Posted in Uncategorized

Back to School Already?

 

This summer is almost gone!

It will be hot here in Georgia until Christmas, so really Summer (summer=hot) will be here for a while!!

Our oldest son will go back to public school this year as a 9th grader.  He loves football and has goals that I am constantly amazed by!  He is so driven and determined!

We have homeschooled for 7 years, so the thought of him going back to public school brings a few challenges.

Germs!

Focus for the entire day!

Getting enough sleep!

I am so thankful to have oils!  We started our Young Living journey a few years ago! I want to share some of the ways we will use essential oils in this busy, back to school season!

One of the first and most important reasons to use essential oils is sleep! How can we perform at our best or even be nice to others when we don’t sleep well?

Many times, our kids minds (and ours) race too much to get to sleep. We worry about the next day and what it will bring.  Or, we do not sleep well and are restless.

A terrible night’s sleep usually means a more difficult day!

Lavender essential oil promotes great sleep!  It helps to calm and ease the mind! So, how can you use Lavender?

The first way is to rub the oil on the bottoms of the feet or on your wrists!

The second way is to add a few drops of lavender to a diffuser!

The diffuser will scent the entire room with the calming, soothing properties of Lavender.  This is especially helpful if more than one person sleeps in the same room!

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**Extra tip #1:

To bump up the relaxation and take it to the next level, add a couple of drops of Cedarwood essential oil.

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**Extra tip #2:

When someone falls below the wellness line, sleep is crucial.  Sleep is often interrupted by the respiratory discomfort.

In this case,  a blend called R. C. is a great option to add to the diffuser if the discomfort is interrupting sleep.

R. C. is a blend containing Spruce, Cypress and three types of Eucalyptus.

This blend gives you the utmost in Respiratory Comfort!

R. C. can also be applied topically and throughout the day as needed. The bottoms of the feet or the chest area are great places to use this powerhouse!

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Focus is a hot topic these days. So many people have focus issues!  This is a vital area for students and parents alike because we want to do our best in all things!

So, how can I use essential oils to support focus?

Peppermint, Lemon and Lavender essential oils have a rejuvenating and refreshing scent when diffused.  These oils are so versatile!  This combo also help support the body during seasonal suffering.  You know the time of year when the flowers bloom, or the hay is ready for cutting?

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Peppermint alone can be applied under the nose and behind the ears to awaken the senses and uplift the spirits and diffused alone for the same purpose.

Extra tip #1:
Vetiver and Valor are also excellent for focus.

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Who doesn’t need emotional balance? This moma sure does!!!!

Kids and teens ( and adults) have emotions that seem to be on a roller coaster at times.  Essential oils are so helpful and, for many of us even life changing, for emotional support!

Citrus oils are fabulous emotion supporters. Lemon is a great choice for this.

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Diffusing Lemon is a great pick-me-up.  Lemon vitality can also be used by dropping one drop in a glass of water to support detoxification.

Young Living’s Lemon essential oil is cold-pressed from the rind, so sensitivity issues are not a worry!

Another great essential oil for emotional support is Frankincense.  Frankincense has been used for centuries and is known as the “holy anointing oil.”  Frankincense was valued more than gold during ancient times.  Frankincense is a multi-tasker in your oil toolbox!

Orange and Joy are two other super charged emotional supporting oils!  These two can be used in the diffuser or applied topically. Orange vitality can also be ingested for a sweet addition to your drink!  Many ladies like to apply Joy as a perfume!

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For emotional balance (with any of the oils listed above),, place a few drops in the palm of the hand and inhale deeply.  Then, rub the remainder on the back of the neck.

Diffusing Frankincense and Lavender together can bring emotional balance and calm support to those in the room!

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Stress is another hot topic during back to school, the school year, and everyday! Right?

Who do you know who lives a stress-free life?  Likely, no one!

Young Living has a powerful blend called Stress Away!

This is a gentle, fragrant blend that brings a feeling of tranquility and peace.  It helps to relieve daily stress and tension.  Stress away can also support mental alertness and promote relaxation!

This is a blend of Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood, Vanilla, Ocotea and Lavender.

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So, how can you use Stress Away?

Place a few drops on the inside of the wrist or the back of the neck and shoulders…or wherever tension support is needed!

