Covering My Gray Ain’t Easy, but at Least I Got My Closet Cleaned While I Was at It

Covering My Gray Ain’t Easy, but at Least I Got My Closet Cleaned While I Was at It

I decided this weekend was the time to deal with the monstrocity that was my gray roots.  Nothing says “I don’t care” like dark brown hair with an inch and a half of gray at the top.  I used to have my hair colored by the girl who cuts it.  She does such a nice job and it was a treat, but now that I have started doing it myself (to save money, of course, because there’s really no other reason I would take on this task) it’s become a burden.

It’s messy and takes forever and I can’t just sit and take it easy while the color sets because I don’t own all of the lovely tools and equipment they have at the hair salon.  At the salon I sit in a comfy chair reading and relaxing.  I have a plastic cape on with all kinds of clothing protectors around me.  But in my house it’s just me and a junky towel wrapped around my bare shoulders, being held by hair clips.  I do generally have clothing on my lower half, but my top half is only covered by the towel because I have learned the hard way what happens to any shirt you may be wearing while coloring your hair yourself.

And no comfy chair.  I have to stand the entire time so I don’t mess up any furniture.

So this weekend I cleared a couple of hours to deal with my gray and got out all of my hair coloring stuff.  The bottles and gloves and clips and instructions….all laid out on the bathroom counter ready to go.  And if that wasn’t enough, I decided to add a few other colors.  Last January I put some green and purple in my hair and I really liked it.  So I decided to touch those up as well.

I know, I know.  Maybe I am a little too far out of my teens for the colored hair look, but I did it anyway.  It’s not super bright since I have dark hair to begin with and I just did a few spots, not my entire head.  I have always thought that trend was pretty so I went for it.  I put green and purple around the ends of my hair and one small strip in the front.  The colors fade pretty quickly though, so it was time for a touch up.  Since I was already locked in my bathroom with the junky towel around my shoulders why not just do that too?

You can’t do it all at once though.  You have to put one color on dry hair, let it set for half an hour, then wash it out, dry your hair again and repeat with the next color.  Doing 3 colors meant I had a lot of down time in my bathroom.  During the waiting time, since I couldn’t sit, I cleaned out some of my drawers (which are in my closet) and organized my shoes and threw out old makeup and washed the dog.  I don’t like to waste time.  Unless it’s at night after everyone has gone to bed when I watch old mystery shows.  Then I’m all about wasting an hour or so.

And because I was half nekked, my kids couldn’t come in.  So I listened to music and talked to myself.  By the time I had set the last color my clothes were all organized, the dog was clean and I had taught myself how to make albums on my phone.

After my final rinse, I put on a shirt and opened the door, where Levi was waiting to come in and talk to me.  He likes to be wherever I am and tell me all of his ideas.  So while I dried my hair he chattered on and on.  And then, because the bathroom looked like a rainbow explosion, I sprayed Thieves Cleaner everywhere and started wiping every surface.  Levi just kept talking.  My husband James came in the room to see what we were doing, saw my colored hair and told Levi, “You’d better keep an eye on her for me!” then walked out.

I pretended not to hear that, so when I turned around from wiping the sink and looked at Levi he pointed two fingers at his eyes then at me.  I said, “What does that mean?  Are you watching me?” as if I hadn’t heard his dad tell him to.

His reply: “Yep, I watch you whip.  I watch you nae nae.”

SAY WHAT?!  Where does this kid get this stuff??

I promise we have NEVER played that song or sung it.  I wouldn’t even know the words.  I nearly busted a gut from laughing so hard.  Which in hindsight may not have been a good idea since now he will repeat it to everyone who stops to listen.

Even though it was a long, messy process, I am glad to have my hair done.  My roots are brown, my green is brightened, my closet is straight and my bathroom is scrubbed.  And the dog is clean!  What more could a girl ask for?

after this morning’s workout

Have a great week!

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Getting Back to Normal (Kind of)

Getting Back to Normal (Kind of)

I am sitting in a hotel room in a small Texas town with my computer.  I am supposed to be catching up on emails and blog posts, but instead I am shopping all of the Cyber Monday sales.  I can’t help it.  I need these great deals to fill all of the stockings I have to fill on Christmas morning!

I am in this hotel because I drove 6 hours to Dallas yesterday and didn’t want to drive all the way back home late at night.  I am not good at night driving and now that it gets dark at 6:00 I start falling asleep by 8.  So I stopped about 1/3 of the way home and spent the night.  I was in Dallas to see my niece’s play and take my oldest daughter back after she spent Thanksgiving with us.  Another of my girls went along to spend the week there, so the drive was a fun fest of chatting and singing and planning.  I mostly love to listen to them talk to each other.  It’s amazing to have adult kids who really love each other and I just soaked in the sweetness.

