Friday, March 20, 2015

A Sunday Afternoon Hike at Burden Falls

We woke up to absolutely gorgeous weather last Sunday. Spring was certainly in the air! As soon as we got home from morning worship we packed a picnic lunch and headed for the hills. A friend at church had recommended Burden Falls and while we had been there before we had never been there this time of year when the falls are really flowing. 

Of course, I just HAD to get in the water, even though it was FREEZING cold! Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I cannot resist water. It doesn't matter if it is just a puddle I HAVE to get in it! I hope our baby has a love for water like it's momma!

The trail was pretty treacherous (for a pregnant lady), but we finally made it to the falls and it was totally worth the hike! The falls were beautiful!

I love taking time to enjoy the simple things in life. We both enjoy exploring the natural things that God created and I'm sure our children will too. I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to spend time together doing what we both love. Many people are not so fortunate.

~ Clair

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Henna Hair Treatment: How Too

Hey everyone, I'm finally getting around to sharing my Henna Hair Treatment How Too! I did not mean to wait this long, but time just slipped by. I am REALLY excited to share this with all of you and I hope it will help any of you who are interested in using Henna to color your hair but have no idea where to start. There is information online about Henna, but not a lot and most of it is kind of confusing. I hope this is easy to understand; it is a process, but when it is all said and done it REALLY is not that complicated. Feel free to leave any questions you might have in the comments!

The Henna Hair Treatment
Supplies Needed

v  Red (Pure Henna) –
v  Light Brown (Henna and Indigo) –
v  Amla – *this is not the Amla I used, but it looks like a good choice.
v  Euro-Organic Oil –
v  Brewed Black Tea (For light hair use chamomile)
v  Lemon juice/Apple Cider Vinegar
v  Test containers
v  Loose hair samples (collected from hair brush)
v  Glass mixing bowl
v  Wooden spoon
v  Measuring spoons
v  Latex gloves (2 pair)
v  Old clothes
v  Towel
v  Shower caps (2)
v  Winter hat (to hold in heat)
v  Hair drier (to add heat) optional
v  Hairbrush (to help get the treatment out of hair while in the shower)

The Testing Process

Mix several small test batches using various ratios of Red, Light Brown, and Amla and let sit for 8-12 hours or overnight. Test on loose hair samples to determine the desired shade. *Note that this is approximately what it may look like when applied to the entire head, but may not be exact.

My testing combinations were:

v  100% Red (Pure Henna)
v  75% Red (Pure Henna), 25% Amla
v  50% Red (Pure Henna), 25% Light Brown (Henna/Indigo), 25% Amla
v  50% Light brown (Henna/Indigo), 25% Red (Pure Henna), 25% Amla
v  100% Light Brown (Henna/Indigo)

*The hair on the far right is my natural color

The Treatment Mix
(This is the mix that I created after determining the correct ratio for my desired color using the above testing process. I chose to split the difference from my two favorites and do 90% Henna 10% Amla.)

        v  8 Tbs. Red
        v  1 Tbs. Amla
        v  Brewed Tea (enough to make a paste)
        v  1 Tsp. Euro-Organic Oil
        v  Lemon Juice/Apple Cider Vinegar (- Tbsp. or enough to make a Greek yogurt like consistency.)

Prepare the treatment mix and let sit for 8-12 hours.

The Application Process

              After the treatment mix has set for 8 -12 hours you are ready to apply it to your hair. Protect the area where you will be doing the treatment as the process can be messy. Wear old clothes that you don’t mind getting messy or possibly stained. I used Euro-Organic Oil to coat around the edge of my hair line to keep my skin from getting stained by the henna.

Begin with clean DRY hair. Section off hair. Put on latex gloves and starting at the base of your head apply from root to tip thoroughly.

 When each section is thoroughly and completely coated, let down the next section. It is good to be a bit excessive at this stage because the more you put on the better. It will look and feel like someone coated your head and hair with mud or cow manure. But don’t worry, it will be worth it in the end! When all of your hair is coated with the henna take a few moments to massage it in, just to be sure that you have thoroughly coated each strand.

 Coil your hair up on the top of your head like you would if you were making a bun.

 Cover with a shower cap behind ears and then a second one over the ears.

Slip the winter hat over the shower cap to keep in the warmth which will help the henna to develop.

