What's the big deal about Young Living

Target For Back to College Basics {GIVEAWAY}

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Brita for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's that time of year again. Time to get my college girl packed up to move back into the dorm.

Brita at Target

We headed to Target to pick up a few essentials, which I was thrilled to find were on sale! Since she likes to drink plain water to stay hydrated, I wanted to get her a water filtration pitcher, to keep in her dorm room.

photo 4

I also got her a Brita® hard-sided water bottle available at Target to carry with her to classes.

photo 3

Of course, we had to get a few other essentials, like Clorox Disinfecting Wipes and Burt's Bees facial towelettes.

photo 5

It's thrilling and depressing all at the same time to send a kid off to college. If you have done it yourself, you know what I mean.

On the one hand you see your child as the adult they are growing into.

Competent, confident, and ready to take the world by storm.

On the other hand, you see your child as the baby you were holding in your lap just the other day. I mean, I can distinctly remember scooping her up and reading about the three little kittens who lost their mittens.

And now, here she is not needing me to read anything to her anymore.

She can read it herself. She can buckle her own self in, and drive her own self right out of the driveway and down the road to her own life.

Sniff.

She's not the small child who sits in my lap saying, "Read it again, Mama," anymore.

But she'll always be my little girl.

And now, for the fun part! A $25 Target card giveaway so you can pick up some Brita® back to college items for yourself!

Leave a comment below telling me what you would like to get if you win the Target gift card!

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Quit Judging Me For Judging You!

train tracks

Occasionally when people find out we homeschool, they begin to rattle off all the reasons they would homeschool, really they would, if only they had the time/patience/money/whatever.

And sometimes when people find out we have 8 children, I see them get antsy, and they tell me, somewhat sheepishly, all the reasons they don’t have a large family.

The same thing used to happen when I would breastfeed my babies.

I usually just listen and smile, but what I really want to say is this:

Relax. I’m not judging you.

I don’t have the spare time to find out about all the many decisions and all the many reasons you made the decisions you have made for your children and your family.

And even if I did have the time to learn about those, I wouldn’t have the mental energy to invest in figuring out whether those are good choices or bad choices for you and your family and your particular set of circumstances.

If you think I looked at you funny, it’s probably because I was trying to remember whether or not I turned on the CrockPot before I left home. And how much longer we can last with that one roll of toilet paper. And should I risk hoping it lasts through the night until tomorrow? Or go ahead and drag all the kids into the store to get some more?

Because frankly just trying to keep my own family from going off the rails is all-consuming for me.

Plus, at this point in my parenting journey, I realize that sometimes God has lessons to teach us regardless of whether we have made all the “right” decisions or not.

And I am fully aware that breastfed, homeschooled, children from large families succumb to diseases and drugs and teen pregnancy and divorce and a myriad of other problems none of us wants to face.

See, I don’t believe that making all the “right” choices inoculates me or my children from the hardships of this world. Neither do I believe that different choices are the path to doom.

And I’m not judging you for making different choices.

I’m just trying to keep my own Crazy Train on the tracks.

I bet you are, too.

Let’s do it together, sister.

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On Story Time and Interrupting Children

Children asking questions

Well, it seems I touched a nerve when I posted on my Smockity Facebook about not allowing my children to interrupt when I am reading aloud.

Here’s what I said to my Facebook audience about the way I handled the problem:

I used to struggle with constant interrupters during bedtime story time…

Now, I remind everyone that if anyone interrupts me, the story is over until the next bedtime. Occasionally, someone interrupts, and I quietly close the book and say my “good nights.”

Interrupting problem solved!

Let’s picture the scene, shall we?

Scenario: Bed time

Audience: Children, ages 2-8

Mom: (Opens book) “Once upon a time there were three little pigs. The first…”

Kid 1: “Is this the story with the big, bad wolf?”

Mom: “Yes, you can see a wolf on the cover.”

Kid 1: “Oh.”

Mom: “The first little pig…”

Kid 2: “Is he the one who built the stick house?”

Mom: “If you will listen, I am about to get to that. The first little pig built…”

Kid 3: “Is this a true story?”

Mom: “Do pigs build things in real life?”

Kid 3: “No…”

Mom: “The first little pig built his house of straw.”

Kid 3: “So, is it a true story or not?”

Mom: (Gives up and runs away from home with her belongings wrapped in a bandana on the end of a stick.)

Now, this little reenactment is slightly exaggerated for the sake of humor, but if you know children, or have taught children, or ever read aloud a story to them, you probably know this very much represents their nature.

