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?”

OUCH!

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!

10 Encouraging Tips for Homeschooling Mamas

10 Encouraging Tips for Homeschooling Mamas

As you may know, we homeschool our kids.  Yep, all 9 of ’em.  They have never been to any kind of traditional school and at this point 5 of them are homeschool graduates.  Currently I have 4 kids still  homeschooling….all boys.

As you can imagine, it’s not easy to homeschool.  But the hard part isn’t getting information in their brain.  They’re naturally curious and smart and desire to learn (OK, they don’t always desire to learn what you’re trying to teach but they are natural learners).  The hard part is figuring out consequences for poorly done work, creating an environment where they can concentrate, being available to teach lessons while trying to get meals on the table, working out schedules and extra activities, discipline.  The hard part is getting other people to understand that you can’t just drop everything and talk on the phone or go out.  School is work and it requires sticking to a schedule just like anything else.

But the benefits….oh my word it would be impossible for me to list them all.  Besides the amazing, focused education the kids get, there’s the relationship that gets built.  They have someone teaching them who loves them completely and is invested in their future.  They get to go at their own pace, so if they want to move faster through the books they can, if they want to learn more about some subjects, they can do that too.  And while there is a schedule, there is also flexibility.  If we decide we want to work at the local food pantry one morning a week, we can build that into the schedule.  Park day, classes outside, a weekly day off, starting at 10am, whatever works best for your family can be arranged.

I have loved homeschooling my kids, and I have hated homeschooling my kids.  Some of mine have learning challenges and some have occasional attitude problems and sometimes I just wake up not sure I can do it that day.  There have been times when we had a difficulty I had no idea how to tackle.  From reading comprehension to lack of interest to time management to cost issues….we have had our share of struggles.

And then there are the beautiful moments that make it all worthwhile.  When you’re sitting there as the curtain pulls back on a child’s mind and they really get it.  They read that first word and you see the world open up to them.  When they fall in love with history or science.  When you figure it out together.  Those moments of heart connection….swoon.  Reading books aloud as a family, watching their “plays” and listening to them practice their instruments for you.  What. A. Blessing.

So homeschooling is the story of the good, the bad and the beautiful.  Some days are successes and others are dismal failures.  You learn to get up the next day, put your armor on and try it again.  You see the progress you have made and cling to it like a life raft on the Titanic.

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If you’re a homeschooler, here are some tips from this old homeschooling mama to you:

