What's the big deal about Young Living

Lice Update, Ebook Sale, and Cute Giveaway

Can you believe this is our first experience with lice? I made it 19+ years of parenting 7 long haired daughters and one rascally son without having to deal with it.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

I *think* we have beaten those little devils and are no longer living in the grips of mayonnaise-greased, Listerine scented fear, but I’m not completely ready to proclaim I know all the secrets to lice extermination and removal. (Whispering: We mustn’t anger them!)

I’ll post the methods we found successful after we have been completely lice free for 2-3 weeks.

How to Manage Your Mouth - Bible study

In other news, through the end of June I am having a HALF OFF summer sale on my ebooks series for controlling the tongue.

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 Use the code “SUMMERSAVINGS” to get 50% off.

This sale will end on June 30th, so snag yours now!

You can read more about how we use this wholesome talk Bible study in our family here. This is a 30 day study in the form of a journal. It’s designed to take 10-15 minutes each day. Perfect for a summertime family Bible study! 

Rustic light fixture giveaway

In giveaway news, if rustic, cute, and quirky is your style, hop on over to enter this giveaway from my talented friend, Cintheya. She also has some super darling ideas for throwing a 4th of July party on a penny pincher budget!

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The Lice Epidemic of 2014 (or The Time Mama Nearly Shaved Everyone Bald-Headed and Burned the House Down)

Family photo

This is our most recent church directory picture, taken last month, while my oldest daughter was away at college.

Incidentally, I dutifully and carefully spent hours picking out dresses and fixing everyone’s hair for this picture, but I didn’t let them get dressed until the last 20 or so minutes before we were going to leave to head up to the church building because I knew those pale blue and white dresses were sure to get dirty if they put them on too soon.

So, as I was putting the finishing touches on the last head of hair and the time was getting close, I told everyone to go ahead and get dressed, and I warned them not to go outside, or crawl, or run, or rub up against anything, or even look at anything dirty.

I’m sure you can image the cardiac infarction I nearly suffered when I rounded the corner to get my purse and gather up the kids to make the final check of hair and shoes when I saw the 3 year old casually walking around carrying a full, open can of root beer in one hand and a wad of over-ripe strawberries in the other.

I may have shrieked.

Pigeons in Times Square may have simultaneously taken flight in slow motion.

My husband found me leaning over a mound of wadded up strawberries on the counter, pinching the bridge of my nose, and practicing Lamaze breathing. He admitted that even though the kids aren’t usually allowed to have sodas, he gave the girls a can of root beer to split because he thought that would keep them out of the way while I finished getting ready. He didn’t know why they had the handfuls of strawberries.

“Why are you so tense?” he asked.

I can’t remember what happened after that.

But the point of this post is that I want you to look at the picture. Study it.

Then, mentally add a 19 year old girl into the picture. Make sure that in your mental image her hair is long. And thick.

Now, take note of the hair in the picture. All. The. Hair.

At this point, I would like us all to observe a moment of silence as I utter the single word I have been hoping all these 19+ years of parenting that I would somehow be fortunate enough to never encounter.


That’s right. Let us pray.

We are on Day 2 of treatment, and I believe I have tried everything my trusty Facebook fans have recommended, excepting shaving everyone bald-headed and burning down the house.

Okay, those last two may have been my subconscious blurting those out in my sleep.

I’ll be sure to follow this up with what remedies worked, as soon as we are rid of the little devils.

In the meantime, if you’ll excuse me, I have some more nitpicking to do.

And miles to go before I sleep.

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My Pier One Outdoor Party {Plus GIVEAWAY}

My Pier One Outdoor Party

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Pier 1 Imports. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and to thank me for participating.

Pier One party crowd

Every Memorial Day, we like to have a fun outdoor party and invite friends of all ages. This year I was invited by Pier One to showcase some of their outdoor items, and I was thrilled to be able to do it.

I decided to go with a patriotic theme, so it was a no-brainer to pick out lots of red, white, and blue items.

Pier One beverage tub in action

My favorite is this Pier One beverage tub. It kept the drinks handy and at the perfect height for everyone to quickly grab what they wanted. I placed it between the food table and the drink table.

Pier One food table

Pier One Drink Table

It was a popular place to hang out.

Pier 1 party crowd

Don’t you love the paper lanterns I hung above the tables? I picked up those at Pier One, too.

Pier One drink dispenser

The Pier One beverage dispenser was perfect for ice cold lemonade. I love that it has that Mason jar look! It fit in perfectly with my party!

