The Pennington Point http://thepenningtonpoint.com Mon, 02 May 2016 11:25:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.2 Getting Ready for Summer http://thepenningtonpoint.com/2016/05/getting-ready-for-summer/ http://thepenningtonpoint.com/2016/05/getting-ready-for-summer/#respond Mon, 02 May 2016 11:25:23 +0000 http://thepenningtonpoint.com/?p=12901 Since I am traveling this week, I thought it would be great to share with you some posts you may have missed.  It’s the time of year when we all gear up for graduations, swimming, traveling and THE HEAT!

While I am traveling, be sure to follow my adventures over on Facebook and Instagram and even…yes I am going to say it….SnapChat.  I know, believe me I didn’t want to, but a couple of my kids are into it so there I went down that slippery slope.  You can find me there at “penningtonpoint”.  Trust me, you won’t see anything inappropriate on my feed, but I can’t speak for anyone else.

If you’re wondering what homeschoolers do for graduation, we have lots of options!  Many people I know pull together a group ceremony that’s very sweet and they often follow traditional graduations.  We have done several things.  Having graduated 5 kids, they’ve wanted different types of events.  The most recent one a couple of years ago was for two kids at once.  We had it at our house and it was a like a fun summer party.  We even built this yard game for the kids and it’s been reused and repainted several times since then, including for an outdoor wedding!  Another graduation a few ears earlier was more traditional.  We had it in a church and did a whole presentation, etc.  That was really nice too….it really depends on your style!

Now, what will we all be doing after graduations?  Getting the yard ready for summer of course!  A few years ago I built this deck beside my pool and got it all pretty for summer.  Since then I have moved stuff around, changed chairs and replaced pillows, but it’s never lost its charm!


Speaking of the pool, last summer we really struggled with our pool turning green.  It was such an ordeal getting it clear and keeping it that way.  I did a bunch of research and discovered that you can use regular old bleach for the pool, so that’s what we have done ever since and it’s been much better!  Right now we are getting it all cleaned out for swim season and I can’t wait for my first mid-morning escape!

Lastly, summer brings boredom.  Here’s a list of things to ask your kids when they say they are bored.  This list is the number one reason my kids never say that to me anymore.  wink-wink.

I hope you have a terrific week!

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10 Ways to Lighten a Travel’s Load http://thepenningtonpoint.com/2016/04/travelers-load/ Fri, 29 Apr 2016 17:49:45 +0000 http://thepenningtonpoint.com/?p=12890 I’ve been planning a trip I have next week.  I am making lists and packing  and finding ways to reduce the amount of “stuff” I take.  I tend to be an overpacker, so I try at least shrink the size of the junk I am carrying.  If I have to have hairspray, then at least I can take a mini-bottle and not my 12″ monster.

I’ve got a few tips that I have learned over the past few years of traveling a lot.  With each trip I figure out something new, so I am sharing it here for 2 reasons: so you can use these tips if you want and so that I will remember them the next time.

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  1. Put supplements in teeny ziptop bags.  I take so many supplements that if I took all of the bottles it would take up 1/3 of my suitcase.  So I use teenty bags and make a little bag for each day with whatever pills I need.  This only takes up a speck in my travel bag.  For this I use a 2×3 bag.Great tips for reducing the amount of stuff you take when you travel!
  2. Pre-prepare your make-up remover.  I love my coconut oil + frankincense homemade makeup remover.  But I don’t need the entire amount for only a few days.  So I swipe a tissue in the remover and fold it up.  I make one for each day then stack them inside a small ziptop bag.  For this I use a 4×6 bag.
  3. Roll your clothes.  This tip has been around for years, but to add to it, I roll whole outfits together so I don’t have to dig around for the separate pieces when I am getting dressed each morning.  It really makes the mornings easier to have them all rolled together!
  4. Pack an extension cord.  This isn’t a reducing tip, but it is such a help and takes up hardly any space that I had to share it. You never know where the outlets are going to be wherever you’re staying.  Having an extension cord makes it easy to plug in chargers, fans, diffusers, whatever.  Plus it gives you a few extra places to plug in.  Just wrap it around the outside edges in the suitcase and it take up no room at all.
  5. Put your oils in sample bottles.  I travel with at least 20-30 essential oils so I need to reduce the size of the load.  If it’s one that I don’t need to put in the diffuser or use in my water, I like to put them in small roller top bottles.  I also get to use my label maker when I do this, which makes me happy.Great tips for reducing the stuff you need to take when you travel!
  6. Use an old spice jar for powder.  I love my powder and don’t want to be without it, but I keep mine in a large container I make it myself with cornstarch and essential oils).  So I put some in an empty McCormick’s spice jar and it’s perfect for travel.
  7. Audiobooks or Kindle.  One thing I love about traveling is getting time to read!  But I also get travel nausea if I look at teeny letters so an audiobook is the way to go for me.  I will have several books ready to start before leaving so I can enjoy them from the first minute!
  8. Take minimal makeup.  If you’re not going to an awards ceremony, leave the heavy makeup behind.  Dump out the old makeup bag and just take the 2-3 things you really need.  In my case that’s concealer and eyebrows.  Without those I look like I’m having a near death experience.  It’s really a favor to other people.
  9. Take a small purse.  I will fill up whatever size purse I have, so I take a small one that will only hold my essentials…money, ID, sunglasses, my phone, lip balm and a few teeny containers of oils.  Anything else I can do without and just enjoy the experience.
  10. Be fearless.  If you don’t absolutely need it, don’t take it!  Do you really need a whole package of batteries?  Or can you just take 2 from the package?  Instead of bringing along your shampoo bottle, put some in a small container that you can throw away once you’re finished with it.  Don’t take a whole tube of sunscreen, squirt some in a small ziptop bag and just use that!Instead of the entire pack of feminine products, count out how many you’ll need per day and just take that.  Those small changes will significantly lighten your load!