  1. Let go of the opinions of others.  Nothing will help you more than to release yourself from feeling the weight of the words of others.  The mother-in-law who shows a lack of confidence in your homeschooling or the neighbor who constantly “quizzes” your kids are no help to your very important task.  Not everyone will understand or support you.  OK.  Move on.  Find a support system in others and let the nay-saying go.
  2. Don’t compare yourself to other homeschoolers.  Not all homeschoolers look alike.  Some moms are teaching their kids Latin and taking them to the state senate chambers to learn how government work while you’re barely out of your pajamas hoping they get half of their math pages done before dinner.  It’s different for everyone.  Don’t let what other moms are doing set you back and put a guilt trip on you.  You are on your own path and that’s what your kids need.
  3. RELAX.  My number one tip to any homeschool mom who asks for my advice is to relax.  You can’t possibly offer your kids everything that traditional schools offer….you don’t have the time or resources.  You don’t need to rush anything or pressure your child to keep up with someone else’s system.  Enjoy your days together!  Moms who try to do too much end up burning out and feeling guilty. There’s no reason to do that to yourself!
  4. Go at your own pace.  This isn’t a race.  There’s no prize for finishing your books by May or getting it done early.  When you make your plans be sure to consider what your family needs.  Is there a new baby coming?  Maybe plan a month off for that time.  Do you love Christmas?  Take an extra week to enjoy it.  Take a vacation in the middle of the school year (one of the fantastic perks of homeschooling!) or take Fridays off.  Who cares if you are still finishing up school work in July?  Who says summer should have no schoolwork?  We always do school in the summer.  It works for us.
  5. Enjoy it! This time with your kids is about so much more than learning math or memorizing geography.  This is being together, building character, living life and becoming who we are all supposed to be!  I learn as much as my kids do most days.  Do you like to be outside?  Go out there and have school lessons!  Are you on the road a lot….make fun ways to do school in the car.  Laugh and slow down and take rabbit trails and be creative.  We have had school on the top of Enchanted Rock and at the bottom of an empty creek bed.  Don’t limit yourself and enjoy this time!!!
  6. Be realistic.  Some days you simply won’t get everything done that you hoped.  This is true for everyone, of course, but it feels so daunting when you fall off the plans in homeschool.  Moms say to me all the time, “We are so far behind!”  I always ask, “Behind WHAT?!”  Why do you feel pressure to keep up with an arbitrary schedule?  Expand it to fit your needs, adjust it to work for you, tweak it to fit your lifestyle.  The rush is imaginary and we let it drag us along for no good reason.  If you can’t keep up…..change the plan!  Be honest with yourself about what you can really do.
  7. Don’t try to be SuperMom.  She doesn’t exist.  Your friends on Instagram….they’re not showing you the tantrums and messes.  We all have them.  It’s when we put pressure on ourselves to perform at some crazy level that we start to crash.  You can’t teach all day, make gourmet meals, keep a beautifully clean, Pinterest worthy house and keep up with violin/piano/karate/dance/speech&debate, the list goes on.  Here’s a word of wisdom for you:  Just do what you can do.  Deep, huh?
  8. Ask for help.  If you’re struggling….please tell someone!  This is hard stuff and your struggles are normal.  Your friends care about you and want to be there for you.  I’m not talking about complaining….I’m talking about being honest.  I once had a problem that I could not figure out how to solve.  My son, who was 7 at the time, could not add tens but he could add dimes.  I mean it nearly drove me up the wall and out the door.  I would sit down to do math with him and no matter how many times we went over it he could not add ten to anything. “Son,” I would say ever-so-sweetly, “What is 5 + 10?”  He didn’t know.  Blank stare.  “OK,” I said starting to sweat, “What is 5¢ + 10¢?” He would answer, “That’s easy….15¢”  WHY COULDN’T HE ADD THE TENS!????  One day I told a friend my problem.  I cried on the phone and poured out my inadequacy to her.  She listened and then told me, “Lisa, he will get it.  Just drop it for a while and come back to it later.  This is nothing to worry about.”  This mom had older kids and I respected her so I just did what she said.  And the problem was gone.  When we picked that back up in a month or so he could do it.  I was so glad I reached out to her!  There have been many, many times I shared a homeschool struggle with a friend and got great wisdom.
  9. Be honest.  It doesn’t help anyone if you try to put on a show.  We all need this tip…..just show who you really are and don’t try to prove anything to anyone.  Some days are great, some days are terrible, most days are somewhere in between.  If you’re having too many terrible days, get help.  If you’re having a lot of great days, count your blessings.  You have no one to impress and you aren’t doing yourself any favors if you’re trying to look perfect.
  10. PRAY!  I can’t imagine how I would have done this for so long if I didn’t have a good God to lean on.  He gets me through, gives me fresh ideas, helps me know what each child needs, loves me when I feel like I’m a mess.

I also want to say something very, very important…..so if you read only the end….read this.  Homeschooling doesn’t guarantee anything.  It doesn’t mean you’ll have happy kids, successful kids, brilliant kids, geeky kids, awkward kids, kids who like you or appreciate all you did for them.  There are no promises with kids no matter how hard you work or how much love you pour into them.

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My 5 kids that have graduated are all on different paths…..

-Our oldest daughter is living in Dallas and goes to a fantastic church and is seeing a great guy and they are planning to get married (brace yourself for lots of wedding planning posts coming soon).  She has self published 5 books and if you have a kid who loves sci-fi then you need her books!
-Our oldest son graduated from law school last weekend (WOOHOO!!!) and we are unbelievably proud of him.  He’s on his way to the life he dreamed of.  He is in the process of finishing his own album and you will LOVE it.  He is also in the Young Living business and y’all, he is brilliant with this stuff.  He amazes me every day.
-Our third child is on her own and figuring out how she wants her life to be.  We are thrilled for her and get to see her all the time.  She has developed a really cool writing program for kids that you should check out!!!
-Our fourth child is the one who has been a struggle for us.  She ran away from home and it broke my mom-heart.  There is still much pain and loss involved and it’s a story yet unfinished.  But I can tell you that there is still joy.  If my joy was wrapped up in my kids then I would be lost…..instead it is wrapped up in Christ and His love, mercy and grace.  Even through the pain I am filled with happiness and victory.
-Our youngest graduate is still living at home and doing great.  She has a thriving photography business and she also has a Young Living business.  She goes on mission trips and helps with her siblings.  She’s downright adorable and a blessing to me! (they’re all a blessing of course, no matter what the circumstances!)
-The rest of the kids are still home, in school and I love my days with them.  I know how quickly it passes and don’t waste a minute of it.

