Day 4: The WHERE of Essential Oils

Day 4: The WHERE of Essential Oils

We’re rounding the corner to the end of our 5 days series and I am really excited about today!  We’ve talked about HOW to get your oils, WHAT to do when your kit arrives, WHEN to use your oils and today is all about WHERE.

My goal this week is to walk you through the beginning with using oils so you’re not wondering what on earth you would even DO if you got some Young Living oils!  I always need a walkthrough when I am trying something new.  Sure, I figured this out mostly by myself but it took me a couple of years to really embrace the oils and discover how amazing they are (that was 10 years ago!).  I had a few bottles and used them regularly, but I didn’t realize the ways I could use them for wellness and daily blessings.  I thought they were only for crisis situations.

I still use them for times when we are less than healthy, but now I use them daily for staying way above the wellness line.  We diffuse them during school time to help the boys focus and learn, I use them when I need a boost of encouragement or bravery, when I get nasty comments online or even just when I have a lot to do that day (which is every day).  While I’m writing my books I always have oils and supplements nearby that support my mind and lift my mental clarity.

We all have different tasks everyday and our bodies are uniquely and wonderfully made, so the oils I love most may not be your faves.  But the oils in the kit are staples for most people.  Peppermint, lavender, frankincense….oh my!  I wouldn’t go through a day without them now.  I use frank every morning to uplift my mind, peppermint throughout the day for many reasons and lavender each night on my wrists for relaxation.  I probably use 10 oils daily and my kids use 4-5.

My other favorites are Valor, Peace & Calming, Abundance and Fitness.  But that’s today.  Tomorrow it may be different.  That’s the beauty of having a bunch to play with, they’re so versatile!

OK, so let’s get to the topic of WHERE:

  1. WHERE do I put the oils on my body?

You can use them anywhere, but there are some guidelines that may help you get started.  First, I am careful what I put on my face.  I always use them diluted there because when they’re neat (that’s the word for straight out of the bottle) they bother my eyes.  So be careful about using them around your eyes.  The skin on your face is more sensitive so dilute whatever you use there with V6 or coconut oil (or even unscented lotion).  The same goes for kids…always dilute them for kids.

When I do want something for my face, let’s say I want to help support my sinuses.  Just a normal day, I am not talking about healing or cures here. 😉  I will dilute an oil, maybe peppermint and lavender together, then rub it right over my sinuses.  I might also put some around my ears because it’s all connected and I want to maintain my health.  Just don’t get it too close to your eyes.

When you’re using them to support a specific area of the body, use the oil right there.  For instance, if you’re reaching for digestive wellness then rub it right on your stomach or lower abdomen.  Oils like PanAway, DiGize and RC are some that are great for this kind of use.  After that, there are some charts in your book that will help you find other topical ways to use them.  Find the Vitaflex chart and look at the areas on your feet that you can use the oils.

I always use one as a perfume each day (right now I am using Joy or Valor for this!).  I will apply it just like I would a perfume, on my wrists and my neck.  You can also apply it across your forehead if you’re using them for mind or emotional support.  Try different things and see what works best for you.

2. WHERE do I use them in my home?

The home is another incredible way to use your oils.  First, the diffuser.  #heaven  If you love candles, then you will doubly love the diffuser.  You can get beautiful smells in your home that are actually beneficial to the health of your family and not just scents.  Two birds-one stone.

When you start you’ll likely only have one diffuser (the one that came in your kit).  You can move it from room to room wherever you go.  We have one going in our dining room/school room during the day and in the bedrooms at night.  I’ll diffuse in the bathrooms as needed.  #stinky I even carry a small diffuser with me when I travel to use in our hotel room!

You can also use oils for cleaning.  Young Living has an incredible line of Thieves Cleaners that we use for everything from bathrooms to windows.  It’s been a transformation in our home.  You can try a few drops of Thieves or lemon in some water and wipe down your counters, doorknobs and light switches.

3. WHERE do I turn if I can’t figure it out?

Start with your book (or books!).  Google some things and see what you can find.  Soon you will discover that you have absorbed information and can learn more.  It doesn’t take much time at all.

Then, ask your leader or other YL member friends.  I say to do this after looking on your own because the best way to learn is to find out for yourself.  But once you’ve tried and still can’t figure it out, ask your friend that you joined with (like me!) and they should be thrilled to help either find the info for you or lead you to where to look.