I tried to find some other great travel tips online for y’all so we could learn from the pros.  I’m sure there is a lot of useful info out there, but all I could find were super cool people traveling all over the world and experiencing life in a way that I can’t even think about.  Many of these blogs think a great place for a weekend break is somewhere like Morocco when I’m thinking more like hanging out at the nearest state park eating chickfila.  We just have different ideas.  And budgets.

While I am sure there are many great, more down to earth sites out there…great blogs with travel tips that are more my speed, Google wasn’t finding them for me.  Clearly I need to up my game though because I never go anywhere fascinating, unless we can count all of the countries in the back of Epcot.  If we get to count that then I am totally a world traveler!

Speaking of, I do have a post with 9 things you must have if you go to Disneyworld.  And here’s how I did the city of Chicago in one day all by myself!  And if you’re going to conferences of retreats, here’s one that you will like!

If you have more, hop over to Facebook and leave them in the comments….we’d all love to hear ’em!

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Never Underestimate the Power of Almond Flour http://thepenningtonpoint.com/2016/04/never-underestimate-the-power-of-almond-flour/ Mon, 25 Apr 2016 14:27:08 +0000 http://thepenningtonpoint.com/?p=12880 Yesterday I enjoyed an afternoon snack of almond butter on a slice of coconut bread.  As I was nibbling on my healthy creation I realized that some alien must have taken over my body.  In just 4 weeks I have completely changed my eating habits and I am not hating it or dreading every meal.  I know…it’s a surprise to me too!  Sure, I wrote a whole book that is selling in bookstores all over the country, but that pales in comparison with how hard it was to eliminate sugar (including fruit or any other sweet thing) for an entire month.

Hi.  I’m Lisa and I’m a sugar addict. {Hi Lisa!}

Plus, since April 16th, in addition to sugars, I have also been off of all grains, starchy veggies, dairy and basically anything with a flavor other than bitter.  I’ve eaten things like spinach soup (which made me feel like Popeye), more asparagus, kale, cauliflower, green beans and broccoli than I care to measure.  I got to have 2 eggs each day and you have NO IDEA how much I looked forward to those!  Plus I could eat a small amount of avocado, which in my opinion, was sent straight from heaven.  But then, what to eat it with?  Lettuce?  Mmmmm.

I’ve been aiming at getting rid of the candida (aka yeast) in my body.  And let me tell you….I can FEEL the difference!  The fog brain, rashes, bloaty feeling and fatigue are almost gone.  Although I am still a clutz.  Some of this is just the joy of being me!  I have also noticed a huge change in my moods.  I’m not on the edge of irritability anymore.  That has been my family’s favorite outcome of my new eating habits.  Myself, I am enjoying feeling better.  Oh, and I have lost a few pounds, but honestly that has not been my focus at all.  It’s just stevia-sweetened, dairy-free icing on the grain-free cake!

This diet started with a 7-day cleanse, then you move on to phase 2 which is a little more lenient (but just a LITTLE).  The cleanse phase is meant to really flush out the yeast and now that I have done it, I am onto a gentler approach which lets me have a bit more variety.

Yesterday, as my first day of the second phase, I got to add things like lean meat, nuts and yogurt back to my diet and believe me….I have been pretty excited about it.  I never knew that I could get so exuberant over almonds and chicken, but you should have seen me bound out of bed and rush to the kitchen for something besides eggs….I almost knocked down a few children.  I can now have more protein and vegetables, plus small amounts of nuts, seeds and coconut.  In fact, I spent some time over the weekend experimenting in the kitchen with flours made from these and getting my heart set on that yummy coconut bread with almond butter I told you about.

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Believe me, it took me this entire month to get into that head space where I like this food.  I love me some junk food and chocolate anything.  The very idea that I would look forward to sugar-free-grain-free-dairy-free pastry makes me hardly recognize myself.  But feeling so much better has me actually looking forward to it.

Now, you should know that I am pretty much the worst in the kitchen.  I never get anything to turn out the way they promise in a recipe.  I can’t even get a boxed cake mix to turn out right.  So I am not the girl to be making alternative foods.  If my white flour bread turns out like bricks, you imagine what my coconut flour stevia bread would be like!

