Dear America, I Love You!

America

 

Happy birthday America!

 

I am so glad that you are my country!   I was walking in ‘my’ big lovely cornfield, thanking God for you the other day :)

 

You are one of the few (perhaps only) nations to be built on the solid foundation of the light and gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

You are one of the few nations to rise to such prosperity, success, and influence in such a short amount of time.  What blessings He has given you!

 

And God caused me to be born here.  At this time. In this amazing and wonderful place.

 

I thank God for you.  And I thank God for the brave soldiers who gave their lives so that we could be free.  I am proud to be a part of you.

 

I know you’re not perfect.  But that is no surprise…we live in an imperfect world.

 

But I pray for you.  I pray for God’s mercy, for His Light, for His Glory.  I pray for revival.  You’re not finished yet.  You still have much to do!  Things are being shaken so that the unnecessary falls away.   The increasing darkness is only causing His incredible Light and Love to shine the brighter.

 

A revival is coming.  The power of Jesus’ Love cannot be stopped.  His Love has dynamite power.  Only it instead of destroying things…it restores them to wholeness and beauty!

 

I pray that His Light and Glory will flood your land!  And it will :)

 

Shine, America, shine!  Be a beacon of the Hope and Love and Redemption of Jesus Christ!  May you live long, and may you be a blessing to the nations!

 

 

jessica

 

 

 

 

My country, ’tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty,

Of thee I sing;

Land where my fathers died, Land of the pilgrims’ pride,

From ev’ry mountainside

Let freedom ring!

 

 

Our fathers’ God to Thee, Author of liberty,

To Thee we sing.

Long may our land be bright, With freedom’s holy light,

Protect us by Thy might,

Great God our King.

 

Photo credit: Fred Seibert on Flickr

 

 

 

The Letter Express…Our Human Obstacle Course

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

About a month or so ago, Cassia had this idea to make a human obstacle course for us all to compete in. Our 4H fair is coming up, and the llamas we show go through obstacles, so I believe she got inspired by that 😉

 

I must admit, when she and Anna started talking about climbing ladders, sliding down a rope 20 feet from a tree limb (they scratched that one off of the list…whew!), and eating dandelions, I thought, “How about I just watch?!”.  But all of us who were home did it, and we had so much fun! Leah was visiting some friends for a week, so she didn’t get to do this one, but she says we need to make another one so she can do it, too.

 

Cassia gave us each a letter inside of an envelope, and we were to ‘deliver’ it to the mailbox after taking it through each of the obstacles.  Thus the reason you will see an envelope in our mouths in some of these pictures when we needed our hands!  She timed each of us with the goal that we’d be able to complete the course in the shortest amount of time.

 

Cassia and Anna spent a lot of time planning it out on Saturday, then on Sunday afternoon they got it all set up and we ‘competed’.  We didn’t post pictures of everybody doing every obstacle…but we do have quite a few.  It was hard deciding which ones to do 😀

 

1. The Starting Line

 

And she’s off!

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

Rebekah

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

Anna

(the stick is the ‘starting line)

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

Susannah

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

2. Climb the Ladder…

…and get your letter waiting at the top!

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

Charissa

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

Rebekah

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

Susannah

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

3. Crawl Through the Tunnel With the Cat

and your letter, of course!

It’s a wonder the cat came back for more…she got carried through the tunnel a total of eight times, and still came back every time we called her 😀

 Noah

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

 

Charissa

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

Rebekah

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

Anna

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cassia

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

Susannah

(the cat got away and finished the tunnel before she did :)  )

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

Jessica

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

 

4. Climb the Hay Bales

This was easy peasy for the boys…who climb and jump and run all day every day.

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

It was a bit harder for us older girls.

Who do not run and jump and play all day every day 😀

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

5. The Balance Beam

 

Cassia said she thought that this was going to be too easy…but after you’ve climbed a ladder, crawled through a tunnel with a cat, and jumped over a hay bale wall as fast as  you can, it took some steadying to stay on the beam :)

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

6. Feed Sack Hop

So much fun!

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

I love these expressions!

