Monday, March 28, 2016

Spring Break: Homemade Easter gifts and the garden (work before play)

I remember when Charles was a lot younger and he used to do this all the time. He would pull some bedding onto the floor and sleep next to his bed, or sleep close to the door, sometimes when he was upset, sometimes just because. He hasn't done this in years but this past week he was upset about something (he was also hungry and tired which makes everything 10x worse) so our ten-year-old pulled his covers off, in defiance, and then a couple of minutes later I walked in to invite him to join us for dinner and he was fast asleep. We woke him after a bit and he was ready to eat and felt much better :). 
 In preparation for Easter, Scott and I made a couple of gifts for the kids. I made these Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs which are SO good(get the recipe by clicking on that link),
and Scott and I made them an all natural lotion that they love, and which they always take from our bathroom so we thought it'd be nice if they each had their own. 
It takes about 20 minutes of active work time to make this lotion, and then you have to let it set up in the fridge for a couple of hours and then it's done and good to be stored in your bathroom or wherever. Here's the recipe:
Whipped Body Butter (white chocolate)
1/4 c shea butter
1/4 c cocoa butter (or can do all shea)
1/4 c coconut oil
1/4 c almond oil or fractionated coconut oil
5 drops peppermint essential oil
5 drops melaleuca/tea tree essential oil
Combine all ingredients except essential oils, in a double boiler. Gently melt and stir over medium-low heat until liquid. Allow to sit and cool, at least to room temperature, (can speed this process in fridge), then add in the essential oils. Return to fridge and allow to chill until hardened, about 2 hours. Whip with a hand mixer until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Store in airtight container.  
 The kids had three days off of school for Spring Break (Thursday, Friday and Monday) which gave us time to get the weeds out of the garden in preparation for planting. Once everyone's chores were done in the morning (cleaning room, dishes, piano, cello etc), we all went out back and worked in the yard for about 30-45 minutes. We worked hard and the garden is all ready now for compost and then planting! We have three garden beds so we're going to put the each of the three oldest kids in charge of a garden bed and they'll also get to help choose what's being planted. We were done with all chores and everything by around lunch time and after lunch they were free to play outdoors with friends for a few hours....we're trying to only allow media(kindle, tv, computer, everything) on Saturdays, unless they need it for school, and even that time has to be earned during the week. So far, so good!
This is the chart I quickly wrote up before they were awake Thursday morning so we were all on the same page:
Elisabeth and Charles asked if they could put together an Easter Egg hunt for our younger girls on Thursday afternoon. They gathered together some candies they had saved from school and church and found some little objects like erasers etc that they put into plastic eggs and hid around the back yard. The girls were allowed 10 eggs each and they were thrilled :).  

 Saturday afternoon we found Nora here on the side of the couch, fast asleep. I don't know how that was comfortable.

I snapped this picture during our nightly family scripture/prayer time because all the kiddos were sitting together on the same couch, which normally doesn't happen. Usually I have one on my lap and two on each side of me with a couple on the other couch by Scott, but on this night Scott and I had the love seat to ourselves :).

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