I Love Gadgets, but They Don’t Love Me

I Love Gadgets, but They Don’t Love Me

Sometimes you're in the mood to just read something light and funny.  This is the blog for you!

There’s a lot going on around here this month.  We have lots of travel, lots of celebrations and lots of effort to stay out of the heat.  Last weekend on my way home from Dallas it was 109° and every time I stepped outside it felt like I was heading onto the surface of the sun.  I don’t remember it being this hot the past few years.  But of course it’s possible that I’ve blocked it out.

In an effort to stay cool I have been equipping myself with cooling gadgets and devices.  I like gadgets and new technology.  I can’t always figure them out, but I still like them.  To prove my gadget inadequacy, you need to hear the little fan story.

I bought a small, pen-sized fan at The Container Store last December.  It was in those stocking stuffer bins that you dig through to see if there’s a good gift for that hard to buy for guy but instead find things you want for yourself.

This fan is barely bigger than the AA battery required to run it and I knew it would be perfect for me to carry in my purse over the summer (and on planes or in church or the backseat of any car ‘cuz I get hot everywhere).  When I got it home I took it out of the box and put a battery in it only to discover that the blade moved backwards and wasn’t blowing, but pulling the air.  “Um, this dumb thing doesn’t work at all,” I thought as I tossed it on the foot of the bed and looked through the garbage for the box so I could return it.  Then my husband came in, saw me with my head in the trash and asked what I was doing.  “I have to return that little fan because it doesn’t work so I am looking for the box,” I murmured. He asked what was wrong with it, I told him and he laughed.  I recognized the tone of his laugh.  It’s the one that says, “Oh Lisa, you really are a cute dingbat.”  So I stood up from my trash search in time to see him take the battery out of the fan, flip it over and put it back in the fan.  “No!,” I rolled my eyes,” It will turn on, it’s just going the wrong way!”  That’s my own tone that says, “You men think you can fix everything but you’re not so smart.”  He grinned like the Grinch and held the little fan up to my face and I felt the breeze….his trick had worked!  The blades were going to right way!!!

He still teases me about that, but in my defense I had never heard that a battery could work in either direction.

I also had an issue once with a portable DVD player in which I got my favorite movie (“You’ve Got Mail”) permanently stuck.  I told my kids, “Sorry you can’t use the DVD player anymore.  It won’t open.  I have tried 1,000 times to get that DVD out.”  That’s when my 5 year old took it, pushed the button on the side and it flipped open.  Oh.  I hadn’t seen that button.

At Disney World last May I bought a cute little Minnie Mouse umbrella that I had a devil of a time opening and closing.  I’d have to press it closed by sandwiching the umbrella between my body and a wall and shove against it.  Then to open it I would have to pull it with all my night.  I kept thinking it seemed unusually hard to open & close.  Then one afternoon while waiting in a covered area for the rain to stop I saw a little girl with the same umbrella.  I was thinking about how it must be impossible for her to open when I watched her pull it out, push the little button and pop it open.  I sent my husband a text, “THIS DUMB UMBRELLA HAS A BUTTON ON IT!! LOL!!!”

And don’t even get me started about the hands free faucets in public restrooms.  I have never in my life been able to make one of them turn on.  I am at the mercy of other ladies in the bathroom who are willing to swipe their hand under for me.

I did figure out how to use my small necklace fan.  It hangs around your neck and blows on your face.  That fan, Sonic ice and my bottle of peppermint oil are my summer BFFs.  I will wear that little necklace fan anywhere and everywhere and I don’t care if it makes me look like a sci-fi creature or that it makes a humming sound.  I NEED it.  (although I have thought of trying to bling it up somehow)

In Dallas also went to a used bookstore which, frankly, I generally stay away from.  As soon as I entered I knew it had been a mistake.  I didn’t even get past the second display in the front of the store before I had an armful of books to purchase.  Did I need these books?  No.  But that’s what happens in used bookstores.