I want you to know how bad I am at cooking because I made some crackers that turned out great!  It’s solid proof that anyone can make these.  They were easy and yummy and I can see a LOT of uses for them.  I admit they aren’t cheap to make.  They require almond flour, which is expensive.  But I got mine at Costco and it’s still cheaper than buying gluten-free crackers and it has the added benefit of knowing exactly what’s in them!  (plus I also can’t have rice which is what most GF crackers are made of)

You can find the cracker recipe HERE at Elana’s Pantry (she has a ton of great recipes!).  I didn’t put the pepper in mine like she did, but I added some garlic powder instead.  I’m gonna try adding some essential oils next time like rosemary, ginger or maybe orange with cinnamon.  These crackers have the consistency of shortbread but don’t have much flavor which makes them perfect for going salty OR sweet.  A little cinnamon cracker with some almond butter on top sounds yummy!

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In addition to these I made coconut bread that didn’t turn out as cute to look at, but it tasted pretty good.  It was very dense and crumbly, but was less crumbly on day 2, which is a hopeful sign.  Maybe it just needed to sit for a while.  It’s definitely nice to have something bready to eat.  I toasted a piece with a little butter which made it crunchier.  Just one small slice is satisfying.  I’m going to slice it up and freeze it for the weeks ahead.

In fact, I am going on vacation soon and need to find healthy snacks that will be easy for travel.  I think the crackers will be perfect!  Since most of my veggies require cooking and/or refrigeration I won’t be able to take those with me (I am flying and won’t have a fridge in my hotel room).  So I will have to just do the best I can in getting plenty of vegetables.  I’m not going to stress about it, but I am going to work to try a few more travel-friendly healthy snacks.

There are 2 other things (besides weird snacks) that have gotten me through this month of change.  God and my essential oils.  In that order.

This is not something I could ever do on my own.  I have been looking to God to give me the strength.  So each time I have felt the need to eat something that’s not on my diet, I ask Him, “Lord, please show me what it is in me that is craving sugar/wheat/etc right now.  Fill that empty space with your Holy Spirit and show me how to satisfy that desire with your love.”  I think of it as glorifying Him and honoring His promise that I am extremely valuable.  I don’t want to make this past month sound like it’s been easy, but it has been fulfilling in unexpected ways and I know He is giving me the strength!

Second, I’ve been leaning on my essential oils to help me through, as I get used to the new Lisa who doesn’t eat sugar or grains.

Here are some ways I have used oils for the past month:
– put a few drops of Slique in my water to make it taste great and to help with cravings
– use any citrus oil in the diffuser to boost my mood and cheer me up
– Melaleuca and oregano on the bottom of my feet to support my body as I flush out the yeast
– Joy and bergamot on my wrists and behind my ears to help encourage good moods
– Life 5 and Essentialzyme are the Young Living supplements I have added since making these diet changes

Of course, I use other oils daily and as needed.  I wish I could have you all over to just sit and talk about how we use the oils here…it’s been incredible for our family!  If you’ve been thinking of trying them, click HERE to get your kit and I’ll send you some extra fun goodies including a terrific starter guide!!!

I’d love for you to join me and we can take back our health together!

This week I will be trying a few other new recipes and I’ll let you know how it goes.  It may sound crazy, but I am hoping to keep it pretty simple and not be spending all of my time in the kitchen.  I don’t love cooking, but I can see that I am going to have to find a new rhythm to my food prep.  That’s OK.  If anyone can find shortcuts it will be ME!

Have a wonderfully healthy week!

Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I share more of my food adventures!

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Weddings & Water & Wrecks….OH MY! http://thepenningtonpoint.com/2016/04/weddings-and-water/ Mon, 18 Apr 2016 21:17:08 +0000 http://thepenningtonpoint.com/?p=12870 I expected this past weekend to be long, but I had no idea it would be like a piece of taffy being stretched, and stretched and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d.  It just wore me out.

We had 2 weddings to attend, each in different towns.  “OK,” I told myself, “You can do this, you just have to be prepared.”  I got the clothes ready in advance and made sure the car was gassed up and cleaned out.  Meals ready – check.  Plans for the kids that need rides – check.  Hard working husband taken care of – check. (he couldn’t go to any weddings because he’s a CPA and it was tax season weekend)

My 5 youngest kids and I headed early Saturday morning to Austin (2.5 hours away) for the wedding of one of my son Jacob’s best friends.  This is a precious family and I was looking forward to what I knew would be a Christ-centered ceremony.  It was absolutely lovely and I was glad we went.  But as an introvert, I find those things hard, mainly the reception.  I didn’t really know anyone and wasn’t likely to start up a new relationship, so I sat there at my table being mostly anti-social.  I did chat with a few people here and there, but overall I kind of felt out of place.  I wondered as I looked around the room if that happens to everyone or if I am the only person who often feels like a bird in the wrong cage.  What do you do in those situations?  Do you just walk up and talk to people?  Do you pretend to be busy feeding your kids?  Do you sit like a wallflower not talking?  I don’t expect answers to these questions.  I’m just pondering out loud.  Introvert problems.