So mama, if you’re homeschooling, hang in there.  You’re gonna make it! Your kids will be FINE.

If you really want some encouragement, come to the Summit in Texas and Oklahoma.  It will fill your tank!!!  Go HERE to register!

If you liked this, you will also like my post about how I use essential oils in my homeschooling.

Be sure to get my book, it will give you even more encouragement!

The Rain is Good for Everything but My Hair and the Ceiling at Belk

The Rain is Good for Everything but My Hair and the Ceiling at Belk

Rain!  We finally got rain after months of dryness.  There were cracks in our yard so big I was worried that one of the chickens might fall right in.  And the horses have been wandering around in the dusty field scavenging for anything worth eating.

So yesterday when we got stuck in town after church, unable to drive because I couldn’t see out the windshield with the rain pounding down, we rejoiced.  I had the 3 younger boys with me.  They needed shoes so I decided to take them to get some before I head out of town this week to go to the Focused Conference.  It turned out to be a good thing because one of my sons has apparently been torturing his poor feet.

We got to Payless and I suggested we measure his feet on that metal thing (which I Googled and found it’s called a Brannock device).  It turned out that he needs a size 6 1/2 shoe but he’s been wearing size 4 1/2.  In my defense, he only mentioned that he thinks he needs new shoes a couple of weeks ago.  How am I supposed to know your toes are squished if you don’t tell me?!  Yesterday I asked him, “Have your feet been hurting?!”  He said, “No ma’am.  I just noticed recently that my toes are kind of pushed toward the end of my shoe.”  Yep, we homeschool.

I got him a couple of pair and promised to pick up another pair soon, but Payless was kinda low on their stock.  My other 2 boys also each got a new pair of shoes whether they need them or not because the mom-guilt rolled over onto them.

It was after we left Payless that we decided to pull over where it was safe since the rain was obstructing my view.  I may not notice tight shoes, but I can tell when you can’t see the road.  We started off just sitting in a parking lot, then decided to pull around to a Belk that was nearby and kill time there instead of just sitting in the car looking for nearby Pokémon.

One of the boys needed some shirts so I told him to grab what he liked off of the clearance rack and go try them on while the rest of us waited outside the dressing room.  Just as we were getting bored we heard a crash!  Water had started pouring in through the ceiling about 30 feet from us.  And when I say pouring I mean it was like a waterfall.  One of the ceiling tiles had crashed to the ground and that let the water out from where it must have been trapped and the downpour started.  Employees came running from all directions and started trying to save the clothing racks and were putting large trashcans under the waterfall.  I couldn’t see how that was going to help for long considering one of those giant cans (the kind you put your trash out on the street in) was already halfway full of water before 5 minutes had passed.

My boys thought the whole thing was cool and asked if they could go watch.  I let them as long as they stayed way back and out of the way of the mad rush to move every rack from the men’s section into aisles all over the store.  I don’t know what those poor Belk employees walked into this morning considering it rained all night long.  But I’m thinking I should go look for some discounts on water-soaked men’s clothes.

It finally let up enough for us to leave and drive home so off we went with our new shoes and shirts.

I really should have known it was going to rain that day because I decided for the first time all summer to blow dry and style my hair.  Isn’t that basically the same as doing an Indian dance around a fire sending smoke signals?

I styled my hair because I got it cut last week and I have to tell you, it was a relief.  For some unknown reason the gal I have gone to for years messed up my hair terribly on my last visit and I had been contemplating finding someone else.  I put it off until my hair looked so bad I had to either get it cut or start wearing hats.

I finally decided to go back and have a serious talk with her about the hack job she gave me last time.  I told her all about the mess and she was very apologetic and we made a plan to grow out the bad cut and she did some transitional things for now.  So my hair is happier, but I will be really glad when it’s all grown out and I can move on to other problems.  Like finding an eyeliner that doesn’t smudge.

I also had her color it.  I have been doing it myself for about a year and I like the results, but I wanted to have her do an ombre thing at the bottom so I went ahead and had her cover the gray roots while she was at it.  It looks really pretty, not too old, not too young.  It’s the Baby Bear of hair color.

But I think I will be letting it dry naturally for a while instead of styling it.  It’s supposed to be raining here all week and also in Virginia, where I will be all weekend.  If you see me there, expect curls.  Or curls may be an exaggeration.  Expect frizzy waves.

Have a great week!