I feel like I am still recovering from our Thanksgiving, which was wonderful!  We had 4 families over and there was so much food that I am still full.  We emptied out the living room to add 2 extra tables and everyone brought their favorite dishes and we stuffed ourselves.  There was so much pie that it was slightly shameful.  We could have opened a diner with as much pie as that.  After the food was put away we played games and that is where the magic happened.  We laughed so hard I had sore muscles around my rib cage.  There is nothing better than a day with good food and great friends!  I hope that your holiday was just as wonderful!

We did go Black Friday shopping which turned out to be not so great deals, but a good time anyway.  I had 2 of my girls with me, my 16 year old son and his friend.  We ran around the mall and Target, saw “Mockingjay – Part 2” and ate Chickfila.  I think we spent a grand total of $25 on deals, but it wasn’t about buying.  It was really about the time spent together.

Once we got home from shopping and ate some leftovers, I was worn out.  I laid in my bed at 8:15 and Levi (my 8 year old) came to talk to me.  He scootched under the covers next to me and started to tell me some of his ideas about a book he wants to write and how I can help him with his Disney collection and on and on.  But I was so tired that I kept falling asleep.  He would hear me snore a little and push my shoulder, “Mommy!  You fell asleep again!”.  I tried to stay awake and he kept talking until finally I must have fallen so hard that he gave up because I woke up at midnight with the lights on and he was gone.  Poor kid.  I will make it up to him with a good listening session one night this week.

I am so happy that it’s Monday and we can get back to school and normal activity.  Or as normal as it gets when you have to boil all of your water like you’re living in circa 1807.  Our hot water heater died and we are struggling to figure out what we want to do.  The plumber has been working with us to figure out if we should change over to an instant hot water system or replace the tank.  I don’t really care as long as I can get this settled within the next few days.  When an appliance goes out on Thanksgiving week you really get to discover what you’re truly thankful for.

AND since they say things happen in threes, I am praying this is the last of our appliance deaths for a while.

I need to get back to my cyber shopping before I have to check out of my room.  Have a great week, friends!

Sharing a Moment

Sharing a Moment

Well friends, this past Tuesday I had one of those once in a lifetime moments.  The kind that you will always remember because it is the culmination of a lifelong dream.

I went to lunch with my daughter (we had a sweet time!) and when we arrived back home there were 4 big boxes waiting for me.  I knew immediately what was inside of them….MY BOOK.  For the first time I was going to get to hold the real deal in my little hands.

I almost cried the ugly cry.

The only thing that held me back from excessive tears was that my entire family (aka: whoever happened to be home at the time ‘cuz I wasn’t going to wait) was standing around me as I pulled the tape off of the first box labeled David C Cook.  My publisher.  Everyone gave me room to just experience the moment as I lifted one out of the box.


What looked like a simple moment on the outside was really years and years of dreams and work and watching God do miraculous things in my life and the life of my family.

Since I was a little girl I wanted to write a book, or two or ten.  It was something I was supposed to do, but how on earth does a plain old girl from Texas get a book deal?  I knew God put the dream in me, but I had NO idea HOW He would pull it off.

So I kept honing my craft and continued stepping down each section of path that God lit up for me along the way.  But I could never see the end of that path, or even two steps ahead, it was one step at a time.   It was a lot of waiting and wondering and “this may never happen” moments.

But it did happen.  God moved in amazing ways and one by one the pieces fell into place.  I’d meet someone, who led me to the next step, which gave me another idea and so on.  Each piece of the story is such a God-thing.  How I met my incredible agent is a great story I need to tell you someday.  The other author friends He gave me….unbelievable.  How He provided a beautiful place for me to really dig in and write….I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t lived it.

All leading to this…..


The proof of how excited I was shows in the fact that I didn’t even stop to brush my hair or put on lipstick.  Please just look at the book and don’t focus on how sweaty I was.  It was 107° and I had been outside all morning.  Let’s just be glad that my eyebrows are still there.

And this is an even better picture….


Ham alert on the left

These people have my heart.  They have stuck with me through more failures and mix ups and messes than I care to think about.  This is my cheering section.  And I am theirs.

In fact, several of the kids took a book to their room and started reading it.  That actually never occurred to me….that they would read a book written for moms.  Even Levi got in on the action.  I walked into the living room and found this…


I held back a laugh as I asked him, “Well, how do you like it so far?”  He gave me a serious look and replied, “Well, I’m only on chapter 2, but I’ve learned a lot about being who God made you to be and a little about why you’re so tired.”

I’m calling it.  Best book review I’ll ever get.

