What's the big deal about Young Living

That’s When I Decided to Make “Goat to 5K” Training Videos

As you probably have guessed, it’s always something here at Smockityville. I mean, really, when you have yourself 8 kids, it’s pretty much expected that you’re going to hit the ground running every day and keep going until bedtime.

Rinse. Repeat.

So, last week was one of those, “WHIIIiiiiiiyyyyy do these things always happen to me???” weeks.

Here’s how it went down.

Goat auction

My 12yo decided after much angst, debate, and thought, that she would like to spend every scrap of money in her savings account to buy 2 goats at a local auction for the purpose of showing at stock shows around the state.

Now, she had money in her savings account to begin with because of her success with showing animals, so she knew she could make her money back.

Possibly, that is. Because last year she didn’t do as well as the year before. And one year we even had a goat that dropped dead of unknown causes before we were able to show him, so that was a total loss.

Just so you know how much money there is to be made, the top goat at the above auction went for $3,100!

So, after a long day of checking out the stock, feeling the stock, eyeballing the stock, and evaluating the stock, she finally won 2 goats with her bids, and she paid for them, and we carted them home.

To what we thought was a secure pasture.

Two days later, we awoke to discover they were nowhere to be found. Those rascals had escaped!

Now, normally if a goat we had owned for a few weeks were to escape, we wouldn’t be panicked about it, because it would show up again around feeding time. But these goats were brand new to us, so they didn’t know their pasture as “home” yet. Plus, they cost a pretty penny, and we were all imagining them dead on the highway or 15 miles away in some stranger’s field!

So we took off trekking through the woods and adjacent pastures, with ropes in hand, looking for them.


When we finally found them, there was the matter or catching them. Remember, they weren’t used to us, being brand new, so of course they darted and bolted and dashed any time we came within a hundred yards.

Have you ever tried to catch a wild goat in a neighbor’s wide open pasture? Or in a woody thicket, for that matter?

Much more difficult than you might imagine.

I’m going to save you from the many and sundry descriptions of tackling, wrangling, and wrestling, but trust me. There was much of it.

Runaway goat

So, we finally caught them about a mile from our house, and then came the hard work. Dragging them back home. Don’t forget they were wild. Unruly.

They bucked and resisted the. Entire. Way. Home.

I briefly tried carrying one, but that didn’t work. See bucking and resisting above.

All told, we got them back in their places after much panting, heaving, sweating, and straining.

And then I realized I had precisely 20 minutes to brush the dust off change my shirt and catch the stray kitten the kids talked me into taking home from the parking lot at church to get him to the vet for some vaccinations and de-worming.

Goat to 5K

That’s when it occurred to me that there are people who actually pay for memberships at places where folks would taunt them into doing these sorts of things for the sole purpose of building muscles.

So, if any of you reading this would like to build muscles in a cardio workout, I know just the place you could do it. Videos available soon.

Now, I have to run.

The goats got out again.

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What Mean Comments Tell People About You – It Might Be More Than You Think

Mean comments

Remember when you read “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and you got to the infamous part where Tom is talking all glowingly and adoringly about how fun and fulfilling it is to whitewash a fence?

And you were all, “I see where you’re going with this, Tom. You are so transparent!”

I have often told my children that when they are mean to others, cut them down, purposely try make them feel bad, what they are really doing is letting everyone know, not what they think of the person they are being mean to, but what they think of themselves.

It is so transparent.

I tell them they might as well be wearing a sign around their necks that says, “I feel bad about myself and I want you to feel bad about yourself, too.”

A sign around their necks. Or a window into their hearts. 

And sometimes I wonder if there are adults out there who need to know this.

I have been blogging since January 2007. That is 7 and a half years of typing out ‘most everything that comes into my noggin for all of y’all out there to read.

And 7 and a half years of getting comments and emails that are for the most part kind, encouraging, funny, engaging, and heartfelt.

