What's the big deal about Young Living

The Lice Epidemic of 2014 (or The Time Mama Nearly Shaved Everyone Bald-Headed and Burned the House Down)

Family photo

This is our most recent church directory picture, taken last month, while my oldest daughter was away at college.

Incidentally, I dutifully and carefully spent hours picking out dresses and fixing everyone's hair for this picture, but I didn't let them get dressed until the last 20 or so minutes before we were going to leave to head up to the church building because I knew those pale blue and white dresses were sure to get dirty if they put them on too soon.

So, as I was putting the finishing touches on the last head of hair and the time was getting close, I told everyone to go ahead and get dressed, and I warned them not to go outside, or crawl, or run, or rub up against anything, or even look at anything dirty.

I'm sure you can image the cardiac infarction I nearly suffered when I rounded the corner to get my purse and gather up the kids to make the final check of hair and shoes when I saw the 3 year old casually walking around carrying a full, open can of root beer in one hand and a wad of over-ripe strawberries in the other.

I may have shrieked.

Pigeons in Times Square may have simultaneously taken flight in slow motion.

My husband found me leaning over a mound of wadded up strawberries on the counter, pinching the bridge of my nose, and practicing Lamaze breathing. He admitted that even though the kids aren't usually allowed to have sodas, he gave the girls a can of root beer to split because he thought that would keep them out of the way while I finished getting ready. He didn't know why they had the handfuls of strawberries.

"Why are you so tense?" he asked.

I can't remember what happened after that.

But the point of this post is that I want you to look at the picture. Study it.

Then, mentally add a 19 year old girl into the picture. Make sure that in your mental image her hair is long. And thick.

Now, take note of the hair in the picture. All. The. Hair.

At this point, I would like us all to observe a moment of silence as I utter the single word I have been hoping all these 19+ years of parenting that I would somehow be fortunate enough to never encounter.


That's right. Let us pray.

We are on Day 2 of treatment, and I believe I have tried everything my trusty Facebook fans have recommended, excepting shaving everyone bald-headed and burning down the house.

Okay, those last two may have been my subconscious blurting those out in my sleep.

I'll be sure to follow this up with what remedies worked, as soon as we are rid of the little devils.

In the meantime, if you'll excuse me, I have some more nitpicking to do.

And miles to go before I sleep.

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New and Improved Exclamations!

New and Improved Exclamations!

My 14 year old daughter is lovable and care-free and quirky and nerdy, and she constantly cracks me up with her observations about life.

For instance, recently she was wondering where the common exclamations that are used today came from.

"Why do people use 'good grief' or 'good night' or 'goodness' as exclamations? Where did those come from?"

She thought she could do much better than those with these Bible-based exclamations. They are simple to use. Just insert them any place you would use one of the above exclamations.

Rachel's ugly sister!

"Rachel's ugly sister, it's raining hard!"

Rahab's red rope!

"Rahab's red rope! Did you see that bear?!"

Gouge my eyes out and call me Samson!

"Well, gouge my eyes out and call me Samson! You made it to church on time for once!"

We're thinking these will be all the rage once they catch on.

Remember, friends, you heard them here first.

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And Then I Found a Ring in My Baby’s Butt Crack

Our 8th child, who we affectionately refer to as "the baby," is what many would call "a character."

Or "a pistol"

"A corker"

"A handful"

"A stinker"

We always know where she's been because we see the signs.

Screenshot 2014-03-18 18.01.56

Like this.

Screenshot 2014-03-18 18.07.07

And this.

Screenshot 2014-03-18 18.04.21

Sometimes it's written all over her face.

Screenshot 2014-03-18 18.05.44

Or we walk into the laundry room and find her standing in the washer trying to shove a popsicle stick down the detergent hole.

You know. Just regular "she's a handful" type stuff.

So, one night around midnight I wasn't too awfully surprised when my oldest daughter knocked on my bedroom door to wake me and said, "You have got to follow me into the living room! You'll never believe who's in there!"

She said she came downstairs to get a drink of water and she heard some rustling around on the recliner in the living room. She was a little concerned at what could be making the noise at such an hour when the whole house was asleep, so she nervously shined her cell phone light in that direction.

That's when she saw her and came to get me.

When I rounded the corner, I saw Li'l Miss 2yo Handful sitting on the recliner, rummaging through my purse.

At midnight.

