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    7 Quick Takes

    January 24, 2014 by Brandy Vencel
    — 1 —

    Do you cut your children’s hair? I do. Well, I don’t cut E-Age-11’s hair because Siah does that, but I cut everyone else’s. As the girls are getting older, their hair is getting thicker and thicker, and it’s harder to cut than when they had baby-fine hair and a trim took two seconds. I get especially confused because I have fine, curly hair, while they have straight, thicker hair {Daughter A.’s hair is especially thick}. My sweet friend Nancy introduced me to Hair 101 with April on You Tube and I am so excited! These tips are exactly what I needed to take it to the next level.

    — 2 —

    I’ve been dusting off my teaching reading blog. A year or two ago, the readers over there started requesting that I turn it into an ebook because that would make it easier to navigate. I agreed in theory, but in practice that sounded like a lot of work that I didn’t have the mental energy or time to do. I decided that this is the year for that project, and I’m pretty excited about it.

    — 3 —

    Curly Girl: The Handbook
    by Lorraine Massey
    {affiliate link}

    I own a book that says that, for those of us who have curly hair, there is no such thing as a bad hair day. This book is called Curly Girl: The Handbook and it really did help me make my peace with having curl in my hair.

    However, comma.

    That bit about not having bad hair days? The author obviously did not see me this past Saturday morning.

    And that’s all I’ll be saying about that.

    — 4 —

    A week ago, our weather was worth bragging about. It was perfect, spring-like weather. My apple trees were beginning to leaf out, and I even saw a few blooms on two of them. But yesterday, the wind kicked up. Oh, how it blew and blew. Because it has been so long since we’ve seen even a drop of rain, the air was full of dust. It was horrible. In fact, we had to cancel our co-op because even today, outside is no place to be.

    We are praying for rain.

    — 5 —

    I have gotten a few complaints about comments lately, so I invite you to click here and answer a quick, three-question survey about the comments. I know we just finished a survey around here, but I’d find it helpful if you answered this short one, too. Thank you!

    — 6 —

    I was looking through some old photos and realized that I never shared pictures of O’s fifth birthday lego cakes back in August…so here you go:

    These cakes were so. hard. for me. When he picked out the design, I thought it’d be easy, but it was a disaster waiting to happen. I had no clue how to cut them into nice shapes, and I also forgot to add the extra eggs to the batter, meaning they were way too soft for this sort of carving. I couldn’t find a tutorial, but it looked like similar cakes were using mini cupcakes for the dots on top. You know what? Too heavy for my cakes! They began to topple over. So, in the end, I decided on big frosting circles, which was honestly much easier than the melting wafers I’d seen suggested.
    The nice thing about five-year-olds is that they always think their cakes are perfect!
    — 7 —

    We’re building a mother-in-law quarters on our property. This is something we’ve talked about doing off and on for a long time, ever since we moved in. We’re finally taking the plunge. I’m a little nervous, mostly about having construction and kidding goats and children all sharing the space at once. I’m sure it’ll work out in the end.

    Either that or you’ll find me in a sanitarium somewhere wearing a very stylish straight jacket.


    We were supposed to break ground today, but I assume that, due to the wind, it’ll be next week.

    And that is all for this Friday. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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  • Reply Susan in St. Louis January 25, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    I’m excited to hear updates on the MIL quarters you are building, if you are willing to share. That is something that is really important to us as we look for our next house, and one option would be to build our own if there is not already something along those lines on the property. We very much want a lovely place to welcome young couples who want to get away for a night/weekend but can’t pay for a hotel or B&B…plus, it’d be great to have nice quarters for visiting family or friends! Do you plan to have someone live in your quarters full-time? Curious! πŸ™‚

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 27, 2014 at 11:17 pm

      I will try to share updates — maybe just in this regular Friday post — as we go along the way. So far, I’ve learned that when I pay an approximately $2400 permitting fee, $2000 goes to the school that we never lose. Grrr.

      My friend and her son are going to live out there for about a year and a half or so. After that, we hope that my grandparents will be ready to move. It would be so nice to have them in town and closer to us!

    • Reply Susan in St. Louis February 1, 2014 at 12:40 am

      Thanks so much for sharing more info. That definitely is frustrating about the permitting fee…argh! Of course, I’m curious about your budget for this, as we are considering something so similar, but realize that is unrealistic to ask you to share. So, all that to say, whatever you are willing to share over the coming weeks will be appreciated by me at least! πŸ˜‰

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 1, 2014 at 12:51 am

      To be honest, my guess is that it is waaaay more expensive to build in CA than it is in most parts of the country, and the cost of living is so much higher here than elsewhere, that it’d be better to find someone who has done it in your neck of the woods and ask them. With that said, it actually costs less than we had assumed that it would cost, which it was nice. πŸ™‚

      I don’t know if you saw today’s post, but I included a photo of our dirt piles. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Anonymous January 25, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Do you have scissor recommendations for haircutting? My don’t work very well. Kansas Mom, we usually do the no bangs look but DD4 decided to give herself bangs…on one side. –Sonia

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 27, 2014 at 11:15 pm

      I do *not* have suggestions. I was just thinking I needed new ones, actually. With that said, you can check out April’s channel because I *think* I saw one on tools.

  • Reply Kansas Mom January 24, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    I cut First Daughter’s hair once, when she was about one. Kansas Dad walked in the door, took one look, and said, “What did you do to my daughter’s hair?” I’ve never cut hair since. He does the boys and with the girls (and myself) we go for the long with no bangs look. It’s probably not very stylish, but it is easy (since we don’t do anything to it) and free.

  • Reply Kelly January 24, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Thanks for the Hair 101 link. I cut my family’s hair too and I watch YouTube videos, but I’ve never seen these. I see she has one for a High and Tight, which is what my son wants next, so I’ll be studying that video!

  • Reply Heather January 24, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    I cut my kids’ hair. If I had decent internet, I’d watch those videos you linked to. πŸ™‚
    But I use this method (don’t remember where I found this link):
    to do my 9 yr old daughter and myself. She has thick, straight hair and I have thick, curly hair. It looks great on both of us, and is so, so easy.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 27, 2014 at 11:13 pm

      Thank you for that link! I need all the help I can get. πŸ™‚

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