Hair and More Hair...and then Less Hair...and Then Tears

For Ansley's wedding, I wanted to do our fanciest 'do to-date on Abigail.

I looked around my Pinterest board and got inspiration...and then whipped this out...

Flat braids in the front, into puffs...and then two more puffs in the back

...in "only" one hour and thirty minutes.  Only.  I was actually surprised it only took me that long. Someone with more experience could do it much quicker...and I have hopes to be much quicker eventually.

On Friday night I washed, conditioned, detangled, and banded A's hair...getting ready for actually doing the hairstyle on Saturday afternoon.

I had to work around her "bald" spot (which isn't actually bald...just much, much shorter) in the back...choosing to do this diagonal part, instead of the vertical/horizontal ones I had planned, that I realized would look funny because of the length discrepancy.

This style lasted 4 days, but was pretty raggedy by the end (meaning:  I wouldn't have taken her anywhere important looking like that!).  I took it out last night and it is now "free", and so cute!

And for the wedding, Elisabeth wanted to do this pretty braided bun style that she's worn several times recently.

I found this on Pinterest (of course)...and we've both loved it.

So pretty, and it doesn't take very long to do.

And it's a good thing that we've gotten to do that hairstyle several times recently, and "get it out of our system"....because E now doesn't have hair long enough to pull it off anymore:

Elisabeth has been working for a long time now on growing her hair out to donate.

I have been trying to persuade her for a while that her hair was long enough to go ahead and donate, but it would have ended up being in a short bob (which I have always loved on her), and she wanted it to still reach her shoulders after the cut.   

But now she was ready.  So we told Mrs. Donna that the next time I came in Elisabeth was ready for the big chop.  And then the last few days I started to have doubts...I love Libeth with her long hair!

But she was ready, so today, in no time flat....

...the deed was done:

And then Donna straightened up the bottom of Elisabeth's hair, and we talked and laughed...and cried.

I didn't cry because I missed E's hair ....but because Mrs. Donna told us today that she and her hubby are moving to TX for his job.

Donna started getting teary on E, and right after I snapped this, they hugged for a long time and Donna spoke words of love and encouragement over Elisabeth.  I cried.

I am sitting her getting misty-eyed again.

Donna has cut my hair for 13 years now.  But she is not "just" my hairdresser.  She has become a dear friend.  She is my prayer warrior.  When I go in to see her we end up having prayer meeting.  She has prayed us through all six of our adoptions.  She has spoken and prayed words of hope and encouragement and victory over our family.  When I slip into her chair, it is like an oasis...and I have adult talk and prayer and she has prayed me through many a tough time.  We have solved all the world's problems during our times together (although you wouldn't know it to look around).

No one else has ever cut Elisabeth's hair....

E's first haircut

...or Noah's:

N's first haircut - 11/2005

And she is the only one who has cut LK's hair since she came home:

March 2010, LK had been home 6 weeks, and just turned 4

For months now, G has wanted a haircut every time I go, so Mrs. Donna sits him up there, big as you please, and she pretends to cut his hair  - and he isn't any the wiser...and he is so happy:

Seeing these pictures reminds me that I need to get a pic of Daniel with Mrs. Donna before she leaves.  By the time D came home, we had learned how to cut boy hair with clippers, so she has never cut his hair...but I have to have a picture of the two of them together!

Now excuse me while I go pray...and cry...


3-Week Old Chicks

Our 37 baby chicks are three-weeks old now. The only thing that amazes me more than how fast they grow is that we still haven't lost any yet!

We have had to go from two brooders, with heat lamps....

...to 3 brooders, no heat lamps...and the screens (that my talented hubby made) are a MUST now....

...as the chicks can now just fly right out without them on there.


Now:  (I had to take this quick, as my first attempt lead to two chicks flying right out before I could snap a pic)

We switched to using sand on the bottom of the brooders.  Don't love this either.

And the chicks have gone from looking like this - nothing but fuzzy fluff...

to this - with real wing feathers coming in quick:

This is fascinating to me....how their wing feathers are growing in like this, "making their appearane" so to speak...and making the appearance of the different breeds very distinct now.  I mentioned that while we were supposed to have been shipped 6 different kinds of chicks, to my

"untrained eye it appears we only have four different kinds."  

 "....but what do I know? Maybe they'll look different as they grow."

Glad I left that leeway there, and didn't declare that we'd been cheated.  Because now it is very clear that we do have six different breeds.  Only a newbie (waving hand) would not know that the wings would come in soon and reveal the obvious differences in the breeds.  

I've looked (and looked) at the pictures on the Mt. Healthy Hatchery site (where we ordered the chicks) and I **think** I have these chicks labeled correctly:

This diagram above is for me...because I would like to have enough chicken knowledge to know what we have, AND which is which.  

Speaking of my lack of knowledge:  When Jas mentioned the other day that he can see their combs starting to come in, Noah piped up with this question, "Combs?  Are they rose combs?  Or walnut combs?"  WHA?!?! I had NO idea what he was talking about...but he showed me a chart he'd been looking at, and sure enough...there are numerous different types of combs.

As is obvious, I am reading at a pace just beyond our experience, only what step ahead of what we need to know to keep them alive!

These recent outside pics were taken during a couple of field trips we took the chicks on.  We set up a "playpen" for the chicks.  Out in the front yard, no less.  Yes, it was a little most red-neck looking contraption:

We wanted them to get some outside time, but can't let them just run and fly away, the current plan is for them to free-range in the pasture but T-Bone is cray-cray, and we needed to protect them from dogs (ours included), so what were we to do?