I walked out with $60 worth of used books, but no gadgets.  I at least had the wisdom to avoid that section of the store….even though I really wanted this cool looking booklight that I saw out of the corner of my eye.  I felt certain that I would somehow put the batteries in wrong and never hear the end of it.

Have a great week.  Stay cool!

If you like this post, you will also like How to Keep a Simple Summer Menu and 10 of My Favorite Summer Oils

The Best Memories Are Made When Things Go Wrong

The Best Memories Are Made When Things Go Wrong

How can I sum up a whirlwind weekend of travel and mishaps?  In three words: hot, draining and delightful.

Last summer our oldest daughter moved to Dallas last to live with my amazing sister-in-law and this past weekend she was moving out of their house and into a house shared with 2 other girls.  But she needed bedroom furniture.  Simple things, a bed, dresser, desk and a few odds and ends.

I was finally going to be able to prove to my husband that my obsession with keeping furniture piled up in our storage building is worth it.

So last Thursday I rummaged around in there and found what we needed, except a bed which I have no extras of, and loaded it all into our 15-passenger van.  We’ve had this van since the dawn of time and it’s got some wear and tear.  But since it was supposed to rain, we decided to use it to carry the furniture so we didn’t have to figure out tarps, etc.  We removed 3 of the 4 benches and everything fit with a little room to spare.

In order to tell this story, you have to know that something weird started happening with our van a couple of weeks ago.  We suspect it has something to do with all of the rain we’ve been having, but who knows really.  That’s just our theory.  First one of the side doors wouldn’t open from the outside.  The handle did nothing.  So we had to reach in from the front door and pull the latch from the inside.  OK, not super convenient, but we can do that.  Then one of the back doors did the same thing.  So now we had to crawl to the back and open that from the inside too.  A bit less convenient, but onward and upward, as they say.

On Saturday morning we got up early to make the 5.5 hour drive to Dallas only to discover that the side door wouldn’t open at all.  Not from the inside or the outside.  So NOW we all have to get in and out of the van through the front doors and CLIMB to the back.  Nice.  Can you say “Redneck”?

But it got worse.  Hang on.

We got to Dallas, unloaded at the new place (climbing in through the front door and crawling over all of the furniture to the back to open the door from the inside), then went to my daughter’s boyfriend’s parents house to pick up a box spring they were loaning her.  “Hi, nice to meet you, thanks for letting us borrow this.  Hang on while I get my 13 year old to crawl through the driver’s door to the back of the van so we can load it up.”  On the way back to my daughter’s house we stopped at Sam’s Club to get a mattress….same story.  He kept cheerfully crawling over the furniture to open the back door for us.

When we got back to the house to deliver the bed, my son did his thing, headed to the back of the van to open the door, and guess what.  Yep.  The door wouldn’t open at all.  We stood there stunned.  I mean, really?  WE HAVE A BED BACK THERE!!!

My daughter’s boyfriend made his way inside to the back of the van and worked on it with nothing but YouTube videos and a paint can opener.  The girls had NO tools.  While he did that, my boys and I removed what we could through the front doors, even getting the mattress out.  But there was no way we could get the box springs out.  After an hour we gave up on the back door and started trying the side door.  That took another half hour and I was beginning to think I was going to have to go buy a box spring, strap it to the top of my daughter’s car and just keep the boyfriend’s parent’s box spring forever in the back of my van.

Finally, after another 20 minutes, my other daughter got her tiny hand up in the side door mechanism and clicked it open.  SWEET RELIEF!

Since we have never been able to it again, we think it was just a God-thing.  He had mercy on us before we all fainted from heat strokes.

We took the bed out, made triple sure we didn’t need to have the door open anymore and went to close the door only to discover it wouldn’t close.  Um, this might be a bigger problem.

I will spare you the rest of the details except to say that we did finally get it closed about 40 minutes later, went to get food and collapsed.

