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What's the big deal about Young Living

Is Multi-Level Marketing a Scam?

Is Multi-Level Marketing a Scam

Recently I’ve been seeing negative rumblings around the internet about “that MLM thing.” That’s “multi-level marketing” if you don’t know.

Some companies, like Jamberry, Younique, Young Living, Pampered Chef, Avon, and others take the money that is usually spent in traditional advertising and pay their members in commissions to spread the news about their products.

In other words, Kohl’s and K-mart spend money in advertising to convince you to buy their products. This doesn’t necessarily make them sneaky or dishonest, nor does it make their products worthless. It just means they are using their advertising budget to increase awareness about their products.

And, by the way, if your favorite blogger is showing you a great deal at Amazon or Wal-mart or Vista Print, there’s a good chance she is getting paid to do so. And there is nothing wrong with that. They are receiving a payment from a company in return for advertising. This is often called “capitalism.” (See Proverbs 31 for other examples of a woman practicing capitalism.)

Alternately, multi-level marketing companies pay their members to promote their products. In the same way the stores mentioned above aren’t trying to trick you out of your money, neither are multi-level marketing companies. Again, this is capitalism at work and isn’t illegal or shady, as some claim.

What both kinds of companies are doing is simply trying to spread the word about what they are selling. 

The claim I have seen, and one specific claim which was aimed at me, is “She is only telling me about this so she can make money!”

And it is indeed true, that I could be writing everything on my site for the single purpose of getting you to give me your money. Heck, for all you know I’m not really a homeschooling mom of 8 at all, but instead a 52 year old ex-convict named “Scary” Larry Rodriguez.

MLM scams?

It could be that I haven’t really taught 7 of my children to read using “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons,” and that I don’t really read “Little Britches” aloud to my children because they beg me to every couple of years, and these pictures of my children doing the Bible study I wrote, “How to Manage Your Mouth,” could even be fakes!  (Those are affiliate links, by the way.)

That could all be a ruse.

It might be that my singular interest is to trick you by dishonest means into making myself rich, and in the process making you poor.

And by all means, if you believe those things, I would click away from this site as quickly as possible because you would be a fool to follow my advice on parenting, homeschooling, or anything else!

Except that some of you know me in real life. And you know that I really do homeschool my 8 children, and I really do deeply love many of the books I use to teach them, and I really am not a scam artist who is only interested in getting your money from you.

And that is the beauty of multi-level marketing. For example, when I bought Younique mascara from my long time friend, Ellen, I knew that she would make a commission from the sale, and I was happy for her to have that. I also knew that she would never try to scam me or trick me into buying a product that was worthless.


(Ellen and me – First day of college, 1984)

When I mentioned to Ellen that the only thing I didn’t like was that I sometimes ended up with flakes under my eyes at the end of the day, she told me that meant I wasn’t applying enough of the sealer in the second step of the application process. Voila! Problem solved! Because I know Ellen and because we have a relationship, I can go to her with any concerns I have about the product and she can figure out how to resolve any problems! I know she is honest and believes in any product she promotes, and I trust her.


At the lake with Ellen, summer 2014

Now, if you know and trust someone as a source of valuable information, and you are interested in the product recommended, wouldn’t that be the perfect person to buy from? I know that I probably wouldn’t have been able to get the advice Ellen gave me on applying my mascara from the lady at the counter at CVS. But because Ellen is my friend, she helped me out.

Of course, Ellen didn’t coerce me, pressure me, trick me, or Duck Tape my hands behind my back and force me to order the mascara from her. I was already interested in it and I decided on my own that I wanted to order. Again… capitalism. It was a win/win. Ellen got the commission for bringing the product to my attention, and I got the mascara I wanted with excellent customer support.

No trickery. Valuable product. Excellent customer service.

See? Win/win.

So, if you are interested in a product, you know the company to be reputable, and you trust the person recommending it, there really is no reason to avoid it simply because it is available through multi-level marketing.

And there is certainly no call to insinuate someone who is involved in multi-level marketing is working toward dishonest gain. 

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Use a Potato Peeler for Shaved Butter {Dump Cake Recipe}

When we make Dump Cake, the entire top of the cake needs to be covered with one stick of butter.

