Heart Model

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Once a a semester we get lucky. That ONE presentation that hits it out of the park! We strive to have our kids share meaningful information in class, but what’s deemed meaningful to us may not be meaningful to them. If you’re a CC mom you know what I’m talking about. Our kids have weekly presentations, and especially for the younger ones it’s often more a show-and-tell type experience. I have seen everything from stuffed animals, to recited poems, to live chickens, favorite books, you name it. But then there was the Lego model of the Bastille, reinforcing the French Revolution. And the Axial Skeleton model made with pool noodle pieces for vertebrae and a baseball helmet for the skull. Don’t I wish I’d thought of those…

Yesterday was my boy’s day to shine! We have been talking about the heart and how it circulates the blood, etc. He was getting quite confused with deoxygenated blood and oxygenated blood and the different vessels, so we used an idea we found in our textbook and build a model of the heart, demonstrating the blood flow.

4 graham crackers became the chambers of the heart. Red and blue icing was used for oxygenated vs deoxygenated blood respectively. We talked about arteries and veins, particularly the most major ones. Large marshmallow turned into Vena Cava and Aorta, small marshmallows became pulmonary vessels.

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He proudly displayed his work at our community day and showed it to those that wouldn’t be seeing his class presentation. I love it when our kids are proud of their work, because those are usually the things they remember well.. Whats best: he took it for snack! I have pictures to remember his hard work and don’t have to worry about when the appropriate time is to ditch the old science project. He simply took care of that!

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Let’s get oily!

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A few weeks ago, I was invited to a class on the benefits of essential oils. I had heard (and experienced) about some of them and their uses, such as rubbing peppermint on your temples for headaches, or eucalyptus to aid a stuffy nose. Even lavender as a sleep aid and to sooth babies was not news to me. What blew me away, was the vast amount of oils there are and the array of ailments they can help with. (I would use the word cure, but the FDA censors the verbiage one can use in relationship to essential oils (EO) pretty strictly.)
I went to the party, ehem class, thinking I’d buy some lavender and peppermint, maybe some lemon, but I came home with the entire kit (well, I ordered it, anyway.) Since then, I’ve been reading, studying, and experimenting with different oils and (much to my husband’s shock) have ordered quite a few more!
Here’s my story: I chose the Everyday Essentials kit from Young Living. I researched and compared several companies, but YL stood out to me because they a) sell only the highest grade EOs on the market, b) have been a round for over 20 years and have put countless hours into research, and c) they have their own farms all over the world, providing most of their oils with a “seed to seal” label, meaning the company takes care of the oil from planting the seed, to harvesting, to distilling, testing, and finally bottling and sealing the oils. There are others out there, and I’m not saying that YL is the only “legit” company. What I do know is this: if I’m going to buy organic fruits and vegetables and organic meat, then I want to make sure the oils I put on and in my body are pure and are grown without pesticides as well. Just today I learned that YL only sells about 28% of the oils they produce. The rest is used as natural pesticides on their farms world wide.

The essentials kit came with 11 oils: Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Frankincense, Thieves, Joy, Valor, DiGize, Peace & Calming, PanAway, and Stress Away. After a month, we have gone through all the Thieves, Lemon, and most of the Frank. I diffuse Joy almost every night, because I enjoy it so much, I have “cured” a tummy ache for 2 sons with DiGize, Peace and Calming helps the baby sleep, Stress Away has helped at work, hubby uses Valor daily on his spine, and PanAway is helping both our moms with chronic back pains. You see, not one oil that we have not used. The Essentials kit is so very versatile! Oh, did I mention it also comes with a diffuser???

Today I shared the oils with two friends. They came over, we read about them, they tried them and both of them felt the same way I feel: which one do you pick? The kit is such a good deal! I vowed that I wouldn’t get into another home-sale type company (after stints with both Tupperware and MaryKay in the past), but I do want to share about them. For example, just this week, my baby woke up in the middle of the night with a nasty, croupy cough. I rubbed his chest and feet down with Frank and Eucalyptus and I am not kidding: within 10 minutes (read: 10 MINUTES!!!!!) he was breathing normally. AMAZING!!!! The same happened with Number 2’s tummy ache: I rubbed DiGize on it and within minutes he was feeling so much better. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention how the lavender soothed the baby’s arm after he burned it. There is almost no scarring!

Granted, I like natural remedies. I like homeopathy and body wraps as first line defense. The oils are a natural addition for me and my medicine cabinet. I believe in the healing power of plants. I read that Ebola virus cannot survive in the presence of Cinnamon Bark and Oregano. With the media making everybody crazy and working in a hospital, I figure have nothing to lose by trying it. So if you catch a whiff at work, a mixture of spaghetti sauce and christmas cookies, that’d be me!!!

Vacation project

I enjoy painting. Recently, I have discovered chalk paint, thanks to my friend Kayla at http://www.paintoutsidethebox.com . She has some great ideas and encouragement- you should check out her blog! I digress…. There is a coffee table at my mom’s house that used to be in my room. I think it was a hand-me-down from somebody. During my last visit, I mentioned that I’d like to paint it and my mom liked that idea. With this in mind, I brought paint and supplies with me and got creative over the weekend.

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It was such a beautiful October day. Temps in the low 70s, slight breeze. The perfect day for taking a project outside!

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First, I lightly sanded the table. Technically, you don’t have to sand when using chalk paint, but I decided it couldn’t hurt.

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This is the first coat. As you can see, it’s a messy paint job, without complete coverage. Another benefit of chalk paint: it’s perfect for a shabby-chique look!

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This is the final color. I also used sandpaper to lightly distress the edges and legs. A creme wax is used for further distressing and also to finish the chalk paint. It is very porous and will chip if not finished properly.

I use Americana Decor products. You can buy them at Michael’s or Home Depot. I have made my own chalk paint using Kayla’s recipe she shared on her blog, but for the sake of bringing my supplies to Germany, I decided to go with ready-made for this project.

chalk paint is fun and easy- but be warned: it is terribly addicting! You simply cannot stop after just one project…

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Dont say, I didn’t warn you!!!

Visiting Germany- jet lag and new babies

German in Georgia likes to travel, especially “home”! This week is fall break for my older two, so what better chance to snatch the baby and fly to meet the new nephew/cousin. This is my sisters first child, not even four weeks old, and I just had to get my hands on that little guy before he gets too big. I travelled with my babe, who’s 9 1/2 months now. Of course, he dwarfs the little man, but he earned his own accolades: what a great flyer he is! Airplane champion! Joyful travel buddy! Today, on day three, he has almost conquered his jet lag. There are all these theories out there on what the best way is to overcome jet lag and time changes, but try as I might, they just don’t work on babies. They have their inner clock and feeding needs. They don’t care that the clock says 1.40am! That’s his bedtime- in GA, so that’s when he fell asleep the first night. Fresh air and long walks on days 2 and 3 have made it a little easier to go to bed earlier: midnight on day 2 and 9 pm last night. Score!

I’m getting more sleep than my sister! At barely 4 weeks, they are in the middle of baby bootcamp. I remember the feeling: up in all wee hours of the night, with an otherwise quiet house, knowing that everybody else is soundly sleeping, and longing to be asleep as well. It’s funny how you feel like you may never sleep again, and a few short months later you’re up only once, or not at all. It passes, and thankfully we forget…otherwise we might go extinct!