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What's the big deal about Young Living

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.

quilt

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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Snickerdoodle Puppy Chow {GLUTEN FREE}

holiday-treats-300x250

I’m excited to be participating in an old fashioned blog link up of holiday sweets and savory treats! You’ll be drooling by the time you click around to all the delicious sounding links, and not only that, you’ll have some great new recipes in your collection to share with family and friends!

First up is this gluten free Snickerdoodle Puppy Chow recipe that my 19yo came up with. My entire family devoured this in no time flat!

Snickerdoodle Puppy Chow {GLUTEN FREE}

Gluten FREE Snickerdoodle Puppy Chow Recipe

  • 1 box rice Chex
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2-1 bag powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp cinnamon

1. Melt butter & white chocolate.

2. Pour over cereal and mix.

3. Put 1/2 bag powdered sugar and cinnamon to taste in a separate tupperware and shake to mix.

4. Add cereal and shake to coat.

5. Use more powdered sugar if necessary.

Holiday Sweets

Now, enjoy browsing the rest of the delicious recipes in the link up!

Holiday Sweets

Nutter Butter Snowman Cookies from Mom’s Tool Box

Cherry Snowball Christmas Cookies from I’m an Organizing Junkie

Chocolate Chunk Toasted Pecan Oatmeal Cookies from Life Your Way

Chocolate Peanut Brittle from The Happy Housewife

Chocolate Peppermint Brownie Trifle from Mom Endeavors

Double Chocolate Candy Bar Pretzel Bark from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

Easy Black Currant Scones from Good Cheap Eats

Frozen Inspired Vanilla Raspberry Bites from Bargain Briana

Gumdrops from Hoosier Homemade

Microwave Caramel Corn from Ashley Pichea

Old Fashioned Christmas Cookies from Mommy Hates Cooking

Snickerdoodle Puppy Chow from Smockity Frocks

Sugar Cookies for Dummies from Happy Little Homemaker

The World’s Easiest Christmas Candy Ever from Money Saving Mom

savory treats

Savory Treats

Bacon and Spinach Frittata Bites from Life as MOM

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus from Jo-Lynne Shane

Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts from The Finer Things in Life

Black Bean and Avocado Salad from Kitchen Stewardship

Cheesy Pesto Crescent Bites from Andrea Dekker

Easy Cheesy Vidalia Onion Dip from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

Homemade Sausage Balls {Gluten FREE} from The Humbled Homemaker

Kale Spinach Bites from For the Love Of

Spiced Nuts from Modern Mrs. Darcy

Toasted Pecans from My Blessed Life

Trio of Cream Cheese Appetizers from Eat at Home Cooks

White Cheddar Cranberry Bites from Parenting Miracles

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Developing Your Child’s Natural Gifts

developing child's natural talents

This is a pencil drawing my 19yo daughter did of her sister, my 4yo, Peyton.

A pencil drawing.

Honestly, I’m in awe of the gift she possesses! It isn’t something she inherited from me. It isn’t something I taught her. It isn’t something she learned from a curriculum.

It is something that was allowed to develop through hours and hours of practice and the freedom to do that whenever the inspiration struck. Whether that was 9:30 in the morning or 2:30 in the afternoon didn’t matter. Since we homeschool, studies could be postponed or rescheduled in order to focus on developing her natural gifts.

Whether your child is creative, artistic, inventive, gifted at writing, mechanically inclined, or otherwise talented, be sure to give them plenty of unstructured time and the materials they need to experiment with and develop that natural gift God has given them.

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The Time a Snake Interrupted Our Photo Shoot

A while back my daughter asked me to do a photo shoot while her friend, Carlie, was over.

DSC_0270

So, I put on my “Pretend I’m a Photographer” hat and directed them to do stuff like hang onto trees and walk serenely down the driveway.

DSC_0326

And everything was going merrily along until I saw something wriggling in the corner of the view finder.

snake

So I instinctively did what any loving mother would do. I screamed like a little girl and high tailed it out of there, leaving the girls bewildered until they turned around and did the same thing.

DSC_0329

Then I regained my composure and snapped a picture, like a good blogger.

Have you ever encountered a snake, up close and personal?

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A Modern Day Parable

footprints

Once there was a mother of, let’s say, 8 children.

This mother was a very busy lady, with very active children. Even though she was aware that she should keep her eyes on the end goal, the big picture, she often inadvertently, and to the detriment of her family, found herself focused on short term goals. This tendency played out in a very tangible way one blustery, winter day.

A soccer game had concluded on a bitterly cold, windy November evening. With her children following along dutifully behind, bundled up in coats, hats, and gloves, the mother trudged through one empty soccer field after another toward the large parking complex.

She kept her head down, only looking up occasionally, to keep the wind from whipping in her face. Finally, her feet left the soggy sod and reached crunchy gravel of the parking lot. She looked up to find the big white maxi van, usually easily spotted amongst normal size vehicles.

The van was nowhere.

She looked one way. She looked the other.

Finally she saw the problem. While walking with her head down, she had veered so far off course that she was now 2 parking lots away from her intended destination. Because of her mistake, she had to walk just as far to correct her path as she did when she started the journey back at the benches.

She groaned and altered her course. She strengthened her resolve. This time she kept her eyes up and faced the wind head on. This time she reached her destination and did not waver right or left.

Does this story sound familiar to you?

During my high school days, my drill team team instructor used to shout through her bull horn from the stands, “IF THE BLIND LEAD THE BLIND, YOU WILL ALL FALL IN THE DITCH!!!” when the leader of our 50 member team would carelessly strut past the 50 yard marker, where we were supposed to turn one at a time, one behind the other, and march with precision to center field.

Of course, that meant every single girl would end up in the wrong place, all because the leader missed her mark.

Sometimes we moms are so busy focused on when our toddler will ever pee in the toilet, or our 2nd grader will ever learn to read, or our 9th grader will ever understand exponents, or our high school senior will ever get into college that we forget our real destination.

Sometimes it’s even easy to forget that those milestones aren’t a destination at all. They are simply milestones. Markers on the way to the real goal.

When I’m frustrated by life’s little daily frustrations, backed up plumbing, car trouble, cranky children, it’s so easy to put my head down and try to plow through, just get through that one day, without looking up.

The trouble is those days tend to pile up, end to end. And before we know it, we look up and we are just as far from our destination as if we had never started, with our children following along behind.

As for us, our long term family goal is to be together in eternity. On days, or weeks, or months, when we find we have our heads down and our eyes not focusing on the goal, we readjust and remind ourselves of where we want to be heading.

Are you headed toward your goal, Mama? Your children are following you. What destination are you taking them to?

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