But every so often I get feedback that tells me the commenter wants me to feel bad about myself as some bizarre attempt to make themselves feel better.

When my little Peyton was born a little over 4 years ago, I announced her birth in a post and shared the above picture.

And one of the comments (which I deleted) was

“You look like it’s grandmother.”

And I was all, “Ssssssseriously???”.

Mainly because I was thinking, “Dude. You look like you could use a grammar lesson because you just included an unnecessary apostrophe in that insult.”

But after I got past the Grammar Nazi first reaction, I thought, “How sad! How tragic to feel so broken and ugly that you want others to feel the same way, even in a moment of joyous celebration.”

Now, I’m not telling you this so you can feel sorry for me. I’m writing this here because I want you to know what mean comments tell others, not about the person you are insulting, but about you.

About your heart.

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:45

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The Day My Baby Was Burned by Ramen Noodles

*Warning: Graphic photos included.

If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, you know that my 4 year old, Peyton, was severely burned 2 weeks ago by a bowl of Ramen noodles.

I had set the bowl on the counter in front of her, just like I had done a hundred times before. But this time, for whatever reason, she decided to get down from her stool at the counter before she had even started to eat.

I saw it all happening in slow motion. As she grabbed the counter to let her little feet reach the floor, her fingertips tipped the edge of the bowl.

Since she was below the bowl, already off the stool and on the floor, the entire contents poured onto her shoulder.

And since Ramen noodles are so sticky, they draped over her back and chest. And clung there in a steaming mass.

She shrieked a tormented scream.

And just like when a little child is standing in an ant bed with ants stinging them, but they don’t know, or maybe they are too frightened, to brush them off and move away from the bed, she didn’t try to brush them off.

My son got to her first and brushed them all away. I got there a half second later and hurriedly snatched her shirt off.

Her skin was fiery red and she was trembling.

I grabbed her up and ran for the shower. As soon as I turned on the cool water, her skin rose up in one massive bubble on her back and peeled away. I was horrified, but before I could turn the water off the same thing happened on her shoulder and chest.

I could hardly think straight, but I wrapped her as gingerly as I could in a towel, and ran to the van. We live about 6 miles from the hospital, and I don’t remember anything about the drive there or parking the van.

I ran inside the ER with her. She was whimpering loudly, “I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die.” The nurse at the desk stood straight up out of her chair and motioned for me to take her back. No paper work. No signing in. No showing an insurance card.

Thank you, Lord!

There were people waiting their turns, but no one objected to us going ahead of them.

The 2 hours she was being treated were a blur. There was lots of crying. She told me to blow on her burns and “never stop blowing, Mommy.” There was codeine. There were bandages and antibiotic ointment. There were kind nurses and doctors. They said they see lots of Ramen burns and they are always bad. They said I did everything right and that it could have happened to anyone.

Ramen burns

This was the only picture I could bear to take of her that first day. The ER doctor told me not to take the bandages off and to follow up with my pediatrician in 48 hours.

I made an appointment with my pediatrician and showed up 2 days later. When she started to take the bandages off and stopped in her tracks. She paged her nurse and asked her to get Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth on the line.

Ramen burns

(48 hours after the Ramen burns)

Since it had been covered, I had mostly blocked how bad it was from my mind, and I guess I hoped it had miraculously healed under those bandages.

The doctor prescribed some Silvadene cream to put on the parts I could reach without removing bandages, but warned me that it would be toxic if she got it in her mouth. That concerned me and I asked her timidly what she thought of applying Young Living lavender essential oil on the burns. (I remembered what a relief it had been when I burned my thumb on the oven heating element.) She said she had heard a lot of great testimonies about Young Living oils, but she had not done any research herself on the subject. She assured me that she trusted my judgment and knew that I would do diligent research before applying them.

Truly, I was sort of hoping she would have told me “Absolutely not!” because now I knew the ball was in my court and I had a lot of research to do. (WHY hadn’t I taken the time to research it before, when all my friends had raved about Young Living?!)

