How Many Emotions Can You Have at Once?

How Many Emotions Can You Have at Once?

How many emotions can one person have at one time?  I think my personal best is 322.

In the movie HOME, sweet little Oh creates the term sad-mad.  It’s when you’re really sad and mad at the same time.  This became a favorite of mine because it’s so true….our emotions aren’t one track.  I can feel happy and be bawling at the same time.  Sometimes I am excited-scared and other times I’ve been confused-organized or adventurous-wary.

This past weekend I was glad-sad.

One of our daughters is going on a grand adventure to Washington state.  She left on Friday and we don’t know when we will see her again.  She will be approximately 2,173 miles away for the foreseeable future.  That’s an estimate.  It could be 2,174.5 miles.  Not that I’m obsessed or anything.

It’s making my mom-heart so sad and I am going to miss her like crazy.  She’s a delightful girl who loves to spend time with her family.  She cheers us all up and spreads joy.  We all adore spending time with her!!!

But she’s also been itching to try this adventure for a long time, so off she went.  She was so excited to go that it would be hard not to find a little glad place in my heart for her.  See?  Sad-glad.

Since her last day here was Friday, we took the morning off of school and work and just hung out with her.  We played some games and ate and laughed and studied the atlas to see how long it would take to get to her if we just couldn’t stand being away from her.  We talked about how different the weather is where she is going and what kinds of things there are for her to do there.  It looks like she is going to have a wonderful time.  I am truly happy for that…..kind of.

On Friday afternoon she left.  Tears flowed.  I wished I could make time stand still.

I’ll be going to Washington for a few days next week to help her settle in.  I am looking forward to being where she is and feeling more connected to her new environment.  That should help some of my mixed emotions.

Since we took off Friday, we had to do school work on Saturday.  Saturday is usually our house cleaning day, so doing school cut into my plans.  It really takes all of us the entire morning to get this house even close to clean.  Once we finished with school we would only have a couple of hours to clean.  This meant I had to make some tough choices.  Do I kinda, sorta, surface clean all of the bathrooms?  Or really deep clean one of them and hope the others don’t make us ill before next weekend?

I chose the latter.  One very clean bathroom that has been scrubbed to the point of shining is what I went for.  So while the boys did the other jobs around the house (sweeping, dusting, vacuuming, etc) I tackled the boys’ bathroom.  I mean to tell you I went after that place like a Secret Service agent sweeping for bugs.  No dirt, slime or nastiness was going to escape my bottle of Thieves Cleaner.

There was one spot that gave me attitude….the window.  I wanted to clean it (since the last time anyone cleaned the outside of that window must have been in the 1700’s), but I could not for the life of me figure out how to get to the outside of the lower half.  It was blocked by a screen that seemed impossible to remove and there appeared to be no way to tilt it down.  The windows in our living room tilt down for easy cleaning, which is exactly what I kept screaming at the bathroom window in the hope of it feeling jealous and letting me know its secret.  No dice.

After an hour of trying and pushing and contorting myself to try to see up into the sides seeking a magical latch, I asked on Facebook.  No one knew.  I asked my husband (always a last resort since he has the tendency to hold these air-head things over me until death do us part).  He Googled it.

The dumb window has a hidden channel on the side of the screen and when you push the screen SIDEWAYS (who thinks to push a screen sideways?!?!) it slips into the channel giving it just enough room on the opposite side to wedge it out.  Then and only then can you clean the outside of the window.

I finally finished the bathroom and was exhausted from the effort.  I mean, taking an hour and a half to clean a 2×3 window takes its toll.  My body still had energy but my brain and emotions were mush.  I was tired-wired.

After putting all of my cleaning supplies away I went to help the boys finish their jobs so we could call it done and sit down to rest.  I didn’t allow myself to think about the other dirty bathrooms.  Nope.  I just pretended they were clean and moved along.  We spent the rest of Saturday relaxing and hanging outside in the gorgeous fall weather.

Sunday after church I ran down to the big city to attend a Young Living class my friend was teaching.  She put together a wonderful local beauty school and I wanted to learn more about how she does it so I can host one of my own.  It was amazing….she did a beautiful job.  Then I ran a couple of quick errands before heading home.  I can’t wait to have my own beauty school in my little town!

All in all we had a lovely weekend.  My daughter is off on her grand adventure, one of the bathrooms is clean and we are managing to stay caught up on school.  I’d say that’s happy-happy.

