What's the big deal about Young Living

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

ALS Ice bucket challenge

Have you heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?

In an effort to spread awareness and raise funds for ALS research, people everywhere are participating in this creative way to invite friends to donate.

You can see who challenged me and which three people I passed that challenge on to in the above video. I was so glad to participate in this challenge and also donate in honor of my friend, Diane, who was recently diagnosed with ALS.

I hope this horrible disease will soon have a cure.

You can donate directly to ALS research here.

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Essential Oils for Allergies

Here is a quick little video I made describing how I have been using essential oils for my horrible seasonal allergies. I was shocked at the results!

PLEASE PAY NO MIND TO THE GOAT! :)

If you would like to know more about how I use essential oils, go here.

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Quit Judging Me For Judging You!

train tracks

Occasionally when people find out we homeschool, they begin to rattle off all the reasons they would homeschool, really they would, if only they had the time/patience/money/whatever.

And sometimes when people find out we have 8 children, I see them get antsy, and they tell me, somewhat sheepishly, all the reasons they don’t have a large family.

The same thing used to happen when I would breastfeed my babies.

I usually just listen and smile, but what I really want to say is this:

Relax. I’m not judging you.

I don’t have the spare time to find out about all the many decisions and all the many reasons you made the decisions you have made for your children and your family.

And even if I did have the time to learn about those, I wouldn’t have the mental energy to invest in figuring out whether those are good choices or bad choices for you and your family and your particular set of circumstances.

If you think I looked at you funny, it’s probably because I was trying to remember whether or not I turned on the CrockPot before I left home. And how much longer we can last with that one roll of toilet paper. And should I risk hoping it lasts through the night until tomorrow? Or go ahead and drag all the kids into the store to get some more?

Because frankly just trying to keep my own family from going off the rails is all-consuming for me.

Plus, at this point in my parenting journey, I realize that sometimes God has lessons to teach us regardless of whether we have made all the “right” decisions or not.

And I am fully aware that breastfed, homeschooled, children from large families succumb to diseases and drugs and teen pregnancy and divorce and a myriad of other problems none of us wants to face.

See, I don’t believe that making all the “right” choices inoculates me or my children from the hardships of this world. Neither do I believe that different choices are the path to doom.

And I’m not judging you for making different choices.

I’m just trying to keep my own Crazy Train on the tracks.

I bet you are, too.

Let’s do it together, sister.

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International Delight Iced Coffee

One good thing about the hot summers in Texas is that having to be outdoors is a great excuse to have a nice, refreshing iced coffee.

Here’s how you can make your very own frozen, frothy iced coffee at home.

International Delight Iced Coffee

1. Start by filling some ice cube trays with International Delight Iced Coffee. I chose Caramel Macchiato. Mmmmmm…

International Delight ice cubes

2. After checking the freezer 14 times, you’ll see that the cubes are finally frozen enough to put in a blender.

International Delight ice cream

3. Throw in a couple scoops of ice cream. What?! I like my coffee creamy, okay???

International Delight iced coffee

4. You’ll need to add some liquid or the blender will get very angry and start smelling like smoke. You won’t want that to happen, mostly because it will attract the kids, who will want to know what you are making and can they have some. No one needs that.

5. Whirrrrrrrrr.

International Delight iced coffee

6. Pour.

International Delight enjoying

7. Enjoy on the front porch swing!

International Delight tumbler

Would you like a tumbler like mine for your International Delight iced coffee? “Like” International Delight on Facebook and enter to win one! They are giving away 100 each week through August!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

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On Story Time and Interrupting Children

Children asking questions

Well, it seems I touched a nerve when I posted on my Smockity Facebook about not allowing my children to interrupt when I am reading aloud.

Here’s what I said to my Facebook audience about the way I handled the problem:

I used to struggle with constant interrupters during bedtime story time…

Now, I remind everyone that if anyone interrupts me, the story is over until the next bedtime. Occasionally, someone interrupts, and I quietly close the book and say my “good nights.”