We went straight to Children’s Hospital, and on the way I called my friend, Stacey, who is a Young Living distributor. I also texted her a picture. She was horrified at the burns, and thankfully she didn’t block me for sending her such graphic images.  I frantically told her that I was desperate to get ahold of some lavender and AN Y and ALL research about applying lavender to 2nd degree burns.

Stacey was so dear that she said she would meet me with a bottle of lavender and some Lavaderm spray. She also went to work sending me link after link about how lavender heals burns.

Once we got to that hospital, they removed as much dead skin as could be endured, which was excruciating to watch, and I can only imagine what it felt like! They assured me again that Ramen burns are the most common and the worst burns they see in children because the noodles are so sticky that they cling to the clothes and stick to the skin.

The doctors there were so kind and patient. They told us we needed to come back twice a week to get more dead skin removed, and they showed me how to gently change the bandages.

Ramen burns 2

(4 days after the incident)

This was our second trip to Children’s. The burns were very slowly starting to look better. I mentioned to the doctor that I wondered what she thought about me applying lavender essential oil to the burns. She said she had not done research on it, but had heard good things. She said she could only personally recommend antibacterial ointment and/or Silvadeen cream, but she would leave it up to me.

In the meantime, Stacey sent me a TON of information and testimonies on Young Living oils. She sent me a pocket reference, an empty roller bottle, and more Lavaderm spray. (And she did all this without charging me anything at all! What a wonderful friend!)

I looked at every bit of information I could get my hands on concerning 2nd degree burns and naturally aiding the healing. (I was still reluctant to use the Silvadeen since it was toxic if ingested!) I didn’t want to put anything on my baby’s tender skin that could hurt her.

I mixed up a little concoction of vitamin E, castor oil, and Young Living lavender essential oil. Each of those is documented as healing burns, helping regenerate skin cells, preventing bacteria growth, and preventing scarring. I put the concoction in the roller bottle Stacey gave me, and very gently applied it to the burns.

Ramen burns 3

(7 days after being burned)

I did this every 2-3 hours throughout the days in between hospital visits. Finally, on our last visit the doctor said, “I don’t know what you are putting on this, but KEEP IT UP!”

I was so thrilled that the essential oil blend I made had worked! Best of all, it was non-toxic! I didn’t have to worry about her accidentally ingesting any of it.

Now that we are on the tail end of this horrifying experience I can say a few things with certainty.

  • We are never having Ramen in our house ever again.
  • Good friends who care and pray are wonderful!
  • Young Living essential oils WORK! (I mean, LOOK at the photos!)

Honestly, I have been a little skeptical as all my friends have been raving on and on about Young Living essential oils, but during this desperate time when Stacey reached out to me and gave me what I needed to help those burns heal, out of her own pocket, not asking anything in return, it has proved to me that there must be something to them!

I would love to tell you more about how having Young Living essential oils is like having a pharmacy at your fingertips. If you are interested in learning more about them, just click on that link and see what freebies and gifts are available when you sign up with them.

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Kmart Summer Fun

This is a sponsored post. I am a #KmartSummerFun blogger, though all opinions are my own.

Is there anything that says summer fun more than a backyard pool? (I mean besides mosquito bites, sunburn, and sweaty children.)

Kmart Summer Fun 3

My kids have been begging us for an above ground swimming pool somewhere around forever and one day, and we finally found a great deal on this one at this Kmart Hot Deals page.

Kmart Summer Fun 4

The pools are on sale right now, with lots of other outdoor fun things, from water guns to yard games to trampolines to bounce houses, and the shipping is FREE for orders of $59 or more!

Kmart Summer Fun

I probably don’t need to tell you that I am not exaggerating when I say the kids have been in this thing almost non-stop since we first started setting it up. Even during setup! They are so thrilled to have it, that from the time they first wake up in the morning until somewhere around sunset, I can hear someone, usually 3 or 4 someones at a time, splashing around in the pool!

