Procrastinate or BUST

Procrastinate or BUST

Having our kitchen finished added a nice air of relaxation to the weekend.  Or it could have been the fact that there weren’t paint supplies and orphaned dishes covering the kitchen island.  Either way, good times.

Now I can start to think about my next project, which is my most dreaded project of all time….cleaning out my closet.

I keep the things I use most often very tidy in there.  The clothes are on hangers and in drawers all folded and nice, but on the floor there is a pile of mystery items almost as high as my waist.  I am starting to have to move things out of my way just to get to the clothes I need.  When that happens it’s my signal to start thinking about maybe cleaning it out.  Then I wait for six months to be sure then I start really gearing up to actually do it.

It is my way.  Procrastinate or bust!

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But I can’t avoid it any longer.  I have a small window of time available before the summer rush hits and life gets filled with swimming pools and movie stars.  (Name that show)

Speaking of pools, that is another project to be done.  We have to get the deck area clean and set up and the pool floats all out and washed and inflated.  That, however, is only an afternoon project and the kids will be excited to help, so I am not dreading that project.  No one gets too excited about helping me clean out my closet.

I don’t actually have them help me with that job anyway.  Who knows what forgotten Christmas gift lurks at the bottom of that pile?  If they see it then I can’t use it for next Christmas.

My Saturday was spent mostly doing edits on my book.  We are down to correcting grammar and punctuation, which, if you have been around here for long, you know is not my strong area.  I like to make up my own words and use whatever punctuation key is closest to my finger when I am typing.  My copy editor has probably been driven to drink after going through my book with his red pen.  I definitely need to send him a balloon bouquet and a Starbuck’s gift card…..and maybe leave out the all caps words and excess commas in my thank you note as an extra measure of gratitude.

On Sunday we visited a new church.  That is always daunting….you never know how it will go.  Are they friendly?  Will they pressure you to put your kids in another room during church (we like to stay together)?  Will you feel uncomfortable?  As an introvert, I really hate those situations.  I am so not good at small talk and meeting new people!

Really, those of you with that social skill amaze me!  I don’t have much to say to anyone until I have known them for a while and even then I am not a chatty-Kathy.  I am happy to listen, but it feels rude to put the whole weight of the conversation on the other person so I fumble through.  If you ever meet me in person you should know that so I don’t majorly disappoint you.  At least, not over my talking skills.  I have met people who have also told me I am not as funny as they expect.  I am sorry about that…I may look for a joke app on my phone so I can crank up the comedy when necessary.

I could have used that at church yesterday when the conversations would hit a lull after the initial “Hi, are you new here?” and we would tell them our names.  A good knock-knock joke would have helped right about then.

But anyway…..I got off topic there.  The new church was nice.  Our goal is to find a place closer to home than where we have been going.  It is hard to get really involved when you have a long drive.  We would love a more day-to-day relationship with our church family.  We will likely keep visiting there for a few weeks then decide if we want to continue or try somewhere else or go back to where we were.  Its a long, grueling process.

Thank God for Sunday naps!

So that’s it for my weekend update.  Exciting, huh?

Have a great week!

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring Has Sprung!

We sure have been enjoying the lovely spring weather!  It’s been, to quote my mentor Mary Poppins, “Practically perfect in every way.”  I am not normally so cheerful, but the Texas wildflowers have that affect on me.  It’s just something about the explosion of colors and 70° temps that make me want to skip and dance.

Unfortunately it only lasts a few weeks, then I revert back to my regular personality.

This time of year we eat outside for most of our meals.  We added an outdoor dining area about 7 years ago and never regretted the effort.  It makes life so sweet to all sit together in the cool of the evening and often we find ourselves lingering long after we have finished eating to just talk and enjoy the breeze.  front01It was GREAT spot for our anniversary party a few years ago and our daughters’ graduation party last summer. It’s “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!”

But I wasn’t here this past weekend to enjoy the outdoor dining because I was in Dallas.  I drove the 5.5 hours on Friday morning and stopped to visit an old friend that I haven’t gotten to see for years.  We talk on the phone sometimes, but with 23 kids between us there’s not much time for getting together one-on-one.

We sat on her porch and talked for just 2 hours before I had to leave and it felt like we were there for 10 minutes.  She’s just one of those friends who loves me no matter what and our hearts just connect no matter how long it’s been.  I hope you have a few of those friends.  They are worth more than gold!

That night I got a second treat and had dinner with my sister-in-law and her family.  I got to be entertained by my sweet nieces and nephews complete with a choreographed routine to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”.  I can die happy now.

On Saturday morning I headed to Grapevine, TX to attend an event hosted by some amazing Young Living leaders.  I didn’t really have any expectations, but I was blown away and left inspired and encouraged.  It definitely got me pumped to be more vocal about how much I love my oils.  I tend to be kind of, oh, you know, all introverted and “you might like them, maybe” about it.

