Do You Have a Dream?

Do You Have a Dream?

I have been about to BUST to tell you my big news.  But I waited, because patience is a virtue.  Also because I am a person who holds in information in case it doesn’t actually happen.  A little insight into my sad, sad personality.

If you’ve been around here for any length of time you know that I have dreamed of writing a book.  In fact, I did write a short one last year and planned to turn it into an ebook.  It was in the works when God, in His beautiful way, flipped that plan upside down and used that ebook to get the attention of a literary agent and then a publisher.

And now that all Ts and Is have been crossed and dotted I can tell you…..I am writing a real book.  One you can hold in your hand and buy in a store.  Even as I type it out I have to pinch myself.

I thought about waiting a while longer to tell y’all.  It was a favor to you really.  So you don’t have to keep yourself from asking me constantly, “Are you REALLY writing a book? Because I haven’t seen it anywhere!”  It turns out that the process takes much longer than I ever thought….in my case about a year….before it will actually be on a shelf.  But you all are amazing and kind so I overcame my hesitation.

My book will come out next fall, in 2015.

However, I have discovered that it is next to impossible to keep up with 3-4 blog posts a week AND write a whole book.  I simply can’t do it without ignoring my kids and all efforts to eat healthy.  So until my December first deadline I will be posting just once or twice a week and occasionally re-posting some content that you might not have seen before.  I am also considering letting my girls write for The Pennington Point once in a while.

I didn’t ever dream this would be a reality….honestly I am blown away by God’s grace.  He has been my guide and comfort all along the way.

If you get anything from my big announcement let it be this: Whatever He planted in your heart long ago, He will lead you to that.  It will probably not happen the way you expect or even look the way you thought it should, but don’t ever stop going for that goal.  I have dreamed of this since I was a child and here I am….about to turn 50 (another thing I can’t believe when I type it out) and it is just now happening. Never give up!!!!

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My book doesn’t have an official title yet, but it is all about joy and gratitude and giving thanks in all things.  I promise you will love it.  As soon as I finish writing it.  And we design a cover.  And all of the other details that I can’t even think about or I start to hyperventilate.

It will be based on my most popular post called,20 Ways to Reset When the Kids Are Having a Hard Day.”  It’s a beautiful, freeing concept that I have a lot more to say about plus tons of very funny stories to share with you!

Our whole family is blessed by what God is doing through this.  Despite my pitiful fear of shouting it from the rooftops.

What’s your dream?! 

 

Everything I Know About the Military I Learned from 70s TV

Everything I Know About the Military I Learned from 70s TV

Now that we are back to a full school schedule life has taken on a busy, yet semi-predictable turn.  No more lets-do-whatever mornings.  It’s back to the military style of living where Mom blows the bugle at 7:00AM and demands pushups for anyone that doesn’t hop-to.

I realize I shouldn’t make military analogies since the only thing I know about it is what I learned from Gomer Pyle, Hogan’s Heroes and M*A*S*H.  Probably not 100% accurate.

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After a week of school we were all glad for Saturday morning when we could relax a little.  But only until 7:30 because some of us wanted to go junking.  Six of us spent a few hours trucking around looking for junk to bring home and reclaim into furniture and décor.  Who needs Pottery Barn when you have trash piles and a good imagination?  I found an old bed spring and some various yard salvage that I plan to use for my fall decorating.  So stay tuned.

After a nap I spent some quality time with my pool net, skimming for leaves and dead algae.  “You boys want to swim?!  Hey, I have a better idea…..Let’s clean the pool!” For about an hour I scraped the bottom of the pool while the younger boys hung around the edges.  Sure they wanted to swim in the middle, but that would have stirred up the scum so we played “Who can stay away from Mommy?”  Elijah won.  So he’s my new favorite child.

On Sunday it was the usual….go to church, come home worn out, sleep, play games, lie around and do nothing.  But there was a small hitch in our plans.  In getting the boys dressed earlier that morning I found in their drawers a pigsty of clothes and socks and belts that don’t fit anyone.  So the later part of the day was spent cleaning that out.

Didn’t I JUST do that?  How did it get messy again so quickly?!  I’m about to whittle everything they own down to what they can fit in a foot locker and while I’m at it I might just bounce some quarters on their beds in the mornings.  How long do you think the clean drawers will last this time?  I am taking bets and whoever loses has to clean the bathrooms with their toothbrush.