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We left the reception and headed to have dinner with my daughter who lives in the same town.  We had a nice time with her and just as we were wrapping up and getting ready to drive the 2.5 hours home I got a call.  My oldest son Jacob (who had taken his own car to the wedding and stayed after to hang out with his friends) had been in an accident.  He wasn’t hurt and the woman in the other car was fine, but his vehicle was not drivable.

Now, this kind of thing shakes a mama to the core.  I had that angry/terrified/panic/relief feeling that sends adrenaline through your system and turns you into a mother bear.  “Get in the car kids…drop the burger and let’s go!! Jacob needs us!”  We left the restaurant, dropped my daughter off at her apartment and headed back to the area where the accident had taken place (near the wedding venue).

When I saw my son I may have hugged him a little too hard and hung on too long.

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Once I saw that he was OK I felt a little better.  We said our goodbyes (again) to the wedding party and made the long drive home in the dark, trying to forget the traumatic end to what was otherwise a lovely day.  We made it home and I was so tired, but still pretty wired from the excitement, so it took me a couple of hours to fall asleep.  If not for my oils I probably would have been awake all night.

Then it was Sunday and another wedding.  This time it was the son of one my MY best friends and in the opposite direction of the Saturday wedding.  We all decided earlier in the week that only two of us would go, the younger kids really don’t know this family well and we knew we would be wiped out from the day before.  My daughter and I would attend alone and enjoy some togetherness.  We ran a few errands in the city then headed to the wedding venue in the late afternoon, which was a bit out in the country.  We got about 6 miles away when it started to rain.  Hard.  Like, I can’t see the road at all kind of rain.

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I slowed to about 20 mph and inched my way to the location.  Each time we contemplated just pulling over and waiting it out the rain would let up enough that we could see a little better.  Finally, after a few scary low water crossings we made it.  Whew!  Next problem: we had to park about 50 yards from the building and we had no umbrella.  We sat in the car trying to decide what to do.  Do we sit and hope it lets up or do we make a run for it?  We ran.

And I am not kidding you, we may as well have jumped in the river.  We were soaked down to our panties, hair was stuck to our heads, my makeup was smearing all down my face.  Have you ever been to a wedding with no eyebrows?  ‘Cuz I have and it’s not pretty.

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I want to say here that earlier in the day when it was time to get ready to go I started to blow my hair dry and had a sense not to, so I left it curly and more natural.  I am taking this as a sign that I really do hear God’s voice…..I just wish I’d been listening when He was telling me to make sure we had an umbrella in the car.

Wedding #2 was gorgeous, even the rain pounding on the roof as they said their vows made it seem a little magical.  What wasn’t magical was the sound of my dress dripping on the floor beneath my seat.  I was still soaking wet 3 hours later when we got back to our house.  The drive home was no picnic either….hail and storms pounding on my car in the dark.  My knuckles are still white.

Even though it was sweet and scary and sometimes humiliating, nothing that happened this weekend was really about me.  I was simply an observer in all of it, which was nice.  I got to just smile and sit and drip quietly.  Everyone else that attended these weddings also has their own story and this is only mine.  I like to remind myself of that when I lose perspective and feel like complaining about not knowing anyone or looking like a drowned cat.

This next week it’s predicted to keep raining and I think I will just stay inside and recover from my harrowing wedding weekend.  And maybe hug all my kids a little extra hard, just to be on the safe side.

Have a good one!

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Have You Hugged the Sun Lately? http://thepenningtonpoint.com/2016/04/hug-the-sun/ Fri, 15 Apr 2016 13:59:24 +0000 http://thepenningtonpoint.com/?p=12865 Oh my stars the weather here has been amazing!  I literally just go stand outside a few times a day and hold my arms out like the sun might actually give me a hug.  I don’t worry about what the neighbors will think as the drive past me standing in my driveway like a sun worshipper; they think we’re weird anyway.  I stretch my arms out and close my eyes to just soak in the perfection, because I know that in a New York minute it will all be over and I’ll be sweltering for the next 5 months.

Spring is my favorite.  When you step out the front door the day just greets you with cheerful excitement.  Sunshine!  Birds!  Flowers!!  And I’m not even an overly cheerful person, so it must be amazing for really happy people.

The change in weather means it’s time to switch the clothes around.  I went through my closet and moved the cold weather clothes to the top where they won’t be easy to access.  And the light, breathy clothing has taken up residence in the prime spot….right in front of me when I walk in to choose an outfit.  There’s no reason for me to need the heavier items now.  I get hot when it’s 60° outside.  I won’t need a sweater again until at least November.

While my clothing needs are taken care of, I do need to find myself a new pair of sunglasses.  My current pair is about 8 years old and showing signs of wear and tear.  Actually, I have been searching for a new pair for the past couple of years.  I am too picky about this, especially since I change everything else so frequently your head would spin.  I switch purses at least every week, I like to wear different shoes each day, I try new hairstyles, new jewelry, I even got a new wedding band that I’ve been wearing for the past year just because I like a change….but my sunglasses I’ve been wearing since 2007.  I don’t even understand myself sometimes.

