Five Women and a Flat Tire

Five Women and a Flat Tire

Because I can’t let a drama go by untold, I have to share with you the flat tire incident from Tuesday night.

My friend Sara and I took two of my daughters to the city to pick up their friend from the airport.  We shopped and we ate and we went to Costco….you know.  City stuff.

We stayed all day and into the night for a meeting hosted by Young Living.  We dropped the girls at the mall (a first for us!) and Sara and I met another friend and went to the meeting where we stood in the back of a very crowded room. It was loud (people wouldn’t stop talking to each other) and hot.  So we decided to slip out and visit for a while instead.  Sitting and talking is always better than standing and sweating, at least in my book.

After a nice visit we left to pick up the girls, make a couple of quick stops and then head toward home.  We were looking forward the extra hour’s drive to talk a little more.  Really, it’s all about getting our words out for the day.

We were having great fellowship when it happened.  We had a full fledged blow out going 75 MPH.  I wasn’t speeding, that’s the speed limit on the highway here….about 30 miles down the road it changes to 80.  Tell your kids.  It can count as a geography lesson for the day.  “Which state has 80 MPH speed limits?”

It was after 10 at night, so dark doesn’t describe it.  More like pitch black.  Well, except for the Mack trucks and SUVs racing past at 75 miles per hour creating flashes of scary light.  And our cell phones which we were using to find things we dropped in the weeds.

Now I think the last time I had a flat tire I was in college.  I drove a Cutlass Supreme and the spare was where all spares belong, in the trunk under a flap of carpet.  It seems that all of the improvement over the past 30 years had led to a move from the trunk to who-knows-where.  Turns out my spare is up UNDER the van and the way you release it is through a hole between the driver’s seat and front passenger seat.

You know, I have always wondered what that 2″ circle of plastic was for.  Now I know it’s to fit a long socket thingy that looks nothing like the picture in the manual to unscrew a mystery spare tire holder that, unless you are lying flat on the ground under the van, you can’t get it out.

Nice.

I might also mention that we had to unload our entire van full of groceries and various other items onto the side of the road to get to the tire changing tools.   We looked like modern day Clampetts minus the gun and dog.

After half an hour of figuring out the spare tire situation a sheriff pulled up behind us.  He was so nice and he actually ended up changing the tire for us.  Of course, we had already done all of the hard work in locating the spare through the mysterious hole in the floor.

An hour or so later, we loaded the groceries, luggage, shopping bags and 5 tired ladies back into the van and agonizingly drove only 55MPH all the way home.  The sheriff had explained to me that you can’t go faster than that on a spare.  We finally made it home around 11, which in Lisa time means WAY past bed time.

The next morning I asked my oldest son if he would take the van to the tire place and get it all fixed back to the way it was before any of this ever happened., which he did.  I do realize that sounds like I don’t do any work, but keep in mind I spent 20 years raising him.  Not dealing with tire cleanup is is my reward for years of diapering and nose wiping and hurting my back pulling him in a wagon.

Have a great weekend!

Oh…..and be sure to check out this week’s YouTube video!  In it I talk about not letting your emotions control you (a concept I used on Tuesday night for sure!)

 

I’m Keyless

I’m Keyless

The conference this past weekend was a great family activity.  The kids especially loved seeing their friends and hanging out at the conference hotel until 2AM Saturday night playing games and singing.  I do not especially like staying up until 2 in the morning since it makes for a very grumpy mom, so I was in bed by 10:00.  Oh the joy of having kids who can drive themselves home.

We heard a lot of great speakers and ate a lot of hamburgers.  I got salad with chicken, of course, but the kids ate their weight in burgers.  For some reason they didn’t want to go home and eat leftovers when their friends were all going to Fuddrucker’s.  I agree really….the fellowship is the best part of these conferences!  But I’ve eaten enough Fuddrucker’s to last me a year.

We also had a family staying at our house so that meant people coming and going all day long.  I tried to run back and forth between home and hotel so my older kids could just enjoy the weekend.  It would have been nice to spend more time at the conference, but laundry waits for no man.  We invited different families over for meals during the weekend also, so that really kept things hopping.

On Sunday there was a church service to wrap up the conference and our whole family went, but I wasn’t feeling great so I decided to leave right after the service with the little boys and go on home, letting the rest of the family linger and say their goodbyes.