In case I haven’t been clear….I love these oils!  (and you don’t need a spoonful of sugar the get them down)

They have been a vessel God has used to change my life and why am I not shouting it from the rooftops?!  I don’t know.  I don’t want to be pushy so I use the excuse that I want to be reserved.  But in truth a little bit of it is fear.

So…..I am getting out of my comfort zone.  In the words of Mary, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and the job’s a game.”

I decided to share the love, so I am hosting a Facebook event on Tuesday night (yep, tomorrow, the 14th) sharing ways the oils have helped me find balance and joy.  I want to encourage y’all to find your own balance and even if you never buy a single product through me, I want to encourage you!

Do you ever, like me, feel like areas of your life get out of balance?  Then come on by and let’s talk about it!

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It’s also kind of a celebration of the end of tax season.  Just THREE MORE DAYS and I get my husband back.  I thought spending my last night alone with you would be a great way to wrap it up this year.

The rest of my week looks empty if you look at my calendar, but you just don’t write down things like “find those shoes you lost” or “watch the boys do magic tricks”.  Nevertheless, my week is full of that stuff.  I keep it all up in my mind, it’s s steel sieve.

Besides my Facebook class at 8:00 (central time) on Tuesday, what do you have going on this week?

Be sure to follow me on Facebook!

 

Which is Worse…Traffic Jams or Easter Egg Hunts?

Which is Worse…Traffic Jams or Easter Egg Hunts?

Am I the only one who is shocked that it is April?  And that Easter is behind us?  In fact, I’m still warming up to the idea that it’s 2015.  My mind says “2007” over and over.  Frozen in time.  I relate strongly to the song lyric, “Tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999,” not because I’m a partier, but because I refuse to accept that we have actually survived Y2K.

I also wrangle with the fact that it took me 2 hours last Friday to drive one mile.  My friend Sara and I got up at 5:30 in the am and drove the 3 hours to Round Top, TX where the world’s best junk was waiting for us.  It was a gorgeous drive with Texas wildflowers flanking the freeway and spiced nuts from Buc-ees.

In case you’ve never been to Texas, I urge you to add “stop at Buc-ees” to your list of must do items when you come here.  It may look like just a truck stop on the outside, but inside it’s a little slice o’ Texas heaven.

After almost three hours, we got a couple of miles from our destination when we hit a trail of cars on the rural highway.  It was dead stopped….occasionally inching forward.  Sure the bluebonnets are amazing, but we didn’t need to see them each individually.

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I kid you not.  I know I tend to exaggerate, but this is 100% true….we took TWO HOURS to drive ONE MILE.  Several times we discussed turning around and leaving, but we had already driven 3 hours to get there so we stuck it out.

By the time we finally got to a parking space and started shopping the flea market we had a great time.  We didn’t consider that it would take us about hour and a half to get back out at the end of the day, so all in all we spent about three times as much time sitting in the car as we did shopping.  But I bought a beat up old shutter with some slats missing, so of course…it was all worth it.

We found out later through Instagram that the whole Duck Dynasty cast was there plus some HGTV people.  That plus it being a nice Friday probably caused the crowd.  I have been to Round Top many times and never hit traffic like that.  Cuh-razy!

On Saturday morning I was good and tired from flea marketing and several of my older kids were going to an all day photo-meet-up.  So I decided to skip the kitchen work I had planned (I am getting close to finishing!) and just rest.  It was just what I needed.  I literally slept, woke up and watched a mystery movie, went back to sleep, repeat steps one and two.

So I have nothing to report to you about Saturday except that a huge box of books came from my publisher and I am having trouble deciding which ones to read first.  So many of them look good!  So good, in fact, that I am thinking of just passing them along to y’all after I read them.  I want to share the goodness.  I’m thinking I’ll just read a few then do a simple giveaway.  I could never choose one of y’all over the rest, so a random draw is the way to go.

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On Sunday, after church, we had a little egg hunt for the kids.  On Saturday night I filled some plastic eggs with candy and wrote the kids names on them so they would all get the same amount.  I used a sharpie to write the names and draw some little pictures on each egg.  The older/adult kids each got 2 eggs….one with candy and another with money.  The under 18 crowd got 10 eggs each filled with candy.  Like, lots of candy.

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Since pretty much the only other time all year they get candy is for Christmas, it’s a treat and they love it.

Our Sunday afternoon egg hunt turned ugly when, after searching for nearly 2 hours we still couldn’t find 2 of the eggs.  I had been the one to hide them and I was super careful to make it pretty easy, except for my 23 year old son who I tried to make practically impossible because, well, it was fun for me.  But he found his after about 20 minutes and the other kids all found theirs until we were down to 2 eggs missing.  I wanted to give up and just call it done, but the boys whose eggs were missing were highly driven to find them.

Another half hour and we found one of them.  The other kids each kind of went in the house and it was down to me, James and two boys.

Finally I stopped looking and went inside.  As far as I know they are still out there looking.