Another little incident Sunday was that I got a couple of emails from people who ordered something from my shop and never got their order.  It turned out that someone opened a shop on another site and used my shop name, photos, products, everything.  It was almost exactly the same.  People placed orders and, of course, their orders never came.  They couldn’t find anyone to contact on that shop so they searched and found me, assuming I had a second store and they came irritated about not getting their orders.  I am sure!  I would be irritated too….except they never ordered anything from me!  It was a scam.  Trust me, when you order from my real shop you will get your order promptly and can always reach me if you have questions!

Where’s Radar O’Reilly when you need him?  I need a guy who can get things done.

Salute!

(My apologies to any military people reading this.  I have nothing but mad respect for everything you do!!!!)

Who Says I Can’t Pull Off a Surprise?!

Who Says I Can’t Pull Off a Surprise?!

I am writing my Monday post on Tuesday because, well, I’m tired and it was a long weekend.

I remember in college I could stay up all night for a week then recover with a nap and some cold pizza.  Now I require three days of sleep and chicken soup (without the noodles) to get over staying up until midnight.  Which I did on Saturday night.  You would think I’d learn not to do that but I was hanging out with some of the most amazing women and I decided it was worth the sacrifice of being coherent for the next week.

On Friday I drove 8 hours to Oklahoma City for my husband’s law school graduation ceremony.  I didn’t tell y’all I was going because I didn’t tell him.  It was a huge surprise.  It’s not that I don’t trust you all and I am sure you would have kept my secret, but I couldn’t risk it.  My 9 children already knew about it and just keeping them from spilling the beans was all I could manage.

I rented a zippy little red car and drove myself to Oklahoma.  Considering a 15 passenger van has been my mode of transportation for the past dozen years I felt like I had been released from some kind of prison.  I was all in and out of parking spaces like I hadn’t a care in the world.

James was so, so surprised and it was fun to pull it off with my son.  The graduation ceremony was beautiful and I am so glad I went.  It was better than any church service I have been to in a long time.  On Friday night after the first part of the ceremony each graduate took a turn sitting in a chair while the faculty prayed over them.  How often do you see THAT at a law school graduation?!

On Saturday after the actual graduation I went to a meeting with the Winter Summit planning team.  I hope y’all will go to the Summit in January either in Texas or Oklahoma!  It’s going to be an incredible weekend of refreshment and encouragement.  You do not want to miss it!!

Then on Sunday came the dreaded 8 hour drive home.  It was rough.  I got about 2 hours down the road and it felt like I couldn’t drive any more.  I kept stopping and walking around then I’d drive another hour or 2.  Stop.  Walk.  Repeat.

I finally got home around 6:00 PM and was so glad to see my family that I fell asleep.

Have a great week!

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Fence Building is Not My Strength

Fence Building is Not My Strength

I am still on my cleaning and organizing frenzy.  In fact, it’s gotten worse since James is out of town for the week.  I always get a lot done when he’s gone because I can throw away whatever I want without him following after me looking in the cans and pulling stuff back out.

He can’t help it.  He comes from a long line of collectors.  His grandmother had a perpetual garage sale.  She would go to other people’s garage sales and bring the stuff home, double the price and sell it at her garage sale.  Me, I inherited a passion for just throwing away things we don’t need anymore.  I’m pretty sure God was laughing through our entire childhoods knowing He was going to put us together.

We have gotten so much done this week that I am going to give the kids today and tomorrow off.  I plan to start a full school schedule on Monday and I think they need a short break before that happens.  Man cannot live on organization alone.

Also when James goes out of town we tend to have more than our normal share of small emergencies.  On Tuesday morning just as he was leaving our horse got out and ran down the road.  After we chased him back in, the fence had to be mended where he got out.  It’s times like these when I wonder why I ever had the dream of a “little farm house with animals”.

I may be able to build a cabinet, but fence repair is one of my weak areas.  Instead of spending hours doing it right, the kids and I spent 15 minutes wiring bits and pieces of different fence panels together and propped them up with a rusty T post.  Yep, classy.

Then the next day I had a tooth situation.  I have a crown that has been bothering me, but I have put off going to have it looked at.  So of course it waited until James was gone to kick up a fuss.  It started bleeding and throbbing and I couldn’t get it to stop.  Of course, at 10:00 at night.

So I called my dentist the next morning and because of school about to start he can’t see me for a couple of weeks.  OK then.  Although I was a little nervous about it, I looked through all of my essential oil books, pulled out what oils I had and started swishing.  I have clove oil, which I’ve also been putting right on the gums around the tooth and it has been incredible.  It has completely stopped the pain and the other oils I am swishing with (Thieves, Melaleuca and lavender) are going to, I am confident, keep it from getting infected until I go to the dentist.

