What's the big deal about Young Living

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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Why I’m Sold on Young Living Essential Oils

Ramen burns 3

If you read the story of how my baby got bad 2nd degree burns from Ramen noodles, you already know that I was amazed, as was the doctor, at how the lavender oil helped to heal her burns.

But what you might not know is that I am a very skeptical person by nature.

Whenever I am watching one of those hour long murder mystery documentaries, I always think it was the husband who did it. And whenever he tearfully tells how he didn’t do it, I always think, “He’s lying.”

And that same skepticism carries over in lots of areas of my life.

For example, If I see an ad for a brand new stain remover, I often think “It probably won’t get out the kinds of stains my kids get.” And I really never trust the hype until I try it myself.

Add to that a need to research the heck out of every decision I make, and you now know why when all my friends were telling me about how amazing Young Living Essential Oils are, I was not convinced.

And I even admitted to more than one friend that I like to thoroughly research important decisions affecting the health of my family, but frankly I just did not have the time to do it. I’m a busy person! And besides Tylenol and Motrin were working fine for me, thanks anyway.

Enter 2nd degree burns. 

Not only did I suddenly find the time to research essential oils (and boy was I kicking myself for not having done it before!), but I was able to see first hand what they could do.

Enter convinced.

Young Living logo

Now, I have never, ever in all my 47 years signed up with any sort of multi-level marketing product. Amway, Shaklee, Avon, Pampered Chef, Jamberry, Younique. Even though I am a fan of some of those products, I am just not cut out to be a marketer.

But I now know what my friend, Stacey knew when she gave me, out of her own pocket, the lavender and refused to let me pay her. That Young Living Essential Oils are healing. And they really work.

Naturally, since the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, my kids inherited my skepticism. The first time I offered to rub peppermint oil and Panaway on my son’s head when he complained of a headache, he laughed at me and said, “Get that voodoo away from me!”

But guess what he announced with astonishment 10 or so minutes later? “My headache is gone!”

When my li’l gymnast was sore from an extra grueling workout, and I applied Panaway, she said in disbelief, “That actually feels better!”

When my 19yo had the sniffles and the beginnings of a sore throat, she timidly asked for me to rub her down with Thieves.

When I used a drop of lemon oil and a drop of lavender under my tongue, instead of my customary over the counter medication for my allergies, no one, including me, thought it would actually work. And no one was more surprised than I was when I didn’t have to back up that treatment with Benadryl!

So, now my children are requesting the oils instead of the drugstore medication I used to give them!

In fact, when my 10yo told me she had a headache and I reached for the children’s Motrin out of habit, she said, “Mama! I thought you would give the peppermint oil head massage!”

Well, now I guess you can call me (and my entire family) accidental Young Living enthusiasts!

And I want you to try it out (and believe it) for yourselves. Because I want you to know that Young Living Essential Oils are healing. And they really work.

Join Young Living

 

Who knows? You may become an accidental enthusiast too!

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So You Think You’re Going to Correct My Kids?

So you think going to correct my kid

How do you feel about other people correcting your kids?

Many people bristle at the thought of someone else telling their kids what to do. The reason I know this is because I have had mothers tell me in no uncertain terms that they did not appreciate me correcting their child’s behavior.

Since I was a public school teacher for 8 years, I spent a lot of time telling other people’s children what to do. Or not do. Or do over.

Then I had 8 children of my own, so I still spend a lot of time telling kids what to do. Now days, my time is spent mostly telling my own kids what to do, but old habits die hard.

That’s why when I was in line at Six Flags last week and 2 boys were rough housing, and one of them actually kicked me right in the booty, I told them in my best Mother Voice to calm down and knock it off.

I don’t know where their mother was or whether she appreciated me doing it, but frankly I didn’t appreciate getting kicked, so I’m guessing we were even.

After I put that little story on my Smockity Facebook page, and my friend Lisa put it on her Facebook, I saw how many people do not like others correcting their children.

Honestly, I don’t mind if someone else corrects my children.

I even think it is good for them if the correction is not something I would have told them myself.

For instance, I don’t mind my children cart wheeling around in our yard. But if they are in the church yard cart wheeling around, and a little old lady tells them to stop doing it, I expect them to say “yes ma’am” and stop.

Now, this may not have been something I would have thought to tell them. Maybe I usually allow cart wheeling on the grass. Maybe I don’t see a problem with cart wheeling on the grass. But if an adult has a reason for telling them to stop, then they should do it immediately without question. (We actually had something very similar to this happen.)

They may come to me if they have questions about it. They may not ignore the little old lady, laugh at her, or say, “You are not the boss of me.”

Another example: I am one of those annoying moms who lets her kids go up the slide at the playground. My kids know that if there is someone else playing on the slide, they should not go up because that would keep others from enjoying the slide. But, let’s say I am reading a book and don’t notice my kid is going up while there are other kids waiting to go down.

I would hope there would be another mother there with enough gumption to tell my kid to get down. I would absolutely be mortified if my kid said, “My mom lets me do it!”

Even though it is true “my mom lets me do it,” we are not in our own home. We are on public property, and someone else is being inconvenienced by the behavior.

It is good for my children to realize that there are other standards for them besides my standards.

There is no running allowed in the grocery store.

There is no singing allowed at the library.

There is no talking allowed during worship service at church.

Now, running, singing, and talking are all things I allow at our home, but we are in a public place, and there are other people involved. That means other standards apply to my children. Not just my standards.

It actually makes me glad when my children are able to find out while they are still young that sometimes they must accommodate the world around them, instead of the world accommodating them. Sometimes they must bend to the wishes of others.

Then when they are adults, it won’t come as such a shock.

How do you feel about other people correcting your children?

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What's the big deal about Young Living