The Story of the Washer and Dryer

The Story of the Washer and Dryer


Do you ever have a moment of, “How did I get myself into this?”  Well that describes my entire Saturday.

It started a few weeks ago when I noticed that our washing machine wasn’t draining all of the water out and the clothes were dripping wet after the cycle ran.  So after each wash, I would have to run an extra rinse and spin cycle.  OK, no big deal.  That only doubles my laundry time, which is pretty lengthy already.  THEN, the dryer started to get fussy,  I assume it was wanting some extra attention since the washer was being so demanding, and it stopped drying as well as it used to.  The clothes would come out damp.  So I started hanging half of the wet clothes on the line outside and the other half stayed in the dryer.   I do actually enjoy the simplicity of hanging clothes on the line, but I didn’t see it as being a long term solution.  I’m no Ma Ingalls.

In defense of my machines, they are both over 12 years old and in washer/dryer years that’s like 115.  They have been troopers about the extreme workload that is expected of them in our home.  So maybe they were just dying of old age and exhaustion.  But last Friday, the washer bid us its final farewell.  We knew from the banging noise and burning smell coming from our utility room that it was over.

I called a repairman and he came to call time of death.  “No point in trying to fix it,” he said, “the _____ is completely busted and the ______ needs replacing which would mean pulling out the ______ and ______.  It just ain’t worth it.” (I don’t speak repairman so this is a loose interpretation)

He told me the dryer wasn’t far behind, so may as well replace them both.

I texted James and let him know that our Friday night date just went from dinner and a movie to walking around Lowes trying to find good deals on laundry sets.  And by good deal I mean not a good deal because these machines are so expensive now that I think the two of them cost more than my first car.  He wasn’t happy about it, but after 29 years of marriage he was smart enough to know that he would be less happy living with a wife who had to drive 10 miles to the Laundromat every day with 6 loads of dirty boys’ clothes in her car.

We took our time, looking at each machine and Googling reviews and trying to gulp down how much money we were about to spend.  We found a dryer in the clearance section that we decided to buy because it was significantly reduced in price, then chose the matching washer that they had in stock and we could take it home to install first thing in the morning.  Great.  Ring it up.  Oh sure, our next 2 sons won’t be able to go to college, but they will have clean clothes.

The next morning was install time, aka tear the house apart and make messes that will take weeks to clean up.  Because the new washer is a top load and the old ones were front load on pedestals, I had to tear out the shelf that spanned the top of my machines and remove another shelf across from them.  That meant finding new places to store all of the things that we kept in the shelves and drawers we were removing and not replacing.  Plus, I don’t know about you, but I tend to find things I didn’t even know I have when I empty cabinets which left me with a plethora of odd and ends that are still sitting in my kitchen while I try to find new homes for them.  It’s everything from a specialty light bulb to party napkins.  I’m at a loss.

The kids pitched in and we got the room emptied and cleaned after a couple of hours, although the kitchen looked like a utility room bomb had gone off.  James jumped in at that point to install the new machines, which involved 2 trips to the hardware store and at least an hour of digging around in our garage looking for spare dryer parts we could rig because the “great deal” we got turned out to be missing some essential pieces.  I only cried twice, which is a good day in our world.

After a few more hours, they were both scooted into place and ready to try.  I loaded exactly 6# into the washer, according to the manual and turned it on for its inaugural run.  Beautiful.  It swished and cleaned the clothes like any good youngster.  I felt kinda sorry for it, all innocent and showing off without knowing what it was about to get itself into.  We run our machines pretty much all day every day.

I piddled around during its cycle to keep my eye out for leaks, excessive shaking or any protests from the machine, which was great because it gave me 45 minutes to put away some of the junk that we had piled in the kitchen.  It did great, no problems.  When it was done, I reached in to pull the laundry out and made a startling discovery….. in order for me to get the clothes in the bottom of the machine I have to stand on my tiptoes, lay my stomach across the front of the machine and tip myself all the way into the drum with my head and some of my upper body inside of the washer.  My feet actually have to lift off of the ground.