Now as long as we can make it through two more days without anything on the house falling apart we are home free.  Once James gets back nothing will happen.  That’s how it always goes.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

More Cleaning and Organizing

More Cleaning and Organizing

I just can’t stop!

Friday was quiet.  We have been getting small jobs done around here and prepping for school to start. I got some shelves cleaned off and straightened and the school books all stacked and ready for me to go through.

On Saturday I was planning to get some more work done around the house and help my son get ready to go to Oklahoma for the week.  But then I heard about a barn sale that was full of junk and I couldn’t resist driving an hour to see what they had that I couldn’t live without.

I came home with a broken old fridge, an old metal slide and a few smaller things.  Uh huh.  Because my house isn’t full enough already.

I’m not sure yet what I am going to do with either of those two things but they made my heart skip a beat when I saw them and I knew we were meant to be together.  I’ll figure something out.  True love can’t be denied.

On Saturday night I felt a little cold coming on.  So I decided to skip church on Sunday morning.  I didn’t want to start a sore throat epidemic.  I kept gargling with Thieves and apple cider vinegar and I took Vitamin C and tried to drink lots of water.

But because I am not one to sit still, I told the kids that if they would help me do some cleaning then I would give them the afternoon off to do anything they wanted (at home that is).  They jumped at that and we all pitched in to get some more organizing done.

The 2 girls set about cleaning out some kitchen cabinets while the little boys and I reorganized what used to be the nursery but had become a room with a bed and treadmill.  It’s a tiny room and with the treadmill right in the middle of it we should have renamed it “The Ugly Room.”

So I moved the furniture, cleaned out the cabinet and drawers and by 1:00 it was a whole new space and there were 3 trash bags full of junk to be tossed out.  Really, that always amazes me how much stuff I have that I never use.  It’s kind of shameful.

Here’s a picture, but not because it’s a beautiful room.  I show it to you because I love seeing other people’s houses (really, I would walk through all of your houses and just look around if I could) so here’s my little room.

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I made a “wall” with the white cabinet and put the treadmill behind it.  Whoever is treadmilling can look out the window or see the TV (it’s right next to me in the picture so you can’t see it).  We just use this room for working out and as an extra bed (which we seem to need a lot).

Once that was done and all of the trash taken out and my bedroom cleaned up from everything we dumped in there I let the kids do whatever they wanted (I believe they watched movies) and I took the world’s best nap.

This week my guys are gone off to school and I have the place to myself.  Well, if you count being home with 6 kids being by myself.  I like to clean things out while James is gone so he doesn’t get distracted by the messes.  When he gets home it’ll all be back in order and ready to start school next week.

There.  That’s my weekend.  What did you do?

A New Door

A New Door

Well, it took two days but we got the junk all out of my bedroom and the kitchen, which is our other nuclear fallout zone.  Not only did we have the boys’ room cleanup to deal with, but as school approaches I am getting in a panic about the house, as if we can never straighten it once we get back to lessons.  I don’t know why, but I feel like I have to clear the entire house of all clutter as if I’m nesting.

The birth of a new school year.

I’m also really happy to have an office for myself.  I took what was our little study room (it used to be Noah’s Lego room until we moved him upstairs) and made it into my own office.  If I am in there with the doors closed it means KEEP OUT.  If I am not in there then the kids can still use it for quiet study.

The reason I couldn’t just use the room the way it was before is it had no door between it and the boys’ bedroom.  That would have made it difficult to concentrate.  So we built a door between the two rooms. When I say “we” I mean I designed it and bought all of the materials, my son built it and my daughters painted it.

Because the room is SO small I didn’t have room for a swinging door.  So this slides along a track we built with a galvanized pipe and hangs from eyes screwed into the top of the door.  It’s a simple 2×2 frame with chalkboard behind it.  The back is a dry erase white board for the boys to draw on.  I decided to make it floor to ceiling to add height to the room.

A great door wheh you have a tight spot!

Open on the Left — Closed on the right

I put stationary casters on the bottom, which makes it super easy to open and close!

door02

And now I have a place to work when I need quiet.  It was either that or drive to an undisclosed location and work in the car with my computer mashed against the steering wheel and the A/C blasting in my face.

I still have a few small messes to deal with, but it’s mostly all back to normal.  By “normal” I mean not normal at all because nothing ever stays the same around here for more than two weeks.

On Sunday I drove an hour and a half to meet my parents for lunch and handed off two of my daughters to help them for the week.  It was a nice Sunday drive (we used to take Sunday drives all of the time when I was a kid, why don’t we do that anymore?!) and great to see my folks.  I had the two youngest boys with me so as we drove home they started asking questions.  “Mom, why would someone want to get married just for the sake of getting married?!” “How do you know if you’re old enough to get a job?” “Why does a church need elders?”  I am not kidding.  These were the questions.  I mostly replied with answers like, “Hey, does anyone want some frozen yogurt?!”