A Friendly Competition (sort of)

A Friendly Competition (sort of)

I’ve gotten a little obsessed with creating lip balm (you can see my recipe HERE).  Once I figured out how much fun it is to make and how easy, I went a little crazy.  Every time I have a free half hour I make a few more tubes of it.  I can’t stop…..I may need a lip balm intervention.

Because there was a genuine risk of us of getting overrun with all of my lip balm concoctions piling up in corners of my house, I decided to send them to my friends.  Everyone loves a homemade gift, right?  It’s been super-fun mailing them off to their new homes and hoping they are enjoyed by the recipients!  I have so many flavors at this point that I just close my eyes, grab two and put them in an envelope.  😉

If you’re wondering how to get some of my awesome lip balms for yourself, all you have to do is sign up to join my Young Living team, get your Premium Starter Kit and that’s it!  Easy peasy!

If you've been wanting to get some oessential oils, now's the time! I'll send you great gifts and you can help me win a friendly competition!

 

Did you notice the other goodies in the picture above???  The $20 VISA gift card and my favorite helpful reference book?!  I will mail those with the balm!  Woohoo!!!  That’s just the beginning….I also add you to my amazing Facebook support group and you can subscribe to my FREE text service where I send you weekly tips and help you feel inspired to use them!  I never want anyone to order a kit then put it in a drawer and not USE their amazing oils!

Here’s a quick overview of what’s in your kit, but you can go HERE to read about it all in more detail.

Thieves Vitality – your healthy lifestyle friend! It helps clean the air, boosts immunity, it’s simply amazing!
DiGize Vitality – supports a healthy digestive system, alleviates nausea and upset tummies, great for irregularity, relief from occasional heartburn.
Peppermint Vitality – keeps
your head happy, supports healthy digestive system, promotes proper nasal and respiratory function…it’s fantabulous!!!
Lemon Vitality – maintains every levels, promotes good digestion, detoxing the body. SO many uses!
Copiaba Vitality – supports body’s response to injury/irritation, is a driving oil (pushes other oils to work better!), is soothing from the inside out.
Purification – eliminates bad odors, it’s air-cleaning, great for laundry, feels amazing rubbed on the outside of the throat!
Frankincense – incredible for skin, immune system support, promotes feelings of calmness and balance, eases minor tension/anxiety, clears my mind (it was given to baby Jesus ya know!)
RC – contains 3 different kinds of eucalyptus, which are known to promote a healthy respiratory system, builds comforting environment
PanAway – so helpful! Helps with occasional head discomfort, everyday joint and muscle aches, and that…ahem….time of the month yuckiness.
Lavender – this is the “Swiss Army knife of essential oils”! Gives the house a springtime feeling, great for relaxation, is very calming, promotes healthy skin, it’s kinda incredible!
StressAway – exactly how it sounds. Ahhhh….. It’s all SO GOOD! Leave your email slow and I’ll help hook you up. You won’t regret it!
A diffuser – you don’t want to start your oil journey without a diffuser…they are such a boost to your home!
Samples, Sharables, and Bottles….oh my!

This kit is so well rounded that you should have everything you need to start.  Once you get going you will want more and I am ready to help you any time!!!  I love, love talking with my team members.

AND….for fun I have a little competition going with another oily friend of mine to see who can get the most new team members this month and so I am upping the ante.  I really hate to lose to this gal because she is a rock star.  So IF I beat her by getting the most new members, I will draw from my new July members and send the winner a package of the new Thieves Infused Cough Drops.  This is a product they just introduced at last month’s convention and I already know I don’t want to go through the winter without it!  I have ordered a couple of extra bags so we don’t run out!  If you think you might deal with coughs or sore throats this winter you need to have these on hand!

This means if you join NOW then you will be entered to win the cough drops and I will beat my friend which gives me supreme bragging rights.  Help a sister out, will ya?

Help me win my competition with my friend and you wim too! Not only will you get your essential oils kitm, but you'll be entered to win a special prize!!!

This competition is all for fun, of course, but when you get your oils YOU are the real winner.  You’ll be setting yourself up for a new start with natural health and a chemical-free lifestyle!  And the other families that are in my Facebook group who are available for you to meet are incredible people….they amaze me every day!  And as far as I can tell, none of them are obsessed with making lip balm so you won’t be surrounded by the weirdness.  That will only come from me.

Friends, you are such a blessing to me every day and the reason I tell you about Young Living products because I want to bless you back.  They have changed my life and given me ways to deal with everything from coughs to mood swings to my introverted need to run and hide in a crowd.  I want you to experience the level of strength and support that I have!!!