Place a few drops in the diffuser and enjoy a less stressful environment in your home, classroom or work space. Or, place a drop in the palm of your hand and inhale (your personal diffuser).

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One of the biggest concerns of Back to School season is immune support.  We all know how important a healthy immune system is when we are in close quarters with many other people.

Young Living has an amazing blend called Thieves.  It was used by four 15th Century thieves who robbed the dead and dying  plague victims and stayed well.  They did this by using a blend of herbs and breathing those in as they robbed the victims.  The thieves were eventually caught and forced to give their secret for avoiding the plague.

Thieves is a blend of Clove, Rosemary, Lemon, Cinnamon bark, and Eucalyptus Radiata.  The scent of this blend is truly a favorite!

 

This blend can be diffused for its lovely scent and also support the immune system at the same time.  The bottoms of the feet are a great area to apply Thieves topically.

Another immune supporting oil is Frankincense. We talked about Frankincense for emotional support!  So many oils are incredibly versatile!!

When feeling below the wellness line, a drop or two of Frankincense vitality, Lemon vitality and Thieves vitality can be added to a warm water or green tea to soothe and support the immune system (this is sometimes called Thieves tea).

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Another great addition to your wellness arsenal is Ningxia Red. This is a must have for every member of the family!!!   This is a powerhouse of antioxidants and can improve energy levels and overall wellness.  Just drink 1-2 ounces per day.

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Do you have an athlete in the house?  A teenager?  Maybe your child’s book bag has lunch still in it from a week ago?

Am I the only one?

Smells are a part of life.  We can suffer through them, or we can knock them out with Purification essential oil.

Purification is a blend of Citronella, Rosemary, Lemongrass, Tea Tree, Lavandin and Myrtle.

This is a powerhouse for odors!

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How can you use it?

*You can place a few drops on a cotton ball and place in stinky shoes or trash cans.

*You can add a few drops to a spray bottle and fill with water to spray a bag, a rug or other surface after a foul scent is detected!

*Purification is also a great oil to add to a diffuser.

Does someone in your home burn food often? Maybe teenagers learning to cook, or husbands cooking venison or fish?  You know those odors can linger for days.

*Purification can also help to rid the pesky annoyances of spending time outdoors.

*Add a few drops of Purification and Lavender essential oil to wool dryer balls to ditch the toxic dryer sheets in the laundry room.  Fresh smelling laundry is rewarding!

 

So, what about aches and pains?  Our bodies need support in this area, whether we are athletes or just tired from sitting all day!

Panaway is a blend of Wintergreen, Helichrysum, Clove and Peppermint.  This blend supports circulation, inflammation, and general support for achy areas!

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Apply Panaway wherever there is a need, keeping away from the eyes and mucous membranes.

Extra tip:  Apply Panaway and layer Copaiba on top for a boost to the effects of the Panaway! Copaiba is an enhancing oil, so apply it with any oil to enhance the properties of that oil!

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You know the feeling!  When a tummy needs support, it needs it quickly!  From eating too much, eating the wrong foods to the 24 hour nightmare…you know the one…we need support!

DiGize is your go to essential oil for this time!  DiGize is a blend of Tarragon, Ginger, Peppermint, Juniper, Fennel, Lemongrass, Anise and Patchouli!

How an I use DiGize?

*Apply a drop or two in a clockwise motion to the stomach area.

*Apply to other areas as digestive support is needed.

*Place one drop of DiGize under the tongue.
*Place a drop of DiGize vitality to a glass of water.

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Another option for digestive support is Peppermint.  These oils are so versatile that you can use Peppermint for focus and concentration support.  Then, use it to freshen your breath, support seasonal issues, and then use it to support digestion.

*Place a drop of peppermint over the stomach area.

*Place a drop of peppermint in a glass of water.

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Essential oils don’t have to be complicated!  These easy DIY recipes are perfect for back to school time, but will also rock your work world and your mom world!!!

 

 

Essential oils have totally rocked our world!!  We use them for everything!!!  Not all oils are created equal, though!!!  Young Living’s essential oils are the purest oils…no fillers, no ethyl vanillan to make them smell sweeter, no junk! Just a bottle full of pure, powerful essential oil!!

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Do you use essential oils? You should!  You will never regret an investment in your wellness!!!!