Here’s where I should tell you that I don’t carry a house key.  I really never need one because there’s always either someone at home or a pre-arranged hidden key (don’t bother looking for it….it’s a very complicated hiding process).  But I didn’t think about it yesterday so when I got home I realized I was locked out.

This is not the first time it’s happened.  And before you tell me how simple it would be for me to just GET A KEY, we have tried that.  But every time I go make myself a key something happens to it, someone borrows it, I forget it….the list of keylessness issues goes on and on.

I have thought before of getting one of those keyless entry locks, but two things stop me.  1. They cost like $100 and 2. They are ugly.

I may go back to trying to carry a house key.  But I think we can all see how that will go.

I did manage to get into the house.  I won’t tell you how, but just know it involved a metal bowl and some gardening shears.

One thing I especially loved about the weekend was that the rains brought cooler weather.  It was in the 80s all weekend which pretty much equals heaven in this part of Texas in September.  There’s nothing like a 100+ degree drought to make you glad for the teeniest bit of cool moisture.

We are looking forward to a quiet-ish week of normal-ish activity.

What do you have going on?!

Boys Can Be very Helpful

Boys Can Be very Helpful

It has been a full few days with furniture rearranging and friends and dental appointments.  I may need a whole day’s nap to recover.

Last Saturday my girls decided to go out for some thrift store shopping, so I was left alone with the 4 younger boys.  It was either going to turn into a Lego-fest or I could use their future man muscles for the greater good, so I decided to have them help me rearrange some furniture.  I promised them the whole afternoon to themselves if they would help me.

I needed to use some of the junk I bought recently so we brought it in the house to figure out where to put it.  While we were at it we cleaned under the couches and dusted everything.  The amount of dust in this house could fill a king sized mattress.

I had an old fridge (don’t ask me why I bought this….it just spoke to me) and a worn section of fence to put somewhere.  So I would point, “Let’s try it over here” and we kept moving things until we got it how I liked it.  This is not only an opportunity to help Mom, but a lesson in future husbandness.

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We put the old fridge in the corner and hung our metal letters over it.  We are keeping blankets in the fridge.  The irony is not lost.

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I moved one of the couches back to make the room seem bigger.  I used old footstools behind it to keep it from pushing back against the window.

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Over the other couch I hung a fence section.  I like putting something extra big over that couch.  It makes the low ceiling feel taller.

Using junk to fix up a room!

When James saw the fence he immediately said, “You paid money for that?!  We probably have everything you need to make one in our trash wood pile!”  Yes, but for $10 this one is done.

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To make room for the fridge I had to remove some things and put the TV on a dresser that was a little short.  Plus I needed a place for the DVD player and Wii.  So I had one of the boys throw a little shelf together with junk wood.  It’s perfect and James is happy we used the wood pile.

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The piano stayed where it was….it just got a little accessory update.

Having the boys help rearrange the furniture!

The rest of the house got picked up and straightened too and we settled into Saturday afternoon all relaxed and ready for the week.

On Sunday after church we drove to Austin for my parent’s 51st anniversary.  We hung out at my sister’s house for a few hours then headed home to get ready for a day full of company the next day.  It was fun to all be together.  With the kids all growing up we don’t go out as a whole family much anymore.  Our 15 passenger van was wondering why we hadn’t taken it out for a joy ride for so long.

Monday was a simple time of friends and burgers on the grill and kids running around making too much noise.  Everyone left by 9PM because I had to get up early the next day for a dentist appointment.

I’ve been dealing with some tooth issues for a couple of weeks, so I had been anxiously waiting this day.  He thinks he figured out the problem and I am, hopefully, on my way to a pain free mouth again.  Dental problems stink.  That’s all I have to say about that.

Let’s talk about junk and furniture again.  It’s a much happier subject!

This next weekend our family will be going to the Forge Conference.  It’s great teaching, wholesome families and great fellowship.  I’m looking forward to it!  If you decide to attend please find me and say hello!!!

Have a great day!

 

Who Says I Can’t Pull Off a Surprise?!

Who Says I Can’t Pull Off a Surprise?!

I am writing my Monday post on Tuesday because, well, I’m tired and it was a long weekend.

