Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back-to-School: 5 days of healthy snack ideas

**  Repost from the archives

Another thing that can be challenging about homeschooling is the amount of food consumed by children who are home all day.  
Children are just hungry.  
My boys seems to be hungry ALL the time!!  
The girls not as much.  
But it goes without saying that when they are home as opposed to away from home (i.e. a school) they are consuming more of your grocery budget!!  One frustrating tendency that my children have is eating hardly anything at breakfast and then finding themselves "STARVIN'" about 2 hours before lunchtime.  Then commences the constant grazing and rummaging through the kitchen,
 spoiling and plundering all my meal supplies for the week!!  
So, in addition to meal plans, I have found I need to have a "PLAN OF A-SNACK" as well!!

Additionally, for children with ADHD, when hunger kicks in it often triggers angry emotional outbursts and annoying behavior.  So keeping those hunger pangs in check is another key to a more peaceful school day!!

I like to have a morning snack and an afternoon snack planned.  You'll usually see us taking a break and refueling around 10:30 am and 3:00 pm.  Here are a few ideas that work really well for us!!  I'm still sticking to a list of things that are not a part of our diet anymore including high fructose corn syrup, MSG, artificial colors, less cow's milk and less gluten.  My official list is found here.

5 Days of Hunger-Busting Snacks

Monday:  "Power Balls"

In a blender, coarsely chop: 
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raisins

Mix with:
1 T. oat bran
1 - 16 oz jar crunchy or creamy peanut butter
1 T. apple juice concentrate

Mix with hands.  This will be sticky.  I have chopped a little more of the seeds and raisins together and added it to the mix so it was easier to roll into balls.
Roll in unsweetened shredded coconut.
Store in refrigerator.
Makes 3 dozen

** You can add in carob chips or whole raisins too!!

Tuesday:  Apple "Cupcakes"

These are so simple to make:
Half an apple crosswise and scoop or cut out the middle with the core.
"Frost" it with peanut butter or cream cheese (that has been mixed with a little sugar).
Sprinkle on any fun topping you like:

Wednesday:  Fresh veggies and hummus dip

Hummus Dip

Drain a 15 oz. can of chickpeas reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid.
Toss the chickpeas into the blender.
Add 1 clove of garlic (I sometimes use two as we love garlic!!),
1 tsp. cumin,
splash of lemon juice,
dash of salt,
and the reserved 1/4 cup of liquid.
Blend together until very smooth.
Also, lovely when served with Tortilla Strips

**I do have to be honest and say that not all my children are crazy about this one.
If they like the hummus, they prefer it with the tortilla strips that I buy from Costco (gluten free).
But we're working on eating more veggies, and I firmly believe that the more a child is exposed to certain veggies, they will eventually learn to enjoy them.  You could even slather some peanut butter on that celery too.  The pretty the presentation, the more excited they are also!!!

Thursday:  Mini Clementine Oranges
"Very-Berry Smoothies"

(I hope you can tell this is a picture I copied from somewhere on the web.
But this is exactly what mine would look like!!)

In a blender,
pour 3-4 cups of milk (I use skim, cow but you could use soy or almond or goat, etc.)
1 cup frozen strawberries
Handful of frozen blueberries (you could also substitute frozen bananas too!!)
Couple tablespoons of honey or "splenda" if you prefer
Scoop of ground flaxseed

Blend it all on high until smoothie like consistency.  I like ours really thick, so I may add more frozen berries if too thin.

Friday:  Popcorn  (Fresh popped or microwave)

Making popcorn on the stove is so much fun!!
It's a great fall/winter treat too!!
And.....gluten free!!
Here is a simple way to do that!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Back-to-school: Making the first day fun!!

I've always tried to make the first day back to full time homeschooling special.
I think it's important that we celebrate the freedom we have to start when we want, and do the subjects we want, and keep the schedule we want, and do things a little out of the ordinary as we want!
And it's fun to make a big deal out of the first day!!

This year, I planned much of the same things as I have in the past.
Usually, I try to plan a field trip on that first day to give everything an exciting kick-off, but I just didn't want to figure that out this year.
To get an idea of other things we've done on the first day back, check here and here.

Our schedule is changing a little bit, for which I'm terribly excited, so it meant I would've had to go alone with all my children, and that is usually very stressful for me.
So today we started with a newer tradition of taking pictures......