This week ahead is full.  In addition to the last touches to the kitchen, I will be running errands for James (tax season….CPA….lots of errands) and I am taking the boys to some thrift stores to find new jackets.  On Easter we made the annual sad discovery that nothing fits them.  So off we go to look for clothes that other people don’t want anymore.  Then on Thursday I have 2 ortho appointments and that night I am speaking to a women’s group.  Then on Friday, maybe, if I play my cards right, I will get y’all some finished kitchen pictures.

Don’t hold your breath though.  I don’t want to be held responsible for anyone dying.

Have a good one!  And remember….it’s April 2015.  You’re welcome.

In My Mind I’m the Hare but in Reality I’m the Tortoise

In My Mind I’m the Hare but in Reality I’m the Tortoise

Will it bore you to know that I am still working on my kitchen?  I used to be fast as lightening at these kinds of projects.  But that was when I was not only younger, but my kids were younger and I could just put them in a room with a new Lego set and a box of sugar cereal and they barely noticed I wasn’t paying attention to them.

These days my kids require more effort than I can buy with toys and Fruit Loops.  They need school lessons and to be driven here and there.  They have their own agenda that often requires my assistance, which can slow down a kitchen makeover.  And myself, I move more slowly.  It’s weird isn’t it?  I feel like I am moving at a normal pace.  But I am proven wrong when I am in front of one of the kids in the hallway and it causes a traffic jam, complete with honking.

I hope the fable is true, “slow and steady wins the race.”  If so, then I am going for grand champion.

I’d say we are 2/3 finished.  The white cabinets are all painted and ready to be waxed.  I like the look of wax over chalk paint.  I have been doing that technique since before it was cool and will likely still be using doing it long after Pinterest is flooded with a new trend.  It’s durable and looks professional.  The axing does add more work, but it’s so worth it!

This weekend, in addition to painting, we hung a new cabinet and new microwave.  It sounds great until you have to figure out how you are going to add trim to all of it to hide the flaws in your hanging skills and make it look like the rest of the old kitchen.  The shininess of the new microwave is already putting my electric range to shame.  But not to worry, it will be grimy in no time and fit in with the rest of my appliances just fine.

Yesterday was my oldest child’s 25th birthday, so of course I got very little done because I was wallowing in a deep depression.  I can’t figure out how this happened.  She was born, she hopped around the house with a pacifier between her teeth telling us all what to do, she was a grown up.  1-2-3.  Where was the middle?!

We did our usual special birthday breakfast where they get to choose anything they want to eat.  Then we opened gifts and just hung around talking.  The weather here has been amazing, so the doors were open and I put peppermint in the diffuser to keep us all uplifted.  It did help my general despair over how fast she grew and I got a bit of painting and cleaning done as well.  So hooray for peppermint and 75°.

Later this week we have another birthday (I may go into a puddled mess over this one….someone send Kleenex!) and some light plans.  We try to stay close to home and uncommitted toward the end of tax season to make it easy for James, who needs to completely focus on work.  And in case you’re looking for help, he has a website.

Last week I read on Facebook about a friend who fell asleep while doing her taxes.  That would be me.  Truth be told, the fact that he does taxes and bookkeeping is the thing that I find most attractive about my man.  I mean, six pack abs are nice, but what good are they when the IRS calls?

Have a great week!

 

A Little Building Up and a Little Tearing Down

A Little Building Up and a Little Tearing Down

The weekend was a frenzy of…well…nothing.  I have been continuing to catch up on rest and just hang out with m’kids.  I barely did anything meaningful and it was the best weekend I can remember in a long time.

On Friday I took one of my girls shopping.  Her wardrobe had some gaps and I had been hoping for some time to spend with her to catch up on her life.  It seems like they grow up and get all busy and doing their own thing and occasionally Mom wants a whole day to hear about their plans and dreams.  It’s one of my favorite ways to build our relationship, just spending a whole day together.  So we shopped all day and found some really cute stuff for her to wear.

I also like to see what the new trends are so we hit lots of shops and she tried on tons of different outfits to see what looked best on her.  It was exciting to see all of the little dresses in the stores.  If you’re looking for a knee length dress for the summer….go get it now.  They’re everywhere!

While we were out we went to see a movie called, “Do You Believe?”  We knew nothing about it, so we took a chance and I have to say….it was pretty good.  It’s a Christian film and we both really liked the storylines and it had some really famous people in it, which was fun.  I like seeing famous people.  I don’t know why.  I’m a sucker for it.  If you get the chance….go see the movie.

On Saturday my boys and I spent the morning tearing down some cabinets in the kitchen.  It wasn’t an enormous job, and the boys really enjoyed aggressively ripping down the moldings and hitting things with hammers.  It’s funny to see their individualness come out in these projects.  One boy would be very tidy about how he took care of the wood scraps he was pulling off while another literally didn’t even notice what he did with the pieces after he ripped them down.  One of them loved just going after it with full force and another liked the detail work….carefully pulling out nails that got left behind and cleaning up the 2″ layer of dust on the tops of the cabinets.