The next day we evaluated what more she needed to get her room organized and decided she needed some shelves.  So I headed to IKEA (only 20 minutes away….dreamy!) and I wish you had seen us in the IKEA parking lot pushing huge boxes through the front window into the back of the van.  I know people were wondering why we didn’t just open the back door and set it in.

But we do like an adventure and as much trouble as it all was, memories were made and everybody had a great time.  Well, maybe not the boyfriend whose legs cramped from sitting on the floor in the back of the van for an hour.  But he never complained.

I started to feel like I needed to repay him somehow.  Then I remembered that I am essentially giving him my firstborn child, so I got over it.

We hung around until around 3:00 Sunday assembling IKEA furniture (I bought tools while I was out as a contribution to the girl’s house) and enjoying being together.  Oh, and did I forget to mention that the A/C in my daughter’s new place was out?  Uh huh.  I have had my quota of heat for the summer.

When we got back home Sunday night, I was retelling the whole adventure to my husband, who sat quietly and listened to me unfold the details all about the heat and the bed and the van doors and feeling faint a few times.  I told him about my daughter’s little room and how we figured out the best arrangement and got her all settled.  I apologized for spending more money on her furniture than we had planned.  When I finally stopped talking he just smiled at me and said, “You loved every minute of it, didn’t you?”

Yep, I sure did.

I Was Cleaning, but then I Got Sleepy

I Was Cleaning, but then I Got Sleepy

Spring.  How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways…..

I can’t help it, I get poetic about the amazing weather and flowers popping out everywhere.  It’s such a nice change from brown grass and chilly rain.  It doesn’t get super cold here, but it’s still enough to make your bones feel frozen.

We’ve been spring cleaning around here.  Every afternoon I work on one spot in the house, cleaning and organizing it.  I am doing it slowly in an attempt to trick myself into thinking I’m not really working.  It’s just one drawer or a bookshelf or cabinet, right?  No biggie.  And so far the illusion seems to be successful.  I am getting things done and not feeling overwhelmed.

Since we have a houseful of company this week the cleaning is going to slow down, but that’s OK.  We can pick it back up next week.  It’s not like the mess is going anywhere.

My oldest daughter is home from Dallas with her favorite guy.  All of our older kids will be attending the Christian Worldview Film Festival together this week.  It’s something they look forward to every year.  Another daughter made a short film that’s playing in the festival, so we are all excited to see it on the big screen.  I may cry during the showing, ‘cuz that’s what my mother heart does when I see one of my kids reaching for their dreams.  When she goes to the Academy Awards in a few years to accept her award for Best New Screenplay, she should probably not ask me to be her +1.  I’ll cry the ugly cry and embarrass when she is being interviewed by Ryan Seacrest.

We also have a couple of other friends staying here this week so it’s a full house.  That means lots of extra food and toilet paper and laundry detergent.  I went to Costco and stocked up as best I could, but I am sure there were holes in my plan and I will have to make a few grocery runs during the festival.  It’s my goal to make that part of their week easy so they can just enjoy the fellowship.

Last night a few extra young adults joined us all for dinner and it was such a special time.  In our dining room there are 2 tables, a long one where our whole family eats our daily meals and a shorter table where we generally do school and it doubles as an extra when we have a lot of people over.  The 20-somethings all sat around the long table with a few of my teens.  James and I sat at the shorter table with our little boys and were supposed to be talking to eat other.  But I couldn’t focus on my table conversation because I was too busy soaking in the joy of having a table full of godly, smart, laughing, young adults next to me.

I promise I wasn’t listening in on their conversations.  I really was not paying attention to what they were saying at all.  I just absorbed the joy of it.  This is my dream…..happy kids with happy friends all helping each other find their way in the world.  Watching a toddler learn to walk is amazing, but it’s really just a shadow of watching your grown child learn to walk into their adult life.  It makes my heart explode with the sweetness.