Don’t be intimidated with these oils, they are just the liquid goodness from plants.  There’s no mystery.  God gave us the plants to use in this way!

Fun Fact: Did you know that our sense of smell is the only sense directly tied to the limbic area of the brain, which is considered the emotional control center? This means that when essential oils are inhaled, they go directly to the brain. Our other four senses — taste, sight, touch and hearing — are first routed through the thalamus before reaching designated areas of the brain.

Be sure to check out the rest of the series!

Day 1: HOW to Start Using Essential Oils
Day 2: The WHAT of Getting Started with Essential Oils
Day 3: The WHEN of Essential Oils
Day 5: The WHY of Essential Oils

CLICK HERE TO BECOME A MEMBER!!!

Do NOT Miss This!

Do NOT Miss This!

The one thing I look most forward to all year is coming up in a few weeks!  The Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit is everything I need to refill my tank, my worn out mom tank.

I am talking about hundreds of other women in the same place you are….tired, needing encouragement, many in struggling marriages and with hopelessness.  Even though I am a total introvert, I love this event and wouldn’t miss it unless God dropped a 2 ton steel beam in my driveway so I couldn’t get out.  And if it helps, there are lots of prizes all weekend.

The first time I went a few years ago in Oklahoma I was not sure what I was getting into.  I had been invited and decided to check it out.  It was a long drive, 8 hours, but I felt it was something I should do.  I can’t tell you why now….it was instinct.  And the first night I was like, “What IS this thing?!”  There were women from all walks of life, some dressed up, some dressed down, some in heels and others in denim jumpers with sneakers.  There was a sense of excitement and peace at the same time.

Then one by one onstage women in costume marched across being described by the announcer, there was Debbie Drowning and Peggy Perfect and Sara Sporty and Helen Hanging-On.  They were funny, but tapped into deep issues we all face as moms.  After that there was worship and I was hooked.  Women being real, speakers encouraging us, praise and laughter?!?!  SIGN ME UP!

It was that same year I grabbed the founder and told her I had to be a part of this.  I wanted to bring it to Texas and do whatever I could to help.  And here we are now about to host the third Summit in Texas!!!  Hallelujah, isn’t God amazing?!?!

This year we are doing a few new things, including a blogger dinner and time of fellowship.  Connie from Smockity Frocks, Kris from Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and I will all be there.  We want to meet you and spend time ministering to each other.  You can sign up for the dinner when you register. (the blogger dinner is only in Texas, but I will also be at the Oklahoma event!)

And at the Texas Summit we will also be doing a panel answering your questions.  Are you struggling with something?  Do you wonder how other moms do it all?  Have you reached the end of your rope?  Well, bring on the questions and we will do our best to answer them and let you know you’re not alone.  You can head over to my Facebook page and leave a question there.  We will answer some of your questions here too, so if you can’t come to the Summit, please go ahead and ask anything.

I hope you will consider attending the Summit.  I’d love to see you at either one, but the Texas Summit is near to my heart and I am hoping to bring a bunch of you with me!  And don’t tell me it’s too far because I drive 8 hours each year to go to the one in Oklahoma and I would fly anywhere in the USA to be there.

If you are worried because you don’t know anyone else going then I have a couple of solutions for you.  First, bring a friend (or 2 or 3)!  This is a great girlfriend trip.  Share a room and ride together and have a grand adventure!  Or, if that doesn’t work out you can consider me your friend to hang around with.  Even though I will be moving around a lot, I will make sure you meet some of the other amazing women there and help plug you in.

I have a $10 off code you can use, so be sure you plug that in when you register!  It’s PENNINGTON10

Here is my recap of the 2014 Summit.  You really don’t want to miss this.

Come join us!  January 22-23 in Oklahoma and February 5-6 in TEXAS!!!

 

10 Questions for Your Kids When They Are Bored

10 Questions for Your Kids When They Are Bored

This post contains affiliate links.

Hello!  If you’re stopping by from Thomas Nelson…welcome!  I hope you’ll hang around and if you want to know more about me THIS is a good place to start!