Posted in family adventure, homeschool, Uncategorized

Family RV Adventure 2017, Part Two

Part two of this RV Adventure was an overall favorite of our family!

Summer has been busy and lazy at the same time, so, this week, I am catching up on our road trip!  If you missed part one, find it here:

https://raisingfourblessings.com/2017/06/06/family-rv-adventure-2017-part-one/

We traveled from the Grand Canyon through some of the most remote country I could even imagine.  We only passed a few houses in the first 3 hours of driving! The wind in this area was almost frightening! Driving in a 30 foot RV and whipping wind in one direction made me trust in my husbands driving abilities even more than before!  He literally struggled to keep the RV on the road at times.

We traveled through Marble Canyon (google it, it’s amazingly beautiful) and through the North Rim area of the Grand Canyon and over to Zion National Park.

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Notice the large boulder on top of this house!
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Marble Canyon

 

We arrived at the Zion River RV Resort and Campground (about a 4 hour trip from the Grand Canyon) and relaxed for the remainder of this traveling day.   The grounds were immaculate, and the showers/bathrooms were mom approved (unlike the Grand Canyon campground showers).

At the showers late that night, a few of us were waiting outside on one of the boys to finish.  A lady and her daughter walked up and sat down.  It’s such a small world, y’all! She is a fellow homeschooling mom, a friend of friends that we have known for years.  They live 20 minutes from us in Georgia. And, we stayed at the same campground in Utah for the same two nights!  Crazy!

Zion National Park was on the agenda for the next day.  We heard rumors that the parking filled up by 8 or  9 am, so we planned to leave early.  This is so not our usual! We don’t go anywhere early!  But, this time, we made it to Zion by about 7:30 am!

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Almost to the entrance to Zion National Park

The main part of Zion is in a sort of valley in between towering rocks on both sides! So, visitors park at the Visitors Center and ride free, propane fueled shuttles to the different stops.

There are truly no words for the beauty of God’s creation in this park!

Our first stop was the lodge.  We decided to hike the Emerald Pool trail, which takes you to a waterfall and Emerald Pool.  A new term I learned from this hike was scrambling.  Some of the hike was nice, more manicured trail, and some was rock that you had to scramble over (kind of like climb but not as much of an incline).

 

When our family hikes, Ella and I are in the back trying our hardest to keep up with the fit, athletic boys who walk lightning fast.  It was a good workout for the two of us! We came back down a different trail and, because the boys get so far ahead, they took a wrong turn, and we were separated for a short time!

 

We ended this trail back at the lodge.  Next, we traveled further into Zion to the Narrows and the Riverwalk Trail.  The Narrows are a trail that visitors can actually hike in the river.  It was some of the coldest water I have ever experienced.  The views from there were simply one of a kind!

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There were several other hikes that we didn’t try!  One was called Angel’s Landing, where the trail is the only surface and to each side is cliffs!  My husband says this is a must do on the next trip to Zion.

We stayed at  the Zion River Resort again that night.

We left out early the next morning for Bryce Canyon.  The path to Bryce was beautiful! There was still snow on the ground on the top of one of the mountains we crossed (our trip was in the end of May).

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Bryce Canyon was my favorite park of all of the ones we visited. We drove through the park and then settled on a hike at the Sunset and Sunrise Point trails.

We started the hike at Sunset Point.  The hike allowed us to experience the canyon from the very bottom, which provided amazing views of the hoodoos!  The trail was sandy and fairly easy to maneuver! This trail took us to the Queen’s Garden trail and the Navajo Loop trail. We ended at Sunrise Point.  I rate this hike as my favorite of all time!  It is a great family hike and short enough for a new hiker!  The views are unmatched!

The weather was perfect for hiking with a little breeze!  We eventually put on sweatshirts by the end of the hike.

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We got to our campground for the night in a small town called Panguitch, Utah by about 10 pm.  We woke the next morning and were on the road again.

This was another remote trip to what seemed like the middle of nowhere!  We had booked a campground called Thousand Lakes RV Park for this night in Torrey, Utah.

 

We checked into the campground and went to explore Capitol Reef National Park.  This is one of the least visited National Parks. The trails do not have large parking lots and there is no transportation like Zion offered.

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We hiked to one of the arches at Capitol Reef.

We did one hike in Capitol Reef and spent the evening at the campground.