I don’t want a cheap pair because they slip down and really aren’t pretty.  I want pretty.  But I also refuse to pay $300 for a pair of sunglasses.  I mean, can that be right?  Of course, if you divide up the average amount of time I will likely wear them that’s actually only $3.16/month.  Hey, I like that math!

It will be a while before I have time to go sunglasses shopping again.  We stay pretty busy in the spring.  This coming weekend we have several weddings to attend, so we will be driving around from town to town for three days.  It just occurred to me yesterday that I don’t have a wedding gift for any of these couples.  I looked at their registries and nothing popped out at me so I guess it’s the old cash gift.  People like cash….just go get yourself what you want.  I may toss in a bottle of a favorite essential oil for my own enjoyment, maybe lavender or Stress Away.  In fact, if you’re looking for a great gift idea for me, that’s pretty much what I’d want, a bottle of Young Living essential oil and some cash.  There, now I’ve talked myself into the greatest wedding gift I can think of.

I read somewhere that a popular wedding gift is a KitchenAid Stand Mixer.  Say What?!  Who spends that much money on a wedding gifts?  Probably the same people buying $300 sunglasses.  I’m more of a $25 in a money shaped envelope with a funny joke in it kind of person.

I’ll toss in a sunny day hug for good measure.

Have a great weekend!

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How About a Nice Hawaiian Punch?! http://thepenningtonpoint.com/2016/04/how-about-a-nice-hawaiian-punch/ Mon, 11 Apr 2016 15:47:16 +0000 http://thepenningtonpoint.com/?p=12852 Lately I’ve been having 70s flashbacks.  My mind just rushes to the days of “The Sony and Cher Show”, Shaun Cassidy (swoon) and Love’s Baby Soft perfume.  In my youth I read Tiger Beat and ate TV dinners from metal trays, played record albums and wore bell bottom jeans with patriotic stars all over them.  Yep, those were the days.

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And the MUSIC!  I wonder how many times I listened to Elton John sing “Philadelphia Freedom.”  It has to be 1000.  I can close my eyes and go right back to sitting in my bedroom with the yellow drapes, with an enormous pair of headphones on, lifting the needle on the record player to hear that one song over and over while I stared at my Donny Osmond poster.

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I wonder what my kids will reflect on in 40 years.  Taylor Swift, earbuds, ipods, gluten-free food, cars that actually touched the ground….. “I remember when Mom had this thing called a BLOG….”

I’m not really sure why the 70s have been at the front of my mind lately, unless it’s my change in diet.  Diet changes do make me nostalgic for some reason.  Perhaps it’s because I miss the days when I could eat a Snickers bar and “smoke” an entire pack of candy cigarettes without gaining weight (don’t worry kids, smoking wasn’t bad in the 70s).  Anyway, no more of that for me….I am off of sugar, no dairy, and I quit candy cigarettes cold turkey in the early 80s.  I actually had a dream about processed foods last night.  It’s not easy to change habits that date back to 1972.  Nothing would comfort me more than a reheated piece of frozen Salisbury steak with a triangle of artificial mashed potatoes right about now.

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Sadly, I have gained some of my weight back from my big diet change a couple of years ago.  I was doing so great, cruising along, being healthy, then I hit some snags and before I knew it, I had fallen completely off the old wagon.  I let it get out of control and here I am right back to being overweight and ready for a change.

At first I felt ashamed of gaining some of the weight back.  I didn’t want to be seen and would get anxious about it before I spoke at a conference or woman’s group.  But then I thought, “Why?!  It’s something I struggle with.  Everyone struggles in some area.  This is who I am and I have nothing to be ashamed of!”  That was the end of that. #nomoreshame #nohashtagsinthe70s

For the past 10 days I have been eating clean again and this week I will be doing a cleanse.  I don’t like cleanses, but I know it’s necessary for me to clear all of the toxins and get a fresh start.  I’m just waiting for some supplements to arrive in the mail so I can get the cleanse behind me.  I am actually looking forward to it (not the cleanse so much as healthy eating again).  Making the effort to take good care of myself impacts so many areas of my life and my family.  I am nicer, I am a better mom, a better wife,  and when I show my kids that I am worth the effort then they will know that THEY are valuable too!

Maybe I should get some new posters for my bedroom to inspire me.  Instead of Donny, how about Marie?!  She’s done a great job of getting in shape and staying that way.

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And instead of Hawaiian Punch or Fresca to drink, I will be sipping plenty of water AND a cleansing drink made with water, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar and lemon….can you say “yum” boys and girls?!  And no VitaMaster cellulite machine where you strap a belt around you and shake the cellulite out (I am not kidding….they had these at gyms everywhere and I tried it more than once and you itched like crazy when it stopped!) I will actually move by walking in the mornings and doing my TTapp again.