10 great questions to have your kids ask themselves when they are bored. #parenting

With 9 kids, I have heard many versions of “Mom, I’m bored,” and, “I don’t have anything to do.”  I usually send them outside with orders to, “Run around and have FUN!”.  But the cold weather (or here in Texas, the summer heat) can keep us inside and not sure what to do with ourselves.

I keep a list posted in the house for the kids to reference when they have nothing to do: 10 things to ask yourself before you tell Mom you’re bored.

Before you tell Mom you’re bored, answer these questions:

  1. Is your room clean?  Picking up a few things and straightening is an important thing to do every day.
  2. Have you exercised?  Use your body and get your heart rate up every day.
  3. Can you help someone?  The best way to use your free time is to give it to someone else.
  4. Have you read a book today?  Keep your mind exercised by reading every day!
  5. Have you prayed?  When you’re bored, it’s a good time to spend a few minutes talking to God.
  6. Have you read the Bible?  Find a verse and read it 3 times then say it out loud.
  7. Have you done something creative?  Draw a picture, write a story, play some music, weave a potholder.
  8. Have you played a game with someone?  NOT a video game, but a game where you sit at a table facing each other and talking to each other.
  9. Are your chores done?  Is the dog bowl clean and your laundry put away?  You are an important part of your family and when you don’t do your chores you are making life harder for everyone else.
  10. Is there something you can find to do yourself?  Look around and see what you can do without interrupting Mom or Dad to ask.  You might be surprised at what’s available to you already.

Here are a few fun books to keep around for the kids to read while they’re looking for something to do:

Read and Share 5 Minute Bible Stories (quick, easy reference to find Bible stories, you might even find art projects to go along with them!), Henry Hodges Needs a Friend (a sweet little book about feeling left out), Under the Sea  (packed with hundreds of ideas for felt creations), MindWar (for the teens, one of those thrillers about a seemingly ordinary teenager who discovers a hidden gift)
The next time your child tell you they are bored, get out the questions and let them find productive things to do on their own.  Get their creative juices flowing and teach them to make wise choices for how to spend their time.
And then send them out to play.
Come on over to Facebook for more conversation!
Come to the Summit! (plus a note to your husband)

Come to the Summit! (plus a note to your husband)

Well?  Have you made up your mind or not?  It’s time to just jump on in and register for the Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit.

Look, I know it’s hard to get away and we can feel guilty spending time for ourselves and we wonder how the family will survive without us for a few days.  But this, my friend, is what you need to fill your tank.

Moms get worn out, burned out, tuned out….. we NEED a break!  And it is OK!!  You can’t just go-go-go without stopping and being refreshed with energy and enthusiasm and God’s love.

And the best part is that you will get all of that AND MORE at the Homeschool Mom’s Winter Summit!  It takes place in Norman, OK January 22-23 and again in San Marcos, TX February 5-6.  The speakers, the prayer time, the worship, the laughter (OH so much laughter!) will all feed your soul and lift your heart.

The speakers will cover everything from marriage to motherhood to mere survival.  These are moms in the trenches just like us and they’ll minister you to all weekend while you hang out with your friends (and make NEW friends!).  Then we laugh.  And laugh.  And laugh.

It is my personal mission to make sure no one is there without a friend, so if you don’t know anyone come sit by ME!  I WANT to know you!  I want to spend time together.  You WILL NOT be bothering me!!!!!!

Please, don’t let doubt and fear or lack of funds keep you from this event.  If you have to travel, make it happen.  If you have to farm your kids out for a couple of days…. do it!  For the Texas event, Kris from Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers is traveling across several states to come!  And Connie from Smockity Frocks will be there too!  And many, many other amazing women…. including YOU, I hope!

Use the code: PENNINGTON10 to get $10 off your registration fee.  And hop over to Facebook to let me know you’re going!  I will be glad to answer any questions you have and do what I can to help you get there.

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I promise friends, this is WORTH it!  Ask for it for Christmas!!! If you share a hotel room with 3 other ladies (these are all suites and they’re HUGE!) it’s only $60 for both nights (not counting tax which might literally double that ‘cuz hotel tax makes me crazy and I can’t even get on that soapbox).  Let’s do a little math….