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

7. Dandelions

This one I wasn’t too sure about.  Cassia said we had to cancel our ‘stamp’ on the letter with the dandelion (not too bad), eat the leaf of the dandelion (not so bad…just think about lettuce while you chew it up), AND the flower. WHAT?! Who eats dandelion flowers?  Well…we did!  And it wasn’t so bad actually :)

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

She was nice enough to provide water to wash it down, which helped!

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

8. Cartwheels!

 

I love this picture :)

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

Getting ready…

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

Susannah fell over after one of hers 😀

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

 

9. The Jump

 

We had a piece of baling twine tied between two poles that we had to jump over.

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

Susannah is so tall…she just stepped over it 😀

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

 

 

10. The Weave

 

Right after we jumped, we had to drop to our knees and start weaving/crawling in between the orange cones…

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

…with the letter in our mouth!

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

11. The Web

Cassia made a big web out of baling twine for us to crawl through next.

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

12. Egg and Spoon

 

Surprisingly, no eggs were harmed 😀

We ran with the egg from one station to the next.

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

 

13. Shoot the Water Balloons

Quite possibly this was everyone’s favorite station 😀

We had to shoot all four water balloons with a BB gun before moving on…

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

A good shot of the water falling out of the balloon :)

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

Anna…see her water balloon being busted?

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

Pumping the BB gun :)

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

Ever since they got their guns at Christmastime, the boys have practiced shooting a LOT, so they had quite the advantage 😀

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

14. The Roll

The next obstacle was to roll underneath a low chain-link fence :)

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

15. Weaving In Between the Fir Trees

 

That was very pokey!

Not pokey as in slow…pokey as in pine needles coming at your arms and face as you ran in and out through the pine trees 😀

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

 

16. RUN!

 

The obstacles don’t really look that hard, but we ALL were SO tired by this point!  With the exception of Noah and Isaiah who run and jump and play all day…wait, I already said that!

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

It was so hard to run fast at this point 😀

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

But we ran…

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

…as fast…

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

…as we could!

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

17. The Mailbox

 

We ran all the way around our circle drive to the mailbox…

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

…and ‘delivered’ the letter…

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

The Letter Express...Our Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

…with the flag…

 

 

The Letter Express...Our Human Obstacle Course

 

going UP!

The Letter Express...Our Human Obstacle Course

 

 

…and ran as fast as we could…

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

…to the…

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

Finish Line!!!

 

Which happened to be a leaky hose spraying water straight up :)

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

 

…and this is how we all ended.  Laying on the ground trying to catch our breath 😀

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

We went in order from youngest to oldest, so when Anna heard Rebekah’s time, she decided that she just had to beat it!  And she did by a few seconds 😀  She was the over all winner at 3.5 minutes.

 

We did have the list of everyone’s times, buuuuuuut…we lost it :(  Hopefully it’ll turn up somewhere!

 

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

Anna getting a drink of water :)

 

 

 

A the end it all, someone suggested we take a group picture.  I don’t know if you can tell, but we were all QUITE tired…some of us could barely stand up and smile for the camera 😀

The Letter Express...a Human Obstacle Course

 

 

We celebrated with ice cream…of course!

And now for the videos :)  Anna did one as if she was going through the obstacle course, and we sped it up.  Then we did another one of the cleanup…and sped that up.  And finally, a video of Isaiah doing the course, and we sped that up, too.  Not that he really needs any speeding up 😉   We didn’t get any pictures of him doing the obstacle course, but he does get his own video :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congrats!  If you made it all the way to here, you have successfully viewed all 100 pictures.  At least I think it was 100 pictures.  Well anyways…it was a lot!

 

 

jessica

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Little Bit Of Spring

 

What treasure waits within Your scars, This gift of freedom gold can’t buy

I bought the world and sold my heart, You traded heaven to have me again


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My heart beating, my soul breathing, I found my life when I laid it down

Upward falling, spirit soaring I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground

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Find me here at Your feet again,  Everything I am, reaching out, I surrender

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               Come sweep me up in Your love again

And my soul will dance

                                                                                             On the wings of forever

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Upward falling,   spirit soaring

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I touch the sky, When my knees hit the ground!