Grab some leftover "hardware cloth", a wagon, and 2 planters that stake into the ground, and our Monogram flag that stakes into the ground.

When the sun was behind the clouds, the chicks roamed freely all over the playpen,
but when the sun was out, all 37 of them would jam up together under the wagon.

It worked!

Lily Kay even volunteered to spend rest-time out there with them, so they could be outside for longer.  She set herself up in the wagon and had a ball!

And the chicks had a ball also:

And this is what my two littlest ones did while the chicks played in their playpen!

As I quickly discovered, I could sit and watch those chicks for hours (I didn't do that...but I could).

It was fascinating watching them peck at stuff, and walk around, and fly a little, and drink (by dipping their beak into the water and then lifting their head up to let the water slide down - why I found that so fascinating I'm not so sure!).  It is so neat seeing them test out their new little wings.  Usually each mini-flight ended when the chick would run into another chick, not because there wasn't enough room in there - because there was plenty - but because they don't know what they're doing yet or how to control themselves!

Buff Orpingtons

Light Brahma

I unfortunately didn't get any pictures of this, but the chicks found a good spot under the wagon to give themselves a dust bath.  How did they know to do this since their mamas didn't show them?  God-given instincts - Fascinating!  It was so cute to watch them.  The spot was only big enough for two to squeeze in there, and there were always many others waiting around for their turn.  They were not patient, and would push each other out!

It was also fascinating to watch the chicks when they would catch some "prize".  You would know a game would be afoot when they would start cheeping loudly, and one (and then more and more) would start chasing one chick around (with something hanging out of his mouth).  The first couple of times I saw this, I thought, "Oh good, the chick caught some little bug!"  But I finally started looking hard at what they were fighting over - it was normally a longer piece of grass!  Some "prize"!  And they would chase and chase, and usually take turns stealing the prize from one another.  Too funny!

New Hampshire

I also don't have a picture of this, because it was too sad at the time (but it turned out good and now I so wish I had taken pictures!):

One morning as Noah and I were re-filling food and water for chicks we noticed that one little Buff  was smooshed up against the side of the bin, and not moving.  At all.  She looked pathetic.  The other chicks would randomly peck at her once or twice as they would go by.  It hadn't gotten bad yet, but from what I've read, that would get bad if we didn't do something.  So we took that chick out and put her in ICU (the box that they all originally arrived in).  The only thing we could see wrong at all was that her right wing seemed strange, she didn't seem to be able to fold it in all the way flush against her body.  I just knew she wouldn't make it.  I was actually castigating myself for being such a wimp and not going ahead and putting her out of the misery that I was sure she was in.

And then, she was still alive a couple hours later.  I was surprised.

We put food and water in there for her.

She was still alive in the morning.  WOW!  Couldn't believe it!

The children put her ICU box down inside a free bin, because she jumped out of her ICU box (which had very low sides).

One reported that they found her cuddled up inside her food bowl.  Good sign?

And when she was awake and chipper and walking all around that next morning when I was out there, I decided to put her back in a bin with the other chicks and watch how it went.

She was fine.  The rest treated her fine.  And when I looked away for a few seconds, and then looked back, I couldn't even tell which Buff she was (we have 10 of them)...and I took that as a great sign!  Successfully reincorporated into the flock - our first success story!  I was thrilled!

Not too much longer now until we can move them outside...and that day will come none too soon for those of us who are tired of cleaning chicken brooders (which means:  all of us!).



Well, she did it.  Technically, they did it.  Our Ansley has gone and gotten married!

We all had so much fun at Ansley and Mark's wedding Saturday night.

Noah said it best this morning, "I still can't believe our Ansley is already married!"  (Like he's a fifty-year old man or something (which is what he acts like quite a bit).)

I know, I know, Noah...just yesterday, all of you looked like this...

...and then this:

(sigh)  Wow, time flies.

The ceremony was beautiful and so special.

And then, the reception was beautiful also.  And FUN!!!

First, we met this sweet young woman, who took a liking to our children...

Look at A sacked OUT!  M must be a "baby whisperer"
...and they liked her right back.

 I had a great time talking hair with M (who has been transitioning to "natural" for a year now).

And then the dancing started, which my kids loved!

E loves to dance...the other bigs love to watch!

 And the next thing I knew...

...M was bringing G out onto the dance floor!

He had a big time.

He was in his element.

M's mom - whom I also had a wonderful time talking with - leaned over to Jas near the end of the evening and said that we were "going to have a much older daughter-in-law."
Done!  It's a deal!  We need to book this place for about 20 years from now!

G takes his dancing very seriously...

...until he doesn't.

Ansley asked the 8 of us to step outside for her photographers to get our pictures with her and Mark. As soon as they snapped the shots, I looked around for G and he had taken off like a SHOT back into the dancing.

When I stepped back inside, I found him firmly planted right smack in the MIDDLE of the "dance circle"!

You know what a dance circle is?  Where everyone circles up around one person who is really showing off their moves...while everyone cheers them on.

You know...the kind of dance circle you couldn't pay this girl a MILLION dollars to get into the middle of.

I hope he always "dances like no one is watching." I hope all my children do.  (Metaphorically speaking, of course.)

And then I wish they'd teach their mother to do that also.

We love you, Ansley and Mark....and pray God's blessings over your marriage.

We count it a privilege to have watched you grow into the beautiful woman you are, Ansley...and can't wait to watch you in your new role as a devoted wife, working alongside your husband to bring glory to His name!


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