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The views were just too spectacular to do anything else!

Have you traveled out west? In an RV? What is the most remote area you have been to?

 

 

Posted in family adventure, Uncategorized

Family RV Adventure 2017, Part One

We have dreamed, talked and planned for nearly 17 years for an RV trip out west!  My husband is the adventurer, I am the cautious planner.  Since we began homeschooling 7 years ago, we hoped to have the flexibility to travel more.  Life gets in the way sometimes.  Providing for a family, running 3 small businesses, and other commitments and schedules seem to take precedence over adventure.

We are walking through several changes in our family and business.

My husband became a pastor.

Our oldest will go back into public high school in August.

We hired a fabulous office manager, who takes over the business, scheduling and other duties so that my husband can take a break!  We are immensely thankful that the Lord provided her!

Over the winter, when we made the decision for our oldest to re-enter public school, we decided to take the trip!

Say “Yes” to the adventure!

Go for it!

We began to look at our options! Our dream had been to travel across the country in an RV.

We don’t own an RV!

We decided to pursue purchasing one, though.  We explored our options, looked at different models of campers and RV’s.  After weighing the possibilities, we came to the conclusion that we simply do not have the time to use a camper or RV on a regular basis.  Definitely not enough to justify the cost.

The next option we considered was to drive in our van and stay in hotels and lodges.

Somehow, this just doesn’t seem like as much of an adventure for us.  I looked into cost and functionality for this option. We have 6 people in our family, so lugging the necessities for a long road trip in a Honda Odyssey didn’t seem like the best option.

Another problem, my husband wanted to camp.  Who goes to the National parks and doesn’t camp?

Truth be told, I don’t love camping.  I camp because my family loves to camp.  Camping with 6 people for 2 weeks out of a mini van wasn’t working for me!

The last option was to rent an RV.  We didn’t know of anyone that had taken this option.  I did a search of rental RV outlets and found one closest to us.  The one we found was Cruise America.

I had calculated the cost of staying in hotels and lodges.

We had ruled out purchasing our own RV.

This rental option was the last hope…for me anyway!  This was the compromise we needed, because my husband was set on camping.  I was determined not to camp out of  a minivan!

We booked a 30 foot RV, which would sleep 7 and began planning the trip!

It’s not easy planning a road trip to places you  know nothing about!

Booking campgrounds not knowing if their bath house was acceptable.

I mapped out the trip!

Our older boys wanted to visit the Four Corners Monument.  So, we planned to stop there first.

The second stop would be the Grand Canyon.

Then, we would visit Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, the Young Living Lavender farm in Mona, Utah (my treat for the trip), Arches National Park and, finally, Canyonlands National Park.

I booked campgrounds for each of the main stays on our trip, leaving the traveling days open.  We had no idea how far we would travel each day, so booking a campground for travel days was impossible.

We left for our adventure on Monday morning, May 22.  We left Georgia, drove through Alabama, Mississippi into Tennessee and Arkansas.

My navigational skills are bad! Just really bad!  I struggle navigating even with GPS. So, late…late Monday night, we decided to stop in Oklahoma at a KOA in Checotah.

Using my phone, I navigated us right into downtown Checotah (the home of Carrie Underwood).  It’s a cute town.

My husband is the map reading, navigational expert of the family and decided I was leading us astray.  The almost 15 year old agreed.  We were on the wrong exit.

We turned around, heading back for the interstate.  As we approached a low-lit gas station, we see blue lights behind us.

The nice officer pulled us over to inform us that we had no tail lights.

He never asked for license or insurance.

He simply suggested we ride with flashers on until we could remedy the problem and let us continue.

The teenager navigated us to the Checotah KOA.

We settled in around 10:30 pm. This KOA was near the interstate but remote and quiet.

KOA’s are a fantastic option for traveling.  Most even have small cabins available for rent for those traveling without a camper.  The bath houses, probably the most important part of a camping trip for me, are almost always clean and well-kept!

The next morning, we got on the road bright and early.  Our next stop would be the KOA in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico.  I would love to visit Albuquerque again.  It is a beautiful town.

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Flowers in the campground in Albuquerque, NM

 

 

The third day of our trip, we would visit the Four Corners Monument and arrive at the Grand Canyon.  This drive, from Albuquerque, was extremely remote. I couldn’t help but think what it would be like to live in this area of our beautiful country, so far from an actual town.  Many houses are far from even the closest neighbor.