Have a great week!

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I Shoulda Looked for a Watering Hole

I Shoulda Looked for a Watering Hole

In case you missed it last year (or the year before that) this is when I start to complain about the heat.  You would think that I have an affection for it after living in Texas my whole life, but no.  I despise it with a passion.  Them’s strong words but it’s how I feel.

Last Thursday James whisked me away for a romantic getaway.  And when I say romantic I mean 2 days with 5,000 other homeschoolers and a guest bed at my aunt’s house.  It was more about keeping up with a full schedule and less about roses with candlelight dinners.  But we do have the 4 hour car ride to look back on with fondness, if you like long, intense discussions about how we can be better parents and what to do about making a budget for next year.

One thing I struggle with when I travel in the summer is getting dehydrated.  I try to be careful, but there’s something about it that throws me off and by the time we were back home on Saturday night I was in pain.  My old-lady bladder was irritated and a headache was looming.

Getting dehydrated is no laughing matter (even though this blog post is funny!)

This is not my first experience with dehydration.  It happens to me several times every summer.  I know what you’re thinking, “Why doesn’t she just drink enough water?!”  I really wish I knew the answer to this question.

I expected my usual few days of recovery, so I flipped through my essential oils reference book to see if I there was an oil I might try.  Turned out that I had several of the oils suggested….just one of the many advantages of having a good stock.  I put one drop each of lemongrass, Thieves, spearmint and chamomile into a carrier oil and rubbed it over my bladder. Then I rubbed EndoFlex over my kidneys and drank 1/2 cup of NingXia Red followed by 8 oz. of water.  I felt better in about 5 minutes….no kidding!  In the past when this happens I feel awful all night and have trouble sleeping because of it.  I did the whole protocol again before I went to bed.  I didn’t want to risk it flaring up in the middle of the night and missing my much needed beauty sleep.

It really is a blessing to have remedies for these kinds of issues.  When small things come up I always see if I have an oil that can help me get through it more quickly.  In this case it knocked it right out and I was extra careful all day Sunday to be sure I drank enough water.  Maybe someday I will think about it BEFORE I leave for my trip and avoid it altogether.

Today is the fifth morning in a row that I have to get up and go out early.  It’s been a challenge to find time for exercise.  On Thursday I went for an evening walk instead of morning and on Friday I dropped James off at the convention we were attending and I went for a jog around the mall next door.  This morning I did a quick TTapp DVD and I will try to go for a bike ride later.  I have learned that there is always something I can do, even if it’s just jogging in place for 10 minutes or crunches on the floor.

If I, the laziest person in Texas, can do it then so can you!  I am rooting you on from my air-conditioned bedroom with a tall glass of Sonic ice in my hand.

Have a great week & stay cool!

This Mamma Doesn’t Do Midnight

This Mamma Doesn’t Do Midnight

On Friday night we went to dinner at a friend’s house and stayed way too late.  This mamma doesn’t do midnight anymore.  My system starts to shut down around 9…..starting with my eyelids.  But we lost track of time.  I should have realized when Levi got sleepy and laid on the couch.  He never goes to sleep before I do.

About an hour before he fell asleep I gave him my phone to play with.  I normally don’t do that, but he was really bored since all of the other kids were significantly older than he is.  After the evening was over and I looked at my phone I was shocked that he had moved all of my apps around.

If you think sleepy mamma is bad you should see sleepy mamma that can’t find her Instagram.  The next morning it took me almost an hour to figure out how to put it all back.  When I asked him why he did that he told me I was too unorganized so he made it better.  OK, he’s 7.  I almost told him he has no business telling me how to organize anything since he hasn’t been able to find his new shoes for 2 weeks.  But I refrained, being so mature and all.

On Saturday I was in Austin to visit my parents then teach an essential oils class with a friend of mine.  It was fun to meet new people and share my love for the oils.  Then I drove home and went almost straight to bed.  My eyelids were still suffering from the night before.

On Sunday after church I was really hoping for a long, hard nap.  God heard my cry because my son Jacob asked if he could take the other kids to see “God’s Not Dead” that was playing at the local Baptist church in the afternoon.  All but 2 of the kids went and those 2 decided to play together and I actually closed my bedroom door and took the best nap ever.  It had all the necessary elements….quiet, cool and nothing to do.  #perfection

Today I am taking my three little boys to a cavern to explore.  I promised them a few weeks ago that we would do it as soon as we could and they have been patiently waiting for Mom to stop her life and go.  Honestly, I don’t have time.  But then, I didn’t have time to go into labor and breastfeed on demand either.  Sometimes you just have to make it happen.

