Sunday, September 25, 2016

Crochet Braid SUCCESS Finding the Right Braid Pattern to Reduce Bulk for...



Hey Mocha Family!

We've had a complete reversal!  Head Mocha Girl and I were so disappointed by the fail of us installing her new crochet braids last night.  I fully expected to throw them in a ponytail for worship in the morning and spend an hour taking them down in the afternoon.



Joy truly does come in the morning!  I woke up recharged and thinking that I'd try a tip from a video by My Natural Sistas on YouTube to fix HmG's braid pattern and reduce the bulk.  It worked!



I also took down the two cornrows at her side part and fashioned five Senegalese style twists for a more natural looking part.  HmG likes this so much better!



Finally, we decided to trim the hair some and curl the ends by setting them on perm rods and dipping them in hot water.  What remained was still bigger than her natural twists but much less bulky and fake looking.  We were so happy that we didn't give up!



Be blessed!




Saturday, September 24, 2016

Crochet Braid FAIL, Finding a Good Grid for Thick Hair Matters



Hey Mocha Family,

I need a hug.  My wrists and hands are throbbing right now, from me getting a little too carried away with this styling session.  I honestly looked up and more than 5 hours had passed without me stopping.  I was determined to make it work, but my mission was to create a natural looking set of crochet braid (twists), not too bulky, on a super thick head of natural hair.



I should have known that I was expecting a little too much.



To reiterate, so you can feel my pain,  I was adding lots of hair to a head full of hair, trying to avoid big hair.  No wonder we had problems!



I over estimated my years of experience with this style and underestimated what a difference it would make to choose a grid for braiding Head Mocha Girl's thick hair from people who had much shorter and finer hair.



Do I sound whiny?  I'm really sorry to be feeling a little whiny.



I'd like to be able to offer positive hair experiences to the girls, but perhaps one of the greatest lessons they can learn is how to gracefully navigate difficulty.  Reality dishes out lots of struggle.



We threw in the towel for today.  I was very proud of how well HmG handled her disappointment.  If I actually cried the way I wanted to after getting through about 8 hours of styling, she would have been the one handing me the tissues.



Be blessed!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Angry Cashier, Poor Customer Service, Banged Up Groceries | Really Lady?



Hey Mocha Family,

What do you do in a situation where you feel like your rights as a customer are being violated by a cashier who is probably having a bad day?  I share my experience in the above video.  The cashier was definitely our of line, and I was ready to blow up and demand to see her manager, despite the long line behind me.



I paused because, while this girl had blonde hair and blue eyes, she reminded me of my daughter.  She was young and since I frequent this store often, I knew that she couldn't have been working there long. If my daughter was having a bad day, I would want someone to extend grace to her.  Yet, I'm not sure this method was the right approach.



I think I failed to realize that grace can also look like correction and redirection.  I really appreciate the feedback I have gotten so far in the comment section of the video on YouTube.  If I could have calmed myself down that day, perhaps there was a way I could have corrected her and called her manager in. The people in line behind me may have been frustrated, but perhaps that check would have been a benefit to that cashier in the future and helped grow her professional ethic.



The customer may be wrong, but as a cashier an important part of your job is to redirect them with respect, or be flexible if time allows.



Be blessed!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

One Thing the Girls Love and Hate About Their Natural Hair | Hair Vlog 2



Hey Mocha Family!

I've been hearing lots of complaining about hair in my house lately, and haven't been sure how to deal with it.  Typically, I try to redirect the girls but I realized today that maybe they just need for me to listen to their struggles.  They can appreciate their hair without being happy with it all of the time.  Bad hair days, and negative aspects of natural hair are real.  Part of coping and finding solutions is acknowledging that we find things problematic.



I'm trying out a new hair vlog style of recording my videos.  I'm still learning and feeling my way around, but let me know what you think!



Be blessed!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Thorough First Impression Look Inside Math Mammoth Curriculum



Hey Mocha Family!

If you're with me in real life, you know that I have tremendous respect for math, but while I live with an extremely enthusiastic mathematician, I'm just surviving. I think Mammoth Curriculum may be changing this situation for me.



I'm not going to lie that using this is as easy and convenient as other curriculum in my past, I mean, I am truly being stretched.  I need to really think when my girls ask me a question and sometimes I find myself asking them to skip it until later so that I can go do some research to find the right answer.  I am putting more work in than ever before, but I love the fact that I am modeling this kind of effort for my girls. Hopefully, my brain will grow and all of this will get easier, or at least more comfortable.



I've heard that some math teachers will insist that their students figure things out for themselves no matter how long it takes.  I've always been horrified by this approach.  What if it takes a REALLY long time?  What if we NEVER find a solution?  I never thought I had time for that.  I'm excited to explore the value of making time.



Be blessed!









Saturday, September 10, 2016

Grandmother Detangles and Styles her Granddaughter's Hair| Hair Vlog #1



Hey Mocha Family!

Confession time!  Maybe I'm a little over protective of the girls' hair.  All that patience and finger detangling would mean nothing if I just let anyone rip through their hair.  I've been a little territorial and both my mom and hubby call me on it in this video.



You would have been proud of your girl, because even though my knees were knocking I turned over the Tangle Teezer to my mom and allowed her to have her Grammy moment.  I really appreciate her graciousness with doing things my way.  I have to admit that while many of us would call her methods old school, both my sister and I had thick, healthy heads of hair growing up.



Be Blessed!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

First Day at Homeschool Umbrella School, Reflections | Homeschooling Hig...



Dear Mocha Family,

I know a homeschool mom who stopped considering herself a homeschooler when she sent her kids to Towle Institute for high school.  I wonder if her perspective is one of the reasons Towle is so clear that classes meeting one day a week, offering instruction for one hour per subject, as opposed to students receiving multiple hours over the course of a week, can't replace our responsibility as homeschooling parents to be the primary teachers of our children.

I am so excited for the support and structure I am gaining from Towle, and share in detail (above video) some of the benefits we are already enjoying.  I am struck by how much my needs have changed over the years, in that I never would have imagined myself appreciating this much structure and oversight.  Yet in this season and with this particular child, I am so happy to have access to such a situation.



Change is exciting.



Be blessed!