 

Sign up HERE and you’re on your way to a better life!

 

If you have any questions, hop over to my Facebook page and lay it on me.  I am thrilled to help in any way I can!

 

I am not a doctor; the information I share here is only my experience from taking care of my own family.  If you have any health problems please consult your physician.  I recommend finding one that will support alternative solutions. 
 
An Exciting Summer Camp for MOMS!!!

An Exciting Summer Camp for MOMS!!!

I am SO excited to announce that I have put together a GREAT Summer Camp for Moms!

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Now, before you run to the storage and start digging around for your old backpack and sleeping bag…..hold on!  This camp is going to take place online.  Yep, that’s right.  You get to sleep in your own bed and have all the air-conditioning you want.  But at the same time, you’ll be making new friends, getting camp-style encouragement and being refreshed.  We moms need a break too!

From July 4-August 12 we will be hanging out together and getting uplifted.  When you sign up for Mom’s Summer Camp….aka Camp Gimmeabreak…you’ll be added to our camp Facebook group where we will have daily morning encouragement, pray for each other, share healthy encouragement and even have a weekly bonfire with special guests.  Every Monday you will get an email with a video from me, a list of ideas for making your week shine and some tips for building great summer memories!  We will be going through my book, “Mama Needs a Do-Over“, so be sure to pick that up before camp starts next week!

Before you start to think, “This might be too much for me to do….I have a FULL schedule already!” let me assure you that I understand!  These are full days for all of us, so I am making sure that there are no hard assignments or overwhelming actions that will keep you from getting through camp.  This is exactly what you need….a few weeks of summer fun just for MOM!

So, how do you sign up?!  Well it’s super simple!  Just click HEREto get started!  Tell all of your friends and spread the word…this is gonna be a great way to escape the summer blahs!

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And I have a LOT of surprises up my sleeve for this time we will spend together.  You DO NOT want to miss a second of it!

See you around the campfire!

 

A Little Mom Time

A Little Mom Time

Moms need breaks sometimes. If you're feeling bad about resting, it's time for you to get over that!

Well? How was your weekend?

It was pretty quiet around here.  It was supposed to be busy, but things got cancelled and changed and it turned out to be kinda slow, which was so nice.

On Saturday it was just me and my younger three boys at home, so I told them that if they got all of their chores done quickly they could have the afternoon free.  The only requirement for their free time was that at least an hour of it had to be doing something outside.

I could hear them plotting while they swept and folded the clothes.  By the time we were all done with chores they had a whole plan in motion.  Their plan included sword fights, super heroes, eating nachos and playing wii.  That was perfect for me because my plan included ignoring them for the afternoon while I caught up on my reading.  I have two books that I am in the middle of, one fiction and one non-fiction.  There are always two because sometimes I’m in the mood for educating myself and other times I’m in the mood to get swept away in a great story.  This day it was fiction.

I settled in my bedroom and read my delicious book.  When the day was over I was feeling pretty refreshed.  I mean, what’s more relaxing than a clean house and happy kids who are playing together?  Nothing, I tell you, nothing.

On Sunday we visited a new church for the second time.  The whole finding-a-church thing is so hard.  You visit one for a few weeks, realize it’s really not the right fit for you and you move on.  Sometimes it’s obvious why the place is not right for you and sometimes it’s just a sense after much prayer and discussion.  We have had several great churches in our past that we loved and loved the people, but since we moved here many years ago that connection really hasn’t happened.  We’ve attended some for years, but not had that sense of belonging.  I’m not sure why God has kept us in this dry place, but we have continued the search and are not giving up.

After we got home yesterday it was the best part of my week….Sunday nap.  I mean to tell you my Sunday nap is critical to my well being the rest of the week.  I slept for 2 hours and woke up wondering where I was.  After a second I rolled over and just laid there…oh yeah, it’s Sunday.  It’s really the only day I can just let myself wake up slowly without someone waiting for me to help them or asking me a question.  There was nothing pressing, no work to do, no kids needing me for anything.

If you’re feeling jealous over my Saturday reading and Sunday napping, hear me when I tell you that these things were impossible for me for about 20 years.  With 9 kids and homeschooling and living on a hobby farm, there’s never been much time for rest.  So this is a new season and you will get there too.  When the babies are little it seems so far away, then you blink and you’re there wishing for them to be little again.  But not too little….’cuz that nap was pretty awesome.

This week it’s gonna be me bracing myself for the oncoming heat wave.  The temps are rising steadily and are expected to be 90 by the weekend.  That’s nothin’ compared to what’s ahead, but still too hot for this A/C loving mama.

