimpled... It was strange.

Here's the Jamberry I cut to size.
It's still sucked down onto the nail.
The "J" on the tip is still perfectly visible.

I used Jamberry Lacquer Remover which worked great!

I literally had to take a file to get those edge pieces.

This is the nail that the Jamberry was on.
I used a Lacquer Remover on a cotton pad, broke the seal a little on the edge,
and it came right off.
I was surprised to see that my nail had broken on this finger too.
Can you see it? There, on the left. JUST above the white?
But I didn't even notice until I took the wrap off!
I found these pics online.
They sum it up perfectly.
This is what you need for Jamberry.
They are heat and pressure activated, so you need A heat source,
and an orange stick of some kind to rub them well.

This is what you'll need for the Sally Hanson Salon Effects.
The package that you buy has a little file with three
different strengths of grit.
But let me tell you, they need to add a pic of  "elbow grease" and time! ;-)
I will not be using the rest of the Sally Hanson strips.
If anyone else would like them, you are welcome to them!!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Gotcha Day (again)

July 30th 2012 seems like a LIFETIME ago.
But that is the day that we got the call to come pick up a little boy and his sister.
When I got to the gas station where we were meeting, I was surprised
to see a little boy, with mis-matched flip flops, different colors and sizes,
and his little sister who was in little boy camo shorts and an adult sweatshirt.
She had no shoes at all.
We were only in the car 5 minutes when it was clear to me that they were both sick.
Flu symptoms hurried us back home, and they spent the next two weeks
throwing up.
A combination of new foods, and stress was just too much for their little systems.
They were like infants.  They would sit, cross-legged, with their knees touching.
They didn't communicate with any of us at all, although they did seem to
have their own form of language between the two of them.
Over the next few months they began to explore their surroundings.
Reaching out to take a toy, or take turns feeding eachother.
We supervised their visits with their mom.
We met at a park downtown, and they would climb in her lap.
She would braid their hair, and tickle their feet.
Their was an obvious love there, they were very sweet together.
As her participation became more and more erratic though, they decided to
move the visits to the center, and then less than 8 months in, she stopped coming to visits.
They had their goodbye visit May5th, 2013.
The next 18months consisted of lots of Drs appointments.
One of them was to a geneticist that thought they "could have" 7 or 8
different disorders.
After a round of testing, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome was the conclusion.
We were also given a referral for a Neurology appointment.
(which is coming up THIS MONTH!!)
We also went in for placement testing in the school district.
That was very eye opening for all of us.
They are considered disabled by normal school standards.
There were also several other placement options.
We even met a few of them, had them watch us for a few hours.
But ultimately God had other plans for Gabe and Jazzy.
We were privileged to be a part of National Adoption Day.
Here are a few stills from the day.
Great opening!

Our Home Supervisor came with us to help wrangle.
And honestly, it just wouldn't have been complete without her.
She is a HUGE part of our story.
We love you Dani!

Here we are!

Our judge was really great!

On camera.
You'd think a person would get use to this....


See!!!  They love eachother!
Usually. ;-)

The children's museum had this great set up at the end of the hall.
My little engineer was in heaven!

Our shadow and his camera.

Gabe and Jazzy thought this guy was so fun!

This is as close as Isaiah would get.

Poor Racoon.  He had no idea what he was getting himself in for.
You don't make eye contact with my little people and then just WALK AWAY.

We waited in line for face painting for a little over an hour.

But she was SO GOOD!!!

I know what he looks like, but he's a character from Star Wars.
(and for the record, I begged him to get a robot face... but no.)

Avalanche puppy was a little less intimidating.

Our GAL bought them a plate set, and let me tell, ya, THEY LOVE THESE THINGS!
Thank you for everything else you did for us Miss Shelly!
We love you!
Happy Gotcha Day Gabe and Jazzy.
You are a forever part of our family.