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It’s a new day my friends, and we all can use a fresh start now and then.  I’m getting mine by dumping my junk food and making healthy choices, and of course incorporating my Young Living oils and supplements!  My apologies if you didn’t enjoy my little walk down memory lane.  If it matters, I actually do remember every single one of these things so clearly it’s like it was yesterday.  But we are changing our focus, right?! We’re gonna look to the future and make it even BETTER!

But before we leave the 70s completely, here I am in 1971.  It looks so much like my youngest!

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Thanks for stopping by!  Hop over to Facebook to continue the conversation!

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Some Easy Reads for Your Spring Weekend http://thepenningtonpoint.com/2016/04/some-easy-reads-for-your-spring-weekend/ Fri, 08 Apr 2016 20:23:23 +0000 http://thepenningtonpoint.com/?p=12846 spring-reads03

As you head into your spring weekend, I have a few things you might want to peruse for some light reading.  Books are amazing, books are my favorite thing, I’d spend a weekend with a book as often as possible.  But sometimes I don’t have a whole weekend to spend in a hammock with a whole book, so these will serve as a momentary substitute until you have more time.  Some of these are articles I wrote and most are treasures written by people I follow and I want to share them with you…

  1. 8 Mother-Daughter Tips from an Older Mom – This list of 8 things I would share with moms of young girls is one you may want to bookmark.  Read it again when you’re struggling.  After 26 years of experience with raising daughters, many victories and many failures, I am happy to share this sweet list with you.
  2. No Screen-Time Until… – My friend Becky at Your Modern Family shares how her family handles screen time in her home and she has a cute printable for the kids to reference.  It’s super cute!  We are very tight about how much screen time the kids get, only at night after dinner with their ipods and the wii is once a week for 2 hours, one movie a week on Friday night.  But occasionally they will ask on a quiet Saturday if they can do something electronic and I can see this list being a great source for when to let them.
  3. When Motherhood Reveals Your Blemishes – This from The Better Mom isn’t about skin care, like I first suspected, but about having your weaknesses and fear exposed.  It’s a quick, easy read of encouragement and hope.
  4. When They Say ‘Be Yourself” They Don’t Mean Me – This is an older post of mine that I shared on Facebook last week to give people a laugh.  Sometimes we just need a time of getting outside our head and laughing at what could have so easily have happened to us.  Enjoy!
  5. Momma Are You Listening? – Be careful about this one…it’s ouchie!  Wendy over at Hip Homeschool Moms shares the sad truth about how we pay more attention to our phones than we do our kids.  I have a rule not to be on my phone at all when I am out with my family.  It is really hard (sad, but true) but I know it’s the right thing to do.
  6. Lastly, if you are looking for a whole book to spend the weekend with, all curled up on a lawn chair, be sure to pick up my book, “Mama Needs a D0-Over“.  Get it on Kindle and don’t wait to get started!

I hope you have a glorious weekend of refreshing and relaxing.  Be blessed!

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Lisa on Ice http://thepenningtonpoint.com/2016/04/lisa-on-ice/ Mon, 04 Apr 2016 17:51:51 +0000 http://thepenningtonpoint.com/?p=12833  

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Sorry, no ice skating here.  After all, I live in South Texas.  The kind of ice I am on is more of an ice pack than an ice rink.  I hate to be a drag, but ice skating is about the last thing I could have done this past weekend, even if I lived in Canada.  Mostly because I can barely walk.

It happened Saturday morning.  My babiest girl and I were about to head out to celebrate her birthday with some mom-daughter shopping when I brilliantly decided to toss a load of laundry in the dryer before we left.  Mistake.  BIG mistake.  I mean, no one really needed those sheets and towels right then.  I just turned as I was putting the sheets in the dryer and felt a pain.  That;’s the whole story; I didn’t even get a good laugh out of it.

My daughter was standing at the front door waiting for me to finish the laundry switch when I limped past her and said I had just done something, not sure what, to my back and needed to grab some ice and some oils.  I oiled up, threw an ice pack behind me in the car, and off we went to shop ’til we dropped.  Unfortunately, I dropped immediately.  The whole getting-in-and-out-of-the-car thing became a problem.  After only an hour of shopping it became obvious that this wasn’t going away.  I had to wait in the car while she shopped.  Happy birthday to you ♫.

I texted a friend of mine, the wife of a chiropractor, and asked her what to do.  She gave me her thoughts and I followed them (once I got home).  Of course, she’s not a real chiro so I realize her advice isn’t considered treatment, just like when someone asks me for tax advice.  You should really ask my husband instead, but I might know a little bit.

“Rest as much as possible until Monday then get to the chiropractor.”  Ice, oils, rest, repeat.

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That would have been lovely if I hadn’t been scheduled to speak at a local woman’s group on Sunday afternoon.  I texted another friend, “Please pray for me….I can barely walk or stand and I have to speak tomorrow.”  She asked me if she needed to learn my speech, just in case.  It didn’t seem right to have her tell all about her CPA/attorney husband and 9 kids, so I hobbled through it, then went home and got back on the regimen.  Ice, oils, rest, repeat.

