What's the big deal about Young Living

Grace Upon Grace

I spent a solid three days mad at him.

I had outlined some property cleanup work I needed done. It would require a chainsaw, a burn pile, and quite a bit of heavy lifting. He reminded me more than once that he’s “an adult now” and could handle it, including figuring out how best to get it done. Now looking back, I guess that was a signal from him that he wanted me to treat him like a capable adult, instead of the 13 year old kid I sometimes forget he’s not.

But, I didn’t get the signal.

I kept after him, telling him how to best accomplish it, and finally he snapped at me.

It wasn’t a loud, door slamming scene like is often depicted on teen television dramas, but it was sharp. It was disrespectful. It was unlike him.

I stormed away and busied myself in the house, fuming all the while. That’s when I did what I often do when one of my kids has a high fever. I go straight to the worst case scenario and start imagining funeral plans and sobbing over a coffin. (I know! It’s a curse!)

I told myself if he could not even take instructions from his own mother without talking back, how could he take instructions from a boss? Or a college professor? Or a police officer holding a gun?

From there, my imagination went wild (as usual) and I imagined him in his twenties homeless, jobless, and in jail. What would his future hold if he couldn’t even respect his own mother enough to follow orders without giving me lip?

We didn’t see each other much over the next couple of days. He stayed busy working 8+hour shifts at his movie theater job, and I was pulling my usual 24/7 cab driver/nurse/counselor/cook duty.

The third day, I thought we had better talk it out, and I mentally prepared my speech. It contained a fair bit of “I expect you to give me the respect I deserve” and “How can I trust you to be responsible when you don’t show me you are?”.

I kept waiting for him to get home, and when dinner time came and went, I knew he must be working the closing shift. I headed to bed around 11pm and heard him pull in close to midnight, the usual time he gets home from closing the theater. It struck me then that I never once considered worrying about where he was. He had a job to do that his boss depended on him to complete well, and he always did. So well, in fact, he was offered a managerial position if he decides not to go to college in the fall. I also pondered how we had never considered giving him a curfew since he always lets us know where his is, and there has never been a time we have worried about the places he goes or the company he keeps.

Huh. I guess he’s an okay kid after all. I’ll give him that lecture in the morning.

Bright and early the next morning I got up to stormy skies and pouring rain. I was the only one awake and I tiptoed upstairs to deliver my well thought out speech. He wasn’t in his room. Hmm. I know I heard him come home last night. It’s 7:15 in the morning. Where could he be?

I checked the driveway. His truck was there, but he was nowhere to be found. Weird.

Over an hour later I heard the neighbor’s tractor pull into our driveway. He was driving it, completely soaked from head to toe from the driving rain. ”You’re drenched! What have you been doing out there?!” I asked when he stepped inside.

“That load of gravel needed spreading. I knew this would be the only chance to get it done before the road floods again.”

Suddenly my speech seemed petty. My grudge made me ashamed.

“I’m sorry I provoked you to anger, Son. I love you. You’re such a fine man.”

He hugged me tight. “I’m sorry I talked back to you. I love you, too.”

It was then that I thought of God’s grace for us. Over and over we fall short and disappoint, but our heavenly father never withholds the sunrise, or the rain, or the rainbow after the rain. He never stops calling us to Him and waiting for us to draw near. And I thought that’s how it should be with us. No matter how many times our children fall short or disappoint, we continue to hold out blessings and waiting for them to draw near.

We never give up, never tire of waiting, never stop loving. Like the story of the prodigal son, we continually watch and wait for the coming home.

I learned a lesson that day. Talking back to your mother seemed like a major infraction to me at the time. But when I thought about what I could have been upset about, like drugs, drinking, lying, stealing, or promiscuous relationships, I realized how fortunate we were to have that be our only issue. I also thought about how we would never give up watching and waiting even if those issues do crop up with our children.

Jackson

Just like our creator waits for us.

“For from his fullness we have all received grace upon grace.” John 1:16

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Devotional Journal for Kids {SALE}

How to Manage Your Mouth for Kids {eBook}

 

Are you looking for a little bit of book work for your kids to do over the summer so they don’t forget everything they’ve ever known about writing actual words to form sentences?