Have a great week!

Life on the Road for Young Living Beauty School

Life on the Road for Young Living Beauty School

As you may know, I travel a lot.  Like, once a month or so.  Travel is something I always wanted to do, but when the kids were little and my husband was someone else’s employee, I just couldn’t do it.  I didn’t mind.  I just tucked the wish way back in my mind and let it sit there.

Then a few years ago God started opening up opportunities for me to take small trips here and there.  I’d be asked to speak at a conference or have a training meeting to go to.  By that time my hubs was self-employeed in an office on our property so that made it easier.  I got to meet new people (some of whom are my dearest friends now), learn a lot, explore places I never thought I’d go.  It’s been incredible!

I am so blessed that God gave me that little wish I had tucked away.

This past weekend I went to Alabama to learn and connect and boy did I ever!  I mean my brain is so full that if I wasn’t feeling so purdy it might just explode.  I went to Young Living Beauty School.  I’d been wanting to go for a few years and it just never worked out until now.

Honestly, the Young Living facial care line has always been low on my list of things to use.  I love the oils and use them daily, sometimes hourly.  I adore the supplements and the NingXia Red and I couldn’t even put into words how those have all changed my life.  But the beauty products….I just didn’t know much about them.

But now I do.  I can’t wait to order the ones that I especially liked and use them for a few weeks and tell y’all all about them.  But I want to try them for a while so I can be sure that they’re as amazing as I think they are.  It’ll take me some time since, you know, Christmas coming and all.

We got a case with all of the beauty products in it and we spent time learning how to use them all.

Learning how to use all of the Young Living beauty products!

And if that wasn’t enough, I decided to drive myself to Alabama.  From Texas.  As in 17 hours all by myself.  That may not sound like heaven to you, but to me it was an absolute masterpiece of silence mixed with the occasional burst of praise songs at full volume.  I could sing as loud as I wanted and no one complained.

My kids at home are enjoying some space too.  Mom being gone means less pressure to get those beds made before breakfast and getting to watch a movie every night.  I also bought a cartload of snacks before I left so they’re probably on some kind of sugar high every afternoon.  Good times.

We went over all of their school assignments and I have been calling them every day to check on them.  I think they’re enjoying telling me what they’ve been doing over the phone.  I know I am enjoying hearing their sweet voices.  They sound so smart and grown up though.  Mommy doesn’t like that.

At Beauty School I got to hang out with some pretty incredible people and hear their stories and learn from them.  My roomies (there were 4 of us renting an AirBnB) arrived on Friday with all kinds of oils and soaps and diffusers and within an hour we had this old, musty house smelling like a spa.  We showed each other our favorite bath products and I pummeled one of them with early morning questions about her supplement regimen.

Learning how to use all of the Young Living skin care products!

These gals don’t use any chemical cleaners, so they travel fully equipped.  I mean they brought their own sheets ‘cuz they didn’t want the washing machine detergent on their skin.  These gals are crazier than I am!  All I did was spray down the sheets that were already there with a blend of Thieves cleaner and lavender that I brought with me in a little bottle.  I practically felt normal next to them.

I like feeling normal.  It happens so rarely.

While you’re reading this I am on my long drive back home.  I am gonna make a few pit stops to visit some other friends, so I will be more like a tortoise than a hare.  But I’ll get there and hug my precious babies and they’ll be sad because the movie marathon will have to end and they will have to make their bed again.

Such is life.

Have a great week!

“Sticky Candy Weekend”

“Sticky Candy Weekend”

This past weekend was one of those rare times when almost all of our kids were home.  With more than half of them all grown up and living in different cities, we don’t get to see them all together anymore.  On Friday night we had a bunch of friends over for burgers.  It was a delightful way to start the weekend!  Then on Saturday eight of the nine kids were here and we spent most of our time just hanging out and eating.

In preparation for the weekend, I went to Costco last Tuesday to load up on groceries.  I got stuff to make burgers, fancy sandwiches, big breakfasts and snacks.  One of the snacks I decided to get was an enormous bag of candy that’s meant for handing out on Halloween.  It had tiny chocolate bars, Gobstoppers and little cardboard boxes of Nerds inside.  These seemed perfect for putting in a big bowl on the c 2offee table so everyone could just grab a piece when they felt like it.