The book will be released on September 1, but you can pre-order it now.  In fact, it would be awesomeness if you would go ahead and pre-order because that gives Amazon (or wherever you like to buy) the illusion that I am someone worth paying attention to and they will give it a higher rank-something-or-other that I don’t really understand.

Check out my book page for more details and a link to my 7-day reading plan.

I want to thank you all for your incredible support also!  It’s been a long road and you’ve been a source of strength for me.  I just adore ya!


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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.


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… 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!

The Walk

The Walk

On Saturday I was feeling tired.  Between finishing my book over the holidays (although there will still be plenty of edits!), the struggles of Christmas and gearing up for the busyness of the new year, I was needing a rest.

I worked in our etsy shop in the morning, filling all of the orders and cleaning up since after the holiday rush we just closed the door and left the mess.  Once that was finished, I ate some lunch and laid down for a long winter’s nap.  You know the kind…where you wake up after two hours and can’t figure out where you are or what is happening….

I woke up feeling more tired and thought about calling it a day and just going to bed.  At 4:00.

But first, I decided, it would be good if I got up and put some Thieves on and drink some hot tea.  So, and this is the part that could be considered a mistake, I went out of my room.

As soon as I stepped out of my bedroom door, Levi (age 7) came rushing up to me, “Mommy!  Mommy!  Can I go for a walk with the other kids?!?!?!”

I didn’t know what was going on so I basically just said, “Sure honey.”  (mistake #2….)

He went rushing out the front door calling out, “Hey guys!!!  Wait for me!!!!”

My brain finally caught up and realized that my little one had just gone out into the street and possibly into danger since I had no idea where the older kids were.  For all I knew they were in the guest house watching a movie and Levi would be running down the street all by himself.

I stepped after him onto the front porch just in time to see him stopping at the end of the front walkway looking down the street.  No kids.  He slumped his shoulders and turned toward me, so disappointed.  The look on his face….oh my breaking heart.

And this is where those “Mommy Instincts” wake up.  No matter how we feel or what else we have to do or what our previous plans were or if we are still wearing our pajamas at 4:00 in the afternoon (mistake #3) we say to our child, “Hang on.  I’ll go with you.”

I grabbed an old sweater and my shoes and we went out into the street, hoping to find the other kids quickly.

He hopped along and begged me to “race to the next mailbox” at every driveway (which I did once….mistake #4) and he skipped and was so excited to be out on the street.  We talked about the sun and January and his apps on his ipod.  We made plans for school and how he wants to find a way to get some money and what books we are going to read together.


I vacillated between sinking into the feeling that I might be coming down with the flu and the joys of spending this unexpected time with him.

We did finally catch up with the other kids about a mile down the road.  They were stopping to take pictures, otherwise we would have been too slow to ever find them.  He rushed to them and was happy to be one of the kids, forgetting I was even there.  I waved to let them know I was leaving him with them, then turned and walked home by myself.  In my pajamas.  And a mess of hair.  I prayer that no neighbor would drive by and want to stop and chat.

I fell onto my bed when I got home….enjoying the empty house almost as much as I enjoyed my time with Levi.

And as I drifted back to sleep I thanked God for every “mistake” I had made that day.

The End.

(P.S. Let me know if you want any more info on my beloved essential oils!….they are amazing!)

This Mamma Doesn’t Do Midnight

This Mamma Doesn’t Do Midnight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great week!

A Sweet Bible Storybook Giveaway

A Sweet Bible Storybook Giveaway

It’s time for another sweet book review and giveaway!

Sometimes I just want to read simple Bible stories to my kids.  We look at the pictures and talk about the art and story and how it works into God’s plan for us.  Just good old Bible time.

Sweet Bible Storybook Giveaway

This book, God’s Love For You Bible Storybook, is nice and thick with stories for the kids about God’s love.  I have had it on my coffee table for the past month making it easy to pick up and read when we have just a few extra minutes.

Bible Storybook Giveaway

And now you can win one for yourself.  It would make a great Christmas gift or new mom gift if you don’t have little ones of your own!

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The Blessings Jar

The Blessings Jar

I just love reading to my kids.  We sit down nxt to each other on the couch and spend time learning something new or going to another world or being touched by someone else’s journey.  It’s a great way to be together.

Levi and I like to read a little book together each day.  At 6 years old he absorbs new ideas so easily and takes them into his little heart.  That’s why I am careful what I read to him. And this book, “The Blessings Jar: A Story About Being Thankful” by Colleen Coble is one of those books that teaches a good lesson while still being entertaining.

The little girl in the story is having a grumpy day.  He could relate to that….he has grumpy days.  She learns to be thankful for her blessings.  Levi said to me, “I could make a blessing jar!”  So sweet.