.....followed by a fun Back-to-School Breakfast......

 (Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins)

(Watermelon cut into shapes)

Later......we had a little Bible lesson......... everyone started on their brand new Math books and video lessons......
and eventually worked on our traditional End-of-Summer Collage......
an art project that we'll finish later this week and add to our growing collection of placemats.

We capped off the day with an hour of P.E..........

I certainly don't take for granted the privilege I have of homeschooling my children!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Back-to-school: Preparing my heart for homeschooling

School starts for us on Monday.
I've spent the last couple weeks getting ready for this.
Meal plans, baking, charts, curriculum orders, bookshelf purging, cleaning out.
I'm also taking time this year to really prepare my heart for our 11 th year of homeschool.
This isn't an easy road.....often one I would like a detour from.
But I feel it's what the Lord has for us again this year.
So I'm pulling from the archives a post I wrote a couple years ago about what a homeschooling home REALLY looks like.
It's good for me to remember to have realistic goals and visions for our year!

Since beginning our homeschooling journey 8 years ago, I've learned a thing or two.
I am by no mean a "know-it-all," but I've been around the block a time or two, and made of mistakes.
I think that one of my biggest mistakes was thinking that you can manage teaching several different ages and learning abilities, all the core subjects all at the same time with 2 pre-schoolers stealthily snooping around, while preparing 3 meals a day, cleaning up after said pre-schoolers, keeping the laundry neatly folded and the house neat-as-a-pin, and participating in a myriade of outside sports teams, church activities, homeschool "co-op" groups, music lessons, and remain smiling and completely peaceful and sane all at the same time!!

Let me blow the lid off this cover-up right now.
Let me give you a peek at the dirty laundry laying around in nearly every homeschoolers home.
Let me let you in on the big, dark secrets.

It ain't happenin'!!

If you are considering homeschooling
or if you have just begun homeschooling and you handled the first year okay,
but you're adding more children as the years go by and you're starting to feel overwhelmed,
won't you allow me to put your mind at ease.

Because when you are homeschooling multiple children (with a new baby or toddler or two):

1.  You have to adjust your priorities to what's realistic,
and accept what you're really capable of.

2.  You will always have dirty dishes in the sink.

3.  You will have a difficult time keeping on top of the laundry.
(Unless you can afford to bring in an extra person to handle this for you)
It takes a herculean effort to figure out the best strategy for YOU to handle your family's laundry efficiently with the limited time you have during schooling days. 
With a large family that produces several loads a day this is particularly challenging.
If you'd like to take a look at the system I've come up to tackle my own laundry challenges,
just click here.

4.  The pre-schoolers will make messes (that probably won't get cleaned up right away)
and there will be days when you cave to letting them watch more PBS or videos than they should.

5.   Not every homeschooling family wakes their children up at 6:00 am to start lessons, happy and smiling,
hair combed, and dressed at the kitchen table by 7:00 am.

6.  Your bathrooms probably won't be as clean as they would be if you were cleaning them all the time,
but since you are letting your older children learn these skills,
they won't be as thorough as adults yet.

7.  You will be late to nearly everything you leave the house for.
Especially if you have more than 5 children or a newborn in the house.

8.  Money will always be an issue.
No, the lack of money will always be an issue.
Especially in large families.
Because usually if you're homeschooling, that means you're only bringing in one, full-time income.
So you learn how to live large on way less.
You get your priorities straight really quick, and you figure out you don't need nearly
any of the stuff that you think you really do.
And the stuff you really do need, the Lord takes care of.

9.  Unlike teachers in a school (of any kind) you probably won't have an "aide" to make copies for you,
and cut out visuals for bulletin boards.  Nor will you have a cafeteria to send the children to where there
are lunch monitors who help your children open their juice boxes and cooks who have the meals already prepared, giving you a quiet lunch break by yourself.  So being organized and having meals planned (and even prepared in advance) is a huge plus.  It takes a couple weeks or so to figure out the best plan for your family, but having a meal plan is one of your most critical tools!!