$109  (Registration)
– $10  (using my discount code: PENNINGTON10)
+$10  (to attend the blogger dinner if you’re in Texas)
+$60  (hotel)
+$25  (various food and miscellaneous)
= $194

For $200 plus the cost of getting there you get all of your food, nice hotel, time with friends, meet new amazing people, get prayed with, get loved on, hear wisdom, laugh ’til your sides hurt….GIRLFRIEND WHAT IS STOPPING YOU?!?!

(OK, now I want to talk to your husbands so just turn your computer over to him right now or screenshot this part and text it to him: Guys, my husband wants you to know how much going to the Summit refreshes me.  He makes sure I get there every year because I come home happier, more in love with him, more excited about the kids and feeling like I can handle what I have to face every day.  He wants to encourage YOU to send your wife to the Summit.)

Back to you friends….please come.  I want to help, I want to pray for you, I want to be a part of making your life better.

Summit or BUST!

Catch me on Facebook for more fun!

One Rotten Pumpkin Can Spoil the Whole Bunch

One Rotten Pumpkin Can Spoil the Whole Bunch

Where did Monday go?  I think I missed it somehow.  In fact, I somehow missed the entire weekend because when I sat down this morning to recount the past few days I can remember nothing.  Either it was so simple there’s nothing to remember or I blocked out something dramatic.  Or option number 3….I’m old and my memory is shot.

Whichever excuse, I have nothing to share about the past few days.

With the end of October looming, I am doing some holiday prep.  I don’t like these holidays that sneak up and are over before you can think, so I like to plan out some of the tasks early and get them out of the way.  I made a few Christmas lists and Thanksgiving invites and I set the pumpkins out on the porch.  Finally.

I bought 5 pumpkins about a month ago and they have been sitting in a pile at the edge of the porch ever since.  I have so many ideas for what to do with them, but in the end I just plopped them on a bale of hay with some mums and called it a day.  One of the pumpkins had already gone rotten, so I felt like it was becoming an urgent situation.  I didn’t want the rot to cross over to the other pumpkins and ruin them all, so I spent about 10 minutes setting them around on the porch.  I don’t foresee having any spare time in the next few weeks to decorate the porch more than this so I am settling for git-er-done over Pinterest-worthy.  Story of my life.

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I also got some mini pumpkins for the mantle, but it’s not looking hopeful that they will get put up there.  It will only get done if I have a burst of creative energy at the same moment I have unexpected free time.  In other words, not gonna happen.  It’s OK, I can use the mini pumpkins for the Thanksgiving table decorations if they’re still sitting on the floor by the fireplace in another month.

In case you’re also doing some holiday planning, don’t miss my Holiday Gift Guides for Men and Women.  I filled them with products that our family owns and loves!

The next few days are filled with being home and working on my next book while homeschooling the boys.  I went to Costco and picked up easy meals (in other words, expensive) and told the boys to be prepared to do their own cooking and cleaning while I am wrapping up this manuscript.  Frankly, they are thrilled since their meals consist of frozen pizza and pre-made burgers.  I recommended they add a salad to their meal at least once a day, but the chances of that are slimmer than me making a Pinterest worthy fall mantle.

At least there will plenty of lettuce and greens for me to have all the brain food I need while writing.

We have worked out a schedule for the rest of the week where I am giving them lessons while I work.  It involves them checking in with me every hour to let me know what they are doing and I can give instructions.  I am writing each boy’s check-in down on a tablet next to me so I don’t forget which boy was supposed to be doing what and when.  If I don’t write it down then 3 hours will go by and I will get up to stretch and wonder where the boys are.  I won’t remember how long it’s been since they came to talk to me or what they were supposed to be doing.  They are getting too smart to fall for that, “So…. what do YOU think you were supposed to be doing?!  I mean, I know what it is, but do you?” routine.

Motherhood ain’t for the weak.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your week with your family and get at least a few pumpkins to decorate with.  Just set it in the middle of your table and enjoy!

Be sure to follow up with the conversation on Facebook!

 

Do Your Kids Love to Write?!

Do Your Kids Love to Write?!

Do you want to teach your kids creative writing?

I found it difficult to really inspire my kids to write and know how to get their juices flowing.

Until I found the One Year Adventure Novel.  I have told you about it before, but in case you missed it, I want to tell you again!  AND they gave me a special discount code just for y’all.

Girl, I love me a discount!