Interrupting problem solved!

Let’s picture the scene, shall we?

Scenario: Bed time

Audience: Children, ages 2-8

Mom: (Opens book) “Once upon a time there were three little pigs. The first…”

Kid 1: “Is this the story with the big, bad wolf?”

Mom: “Yes, you can see a wolf on the cover.”

Kid 1: “Oh.”

Mom: “The first little pig…”

Kid 2: “Is he the one who built the stick house?”

Mom: “If you will listen, I am about to get to that. The first little pig built…”

Kid 3: “Is this a true story?”

Mom: “Do pigs build things in real life?”

Kid 3: “No…”

Mom: “The first little pig built his house of straw.”

Kid 3: “So, is it a true story or not?”

Mom: (Gives up and runs away from home with her belongings wrapped in a bandana on the end of a stick.)

Now, this little reenactment is slightly exaggerated for the sake of humor, but if you know children, or have taught children, or ever read aloud a story to them, you probably know this very much represents their nature.

I have taught Sunday school, public school, and homeschool for more than 20 years, and if there’s one thing I know it is this: Kids are impatient and impulsive.

But they don’t have to stay that way. They can be taught self control.

Yes, it is good to have a curiosity about the world around us. Yes, it is good to question things we do not understand. Yes, it is good to discuss stories that are read aloud.

But there is a time and a place for everything. (This is the same thing I tell my kids about booger picking, by the way.)

Imagine, if you will, a child who likes to draw. Not hard to imagine, right? Now, imagine a child who likes to draw on walls. This might be something that would be age-appropriate for a toddler, which a parent would work on eliminating.

Imagine that same child at age 8, drawing on the walls at the local library with a Sharpie.

Not cool, right? The library staff would likely be upset, and maybe even ask you to make restitution and/or leave the library.

There is a time and place for everything. Drawing = fine. Drawing on walls at the library with a Sharpie = Not fine.

This is how I approach questions during story time. There is a time and a place for questions. Asking questions at the end of the chapter or book = Fine. Interrupting me during the story = Not fine.

Very often, the questions the children have will be answered if they will just be patient and listen to the story. Sometimes the answer becomes clear through clues in the story. Sometimes the pictures I show them reveal the answers. Occasionally, the answers are found only at the end of the story during our discussion of it.

The bottom line is children must be taught self control, patience, and delayed gratification.

I am in no way suggesting that children not be allowed to ask questions about that which they do not understand.

I am suggesting they absolutely can be taught to wait and do that at an appropriate time, instead of interrupting.

Careful Mother vs. Assertive Mother

If you like this post, you might also like “Careful Mother vs. Assertive Mother

spoiled-child

Or “10 Signs Your Child is Spoiled and What to do About it.”

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Back to School With Dollar General

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dollar General for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

As much as I am enjoying our relaxed, summer schedule, I am faced with the inevitable fact the school year is approaching quickly.

And that means back to school supplies are on sale! 

 

So, I hit up my local Dollar General to see what I could pick up.

 

Does anyone else get giddy over the smell of brand new school supplies?

Every year my kids look forward to what they will see on the morning we start our homeschool year in the fall. 

When they wake up, they run to the school table to see what I have set out for them the night before. I have each child's supplies stacked and labeled with their names. Sort of like a back to school Santa Claus.

 

It's sometimes a challenge to find enough variety in colors of supplies to let every one of my children have their own color, but Dollar General had me covered! 

 

And did you know Dollar General also has darling fashions for great prices, too? I honestly never knew it was a place to get clothes until I complimented my friend, Lisa's pre-teen daughter on her maxi skirt one day at church. That's when she told me she gets adorable clothes at great prices at Dollar General! 

 

Now, I'm a believer! You can hardly beat $12 for an entire brand new outfit! 

So, whether it's school supplies or fashion you need, get back to school with Dollar General

And be sure to like Dollar General on Facebook and follow Dollar General on Twitter.

Visit Sponsor's Site

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What's the big deal about Young Living