I used to spend a fair amount of time meticulously cutting thin slices of butter to place on top.

shaved butter

And then I had the brainstorm to use a potato peeler for shaved butter.

use potato peeler for shaved butter

Using a potato peeler to shave the butter makes it quick and easy to cover the entire top with butter!

Here’s our dump cake recipe

  • 1 can pineapple crushed pineapple (16 oz)
  • 1 can cherry pie filling (20 oz)
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 stick butter

1. Dump pineapple in 9×13 casserole dish. Spread over bottom.

2. Dump in cherry pie filling. Spread.

3. Dump cake mix. Spread over top of fruit.

4. Top with shaved butter.

5. Bake in 350 oven for 1 hour.


Need stocking stuffers? Check out these 5 little tractors for under $6! These could be divided into several stockings!

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Helpful Links – Homeschooling and Parenting

I frequently get emails or private messages on Facebook asking my advice on different topics I have already written on, like homeschooling and parenting.

Since I don’t have time to answer each inquiry individually, I though I would give you all a roundup of helpful links with my post popular posts on those topics.



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Parenting Mistakes I’ve Made {The Series}

Parenting Mistakes

If you’ve been reading here recently, you know I have started a series admitting some of the parenting mistakes I regret. My hope is to encourage you in your parenting journey and give you hope that you can recover from your mistakes.

One of the mistakes I made, in which I had only the best intentions, was isolating my children until I could see that one of them was actually depressed about having no friends.

Now, I don’t mean that she was sad one day about all the girls at church not including her in a slumber party.

I mean that for a period of 4-5 years there were very few kids at church besides our kids, and I did not go out of my way to invite those kids to interact with my own kids.

You see, I had read and believed that brothers and sisters could and should be best friends. And I still do honestly believe that they really can and should be the best of friends.

The problem was that I interpreted this to mean that they did not need any other friends.

And my sensitive daughter began to feel like her brother and sisters liked her and spent time with her because they didn’t have any other choice. They had to be her friend. They lived with her. They didn’t choose to be her friend. And she didn’t have anyone in her life who liked her because they simply wanted to spend time with her.

One day she came to me in tears because she had no friends. None. Zero. And when I comforted her, I couldn’t argue with that fact. When I tried to think of who she could count as a friend, I couldn’t come up with a single one.

When she confided to me that she was having severe anxiety issues, trouble sleeping, frequent stomach aches, grinding her teeth at night, etc. all because she wondered if she was worthy to have people like her, I was heartbroken!

What had I done???

I couldn’t believe I hadn’t noticed her anxiety issues before she brought it to my attention, and I was so sad that she felt that there was no one in the world who wanted to spend time with her by their own choice. And all this happened because I hadn’t seen the value of including outside people in her life.

I immediately set about figuring out how I could correct the mistake I had made. I invited friends over, signed her up for sports, and encouraged her to participate in youth group activities. I also asked her to forgive me for making such a hurtful mistake.

It wasn’t as easy as that though, since her self esteem was very low about how valuable she was as a friend. It took a couple of years for her to gain the confidence to feel like she was valued as a person to those outside her family.

The lesson I learned from this was huge for me. My children needed to know and experience that they are liked by those who are not required to be nice to them. They needed to know they are liked simply because they are fun to be around. And for us this needed to come from outside the family.

Now, I’m not saying every family should automatically take the steps I did and start signing your children up for more activities. (That could cause as much stress as no activities.) I’m saying pay attention to each child’s needs. Notice signs of stress and depression. Ask questions.

What is right for our family may not be right for your family. What is right for one child may not be right for every child.

But if you find that a child is suffering needlessly because of a parenting mistake on your part, ask them to forgive your and change your course.

My hope in sharing this story is to warn anyone else from making this same mistake. Your parenting journey will not be mistake-free, but we can learn from our mistakes and correct them to be better parents than we were before.

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Salads in a Jar

Salad in a Jar

I love these simple salads in a jar!

(This is a guest post by my college daughter.)

As a busy college student, I often find that I don’t have as much control over my meals as I would like.  Cafeteria food gets really old really fast, but most days I simply don’t have the time to prepare a meal myself, and going downstairs to use the dorm’s communal kitchen is a real pain.  Another option is fast food, but it gets pricey quickly – and even though fries every day seems like an awesome idea at the time, the freshman 15 would say otherwise.  So, what’s a girl to do?

Enter mason jar salads.