The one hitch in my idea was that the day I bought the candy it was 100° outside.  Since I was running other errands I decided to put the big bag of candy in the cooler with ice so the chocolate wouldn’t melt.  I was so proud of my decision until I got home that night to discover that the ice had mostly melted and had seeped into the big bag.  I took it out of the cooler, cut open the top and drained the big bag of pink water.

“Why is the water pink?” I wondered as I dumped the tiny wrapped candies onto a towel that I had laid out on the kitchen counter.  After investigating, I saw that about 15 boxes of Nerds had gotten wet and dissolved in the water.  Oh well….I just threw those away, left the rest of the candy on the towel to dry overnight and didn’t give it another thought.  I mean, who worries about tiny wet candy?

But this seemingly insignificant detail turned out to be a central problem all weekend.  All of the little bitty candy bars, I found the next day when I picked them up to put them in a bowl, were so sticky that every time anyone ate a piece of candy they had to go wash their hands.  Also, some of the chocolate bars had a weird cherry flavor to them (even though, as far as I could tell, no water got inside of the individual packages).  It became the joke of the weekend, whether or not it was worth the effort to eat a piece of the sticky, icky candy.

But they all braved the  stickiness and ate whle we played games and talked all day.

Our favorite game lately is called Heads Up.  It’s an app that is kinda like charades but easier and funnier.  You hold the phone up to your forehead and try to guess what the screen says.  My family is particularly good at the Super Heroes and Villains category.  Everyone but me that is.  I don’t know any of those answers unless it is Batman, Superman or Spider-Man.  And even those would take me way too long to figure out.  I’ll be staring at 10 people all yelling at me at once with clues about capes or sidekicks and I don’t know the difference!  Then the timer buzzes the end of my turn and they look at me like they feel sorry for me because I don’t know Batman’s true identity or how Superman got his powers.

It’s fun because we don’t really keep score, we just take turns and enjoy the process.  There’s too much laughing to worry with writing down points.  And besides, our fingers were too sticky from eating candy from the bowl.

By Sunday afternoon everyone was gone or doing their own thing and I was so worn out from 3 days of family and friends (plus a church service that knocked my socks off and challenged my spirit), that I wanted to sleep from 2-6:00.  So I stopped by Redbox on my way home from church and rented myself an afternoon nap.  When I got home (we were in separate cars) I tossed the movie to the kids and said, “Boys, the house is clean, there is plenty of leftover food and sticky candy, we’ve had a nice weekend together and Mom is tired.  Here’s a movie.  Eat what you want and watch it twice.”

And I slept.  I barely woke up to eat a bit of dinner and went back to bed.

And if my family time and long nap weren’t enough of a blessing, I woke up Monday morning to rain and cool weather.  I am a huge fan of dark, gloomy, cool weather.  It feeds my soul.

I learned several lessons over the weekend.  1. Don’t put candy in a cooler of ice on a hot day 2. I don’t know enough about superheroes to play that category in Heads Up and 3. Redbox is like magic.

Have a good one!

I Can Be a Big Ol’Baby

I Can Be a Big Ol’Baby

Have you ever thought about how much your relationship with your kids is a reflection of how God sees you?

I like to think about things like that.  Of course, I also like to think about ways to get some chocolate without eating sugar.  And last week I spent a whole afternoon trying to think of how to get new dishes despite not really needing them.

So while I don’t always have deep, deep thoughts, I do find comfort in seeing myself through God’s eyes.  He is so clear in His Word that I am loved and adored by Him, so why do I sometimes wonder if I will be OK?  Why do I think I will not survive a crisis, or at least not be able to stand at the end?  I get so sad and hopeless over small things.

And then I spend a minute dealing with one of my kids and I am suddenly reminded of how God sees me.  I will be in the middle of working with one of my kids who might be whining over the fact that I threw away their “artwork” when I see myself so clearly.  I’ll start to wonder why they are so upset over something so insignificant and then this conversation happens in my head….

What’s that you say God?  I am getting annoyed at my child’s tantrum even though I threw a fit to you yesterday when the A/C went out and I got hot?”


Honestly, while my very grow-up problems seem more important than the kids’ broken toys or lost baseball games, they are really not much different.  If you look at them from God’s view they are very small and insignificant, yet I act like a toddler about them.

Life, my friend, is not actually a bowl of cherries.  If anything, it’s a fruit salad which, along with lovely melons and grapes, has a bunch of sour berries and rotten bananas in it.  Sure we can pick around carefully and only have the sweet melon for a while, but eventually we are going to get a taste of something yucky.