Flashes of falling in, screaming for help and my family not hearing me for hours only to walk into the utility room one afternoon and find me head down in the washer with my legs kicking wildly went through my mind.  This. Is. Not. Good.

And the dryer is not much better.  The opening is so low to the ground and the drum is so deep that I practically have to get on my knees and, again, get inside of it to reach the clothes in the back.

Here’s the good news: Our clothes are clean (and the utility room is spotless).
Here’s the bad news: I think I am going to return the washer and dryer and get another set of front loaders with pedestals.

I just can’t see myself doing this when I’m 60.  I could break a hip.  Or die a sad and unnecessary death.

When I informed James that I thought I was going to return them, he looked at me, stumped.  I am sure it sent a panic through him of having to go through this whole experience next weekend.  All he said to me was, “But, but, they are here now and usable. Plus it will cost so much more!”

Yes dear, but you will be saving on the chiropractor bills from the back issues I would have from loading and unloading these machines over and over.  Not to mention the cost of taking me out to dinner every night because I am too exhausted from trying to wedge myself out of the washer three to five times a day.

He managed to convince me to try them for another week and then decide.  You’re my friends, so I am telling you now…. if I disappear in the next 7 days, call someone and tell them to check the washing machine.

My Fear is Going to Get Expensive

My Fear is Going to Get Expensive

Last week after spending several days hiding away in deep thought and writing, I was glad to be home to my simple, sweet life and beautiful family.  What I was NOT glad to get home to was the…er…situation that had occurred while I was gone.  You wouldn’t think anything this big could happen in less than a week, but apparently it can.

We have an official M-word situation.

I found out about it after I was doing some laundry.  I was peacefully moving clothes from the washer to the dryer when James came in and said in a tone that was out of character for him, “Lisa, you need to go out of here for a minute.”  It was the way he said it, so gentle and sweet, that sent me into immediate panic.  Like when someone says to you, “Sit down honey, I have something to tell you,” in their most remain-calm voice.  Fear goes up your spine.

And since we were doing things that were out of the ordinary, I just left the room.  I put the wet laundry down and walked away.  James must have been kind of surprised at my lack of arguing because he called after me, “Well look at you being all submissive!”. I could tell he was smiling even though I never turned around to see.  But I wasn’t really being submissive.  I was really pretty sure I could read between the lines and knew there was a you-know-what somewhere in the utility room and he was trying to keep me from seeing it.

Later on after my heart stopped pounding I decided to take the risk and ask him if this was a one time problem or if it had been ongoing.  He laid his hand on my shoulder and in the style of a great politician he answered me squarely, “We have it completely under control.”

Um….. yeah.  That doesn’t comfort me at all.  You may was well tell me that the atomic bomb is not going to land DIRECTLY on top of my house.  Oh well that’s just great.

I didn’t ask more questions.  I really didn’t want to know, but a couple of the boys while overhearing this brief conversation blurted out some disturbing information about things that had happened while I was gone.  I have never seen my husband move so fast as he leapt to put his hand over their blabby little mouths.  “SHHHH!!!!” he said then turned a guilty grin in my direction, “Really honey, we are handling it.”

So of course, last night I didn’t sleep a wink.  I just knew there must be dozens (or more) of those nasty creatures scurrying around in the dark doing who knows what in my house and what if one was in my bedroom?!?!?  I decided that the next day I would have to go to a hotel. Obviously.

And of course, I won’t be able to cook or do laundry since the kitchen and utility room seem to be their favorite hangouts.  We will be eating out from now until either an exterminator ends this invasion or the house burns down.  I am hoping for #1.

I informed James this morning of all of these plans and he laughed like I was being ridiculous.  Um, dude, if you thought I was hard to live with BEFORE this infestation, you ain’t seen nothing’.  In the nearly 30 years that we have been married I have held back the kind of crazy that is about to come loose if we don’t get rid of these things immediately.