However, they don’t know it yet but we will also be stopping by Costco for a few things.  No trip with Mom is complete without a Costco run.  It’s a boy’s dream day.  But before you feel sorry for them you should know that what I lack in exciting shopping I make up for with frozen yogurt.

Oh….one thing I keep forgetting to tell you about….every Tuesday morning I am a guest on a web show called Mentor Moms with my friend at Hip Homeschool Moms.  It’s at 10CST and I’d love for you to join us!  Here’s their YouTube channel with past shows.

Have a great week!

If You Can’t Find Me I’ll Be at a Riverwalk Hotel

If You Can’t Find Me I’ll Be at a Riverwalk Hotel

The past week has been Texas history week here at the Point. We visited museums and landmarks and walked trails and, of course, ate Mexican food.  It’s Texas law that you have to eat Mexican food a minimum of once a week.  I follow this religiously.  I don’t want to lose my Texas ID card.

On Wednesday, while my girls took a friend to see the Alamo and Riverwalk I parked myself in a fancy hotel lobby and mooched off their internet.  I needed to spend some quality time with my new computer.  Buying a computer always seems like such a good idea at the time, but then you come face to face with the realization that you have no idea how to use the new operating system and somewhere along the road of life you’ve lost the capacity to learn.

I was considering returning it, but thought I needed to give it a fair shot at having the honor of belonging to me.  It must be such a joy to be right in my face every day as I whine about how hard it is to learn new technology at my age.  Excuse me while I stop for a moment and think about how lucky my computer is…..

It turned out to be a good decision to sit for a while in a luxury chair where no one was trying to tell me about their ideas for how to make a sword out of the curtain rod they found in my garbage and just read the computer’s instructions.  After an hour of reading one tip at a time the light started to turn on and guess what!  I can learn new things!  Who knew an expensive hotel was the key?!

I am considering making it a weekly appointment.  Throw in some fajitas and I might even stop complaining about technology.  OK, probably not.

I have decided to keep the computer since I have mostly figured out how to use it.  Although I am still considering paying one of my kids to install the programs I need and set up my email.  No reason to put my brain under too much stress.

This weekend I am heading to Austin for an essential oils class.  I’m looking forward to sharing how much they have blessed our family!  Plus I will get some drive time to finish an audio book that I started over a month ago.

Have a good one.  Eat some Mexican food!

 

Tires and Ants are My Nemeses

Tires and Ants are My Nemeses

Ok friends. It’s official.  I am tired.

It started to hit me last week as I drove to the city for the third time in three days.  Normally I go every couple of weeks, so my car and I were not used to the extra activity.  I heard it cry in protest one day as I slipped behind the wheel.  It sounded something like a groan when I turned the key.

Then I saw my front tire was flat and I knew that my car was not happy about all of this use.  We took it to the tire store and had to get two new tires.  Why is it that one flat tire means you need two news ones?  This sounds like a scam to me.  But please don’t tell the tire store people I said that.  I need them to like me.

One of the fun parts of my week has been having our friend here from Virginia.  She and I met at a blog conference and just liked each other right away.  She is the same age as my daughters, so even though I thought she was coming to see me, it turns out she has much more in common with my girls, so they have been chatting it up and doing all kinds of girly things.

We decided, since this is her first trip to Texas, that we would do the touristy stuff.  We’ve been to LBJ Ranch (It’s really cool….you must go there if you can!), a few local spots and today we are taking her to Austin to see the sights.  There’s nothing like our gorgeous Texas capitol to make a person fall in love with this great state.  That and a great plate of TexMex followed by some Blue Bell ice cream and people want to stay forever.

My latest craze is the battle of the ants that we have been dealing with for the past 2 weeks.  Every morning we wake up to a line of ants all through our pantry and kitchen.  Yesterday after church they were in the laundry basket.  We have lifted all food off of the floor and sealed it.  We scour and spray the countertop every night.  It hasn’t helped.

I spent Sunday afternoon Googling ways to kill them once and for all without using harsh chemicals.  I ordered an arsenal of ant killing supplies on Amazon that should be here by Tuesday, when I plan to turn into a mad scientist/exterminator.

And don’t tell my car, but I am going to Austin again on Friday to visit my parents and host an essential oils class on Saturday with a friend of mine.  I can’t help it, I love my oils too much so my car will just have to deal with it (but please don’t tell it I said that).

Have a great week!

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