God promises that we will always have comfort, joy, grace and mercy.  But He does not promise us fun or easy.

I say that to my kids, “Life’s not fair, buddy.  I know it’s hard to clean the kitchen all by yourself, but you can do it.”

This is the same thing God says to me!!!  He knows I can handle this stuff that I don’t want to handle.  With His strength I can forgive those who have hurt me or been cruel.  I can do without those new shoes I think I need, and I can make it through a hard day and still be filled with gratitude.  This is what we ask of our children, so we better be able to do it too.

The next time you are dealing with a kid’s bad attitude, stop and check yourself.  Do you ever have that attitude toward God?  I’ll tell you now that the answer is yes.  Yes you do.

This revelation always helps me be more understanding toward my kids.  It may seem small to me when they feel sad because they don’t get to watch the movie they wanted, but my junk seems small to God.  And it helps me be softer.  I still teach them, I still discipline them, I still correct them.  But I am gentler about it when I remember that I am only barely more mature than they are.

It also helps me be less of a brat in my attitude toward God.  When I am feeling whiny about an unexpected car repair draining the bank account I remember, if my child lost $1 and couldn’t buy any candy I would think it was silly.  I’d know there would be another $1 and more candy.  But the child doesn’t see it.  So it’s the same…..God knows I will be alright if I spend all my money on the repair, but I can’t see it.  It’s all about trusting God.  One of the hardest things to do, at least in my personal experience.

I’m not too good at trust.  I fight it.  I could never do those trust falls and I have to work at letting my guard down.  But I am learning that it’s possible to trust someone and I have no doubt that trusting God is the right thing to do every single time.

One of these days I might even become wise and mature.  But probably not anytime soon since I just spent last weekend crying on my husband’s shoulder over the fact that my car wipers stopped working.

Will I never learn that God has it all taken care of in just the way I need?!?!

Be sure to hop over to my article on Thomas Nelson about this same topic, “What Being a Parent Teaches Us About Our Relationship with God.”  It’s a more grown-up version of this post because, well, no offense, but those readers expect maturity.

I would love to hear how your parenting has taught you about your own relationship with God.  Go over to Facebook where we can talk about it more!

An Ungrateful Children Recipe (for helping them, not making them)

An Ungrateful Children Recipe (for helping them, not making them)

This week we have had a houseful!  And for a mom with 9 kids, that’s saying something.  My 4 nieces and nephews are here for 10 days and one of my teens has 2 friends visiting for the week.  That’s 6 extra people.

Now, you’re probably one of those moms who says things like, “There are 42 children at my house today and I LOVE it!”  I meet those ladies and wonder what God was thinking when He made me.  Because if I had 42 extra people staying at my house for 10 days I would be calling them men in white coats to take me away.  I am not that girl.

It’s not just having company that makes it hard, but my own children are ignored when this much is going on and really no one is getting the attention they need.  So the attitudes slip and the fussiness kicks in.

Look, I get it.  Children need to be seen and heard.  And I WANT to take great care of every one.  But sometimes the person bleeding just gets more attention that the person who is crying because their cookie fell on the ground.  It’s a hard fact of life.

I am really enjoying the family being here and the friends and getting to spend time with them all.  BUT  I hit a wall yesterday where I thought that if I heard one more word of complaint or whine about an injustice I was going to lose my ever lovin’ mind.  Mama doesn’t care for whining and crying about how one child didn’t get the same amount of food or another got told he couldn’t play wii right now.  And when I say no, DO NOT ASK ME WHY.

{{OK Lisa, shake it off}}

Of course, each time we have a situation I have been sitting down and talking sweetly to them about the appropriate way to respond to a problem or God’s way to handle disappointment.  But it’s draining. Then yesterday I thought, “Hey, I have all of these essential oils….I wonder if I could ‘brew up a potion’ that would help.”

I already had the oils all out in my bathroom to make some sprays to take with us for a day at the river.  We would need something for the sun and nature we were going be exposed to.  I made a bottle with Purification and peppermint and another with lavender.  Then I glanced over at the case of oils and saw my little bottle of Gratitude and thought, “Hmmmm…..”

So I mixed up this concoction:

An essential oil concoction that every mom needs!

For the rest of the day yesterday and this morning, I have been carrying the spray bottle in my pocket and pulling it out anytime there’s an attitude problem.  I just give it a little spritz over their head and then have my quiet talk with them.

