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What's the big deal about Young Living

Christmas Gifts With Essential Oils

Oily Gifts

I love my Young Living essential oils, and my family uses them daily for one thing or another.

One way I love to use lavender is to put a few drops in Epsom salt and baking soda and relax in a hot bath with it sprinkled in. Ahhhhh… This makes such a relaxing bath right before bed.

So, I found these darling little milk bottles at Michael’s, and I made up a few gifts of Soothing Lavender Bath Salts to give my friends. Here’s how I did it.

Soothing Lavender Bath Salts

1. Mix Epsom salt and baking soda in a bowl

2. Fill milk bottle 1/2 full with mixture.

3. Add 4-5 drops Young Living lavender essential oil.

4. Put the lid on tightly and shake vigorously to mix the lavender thoroughly.

5. Fill the bottle to within an inch of the top with more Epsom salt/baking soda mixture.

6. Shake until well blended.

Peppermint sugar scrub

Another fun gift to make with essential oils is this super cute Peppermint candy cane sugar scrub. (Print out the darling labels here.) I keep a bottle by my kitchen sink and use it for a soothing, moisturizing hand scrub.

Peppermint Candy Cane Sugar Scrub

1. Divide the sugar into 2 bowls with lids.

2. Drop 2-3 drops of red food coloring in one bowl.

3. Put the lid on and shake vigorously to color the sugar evenly

4. Add 1/2 cup coconut oil to each bowl.

5. Add 3-4 drops of Peppermint essential oil to each bowl.

6. Put the lid on and shake until well mixed.

7. Layer the red and white sugars.

If you are interested in getting started with essential oils to keep you healthy through the winter months, there has never been a better time! Be sure to check out the freebies I have available for those who sign up through me in December!

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Boys, Banks, and Mason Jars

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Chase Ultimate Rewards for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

So, now that my 18 year old son has a job and is getting regular paychecks, he needs a plan for his money other than keeping all of it in Mason jars in his room.

Yes, really!

He has always been the frugal type, saving any birthday or Christmas money he gets and rarely spending it. There have been times when I have needed cash for one thing or another and I have had to borrow it from him. I would always write him a check or an IOU for him to stash in his jars.

The reality that he didn’t have a bank account, just the jars, meant that the checks and IOUs piled up until one day he came to me with them in his hand and asked for me to give him the cash for everything I had borrowed. I ended up having to pay him back several hundred dollars!

He never saw the need for a bank account because he figured the jars served him well enough.

Until he got the job he has now at the local movie theater. Now that he is getting regular paychecks, he can’t hand me those and ask me to exchange them for money. The time was long overdue for him to get a real bank account.

So, I did a little research online and I really liked what I saw at Chase Bank. They have some great perks like no monthly service fees with direct deposit, and mobile banking, which means you can download the app on your phone send money to another person, transfer money, check balances, and even deposit checks simply by taking a photo of the check!

While we were at Chase and my son was being helped, I noticed this large sign on the wall and was immediately interested in the words “CASH BACK.”

So, as my son was talking to the lady helping him set up his account, I Googled “Chase Ultimate Rewards“ to see what it was all about.

And I saw that it is a personalized rewards program available to Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire, and Ink from Chase cardholders that allows you to earn points which you can redeem for rewards, like merchandise, gift cards, or even cash back.
Then, I got to thinking about how we had planned to pay for all of our extra Christmas expenses with my husband’s year-end bonus from work, but how that bonus was coming at the YEAR-END and it was mighty tight right now before the year-end while I am buying a million and one Christmas gifts and Christmas decorations and Christmas party supplies. 

And I thought how handy a credit card would be that gives me cash back for all the Christmas purchases I am making, which I could just pay off at the end of the month. And Ultimate Rewards makes it easy – you can earn cash back starting at $20 for 2,000 points and get it sent direct deposit into your bank account! 

And that’s right about the time when the lady who was helping my son informed him that his driver’s license was expired and, unless he had another form of identification on him (she wouldn’t count his library card), we would have to come back when he had it renewed. 

Well, he didn’t have another form of identification, and I needed to high-tail it back home to be there for our annual gingerbread house decorating party and sleepover for 15 girls which would be taking place pronto.


Long story short: My son still doesn’t have a bank account, but as soon as he gets his driver’s license renewed, he will be going back to Chase to get that set up so he won’t have to stuff his paychecks into Mason jars.