I may need to send him a Hallmark card to apologize in advance.

When you are terrified of mice....

Do you think Hallmark makes those?  I mean, I have seen crazier cards.  Once I saw a card that said, “I am sorry you lost your job, but let’s be honest, you weren’t very good at it.”.

Now, I know that some of you are reading this and thinking that I am having an overreaction to a normal life happening and that I live on a farm and should not be bothered by this. Well just because I have horses and chickens and way too many cats does not mean I am comfortable with rodents inside my house!  In fact, what is the problem with my cats anyway?!  Shouldn’t they be helping here?!?!

I know that my fear is doesn’t make sense, but I think we are each allowed to have one irrational fear in our lives.  I am not afraid of flying or heights or germs….OK I am a little afraid of germs.  But this M-word thing is literally an I-think-I-am-gonna-throw-up kind of problem.  My instant reaction is complete hysteria followed by crying in the corner.  I can’t help it.  It goes all the way back to my childhood and watching my mother and grandmother standing on the kitchen table while my 5 year old brother chased a mouse through the kitchen with a broom.

Not that I blame them one bit.  I completely understand their fear and have no doubt that I have passed it on to my children.  There are worse things to be afraid of I guess.  I mean, this doesn’t come up very often in life.  Unless they become missionaries in a place where this is a regular issue, in which case I guess they will have the blessing of learning to overcome a fear.

But I plan to just avoid it at all costs, literally.

And now, to prepare my weekly menu, avoiding any actual time in the kitchen and not doing laundry.  It’ll be a challenge friends, but believe me, I am motivated!  And if you pass my house and see me in my front porch rockers, it isn’t because I have gone all Mayberry.  It’s because I am scared to go into my house.

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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!

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.


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.


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.


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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A Second Honeymoon

A Second Honeymoon

Last week was BIG for me!  James and I, for the first time since having kids over 25 years ago, went away for the week.  Just the 2 of us.  It was a second honeymoon and where did we go?  Disney World of course!

Yes, just me, James and thousands of couples with small children.

We had a wonderful time together.  We flew to Florida early last Sunday morning and had the entire day to wander around the different resorts and see what they are each like.  It was something I have always wondered about….those fancy places that I’ll never be able to afford.  We texted pictures to the kids because I was feeling pretty awkward being there without them.

I did get over that after the first day.  They were having a great time at home watching all of the movies they wanted and eating pizza.  They kept telling me to go enjoy myself.  So I did.

That first step into Magic Kingdom gave me such a thrill.  It’s so clean and cheerful, like walking into a dream.  We ran around all day and unwound amidst the crowd and lines.  I kept looking at the castle and thinking, “I can’t believe I’m here!”

On day 2 we went to Hollywood Studios (my favorite park!) and I decided to do my hair in honor of the starlets of past eras.

Fun hairstyles for Disney!

It was fun to go glam for a day!  So much fun that I went all animal kingdom the next day.

fun Disney hairstyles!

I made a crown with my hair…..It was a lot bigger in person than it looks in the photo.  I plan to mess around with more if I ever go back to Disney so I can really make a BIG hair crown!

By my last day I was in the mood to really play, so of course I did it total Disney style.  Minnie Mouse ears!!!!

fun Disney hairstyles!

The whole week we ran around like youngsters, riding rides and eating snacks and really had a grand time!

One of the things I enjoyed the most was watching the young families.  There was plenty of time while we waited in lines or on buses to just people watch.  The men especially interested me.  Young guys, in their late 20s/early 30s who were there with their wives, a few young kids and their in-laws.  I kept looking at their faces and imagining these guys who only a few years ago were in college working toward their dreams.  I thought that they must have never pictured themselves walking around Disney World lugging a stroller and wearing a t-shirt with a Mickey Mouse silhouette that said “Daddy” on it (matching the “Mommy” t-shirt his wife wore, of course!).  At first I thought these guys seemed a little defeated, as if he would rather be doing pretty much anything else.  But then I’d see it….the twinkle.  Every time he looked at his kids.  Every man.  On every bus and in every line, lit up when he looked at his little princess or pirate.