And if you’re wondering, yes, they all know what it is.  They can read.  And amazingly, it does seem to be helping.  I think it’s a combination of the oils and the unspoken message, “You’re being ungrateful,” that is communicated just by me spraying it.

But they have been smiling and listening better when we have out little talks after I use the spray.  And it smells good, which helps.  And it has the added benefit of helping my own attitude as well.

So I thought I’d share the simple recipe with you.

Ungrateful Children Spray: Fill a 2 oz sprayer bottle about 1/2 full of distilled water.  Add 1 tsp of witch hazel (this preserves it, so if you think you’ll use it quickly you don’t need it).  Add 12 drops of Gratitude, 12 drops of Joy and 4 drops of peppermint.  Shake before using.

Summer Outdoors Spray is 20 drops of Purification and 10 drops of peppermint (but in your Premium Starter Kit!).

Since that’s working so well I made 2 more sprays.  I thought I’d just keep the momentum going.

Exhausted Mom Spray has 15 drops of ErRGee, 10 drops of Motivation and 5 drops of Spearmint.

Worn Out Kids Spray has 10 drops of Harmony, 10 drops of lemon, 5 drops of rosemary and 1 drop of black pepper.

I may get a mad scientist coat and start making these for everything!  Mwahahaha!

If you haven’t gotten your Premium Starter Kit yet, HERE and once you order I’ll send you a great reference book and a bunch of other goodies!  Hooray!

Hop over to Facebook and let us know if you try it!

I am not a physician and these are simply the way my family uses the oils.  For a real medical situation please consult your doctor.  Or if your kids just won’t stop complaining, consider sending them to military school. 

Are You Ready to Make Some Life Changes?

Are You Ready to Make Some Life Changes?

I don’t know about you, but I am lagging behind lately.  It’s already March and my brain just shook out the holidays.  That also means that I generally think it’s Tuesday on Friday and even though today is Wednesday I am just getting to my normal Monday activities.

It could be partly because I have been traveling a lot, or it could be something that happens when you pass 50.  I remember my grandfather telling me every time I saw him that he couldn’t believe how quickly time was passing.  I wonder if he thought Thursdays were Tuesday.

But that’s not what I want to tell you about.  I want to share some of the lessons I learned at a seminar I attended last weekend.

I thought I was going to a marketing and business seminar, but it turned out to be so much more.  It was filled with so many great messages that I am going to have to spread it out a little.  It focused on personal growth and it was so, so convicting….in a good way!  Like when you rip off the Bandaid.  It hurts for a second then you feel better than you expected.

If I could I’d just pour out my thoughts on the whole thing, but that would turn into a book.  I’ll give you the Cliff Notes.

  1. You are responsible for your problems, not anyone else, no more excuses, you hold yourself back.


2.  We were divided into 4 personality types and shown ways to understand and communicate with those different from us.  I want to explore this part of the lesson more since, according to what was taught, my personality type is misunderstood a lot.  It’s on me to try to communicate in ways the other 3 styles understand.  I tend to be blunt and most people receive that as me rejecting them or judging them when that’s not what I am doing at all.

3.  We as a country are teaching our kids to live in a poverty mentality.  This is the one message that I brought home and am really exploring.  I want to stop wasting time and money, start being more faithful with what I have and teach my kids to live on less.  In other words, no more fro yo.

4. You can succeed!  Anyone can.  In life, in finances, in relationships, you have more control than you think.  But you have to be willing to really make some changes and most people don’t want to do that.  They kept mention the “2%”.  The idea is that 98% of people don’t want to make the changes necessary to really make a difference in their lives.  They want comfy, easy lives so they stay stuck.  Stuck in debt, stuck in addictions, stuck.  I want to be a part of the 2% who gets free from those bonds.

So I came home all pumped and ready to make some huge changes around here.  I sat down with the kids and we had a meeting, planning ways we can cut back and stop being wasteful.  I asked them to give some thought to ways they can take charge of their own lives.  One of the boys said he knows he wastes a lot of time and he wants to change that.  Another said she was excited to save on our grocery spending.  All in all…..we are on a road to success.

Of course, it’s not going to be easy and I was tempted the first day to go back to my lazy ways.  But I didn’t.  I’m fighting my sin nature and that’s a battle I’m ready to face.  Prayer and determination….here I come.

So how about you?  Do you have a problem you’re ready to really tackle?  Even if it means facing the person in the mirror?