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Lyrics by Hillsong United: Touch the sky

 

[fourth annual] A Valentine’s Outing ♥

You probably remember our annual Valentine’s outings that we started doing…I can’t believe it’s been four years ago 😀  This year we had to do it on the 15th because of white out conditions on the 14th.  And we had a great time!

 

AND…I am just now getting around to posting this a whole month later 😀   I should have done it earlier, because now I have to read off of our letters to remember the funnies that went on!

 

Firstly, we went and saw our local symphony’s first Young Artist’s Competition which included a couple of cellos, violins, a viola, a harp, a marimba, and more :)  After that…we went to Starbucks!!!

 

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 One tragic thing was that Charissa and I BOTH lost last year’s letters/notes that we wrote to ourselves.

Even worse…when I went to look for this year’s letter, I can’t find THAT one either!

 

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 Charissa’s selfie

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 Me with my Java Chip

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 7 Coffees for 7 Sisters

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

We really enjoyed reading last year’s letters (and reading each others’ letters!)

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

…and we wrote new ones, too, of course!

(Every year we read our letter from last year, and then write a new one to be read next year.)

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

We had a lot of great laughs.  Not sure what about all of the time, but it was fun!

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

After drinking her coffee, Charissa discovered Starbuck’s Passion tea (with lemonade), so she got one of those, too!

She LOVES tea!

The barista also told her that she could get a refill for 54¢, so she was excited about that.  She was down to pennies, though, so she started digging through her change and exclaimed, “Guys!”

Anna guessed, “You have 54¢.”

Charissa replied, “Fifty-five!”

 

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[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 

We were talking about something, and then Cassia interupted and said, “Change of subject: AUCTION!” and slapped her drink onto the napkin dispenser.  She wasn’t happy with her drink…again…it seems that every year it isn’t quite right 😀

 

From Charissa’s letter:

 According to Cassia I have a good or kind heart because I bought the rest of her Starbuck’s drink for 50¢…

 

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

From Cassia’s letter:

Note to self.  Next time get:

Double Chocolatey Chip Frappuccino w/ extra chocolate and w/ peppermint.  You were not happy with your drink (Java Chip Frappuccino decaf) and were complaining that every time you come, you don’t like your drink.  You tried Susannah’s and liked hers.

 

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

From Charissa’s letter:

Hello you…well here we are again!  Man I love our Valentine’s outings!  I got a Venti Vanilla Bean Frappuccino…it’s sooooo good!

 

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 Busily writing our notes…

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 

You can’t really see it in this picture, but there was one extra chair at the table we were all sitting around.  Several of us commented that it felt like someone was missing, that all of us weren’t there.  We decided it must be because of the empty chair.  Leah said it was a sign that we were going to get another sister 😀

 

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 “What should I write?!”

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 Anna has that “Now what do I write about?” face.

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 

 

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 

 

 Some of us enjoy using the Starbuck’s napkins for our ‘stationery’ 😀

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 Anna found her pen quite tasty, Bekah was down to the last drops of her coffee, and I was trying to figure out how to start my letter….to myself.

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 Serious business…

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

We all chipped in a dollar to pay for the fuel, so everyone started throwing their dollar onto the napkin dispenser in the middle of the table 😀

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

We said it looked like we were betting on something, the way we were all slapping them down 😀  And Anna didn’t have her dollar with her, so she put her chapstick up there.  “See if that will fit in the gas tank!”

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 

 

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

Susannah got a brain freeze from her frappuccino, and so she gave the advice I wrote on my napkin below:

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 All in all, we had a super duper time :)

Sisters are the bestest!