I’ve been trying to shift my diet towards healthier options recently, so although I’ve heard of this idea before, I really jumped on it this time it came around.  The idea is super simple: you just layer your salad in a jar and viola!  Ready-made salad for you to grab any time.  You can spend 30 minutes whenever you have free time and make your lunches for the entire week, and you don’t even need a kitchen!  I did everything in my dorm room. Then, when your busy schedule ramps up, you’ll just grab and go!  Here’s what you’ll need to do to get started.

Use quart sized wide-mouth mason jars, which will keep your salads fresh in your fridge.  I bought weirdly shaped short squatty ones because I thought they would fit in my mini-fridge better, but regular ones will work just as well. You’ll also want your preferred greens and an assortment of your favorite salad ad-ins and dressings.

Suggestions for salads in a Jar:

-feta cheese
-bacon bits
-diced cooked chicken breast (I found a handy bag of pre-grilled & diced frozen Tyson chicken breasts, which is perfect!)
-red onion
-strawberries, apples, and grapes
-black beans

The possibilities are endless, so don’t be afraid to explore!  The best part about this is that you are in complete control of your salads.  Don’t like tomatoes?  Don’t add any!

When it comes time to layer your salads, you will want to add the toppings first, with the wettest ingredients at the bottom.  Make sure to squirt lemon juice on diced apples or avocados to keep them from turning brown.

After you have added all of your toppings, with the driest on top (such as nuts or cheese), fill the rest of the jar with your greens.  Keep an eye on how much space you’re leaving when you’re adding your toppings so that you have plenty of room.  Lastly, you can either add dressing now, or wait until you are ready to eat your salad.  I haven’t experimented with this yet, but I feel that saving the dressing until I’m ready to eat will probably help to keep the salad fresher, so that’s what I opt for.

And that’s it!  There are SO many different ways to change this up.  Here’s one I’ve tried so far:

Strawberry Avocado Chicken Salad in a Jar

1 avocado, diced
6-8 fresh strawberries, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
2 tablespoons pecans
1/2 cup cooked, diced chicken breast
Lemon juice
Fresh spinach
Poppyseed dressing

Add the diced avocado to your jar first and squirt a little lemon juice on top to keep it fresh.  Next, add strawberries, then onions, pecans, and finally the chicken.  Stuff the rest of the jar with spinach, screw the lid on tightly, and you’re good to go!  I had this one with poppyseed dressing and it was awesome.  I feel like a raspberry vinaigrette would also have been good.

See?  Super easy!  And if you want even more salad ideas, check out the post that inspired me!

I’m excited to be able to have healthy, easy lunches right at my fingertips this week.  How about you?  Will you try it, or have you already?  If you have a favorite salad-in-a-jar recipe, be sure to leave it in the comments!

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October Freebies for Starting with Young Living

*This post contains affiliate links.

Our family has been loving the essential oils we started using in July. I had been hearing my friends talk about using their oils to promote health for months and months, but it took a sudden jolt and an emergency room visit before I became convinced!

Once we started using them, we have never once looked back! We rely on them daily. In fact, I went out of town over the weekend and forgot to take my oils with me, and boy, were my sinuses regretting that move!

October YL promo
If you are like I was and you have been hearing about how awesome essential oils are for boosting healthy immune systems, and you’re thinking about how we are heading right into the time of year when healthy immune systems are critical, then do I have a great offer for you!

Young Living Premium Starter Kit

For the month of October ONLY, I am offering all new Young Living members who sign up for the Premium Starter Kit the following:

  • a keychain oil carrying case, which comes with 8 vials and lids
  • the 485 page Essential Oils Pocket Reference, which lists the uses and cautions for every essential oil in the Young Living arsenal
  • access to a private Facebook group with 1000+ members who love our essential oils. This is the perfect place to ask questions, give testimonies, and get support from oil users, including me. I check out this group daily!

Not only will you be getting 11 of the most common oils and oil blends, the home diffuser (which I LOVE), 2 packets of Ningxia Red, and 8 sample packets of oils to carry in your purse or give away, you will also receive the free gifts in my October promo directly from me!

Be sure to read about how I was convinced to join Young Living myself, after months of hearing my friends rave about their essential oils.

There has never been a better time to join Young Living, so what are you waiting for? Join today!

Join Young Living

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What's the big deal about Young Living