I’d love to hear more and hear how God is working with you.  Hop over to Facebook and continue the conversation!

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!
Oldies but Goodies

Oldies but Goodies

This week I am locked away working on my next book.  It turns out that I write better when I don’t have to do 8 loads of laundry a day or have to grade a dozen math papers.  So I have gone into hiding for a few days to get the first draft finished.  I’ll be back next week, but while I am away I thought I’d remind you of a few older projects in case you’re in the mood for something fun to do.

  1. We just finished moving kids’ bedroom around and the boy’s Lego shelves are being overhauled.  I thought I’d show you these giant Legos I made a few years ago that we put on the shelves to add a bit of a break from the bright colors and plastic.

    How to make a fun extra for the kids room.  Lego decorating.

  2. Also last week I was adding some pumpkins to the front porch and I was enjoying the fun of my painted houndstooth rug and I thought I’d share it with you in case you want to paint one for yourself! 

    How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point

  3. The last big thing we worked on last weekend was cleaning out the kids’ school lockers.  Several years ago I found these old lockers at a flea market and because they were bright yellow the price was low.  No one wanted yellow lockers!  But a few cans of white spray paint later and they were perfect in my living room.  My school kids actually keep their school books in there and the extra lockers hold Wii games and extra school books.

I am always up to a something around the house and I am hoping to do some new arranging over the next few weeks in the living areas.  But don’t tell James.  I like to surprise him.

Be sure to stop by your favorite bookseller and pick up my book “Mama Needs a Do-Over” if you haven’t already!
Have a great week!  Happy fall!
Somebody Bring Me Some Calgon!

Somebody Bring Me Some Calgon!

OK, it’s official.  I am so done with my husband being gone.  I already knew he was the solid one in the relationship, but after a week without him I am more sure than ever that he is the glue and I am all of the random pieces.  The mere sight of one more broken appliance will put me over the edge.

I don’t know how single parents do it.  Or military parents…seriously, you all have my mad respect.

It’s like the whole house goes into some kind of other dimension and the boys don’t get their chores done and as sweet as the girls are, they have been kind of out-of-it for the past several days. And after last week’s M-word situation, I was not sure I was the best person to be leading these troops.  I am fairly sure my 8 year old would have been a better option considering I walked around afraid of my own shadow all week.

Somebody get me the biggest box of Calgon you can find.

Despite being as jumpy as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs, I decided to do something bold and get up Saturday morning to take the whole crew down to the city to participate in a protest at the nearest Planned Parenthood.  These rallies were taking place all around the country and we all felt we should be there.

I say it was bold because….

1. I was husbandless so that meant I was completely responsible for this crew and I think we can all see how that is going.  James and I used to attend these allies fairly often when the kids were little and I remember a few of them getting pretty ugly.

2. The Van.

I was going to have to crank up the old 15-passenger van.  And when I say crank, that’s pretty close to what it’s like.  This old thing has so many miles on it that it could be in the Guinness Book of World Records.  I don’t know how it is still working.  None of us like to drive it, it putters along, the A/C doesn’t work, it smells bad, it rattles like an old roller coaster and worst of all it gets about 2.7 miles to the gallon.

We only use it for emergency family outings, and even then we look into the price of a rental car first.

But I had to use it because we outnumbered the seats in my car and James left the minivan at the airport.  So we found the crank and off we went.

The event was very well organized and besides being so hot you could fry an egg on our foreheads, it went well.  The 600+ people there were peaceful and very upbeat about raising awareness of what is really going on inside that facility.  We saw lots of friends there and were blessed to have been a part of it.

Family participation in a rally

Afterwards I decided to run a few errands.  It’s not often we all go to the city together, it being over an hour away and us having to drive what basically equates to the Beverly Hillbillies’ vehicle to get there.  So we ate lunch then picked up some clothes for the boys.  We are going to Orlando in a few weeks for an awesome blogging event at Universal Studios called Family Forward and the boys needed shorts.  I also decided to get myself a hat, which I am not sure about yet.  Hats don’t like me very much.

We were all worn out from standing in the heat for 2 hours then shopping afterwards, so we drove home in the old van and collapsed.  Later that night we all ate dinner in my bedroom and watched the Duck Dynasty wedding, which was adorable and I cried through almost the whole show.  I love their style (except for the scraggly beards and head bandanas) and the values were so sweet.  Lord, bless them.

After church on Sunday we came home and worked on a video trailer we are making for my book that comes out NEXT WEEK!!!