 

[fourth annual] A Valentine's Outing ♥ Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 

jessica

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tutorial: Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal

I came up with this just before last Christmas when Anna really wanted a 5 year diary (almost all of us keep a diary) with a fabric cover with ruffles on it.  More specifically, she wanted raw edges on the ruffles which I couldn’t think of any reason why anyone would purposely leave raw edges for the fun of it. I mean, I’m the one who is always picking every little loose thread off of everything.  I abhor fuzz and loose threads.  So why would you create more?  I guess it is “cute” and “in”.  I don’t know.  I really don’t get it.  But since she really wanted it, I decided to give it a try.  Charissa then wanted one for her birthday. With no raw edges. Good girl!!! :)  Anywho, after making a grand total number of two, I decided to make another and do a tutorial.   There is no way I am going to keep it and be picking threads off of me until the cows come home, so I am listing it on our Etsy shop for sale!!   :)

 

And I’m still picking loose threads off of me 😛  :)

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

 Materials you will need:

*1 piece of main fabric cut out 10 inches wider, and 2-1/2 inches longer than your journal

*1 piece of lining fabric the same size as your main piece

*4 pieces of contrasting fabric for your ruffles.  2 inches by 1-1/2 times the width of your journal (so mine is 18 inches long)

* 1 ribbon, about 4 inches longer than your journal

*a charm of your choice

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

 The journal I am using had a black bookmark ribbon. I cut it off because it does not at all go with the colors I am using.  I will add a white ribbon bookmark later.

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

 Put gathering stitches in each ruffle, about 1/2 inch from the top. If you don’t want raw edged ruffles, zig-zag the edges before putting in the gathering stitches.

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

 Fold and press your main piece in half both ways to mark the very middle.  Then, measure your journal and pin (measuring from the middle out) marking where you want your ruffles.

Here, my journal is 12-1/2 inches wide and 9 inches long. So measuring from the middle, the top and bottom pins are 4-1/2 inches from the middle, and the side pins are 6-1/4 inches from the middle.

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

 Pin the ruffles in place.  Pin them further over your marked area if you want the ruffle to go all the way to the edge (as shown on other covers I have made at the end of this post). If you want the ruffle to end before the edge of your journal, like this one, pin it right up to your marked area.

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

 Sew all four ruffles on just under the gathering stitches…

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

 Take out the gathering stitches and trim all threads

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

Place both pieces right sides together, sew with an 1/2 inch seam allowance around leaving a 5 inch opening on one of the short ends.  Trim corners.

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

Turn right side out, press, and stitch the opening closed.

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

Place your journal exactly in the middle of the inside out fabric cover and fold the edges over the journal cover edges and pin in place….

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

Stitch all four seams with an 1/2″ seam allowance….

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

Turn right side out, press and see how your journal fits….

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

Stitch the ribbon bookmark to the top middle

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

Add a charm of your choice to the end of the bookmark…

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

Ta da!!!! You’re done!!! :)

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

 This is one I made Anna for Christmas….she wanted the raw edges. This is a bigger notebook (a 5-year diary actually), than the one I used for this tutorial, so I did 5 ruffles.

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

This is one I made for Charissa’s birthday. She wanted no raw edges, so I did a zig-zag stitch with contrasting color on the edges.  It is the same kind of diary that I used for Anna’s.

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

 You could do variations of ruffles: smaller ruffles, leave more space between the ruffles, do vertical ruffles, just one ruffle, etc.  The possibilities are endless!!!

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

 

Enjoy trying this out!  Remember, if you don’t want to sew your own, just hop right on over to our Etsy shop and buy this very one!!!! :)

 

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I Made My Own Burt’s Bees Chapstick!!!

I’ve seen some tutorials on Pinterest on how to make your own chapstick, and I’ve been wanting to try it for a while now :)   Especially after I found out that my favorite chapstick, Burt’s Bees, isn’t as natural as I originally thought.

I Made My Own Burt's Bees Chapstick!!! - Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

It’s much better than most chapsticks (see the link above…it explains the ingredients and they’re not all that bad), but after discovering Burt’s is owned by Clorox, combined with the fact that Burt’s is $3 sometimes $4 a tube, and I carry chapstick around with me everywhere (therefore using a lot of it)I decided it was time to try to make my own!