Kmart Summer Fun2

Of course, I had to learn the hard way exactly how important it is for the surface the pool is to sit on to be level because of that pesky little gravity thing and “water seeks its own level” and all that other science-y stuff.

As it turns out gravity plus H2O equals a lot of pressure on the low side of the pool and that ends up meaning a large “pool” of water, so to speak, all over the yard, and not necessarily contained in the brand new pool you just set up on uneven ground.

Take it from me, if you’re getting an above ground pool, watch the video below, and take the time to level the ground first. (Where was this guy when I was setting up the pool???)

And if you’re wondering how to get the kids to spend more time outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine this summer, don’t walk, run right now over to the Kmart Hot Deals page and pick up one of these while they are still on sale!

What says “summer fun” to you?

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Homemade Detangling Spray

Homemade Detangling Spray

Having 7 long-haired daughters means we deal with lots of tangles, so I like to save money by making my own detangling spray.

I use generic spray bottles and fill about 3/4 full of water. Then I fill up the rest with conditioner and give it a good shake.

Since dealing with our lice epidemic, I add a few drops of tea tree oil, which is supposed to repel lice.

Whenever I do hair, I always have this homemade detangling spray handy and it makes styling a breeze.

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How We Conquered Lice

How our family conquered head lice

Can you believe I lasted 19+ years of parenting without dealing with head lice?

Well, now that streak is a thing of the past.

I just spent a solid 5 days researching, slathering, rinsing, combing, and picking. And then doing all of that over again. To my seven long-haired daughters.



So, I thought I would share with you what I learned during that experience. These things are just what I did. They were not prescribed by a doctor.

Getting rid of lice

1. I bought 1 gallon of mayonnaise, and plenty of tea tree oil.

2. I mixed about 1 tsp. of tea tree oil per cup of mayo and thoroughly slathered every head, even those of us who did not show signs of lice. This was supposed to suffocate the live bugs.

getting rid of lice2

(Identities have been blocked to protect the embarrassed.)

3. I wrapped every head in a plastic bag and we all stayed this way for at least 4 hours.

4. During this time I started washing all bed linens and pillows, and I bagged up all stuffed animals and put them in the garage.

5. I rinsed all the heads with vinegar and saw plenty of bugs washed down the drain.

6. Next, I had everyone dunk their heads in a bowl of Listerine, and we put the wrap back on. This was to kill the nits.

7. We waited another 4 hours and continued to wash bed linens.

8. Then, I blow dried everyone’s hair, particularly the roots, on the hot setting. This is supposed to dehydrate any nits so they will not survive.

Lice free Spray

9. I saturated everyone’s hair with Licefreee Spray, and I combed and combed and combed with the nit comb that came in that package. (The combing must be done by starting at the scalp and running the comb all the way to the end of each section of hair.)

10. I tried boiling all brushes, but that just warped them, so I ended up throwing them away and buying all new. I sprayed these with tea tree oil, which is supposed to repel lice.

11. I added about 1 tsp. of tea tree oil to all of our shampoo, and to our homemade “no more tangles” spray.

12. The next day, and the day after that, and the day after that, I saturated each head with conditioner, and I combed and combed and combed. The conditioner makes the combing easier and traps any live bugs left, making it harder for them to crawl away.

13. Each morning, I put everyone’s pillow in the dryer on the hottest setting for 30 minutes. This kills any live bugs.

14. I repeated step 9, above, several times a day for several days even after I was seeing no nits.

We have now been lice free for over 2 weeks, but I am still checking and combing through hair with the lice comb periodically just to be sure.

I can’t say whether one single treatment above is what got rid of the lice, or if it was everything combined. I didn’t want to take chances on one method not working, so I just employed every method I had read about. I suspect that combing with a fine toothed nit comb 3 times a day to remove every last nit was key.

What are your best tips for conquering lice?

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What's the big deal about Young Living