It’s so close y’all!  Have you ordered yours yet?!

My 12 year old is the director and we had a great afternoon together shooting it.  My daughter Hope did all of the artwork and it’s the cutest thing since Princess Charlotte.  We are wrapping it up this week and you’ll be the first to see it!

working on a book trailer as a family

I fell asleep on Sunday night before the kids even knew I was out. They were all still awake and I just had to trust that they wouldn’t have any loud parties or burn anything because I would have slept through it all.  Mama was DONE.

This week is full of more book promotions and trying to keep my sanity.  Which basically describes my life in a nutshell.

Have a good one!

What’s Your Irrational Fear?

What’s Your Irrational Fear?

James goes out of town each August and it seems like every time something happens.  Last year the A/C went out, the year before that we sprung a leak under the sink.  This year, however, takes the cake.


It happened yesterday morning.  Every day I get out of bed at 6:30, usually groggy and half asleep, and I shuffle into the bathroom, go potty, put on my oils and change clothes for my morning workout.  Well yesterday for some reason I don’t remember, I got undressed first THEN went to the potty.  That is important to the story….you’ll see in a sec.

I was sitting there paying no attention to anything, I don’t even think my eyes were open, when I heard a shuffle and opened my eyes to see a…..I can’t say the word…..starts with M and rhymes with house…..come running out of my shower, rustling the shower curtain, and into the sink area of the bathroom.  Yes.  It was about 8″ from my bare feet.

Scream is not a big enough word for what I did.

Let’s see, how can I describe it?  It was more like a shriek-screech-panic-freakout (“s-s-p-f” for short)

I jumped up from the potty and took off, through the bedroom and down the hallway yelling for a kid to come help me and flipping on lights as I ran.  Just as one of the kids called out from their bed to ask what was going on I realized that I was stark naked.  As a jaybird.

I kind of figured that having your mom screaming through the house when you’re sound asleep is damaging enough without having to see her naked body.  I mean, is it actually possible to scrub your eyeballs?

So while continuing the “s-s-p-f,” I grabbed a blanket to wrap around myself.  The kids started sleepily wandering out of their rooms to see what was happening.  My daughter, who isn’t the least bit scared of the you-know-what, offered to check my bathroom.  She looked all around with a flashlight then declared the room clear.  So using my daughter as a shield, I went back in my bathroom and quickly got dressed.  Then I doused myself in essential oils so I could calm down enough to tie my shoes.

“I’m going for my walk,” I told her in what was mostly a whiny, crying voice, “Do you think you and your brother could try to catch it while I’m gone?”

She agreed to try and actually (and this is where, if she hadn’t been born at home I might have wondered if she had been switched at birth) seemed kind of excited by the challenge.

I got in a good run, adrenaline will do that to you, I couldn’t have walked slowly if I’d wanted to.  Then when I got home I sat down on the front porch and texted inside the house.

“Well?  Is it safe to come in?  I’m scared.”

She let me know that it was completely safe and the you-know-what had been caught and disposed of.

Turns out she had seen it run into another bedroom and let one of our barn cats in there.  Voila!  Problem solved.  One of my girlfriends suggested offering the cat a can of salmon as a reward, but I felt like an hour in the air-conditioning and a you-know-what to play with was reward enough.

The rest of the day I was so jumpy I actually got spooked when a feather blew in front of my leg while I was standing in the backyard.  Every time our new puppy came into the room where I was I’d do a mini “s-s-p-f” again.  My nerves are shot.

I’m not sure how I will make it through the rest of the weekend knowing sometimes these things have friends and family and maybe this was just the frontman of the operation.  I did put every diffuser I own to work, including setting one on the floor of the hallway.  I read that you-know-whats hate peppermint and ravintsara, so I have them diffusing in every room.  I’d douse myself in them if I could.


I mentioned my extreme fear on Facebook and asked what other people’s irrational fears were and many of them said the same as mine, but there were also a lot of folks terrified of spiders, snakes and roaches.  Yep, these are my people.

Now that I have slept for an entire night after the trauma, I think I may actually survive.  But I will confess to standing on my potty this morning tossing empty vitamin bottles into the shower to spook any other little friends out.  After about 5 minutes of nothing happening except for my discovering that I keep way too many empty bottles, I went about my morning normally.  Still shaken, but normal.

And I am planning on an uneventful weekend.

Unless….of course…..a feather drifts past me again.