Have a great Monday and hop over to Facebook to say hello!

Sweating and Crowds…Two of My Least Favorite Things

Sweating and Crowds…Two of My Least Favorite Things

Oh summer.  I have a love-hate relationship with it.  On one hand, it’s relaxed and the daily swim parties we have are so wonderful.  On the other hand I sweat so much that I walk around looking like I’ve been digging ditches in 100° temps wearing a leather suit.  That’s the hate part.  Oh, and the fact that every time you open your car door it feels like you’re being pushed into a kiln.  Otherwise summer is great.

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Right now, however, our issue is rain.  Rain and rain and more rain.  It’s a good thing I bought so many ponchos and umbrellas at Disney because they came in handy this past weekend.  It’s funny though, how normal a rain poncho looks on you at Disney World and how unusual it look around town.  I was the only person rockin’ one at Walmart.  People should get with it.  With a poncho my purse was protected from the rain, I stayed totally dry and my hands were free.  Umbrellas are nice, but ponchos are th’BOMB!  At one point I was using BOTH!  MmHmm.  I am a trend setter.

We are winding down a little bit with our school work.  We will have light lessons all summer, but the pool beckons us and we have no choice but to go out there every morning after breakfast and play silly games and splash around.  Every year the kids make up a game or two that keeps them challenged all through swim season.  There will be a complicated point system and bragging rights and usually a grand prize of some sort.  I never really understand these games, so I spend my time on the other side of the pool on my float pretending I’m alone.

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This week I need to get the swimsuits out and checked.  We always think we have what we need left from last year, then a boy goes to get dressed for the first swim and has nothing but too small shorts with stretched out elastic.  And all of us girls always need at least one new thing, which requires creativity and perseverance.  Since we don’t wear typical swim clothes and don’t have $120/person to spend, it takes time.  But we always find something.  I’m generally surprised where I find things, like for the past couple of years Costco had swim skirts that we could use!

Another changes for summer is how often I go to the big city.  During the rest of the year I will go to the city about every 2 weeks.  I like to poke around and maybe see a movie, hit Costco, Whole Foods and a few other places.  But in the summer with the crowds and school kids out in ganglike groups, I go less than once a month.  I do not enjoy a crowd therefore I avoid them at all costs.  Unless it’s at Disney World, then I just go knowing there will be 10,000 other people to deal with and I try to take crowd breaks as much as possible.

Speaking of crowds, I am gearing up for a super-exciting road trip to the Young Living International Grand Convention in June.  I love, love Salt Lake City!  I have been there several times and it’s so beautiful I can’t stand it.  But since I am going with 10,000 of my closest friends, it will be crowded, so I have to get mentally ready for it.  I use a LOT of White Angelica when I have to be in a crowded situation.  It’s what I like to call, “My Introvert Oil.”  It helps me feel a sense of safety and, oh I don’t know how else to say it except that it helps me deal with the negative energy of other people.  I love that stuff.

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This coming week we are cleaning up the yard from the storms and emptying the boys’ lockers to get the prepped for a lighter school load.  I’ll be checking swimsuit needs and doing a Coscto run for June.  Oh!  And making sure I have a poncho in every vehicle….because I enjoy being different.  And dry.

Have a good one!

Have You Hugged the Sun Lately?

Have You Hugged the Sun Lately?

Oh my stars the weather here has been amazing!  I literally just go stand outside a few times a day and hold my arms out like the sun might actually give me a hug.  I don’t worry about what the neighbors will think as the drive past me standing in my driveway like a sun worshipper; they think we’re weird anyway.  I stretch my arms out and close my eyes to just soak in the perfection, because I know that in a New York minute it will all be over and I’ll be sweltering for the next 5 months.

Spring is my favorite.  When you step out the front door the day just greets you with cheerful excitement.  Sunshine!  Birds!  Flowers!!  And I’m not even an overly cheerful person, so it must be amazing for really happy people.

The change in weather means it’s time to switch the clothes around.  I went through my closet and moved the cold weather clothes to the top where they won’t be easy to access.  And the light, breathy clothing has taken up residence in the prime spot….right in front of me when I walk in to choose an outfit.  There’s no reason for me to need the heavier items now.  I get hot when it’s 60° outside.  I won’t need a sweater again until at least November.

