What's the big deal about Young Living

I’ve Been Everywhere, Man

This summer has been a whirlwind for me!

2:1 conference

In May, I spoke at the 2:1 conference in Chicago.

 

Dude ranch vacation

Then, we went on vacation to our old standby, the Oklahoma dude ranch. (Dude! I was saddle sore!)

gymnastics

When June rolled around, I took my li’l gymnast and her sister, the gym coach, to the Junior Olympics in Spokane, Washington.

Screenshot 2014-07-01 23.25.29

Then, we made a quick family trip to west Texas to visit grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

One Year Adventure Novel

And most recently, I took my 14yo to Kansas for a one week novel writing camp for teens.

In between all those adventures, we had a raging case of head lice (fun!), vomiting (adventure!), local flooding (danger!), a fender bender (POW!), encountering 4 snakes in the yard in one day (heart attack!), and an ER visit for a second degree burn (boo!).

So, all in all a fun-filled, action packed summer so far.

And now I am ready for the dull, slow, dog days of summer at my little house in the woods.

Which I am never leaving again.

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Flavored Popcorn

 

My kids absolutely love it when I make this homemade caramel corn, and it has become a requested snack at youth group events, too.

Whenever we have movie night, or I have to take a snack to an event, this is my old standby. Everyone in our family loves popcorn!

And really, when it comes down to it, popcorn is one of the cheapest nutritious snacks money can buy, especially if you don’t use the pre-bagged microwave popcorn, but instead pop your own.

We use one of these Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Poppers. The kids love to take turns helping to crank it.

That’s why, when I was poking around on the P&Geveryday site, and noticed the 10 flavored popcorn recipes,

Flavored Popcorn

I was all over it! Hello? Chili Lime Popcorn? Yes, please!

And then I saw this:

Homemade Popcorn Balls

Who doesn’t like homemade popcorn balls???

I think these would be perfect for a 4th of July picnic, and I love the clever way they are served in cupcake liners! (Speaking of 4th of July celebrations, have you seen this Firecracker Popcorn, using Pop Rocks? How clever is that?)

At the P&Geveryday site you will find lots of

  • Delicious recipes, beauty trends, and smart tips
  • New products to try out for yourself, family and home
  • Product ratings and reviews
  • Fresh ideas and inspiration
  • Coupons and samples from your trusted brands
  • And much more!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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On Planting Seeds

Do you ever wonder if the work you are doing is important? I mean really important? Like life changing important?

Sometimes I find myself wondering, “Is what I am doing making any difference in this world?”.

I teach my children to read, teach them long division, to love the Lord and their fellow man. I greet the person sitting alone at church, give the homeless man on the corner a sandwich, and donate monthly to a child in Africa.

But am I really making a difference?

Sometimes the things I do seem so small, so insignificant.

On planting seeds

And then I get this in my inbox with the above photo attached.

You might not remember sending me this book years ago when my marriage was in shambles, but I wanted to thank you again for it. God used it to encourage me to seek holiness and then happiness followed. We celebrated our (big number) anniversary with our (lots of) children. I pulled this out this week just to reread it because it was just that encouraging. Thanks again! (Details omitted to protect privacy.)

I am not sharing this with you so I can pat myself on the back. I am sharing to encourage you in each small act of service you do.

It makes a difference.

I don’t remember how much time I took corresponding with the woman above, encouraging her in her marriage struggles. 10 minutes? 30 minutes? I can’t remember how long I spent at the post office mailing her the book. Or did I send it directly from Amazon?

It was such a tiny part of myself that I offered.

A seed.

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service…” (1 Cor. 3:6-9)

You don’t have to be the president of a company, or even an advisor to the president to be serving The King.

Plant those seeds. It matters.

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Myrtle Beach Vacation Giveaway

Myrtle Beach Family Vacation Giveaway

It’s sweet summertime and there is one word on the minds of moms everywhere…

VACATION!

Ahh, glorious vacation! But if you’re like me, with even the thought of vacation, you’re seeing dollar signs.

What if I told you that one lucky reader will win a FREE 4 Day/3 Night trip to the incredible, oceanfront Sand Dunes Resort and Spa in Myrtle Beach, SC resort along with FREE water park passes, FREE golf, FREE breakfast buffet for children, and MORE?! Keep reading to find out how your family could be our lucky winner!

But first, what if you’re not the lucky winner, but still want to take your family on a fun and memorable vacation without breaking the bank? How do you do that?

5 Tips for a Frugal {and FUN} Family Vacation

Here are 5 Tips for taking a frugal {and fun} family vacation:

1. Stay within driving distance. This is a no-brainer, right? Airfare is expensive and unless you can find a totally awesome deal, it probably isn’t within the vacation budget. At least not for us. Chances are most of you are within driving distance to somewhere fun…the beach, mountains, state park, a different city, etc.

2. All-inclusive is good! Find a vacation spot that not only includes your lodging, but also food and entertainment! For example, when we stay at a Sands Resort, we not only get an incredible suite, we also receive complimentary tickets to Wild Water & Wheels water park, FREE Golf at Diamond Back Golf Course, kids eat free for breakfast every morning, FREE passes to the Ocean Drive Pavilion Amusement Park and more! These extras are not only fun, but save us money on entertainment!

3. Book a room with a kitchen! This allows you to cook your own meals and cuts down on the expenses of eating out!

4. Travel off-season- this is especially easy if you’re a homeschooling family! We’ve scored some awesome deals during the off season. For example New Year’s Eve, we stayed at a Sands Resort for less than $50 a night! It was a perfect {frugal} overnight trip!

5. Find discount codes! Like this one….

Huge Savings at Sands Resorts in Myrtle Beach, SC

Frugal is good…but FREE is better! One lucky family will win a 4 Day/3 Night trip to the beautiful oceanfront Sand Dunes Resort and Spa in Myrtle Beach, SC!

This includes

  • accommodations for up to four people
  • FREE tickets to Wild Water & Wheels
  • FREE golf at Diamond Back Golf Course
  • FREE passes to Ocean Drive Pavilion
  • FREE breakfast for children each morning
  • FREE admission to the on-site Sands Water Park and more!

You choose your dates any time during August or September {with the exception of Labor Day weekend!} This incredible package is valued at over $1000! To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter form below! The giveaway will be open through 11:59pm EST on July 2nd. The winner will be announced on Monday, July 7th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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.

Add to Cart

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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.

LICE

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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What's the big deal about Young Living