And I will be checking further into Chase Ultimate Rewards, which also offers extra incentives to cardholders during the holidays, helping you to stretch every dollar this season.

Then I will be taking a nap. 

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Standing in the Gap (Part 2)

Read Part 1 Here.

I finally decided I would attend the board meeting, and my children agreed to stand beside me holding up the projects they had been working so hard on.

The meeting time approached and I was a nervous wreck. Why was I even trying this crazy stunt? They had never allowed late entries before. Why would they allow us in this time?

When we walked into the meeting, and I immediately wanted to turn around and go home. The room was filled with weather worn ranchers and ranchers’ wives. They eyed me suspiciously.

I introduced myself to the president, tall and graying, dressed in work boots and head to toe denim, topped with a cowboy hat.

When I told him who I was and why I was there with my children, he said with a slow drawl, “Young lady, you’re welcome to address the board, but it won’t do any good.”

I tried desperately not to let the children see that I already felt defeated.

The meeting opened and the president introduced us and we walked to the front. I was shaking. My voice was unsteady.

I began my story of how I had overlooked the new rule of including w-9 forms with the paperwork turned in for entry into the county stock show. I placed all the blame on myself, and pleaded with them not to punish the children for my mistake. I pointed out the quilts and dresses they were holding up that they had already completed in anticipation of showing them.

I looked out onto a sea of stoic faces. The president was looking down solemnly at a paper he was holding, arms crossed.

I finished by asking them to please make an exception to the “no late entries” rule and allow us to participate. I thanked them for allowing me to address them and the children and I filed out.

When we got to the van, I told the kids it didn’t go well and we probably wouldn’t get to participate. They already knew. “At least you tried, Mama,” one said as we drove away silently.

Screenshot 2014-12-17 09.56.24

I wondered if I should have just accepted defeat. Why was I asking for special favor? Why did I think my children deserved an exception?

Screenshot 2014-12-17 09.56.45

The fact is that I knew the mistake was mine, and I hated to think of my children fulfilling all the obligations that were required of them, even going above and beyond what was required, and then being penalized because I had overlooked a new requirement.

And I knew if I didn’t go to bat for them, stand in the gap for them when they couldn’t ask for favor themselves, that no one else would do it. What kind of mother would I be if I didn’t ask for my children not to be punished for my mistake?

I felt at peace knowing I had done all I could to fix my mistake. All I could do was ask. Now we would wait to hear the answer, but we all felt like it would be “no.”

That’s why we all whooped and hollered and were knocked off our feet with surprise when we got the phone call the next day that the board had voted, after much debate and discussion, to allow late entries for the first time in its history!

We will be participating in the county stock show, and my children will get to show their quilts, dresses, goats, art work, and all the rest of the projects they have been working diligently on! 

We are absolutely thrilled!

We have learned some important lessons during this trial:

  • Mom should inquire as to any new requirements in paperwork before the deadline.
  • It never hurts to ask.
  • You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
  • Mom is a child’s most important and powerful advocate.
  • You never know what can be accomplished until you try.
  • Burly men in weathered cowboy hats can still have tender hearts.
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Devotional Ebook SALE {HALF OFF}


Add to Cart

I am offering my Wholesome Talk ebooks for 1/2 OFF through December 31st. These are perfect for New Year’s resolutions! Use the code “HALFOFF” to get 50% off.

The kids version includes 30 scriptures on controlling the tongue, and I briefly explain what each one means in terms my own children would understand. I give examples of what the scriptures would look like in daily life, and include some dialogue that might occur between siblings or friends. Each lesson is short, intended to take 10-15 minutes to complete, and focuses on the scripture of the day.

Screen Shot 2013-12-27 at 12.28.36 PM

Add to Cart

I wrote this with my kids, ages 7 – 13, in mind, and it includes printable pages with dotted lines for copying the scripture and completing the S.O.A.P. method of Bible study for each scripture. (You can see a video of my then-kindergartener doing S.O.A.P. here.) There is also a cursive and a printed example of the scripture for the purpose of copy work, so this can even qualify as your child’s handwriting assignment.

This 30 day challenge can be used for 30 consecutive days, or if you wish, 5 scriptures a week for a unit of 6 weeks, or even one scripture a week for a 30 week unit. I used the same scriptures, in the same order, as the adult version of How to Manage Your Mouth, (I also included printable journal pages in the adult version!) You can participate in the challenge right along with your children!