The only negative to my whole weekend was the ridiculous annoyance of Daylight Savings Time, which has thrown my internal clock into a tizzy and I can’t wake up.  Like, all day.  I practically fell asleep last night at 8:00, which shouldn’t happen because doesn’t my body think it’s 7:00 and I should be fully awake?!  But NO!  I think I have DTS induced narcolepsy.

So I will be half sleep-walking through my week with all of these house guests and my beautiful daughter visiting and the film festival.  I hope I can wake up enough to at least get the rest of the groceries we need.

Have a great week…..I’ll be soaking in the sun, the kids, their friends a few naps and my partially clean house.

A Little Bit o’ Books and a Little Bit o’ Travel

A Little Bit o’ Books and a Little Bit o’ Travel

This post contains affiliate links.

I can’t tell you how happy I am to be back to a normal-ish routine.  The Christmas decorations are down and we are doing our simple Monday-Bible study, Tuesday-Church, etc.  No more big parties coming up or gifts left to buy.  I love Christmas, but I also love me some simple, easy going days.

With the Summit coming up this weekend in Oklahoma and in Texas just 2 weeks later, I do have some travel stuff to work on and my talks to nail down.  I’ll be sharing ideas from my book, “Mama Needs a Do-Over: Simple Steps to Turning a Hard Day Around”  If you can’t make it to the Summit, you could get the book.  My friend Roxanne will be speaking there too and her book is awesome.  It’s called, “Are You Enough?: Encouragement for the Overwhelmed & Exhausted Homeschool Mom.”  You’ll LOVE her!

Here are Roxanne and I from last year’s Summit pajama party.  I am telling you…we all have a great time!

Since I have a long drive this weekend, I am getting some audiobooks ready for the trip.  I really love a good book and audio is the way to go when you’re traveling!  I listen to everything from fiction to marketing and leadership guides.  As long as it doesn’t put me to sleep we’re OK.  I once got a book that was read in such a monotone that I started to snore before he got through the introduction.  It may have been a good book, but I will never know because I couldn’t stay awake.

Speaking of narrating audiobooks (see how I did that segue?), my oldest daughter is using her gift as a great narrator and she has a book that just came out (she didn’t write the book, she only narrated it) that is a sweet story.  I listened to it a couple of weeks ago and I am still thinking about it; I love those kinds of books….that stay with you.  It’s a good, clean, encouraging read.  It’s called “The River Girl’s Song: Texas Women of Spirit.”  I hope you’ll consider supporting this talented author and her ever-so-talented narrator.

In other news, I have been cleaning out my bedroom in sections.  I did one of the dressers over the weekend that serves as my official junk drawers.  There was everything in these drawers from people’s business cards to clothespins.  I had a couple of spoons in one (shhhh….don’t tell me kids!) and I found 3 USB drives (I wondered where those were!).  It’s always nice to have this kind of job done.  I tend to shove things in these drawers until I am forced to look for something which requires pulling everything out and wondering why I kept half of it.  Good times.

I think when I get back from the Summit I will tackle the cabinet/desk otherwise known as the Black Hole.  Who knows….I may actually find my camera one of these days.  It’s been lost for 2 years.  Of course, if I do find it I won’t find the charger or memory cards with it because that would be way too easy.

I also like putting things back where they belong and getting rid of the messes.  It’s so nice to know that if I opened one of the cleaned out drawers right now I would be able to locate anything.  It’s the best feeling to know where your unnecessary junk is.

I hope you have a mah-velous week filled with normal-ish days and a little bit of organizing.  And don’t forget to register for the Summit!!!  You don’t want to miss this.  You NEED it!

Have a good one!

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Do you go to retreats?  It has been a long, long time since I attended any kind of retreat where I wasn’t speaking or working.  But this past weekend I got to go to one and let me tell ya…..I was not prepared for the deep introspection and personal conviction.

It was a good/hard kind of experience.

Good….God dug deep and pulled some weeds from my heart.