Today I am 5% better and headed to the chiro.  The good news is, I am getting a lot of writing done.  The bad news is I am having to cancel some important appointments this week.  I really, really hate cancelling commitments!

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My 4 younger boys are taking care of me, which is interesting.  Sunday afternoon I had Levi (8 years old) as my helper.  At bedtime I called him to turn the bed down for me and while he did that I got into my PJs.  It hurt to stand so I was anxious to lie down and before giving it much thought I painfully fell into bed.  Then I realized that I had forgotten to do several things, so I told Levi, “I have bad news for you, I am going to need you to do some more things for me.”

“Why is that bad news?” he asked.  “Well,” I smiled at his sweet little face, “Because I only asked you to turn down the bed, but now I need you to plug in my phone, start my diffuser and a few other things.”

“I don’t see why that’s bad news, Mommy.  It’s basically all I have been doing all day anyway, and besides, I really don’t even get what’s wrong with you.”

Oh, to be young again!

My 14 year old is my helper today and he, unlike Levi, is checking on me every 20 minutes.  He set his timer and he is taking his job very seriously.  A little too seriously.  He’s like the waiter who refills your tea every 15 minutes whether you want it or not.  I mean, I appreciate the dedication, but I am trying to get some work done here.

But don’t feel sorry for me.  By the end of the week I will be up and running again.  My boys and I will have had some quality time and I will have gotten 20 things knocked off my list of “sitting jobs.”  There’s always something good to be found in an unexpected situation!

Have a terrific week!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Snapchat….just search for @penningtonpoint.

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6 Easy Natural Cleaning Tips http://thepenningtonpoint.com/2016/03/my-6-easy-natural-cleaning-tips/ Thu, 31 Mar 2016 14:51:51 +0000 http://thepenningtonpoint.com/?p=12825 This post contains affiliate links.

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Do you do spring cleaning?!  I always get a bug in me around this time of year to get my house all shiny.  What causes that?  Maybe the change in weather, the flowers blooming and trees turning green again.  I feel all happy and I want my home to sparkle!

But what I don’t want is chemicals being spread around as I clean.  Did you know that even the fragrances added to cleaners can interfere with respiratory health and cause toxic reactions?  A few years ago we began eliminating chemical cleaners and now that I am used to being without them, I can’t even walk down the cleaner aisle in the grocery store.  I get immediately really sick.  I read that when we are repeatedly exposed to these chemicals we get used to them, but they are still potentially doing damage to our bodies.  So when we think, “Oh, that doesn’t bother me,” it’s likely that you are just used to it even though it could still be causing harm.

But the transition to natural wasn’t always easy.  The chemical cleaners do a good job and they’re often easier to use than natural alternatives.  I don’t WANT to make my own (fill in the blank) when I can just buy it at the grocery store.  I love it now but I want to be honest, it took some time.  I say that to encourage you to hang on and keep at it if you’re still making the switch.  You’ll find your groove!  And then one day after you’ve been off chemical cleaners you’ll smell a chemical additive that you used to have in your home all the time and it will gross you out.  Then you’ll know and think to yourself, “Lisa was right, this stuff is bad and now I should send her some flowers or something.”

In fact, I taught a class this week about cleaning with natural products and thought I’d share some of my favorite tips with you! I covered so much that I can’t give it all here so this is just my top 6.

  1. Baking soda!  I buy it at the dollar store for 50¢ and put a few scoops into a mason jar.  Then I add my essential oil of choice: lemon for the kitchen, lavender for the bedroom, it depends on what you’re doing with it.  Then I shake it all up (the measurements are not exact, maybe 1/2 C soda with 15 drops of oil) and punch holes in the top of the jar.  Now you have a shaker with many uses!  And when I am not using it I put a whole lid on the jar WITH the holed one (so there are 2 lids) and it won’t spill.  You can use this to clean your sink or tub, sprinkle over your mattress and leave it for an hour, then vacuum for a fresh mattress.  You can sprinkle it over your carpet and vacuum after half an hour.  So many ideas!  Think of it for anywhere you need to deodorize or as a gentle abrasive.
  2. White vinegar.  I get vinegar in a gallon jug and it usually lasts me about a year.  I add it to my laundry, pour it in a stinky potty, run it diluted through the coffee pot or your iron.  There are great books written about how to use vinegar for cleaning, so go find your favorites!
  3. Thieves Cleaner!  This stuff is amazing.  I keep a spray bottle of it in the kitchen and all bathrooms.  I spray it on the kitchen counters every night when I close down the kitchen (then toss all rags and towels in the washing machine to be washed every day), I clean the sinks with it, wipe down areas of high touch traffic (light switches, door knobs, piano keys, computer keyboards, faucets, etc).  Clean out the fridge, the trash cans, I even put a capful into the laundry when it’s extra stinky.  Clean the baby toys with it.  AND did you know it does a great job on glass?!  SAY WHAT?!  I am just going to admit here that even though Young Living recommends different ratios of water-cleaner for different uses, I use the same ratio for everything.  I don’t want 4 different bottles with Thieves cleaner in them.  I like to spray, wipe and go.
  4. The sun….Remember the Raffi song, “Mr, Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, please shine down on me!”?  Well look it up, it’s so cheerful!  Anyway, the sun is a great cleaner.  Hang your clothes on the line for a fresh, crisp clean.  If you have whites, the sun will brighten them up for you.  Rinse out a stinky trash can and leave it in the sun to dry and deodorize.  I always hung my cloth diapers in the sun after washing.  And if you want a SUPER clean mattress…about once a year do the baking soda trick then drag it outside on a sunny day.  Oh my will it be nice and fresh after that!
  5. Dryer balls.  This is for those of us who don’t want stiff towels.  I like my sheets dried on the line, I like my towels and underwear not to scratch my skin when I use them.  So I dry them and most of our clothing in the machine.  BUT, if you add these wool dryer balls it can shorter then drying time up to 40% and the clothes come out softer!  Yes, no synthetic softening agents, just good old wool.  Then, to make it EVEN BETTER, add 5-6 drops of an essential oil to one of them and it makes your laundry smell divine.  Lavender is my fave for this!  I’ve found that the oil lasts for about 5 loads.  But you need THESE and not the rubber kind.  Those are noisy and you can’t add oils to them.
  6. Use your diffuser!  You can use the diffuser for several reasons.  It is wonderful for getting oils into the air and to the entire family when you need support for staying or getting healthy.  But it’s also a great way to freshen up the air in winter or a kids’ bathroom or after cooking fish.  Put some lemon or Purification or Joy in the diffuser and clear the air!  I also love to use it when I want to relax….I put some lavender and cedarwood in it and just chill…..