Buy Now


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Go to Homeschool Retreat FOR FREE! {PLUS $50 Giveaway}

Homeschool retreat giveaway

Have you heard about the phenomenal event, The Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit? If you haven’t, you are missing out on the chance to receive a boatload of encouragement, refreshment, and renewal!

Here are some recaps of past Summits from different attendees:

And here you can see for yourself what attending The Summit looks like.

And now, for the first time ever, there is a way to attend The Summit FOR FREE! Here’s how:

  • Round up 5 friends who have never been.
  • Print off 3 of these registration forms.
  • Fill in the info for yourself and your 5 friends.
  • Collect the money and write one check to cover the registration for those 5. (YOURS IS FREE!)
  • Mail to:

Winter Summit
c/o Roxanne Parks
2612 Meadow View Road
Edmond, OK 73013

Now, you might be thinking, “I don’t have 5 homeschooling friends, but I would love to meet some like minded ladies!” We would love to have you at The Summit, and to help you get there we are offering a $10 discount code. When you register, simply apply the code “smockity10″.

AND as a special bonus, one lucky winner will receive the cost of their registration refunded in a drawing on January 1st!

Okay, who’s ready to win a $50 Amazon gift card??? Anyone can enter and there are multiple ways, so be sure to increase your chances by visiting each blogger who will be attending The Summit!

Simply leave a comment on this post to enter. Then, hop on over to the the other participating blogs to enter there, too. You will be given one entry per blog, for a maximum of 5 entries. One winner will be randomly chosen on Wednesday, December 17 to receive the $50 Amazon gift card.

See you at The Summit!

2015 web button MEET ME IN TX

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Standing in the Gap for Your Children

sewing a quilt

If you follow Smockity Frocks on Facebook, you may know that my children have been diligently preparing for our county livestock show and fair, which takes place in January each year. Livestock can be shown, but also handmade items. We always do both.

working on a quilt

They start months in advance planning out and working on their various projects.


In the “Family Living” division, children can show quilts, canned goods, pies, knitted items, wooden crafts, welded trailers, or almost anything else you might see at an old fashioned country fair. They can be awarded blue ribbons and their item can make it to the auction on the last night of the fair if it is good enough. There, members of the community can bid on the items and buy them. Sometimes the kids make quite a bit of money for a quality piece of work.

Really, my children don’t care about the money. They just love getting to display their hard work and having people admire it.

That’s why we were all devastated when we found out that our entry into this event was denied because, when turning in the entry forms, I did not turn in w-9 forms for the children. These were required for the first time this year because a few children earn more than $600 in the auction. I had overlooked this new requirement, and the deadline had come and gone before I became aware of my mistake.

goat show

Not only would they not be able to show their handmade items, all the hard work with the goats would be lost, too. There would be no fair for us. No stock show. No ribbons. No crowds admiring their work.

My children were in a frenzy of tears and questions. I was kicking myself for not noticing the new requirement, for being so busy that I didn’t get the paperwork turned in earlier, for letting my children down. What kind of mother encourages her children to work hard for a promised reward and then allows the reward to slip from their grasp?

It seems silly now, but I was in tears myself. I prayed that God would show me a way to make up for this mistake. Then I wondered if God really cares about children participating in a county fair when there are so many larger issues in the world.

I showed up bright and early as soon as the offices were opened the next morning with warm cookies in hand. I also brought the quilt pictured above and I begged, teary eyed and voice quivering, for the county extension agent to make an exception and let us in the show with a late entry.

He was very compassionate and understanding, but explained that it was not up to him. The livestock raisers association of our county made these decisions by holding a board meeting. He then told me that this sort of thing had happened before and the board had never in its history allowed a late entry, but I was welcome to make an appeal at the next meeting.

I went home feeling worse than ever. What kind of mother…?

I explained to the kids what I had been told, and they had mixed reactions. One told me I should go to the board meeting and plead with them to let us in. After all, I had persuaded the library board to change its book check out policy by speaking at their board meeting. Another said, that would be pushy and we should just resign ourselves to not participating. The little ones cried.

I continued beating myself up. What kind of mother…?

I went back and forth arguing with myself about attending the board meeting which was to be held in a few days. I prayed some more. And wondered some more if God concerns himself with the failings of absent minded mothers.

Read the conclusion here.

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