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One of the many rock formations on the drive to the Four Corners Monument.
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Passing the time with My Little Pony. Our three options for watching movies in the RV didn’t work. We would need a good wi-fi to download an app on the laptop to watch a movie.

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We finally made it to the Four Corners.

Native Americans sell items like necklaces, magnets, dream catchers and t shirts around the monument.

Of course, the boys had to plank in four states at once.

Our next stop, the Grand Canyon.  This is our third day of driving and close to 1600 miles.

We arrived near sunset at the Grand Canyon, South Rim.

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These young elk were grazing very near the entrance gate.

We purchased a one-year pass to the National Parks for $80.  The cost just to enter the Grand Canyon would have been $30. The pass is a great value, considering that we were visiting 6 National Parks on this trip.

Normally, the ranger should have asked for an identification with the purchase, but she was distracted by a man exiting his car just ahead of us to take a selfie with the elk.

We continued on to the first view point.  Sunset was an amazing time to be introduced to these views!!

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Amazing sunset!

After a time of amazement and awe at God’s beautiful, spectacular creation, we continued on to the campground inside the park.

We arrived at approximately 10:30 pm.  The lady at check-in asked for photo identification, aka drivers license, from my husband to verify the reservation.

He came back to the RV, where we were waiting patiently.

He didn’t have his drivers license.

Not in his wallet.

Not in his pocket.

Not…anywhere!

We scoured the RV, suitcases, everywhere!

Was it stolen?

Did he leave it at another campground or at a gas station?

None of those seemed to be the answer.

Who drives across the country without a drivers license?  I had prayed a lot over this trip, for safety, that no one would fall off a cliff, that we would have safe travels, that no one would get sick, the normal “mom” things to pray.  Now, I was praying for my husband to be able to drive us around Utah and back to Georgia without his drivers license.

No one had asked for his identification, not even the nice officer in Checotah, Oklahoma a few days before!

Thankfully!

This was the end of our third day!

The next day, day four, we explore the Grand Canyon and move on to Zion National Park.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized, wellness, Young Living

Living well!

Hello friends!!!

Essential oils play a huge role in our daily lives!  I cannot imagine my life now without them!  I want quality of life!  I want to live well and accomplish crazy amounts of things!  Essential oils help me daily!!

I tried lots of brands of essential oils before learning about Young Living!  I was on a search for replacements for the products we were currently using from the store.  Products that contained dyes and harmful toxins that I wanted away from!  I bought the oils at the health food store and grocery store and online retailers.  They smelled ok…a bit like a perfume.

Now I know why!  They basically are perfume oils…adulterated and mixed with fillers.  I saw no results…just a pleasant smell! Essential oils are not all the same!

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I would never walk into that store in the mall and think I was purchasing a pure product that I could use for supporting my body systems. I will not trust any other company with my family’s wellness!!

When a friend told me about Young Living, I started to wonder what the difference was between those store oils and the YL ones.  Before I jumped in, I wanted to know what the big deal was.

I researched, and it was a HUGE deal!

I was very impressed with the quality promise and the integrity of the company!  This section of the website can give you an inside look at why Young Living’s oils are superior quality and provide superior support to every body system!  Check it out!  I am excited to visit a Young Living farm in the next few weeks!  Check back for an overload of pics and info on my family’s visit!!!

https://www.youngliving.com/en_US/discover/seed-to-seal

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I was even more impressed by the  results I found in YL’s oils.

FB_IMG_1487855494155Every single body system!

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Young Living offers a Premium Starter Kit that includes the following essential oils!

 

 

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I diffuse Thieves almost every day for its immune supporting properties and yummy cinnamon scent!  I place about 10 drops into a spray bottle of water for ridding the home of germs.  Young Living has an entire line of Thieves products from toxin and fluoride free toothpaste to household cleaner that can be used on every surface in the home to hand sanitizer!!

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Lavender is known as the Swiss Army knife of essential oils. We use this one for any skin issue and combine with Lemon and Peppermint for sinus support.  I enjoy diffusing Lavender with Cedarwood at night for a fantastic nights’ sleep!