Pier One straws

I snagged these adorable paper straws at Pier One, too.

Pier One straws in glasses

They added a fun touch.

Pier One Stars

I also picked up these little red, white, and blue stars to hang around to accentuate the patriotic theme.

Pier1 party long view

The stars also gave a little weight to the drink table banner to keep it from flapping in the wind.

Pier one fun zone

I had a “fun zone” for kids, and I put sidewalk chalk, bubbles, pinwheels, bouncy balls, Pop-Its, and glow sticks in an old chest. The kids loved this!

Pier One hanging candles

As the sun started to set on my party, the fun continued and my Pier One hanging candles added some fun lighting.

Friends, food, flags, and fun. What better way to celebrate a patriotic holiday?

Now, Pier One would like to give one of you a $25 gift card to help you celebrate at your next party!

To enter to win, simply leave a comment below telling me what you would choose from Pier One if you win. The winner will be notified on or before June 18th.

*Special thanks to Rustic Redneck Designs for their party planning services!

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On Forced Association

On Forced Association

Since I shared with you that I do not force my children to share, but instead encourage kindness and generosity and encourage them to share if they want to, I may as well also tell you that I do not force my children to play with one another.

By this, I mean that I do not believe in forced association.

As adults we are not forced to befriend anyone we find annoying, deceitful, boastful, manipulative, etc. If there is someone we do not care to befriend, we generally have that choice. I understand that there are situations where we tolerate behaviors we do not like, as in if someone works at a nearby desk in your cubicle at the office, but in general adults are not forced to associate with those they do not wish to.

No one makes you go to dinner and a movie with a friend who is a habitual liar, or a chronic complainer, or a manipulative jerk.

This is the same choice I give my children. This usually plays out quite well in our own home. Here is an example of how it might sound:

Child A: “Mommy, Child B won’t play with me!”

Mom: “Why not? Were you being annoying?”

Child A: “(hesitating) … no…”

Mom: “Child B, Why won’t you play with Child A?”

Child B: “She cries when we don’t play what she wants to play.”

Mom: “(to Child A) That is annoying. No one likes to play with a crybaby. Go play by yourself or stop being a crybaby and maybe they will decide to let you play with them.”

Do you see how this mirrors the real, adult world? If you encounter a new friend who is a liar/braggart/bully/constant complainer/etc, you have the choice whether you want to continue the friendship or not. No one forces you to associate with that person.

Here is another example of how this goes in our home:

Child A: “Mommy, Child B won’t stop bossing us around when we are playing house.”

Mom: “Then don’t play with her. Nobody likes to play with a Bossy Britches.”

Honestly, these scenarios rarely happen at our house because my children understand The Law of Natural Consequences. Nobody likes a bully/liar/cry baby/tattle tale/etc. If you act that way, no one will want to play with you.

This is not to say that I allow my children to be rude to others when they exhibit annoying behaviors, and I also expect them to greet new friends enthusiastically, regardless of gender, race, religion, or politics. It simply means that I do not require them to play with children who exhibit undesirable behaviors.

This freedom has worked quite well in our home. I can see in my own children that it has cultivated in them a propensity to be pleasant and get along when playing with others. They know that if they are an unpleasant playmate, they may not be a playmate at all before too long.

They understand the natural consequences of being unpleasant. 

I think this is important for my children to learn, not only so they will be pleasant playmates, but also so they will be and look for pleasant life mates.

It won’t be too much longer that I expect I will be seeing my own children marry. I hope that I have taught them that they need to choose someone who is pleasant, honest, upright, and amiable as a life-long mate.

They have the choice who they would like to spend their lives with. They have been practicing making good choices of who they would like to associate with all along, so I expect they will choose well.

What do you think about forced association? Do you make your children play with others when they don’t want to?

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Simple Pudding Snack

*Thank you to Kozy Shack for sponsoring today’s post. My love for their delicious pudding is all my own!

Simple Pudding Snack

Is there anything that says summer more than popsicles? It’s a great way to beat the summer heat.

And do you know what is better than popsicles? How about CHOCOLATE PUDDING POPS!

I used Kozy Shack Chocolate pudding, made with real cocoa, real milk, no artificial preservatives, and it’s gluten free.

Easy pudding snack2

I simply spooned the pudding into these popsicle molds.

Kozy Shack pudding snack

Then, I covered them with plastic wrap (so the sticks would stay upright) and inserted craft sticks.

Kozy Shack Pudding Pops

These were a big hit at our house! Cool and creamy chocolate. The perfect summer time treat!