 

I found several recipes and started reading and comparing.  The one that especially caught my eye was the one that said it was an exact copycat recipe of Burt’s Bees…and for only 12¢ a tube!!!  (click on the picture below)

 

Burt's Bees Copycat Recipe

From Happy Money Saver

 

 

So what I’m writing here isn’t really a full tutorial…but this is my variation of what I did with her recipe :)

 

I also found this helpful tutorial from Nerdy Farm Wife.  She goes into the ratios you need if you would want to experiment more with other ingredients or substitute anything.

 

I Made My Own Burt's Bees Chapstick!!! - Seven Sisters Blog

 

Happy Money Saver’s ingredient list was:

  • 20 grams Beeswax (about 3 Tablespoons of the whiter beads, but you can use a white/yellow bar too)
  • 20 grams Cocoa Butter or Coconut Oil (about 2 Tablespoons)
  • 45 grams Sunflower Oil (1/4 cup)
  • 8 drops Vitaman E oil (4 vitamin E oil tablets worth)
  • 2 drops DoTerra Rosemary essential oil
  • 12 drops DoTerra Peppermint essential oil
  • Pea-sized drop of Lanolin ( she said not to use much of this or your balm will taste bad)

 

 

I knew that the melting difference of cocoa butter and coconut oil was huge.  Coconut oil melts SO quickly, while cocoa butter is a lot harder.  So I wasn’t too sure about using the coconut oil instead of the cocoa butter like she said.

I also didn’t have sunflower oil.  OR vitamin E oil.  OR Lanolin.

So I modified the recipe like this:

  • 3 T. beeswax
  • 2 T. cocoa butter
  • 1/4 c. almond oil
  • 20 drops DoTerra Peppermint essential oil (you don’t have to use DoTerra…just use a quality oil)

 

And I don’t have a little kitchen scale to measure the grams exactly…so this is proof that you can make good chapstick without needing to be really exact :)  Though one of those scales might be nice to get someday!

 

 

I Made My Own Burt's Bees Chapstick!!! - Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

I was surprised how quickly it all melted.  We had beeswax ‘beads’, so that probably helped the melting process go more quickly.

I Made My Own Burt's Bees Chapstick!!! - Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

I used a glass medicine dropper to fill the chapstick tubes that I’ve been saving as I used up my Burt’s Bees (I’ve been planning this for a long time, lol!).  You can buy tubes, though,  (see Happy Money Saver’s tutorial) if you don’t happen to keep empty tubes in your closet 😀

 

It looks all clear when you first put it in, but it sets up pretty quick (on the left).  At first my medicine dropper was starting to resemble a candle because the beeswax kept cooling each time I dipped it 😀  But I kept squeezing and stirring the dropper in the hot beeswax until it melted off.

 

I Made My Own Burt's Bees Chapstick!!! - Seven Sisters Blog

 

My sisters were laughing as I was exclaiming, “Look girls!  Look!  I MADE that!” 😀  But it is a pretty neat feeling to see all of these full chapstick tubes that YOU made 😀

 

The chapstick sinks as it cools, so I topped it off with more melted chapstick to make it look smoother.

 

I Made My Own Burt's Bees Chapstick!!! - Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

One recipe of hers made 12 tubes, plus a little bit left over that I put into a plastic container to melt back down later for refills. I’m guessing it probably would have made 18 or so tubes.

I actually like my homemade Burt’s better than the actual Burt’s Bees :)  It’s not quite as hard as Burt’s Bees, but also not too soft…I don’t like soft gooey chapsticks!

Is it worth it?!  YESSSSS!  I think I’m going to make my own from now on…it’s easy, it’s cheap, and I know exactly what I put in it 😀  I think it took me an hour, from start to finish.  That doesn’t include all of the overthinking, and analyzing I did over different recipes before I started, buuuut….that doesn’t count 😀

I also had the added blessing in that Mommy keeps “strange” things like Cocoa Butter, Beeswax, and essential oils around…and she let me use them if I gave her some chapstick, hehe!

I Made My Own Burt's Bees Chapstick!!! - Seven Sisters Blog

 

A little cleaning tip: after emptying the pan of the chapstick mixture, wipe it out right away with a paper towel.  That way the beeswax doesn’t harden on the pan :)  I did the same thing with the medicine dropper, then I squeezed boiling water in and out of it to clean the inside.