10.  Unlike teachers in a school, you are also probably using a room that doubles as a kitchen, or laundry folding area, or any other number of rooms that are busy and full of household items not normally
found in a schoolroom.  It has taken me awhile to figure out that doing schoolwork in the same area in which you LIVE means things will get messy and your house won't look like the homes where children are not there.
No matter how long you've been training them and how many chore charts you have tried.

11.  I (ME, Mom) am the one who has had to learn the very most about what's really important.  What really matters, and that letting go of the other stuff (of course, to within healthy, safe, LEGAL limits) is what is the hardest for the homeschooling mom.  So what, if there is still bits of grass and papers on the floor after bedtime.  So what if the laundry is still piled up the next day.  So what, if there is yet another wall colored on with marker, crayon, pencil, or pen (GRRRRRR!!).  So what if the kitchen floor hasn't been swept in a week because we're still looking for it from when a child was using it outside to knock something out of a tree?
What about the smirk on the face of your ADHD daughter when she realizes that she DOES know how to figure out the additive and multiplicative inverses of fractional problems?
Or the smile of joy on the face of your anxiety riddled son who has begun reading from his Bible OUT LOUD
even though he's worried he'll make a mistake and be laughed at?
Or the great fun you had with your daughter as she realizes she is beating the clock
during timed math flashcards!!
Nobody sees the TIME you've invested into the growth of these children, but they often notice what isn't done around the house.

It isn't about how the house looks, but what do my children remember about their life at home?
Did I make them daily feel like an inconvenience to me?
Did they feel like they were in the way all the time, and the next thing on my list was more important than listening to them or sitting with them for a minute?
Did I see them as more important than the never-ending little chores that pull at me to be done?
Do they see me practice what I say?

Doing things for them (or for the sake of the house) isn't the same as being WITH them.

So you'll have to excuse the way my house looks.
No, it does not look like the cover of  "Good Housekeeping."
But I'm spending time teaching my children,
teaching them how to love.
How to love each other.
How to love the Lord.
How to love their parents.
How to love their friends.
How to love learning.
How to love who God created them as with all their individual struggles and weaknesses.
How to love the family God put them in.
How to love the Word of God.

12.  Homeschooling is not always the joyous, fun experience often advertised by retired homeschoolers.
Many days I don't like it at all.
Many days are ugly and tedious,
and messy and frustrating,
and the routine can be mind-numbing.

But in my surrender to what the Lord is doing in my home,
I'm learning that when I'm broken and crushed,
 I'm learning how to be more like Christ.
Our Mighty Elohim breaks us so that He can flow through us more fully.

The big secret?
That the teacher is the one learning the most.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Why do we homeschool?

What an amazing summer this has been!
June was characterized by 4 different week-long Vacation Bible Schools, and swimming!
July saw a trip to Philadelphia, summer camps, LICE (yikes!), and swimming!
August has been slower, very relaxed and full of.....swimming!

As the summer months wind down, I'm contemplating beginning our 11th year of homeschooling.
Let me just say.....homeschooling is NOT for the faint of heart.
It is NOT days full of quiet children just sitting around the fire place listening to their Mama read to them.
Just clear those romantic....unrealistic...visions out of your head!
It's plain 'ol hard work.
It's messy.
It's stressful.
So why would our family choose this?
Because this is what the Lord has called and led us to.

Here is a reposting of my explanation from a couple year's ago:

This is a fun question because it always stirs up passionate conversation. There are many reasons why parents homeschool...ranging from conviction to lack of options. I'm going to share
with you the reasons why OUR FAMILY homeschools, which may not be the reasons another
family would necessarily homeschool.
Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it always the easiest way to educate your children. If you're passionate about your childrens' educations, you've taken the first step. On the other hand, it is not for those who have a
tendency toward laziness. It should be a very personal decision made between Mom, Dad, and the Lord.

Our journey to homeschooling began six years ago, when our oldest child was ready to start school.
I knew in my heart that I did not ever want my children to go to public schools. I do not have a problem with parents who do put their children in public schools, and I'm not necessarily "Anti-Public Schools". I just know for me, and my family, it is not the right decision.

So then, if the public schools were out of the question, our next option was a Christian school.
I wanted to find a school that, first of all, held to the same faith and values that our family has.