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Peppermint provides gastrointestinal support, headache support.  My favorite use for peppermint is under my nose for respiratory support.  Peppermint vitality (white label) can be added to recipes or a glass of water.  Peppermint can also help to freshen breath!

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Stress Away does just that!  I place a drop or two on my wrists or behind my neck or in the diffuser!

DiGize provides digestive support. I use this one in extreme situations needing quick digestive support!  I rub a drop over the abdomen.  You can put a drop under the tongue or in a glass of water.

Panaway is a great oil for after workout and muscle soreness!

Frankincense is a calming oil.  It provides fantastic support to aging skin! Frankincense vitality can also be added to a Thieves tea.  This is one drop of Thieves, one drop Frankincense, 1 drop Lemon and 1 bag of Green tea.  This is a great, soothing tea for when you feel below the wellness line!

Purification rids the home of smells and can be used for a pest-free summer!  Purification contains citronella!  I place a cotton ball with Purification in our trash cans. I also place a couple of drops in a spray bottle and spray into stinky shoes!  Instead of using dryer sheets, I use wool dryer balls.  I place a drop of Purification and Lavender on the dryer ball before placing in the dryer!

R.C. is a must-have for our family!  When we need respiratory support, R.C. goes into the diffuser and on the chest.

Diffusing is just one way to use essential oils.

The Premium Starter kit comes with a diffuser for using essential oils aromatically.

 

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These 11 oils are so versatile!  There are thousands of uses, and these are the ones I use the most in my daily life!

 

We diffuse in every bedroom at night because restful sleep is essential! We have 4 kids and love to have them wake up in a good mood!!

Every home needs these oils to ditch the many toxic products we are so accustomed to using!

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Scroll down for a link to join my essential oil family!!

 

A few products I would suggest adding on to the Premium Starter kit include:

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Ningxia Red is an antioxidant drink. I drink 1-2 ounces per day. It is amazing the difference I have seen in my energy levels.

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Young Living has everything from toothpaste to shampoo to probiotics and now a non toxic mineral makeup line called Savvy Minerals!

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Essential Rewards has been a huge blessing to us!  We earn points each month (equal to dollars in oils).  This allows us to choose which oils to get for FREE!!!!  It’s simple! By purchasing a minimum of $50 per month, you earn lots of free products and bonuses!  You choose the products in your monthly shipment! You choose the ship date!

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Click the link below to get started! By joining Young Living with a wholesale membership, you pay the wholesale price of 24% off retail.  You can log in to your YL account and restock and try new oils, and they ship to your home.  You are only required to purchase $50 per year to keep your account active!!

I am so excited to have you join my oily family! This kit is the only product Young Living offers at half price!! The value is over $340. The Premium Starter kit is only $160.

 

https://www.youngliving.com/vo/#/signup/new-start?sponsorid=2318518&enrollerid=2318518&isocountrycode=US&culture=en-US&type=member

 

 

Posted in healthy eating, Uncategorized

Should I J.E.R.F.? Can I really Whole 30?

Ah! Healthy eating!  That is a serious goal of mine!!!  Since starting our label reading journey years ago (see previous post entitled “Reading Labels”), healthy eating has been in the back of my mind!  We already avoid food dyes (red-40 for example) like the plague. We don’t drink sodas.    I used to eat Little Debbie brownies for breakfast.  I have made progress.  But, I am still not where I need to be!

I did a short South Beach diet (12 days) a few years ago, sometime after Ella was born! I lost weight and felt great!  But, then, the real world kicked in, and chocolate came back into my life!  I like the idea behind South Beach, but the concepts weren’t quite right! I can’t eat sweet potatoes or fruit, but I can eat lunch meat?  That just didn’t work for me!

Months ago, my super-crunchy and knowledgeable-in-many-subjects friend, Jill, announced that she and her husband were doing a Whole 30.  She lists herself somewhere in internet world as Jill the J.E.R.F. (Just eat real food).  She is that friend that will, knowing you are trying to eat “right,” ask you what that is you are eating, as you scarf down some cheddar and sour cream chips at lunch on homeschool day! I love that about her!  I have had the privilege of eating at her home a few times.  Delicious, jerfy food!  Baked sweet potatoes with caramelized onion, goat cheese and b-b-q chicken on top.  I have recreated that one several times at home!