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We have used all of the One Year Adventure Novel curricula (someone give me points for using the proper form of that word!) in our home.  We started about 7 years ago with their high school program (called One Year Adventure Novel).  What I loved about it was that through the lessons and assignments, by the end of the year the student has written a book.  It’s brilliant!

It’s very in-depth without a lot of fluff.  Although, the video lessons ARE entertaining and sometimes my younger kids will sneak in and watch just for fun.

There’s a video for each lesson, then an accompanying lesson in the textbook.  After the lessons there’s an assignment that is done in a workbook.  It can be completed in one school year.  Plus there are forums that help a lot if you need it.  And the forums are also great for the kids to make friends.

The OYAN folks make it easy for the teacher too, because the lessons are done for you and they give great instruction for how to check the work.  I love that about it!

One Year Adventure Novel is primarily for homeschoolers, but honestly if I wasn’t homeschooling I still might go through it with my kids (keep in mind I do have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew).  It has inspired my kids to be writers and it tapped into their creativity (in a good way, not like “Hey let’s see what we can draw on the side of Mom’s car with an Exacto knife!” kind of way).

In fact, my oldest daughter has written 5 novels, with her last one, Implant, just released a few weeks ago!  She credits OYAN for much of her education in writing even though she was already out of high school when we started using it.

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They also have a junior high version called, Cover Story.  Our son used it a couple of years ago and I plan to use it again this year with one of my other boys.  Instead of writing a whole book, it focuses through DVD lessons on shorter projects like poetry, short stories, creative non-fiction, interviews, blogs & letters.  We really like it!  The lessons are more playful and if you like steampunk, you will be in for a treat.

Creative writing helps in so many areas of life!  I’ve seen my kids blossom through this class in ways that surprised me.  There is just something about the lessons…..working on the lessons makes them feel loved.

I know it sounds crazy, but that’s the only way I can describe it.

And IF you aren’t looking for writing curriculum, there’s still something you need to know about the creator of the One Year Adventure Novel, Daniel Schwabauer.  He is the author of our favorite, favorite stories that we read as a family.  I got his first 2 books, Runt the Brave & Runt the Hunted and we all flipped over them.  And his latest book, Curse of the Seer (Legends of Tira-Nor), has just been released.  We got it last week and it is already a new family favorite.  No kidding, we ripped it out of the package when it arrived and read it instantly.  It’s wonderful!

If you’re looking for a great series of books for your kids (ages 5-99) this is it.  They will not disappoint.

And now for the good stuff….the discounts.

For the One Year Adventure Novel use the code PP15oyan and get $30 off through the end of September!
For Cover Story use the code PP15story and get $20 off through the end of September!

Both of these codes must be applied at checkout.

I really hope you’ll try these with your kids.  I leaned a lot too, as I was going through it with them.  I know you will love it!

And if you love what they are doing over at OYAN keep updated with them on Facebook!

The Giving and Receiving of Wisdom

The Giving and Receiving of Wisdom

I sometimes hesitate to answer when someone asks me for advice because of all of my own failures.

It’s a trap…..the idea that only perfect people can offer advice.  Sure, we should seek out people who have succeeded in the area we need help with.  But that doesn’t have to mean perfection!

I get asked for advice all.of.the.time.  In the grocery store just yesterday a women stopped me and asked me a homeschool curriculum question.  On Sunday a friend at church asked me about getting kids to sleep at night.  Marriage, essential oils, dieting, blogging, mothering…..I am not an expert in any of these areas yet I get a ton of questions about them!

In fact, I don’t really think of myself as an expert in anything except the messiness of being ME.  I do know a lot about that.

I feel fully inadequate to be answering most of these questions.  And then God reminds me….that is exactly where He wants me. If I thought I had it all together and could answer any question then I wouldn’t really be helping anyone.  I would be giving too much Lisa (mess) and not enough God (perfect Father).

Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”

When I am weak, He is made strong.  So when someone asks my advice, I prayerfully answer.  If the source of my reply is not my own knowledge but from His Word, then I don’t have to be flawless to share it with you.  I am simply the messenger.

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It starts with prayer.  Put on the armor of God and spend time in His Word.  If I offer you a simple translation of what He says mixed with a few fun stories of how that worked for me then I don’t have to worry about misleading you.