On Friday morning my daughter and I drove to Dallas, where the retreat was being held.  She rode with me so she could spend the weekend with my older daughter who lives there and visit my wonderful sister-in-law and her family.  We had a fantabulous ride up just talking and listening to podcasts and sharing ideas.  We arrived and I took my 2 girls to lunch and really just enjoyed some down time together.  Afterwards, I left them and headed to my retreat.


It was hosted by my Young Living leader and oh-my-lands she is good at making you feel cared for!  Every detail down to the light fixtures in the hotel was perfection.  We played team building games and ate amazing food and had NingXia Red at every meal. #spoiled

The real learning of the retreat was on Friday when we attended sessions about building a vision and understanding what motivates you and knowing your purpose.  It got pretty deep and for a while I felt like I had been hit by an emotional mac truck.  I have been through the ringer over this past year and it kind of just all came down around me.  I know we were supposed to be learning business ideas and being inspired in our Young Living dreams….but I had so many aha moments that were personal mixed in with all of the lightbulbs flashing over my head for my business that my brain nearly exploded.  In a good way.

I was taking notes as fast as my little hand would write.

At around 3:00 on Friday we took a break for a few hours before dinner.  Most of the ladies headed to the pool, but I just couldn’t take the extreme temps so I went to my hotel room and spent some time with my notebook and my Bible.  Me and God had a long talk.


I definitely felt refreshed and made some decisions about how I spend my time and where God wants me to focus.  I got to talk with my leader about my thoughts, which was amazing to be together in person so we could really connect and have a meeting of the minds.  And my roommate was so great too, she let me spill my thoughts out to her and helped me think through some things well into the wee hours of the night.  #blessed

On Saturday morning I went for a facial before heading to pick up my daughter and drive back home.  Have you ever had a facial?  I had never had one before and Lord-have-mercy, it was unbelievable.  If I could I would get one every week.  My skin is still thanking me.

On the Saturday afternoon drive home my daughter and I talked a lot about what we had each done while in Dallas and made plans for the next few days.  She and I are traveling together again next weekend.  We are going to the Focused Conference in Virginia.  More time together.  More learning.  More bonding over everything from gluten-free food to books we love.

When I got home it was hard to decide….to unpack or not to unpack.  Ultimately I could have just left it all on the suitcase and used it again next weekend.  The problem is that one trip was driving and the other is flying.  Flying requires a whole different kind of packing.  Little bottles, Ziploc bags, shoes that slip off easily….for my driving trip I just kept tossing things in the car like I hadn’t a care in the world until I had, in addition to my suitcase, several tote bags full of random, completely unnecessary stuff. So I decided it would be best to go ahead and put everything away (except the suitcase) and get it all back out again in 3 days.  I do feel more organized with it all put in its place instead of living out of a suitcase in my own home.

For the next few days I will be reflecting on all that God showed me last weekend and asking Him to help me keep those nasty weeds OUT of my heart and help me plant something beautiful and fruitful in its place.  I have let too many unwanted things grow in there lately and I am glad to be rid of them.  I’ll be reading my Bible and pouring God’s Word over those recently touched areas.

And I will be thanking God for His mercies….I sure am feeling His goodness these days.

How about you?  When was the last retreat you went on?

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!


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!

When Your Adult Kids Still Live at Home

When Your Adult Kids Still Live at Home

Tips and thoughts for ways to handle adult kids still living at home

Right now we have 4 adult kids living at home and 1 more graduated that’s just under the wire of official adulthood.

This is a whole new level of parenting.  People say toddlers and teenagers are hard….we didn’t have big struggles with those ages.  But adults, that is a topic that needs some attention!

Our kids have always had responsibility and had to learn hard lessons.  They pay for their own things and work from home (mostly) and earn their own money.  They help around the house and are generally pleasant.  But there are still some things that we are working to figure out.