I was also looking for something that would fit inside my husband's salary. At the time, he was on staff at our very small church, so his salary was not extravagant, to say the least. I quickly became discouraged when I realized there were not many Christian schools in our area of like faith and practice. But what sealed it for us, was the cost. We simply could not afford it.
So, now what was I going to do. I had thought about homeschooling, but really did not know where to begin. I have a Bachelor's degree, but it certainly wasn't in education.
So I began reading some books, talking to people, researching the requirements for this in the state of Texas, and discovered that I could indeed do this.
But then once the decision was made, the grueling process of finding the right curriculum began. I was a bit overwhelmed as I looked through the internet and homeschool stores. But once I learned how my child enjoys learning and how I enjoy teaching, it made the process easier to find the right one. Once that decision was made, I was very excited about it. For the first few years everything went fine and we had so much fun. As we've added more children to our little schoolhouse, and discovered some learning issues, it has gotten more challenging.

So the question arises,
"If I had the option of sending my children to a Christian school, would I??"
I don't think so.

In this journey, I've traveled from the point of homeschooling because my options are limited to homeschooling because this is best for our family and what the Lord has designed for us.
I'm so glad I listened to the Lord's leading and didn't push for something that maybe I really just wanted.
This school year has been a revealing one to us. It has become crystal clear that two of our children have some learning challenges. On top of that, our second child was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. The care for this disease is very complicated and time consuming and we've heard stories of schools where the staff know nothing about this, and are unwilling to care for a diabetic child properly.
The Lord knew this. He knew way back in 2002 what was coming to us and what would work best for us. I'm so glad I listened!
The bottom line is we followed what the Lord was saying to us!! We did our research, we talked to people, we looked to God's Word for direction, and did what we felt He wanted and not someone else.

In Deuteronomy 6: 5-7 it says, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."
It seems pretty clear to me that the Lord asks us to be diligent about teaching our children HIS principles, HIS character, and HIS worldview every opportunity we have. I want to have as many opportunities that I can get to influence my children about the Lord and to teach them to love and serve Him.

Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
I firmly believe that it is the primary responsibility of the parent to train their children
in the ways of the Lord......not the church youth group, not Sunday School, not the teachers
at a Christian School.
If you want to have the heart of your child, if you want to prevent rebellion in your child, you MUST have a relationship with your child. To have a healthy relationship with your child, you have to spend time with them.
Is that something that I always enjoy? Not always. Sometimes they are grouchy or belligerent,
but they still need to know that I love them....even when they are not fun to be around.
It just made sense to me that to produce the type of relationship that I wanted
with my child,
I needed to be around them.....and be responsible for the majority of what they learn about life. I don't want them to be "sheltered" or "naive", but I do want them to learn wisdom and character, and to see things from their Designer's point of help them discover their true purpose in life.

Our journey is certainly not over and will definitely take some twists and turns here soon, but it's so exciting to follow the Lord's direction for your family and to see Him do miracles in the middle of it all.
It is for these reasons that we feel homeschooling is the BEST option for our family.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Summer Fun: Homemade Super Bubbles!!

Who doesn't love bubbles?
I know, I can buy it pretty cheap at your favorite superstore.......
but how sad when your toddler bends over to pick up their bubble wand
and dumps their little bottle of bubbles all over the porch.
Fun over.
With this can make a gallon of your own for a full afternoon of fun!!
And if it dumps.....oh well.....we'll just make some more!!
I followed the tutorial found here.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer Fun: Homemade Play-Dough!

Another idea I've been wanting to try since a friend of mine made some big batches this last winter and shared with a recipe for homemade play dough!

My children will play with this for hours.
Much longer than anything else they own......which is perfect for those piping hot summer afternoons that are just too hot to play outside in, and that Texas is famous for!!
I used the tutorial found here.
I loved how this recipe turned out, and couldn't stop making it!
It turned out perfect, and I think I like it even better than store-bought play-doh!
Terrific to keep on hand for pre-schooler activities while older siblings are being homeschooled!

And just to keep in the spirit of this new found favorite.....
I was delighted to find this in my email the other day!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy birthday, Grandma!!