Whole 30 intrigued me! J.E.R.F-ing intrigued me, too!  Fast forward too many months, I am mentally preparing myself for a Whole 30.  Thirty days of eating real food!  Nothing processed; nothing created to be like processed.  There is no peanut butter allowed (not too sure about this one–I haven’t met an almond butter I like—I am planning to make my own in the Vitamix). Store bought ketchup, ranch dressing, and butter are out of the question!  I love butter!

It’s time, though!  It’s time I practice what I preach and lose a few pounds!  I want this to be a time of life change.  I love chocolate and sweets! But, it’s no secret that sweets are destructive!  I bit the bullet and ordered the Whole 30 cookbooks today! As stubborn as those in my family history are, I should be able to use that will power for good!

Have you done a Whole 30? Are you a J. E. R. F.?  I would love to know your tricks for staying the course!!!

Check out:

http://whole30.com/

There are tons of Whole 30 facebook groups!  Check them out!

Books I purchased:

Our society is too sick to deny that our food is one culprit!  I will update soon!!! Wanna join me?

 

Posted in family adventure, fashion, Uncategorized

Shopping, Modesty and New Adventures

New adventures!  Exciting, challenging and scary all at the same time!  My sweet little family has several new adventures coming our way!  I like to call them “adventures” instead of “changes”….sounds a little more fun, don’t you think?  I will share more on the adventures later!

Yesterday was a rainy Spring day, so soccer and baseball practices were both cancelled! It’s a rare occasion that we have nothing to do on a Monday night! In the text from my handsome husband announcing the cancellations, he asks if I would like to go on a date! Of course I would!!!

We took the kids to my parents! We had a delicious supper for our first stop!

Second stop…the mall! Our little local mall doesn’t have the greatest selection of stores, but it works for times sake!

My husband needed to pick up a few clothing items for these new upcoming adventures!

Of course, he went straight to the men’s section! I, without any children tagging along, did not pass up the opportunity to shop a little for myself!

I have a love-hate relationship with shopping!  I see so many cute, sassy items that catch my eye! But, upon further inspection or after trying on, I realize why the “hate” part of the love-hate relationship comes into play!

Modesty is a controversial topic! What I deem modest for me may be totally different for another!  The problem I see with modesty is that many people don’t give it a consideration.  I see moms dressing their teen daughters provocatively and then fussing for them to cover up!  I have 3 sons and a young daughter! She is 4. I have always had a heart for modesty and felt uncomfortable with certain clothing items.  I pray that starting early with her will give her a heart to honor God with her body!  God doesn’t expect perfection.  He doesn’t expect us to dress like the Amish!  He does tell us in His word to be respectful of others, to honor Him with all that we do!

Shopping Issue #1 from last night’s trip!

Lace is a huge trend this year.  It is EVERYWHERE!!! I didn’t find a single trendy, lacy shirt that I could wear without a tank top underneath (remember our town’s tiny selection)! It’s hot in the summer! Who wants to wear layers in the summer in Georgia? The lace either shows the stomach (ain’t no mama of 4 got time for that) or the bra straps!

Shopping Issue #2 from last night’s trip!

Cleavage! Hello!  Low cut shirts and tie front shirts and off the shoulder shirts and maxi dresses with plunging necklines and spaghetti strap tops! The prints are cute! The styles are adorable! But, nowhere in the stores did I see any options to cover the cash and prizes!

Shopping Issue #3

This is one that comes up in conversation in our home.  Leggings! Leggings are all the rage! You have surely seen the woman!  Middle-aged, over weight! Wearing leggings with a  too-short top!  We all have!  But, overweight or not, middle-aged or not, 100 pounds or 300 pounds, leggings show all the cash and prizes and leave no mystery to what we have to offer!  Please, for the sake of people with eyes, wear a longer top over your leggings!  At least finger tips, y’all!  This presents another issue because it can be difficult to find a shirt long enough to match the adorable floral printed leggings that you bought from your friends facebook pop up!  I get it! It’s worth the time, though! That same company that you bought your leggings from surely sells a top long enough!

There are options to help us look presentable, covered up and fashionable at the same time! I have searched the world over for ways to wear the low cut cute maxis and tops without giving away all my secrets!

One product I love is the Half-tee!

Half-tees! Half tees are like a tank top but stop below the bust!  These are modest without the added heat of a full tank!