Of course, God doesn’t clearly tell us which homeschool curriculum to use, that is more of an experience question.  I can just share what I know. It’s important to realize when there are many paths to the same goal….in this case that our kids will be well educated.  My way works for me, but it might not work for you.  I can’t give you an infallible answer, but I do have experience that I am happy to share and hopefully that will help.  It might even help you to see that what I did will not work for you and save you from a mistake.

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But if it’s more of a “how do you honor your husband when he is wrong?” kind of question….well that is something that God does speak about in the Bible. Pull it out.  Look up the answers then pray together.

I prayed with a woman the other night in our monthy essential oil class because of some personal issues she shared with me.  I don’t know exactly what she needs, but I know the One who does.  So we asked Him together.  I don’t have to have any expertise to pray with someone.  Then I offered her my best advice.  I also gave her encouragement that I will be her friend through her trials.  I always have my friendship to offer even if my advice is not what they need.

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If you get asked for advice a lot, here are some things I want to share with you:

1. Don’t think too highly of yourself! If you feel like you know a lot about a Biblical issue, be careful not to think so highly of your knowledge that you forget where it came from.  Our experience or knowledge never trumps the Word of God.
2. Spend a gob-ton of time reading the Bible.  That is your source of wisdom.
3. Spend plenty of time in prayer.  Let go of your ideas that you know so much and grab onto the lessons He has taught you though the Holy Spirit.
4. Understand your responsibility.  God is clear on this….leaders have extra responsibilities to be careful how they live and what they say.
5. Remember that you don’t have to be perfect (a lesson I need to learn!).  Your perfection is not what anyone needs…they need your humility and love.

Matthew 18: 6-7 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea”

And as the seeker of advice, let’s also be aware that the human being we are looking to for help is flawed.  They will mess up, be wrong, poorly communicate and an endless list of other disappointments.  That does not mean they don’t have great advice for you!

1. Like I said above….read the Bible and pray!  You have just as much access to the source of true wisdom as anyone else.
2. Don’t put people on a pedestal.  No one deserves to be thought of as higher than anyone else.  This is a surefire way for your relationship with someone to crash and burn.
3. Get more than one viewpoint.  Don’t be shy about asking someone you admire (admiring is not the same as idealizing) for their wisdom.  Ask a few people and then weigh their suggestions against what you know to be true.

Proverbs 11:14 “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”

4. Seek wise counsel instead of just asking everyone.  The stranger in the grocery store doesn’t necessarily have wise advice for you.  Resist the temptation to ask advice from all of your friends.  It’s too confusing and it can lead to your destruction.

Proverbs 13:20 “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

5. Make it a goal to become wise.  So many women I meet think they have to always stay in the place of weakness.  Or they just look for tips and tricks to get through life instead of digging deep and drawing close to Christ.  Use the wisdom people share, be willing to learn and grow and change where you need to, become wise so that you can help others after you.

In a nutshell…..If you need help – ASK for wisdom!  If someone asks for your help – PRAY for wisdom!

Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Have a great weekend!

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I’m a Very, Very Good Driver

I’m a Very, Very Good Driver

I never, ever got smart enough to prepare for this phase of my parenting journey.  I have apparently moved into the “always-in-the-car” season of my life, and along with it I am noticing a widening of my backside and very pale skin.  I suppose it is because I sit and eat snacks all the livelong day without actually getting any sun as I drive my children all over Timbucktoo.

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I have made 6 trips to the city in the past few days with 3 more trips before Friday, plus driving to the next small town 30 minutes away in the other direction every single day this week while I wait for 3 hours for my little guys to do a summer camp.  My car and I deserve a prize….perhaps in the form of a large cup of Sonic ice followed by a nap.

Over the past few months as these plans all came together, each child requesting to take this class or attend that camp, it seemed doable.  But I didn’t coordinate schedules while I was saying YES and before I knew it we were going so many different directions that we need a military strategist to organize it all.  The older kids and I have to have a meeting every night to figure out who will drive where in what car with which child the next day.

In the middle of all of that activity James and I had our 29th anniversary to celebrate.  We decided to kill two birds with one stone and go out to a nice dinner on Saturday night in the city since we had to pick up a couple of the kids there at 10:00pm anyway.  It’s been a long time since we went out on a Saturday night since I would rather have a root canal than stand in a crowded restaurant for an hour waiting for a table.