I remember in college I could stay up all night for a week then recover with a nap and some cold pizza.  Now I require three days of sleep and chicken soup (without the noodles) to get over staying up until midnight.  Which I did on Saturday night.  You would think I’d learn not to do that but I was hanging out with some of the most amazing women and I decided it was worth the sacrifice of being coherent for the next week.

On Friday I drove 8 hours to Oklahoma City for my husband’s law school graduation ceremony.  I didn’t tell y’all I was going because I didn’t tell him.  It was a huge surprise.  It’s not that I don’t trust you all and I am sure you would have kept my secret, but I couldn’t risk it.  My 9 children already knew about it and just keeping them from spilling the beans was all I could manage.

I rented a zippy little red car and drove myself to Oklahoma.  Considering a 15 passenger van has been my mode of transportation for the past dozen years I felt like I had been released from some kind of prison.  I was all in and out of parking spaces like I hadn’t a care in the world.

James was so, so surprised and it was fun to pull it off with my son.  The graduation ceremony was beautiful and I am so glad I went.  It was better than any church service I have been to in a long time.  On Friday night after the first part of the ceremony each graduate took a turn sitting in a chair while the faculty prayed over them.  How often do you see THAT at a law school graduation?!

On Saturday after the actual graduation I went to a meeting with the Winter Summit planning team.  I hope y’all will go to the Summit in January either in Texas or Oklahoma!  It’s going to be an incredible weekend of refreshment and encouragement.  You do not want to miss it!!

Then on Sunday came the dreaded 8 hour drive home.  It was rough.  I got about 2 hours down the road and it felt like I couldn’t drive any more.  I kept stopping and walking around then I’d drive another hour or 2.  Stop.  Walk.  Repeat.

I finally got home around 6:00 PM and was so glad to see my family that I fell asleep.

Have a great week!

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I Shoulda Looked for a Watering Hole

I Shoulda Looked for a Watering Hole

In case you missed it last year (or the year before that) this is when I start to complain about the heat.  You would think that I have an affection for it after living in Texas my whole life, but no.  I despise it with a passion.  Them’s strong words but it’s how I feel.

Last Thursday James whisked me away for a romantic getaway.  And when I say romantic I mean 2 days with 5,000 other homeschoolers and a guest bed at my aunt’s house.  It was more about keeping up with a full schedule and less about roses with candlelight dinners.  But we do have the 4 hour car ride to look back on with fondness, if you like long, intense discussions about how we can be better parents and what to do about making a budget for next year.

One thing I struggle with when I travel in the summer is getting dehydrated.  I try to be careful, but there’s something about it that throws me off and by the time we were back home on Saturday night I was in pain.  My old-lady bladder was irritated and a headache was looming.

Getting dehydrated is no laughing matter (even though this blog post is funny!)

This is not my first experience with dehydration.  It happens to me several times every summer.  I know what you’re thinking, “Why doesn’t she just drink enough water?!”  I really wish I knew the answer to this question.

I expected my usual few days of recovery, so I flipped through my essential oils reference book to see if I there was an oil I might try.  Turned out that I had several of the oils suggested….just one of the many advantages of having a good stock.  I put one drop each of lemongrass, Thieves, spearmint and chamomile into a carrier oil and rubbed it over my bladder. Then I rubbed EndoFlex over my kidneys and drank 1/2 cup of NingXia Red followed by 8 oz. of water.  I felt better in about 5 minutes….no kidding!  In the past when this happens I feel awful all night and have trouble sleeping because of it.  I did the whole protocol again before I went to bed.  I didn’t want to risk it flaring up in the middle of the night and missing my much needed beauty sleep.

It really is a blessing to have remedies for these kinds of issues.  When small things come up I always see if I have an oil that can help me get through it more quickly.  In this case it knocked it right out and I was extra careful all day Sunday to be sure I drank enough water.  Maybe someday I will think about it BEFORE I leave for my trip and avoid it altogether.

Today is the fifth morning in a row that I have to get up and go out early.  It’s been a challenge to find time for exercise.  On Thursday I went for an evening walk instead of morning and on Friday I dropped James off at the convention we were attending and I went for a jog around the mall next door.  This morning I did a quick TTapp DVD and I will try to go for a bike ride later.  I have learned that there is always something I can do, even if it’s just jogging in place for 10 minutes or crunches on the floor.