While my clothing needs are taken care of, I do need to find myself a new pair of sunglasses.  My current pair is about 8 years old and showing signs of wear and tear.  Actually, I have been searching for a new pair for the past couple of years.  I am too picky about this, especially since I change everything else so frequently your head would spin.  I switch purses at least every week, I like to wear different shoes each day, I try new hairstyles, new jewelry, I even got a new wedding band that I’ve been wearing for the past year just because I like a change….but my sunglasses I’ve been wearing since 2007.  I don’t even understand myself sometimes.

I don’t want a cheap pair because they slip down and really aren’t pretty.  I want pretty.  But I also refuse to pay $300 for a pair of sunglasses.  I mean, can that be right?  Of course, if you divide up the average amount of time I will likely wear them that’s actually only $3.16/month.  Hey, I like that math!

It will be a while before I have time to go sunglasses shopping again.  We stay pretty busy in the spring.  This coming weekend we have several weddings to attend, so we will be driving around from town to town for three days.  It just occurred to me yesterday that I don’t have a wedding gift for any of these couples.  I looked at their registries and nothing popped out at me so I guess it’s the old cash gift.  People like cash….just go get yourself what you want.  I may toss in a bottle of a favorite essential oil for my own enjoyment, maybe lavender or Stress Away.  In fact, if you’re looking for a great gift idea for me, that’s pretty much what I’d want, a bottle of Young Living essential oil and some cash.  There, now I’ve talked myself into the greatest wedding gift I can think of.

I read somewhere that a popular wedding gift is a KitchenAid Stand Mixer.  Say What?!  Who spends that much money on a wedding gifts?  Probably the same people buying $300 sunglasses.  I’m more of a $25 in a money shaped envelope with a funny joke in it kind of person.

I’ll toss in a sunny day hug for good measure.

Have a great weekend!

How About a Nice Hawaiian Punch?!

How About a Nice Hawaiian Punch?!

Lately I’ve been having 70s flashbacks.  My mind just rushes to the days of “The Sony and Cher Show”, Shaun Cassidy (swoon) and Love’s Baby Soft perfume.  In my youth I read Tiger Beat and ate TV dinners from metal trays, played record albums and wore bell bottom jeans with patriotic stars all over them.  Yep, those were the days.

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And the MUSIC!  I wonder how many times I listened to Elton John sing “Philadelphia Freedom.”  It has to be 1000.  I can close my eyes and go right back to sitting in my bedroom with the yellow drapes, with an enormous pair of headphones on, lifting the needle on the record player to hear that one song over and over while I stared at my Donny Osmond poster.

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I wonder what my kids will reflect on in 40 years.  Taylor Swift, earbuds, ipods, gluten-free food, cars that actually touched the ground….. “I remember when Mom had this thing called a BLOG….”

I’m not really sure why the 70s have been at the front of my mind lately, unless it’s my change in diet.  Diet changes do make me nostalgic for some reason.  Perhaps it’s because I miss the days when I could eat a Snickers bar and “smoke” an entire pack of candy cigarettes without gaining weight (don’t worry kids, smoking wasn’t bad in the 70s).  Anyway, no more of that for me….I am off of sugar, no dairy, and I quit candy cigarettes cold turkey in the early 80s.  I actually had a dream about processed foods last night.  It’s not easy to change habits that date back to 1972.  Nothing would comfort me more than a reheated piece of frozen Salisbury steak with a triangle of artificial mashed potatoes right about now.

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Sadly, I have gained some of my weight back from my big diet change a couple of years ago.  I was doing so great, cruising along, being healthy, then I hit some snags and before I knew it, I had fallen completely off the old wagon.  I let it get out of control and here I am right back to being overweight and ready for a change.

At first I felt ashamed of gaining some of the weight back.  I didn’t want to be seen and would get anxious about it before I spoke at a conference or woman’s group.  But then I thought, “Why?!  It’s something I struggle with.  Everyone struggles in some area.  This is who I am and I have nothing to be ashamed of!”  That was the end of that. #nomoreshame #nohashtagsinthe70s

For the past 10 days I have been eating clean again and this week I will be doing a cleanse.  I don’t like cleanses, but I know it’s necessary for me to clear all of the toxins and get a fresh start.  I’m just waiting for some supplements to arrive in the mail so I can get the cleanse behind me.  I am actually looking forward to it (not the cleanse so much as healthy eating again).  Making the effort to take good care of myself impacts so many areas of my life and my family.  I am nicer, I am a better mom, a better wife,  and when I show my kids that I am worth the effort then they will know that THEY are valuable too!

Maybe I should get some new posters for my bedroom to inspire me.  Instead of Donny, how about Marie?!  She’s done a great job of getting in shape and staying that way.