And it just warmed me inside.  I know that James and I twinkle when we look at our kids, but to see so many families really enjoying their children was such a delight.  I didn’t notice that on my last trip, probably because I was too busy staring at my own adorable crew.

On Friday night as we drove home from the airport I said to James, “Hey, I don’t think we talked about kids or money or the house falling apart even once while we were gone!”  It was like a teeny tiny miracle.  Total relaxation mixed with eating too much sugar and watching a lot of 3D shows = heaven.

And now we are planning our NEXT Mom and Dad only getaway.  Only next time we think we might want to do something a little less….um…..tiring.  Like maybe a beach somewhere that has cabana boys bringing you drinks and the waves just come to you.

I mean, it was great, but I was so worn out when we got home that I wasn’t sure if I would recover.  I’m still exhausted.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

In My Mind I’m the Hare but in Reality I’m the Tortoise

In My Mind I’m the Hare but in Reality I’m the Tortoise

Will it bore you to know that I am still working on my kitchen?  I used to be fast as lightening at these kinds of projects.  But that was when I was not only younger, but my kids were younger and I could just put them in a room with a new Lego set and a box of sugar cereal and they barely noticed I wasn’t paying attention to them.

These days my kids require more effort than I can buy with toys and Fruit Loops.  They need school lessons and to be driven here and there.  They have their own agenda that often requires my assistance, which can slow down a kitchen makeover.  And myself, I move more slowly.  It’s weird isn’t it?  I feel like I am moving at a normal pace.  But I am proven wrong when I am in front of one of the kids in the hallway and it causes a traffic jam, complete with honking.

I hope the fable is true, “slow and steady wins the race.”  If so, then I am going for grand champion.

I’d say we are 2/3 finished.  The white cabinets are all painted and ready to be waxed.  I like the look of wax over chalk paint.  I have been doing that technique since before it was cool and will likely still be using doing it long after Pinterest is flooded with a new trend.  It’s durable and looks professional.  The axing does add more work, but it’s so worth it!

This weekend, in addition to painting, we hung a new cabinet and new microwave.  It sounds great until you have to figure out how you are going to add trim to all of it to hide the flaws in your hanging skills and make it look like the rest of the old kitchen.  The shininess of the new microwave is already putting my electric range to shame.  But not to worry, it will be grimy in no time and fit in with the rest of my appliances just fine.

Yesterday was my oldest child’s 25th birthday, so of course I got very little done because I was wallowing in a deep depression.  I can’t figure out how this happened.  She was born, she hopped around the house with a pacifier between her teeth telling us all what to do, she was a grown up.  1-2-3.  Where was the middle?!

We did our usual special birthday breakfast where they get to choose anything they want to eat.  Then we opened gifts and just hung around talking.  The weather here has been amazing, so the doors were open and I put peppermint in the diffuser to keep us all uplifted.  It did help my general despair over how fast she grew and I got a bit of painting and cleaning done as well.  So hooray for peppermint and 75°.

Later this week we have another birthday (I may go into a puddled mess over this one….someone send Kleenex!) and some light plans.  We try to stay close to home and uncommitted toward the end of tax season to make it easy for James, who needs to completely focus on work.  And in case you’re looking for help, he has a website.

Last week I read on Facebook about a friend who fell asleep while doing her taxes.  That would be me.  Truth be told, the fact that he does taxes and bookkeeping is the thing that I find most attractive about my man.  I mean, six pack abs are nice, but what good are they when the IRS calls?

Have a great week!


9 Things You MUST Have at Disney!

9 Things You MUST Have at Disney!

This post contains affiliate links.