After we read it I gave him a jar and he would put little things in it to show me his blessings.  I’m looking forward to reading it to him again several times to drive the message home.  Plus I need to hear it myself.  Hey, maybe I need a blessings jar of my own.

You can win a copy of this sweet book! Just enter below….

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This post contains affiliate links.

Lots Going on Around Here!

Lots Going on Around Here!

There are so many things I haven’t caught you up on since April ended.  That was a really crazy month for us with me doing so much traveling and James wrapping up tax season.

1. Our daughter Hope is graduating this year.  She has worked really hard to finish all of her school and be done with it.  She’s not a natural student, so I think she’s looking forward to having time to do some things that are more of her own interests.  We are not having a graduation ceremony.  She didn’t care about it and we couldn’t find a good time to do it, so we’ve decided to take a little trip instead.  That fits her personality better.  But we will send out announcements.  Here’s the picture we are using….she’s a beauty!

2. Speaking of traveling, I’m planning a few simple summer trips:

*In June some of my daughters and I will head to Kansas City for the One Year Adventure Novel Summer Workshop.  If you have a budding writer, this workshop is fabulous!  We went last year and my kids were so inspired that we can’t wait to go again.  I’d be glad to answer any questions about it if you think it’s something you might want to do.

*Most of us will be attending the Teach Them Diligently Marketplace in Houston in July.  I don’t know if my whole family will go since we have the farm animals to tend to.  But it will be nice to also visit with my parents while we are there.  If you’re going, please let me know so we can meet!

*In August I will be heading to California for a women’s retreat in Rancho Mirage, CA.  I will be the keynote speaker and I am super excited!  If you are in the area and are interested in attending let me know and I can email you more information.

3. We’ve got new products in the shop and more on the way!  I’ve added Mason Jar Straw Lids with Acrylic Straws for the kids.  We did a fun photo shoot last weekend for those and my boys clowned it up for the camera.

4. Lastly, I have a great series coming up about siblings.  I get so many questions asking how we did it….our kids get along so well.  So I am working on a 6 part series starting in June on that subject.  Stay tuned!

Have a wonderful day and enjoy your family!

Instagram My Way

Instagram My Way

As y’all know, I am loving me some Instagram.  It’s a quick, fun way to share pictures of little things throughout my day.  Doesn’t it make you wonder if someday there will just be a way to speak and it goes out to the great unknown?  Or think?  Oh no.  You don’t want to know my thoughts.  Let’s just stick to pictures.


Along with Instagram comes my newfound passion for photo apps.  I have a few that I use regularly that I want to share with y’all.  I thought I’d show you the way I edit a photo before I stick it on my Instagram feed.

1. Of course, I take the picture. 

I asked Levi to stand still while I took his picture.

Come on, be serious.


OK, think of Spiderman eating ice cream.

There we go.  Snap.

2. Snapseed

I run the image through my favorite app, Snapseed.  Here I can tweak the brightness and colors and crop.  I can even add a bit of bokeh, like I did here.  Then I saved it to my camera.

3. FX Photo Studio.

I love, love, love FX Photo Studio when I am in the mood to embellish a picture.  This app has TONS of special effects for images.  I like to just try a few….


Nah, maybe this.

Finally, I settled on this one and saved it to my camera.


4. Phonto

Adding text is fun!  There are several apps I like for text, but for this I used Phonto.  It lets me create images without a picture.  I chose the voice bubble and played around with the colors.  At last I decided on this and, again, saved it to my camera.

5. Picframe

Picframe is another app I use a LOT.  I can put several images together to make a collage and it’s really easy to use!  For this image, I chose the frame with 2 vertical rectangles, on the left opened the text bubble I made and put the image on the right.  Then….yep….save to my camera.


6. Post to Instagram

Did I mention that I LOVE Instagram?  But be sure you check your text before you hit send.  In this one I meant to say, “Somebody loves to ham it up for the camera,” but instead I wrote, “Somebody lives to gam it up for the camera.”  Oh well….at least it still kind of made sense.

Instagram has several good effects also, but I didn’t use any here because I had already done so much editing it didn’t need more. 

If you didn’t really read any of this post, I want to be say that my best tip is to save each edit to your camera.  That allows you to layer edits and gives your pictures that great pop!  You can go back and just delete them after you finish.

This whole thing from picture to going on Instagram took me about 3 minutes.

And if you’re looking for some other people to follow, come join me and 3 other bloggers on the last Saturday of the month for our Saturday Social.  We’ll all be linking up our Social Media accounts to make it easier to connect with other great people… YOU!

I hope you’ll join us!

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more fun!