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And instead of Hawaiian Punch or Fresca to drink, I will be sipping plenty of water AND a cleansing drink made with water, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar and lemon….can you say “yum” boys and girls?!  And no VitaMaster cellulite machine where you strap a belt around you and shake the cellulite out (I am not kidding….they had these at gyms everywhere and I tried it more than once and you itched like crazy when it stopped!) I will actually move by walking in the mornings and doing my TTapp again.

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It’s a new day my friends, and we all can use a fresh start now and then.  I’m getting mine by dumping my junk food and making healthy choices, and of course incorporating my Young Living oils and supplements!  My apologies if you didn’t enjoy my little walk down memory lane.  If it matters, I actually do remember every single one of these things so clearly it’s like it was yesterday.  But we are changing our focus, right?! We’re gonna look to the future and make it even BETTER!

But before we leave the 70s completely, here I am in 1971.  It looks so much like my youngest!

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Thanks for stopping by!  Hop over to Facebook to continue the conversation!

Lisa on Ice

Lisa on Ice

 

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Sorry, no ice skating here.  After all, I live in South Texas.  The kind of ice I am on is more of an ice pack than an ice rink.  I hate to be a drag, but ice skating is about the last thing I could have done this past weekend, even if I lived in Canada.  Mostly because I can barely walk.

It happened Saturday morning.  My babiest girl and I were about to head out to celebrate her birthday with some mom-daughter shopping when I brilliantly decided to toss a load of laundry in the dryer before we left.  Mistake.  BIG mistake.  I mean, no one really needed those sheets and towels right then.  I just turned as I was putting the sheets in the dryer and felt a pain.  That;’s the whole story; I didn’t even get a good laugh out of it.

My daughter was standing at the front door waiting for me to finish the laundry switch when I limped past her and said I had just done something, not sure what, to my back and needed to grab some ice and some oils.  I oiled up, threw an ice pack behind me in the car, and off we went to shop ’til we dropped.  Unfortunately, I dropped immediately.  The whole getting-in-and-out-of-the-car thing became a problem.  After only an hour of shopping it became obvious that this wasn’t going away.  I had to wait in the car while she shopped.  Happy birthday to you ♫.

I texted a friend of mine, the wife of a chiropractor, and asked her what to do.  She gave me her thoughts and I followed them (once I got home).  Of course, she’s not a real chiro so I realize her advice isn’t considered treatment, just like when someone asks me for tax advice.  You should really ask my husband instead, but I might know a little bit.

“Rest as much as possible until Monday then get to the chiropractor.”  Ice, oils, rest, repeat.

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That would have been lovely if I hadn’t been scheduled to speak at a local woman’s group on Sunday afternoon.  I texted another friend, “Please pray for me….I can barely walk or stand and I have to speak tomorrow.”  She asked me if she needed to learn my speech, just in case.  It didn’t seem right to have her tell all about her CPA/attorney husband and 9 kids, so I hobbled through it, then went home and got back on the regimen.  Ice, oils, rest, repeat.

Today I am 5% better and headed to the chiro.  The good news is, I am getting a lot of writing done.  The bad news is I am having to cancel some important appointments this week.  I really, really hate cancelling commitments!

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My 4 younger boys are taking care of me, which is interesting.  Sunday afternoon I had Levi (8 years old) as my helper.  At bedtime I called him to turn the bed down for me and while he did that I got into my PJs.  It hurt to stand so I was anxious to lie down and before giving it much thought I painfully fell into bed.  Then I realized that I had forgotten to do several things, so I told Levi, “I have bad news for you, I am going to need you to do some more things for me.”

“Why is that bad news?” he asked.  “Well,” I smiled at his sweet little face, “Because I only asked you to turn down the bed, but now I need you to plug in my phone, start my diffuser and a few other things.”

“I don’t see why that’s bad news, Mommy.  It’s basically all I have been doing all day anyway, and besides, I really don’t even get what’s wrong with you.”

Oh, to be young again!

My 14 year old is my helper today and he, unlike Levi, is checking on me every 20 minutes.  He set his timer and he is taking his job very seriously.  A little too seriously.  He’s like the waiter who refills your tea every 15 minutes whether you want it or not.  I mean, I appreciate the dedication, but I am trying to get some work done here.

But don’t feel sorry for me.  By the end of the week I will be up and running again.  My boys and I will have had some quality time and I will have gotten 20 things knocked off my list of “sitting jobs.”  There’s always something good to be found in an unexpected situation!

Have a terrific week!

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