But we had a surprisingly good time despite our table being 8″ from the diners next to us and not being able to hear what each other was saying the whole time.

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After dinner we still had a couple of hours to kill so we took a stroll down to the bookstore and wandered around in there for a while looking at books.  Our shopping adventures go something like this (after 29 years together we have this down):
Me: Hey!  This looks like a great book!  Let’s buy it!
Him: We don’t need any more books.
Me: But this would be so good for the kids and look….here’s another one we need! {I begin to collect a large pile of books in my arms as I walk through the store}
Him: Lisa, we really don’t need those books and we are watching our budget, remember?
Me: OK, I will sit here in this chair looking through every book and choose 2 to put back.  Will that make you feel better?  If we only buy 8 books instead of 10?
Him: No.
Me: OK, how about this….I will choose 2 to put back and then I will pick a few more that I can get cheaper on Amazon and….hey look!  There’s another one that we NEED!

On and on it goes.  Me finding things we “need” (you know…for the kids!) and him telling me what we really need is to stay on budget.  In the end we bought 2 books and a game.  The game was for him.

It was always what would happen in the end.  It never changes, but we MUST go through the motions.

One super-duper cool thing that happened while we were at the bookstore is James decided to see if my book was on their computer and it was!  Right there with a description and preorder info.  I took a picture, of course!  Who cares if it’s a dork move?  My book is for sale at Barnes & Noble for goodness sake!

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But it doesn’t really change anything in my life.  I still have to drive my kids to their activities all week while figuring out when I will be able to get to the grocery store and if I don’t get some sun people will assume I have an illness.  Being a published author is cool, but I’m still just Mom.

Have a great week!

Thank God It’s Not Friday

Thank God It’s Not Friday

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

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

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

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

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

OK, plan B.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One Down, One to GO!

One Down, One to GO!

I am in a post-Summit stupor.

Last weekend I was in San Marcos, TX for the Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit and it was incredible!  God blessed each and every person there in individual ways to encouraged us all in our mothering and in our relationship with Him.

I can’t tell you how blessed I am to be a small part of this ministry.  It gets to the core of what I feel called to do…..to minister to hurting moms and women that are running the race of wife, mom, friend and child of the one true King.  I get to spend the weekend hugging and praying and loving on these ladies and make new friends and spend precious time with old ones.

On Thursday morning my three daughters and I left the house to drive 3 hours to start setting up.  Since James was gone for the day on business, that left the 5 boys alone.  I wasn’t completely comfortable with it, but we did what we could to prepare them.  I gave them school assignments, we prepped their food and had some movies for them to watch.  Frankly, I just hoped they wouldn’t burn the place down.

Once there, the girls and I ran around for 2 days helping the team set up for the conference and it was a doozy of a job!  At the last minute some key people had a crisis and couldn’t be there.  The few that were left filled in where we could and actually pulled it off despite flying by the seat of our pants.

I ended up on stage a lot giving announcements or introducing the next speaker, so I decided to take selfies while I was at it.

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Who doesn’t love a good selfie from the stage?!

There were many tears and lots of laughter and everywhere you went you could see women praying together and pouring into each other.  I am just so glad God allows me to be a part of it.

On Saturday night, we have my favorite part of the weekend….Girls’ Night Out.

First it’s a pajama party, which I prepared for by getting myself some footie pajamas.  In fact, just down the hall from our event was a beautiful Quinceanera going on.  So my friend Sheri convinced me to tiptoe down and get my picture taken with the belle of the ball…..her dress was like a fairy tale!  And mine too…depending on what tale you’re reading.

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After the silliness (which I can’t reveal the details of because it’s a surprise for this next weekend’s attendees in Oklahoma) we sat down for some deep Titus 2 time.  Older women teaching younger women to love their husbands and children, be self-controlled and pure, etc.  I love, LOVE this part of the Summit

txsummit05Left to right is Lyndsay Lambert, Susan Chrisman, Shirley Quine and Roxanne Parks.  It was a powerhouse of wisdom!

And now I have had three days to recover and I am off to the Oklahoma Summit….there’s still time to get in on the goodness and come!

Also, the boys survived and the house was fully intact and even pretty clean when we got home on Sunday night.

It doesn’t get much better than that!