Or maybe you just want a little something for them to do each day to keep them busy and using their brains?

Or maybe you need a low maintenance, independent Bible study for them to do over the summer?

I’ve gotcha covered! I’m offering “How To Manage Your Mouth – FOR KIDS, A 30 Day Wholesome Talk Challenge” to ONLY THE FIRST 100 takers for $1.97!

THAT’S UNDER $2 for a 30 day devotional guide! You can easily have them do 5 lessons a week for 6 weeks.

I wrote this eBook for my own children, and it is intended for ages 7-13. It has space for daily journaling with a scripture and explanation for each day on controlling the tongue.

Click here and USE CODE “Under2″ at check out for the discount.

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How to Make Giant Bubbles

How to make Giant Bubbles

 

If there is ever a perfect time to learn how to make giant bubbles, spring time is it!

giant bubbles

The weather is perfect, and everyone is ready to get outdoors after months of cold rain, ice, and snow. So all the Smockities have been on a quest to find the perfect recipe and the best method to make giant bubbles.

Popping giant bubbles

Here is the recipe that we found great success with.

Giant Bubbles Recipe

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups blue Dawn dish soap

1. Mix the water and corn syrup thoroughly.

2. Add dish soap slowly, and stir, trying not to make bubbles.

giant bubbles

 

We experimented with the design of the bubble wand before we settled on our final model.

Emelyn with giant bubbles

 

Here’s how we did it.

  • 2 dowels
  • 2 pieces of string (one longer than the other)
  • washer (for weighing the lower string down)

1. Tie the ends of the short string onto the ends of the 2 dowels.

2. Thread the washer onto the long string.

3. Tie the ends of the string onto the dowel near the first string.

4. Dip string into bubble solution.

giant bubbles

In this photo, you can see the washer on the bottom string is weighing it down, so no one needs to hold it as in the above pictures.

giant bubbles

We had so much fun with these easy to make giant bubbles!

Outdoor Play Challenge

 

Give them a try and check out the rest of these great outdoor activities in the Great Outdoor Play Challenge.

 

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Those 3a.m. Phone Calls Though

beer bottles

It may or may not have recently happened that a certain young adult in our family became a nanny for the teen offspring of a celebrity couple.

Above mentioned young adult was commissioned to spend nights in luxurious mansion looking after said teen.

Said teen may or may not have taken it into her head that while naive young adult was on watch would be the perfect time to throw a covert overnight party, complete with boys and beer.

Young adult calls home around 10 p.m. when this plan was discovered, and in whispered tones asks how she should handle it. The very wise mother of the young adult encourages her to let the teens know that no such party would be allowed and they should all leave the premises pronto.

Young adult expresses that she is unsure she can muster the authority to enforce such action on a group of rowdy teens since she has no experience with this type of behavior and she is not more than a few years older than the teens herself.

Very Wise Mother instructs the young adult to listen to the tone of her voice and channel all the lectures she has ever been given by Very Wise Mother, march in to the party confidently with shoulders back, and with as steady a voice as she can fake, command the teens to leave.

Young Adult does so, but calls back to say the teen in her charge nervously tried to convince her not to set the security alarm because her mother “never does that.”

Very Wise Mother advises Young Adult that it sounds very much like Sneaky Teen was planning to continue her party after Young Adult went to bed, so she should definitely set the alarm and have a thorough look around teen’s room before turning in.

Around 3 a.m. Very Wise Mother gets a third phone call from Very Scared Young Adult notifying her that the security alarm is going off. Very Wise Mother tells Young Adult that she is sure a leftover teen partier has stayed in the house to continue the party, and that Young Adult must go to Rebellious Teen’s room to check it thoroughly, including under the bed and in the closet.

3:15 a.m. Young adult texts that everything is fine now.

3:30 a.m. – Fourth phone call. Another alarm sounds after Fake Asleep Teen pretends not to know what is going on.