Leave the treatment on for 2-4 hours. I left mine on for 3. Relax during this time by reading a book, watching a movie, surfing the internet, or basically anything that you enjoy. Try not to focus on the treatment or you will get impatient.

Rinsing Away the “Mud”
(You can use the shower, bath, water hose or even a more natural location such as a lake or creek.)

              Put on the second pair of latex gloves so that your hands do not become stained during the rinsing process. Remove the winter hat and shower caps. Rinse, rinse, rinse (the hairbrush may come in handy at this time), until the “mud” is totally out of your hair. Preferably, let hair air dry. Do NOT wash hair out with shampoo until at least 24 hours after treatment.

The Results
(Results may vary from person to person.)

The color may be extra bright at first, but as it oxidizes and settles it will tone down. This may take 3-5 days. Your hair will most likely feel thicker and healthier and will look fresh and vibrant!

*The first two pictures are immediately following my henna treatment and the last two are 2 days later. Unfortunately I didn't stay consistent with my photo taking so my "after" picture is actually one taken 5 days after my second henna treatment. 

*Indoor lighting

*Outdoor lighting

Congratulations! You just completed The Henna Hair Treatment! Go enjoy your fresh locks!

* Due to the fact that I was inconsistent with taking photos, the after picture is actually several months later, after my second application. I believe there was a slight deepening of color with the second application.

~ Clair

Monday, March 9, 2015

Ultrasound Photos: Our First Look at Baby!

We had an ultrasound done a few weeks ago. We did not want to find out the gender, but it was so much fun to get a first look at our little one! Everyone told me I would cry, but I really didn't. I mostly laughed because it was such an amazing experience! What an amazing opportunity to see a life that is being knit together inside the womb? During the ultrasound I kept thinking over and over that we truly are fearfully and wonderfully made!

We both think it has my nose for sure!

See the little foot?!

I love this photo. It is very up-close on the nose, lips, and chin.
So precious!

Picture it lying on it's side with the upper leg pulled up to the chest.

Baby moved a lot during the ultrasound, but was VERY consistent about the placement of it's hands. It kept one hand over it's bottom and the other between it's legs. I think it was saying, "I know your tempted, but I'm not even giving you the chance to see!"

I hope you can make out what at least some of these pictures are. 

Little baby, we love you more with each passing day and can't wait to hold you in our arms and gaze into your eyes!

~ Clair

Saturday, February 14, 2015


You guessed it, we're pregnant!

Today we're celebrating five years of marriage and 25 weeks of pregnancy and we couldn't be happier. It has been a year of great sorrow, but also a year of great blessing. God is so good!

~ Clair

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

"What's in a Title?" by Lanette Bousa

    I'm really excited to share this poem today that was written by my dear friend Lanette. While she is older than my own mother she is one of my dearest friends. If only the world could be full of more Lanettes. The words of this poem describe her so well. She has such a sweet spirit and is truly one who rejoices with those who rejoice and mourns with those who mourn. She and I enjoy corresponding through good-old snail mail, and she has remembered the due dates of both our miscarried little ones and took the time to write a note remembering them and comforting and supporting us through the difficult times. She lives a very laid back, quiet life and yet touches so many people with her love and care. 
    I find this poem inspires me to be more, to share more of myself with others, to look at the big picture of life. This is a beautiful message to everyone, no matter what you "do", that you are so much more than even the loftiest title can say. We must all realize that we have so much more of an impact on the world than we really think. It isn't the few big things in your life that make the difference, it's the many little things. 

What’s in a Title?
By: Lanette Bousa

“What do you do?”
A simple question, really,
But I admit that I don’t
Like to answer it.

“I’m a homemaker and a writer.”
For a split second, I see eyebrows spring high,
Look surprised, seem to inquire, “Is that all?”
Body language implies that home-caring
And writing don’t seem like much.

My mind races on-
Well, no. I’m also a ray of sunshine
To someone in darkness,
A word of encouragement
To one who is discouraged,
 A warm blanket
To a shivering child.

A helping hand
 To someone in need,
A listening ear
 To those needing to be heard,
A safe haven
To one seeking refuge.

Then, I’m a friend
To the lonely,
Comfort to the frightened,
The calm place
In the midst of emotional storms.

Besides that, I’m healing salve
To the wounded,
A fellow pilgrim
On life’s pathway,
Sharer of joy with those who celebrate.

I’m a loving daughter
To my parents,
Confidante to my sisters,
Ever-available companion
 To my husband and son.