Tell me honestly, do you frequently dust the very top of your kitchen cabinets?  If you say yes, then you will go into my housekeeper hall of fame.

After we finished the demolition and cleaned up our mess, I sat and stared, again, at what was left.  I am challenged to find a creative way to get the look I want without spending much money.  I know I can get close.  But I have to wait on the inspiration to hit me.  It doesn’t always happen as quickly as I want.  Which might become an issue since all of the dishes that used to live in those cabinets are now sitting on my kitchen island.  I have a very limited tolerance for construction messes.

Today I am going to return the paint I originally bought and try a different kind (I can return it because I bought a pre-mixed color).  I found a shop nearby that sells a new brand of paint that I want to try.  So let’s all cross our fingers and a few toes that I like the new paint.  It’s a small company, but their YouTube videos look impressive so I am gonna go for it.  I’ll let you know!

After we get all of the grime scrubbed off of the old cabinets and the dust cleaned up, which we are working on this week, we will start painting.  Some of the older kids are going to help me for a small fee.  I don’t mind paying for this kind of work.  It’s getting my kitchen freshly painted AND I get to spend more time with them while we work.  If it costs me a little moola, it’s totally worth it.

Have a great week!

Yucks & “Stuff”

Yucks & “Stuff”

My kids call me Mom, nurse, cook, house-cleaner, launderer…

I call myself exhausted.

For the past few days we have had a houseful of sickies.  The yuck-bug has hit the Pennington home.  I would love to tell you details about what kinds of stuff is draining from our pores, but I am going to mention a few essential oils later in this post and the FDA has all kinds of rules about what I can say.  So let’s stick with Yuck and Not-Sleeping-Well.  You get the picture.  No stomach stuff.. .all above the waist problems….mostly above the neck.

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The older kids and I are OK….just a little draggy.  But the younger set has been hit pretty hard so I am spooning warm tea and potato soup into them.  Today I have a batch of my famous Taco Soup (OK, it’s not that famous but it should be because it’s so easy to make!) on the stove and the house smells divine.

I have 3 diffusers going, one in the living room (aka the infirmary) another in the dining room (which is a walkthrough for the whole house) and the last in a bedroom.  I am alternating between diffusing Thieves & RC (4 drops each) or Melaleuca & Eucalyptus G (same).  At night I will add lavender.

I am also putting Thieves on the bottoms of everyone’s feet and depending on their specific situation I am applying RC to their chest and/or putting diluted peppermint on the back of their neck.  I am putting Breathe Again behind everyone’s ears and down the side of their neck and some of them need it rubbed over their sinuses as well.  I have had a couple of them take a warm bath with Epsom salts mixed with lavender.  Lastly, a few of the kids have a weird eye gunk problem, so I am putting frankincense in a carrier oil (I use Young Living’s V-6) and rubbing that around their eye socket, making sure not to get it too close to their eyes.  And I am also putting plain V-6 on their eyelashes at night so they can open their eyes in the morning.

I know…gross, but necessary.

I, on the other hand, am getting some deep cleaning done.  Every time I wipe the floor I see a dirty spot behind something and start scrubbing.  Last night I took all of the plates down from the cupboard and scoured them.  It seems that occasionally the dishwasher doesn’t get them clean and they get put away like that. When I found a filthy one I got pretty grossed out and started a cleaning frenzy.  If the kids are still feeling yucky tomorrow (hopefully not!) I may scrub behind the washer and dryer.  For sure we are getting sheets washed and under the beds swept out and old toys throw away.

I know how to make fun out of anything.

It’s been quiet really.  Everyone resting and watching an endless stream of movies while I happily boil pots of steaming deliciousness and buff things to a shine.  I hope they get better soon, but I do love bringing them goodies and attending to their needs in the meantime.  I make them tea and after I hand them their mug I tuck the blanket around their feet and feel their forehead and ask if there is anything in the world I can do for them.  They send me on weird errands like looking for a favorite stuffed animal that seems to be lost or to make a piece of toast with peanut butter, apple slices and cinnamon.

I am staying busy, that’s for sure!

Before I go back to my work of kids and house cleaning, I want to be sure to let you know about a deal I am running for the month of March.  If you’ve been thinking of signing up to start using Young Living essential oils, now is a great time.  I am sending all new signups that join this month and order the Premium Starter Kit (which includes 11 oils and a diffuser plus some samples!) my favorite reference book AND a tin of Thieves Mints.  These are my absolute favorite…fresh breath and a health feeling all rolled into one little sugar-free tablet. 

SIGN UP HERE!

A great deal for my March members!!!

By the way, I am not a doctor – I am just a mom who uses essential oils in her own family.  This information is not intended to prescribe, diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is your responsibility to educate yourself and address any health or medical needs you may have with your health care provider.

Have a great week!

Count Your Blessings

Count Your Blessings

It’s been birthday week here.  The day after my birthday was one of my boys’ birthday and that means we pretty much do nothing but entertain ourselves for 4-5 days.  We can’t just stop after 2 birthdays in a row.  We’ll just roooolllll it into the weekend.