Very Wise (and Mean) Mother strongly suggests Young Adult should call 911 since Fake Asleep Teen reported that she did not have anyone in her room, and that could only mean an intruder is in the house.

4:00 a.m. Fifth phone call to report the police came and checked the residence, not finding anything out of order. Very Mean, Sleepy Mother instructs Young Adult to phone Celebrity Mother to let her know what her darling has been up to. She also tells Young Adult to prepare to be fired for doing what was called for.

4:30 a.m. Very Worried Mother calls Weary Young Adult to ensure she is alright. All seems quiet in Celebrity Mansion and Young Adult assures Mother she can handle things.

8:00 a.m. Young Unfired Adult drives Grounded Teen to school in the Rich People Car and tells her to have a great day.

Did you enjoy reading this? Try the true story, “And Then A Scorpion Fell Out of My Pants.” 

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On Teens

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 11.14.44 PM

Right this moment, I am the mom of exactly four teenagers, plus four kids, ten and under.

I’m here to tell you, friends, parenting isn’t for cowards.

I don’t have all the answers. I don’t even know all the questions, but one thing is sure. There’s always an adventure ahead. Yes, I like to call them adventures. It sounds so much more, well, adventurous than “struggles” or “problems,” don’t you think?

Just so you know, sometimes my teens do things that really disappoint me. Heck, sometimes I do things that really disappoint me. I usually don’t choose to write about those things here. Not so you will think I’m perfect or I have the perfect family, but for the sake of preserving the privacy and dignity of those needing and receiving mercy and grace for their mistakes.

Having said that, I have a story to tell all you moms who wonder if your kids will ever do what’s right when you’re not there to remind them, “Say thank you,” “Mind your manners,” “Be nice,” and so on.

As I was running errands recently, I ran into a lady from church and she said, “I need to tell you something about your son.”

Now, if you’re like me and if you’ve been a mom very long, you know that what follows this kind of statement could go either way.

So my heart skipped a beat, and I held my breath and said a silent prayer that it wouldn’t be something a) costly to repair, or b) illegal.

She said, “We were at the movie theater while he was working and an elderly man fell. Jackson was the first person to get to him and help him up. He cleaned up the mess and got him a fresh drink. I was so impressed!”

SHEW! A good report is always so welcome and such a relief.

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 11.22.10 PM

Take heart, mamas! All your loving and training and discipline and encouragement matters. That same kid who is breaking windows, and getting into fistfights, and apologizing (at your insistence) to little old ladies will grow up and make you proud!

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A Few of My Favorite Things

This post contains affiliate links.

Here are a few of my favorite things right now.

Cameron 15

This girl is definitely one of my favorites! She is 15 years old today. I wish everyone had a girl like my Cameron. She loves only 2 things: People and Life.

Breakfast StationsThese breakfast stations are GENIUS! Kids can get their own healthy breakfast from a stash of already prepared options.

Pack 1 includes:

  •  yogurt filled crepes
  • oatmeal muffins
  • energy balls
  • instant oatmeal packs
  • gluten-free cereal
  • pumpkin chocolate chip granola bars
  • breakfast burritos

Pack 2 includes:

  • pancake muffins
  • mini quiche
  • croissant breakfast sandwiches
  • smoothie packs
  • french toast sticks

Get your breakfast station here.

essential oils rack

I ordered this wire rack from Amazon to hold all my essential oils, and I am in love! It has plenty of rom to hold all my favorite essential oils, plus extra space to hold all the oils I would love to try but haven’t got yet. (Fortunately, I am earning points every month to get FREE oils, so it will be simple to fill it up!)

This is the third time I’ll be using DriversEd.com for teaching one of my teens to drive. If you know someone who needs a parent taught drivers’ ed. course, pass this along to them so they will get 40% off!

schoolhouse rock

This anniversary edition Schoolhouse Rock, of one of my favorite memories from childhood tv, is on sale for only $9.99!

Emelyn ballet

Here’s another favorite. This girl has waited her “whole life” and is finally taking ballet lessons. It makes me smile to watch her.

What are your favorite things right now?

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