1. Where does the authority of the parents end and the “child’s” begin? (I am calling them child for the sake of clarity, but I know they’re not children)
2. How much of their needs should they pay for?  Rent?  Food?  Insurance?
3. Should we let them use our car?  Our wifi?  Our phone plan?
4. How do we handle discipline?  Or do we?

This is just the tip of the iceberg of adult children living at home.  If they were someone else just moving in with us we would have set clear boundaries from the beginning, but since we eased into this for the past 18+ years it’s not so cut and dried.

The good news is that we do all believe in the Bible being the Word of God and even though not all of those things are addressed directly, is it clear how to handle disputes and so we manage to keep the peace.  That is a victory all by itself!  If you are still raising your young children keep that in mind.  Teach them now to love the Lord, do hard things and care for other people.  It will benefit them now and forever more.

I am sympathetic to my kids’ situation.  They are adults living a child’s life.  They need to break out and believe me….we want our little birdies to fly from our nest.  I am not anxious to be the head of an adult living center.

Even though I am still in the midst of this season and I do not have a full view from the rearview mirror, I have learned a few things that might help anyone headed this direction.

1. If it belongs to me I have authority.  My house, my car, my food….I can say how it gets used and if I let you paint the room you are living in your favorite color then I am doing you a favor.  And you should be grateful.  But if it’s yours…..your purse, your clothes, your car then I should leave you alone about it, even if I have a great idea that would help you undoubtedly achieve great future successes.  I close my mouth.
2. They should pay for themselves as much as possible.  We haven’t moved to having our kids pay rent, but that is because they are responsible with their money and they voluntarily hold themselves accountable to us about how they use it (accountable, not obedient).  But we do require them to pay for their phone (they are on our plan) and they buy their own special foods (so if they like a certain cereal or drink they buy their own, but they eat meals with us).  I have thought about charging my son for laundry services.  Free if you do it yourself, $2 per load if you convince a sister to do it for you. 😉
3. Easing into adult responsibilities.  Our two oldest kids are each saving to buy a car and when that happens it will be 100% their responsibility.  For now they use our cars, but there are rules.  They have to ask.  Every time.  They have to tell us where they are going and when they will be home and if that changes they have to let us know.  And they have to pay for insurance and whatever gas they use.
4. Discipline is a harder issue.  For example, if we request they get up and be dressed by 7:00 in the morning and they don’t do it….what should happen?  Basically, we give them adult sized consequences for these things.  A week without the use of our car has been a consequence we used in the past.  That wasn’t fun.  We do give them a lot of privileges that we could take away if necessary.  I mean, eating here is a privilege and so is having your own room.  If you want that privilege then you have to show respect for our needs as a family and joyfully do what we ask unless we discuss it and all agree to something else.

We expect our adult children to take care of more than just themselves.  By age 18 you should carry your own weight and help those around you.  That means they have responsibilities for kitchen, cleaning, car maintenance, helping with siblings, working for Mom or Dad in our business, etc.  Their whole day can’t be just about them.  That is not good for them and it certainly isn’t good for the parents.  We can’t carry our adult kids around and we shouldn’t have to.  Each adult in the home must be making a large contribution to the cost (financial, physical, emotional, etc.) of living in the home.  We expect them to contribute a minimum of 4 hours per day on family needs, but this can include working for us in our businesses.  If they have jobs that allow them to contribute financially then that time requirement would change.

But what happens when they just don’t agree?  They shouldn’t have to agree with us all of the time of course!   And all of our kids disagree with us on various topics.  That’s when the relationship becomes so, so important.  James and I work hard to spend time with our older kids and listen to them.  What’s important to them? How can we support their dreams?  How are their friends doing?  What are they struggling with right now?  How can we help without jumping in and rescuing them?

It is a delicate balance for all of us and one that we can all become more like Christ through the process. 