I had a nice birthday.  James and the kids really went all out to make it special for me.  What a blessing they are!  They got me some presents and made me a little book that’s filled with their thoughts about me (it’s called “What I Love About Mom” and you fill in the blanks).  I pretty much bawled while reading it.  They took turns filling in answers and really blew me away with their sweetness.  Several of them wrote that they think I’m wise……which makes me consider making a bunch of copies and framing them and hanging them around the house.  You know.  For the other 364 days when they forget they said that.

After the gifts and I read my little book, my oldest daughter handed me this gorgeous, hand painted, half-gallon sized jar.  One of my other daughters painted it and I just thought, “Oh what a cute jar…I love it!”  Then she told me it had notes of encouragement from friends inside.

She had contacted people and asked them to send me a note of encouragement.  That jar was PACKED FULL of the nicest notes a girl could even imagine.  I sat and read them, humbled by not only what each note said, but that my darling girl would go to so much trouble to tackle this project.  I couldn’t believe how crammed full that jar was.  Talk about encouraging!!!

If you’re looking for a special gift for someone, this is it….it will carry me through when I feel low.  I set it by my chair and whenever I want I can just pull a note out and feel the love.

A great idea to encourage someone for a special event or birthday!  #blessingsjar

(the little chalkboard art was a gift from one of my sweet boys and the flowers were from a friend)

You can’t really tell in the photo, but the jar is huge.  I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate and I felt like all of my friends that contributed a note or letter were right there with me.

Thank you so much if you were a part of this beautiful gift.

Now that we are past the birthdays and my husband is busy with tax season, it’s time for my annual project to begin.  I am going to paint the kitchen cabinets and do a small remodel project in there, just moving a few things around.  I have been keeping a list of what is not working for me in the kitchen and I am ready to do some repairs and sprucing up.  This will be my focus for the month of March.  It helps me forget that my husband can’t pay any attention to me and gives the boys a little money since I will pay them to help.

I’ll be spending the next week or so gathering supplies that will bring my ideas to life.  I’ll keep you updated….it’s so fun to perk up a draggy room!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a terrific weekend filled with joy and even if you don’t get a huge jar filled with notes, know that you are loved beyond measure by God and me and LOTS and LOTS of other people!

50 is the New FABULOUS!

50 is the New FABULOUS!

Well friends, I did it.  I survived for 50 years.  I know, it comes as a shock to me too.

When I was a girl I thought being 50 looked like this picture that always hung in my grandmother’s hallway.  These were twin sisters and I don’t know much about them except that my grandmother adored them.

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But it turns out that 50 looks like this….

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I can honestly say that I have been really looking forward to this birthday.  There are so many things about turning 50 that are wonderful that I have decided to make a list.

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1. Contentment.  There’s just something about having this many years behind me that gives me a sense of peace and contentment.  I don’t feel like I have anything to prove anymore.  This is it.  And I like it.
2. Knowledge.  The saying, “The more you know, the more you realize how much you don’t know.”  Yep.  That.
3. Wisdom.  Wisdom is something that doesn’t automatically come with age, but it comes from God.  I have a long way to go and, hopefully, a long time to get there.  But I appreciate what little wisdom I have and ask for more every day.  I guess what I’m saying is that my appreciation for wisdom has deepened as I have aged.

Proverbs 3:13 “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold”

4. The loss of youth.  Truly, I look back at my youth and while it was fun to be young, I wouldn’t want to go back to that for anything.  This is where it’s at, man.
5.  Older kids.  Sure, I loved my years of having babies; it was wonderful!  But this time in my life when my kids are older and can take care of themselves is so, so sweet.
6. Health.  I have been so blessed with great health.  Even though I am less bendy than I used to be, I am loving my sense of well being.
7. Freedom from pleasing others.  This one took me longer than necessary to get to.  But I am blessed to have learned that if pleasing others is my goal in life I will never succeed.  If pleasing God and honoring the path that I believe He set me on is my goal then I can’t fail!
8. Wrinkles.  You know what?  I don’t mind my wrinkles.  They are a mark of honor and a blessing.  I think of them as well earned.  They are my beauty lines.

“And the beauty of a woman, with passing years only grows!”  Audrey Hepburn

9. Being established.  It seemed like the last 3 decades of life were about establishing ourselves.  My husband built his career and I worked on homeschooling my kids and my writing.  In the past couple of years we have felt that the groundwork has been laid and now we can move forward with more strength.  Although I don’t know if it needed to take this long….I am glad to be there.
10. Confidence.  It took a lot of loss and heartbreak to learn where my confidence lies….in Christ and Christ alone.  I will fall and fail and mess up and blunder my way through life.  It’s when I am able to stop leaning on my own strength and use His strength that I find a deep sense of confidence.  The older I get, the easier that is to do.
11. More suffering behind me = More Joy.  I learned a long time ago that suffering adds great joy to your life because it draws you nearer to God and you lean more on Him and less on yourself.  After 50 years I have had my share of suffering and I can say that I am all the better for it!

“Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties.”  Charles Spurgeon

12. Body image.  My body went south long ago and I stopped trying to hide it.  After many pregnancies and years of gaining and losing weight, stretch marks and saggy places abound on my body.  And you know what?  I don’t care one bit.
13. Laughter.  I laugh more easily than I used to.  I have always taken myself much too seriously and that has changed as I have gotten older.  I will probably always be a bit OCD, but now I find it funny.
14. I lose things and I don’t care.  The old thinker ain’t what it used to be.  I had something in my hand a minute ago and now it’s gone….sometimes forever.  But I don’t stress it like I used to.  It’s just stuff.
15. Stories.  The more time that passes the more fun stories I have to tell.  Accidentally wetting myself little when I laugh too hard with my girlfriends has happened to me more than a few times….it just gives me more to laugh about.
16. Dancing.  I have always wanted to learn to do the jive, so I am teaching myself through YouTube videos.  I may show you someday.  I even have a few hip hop moves thrown in.  You’re never too old to learn new things!

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”  Walt Disney

17. Going to bed early.  As I age I find it harder and harder to stay up late and you know what?  I don’t care what I’m missing.  I’m tired.
18. Discounts.  Yep.  This came in the mail….
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19. Confidence for my kids.  I love how it boosts their confidence in being adults and helping out their old mom.  It’s positively adorable when they look like they want to pat me on the head.
20.  Looking like myself.  I can color my hair if I want or wear clothes that don’t match exactly or buy myself odd shaped glasses and just embrace being me!  I used to think about others when I got dressed, but now I just think about what I want to look like for myself.
21. Helping younger women.  Like it or not, I am generally the older woman in the group and I love putting Titus 2 into action.

Titus 2:3-5 “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”

22. Loving others.  As I age I find that I love others more.  I sympathize and care more deeply and forgive more easily.
23. Shaking off negativity.  Even though I forgive, I also more easily give myself permission to let go of toxic people.  I love them and want them to have joy-filled lives.  But I don’t let their negativity bring me down and sometimes that means letting people go.
24. No more rat race.  I am free of the idea that I have to keep up with anyone or do anything by tomorrow.  I just do what I can when I can.
25. Gluten-Free! My mid-life enzymes aren’t what they used to be.  I eat more carefully and frankly, I feel better than I have in years!
26. Loving my bones.  As long as I am eating better, I am also exercising.  My bones need it and I am loving my quiet time that naturally goes with my daily workout.
27. I know who my friends are.  I have gained and lost many friends over the past 50 years.  Some have been deeply painful losses and others came and went so quickly that I hardly noticed.  But all in all I have learned something from each person and I am better for it.  And I have learned to recognize a true friend and to trust my instincts.

“When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.”  Maya Angelou

28. No more oats.  I don’t feel like sowing any of those wild oats anymore.  Been there; done that.  Now I get to reap the harvest of my life.  Sure I will change things about myself in a million ways and try new things.  But I don’t have a sense of a life unexplored.
29. Cleansing.  I am ready to get rid of all of the junk sitting around that isn’t serving my life.  I don’t see any more reason to hang onto old stuff, but instead I am ready to open my world up to a clean space.
30. No more jumping  I do like jumping, but I can’t do it anymore.  (see #15).  That’s OK.  I can still jump with joy on the inside.  Some things you just have to accept.  Life’s too short to wish for things you just can’t do.
31. More to give.  The more I grow and accomplish the more I have to give to others.  I love, love, love helping others and I think my 50s are going to be my decade for giving and I can.not.wait!

Hebrews 13:16 “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have,  for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

32. Marriage strength.  After being married for nearly 29 years, I can say that it is better than ever.  We have a rhythm and understand each other.  Well, maybe not understand as much as accept.  And we’re still frisky.  Longevity in marriage is an incredible blessing!
33.  Oblivious.  I see the award shows or hear a song and I don’t recognize any of the artists or actors.  Unless it’s Meryl Streep or Robert De Niro I am lost.  And I don’t really care to find out who they are because I have other things to do that are more interesting to me.  I just let my kids load new songs on my iPhone (see #19) and leave it at that.
34. Being a real grown up.  Maybe I am the only one, but I always felt like a kid pretending to be a grown up.  Until now.  Being 50 gives me permission to say I am all adult and proud of it.  But I still act silly….don’t mistake being a grown up with never having fun.  I have the BEST kind of carefree FUN!
35. I remember the 70s.  I actually remember wearing bell bottoms and watching Sonny & Cher and the day Elvis died.  I am blessed to have lived in a time when there were no cell phones and no Internet and life was simpler.