Last November our family took a dream trip to Disneyworld.  It was just as magical as they say…except for the part where James and I had to keep up with 9 young people with varied levels of energy and interest.  He and I were like ships in the night….I knew he was in the vicinity but we rarely saw each other.

So we decided that since we never do anything for our anniversaries or take romantic trips, we would go back together…just the two of us.  And believe it or not, we have actually made plans and put down a deposit to go this spring!

I learned some things while we were there last time that will definitely help us have a great time this next trip and I thought I’d share some of my best tips with you!

Planning a Disney trip?  This is a must have list from a mom of 9!

1. Camelbak – I tend to get dehydrated very easily.  And I am a little bit (OK a lot) picky about my water.  I like bottled.  No tap water.  No drinking fountains.  And I am ultimately lazy and don’t want to carry a water bottle around with me.  So I got myself a Camelbak and I LOVED it!  I would fill it with a few water bottles and some ice, then I had cold water for hours.  PLUS it held my other needs…money, lip balm, tissues, etc.

2. Pockets! – Since I only wear skirts and dresses, I don’t often have pockets.  But I found some great tops that have big pockets and MAN did I use them!  It was so great to slip my sunglasses into my pocket when I needed to take them off and hold something for my kids.  I came home with pockets full of smashed pennies.

3. Comfy shoes – according to my UP band, I walked an average of 17,000 steps a day.  We were on.the.move!  So I wore my OTZ Shoes every day and seriously, my feet never hurt at all.  Whatever shoes you are comfortable in…WEAR THEM!

4. Smart Phone – well, I never go anywhere without it anyway, and of course we took all of our photos with it, but I was doubly glad to have it with me because the app, My Disney Experience, was a lifesaver!  It kept up with our fast passes, dinner reservations, maps, wait times on rides, everything we needed!

5. Ziploc bags – speaking of phones, I kept a Ziploc Snack Bags in my pack to stick my phone in when we went on water rides.  I never worried about it getting wet!  And I carried a few extra that came in handy many times.  Someone didn’t have their retainer case (although that probably won’t happen when it’s just James and I), leftover food from dinner, a kid wanted to keep something they found…over and over it was nifty to have a few small Ziplocs with me.

6. Dining Plan – no, seriously, I will never go there again without getting the dining plan!  We had a fancy dinner reservation each day and ate places we would never have gotten into, much less been wiling to spend the money while we were there.  We got a second, quick meal each day which was amazing and then one snack, which I mostly ate frozen lemonade and plan to eat lots more of it when we go back.  It was so great for the kids because they had their meals on their Magic Bands and could just get food when they wanted without asking permission.  Brilliant Disney.  Brilliant.

7. No jewelry – Yes, I love my jewelry.  But this is not the place to wear it; I only wore my UP Band (which I don’t think of as jewelry).  I didn’t even wear a wedding ring.  You really want to be as free of extras as possible, especially anything that would be upsetting to lose!  Sure, carry a Ziploc bag, but leave the earrings at home.

8. Free time – on our last trip it was go-go-go from sunup to sundown.  James and I, being old and all, plan to slow it down significantly.  Yes, we may miss a ride or two but the slower pace will undoubtedly help us enjoy it more.  You can’t see it all anyway, believe me.  We tried.

9. Thieves Mints – I kept these in my pack and handed them out often, to whoever I was with (we were split up a lot).  It not only kept our breath fresh, but the Thieves helped keep our immune systems strong.

That’s my simple list of how I plan to make my future trip to Disney as magical (and easy) as I possibly can!

Do you have any Disney tips to share?

By the way, all of our Disney arrangements were made by my friend Amy at Polka Dots & Wishes and she was incredible!  I didn’t hesitate to ask her to plan our next trip for James and I….if you reach out to her to plan your trip, be sure to tell her I sent you!

