The Story of Three Friends, or Why I Started Making Soap

Penny, Lynette, and I grew up together almost from birth. Our parents all went to church together, and we are also “loosely” related to one another. They are the kind of friends that when you get together, no matter how long it’s been, you can pick up wherever you left off and it feels like no time has passed. Here are some photos to show you our history:

Penny, Lynette, and me - circa 1978
At Lynette's house - the junior high years!! Hello poofy bangs and perms!
At our national church youth conference - high school. The hair has tamed down, but the XL t-shirts with rolled sleeves are in!

Lynette was a year older than Penny and me, so she took off for college after that summer. Penny and I ended up going to college together in Chicago.

Penny's family took Lynette & me on their family vacation to Colorado the summer after we graduated from college.
After college, Lynette and I rented this house together in Clay Center, Kansas. Um, those are Christmas peanut M&M's in our noses.
Penny got married on August 8, 1998. Lynette and I were bridesmaids.
My wedding was on August 22, 1998 - just two weeks later!

Not long after that, I started giving Penny & Lynette something handmade for Christmas each year. One year it was a lighted “Christmas tree” made out of seed pods from a sweet gum tree that I had painted gold and attached to chicken wire in the shape of a cone. Another year I made some quilted wall hangings. In the fall of 2002, I started searching the internet for ideas of what to make for Christmas that year. I came across Kathy Miller’s website on how to make soap, and the idea really appealed to me. So after gathering up all the equipment and ingredients, I made my first batch. When I went to unmold it the next day, it was completely crumbly! I went back to the internet to research what had gone wrong…and decided that maybe it hadn’t reached trace after all (I had stirred it with a spoon). So I put it all back in my soap pot and put it in the oven for a few hours. Once it got warmed up and held together, I mashed it back in the mold, and the next day it came out perfectly!

I have a photo from the Christmas of 2002, but sadly, there are no pictures of my soap. In fact, we almost didn’t get this picture taken because my older daughter had just puked all over the floor after a nice Christmas dinner at Penny’s house. We left the party early that night…

Christmas 2002 - Penny's son is almost exactly one month younger than my oldest daughter!

So that’s the story of how I got started making soap. Penny lives close to my home town, so I see her once in awhile when I go home to see my parents. I hadn’t seen Lynette for over two years, but she just came through town and spent about 24 hours at our house. It was so good to see her again!!

Lynette and Me - just yesterday.

Page with Comments

  1. Amy,great story. I love that you 3 have such history together-everyone should have the kind of friends that are willing to stick peanut m&m’s up there nose right along with them(and then have it documented for all to see.) Too funny!

  2. What an awesome post!

    And … how neat to learn the story of how you began your love affair with soap making.

    How sweet that it was these special friendships that inspired it!

    How wonderful that you have maintained both…

    Love that!

  3. Those kinds of friends are the very, very best, you never forget them and they never forget you even if you dont see them for years! They are always there when you need them, you are lucky to have two!!

  4. What a wonderful story of lifelong friendships. it’s rare these days in our mobile society. Thanks for sharing the pictures!

  5. We really enjoyed your story and the accompanying pics that document your friendships. What a great way to begin a business!

  6. Wow! Seeing the pictures was such a trip down memory lane….and a reminder that the 3 of us haven’t all been together in so long! You know what would be a good solution to that? A girls’ weekend in NYC! 🙂

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