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36. Still young.  While I am not young in the sense of years, I am still able to learn to do new things and figure out how to use the Facebook.  I really have the best of both worlds!
37.  No more “lady days.”  It may be TMI, so men, if you’re reading, just skip this one, m’kay?  Ladies, I have passed through the menopause years and it is AWESOME!!!  No more cycles and I am loving this.  It wasn’t easy though….I have deep sympathies for those of you going through the change now.
38.  Travel.  I have always wanted to travel and couldn’t for various reasons.  Now that I am in this phase of my life I can do more traveling and I am thoroughly enjoying it.  Waiting for so long makes me thankful even for the parts that are less enjoyable, like being frisked by an airport security officer or squeezed on a plane.  I like every little part of it after waiting for so long to be able to do it.
39.  Knowing the Word of God.  With this much time to study, I ought to know a lot about what the Bible says.  I read it every day and I have been through years of BSF.  All of that has equipped me to have a better understanding of who God is and how He wants me to view the world.  I am looking forward to another 50 years to study and learn even more about the nature and love of God!
40. The grass is green on MY side. Looking at what everyone else is doing and comparing it to your life is for the birds.  I like it on my side of the fence.  I don’t even look on the other side anymore.

“Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men.  It then appears that we are among the privileged” Helen Keller

41. Finances are easier.  We aren’t loaded, but it’s been a long time since I had to count every penny at the grocery store.  I learned a lot from those days in my life, but I sure am glad they are behind me.
42. I wear any underwear that I want.  I feel no pressure to wear anything that creeps up my behind or makes me look attractive underneath.  My granny panties serve me just fine, thankyouverymuch.
43. I don’t need to win.  I used to be more competitive and I wanted to win games and push my way to the front of the line.  Now I chill.  I enjoy the time in line and I am happy if I in or lose.  I don’t care at all….that drive to win just went away as I aged.  And I am so glad.  (but don’t worry, if we are partners in a game I will still be fun to play with!)
44. I like lifting others UP!  There are very few things I enjoy more than helping another woman reach the height of her dreams.  If there is any way that a word or boost from me can help….I am all over that!  Seeing other women succeed, unlike the envy years of my 20s, brings me great joy!
45. I still love the movie “Grease”.  I know…it has a terrible message and doesn’t reflect anything I believe.  But I can’t help it.  37 years after seeing it for the first time (I’ll bet I saw it 20 times at the theater the year it came out because back then you couldn’t watch it on DVD 2 months later) I still can’t hold myself back from dancing when I hear those songs.  Hey!  Maybe I’ll do my jive (see #16)  to “We Go Together”.

“It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s what you do with your dancin’ shoes!”  Vince Fontaine in “Grease”
46.  I know myself.  I know what I am good at and I know what I am NOT good at.  There is so much joy in building your skills in the areas that God gifted you in and letting go of trying to be good at everything.  My strengths and weaknesses make me unique, and why would I want to be like anyone else?!
47. Early mornings.  The older I get the earlier I naturally wake up in the morning.  I don’t know if that’s true for everyone, but I sure do love seeing the sunrise!
48. Playing with makeup.  I have enjoyed discovering and trying new things from the makeup department.  My aging skin needs care and I like beauty products and I’m a sucker for those bright promises.  It’s a delightful indulgence that I’ve enjoyed even more as I get older.  And I have more time for my skin care at night too, since my kids can put themselves to bed (usually long AFTER I go to sleep).
49. I am calmer.  I don’t get as upset over little things and I calm down more quickly when I do get irritated.  If getting older has taught me anything, it would be that life is too short to fuss over little messes and disappointments.  I’ll probably never be completely easy-going, but I am definitely more relaxed than I used to be and I have hope of chillin’ even more in the future.
50. More life ahead!  I have so much left to live and I am acutely aware of the preciousness of every day.  I can see that the 50s are going to be fabulous.  Not because this time in life is trouble-free, but because it is a blessing to be alive and know who I am in Christ!

The little girl I was 50 years ago would never have believed that this was her future.  Nine children, homeschooling (of course, who heard of homeschooling 50 years ago?!), obsessed with natural health care and living in an old house on a little farm…it’s crazy that this is my life!

It’s better and richer than anything I would have dreamed for myself!

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Someday I’m Gonna Live Underground

Someday I’m Gonna Live Underground

Well it was another travel weekend!

I went to Nashville for a conference that was put together by Young Living members to help us learn more about the company, where the oils comes from and how to use them.  It was wonderful to be around other people who love using essential oils as much as I do.

I go to a lot of conferences.  I know the traveling isn’t for everyone.  But I love to learn and grow and build my ministry.  I love to meet new people and it always inspires me in some way.

What I don’t love is being away from my family.  I missed them so much last weekend that I thought I might break my phone texting them.

Me: Hi!  What are y’all doing right now?
Them: The same thing we were doing 5 minutes ago when you asked.

Sadly, I have to travel again for a few days this week and then…..I am going to come home, dig a hole in the backyard and build a room underground where no one can find us.  I plan to put my husband and kids down there with me and a stack of board games.  Don’t worry about us, I’ll poke some straw holes up through the ground for air.

Or maybe I could just lock the doors on the house and turn off the phones.  That may be a more practical option.