Free Kozy Shack

And now I would like to let one of you try Kozy Shack pudding FOR FREE, along with 2 ceramic mugs and spoons so you can share with a friend.

To enter to win:

  • visit the Kozy Shack page.
  • Click “where to buy” at the top right (in blue).
  • Enter your zip code to see if Kozy Shack pudding is available in your area.
  • Post the following on one of your social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Google+) “Simple pudding is simply the best. Check out this post about simple pudding snacks with @KozyShack. http://wp.me/pMqqr-2tC #puddinglove
  • Come back here and leave a link to your post in the comments.
  • DONE!

On or before June 18, I will randomly select a winner to receive the 2 ceramic mugs and the free package of any Kozy Shack product, up to a $4.99 value.

Kozy Shack pudding

Be sure to “like” Kozy Shack on Facebook and Twitter to see how others enjoy their pudding.

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More on Forced Sharing and What it Teaches

Is forcing kids to share teaching them to be easily manipulated

Do you force your kids to share their toys? I used to until I began to wonder what exactly this was teaching them.

I got quite a few comments in my original post on why I do not force my children to share, so I knew it struck a nerve. Here are some additional thoughts on my reasons for this.

Imagine your favorite uncle gives you a shiny, new riding lawn mower. Or for that matter, imagine that you save your money and buy a shiny, new riding lawn mower.

You can’t wait to use it and immediately crank it up and begin to mow your front yard.

Now, imagine that after only one round, your neighbor comes over and admires your new mower. He hints that he would like to try it out on his yard, too. When you don’t respond he says he would like to use it right now. When you look quizzically at him, he reminds you that sharing is kind. When you keep going and try to ignore him, he stamps his foot and says angrily, “SHARE! Jesus said share!”

Hopefully you cannot imagine a real, live adult behaving in such a way. Think for just a moment about what kind of neighbor would actually do this. A self-centered, demanding, manipulative neighbor?

And think about what message you would be sending to this neighbor if you got off of your brand new mower after only one round, even though you weren’t through mowing your yard, simply to give in to his manipulative tactics.

You would essentially be training your neighbor to make irrational demands of you and expect to be accommodated immediately.

Is this really what we want to train our children to be like? Do we want our children to expect to be accommodated when they demand a toy that someone else is playing with, simply because they stamp their foot and say, “SHARE!”?

You may be thinking, “But, my *Little Precious doesn’t stamp her foot! She says ‘please’ and reminds the owner of the toy that ‘sharing is nice’.”

That is all well and good, and Precious is certainly appearing to use her manners in the above scenario, but I would like to offer the suggestion that she is actually manipulating the owner of the toy to give it over for her own selfish desires.

Why should her own interests and desires take precedence over the child already playing with the toy?

Why should the neighbor’s desire to mow his yard “right now” be more important than your desire to use your own mower?

Selfishness, plain and simple.

Friends, if we are teaching our children that they should give in to selfish demands of others because the Bible says to share, or because the Bible says to treat others the way we want to be treated, we are setting them up for a lifetime of being manipulated.

Yes, the Bible does indeed say those things, but we also need to point out to our children when Jesus or the apostles chastised people because their thoughts were on their own selfish desires and not on furthering the kingdom of Christ. (See Matthew 16:23 and 1 Corinthians 5:1-2.)

Please, consider how easy it was for Doug Phillips, a former leader in the Christian homeschooling realm, to manipulate his victim into giving over what she did not want to give, but what he wanted for his own selfish desires.

Consider how Bill Gothard manipulated his victims into, not only doing what they did not wish, but remaining silent about it for years.

Consider how a popular preacher manipulated his many victims, his church, and his family for over 40 years to not recognize or report his sexual abuse of children.

In each of the above cases, the perpetrator counted on the victims being easily manipulated. They counted on the good, Christian consciences of the victims to make them feel compelled to give over what they did not want to give.

Is this what we are training our children to do? Do we want them to give over what is rightfully theirs, simply because someone selfishly demands it?

I say no. I say it is not unChristian to say no.

“No, I am using it.”

“No, it is mine.”

“No, I do not want to let you have it.”

There is nothing wrong with saying these things.

There are many ways to teach generosity and kindness without teaching our children to be easy targets for manipulators.

If you would like to know more about how manipulative people operate, about how they target those who are sensitive and kind, about how Christians can be loving, yet not be manipulated, you might find the following books helpful. (affiliate links)

*Little Precious is a fictional character. Any similarities to a real person are coincidental.

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What's the big deal about Young Living