 

Be sure you check out the Happy Money Saver’s tutorial.  It was easy to follow, clear, and to the point…just what I like!

 

How about you?  Have you made your own chapstick or another beauty product?  What are your favorites? :) :)

 

jessica

Painted Mason Jar DIY

So, I’ve been on Pinterest (being the dangerous place it is 😉 ) and found a really cute idea for mason jars, and I decided to try it out!

 

Okay, here’s what you’ll need:

Mason jar

Masking tape or paint tape

sharp knife (X-acto)

chalk board spray paint

chalk

fabric or ribbon

tea light candle

To start off with, put several pieces of tape on the smooth part of the mason jar, (if you have couple inch tape, use that! Much easier!) Draw a heart on it, then with your knife carfully cut around the tracing. I have a few battle wounds from this 😉

photo 2 (4)

In a well ventilated area, spray paint your jar over newspapers so you don’t kick up dust that then make a mess of your project! And don’t spray too close, or you’ll get drips. I wrapped my hand in newspapers and stuck it in the jar so I wouldn’t get my hand all messy! :)

photo 4 (2)

 

Once that’s dry, you may need to do a second coat…that’s what works best for me! And after it’s dried, carefully take your knife and peel the heart off. Excited yet? Looks pretty cool at this stage, but to make it look even MORE cool, follow the next step!

photo 3 (3)

 

Before this step, I always let it set out to air out and fully dry for about a day. Take your ribbon, fabric strip or what ever cute thing you might find to wrap around the top of the jar! Then make little dotted lines with the chalk around the heart. It adds a nice touch, and accentuates the heart!! Put your tea light in and your ready to go!!

And if your afraid of catching your house on fire…you could use those electric candles!! :)

Finished product!!!

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ind.

 

 

P.S. I am in no way responsible if the fabric or paint catches fire 😉 lol!

Enjoy your beautiful jars! I like to just sit there and look at them!! ^_^

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54492-61-0E533232321E5B8DCF94E82AA2339F5B

 

And if you don’t want to make them, but really want them, you can check out this set HERE :)

Happy 14th Birthday, Charissa!!!

Happy birthday, Charissa!

We are so glad to have you as our seventh sister 😉

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

 

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

We love how you still play with, and take care of the boys…

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

 

…and that smile…it makes us smile!

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

 

Your creativity…

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 …your fun and sweet personality, your love for baking (which benefits us greatly!), and the happiness that shines through you is such a blessing to us.

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

 

We love you!!!

A Messy House Collides With Forgotten Company

 

We’ve adopted Teresa Tapp and her husband, Mark, as our new aunt and uncle 😀  They’re such fun to be with and some of our favorite people 😉  Uncle Mark came from a family of twelve, so he knows all about how big families work, and he’s told us lots of stories from his own family 😀  You may remember our posts here and here about when we visited their farm.

 

His birthday was last fall, and we wanted to make him this video, but we were really busy with canning season and never got to it.  So about three Saturday’s ago, we really were having a ‘lazy Saturday’ for once and filmed this video 😀

 

 

A few fun facts:

♥ Most of that mess was real. We didn’t have to stage much! Anna did unfold a bunch of towels, which she said felt ‘wrong’, and we dumped out Legos and set up the Monopoly game. And messed up Isaiah’s hair.

♥ Someone put pancakes on the griddle and left them there just for the movie, but it isn’t uncommon for pancakes to stay out for quite awhile on a Saturday morning…just usually not on the griddle.

♥ If you’re a fan of the Jostie Flicks you might notice that Bekah is watching ‘A Suitor’s Tale‘ on the iPad

♥Anna is playing with a ‘Cat’s Cradle’ string…with the cat

♥ It’s hard to see because it’s so fast, but at 3:46 Cassia carries the cat out of the room. The cat comes back 3:58, and at 4:10 Anna moves the cat to the couch 😀

 

Watch and enjoy!