If I, the laziest person in Texas, can do it then so can you!  I am rooting you on from my air-conditioned bedroom with a tall glass of Sonic ice in my hand.

Have a great week & stay cool!

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!

If You Can’t Find Me I’ll Be at a Riverwalk Hotel

If You Can’t Find Me I’ll Be at a Riverwalk Hotel

The past week has been Texas history week here at the Point. We visited museums and landmarks and walked trails and, of course, ate Mexican food.  It’s Texas law that you have to eat Mexican food a minimum of once a week.  I follow this religiously.  I don’t want to lose my Texas ID card.

On Wednesday, while my girls took a friend to see the Alamo and Riverwalk I parked myself in a fancy hotel lobby and mooched off their internet.  I needed to spend some quality time with my new computer.  Buying a computer always seems like such a good idea at the time, but then you come face to face with the realization that you have no idea how to use the new operating system and somewhere along the road of life you’ve lost the capacity to learn.

I was considering returning it, but thought I needed to give it a fair shot at having the honor of belonging to me.  It must be such a joy to be right in my face every day as I whine about how hard it is to learn new technology at my age.  Excuse me while I stop for a moment and think about how lucky my computer is…..

It turned out to be a good decision to sit for a while in a luxury chair where no one was trying to tell me about their ideas for how to make a sword out of the curtain rod they found in my garbage and just read the computer’s instructions.  After an hour of reading one tip at a time the light started to turn on and guess what!  I can learn new things!  Who knew an expensive hotel was the key?!

I am considering making it a weekly appointment.  Throw in some fajitas and I might even stop complaining about technology.  OK, probably not.

I have decided to keep the computer since I have mostly figured out how to use it.  Although I am still considering paying one of my kids to install the programs I need and set up my email.  No reason to put my brain under too much stress.

This weekend I am heading to Austin for an essential oils class.  I’m looking forward to sharing how much they have blessed our family!  Plus I will get some drive time to finish an audio book that I started over a month ago.

Have a good one.  Eat some Mexican food!

 

Tires and Ants are My Nemeses

Tires and Ants are My Nemeses

Ok friends. It’s official.  I am tired.

It started to hit me last week as I drove to the city for the third time in three days.  Normally I go every couple of weeks, so my car and I were not used to the extra activity.  I heard it cry in protest one day as I slipped behind the wheel.  It sounded something like a groan when I turned the key.

Then I saw my front tire was flat and I knew that my car was not happy about all of this use.  We took it to the tire store and had to get two new tires.  Why is it that one flat tire means you need two news ones?  This sounds like a scam to me.  But please don’t tell the tire store people I said that.  I need them to like me.

One of the fun parts of my week has been having our friend here from Virginia.  She and I met at a blog conference and just liked each other right away.  She is the same age as my daughters, so even though I thought she was coming to see me, it turns out she has much more in common with my girls, so they have been chatting it up and doing all kinds of girly things.

We decided, since this is her first trip to Texas, that we would do the touristy stuff.  We’ve been to LBJ Ranch (It’s really cool….you must go there if you can!), a few local spots and today we are taking her to Austin to see the sights.  There’s nothing like our gorgeous Texas capitol to make a person fall in love with this great state.  That and a great plate of TexMex followed by some Blue Bell ice cream and people want to stay forever.

My latest craze is the battle of the ants that we have been dealing with for the past 2 weeks.  Every morning we wake up to a line of ants all through our pantry and kitchen.  Yesterday after church they were in the laundry basket.  We have lifted all food off of the floor and sealed it.  We scour and spray the countertop every night.  It hasn’t helped.

I spent Sunday afternoon Googling ways to kill them once and for all without using harsh chemicals.  I ordered an arsenal of ant killing supplies on Amazon that should be here by Tuesday, when I plan to turn into a mad scientist/exterminator.

And don’t tell my car, but I am going to Austin again on Friday to visit my parents and host an essential oils class on Saturday with a friend of mine.  I can’t help it, I love my oils too much so my car will just have to deal with it (but please don’t tell it I said that).

Have a great week!

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Am I Sleep Walking Now?

Am I Sleep Walking Now?