Friends, I am not joking that getting rid of chemical cleaners can make a huge difference in your life.  We have kids, pets, people we want to offer the very best to!  Please think about changing the way you clean your home.  I’m not trying to sell you something here, this is from the heart.

If you have a great natural cleaning tip, hop over to Facebook and tell us about it!

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Extra! Extra! Read All About It! http://thepenningtonpoint.com/2016/03/extra-extra-read-all-about-it/ Mon, 28 Mar 2016 13:55:45 +0000 http://thepenningtonpoint.com/?p=12809 It’s official!  For the first time in Pennington history we found every. single. Easter egg.

Not that it was easy.  No, we spent 1.75 hours finding most of them until we got down to 2 that were still missing.  Now, normally we might let it go and just not look for them.  That fact can be proved by the eggs we found that were from last year, all full of rotten candy…..gross.  I heard one of my boys daring another to eat it when I jumped in to stop the madness.  But the 2 eggs that were missing didn’t have candy in them….no.  They had money.

And no one was inclined to give up looking.

I bought some character shaped eggs that I put $5 bills in and there was one for each child (I use the term “child” loosely because 3 of my egg hunters are over 18, which basically means they wanted the money most of all).  I gave them pre-hunting instructions, “When you find your character egg, you can’t get any more, so if you find another leave it for someone who doesn’t have theirs yet.”  But after nearly 2 hours we were all on a desperate search and it was every man for himself.

Earlier in the day while we were hiding the eggs James suggested I take a picture of where I hid the money eggs.  But did I listen? Nooooo (a fact he reminded me of at least 7 times during the last hour of the hunt).  In fact, the last time he said it I replied, “You are completely right honey, I should have listened to you and next year I will definitely do whatever you say.”

“You know,” he said with a smirk, “You could just start doing whatever I say tomorrow.”

Don’t push your luck buddy.  Next year will be just fine.

When we finally found the last money eggs the kids and I sat outside while they emptied their eggs into baskets.  James went back to his normal March activities of doing people’s taxes (he’s a CPA, in case that didn’t make any sense at all) because, as he said as he walked away, “3 hours is more than enough time to spend on Easter eggs hunts for 7 people.”  Since I bought pre-filled eggs this year (except for the money eggs) there was mostly bubble gum or Now & Later in their candy piles.  I know it’s not as exciting as previous years when I’ve picked candies that each child loves most, but I was just too tired to spend 4 hours filling eggs like I did in years past.

Why so tired?  Because I am barely recovering from washing sheets last week after our house full of guests.  It took me 3 days to get it all washed and put back.  And I have a washing machine!  Can you even imagine washing everything by hand?!  I would still be out in the river beating those sheets on rocks and wouldn’t have even had time to hide any plastic eggs. 😉

After the egg hunt and cleanup from our traditional ham and scalloped potatoes meal, I crashed in my recliner and didn’t get up until bed time.  I have no shame in admitting that I went to bed at 8:30 on Easter Sunday.  Celebrations wear me out….especially when they involve crawling under bushes searching for plastic eggs that I hid in the first place and everyone is being passive aggressive saying things like, “Maybe SOMEONE ELSE should hide the eggs next year.”

The good news is that since Easter was so early this year we have a whole month with no holidays so I can get rested up before the next celebration.  And since the next “holiday” is Mother’s Day, I should get some rest with that, at least in theory.

Have a great week!

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