And that’s not all.
I’m also God’s child
Learning His ways,
Listening for His voice,
Seeking His face.

Don’t we see?
We are, each one of us,
So much more

Than even the loftiest title can tell.

Go Live... ~ Clair

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

My Henna Experience

My Henna Experience

Today I’m going to tell you all about my Henna hair treatment experience! As I’m sure you noticed from the pictures, yes I am now officially a red head/ginger/copper top, whatever you would like to call me (except for carrots!).

A little History… I have virgin hair, meaning I have never colored it in my life! You can’t imagine how hard this was for me to do! The decision to make this change left me with feelings of excitement, curiosity, and down-right trepidation! The thing was, I loved my hair color as it was; I just really had a hankering for red hair and something a little different. I thought to myself, “I’ll just wait until I start going grey and I’ll probably want to color my hair anyway.” Then it dawned on me that that will probably be a long time from now and I may not feel like being a red head then. But, it just seemed so permanent! I was so afraid of looking like an orange pumpkin or carrot orange, or simply not liking it at all and being stuck with it. Trey said, “Just try it! If you don’t like it it’s not the end of the world, you can color it back as close to your natural hair color as possible and let it grow out; even if you have to use a chemical dye. Besides, I think it sounds kind of exciting for you be a red head.” So it was Trey who actually gave me the courage to take the leap.  I have since read that you can actually lift the Henna from your hair using several oil treatments. Whether this works in all cases I do not know.

So why Henna? I did a ton of research on Henna for your hair. Most of us know Henna as a dye that People in India use for temporary body art, particularly during ceremonies and special occasions such as weddings. But did you know that for centuries people have also been using it for their hair? It is very nourishing and really promotes healthy hair! Chemical hair dye is packed full of harmful chemicals, not to mention, it is very damaging for your hair itself. I weighed the pros and cons in my mind and was easily swayed toward Henna!

So why red? Combining Henna with other natural herbs can give you a hair color anywhere from light brown and red to black, believe it or not! Since I was but a wee lass I have imagined I was an Irish maid full of fire and spirit with a mane of wild red hair flowing behind me. I have dreamed of visiting Ireland and wondered and hoped that somehow there was but a drop of Irish blood in my veins. I always enjoy listening to Irish/Celtic music, especially at Christmas time. I really don’t know about the Irish blood in my veins, but I certainly did not have a mane of wild red hair. I cherished the highlights in my hair that gave it a reddish cast, but that was about the extent of it. When I saw some of the different hues of red that could be achieved with Henna I began to wonder if my childhood dreams could perhaps be achieved in a very safe, healthy, and natural sort of way.

I was anxious to see how long it would take before I needed to touch-up my roots. From what I had read the roots were supposed to look much more gradual and natural with Henna than with chemical dyes and that was absolutely the case! I did my first Henna hair treatment at the beginning of September and I didn’t feel the need to Henna again until three months later. By that point the roots were becoming pretty noticeable to me, especially in certain lighting but many people could not even tell the difference. I decided to do another full Henna treatment. I was very pleased with the length of time I was able to go between treatments!

Another thought was, will there be a color change when I decide to do a root touch up or another full hair treatment? I could detect no line whatsoever! I was once again pleasantly surprised!

Due to the fact that I was not faithful in taking after photos, the after photo is actually the results of my latest Henna treatment. The results were very similar with perhaps a slight deepening of color the second time around.

Over the course of a few posts I would like to go a little more in depth about where to find Henna, Henna application, links to websites with information, etc. I’m really excited to share this with all of you!

~ Clair

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Are you standing in a trickling spring or a rushing mountain stream?

Sorry for the dry spell these last few months! Life has been taking some crazy turns lately and I'm just trying to keep up with all the changes!

 Sometimes life is like a calm, trickling spring and other times it is like a dangerous, rushing river. I love those gentle, peaceful times that contain an indescribable stillness of the soul. During those times it seems as if life could never get better, and one wonders how God could have any plans better than this! But it is in those moments of tumult that we come to a whole new level of God's sovereignty, of His greatness! Thank Him for those trials, praise Him for the pain in your life! He will use it to produce mighty things in your life! You will grow in ways you never new you could if you allow Him to work in and through you. Life will contain things that you never imagined could exist! He will ford that rushing river if you  hold onto His hand!

 God almighty is on the throne, allow him to mold you today.