I have taught Sunday school, public school, and homeschool for more than 20 years, and if there’s one thing I know it is this: Kids are impatient and impulsive.

But they don’t have to stay that way. They can be taught self control.

Yes, it is good to have a curiosity about the world around us. Yes, it is good to question things we do not understand. Yes, it is good to discuss stories that are read aloud.

But there is a time and a place for everything. (This is the same thing I tell my kids about booger picking, by the way.)

Imagine, if you will, a child who likes to draw. Not hard to imagine, right? Now, imagine a child who likes to draw on walls. This might be something that would be age-appropriate for a toddler, which a parent would work on eliminating.

Imagine that same child at age 8, drawing on the walls at the local library with a Sharpie.

Not cool, right? The library staff would likely be upset, and maybe even ask you to make restitution and/or leave the library.

There is a time and place for everything. Drawing = fine. Drawing on walls at the library with a Sharpie = Not fine.

This is how I approach questions during story time. There is a time and a place for questions. Asking questions at the end of the chapter or book = Fine. Interrupting me during the story = Not fine.

Very often, the questions the children have will be answered if they will just be patient and listen to the story. Sometimes the answer becomes clear through clues in the story. Sometimes the pictures I show them reveal the answers. Occasionally, the answers are found only at the end of the story during our discussion of it.

The bottom line is children must be taught self control, patience, and delayed gratification.

I am in no way suggesting that children not be allowed to ask questions about that which they do not understand.

I am suggesting they absolutely can be taught to wait and do that at an appropriate time, instead of interrupting.

Careful Mother vs. Assertive Mother

If you like this post, you might also like “Careful Mother vs. Assertive Mother

spoiled-child

Or “10 Signs Your Child is Spoiled and What to do About it.”

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So You Think You’re Going to Correct My Kids?

So you think going to correct my kid

How do you feel about other people correcting your kids?

Many people bristle at the thought of someone else telling their kids what to do. The reason I know this is because I have had mothers tell me in no uncertain terms that they did not appreciate me correcting their child’s behavior.

Since I was a public school teacher for 8 years, I spent a lot of time telling other people’s children what to do. Or not do. Or do over.

Then I had 8 children of my own, so I still spend a lot of time telling kids what to do. Now days, my time is spent mostly telling my own kids what to do, but old habits die hard.

That’s why when I was in line at Six Flags last week and 2 boys were rough housing, and one of them actually kicked me right in the booty, I told them in my best Mother Voice to calm down and knock it off.

I don’t know where their mother was or whether she appreciated me doing it, but frankly I didn’t appreciate getting kicked, so I’m guessing we were even.

After I put that little story on my Smockity Facebook page, and my friend Lisa put it on her Facebook, I saw how many people do not like others correcting their children.

Honestly, I don’t mind if someone else corrects my children.

I even think it is good for them if the correction is not something I would have told them myself.

For instance, I don’t mind my children cart wheeling around in our yard. But if they are in the church yard cart wheeling around, and a little old lady tells them to stop doing it, I expect them to say “yes ma’am” and stop.

Now, this may not have been something I would have thought to tell them. Maybe I usually allow cart wheeling on the grass. Maybe I don’t see a problem with cart wheeling on the grass. But if an adult has a reason for telling them to stop, then they should do it immediately without question. (We actually had something very similar to this happen.)

They may come to me if they have questions about it. They may not ignore the little old lady, laugh at her, or say, “You are not the boss of me.”

Another example: I am one of those annoying moms who lets her kids go up the slide at the playground. My kids know that if there is someone else playing on the slide, they should not go up because that would keep others from enjoying the slide. But, let’s say I am reading a book and don’t notice my kid is going up while there are other kids waiting to go down.

I would hope there would be another mother there with enough gumption to tell my kid to get down. I would absolutely be mortified if my kid said, “My mom lets me do it!”

Even though it is true “my mom lets me do it,” we are not in our own home. We are on public property, and someone else is being inconvenienced by the behavior.

It is good for my children to realize that there are other standards for them besides my standards.

There is no running allowed in the grocery store.

There is no singing allowed at the library.

There is no talking allowed during worship service at church.

Now, running, singing, and talking are all things I allow at our home, but we are in a public place, and there are other people involved. That means other standards apply to my children. Not just my standards.

It actually makes me glad when my children are able to find out while they are still young that sometimes they must accommodate the world around them, instead of the world accommodating them. Sometimes they must bend to the wishes of others.

Then when they are adults, it won’t come as such a shock.

How do you feel about other people correcting your children?

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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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What's the big deal about Young Living