Where to Find TRUE Encouragament

Where to Find TRUE Encouragament

I’ve been working, working, getting ready for the Summit, which means a lot of time spent reading the Bible as I prepare for a couple of sessions I am teaching.  And a lot more time praying.  Praying for wisdom, praying for each woman in attendance, praying for the hotel servers… many things to lift up to the throne of grace!

What amazes me is how uplifted I am from all of it.  Even though I am not reading for my own needs, He uses it to minister intimately to me.  Even though I am not asking for help for my own trials, He blesses me through my prayers and gives me encouragement.

His grace and mercy and wisdom covers ALL of that and MORE!


So I had to share the encouragement with you on YouTube.


My friends, dig into His Word!  Spend time in prayer!  Let Him pour the living water into your thirsty spirit.

One last thought I want to share is to be careful that you look for the kind of encouragement that God supplies and not from people who will just say what makes you feel good.  People will fail you.  People can mislead you.  But God never can!  Be willing to hear the absolute truth and not just what justifies your own ideas and wants.  That is the only way to really find joy and peace.

Have a beautiful day!!!

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Moms Need a Night Off!

Moms Need a Night Off!

This week’s YouTube video is about a subject near and dear to my heart….taking a break!

I have shared this with many groups when I speak and I always get a food of emails afterward asking me questions about how it works.  I go into some of it in the video and in this older post, but I want to answer a few more questions.


Q: How do you get your husband to agree?
A: You shouldn’t try to manipulate him, but simply lay out the idea.  The more you can make it easy for him the better it will work.  We don’t want to overwhelm the poor guy.  Have the house cleaned up and the kids in a good mood.  Don’t try to control what happens while you’re gone…this is their time.  When you get home, don’t complain if it’s messy or he did something “wrong”.

Q: But I don’t trust anyone else to take care of my kids.
A: Mom, your kids will be fine for a few hours without you.  In fact….it is GOOD for them and for Dad to spend time together without you.  Ask God to help you let go of trying to control everything.  It’s not healthy!  To quote the most annoying song of 2014, “Let it go!  Let it go!….”

Q: What if I have a nursing baby?
A: Sometimes I would take the baby with me, sometimes I would nurse then leave for a couple of hours, sometimes I would stay home and lock myself in my bedroom.  You can still get a break when you’re nursing.  In fact, I remember several times I used my night off to SLEEP!

Q: My kids won’t leave me alone in my room!
A: You can teach your kids not to bother you when you need a break.  The trick is not to answer them when they call or give in to their manipulation.  Your husband (or whoever is helping) is perfectly capable of taking care of that they need.  You could even practice it for 10 minutes during the day for a week or so to make sure they get the concept.

Q: What kinds of things do you do?
A: Honestly, my favorite thing is to go in my bathroom and have time for personal care.  I scrub my face, straighten the bathroom and bedroom, clip my fingernails, condition my hair, etc.  That is how my bathroom stays clean and I get my grooming time in.  I listen to praise music or podcasts and get my soul taken care of at the same time.


All moms need a break and this is a great post with tons of encouragement and ideas!

If you have other questions leave them in the comments and I’ll try to help!

Are You Feeling Overwhelmed?

Are You Feeling Overwhelmed?

Some practical, godly tips for women who are struggling with depression, hopelessness and feeling overwhelmed.  #parenting #forwomen #christian

Feeling overwhelmed is something everyone experiences….some of us more than others.

I get hundreds of emails and messages from women who are overwhelmed, struggling with depression and feeling hopeless.  I wish I could have each of you over for an iced tea with Sonic ice and some real fellowship.

I’m here to share some hope with you.  This week’s YouTube video has 3 tips for what to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed and depressed.  I can’t take away your problems, but I can tell you what works for me when I feel that ugly old hopelessness creeping in.

Before you go…..I want to leave you with even more encouragement from the One who CAN take away your problems….

Matthew 19:26 “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

John 13:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”

Psalm 28:7 “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.”

Psalm 142:3 “When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.”

Psalm 61:2 ” From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

I am praying for you…even if I don’t know you, God does.