Savanna McMichael

the moments that create my life

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Give me ALL the Thieves!

With all of the nasty flu, strep and RSV germs floating around lately, we've been doing all that we can to help our bodies keep themselves healthy. For us, that has looked like a lot of nutrient-rich whole foods, full nights of sleep, and ALL the Thieves and immune supporting oils that I can incorporate into our days! We've been rotating all of our supporting roller bottles throughout the day, especially before we leave the house and go to bed. I've been diffusing combinations that support our immune systems while they make our house smell great (without the nasty toxic chemicals found in candles).

I saw where my friend, Annie, made some Thieves soap and decided to try my hand at it. It is made from a goat milk soap base that is not drying and actually helps keep our skin softer. I have replaced my face wash with it as well. The only change that I've noticed in my skin is that it is much less dry than it has been using my previous wash.
The whole process of making the soap was super simple and took about 20 minutes from start to actually having the molds filled. I let it sit for a few hours before I removed the bars. 

Actual ingredient list:

-For the base, I used this Earth's Secret soap base because it is free of sulfates and additives. I ordered the 2lb package, but worked with 1lb batches when making my soap.

-Add ins of choice: I used oats, but you could use pink himalayan sea salt, chia seeds, dried lavender, etc.

-I used my Young Living Thieves and Lemon essential oils. My personal preference is for Young Living essential oils. Their Seed to Seal process provides unmatched quality and purity. Know what you're putting on your skin---it's your largest organ!

-Double boiler or a makeshift boiler


(I used only 1 lb of base at a time and made two batches.) 

Begin boiling water while you cut up your soap base. If you do not have a double boiler, put a glass or metal bowl over your boiling water. 

Add the cubed soap base to the boiler, let it melt. Stir as it melts. 

Once it is melted, remove from heat and stir your add-ins and essential oils into the melted soap base.  Use about 25 drops of essential oils.  (I used 15 drops of Thieves, 10 drops of Lemon.) 

Place soap molds onto a cookie sheet so you can move them if needed. Also, remember to label your molds if you are making multiple types of soap. Washi tape works great for this. 

I used a small metal ladle to scoop the soap/oats mixture into the molds. This worked really well and was less messy than pouring. 

Once I had the molds filled, I left them to harden for around three hours. 

I wrapped them in wax paper and labeled them up! You could also do wax bags. 

Some other examples of combinations are: 
Rosemary + Peppermint
Lavender + Peace & Calming
Cedarwood + Lavender
Peppermint + Eucalyptus

Other add-ins:
-Chia seeds
-Pink Himalayan sea salt

Now I have some awesome soap that was fairly inexpensive to make and will last us for a good bit! I am confident with the ingredients and happy to put them on my babies' skin! 

Have any questions about Young Living essential oils? Email me at or find me on instagram @savannamcmichael
You can also check out our awesome Oil + Co website. If you'd like to join our team and gain some amazing friends and knowledge, look for me under 'Our Team'-> 'Our Leaders'. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Love always wins

I just love this that Martin Luther King, Jr said. Please! Take the time today (and everyday!) to talk to your kids and to remind yourself. Love and kindness will always win. It is my desire that our family will always remember to love, respect and honor all people.....across cultures, skin colors, religions, disabilities, gender. We aren't all called to be the same, but we are called to love despite our differences. It is possible to love and honor without consenting to or condoning a way of life, a religion or a thought process or being exactly the same. What a boring world we would live in if we all shared the same appearances, preferences, and thoughts! But what a wonderful thing to live in a world full of love!

"And above all things have fervent love for one another, for 'love will cover a multitude of sins'."
1 Peter 4:8
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The morning after the championship.....

Thoughts from the morning after the National Championship:

On the morning after our beloved Dawgs lost the National Championship by three points in overtime to Alabama, my heart is stinging just a bit. In our house, we LOVE the Dawgs. “Go Dawgs! Sic ‘em!” are some of the first words that we try to teach our kids when they start talking. We do our very best to represent at every home game. We put game schedules on our calendars as soon as they’re released and do our darnedest to make those games. Our kids know who wears what jersey number and what position they play and what class they are. It’s just a big deal to us. We love the Dawgs! So, to say our hearts (along with all of Dawg Nation) are a little broken this morning is probably a bit of an understatement. BUT more than heartbroken, we are proud! This team, those seniors, our freshman quarterback and our coach have set a standard at the University of Georgia that won’t easily fall away. I am so proud that my sons got to see those big boys that they love cheering for kneel down in the end zone and pray before the game. I love that they hear Jake Fromm give all of the glory to God every single game. I hope that my kids can remember and take with them in their sporting events the sportsmanship, class, passion and composure that our boys have played with this season.
We didn’t get the result that we wanted last night. I wanted to see Coach Smart lift that trophy high above his head while the confetti fell, but it just didn’t happen that way this year. I won't say 'there's always next year' because this year was the year. It has been an incredible year, not one to brush aside because of three points.