It’s the age old question asked since the cavemen chiseled wheels out of enormous rocks and attached them to sticks: WHY does driving all day make you SO tired?!

I spent all day Saturday and half of Sunday driving home from Kansas City.  My children, so precious, slept in the car so they felt just fine when we got home.  I listened to an audiobook for a few hours, but that started numbing my mind and making me feel drowsy.  Thankfully I had my Sonic ice and Mandisa albums or I might have fallen asleep at the wheel.

When we finally got home I announced that we would take 30 minutes to “speed unpack.”  It was a whirlwind of half eaten packages of food, blankets, dirty laundry and cords.

Oh the cords!  I miss the days of cordless travel.  Now we’ve got phone cords, car chargers, earbuds, computer cords…..plus I travel with an extension cord because apparently hotels haven’t figured out that we need to be able to plug 14 things in at once.  Why on earth do they still just have one lamp base outlet for the whole room?!

Within half an hour we had literally put away every single thing from the trip and, as much as I wanted to hang out with my kids that I hadn’t seen all week, I fell into a nap that even Sleeping Beauty would not have believed was possible.  And I slept for the next 24 hours, breaking only to go for a walk at 6:30 the next morning.

I don’t actually remember it.  I only know that I went for a walk because I found selfies on my phone from 2 miles down the road.  I’m pretty sure I slept walked the whole thing.  I hope I didn’t do anything embarrassing.  Like take my shirt off in the middle of the street.

But the rest time is over because this Saturday we are having a graduation for two of my girls and I have lots of planning and preparing ahead.  We’ll be having 45 people over for dinner on Saturday night plus have a bit of a ceremony.  This is our fourth graduation.  This one will be much smaller than what we did for our son a few years ago.  We try to do whatever fits the personality of that child and the 2 girls that we are graduating this weekend wanted a smaller affair.

After that I.AM.SITTING.DOWN.FOR.A.WEEK.

I may spend all of Monday and Tuesday in the pool.  I have a lounger that has been begging for me to spend some quality time with it.

Have a great week y’all!

The Long and Winding Road

The Long and Winding Road

I didn’t write my regular, fascinating Monday update yesterday because I was driving.

In fact, have been driving for the past 2 days and sadly I am the only driver in this bunch.  Our belief in not letting our kids learn to drive until they are mature and enough to carry that responsibility comes back to bite me when I’m on one of these road trips.  I find myself thinking, “I wonder if I could just plop one of the girls in front of the wheel on a long stretch of nothing and tell her to hit the gas.”

That’s how I learned to drive.  I was 14 and my grandfather was taking me home after spending the week with him. It was a three hour drive and about 20 minutes in he pulled over and said, “You drive.”  I had never even sat behind a steering wheel before.  Coincidentally, that is also when I learned several new curse words, since I spent the entire time going about 40 miles an hour and hugging the side of the road.  I skimmed at least 2 mailboxes with the side of his truck.

When we hit my neighborhood he had me pull over and let him slide across so my parents wouldn’t see me behind the wheel.  A few days later I let the cat out of the bag and told them I had driven all the way home.  It was too exciting not to tell everyone.  I don’t remember if they were angry or grateful, of maybe a little of both.  There had to be some relief at not having to do the dreaded deed of teaching me.

Of course, that was the days of the horse and buggy and the highest speed limit was 55mph.  You couldn’t do that today.  We have speed limits up to 80mph in Texas plus the modern day police don’t take it as lightly when they pull over a teen with no license.

I kind of miss those days.

Especially when my legs start cramping up after 8 hours behind the wheel.

I kept humming the Beatles song, “The Long and Winding Road”.  My kids always suspect I am making up these old songs when I get to the parts about pools of tears or “yeah, yeah, yeah.”  They can not imagine that actually being a hit song and they will say, “Mom!  If you didn’t make it up then it must be one of your awful 80s songs?!”

No….smarty pants!  The 80s songs go like this, “867530-ni-eeen-yeeen…..” over and over and over.  So there.

We will be here in Olathe, Kansas all week for the OYAN writer’s workshop.  In fact, if you’re in the area, my friend Connie at Smockity Frocks and I are hosting a meetup on Thursday night.  Leave a comment or message me on Facebook if you want to come and I’ll send you the info!

Have a great week!