The first weekend in August is my mother-in-law's birthday and we always enjoy
making her feel loved and appreciated on her special day!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Art Camp 2012

The final week of July, which was the week following our week at summer church camp, five of our children had the opportunity to attend a local art camp!!
This was the third year for my oldest daughter, and the very first for our youngest son.
We were so extremely blessed to have this opportunity as we would not have been able to afford sending 5 children.
But this camp, which is at a local Art Gallery/School just minutes from our house, offers scholarships for these camps.
As I always have, I applied and this year we received a scholarship that paid half of the total cost for all 5 children!!
My girls LOVED it.....the boys...not so much.
It's great for all's just not necessarily my boys favorite thing.
The boys did what they were supposed to, but it was hard for them to do that kind of thing for 3 hours.
The girls really loved it, and I really liked the variety of art mediums they had the opportunity to experiment with.
Something the girls will definitely want to do again next summer, but we'll see the level of interest the boy's will have by then.

This piece was Ashlyn's clay landscape that she painted with water colors after it was fired.

This is an example of the glass mosiacs the older girls made.

Here is an example of the printing the older girls learned how to do with ink.

The older girls also got to play around with the pottery wheel and make these cool designs with either marker, pastels, or paint.

The younger children (10 and under) did lots of drawing and painting.
Here is Abby's flower she painted with water colors.

The youngest 3 also made "bugs" that we have happily hung in the boys room!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Southland Christian Camp 2012

Good Morning!!

(This is the Counselor/Staff Choir singing during one of the evening services!)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Summer Camp 2012

When I discovered that my 8-year old had lice, 5 days before we were scheduled to drive 4 hours away to summer church camp, I wasn't sure that the camp would even let us come.
Lice is never a welcome visitor at an overnight church camp.....never.
So on that Wednesday night, I was just overwhelmed with all the work we were going to have to cram into the next 72 hours just to make this trip a possibility.

My husband assured me not to cancel everything as we still had time to make it happen.
No one that I talked to seemed to think it was an impossible task, and my children had been looking forward to it all year.
We had worked through the summer to earn some money (though candy sales were dismal this year surprisingly), my husband had taken a week of vacation to stay with our other 3 children, so I felt I just couldn't throw my hands into the air and give-up without a fight.
And lots of prayer!

I didn't try calling the camp on Friday because I knew it would be hard to reach anyone while they had a camp going on.  So I tried to reach someone on Saturday.  Couldn't get an answer.
I tried a couple times.
I called our youth pastor later that day to let him know what had been going on and he suggested that I try e-mailing the camp nurse.  Which I did.
By Sunday, I still hadn't heard anything.
I mentioned this to our youth pastor again, and he said that if I couldn't find anything on any of the three children going (and myself!) that we would go on (it wasn't our fault they weren't answering their phones.)
Sunday afternoon we were pretty much packed to go.....just a couple things left to launder and children's heads to shampoo with tea tree oil shampoo.......but a storm came through.
It knocked our power out.
This was at about 3:30 pm.
We went on to church and I was so thankful for a nice air conditioned building to go to that evening.

(I snapped this picture on the way home from church that night.  I think it was a secret message from the Lord....a teaser, if you remind me at that moment that He keeps His promises and is still here in control of things...especially in light of what we still had to face in the next 24 hours!)

When we arrived home, around 8:30 pm, we still had no power.
And it was starting to get dark, and we realized we had no matches....or batteries.
So we quick packed everyone back up into the van and scooted to my mother-in-laws home where we showered everyone, and did a quick bit of laundry!!
Thankfully, we got text messages from neighbors that our power did come back on around 10:30 so we were able to get everyone to bed at a pretty decent time and sleep comfortably.

In the morning, we scrambled around and had just about gotten everything loaded up when my phone rang.
5 minutes before we needed to leave for the church.
It was the camp.

There was a new nurse this year, and she had only just gotten the email that I had sent to the other girl.
She began quizzing me on who had had the lice and what we had done to treat it.
Who had been treated?
How many times?
What else did you do?
How long since you've found any nits?
"I'll have to consult with the other nurses and call you back because it all depends on how long you've been nit-free and I forget how long that is."
5 minutes before we need to leave.
I was NOT a happy camper (no pun intended).

Thankfully, she did call back within a few minutes and said that we could come, but that they would have to check all 4 of us and that if a nit was found that person could not stay.
Fair enough.....but no pressure there!!