Seniors: Hold your heads high! You have done great things this year. You have set an expectation for loyalty, sportsmanship, composure, and level of play that will last far beyond the last time you walked off that field. Dawg Nation appreciates your dedication to this team and program. We can’t wait to see where your futures take you.

Coach Smart: You have changed the direction of the football program. You have launched this team onto a trajectory where the sky is the limit. The level of commitment, the "all in" mentality that you encouraged our players to adopt, the expectations that you created are not easily matched or found. I can’t wait to see how high and how far you lead the team. This is a new and exhilarating era for Georgia football.

Now that the 2017 season has ended, we are excited to see where this coming season takes the team! Dawg Nation will be there all the way, cheering those boys on.

Keep chopping, Dawgs!
Keep the main thing the main thing!
Monday, January 8, 2018

Today is for the DAWGS!

I had some other plans and thoughts to share today......but our excitement level is just over the top for our DAWGS! 

This season has been so fun and exhilarating! We've loved cheering our dawgs on every step of the way. Even though we haven't been at every game, our hearts have been there and we've been watching! 

SEC Championship! We just knew our dawgs could beat the Tigers!

We've believed this team was special from the very beginning and are just thrilled to see them go all the way to the National Championship today! I have loved watching their dedication to each other and to their coaches. I have loved Kirby and the way he can light a fire in the players. Their belief in him and his coaching is just awesome to watch! 

Pre-Rose Bowl excitement and Post Rose Bowl elation

The kids are so excited and loving every minute of this season and the championships! They're so used to going to games and can't understand why they've missed the championships and Rose Bowl. 

Tonight, we will be yelling "Go DAWGS! Sic 'em! Beat Bama!"
Friday, December 29, 2017

Hello 2018

This past year has been such a wonderful year for our family. I have stepped out of roles and into new ones. We took lots of great trips and saw great growth in several areas of our lives. We moved our family out of our local downtown area and started our little farming adventure. We've learned a lot about ourselves and our kids over the past few months and a lot about what our goals are. I'm sure that as we grow and expand to meet our goals over the next year that we will learn even more. 

 Over the past few days, I've been thinking about what our 2018 may look like. For right now, we are looking at having a few more breeds of animals hanging out around here! Hoping to really educate ourselves and our family (and anyone who will listen!) on the process of where the animals come from and how we can give them their best life while providing quality nourishment for our bodies. Hopefully we will grow some produce (if we can protect it from the chickens!) and really be able to bring our meals from farm to table! 

As is generally the case, our calendars are already starting to fill up with sports tournaments and BMX races that we'd like to make, business trips, and pleasure trips. My biggest goal for 2018 is to simply enjoy the life we've been given. I tend to get wrapped up in the stresses of making it to everything, saying yes too many times when I should say no, and having everything be perfect. This coming year, I plan to say no when I need to, purge the junk and simplify our lives, and just soak it all in. 

My greatest desire is that in all we do that we will be a light in a dark world...whether we are in a school, working on the farm, speeding around bike tracks, throwing softballs or lacrosse balls let it all  be done for His glory. We are ushering in 2018 with great anticipation for all that the Lord may do in us and through us! 

2017 was such a blessed and full year! Bring on 2018! We are ready for you!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

A Merry Christmas Weekend

Our family was blessed with the sweetest little Christmas. Our weekend was filled to the brim with quality family time with our entire group. This year we were able to stretch our visits out over four days which allowed us great quality time rather than rushing about everywhere. We love our crew and enjoy all of the time we get with them! It was such a sweet time celebrating the birth of our Savior with our kids and our entire families. 

Some group favorites as far as gifts go were all things Lightning McQueen and Cars 3, new rain/muck boots, and lots of legos! Everyone got some new Georgia football gear to wear as we look forward to the College Football Playoffs. Hess got his most wanted 'real blower' that actually blows leaves. Hutt has loved his Cozmo robot. Addi Kate got her top of the list item: a boy baby doll and stroller/carseat combo. 

