What's the big deal about Young Living

On Teens

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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.

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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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A Day in the Life of a Preschooler

A day in the life of a preschooler

  • Wake and notice no one else is up yet.
  • Put on Winnie the Pooh costume. Leave pajamas on floor.
  • Go into kitchen to see what’s cookin’.
  • Open silverware drawer for no reason. Hang on it. Leave it open.
  • Take single bite out of apple. Note that it wasn’t as juicy as expected. Put apple back in fruit bowl.
  • Change into last year’s Easter dress. Leave Pooh costume on dining room table.
  • Hug kitty cat. Wonder if kitty cats can pop if squeezed very firmly.
  • Drop kitty and lick scratches kitty left on arm.
  • Wander into bathroom and “help” Mommy peel the stickers off the giant bandaids she keeps under the sink.
  • Change into gymnastics suit with leggings and snow boots. Try 12 times to throw Easter dress onto ceiling fan. Leave dress on floor.
  • Undress big sister’s American Girl doll.
  • Hear big sister coming. Drop doll and scram.
  • Disregard repeated signals from very full bladder that it needs to be emptied.
  • Pee in pants.
  • Strip naked. Leave wet clothes in pile on floor.
  • Painstakingly and carefully write name on bedroom wall from right to left in all caps. Remind self to deny writing name on bedroom wall.
  • Remember nudity is frowned upon. Put on swimsuit and tutu.
  • Go back to kitchen for more to eat.
  • Dump Lucky Charms on floor. Scoop handful from floor into bowl. Leave remaining Lucky Charms on floor. Leave bowl on fireplace.
  • Decide eggs would be “healFier” for breakfast than cereal. Go outside to collect eggs.
  • Get distracted by need to chase chickens.
  • Remember egg mission and try to ride tricycle up steps to hen house.
  • Ditch tricycle and go inside on foot. Hold edge of tutu with one hand and put eggs in with the other.
  • Trip while going down steps.
  • Smear smashed eggs off tutu while crying.
  • Spot one egg on ground that didn’t break open. Wipe tears with dirty hands and retrieve egg. Only 3 cracks!
  • Go inside and see that the numbers on the microwave clock say “7:02.” Time to wake Mama!
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Standing in the Gap (Part 2)

Read Part 1 Here.

I finally decided I would attend the board meeting, and my children agreed to stand beside me holding up the projects they had been working so hard on.

The meeting time approached and I was a nervous wreck. Why was I even trying this crazy stunt? They had never allowed late entries before. Why would they allow us in this time?

When we walked into the meeting, and I immediately wanted to turn around and go home. The room was filled with weather worn ranchers and ranchers’ wives. They eyed me suspiciously.

I introduced myself to the president, tall and graying, dressed in work boots and head to toe denim, topped with a cowboy hat.

When I told him who I was and why I was there with my children, he said with a slow drawl, “Young lady, you’re welcome to address the board, but it won’t do any good.”

I tried desperately not to let the children see that I already felt defeated.

The meeting opened and the president introduced us and we walked to the front. I was shaking. My voice was unsteady.

I began my story of how I had overlooked the new rule of including w-9 forms with the paperwork turned in for entry into the county stock show. I placed all the blame on myself, and pleaded with them not to punish the children for my mistake. I pointed out the quilts and dresses they were holding up that they had already completed in anticipation of showing them.

I looked out onto a sea of stoic faces. The president was looking down solemnly at a paper he was holding, arms crossed.

I finished by asking them to please make an exception to the “no late entries” rule and allow us to participate. I thanked them for allowing me to address them and the children and I filed out.

When we got to the van, I told the kids it didn’t go well and we probably wouldn’t get to participate. They already knew. “At least you tried, Mama,” one said as we drove away silently.

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I wondered if I should have just accepted defeat. Why was I asking for special favor? Why did I think my children deserved an exception?

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The fact is that I knew the mistake was mine, and I hated to think of my children fulfilling all the obligations that were required of them, even going above and beyond what was required, and then being penalized because I had overlooked a new requirement.

And I knew if I didn’t go to bat for them, stand in the gap for them when they couldn’t ask for favor themselves, that no one else would do it. What kind of mother would I be if I didn’t ask for my children not to be punished for my mistake?

I felt at peace knowing I had done all I could to fix my mistake. All I could do was ask. Now we would wait to hear the answer, but we all felt like it would be “no.”

That’s why we all whooped and hollered and were knocked off our feet with surprise when we got the phone call the next day that the board had voted, after much debate and discussion, to allow late entries for the first time in its history!

We will be participating in the county stock show, and my children will get to show their quilts, dresses, goats, art work, and all the rest of the projects they have been working diligently on! 

We are absolutely thrilled!

We have learned some important lessons during this trial:

  • Mom should inquire as to any new requirements in paperwork before the deadline.
  • It never hurts to ask.
  • You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
  • Mom is a child’s most important and powerful advocate.
  • You never know what can be accomplished until you try.
  • Burly men in weathered cowboy hats can still have tender hearts.
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Devotional Ebook SALE {HALF OFF}

HALFOFF ebook

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I am offering my Wholesome Talk ebooks for 1/2 OFF through December 31st. These are perfect for New Year’s resolutions! Use the code “HALFOFF” to get 50% off.

The kids version includes 30 scriptures on controlling the tongue, and I briefly explain what each one means in terms my own children would understand. I give examples of what the scriptures would look like in daily life, and include some dialogue that might occur between siblings or friends. Each lesson is short, intended to take 10-15 minutes to complete, and focuses on the scripture of the day.

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Add to Cart

I wrote this with my kids, ages 7 – 13, in mind, and it includes printable pages with dotted lines for copying the scripture and completing the S.O.A.P. method of Bible study for each scripture. (You can see a video of my then-kindergartener doing S.O.A.P. here.) There is also a cursive and a printed example of the scripture for the purpose of copy work, so this can even qualify as your child’s handwriting assignment.

This 30 day challenge can be used for 30 consecutive days, or if you wish, 5 scriptures a week for a unit of 6 weeks, or even one scripture a week for a 30 week unit. I used the same scriptures, in the same order, as the adult version of How to Manage Your Mouth, (I also included printable journal pages in the adult version!) You can participate in the challenge right along with your children!

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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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