This being Valentine’s Day week and all….I am also cooking up some secret love messages for these favorite people of mine.  Not having much extra time I am avoiding Pinterest like the plague.  I don’t need a bunch of crafty ideas, like making roses out of strawberries and edible gold, to make me feel inadequate.  My Valentines will be closer to pieces of red construction paper folded in half and cut into lopsided hearts.  Think Kindergarten, but messier.

I’m shooting for quantity over quality.  Lots of messy hearts with candy from the seasonal section of the grocery store is how I plan to express my abundant love.

We all like to wear red on Valentine’s Day, which of course means my red boots will make an appearance.  I wore them all weekend at the Opryland Gaylord and they seemed glad to revisit their hometown.  I bought them when I was here last fall and I have been surprised about how often I wear them!  I have never had a pair of western boots before and I don’t think I own any red clothing.  So I wasn’t sure when I got them if I would wear them.  But I wear them at least twice a week.

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For today it’s about rest and hanging with the kids.  And laundry.  And maybe going through receipts for my husband, which is his love language.

Have a great week!

 

Thank God It’s Not Friday

Thank God It’s Not Friday

Oh man I LOVED having a weekend AT HOME!  It was like a vacation from my vacations.

I went into the city on Saturday with my girls for a baby shower and some shopping.  It was so nice just to be leisurely.  Then on Sunday it was literally just EASY NORMAL.  Church, lunch, naps, laying around, oh it was heaven!  Especially since I will be traveling twice again over the next 10 days.

But before all of that loveliness was last Friday {cue horror music}.  It was such a long, hard day that I thought I might need some smelling salts by the end.  (do people use those anymore?)

I got up Friday morning long before dawn because my final book edits were due and I needed some quiet time.  If I wait until after my morning walk then the house is buzzing and I can’t focus as well.  By 9:00 I felt pretty good about the progress, so I opened my bedroom door and wandered out to see what chaos I was missing.  I went around the house locating each child and said hello and talked about their day and helped with what they needed.

I did as much as I could with them, but at 10:00 on the nose I had to get online to buy a ticket to the Young Living Convention in August.  They were opening up registration at 10 and I KNEW that the session I wanted would sell out quickly (which it did…in about half an hour!).  I did get into the session (hooray!) but spent another hour making calls to try to find a hotel room.  Nada.  No such luck.  I guess 24,000 people converging on the area at once causes a bit of stress on the hotels.

OK, plan B.

I hate to do it, but I asked a family member if they would mind my staying with them.  You know, I don’t think they mind at all and it never bothers me if someone asks, but it feels kinda stinky when you’re all like, “I don’t have time to visit with you but may I use you like a bed & breakfast?”.

While that was happening I was also getting questions pouring in from people asking about essential oils and what to use for ____, or people on my team with questions about their Young Living business.  The end of the month gets pretty crazy as people try to wrap up their monthly needs.  Actually, I don’t think the word crazy describes it well enough. I need a thesaurus and twenty-seven exclamation marks to fully express it.

As I was doing all of that, I was sitting on the floor in the boys’ room helping Levi organize his “collections”. They have gotten out of hand and he had been waiting all week for me to help him.  He has piles of sticks and cans and scraps of paper and broken things and all of the little things he likes to “collect”.  I put “collect” in quotes because the only thing these items have in common is that they are all garbage (oh boy, that brings back so many memories for me!).  But he loves it, so we gathered some boxes and kind-of-sort-of organized it.

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I kept trying to get back to work on the book, but little fires kept popping up  Then there was also the matter of a baby shower we were co-hosting on Saturday and a few small projects that we needed to do for that.  (I was dreaming of a Calgon bath right about this point)

By 2:00 I had eaten a light lunch (aka crumbs from the kids’ lunch) and had a conference call with a sponsor, then tried to fill a few etsy shop orders.  At 4:00 I was hanging by a thread and feeling like I was spreading myself WAY too thin.  So, I decided to just click the button that would put the shop on vacation until I get a handle on some of this other mess….er….I mean happy work.

Really, I do love my work and it is all a dream come true for me.  I have wanted to write a book ever since I can remember and the fact that I am actually getting to do that blows my mind with the goodness of God!  And the Young Living part of my work gives me so much joy to be helping people in a way that I am so passionate about that I love every second of it.

But it’s a balance.  I am a homeschooling mamma and that, plus my marriage, is my number ONE priority.  My family and home will always be the things that drive me.  My kids and their blossoming futures are my heart and soul.  Serving my  husband, who is pretty great and never complains when I am distracted, is my honor.

And Friday….it was just about all I could do to make it from one mission to the next.  I hate that.  But it happens.

Afternoon time with the boys, more questions rolling in, some school homework help, dinner…..it wasn’t until after 8:00 at night that I finally settled back into my book edits and sent them off long after the sun went down.

I know we all have days like Friday.  I am just so glad that it isn’t like that every day!

It did, however, make the simple weekend so much sweeter.

There’s always a blessing that comes from the hard days!