Tank HALFTEE (Modal)

Another favorite is the skinny tee!  This version has a higher neckline without looking too high!

http://www.qvc.com/skinnytees-Seamless-Scoop-Neck-Layering-Tank.product.A291480.html?sc=SRCH

The way we dress tells the world so much about us!  If we dress in a way to attract attention, that attention may not always be good!  I believe that a revealing outfit tells the people around us that we don’t value ourselves and our identity in Christ enough to be accepted without drawing all the attention to our body parts!

Modesty starts at the store not the morning you are getting dressed! Plan ahead to dress well and respectfully! What are your thoughts?

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Family Ties and New Adventures

Eleven years ago, my husband answered God’s call to the ministry.  We had no idea what this would look like for our family!

He accepted a Children’s Ministry position at a small church far out in the country. We left both our home churches, the ones we grew up in, for this new adventure!

Our first visit to West Union was for the Easter egg hunt in 2006.

We went to Sunday School for the first time and met Mrs. Louise. She was the teacher for the preschool class. We had 2 kids in this class, so this was where I stayed. I never left. I have helped Mrs. Louise in this class for 11 years. She and her husband, K. M., are now like family to us and our children.
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This sweet little, white sided church is over 150 years old and has a rich history of family!  Each year, the church has a homecoming service, which the older members call, “First Sunday,” as it is always the first Sunday in August.

Families journey back to West Union,sometimes from as far away as Virginia, Florida, and New York,  for a chance to worship where their family once did. Some have family members from several generations buried at the church cemetery. Some remember coming as a child to the country to church. Everyone seems to have a family connection to West Union.  Each person has a grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt or uncle that once attended.

During the homecoming service, Mr. Robert King is in charge of introductions, and usually adds in a joke or two.  West Union doesn’t do the typical gospel-singing group.  He and his family have been a part of West Union for more than 50 years.  Each family introduces themselves giving the names and sometimes the family history relating to West Union. West Union seems to have been a bustling area in its time and now is difficult to find, even with GPS!  Mr. Robert often adds a funny detail about the family, as he knows each one!

This service is very special as the small country church often hosts 150+ people on First Sunday.

This family history always seemed to relate to everyone except for us. We come from a different town, didn’t seem to have family ties!

Until recently.

My dad’s cousin visited him during an illness a few months ago.  The conversations they had led to the information that changed our perspective of West Union.

My grandmother’s (Eleanor Wright Cannon) grandparents lived in the community that surrounds West Union. My great, great grandparents (John L.(Squire) Camp and Chloe Robinette Camp) are buried in the church cemetery, which has graves dating back to the Civil War.  John passed away in 1922, and Chloe passed away in 1925.  This means that my Mamaw likely attended funeral services and graveside services at this little church that we have called home for so long!

This conversation between my dad and his cousin also led me to a man with more family history. He sent pictures of other family members.

I would love to have a few more days with my grandparents to chat about the memories they have of times I will never know about!

Our memories are so special of our time at this sweet little church. It is, essentially, our home church. We, Justin and I, both grew up in different churches. West Union is the church where we grew as a family, the only church our children have attended, where our marriage grew through working on many projects together.

Vacation Bible School each summer.
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The Cecil Futch Memorial Wild Game Dinner for several years in the Spring.
The Fall Festival.
The kids Christmas program.
All sweet memories that allowed us to build the skill of working together.

This Easter is also special. This will be our last Easter egg hunt at West Union. We definitely see God’s hand in many coincidences over the past months. One is that we started this ministry journey at West Union at Easter. Our time at West Union will now end at Easter.

Justin answered God’s call to the ministry years ago.

He is now transitioning from Children and Youth Pastor at West Union to Pastor at Antioch Baptist. This is an exciting time for our family. With this excitement comes uncertainty. I have never been a pastors wife. My children are comfortable and know everyone’s name at West Union. Learning the many new friends names at Antioch will prove to be a task. There are so many friendly faces. We have worshipped with the sweet people at Antioch for 3 services and know that this is where God is leading. He has answered our prayers and made it obvious that we are to take this step! He is good! All the time!!!

Please keep our family in your prayers as we enter a new season and as we strive to keep old relationships in tact while making new friends and church family! We are excited to see what God has in store for us, Antioch and West Union!!!!  He is always working!!!