I was pretty emotional about that and was a nervous/anxious wreck.
What if I had missed one?
It's incredibly difficult to see those nasty nits and nearly impossible to get them all out on the first pass.
I'd found a stray one on our youngest on Saturday!!
I checked those of us going again in the van on the way, but saw nothing.

As we traveled those 4 hours to the camp, I tried not to dwell on the "what-ifs."
A very dear, sweet friend had hugged me at the church as I started to crack a little bit, and said,
"You've done your best and have to leave it up to God."
I tried to focus on the fact that God had amazingly provided all the funds for 3 children to get to camp, and even though it had been a nightmare to get here.....we were on our way!!

When we arrived, we went straight to registration where the nurse was waiting.
My children had run on ahead of me, and by the time I got there, both my girls had already gotten the all clear!!
My son had never had them so I knew that he was fine!
I was worried about myself though as I had been itching like crazy all weekend.
My husband and daughter had checked and checked and assured me that there was nothing,
but I was worried they didn't know what to look for and I was the one who would have to go home.
All clear.
(I really think using that tea tree oil shampoo every day had dried my scalp out!)

Anyway, we were IN, and I could finally relax!!
What a week!!

(Can you see Abby in the middle of the picture...loving her very first group game ever at summer camp!)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The unexpected intruder.....lice!

It was worse than I thought.
When Abby came into our bathroom that morning, I got a better look at her head, and could see multiple big louse scrambling for cover on the top of her head!!
When you see the big know that they've been festering for awhile.
Long enough for the original pest to get in her hair and lay some eggs, and for those eggs to hatch and produce tiny, little bugs.
For information on how long the life cycle of lice are, read here.

I checked our other children and amazingly, found nothing in either the 2 boys, my husband, and Ashlyn.
I found about 4 nits in Lexi's hair.
My husband assured me that he could see nothing in my hair.
(This was an enormous relief to me as I had just gotten home from staying my 96 year old grandmother's apartment and sleeping on her bed, not to mention my daily visits with her in the nursing home!)
I found it astounding that with all the places Abby had been in the house (on sister's beds, in the van, laying on Mommy's pillow, laying on Grandma's bed earlier in the week, on my lap) that more of the household wasn't infested.
God's mercy.

I called our pediatrician for advice as soon as I knew they were open.
I needed confirmation that what I was seeing was what I thought it was!
Instead, he preferred I not bring Abby in, but that we just treat the whole family.
The nurse recommended treating with "Cetaphil: Gentle Skin Cleanser" instead of the very chemically treatments like "Rid" or "Nix."
For information on how this works, read here and here.
I had also heard from a missionary friend of mine that Tea Tree Oil shampoo worked to get rid of lice as well.
So I ran out and stocked up on the Cetaphil, nit combs, and tea tree oil shampoo.
In the meantime, my husband turned himself into the Laundry Monster.
We had the children strip off all the bedding on their beds and he started piling everything into the dryer for 10 minutes, then the washing machine for cleaning.
The piles were enormous.
All the stuffed animals and pillow pets got shoved into air tight garbage bags where they would stay for 2 weeks.
By the time I got back from the stores with our treatments, he had a good start on all that.
These became our best friends for the next 48 hours.

All 8 of us had to be treated and our hair combed through. 
It took me two hours on Abby's hair alone!

I cut Abby and Aryn's hair into cute little bobs!
I think we finally had everyone shampooed and one treatment done by 10 pm that night.
My mother-in-law had also been over for a couple hours to help us with vacuuming, and the other things that still had to go on.  She also took some laundry home with her to do as well!!
On Friday morning, I checked everyone again, and retreated.
This time, I found some live bugs in Aryn's hair and several nits.
Abby had just a few nits, and I found a couple more in Lexi's thick carpet-like red hair!
We treated and shampooed every day until Saturday.
I checked everybody's head twice a day, and the laundry looked like this:

I had already prepped the children that if I found one nit in anybody's hair, that person would have to stay home from church with me on Sunday.
Mercifully, we were all clear.
All 8 of us.
And we had decided (my husband, our youth pastor, and myself) that if everyone was still clear on Monday morning, we would be going to summer camp as well.
It worked out quite nicely that as we washed up every stitch of clothing that had been laying around and possibly in contact with those infested, I would just fold and pack into bags for camp.
We just had to get the all clear from the camp.
But I couldn't get them to answer the phone.......