I am currently trying to dig myself out of that weird funk between Christmas and New Years where kids are out of school and ALL OF THE THINGS need to be done, but none of them actually get done. Anyone else there? 

We have had just the best year this year, but we are excitedly and expectantly looking towards 2018.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Our newest little chicks

One of my favorite parts of living on a farm has always been the wonder of new life. No matter the animal, I have always loved seeing the birthing process bring forth new life. I have witnessed many a cow and goat give birth, but never observed chicks hatching in real life. 
So! In November, when one of our hens went broody, we jumped at the chance to hatch out some chicks. Our initial thought was to let her handle the whole deal on her own. It was still warm enough that I didn't worry and just let her do her thing. That is, until she kept collecting eggs and ended up with 28 (yes, twenty-eight!!) eggs that she was sitting on. The large amount of eggs was a little much as she kept rolling partially developed eggs out of the clutch, causing them to get mixed in to our egg collections if we weren't careful. Since no one wants to accidentally open up a partially developed egg, we decided to move our eggs inside our house to an incubator rather than set up outside since it was so cold.
This was an egg that accidentally got picked up
because it was outside of the clutch. Since the
development had clearly stopped, we used it as an
opportunity to show the kids the beauty and
wonder of creation.
 Initially, we brought the twenty-eight eggs inside and candled them. It was a little difficult to see a great deal of detail as our shells were dark brown and very thick. But it was so neat to see the development of veins turn into movement and eyeballs. Of the group, twenty-six eggs showed signs of development. We kept the other two eggs in the incubator just in case, but didn't have high expectations for them. The kids were faithful to check the incubator and eager to check development as often as we could. 

In early December, one early morning I just knew I heard bumping in the incubator. [I get up at 5:15 just about every morning. I don't like mornings. I don't like talking before my two cups of coffee. I have to get up really early to beat this crowd and not want to pinch their heads off before our day gets started.]I could never see it, but kept hearing it since it was basically silent in our house. I just left them alone and got everyone off to school. When I got back though, I heard chirping! Chirping! From inside the egg. As I investigated, I realized there were three chirping, moving eggs. 
I moved those eggs to another incubator and began the waiting process. The most valuable lesson that I learned during our first hatch starts here. Since our hen collected eggs over the time span of days/weeks, our eggs were not on the same development schedule. That one fact made it very difficult to keep condition optimal. Egg turning, temperature and humidity are all different at the varying stages of development. I had to move the eggs out of the larger incubator as they showed signs of hatching, but you're not supposed to touch them within three days of hatch. 

On our very first hatch day, we had four little chicks hatch. Two of them were flawless hatches. Two of them were not very beautiful to watch, a little worrying really. We didn't think they were ever going to make it out and may have broken a few rules to help them. 
Over the course of the next week and a half, we had a total of thirteen chicks hatch out successfully. Only one of those showed signs of weakness and an ability to really "get going". He was the only chick that died expectedly overnight after hatch. All of the others were completely healthy. After their twenty-four to thirty-six hours in the incubator, we moved them to our brooder boxes. 

Last Monday, we had two more chicks hatch that evening. One of them was the most beautiful chick that we had had so far. There were three other eggs showing movement and chirping. I went to bed hopeful for a lot of new chicks in the morning. I did hear the chicks chirping in the middle of the night, but groggily chalked it up to new chicks hatching. When I did wake up Tuesday morning, our newest chicks were dead. There were some partially hatched chicks that had died. Our remaining eggs had died and showed no signs of movement. I believe that our incubator thermometer had a malfunction. The eggs and chicks were very hot to the touch, but the thermometer was giving off a too cold temperature warning. 

We were admittedly a little sad and very disappointed. The first hatch has taught us many lessons. The most important one is to collect all of the eggs and incubate them based on a uniform development timeline. Doing so will make tracking and controlling conditions much easier. The second most important thing that I learned is to have multiple methods of temperature measurement. I did not have an additional thermometer in my incubator as I was using it in the brooder box. I may have noticed a temperature change had I had one. 
Overall, we were pretty pleased with our first hatch. We are now so excited to see what our chicks look like and whether we have hens or roosters. Our roosters are Leghorns and Rhode Island Reds. The hens that seem to have contributed to the clutch are Plymouth Barred Rock, ISA Browns and a Rhode Island Red. Their initial colorings are pretty interesting and look to be very unique!