If you only have young children now or are looking at being in this situation soon, hear me when I tell you….keep the lines of communication open.  Your adult children still need you.  But you have to practice self-control like you never have before.  No more swooping in and saving the day.  No more endless streams of motherly advice.  No more being bossy (come on, it’s not just me).  They need to make mistakes….sometimes big ones…..to learn and be able to fly away.

Be strong mamma……we are growing and learning too even though we’re supposed to be the more mature one.  It sure ain’t easy.

And when all else fails I can remind my adult kids of what it says in Deuteronomy 21:18-21 “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them,  then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones.”


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If You Don’t Mind…..

If You Don’t Mind…..

I may have a problem.  Like I need counseling and possibly shock therapy.  I love books.  I have shelves full of them in every room and when someone offers to send me one to review I simply can’t resist.  #bookaddiction

But I realize I have not told you much about all of the writing that’s happening right under our very roof. #mykids

Besides writing a book myself, my daughter Grace has written 4 books and the first three are available on Amazon.  #true

1. Firmament: Radialloy is about a young woman who lives on a starship.  If your teen or young adult likes sci-fi this is a fun adventure!
2. Firmament: In His Image is the second in this series (with the third coming out very soon!) and follows the same main character.
3. Never is a clean, wholesome, family friendly western with slightly more mature conflicts.

She also has a blog where she reviews books and it’s always nice to find clean books for our kids to read.


My daughter Patience also has a blog that is for budding photographers.  She’s really good at encouraging you to love your family and follow your passion.  Your photo-driven kids would love this.  #itisprecious


And, if you don’t mind me telling you, my oldest son is making an album of songs that he has written.  He has a website that tells about his vision and he is also wrapping up a fundraiser to help get it made.  #hemakesmyheartmelt


Not to be left out, my daughter Hope is writing a graphic novel (kind of like a faith-based comic book) and my other daughter Faith is starting her own jewelry line.  Those are still works in progress. #iamconstantlyamazed

I really don’t mention all of their accomplishments much because I don’t want to be braggy.  But just this once….I had to say it.

Thanks for letting me.  #proudmom

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Do You Ever Wonder What Day It Is?

Do You Ever Wonder What Day It Is?

In the spirit of gratefulness, I am going to stop myself from complaining about the 3 day holiday that always throws me off of knowing what day it is.

Since we homeschool and my husband is self-employed, working from home….it’s pretty much like any other day around here except we eat watermelon.  That is the stamp of a summer holiday for us.  Otherwise it’s business as usual.  So you would think it wouldn’t affect my internal clock, but it does.  I have spent the past week thinking it is a day behind and now it’s Friday and I feel cheated out of a day this week.  Because my brain keeps insisting it’s actually Thursday and that means I have a whole other day to pack for my trip this weekend.

Except not.

Tomorrow begins a three day whirlwind to Seattle and San Francisco to spend some time with my friends at Invisalign.  Did I tell you how excited I am to be starting my son in their fabulous treatment?  No?  Well don’t worry, you will hear a bunch about that as he gets started.  Right now we’re still in the pre-treatment phase.  I will just say that I am thoroughly enjoying working with them and this weekend will be a blast of hanging out with other bloggers talking about how much we love working together.  And the best part is that my oldest daughter Grace gets to go with me.  We are so excited to have some mother/daughter time that doesn’t include pushing a grocery cart or picking up lumber!

We will be in Seattle on Saturday night then off to San Francisco on Sunday night then blast back to Texas on Monday.  No rest for the weary around here.

Of course this makes me realize…..I will undoubtedly be off my days again next week because of it.  So please excuse me if I post some “Happy Tuesday!” pictures next Wednesday morning.

I’m also gearing up for some really amazing posts on the blog next week.  It’s the “Essentially Summer” series using essential oils with 35 recipes coming your way!  PLUS….I am doing my summer home tour with my favorite DIY/home decor peeps and y’all are gonna go crazy over these homes.

I’ll see you on the flip side.

Have a great weekend……whenever that is!