As naked as the day she was born.

My first response was, "WHAT THE HECK? HOW..? WHY???"

I stood with my hands on my hips and said in a disapproving tone, "WHAT are you doing?!"

She knew she had been caught doing something(S!) she shouldn't be doing so she made a quick excuse. "I needed gum..." she stammered out.

My oldest daughter, who had found her, was stifling giggles by now, and I began listing all the reasons she was in trouble.

1) You do not get out of bed and wander around the house.

2) At midnight.

3) To dig in Mama's purse.

4) Butt naked.

I told her she was going to get a spanking and I picked her up, turned her around, and bent her over to give her a couple of swats with my hand.

That's when a ring popped right out of her crack.

You know the costume jewelry kind that you find in the toy aisle in a kit with a crown and a wand?

Like candy from a Pez dispenser.

At this point, my 18yo and I looked at each other and we both lost it. I couldn't go through with the swats. I couldn't even breathe.

Apparently the ring was in the chair when she sat down and it got wedged in tight until the moment of truth. Until she became the goose that laid the golden egg. Or the fish that produced a gold coin to pay the taxes.

She was saved by the ring.

Want more hilarity? Try these:

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And Then a Scorpion Fell Out of My Pants


At soccer practice one day recently, I noticed that the soccer coach's little doggie only had one eye, so being the introverted and shy type that I am, I asked his wife what was up with that. I mean there had to be an interesting story behind a one-eyed dog, right? And I was dying to know it.

She explained that the dog was a breed with bulging eyes and those particular breeds are at risk of having their eyes pop out of their heads if squeezed. Which was news to me. You really can learn something new every day.

So, sure enough during a playful rough-housing session at home with one of their larger dogs, the eyeball in question came flying out. And it dangled there, held on by... the... eyeball strings. I'm pretty sure that's the official medical term for it.

And her least squeamish, animal loving daughter tried to poke it back in. But it wouldn't stay. Just let that image soak in for a moment. The eyeball wouldn't stay in.

And all the while, I feel sure there was a fair amount of freaking out from the rest of the family. Plus, as you can imagine, the dog was not too happy about the events of the evening, either.

So, they made an emergency trip to the vet and it was determined that the eyeball should be removed, and that's how the family came to be the owners of a one-eyed dog.

I listened to the whole story, mouth agape. Who knew dog eyeballs were so prone to popping out?

And all I could think was, "Man! Some people get all the good stories to tell at holiday gatherings!"

I mean, isn't that the most awesome story to be able to tell 30 years after the event?!

"Well, Brother, we may not have had a picture perfect childhood, but we sure had some crazy fun times, didn't we?"

"You can say that again! Remember the time Ruffy's eyeball popped out of his head and Sister tried to stuff it back in, but it wouldn't stay? Hoo-boy. That was somethin'!"

Ever since hearing that story, I've been thinking about how families bond over events like this, traumatic as they may be at the time, and how retelling these stories can be a bonding event in and of itself.

And I was secretly jealous that we didn't have an awesome eyeball story.

From my thoughts to God's ears.

God works in mysterious ways, friends. Never forget it.

Because a few weeks later when I was at an all day long soccer tournament, which consisted of 6 games and hundreds of players, I felt something tickling my knee.

Well, it tickled at first. And then it started stinging like the dickens.

So, I interrupted my conversation (you had to know I was yacking, right?) to lightly brush whatever was under my jeans off of my knee in a dignified, lady-like manner.

That's when whatever it was decided it didn't like to be bothered and it proceed to sting the fire out of me multiple times.

Around that time, I ditched the dignified, lady-like act and began flailing and hopping and slapping my knee like a crazy lady.

People around me took a step back, but stayed nearby. I could see they wanted to help, but didn't know how.

Finally, after approximately 3 hours of dancing and flapping and screaming, it fell out of my pants.

And my 12 year old daughter shrieked at the top of her lungs, "IT'S A SCORPION!"

Have you ever done that experiment where you drop a little dish soap into a bowl filled with water and sprinkled with pepper?

You have never seen people back up so quickly. It was like pepper. They backed up at pepper speed. Within 1.3 seconds, there was a 100 yard radius around me with nary a soul left. It was like an atomic bomb had gone off and cleared that circle of land of all humankind.

I stomped on it with all the vengeance of a woman who has been stung multiple times at a crowded soccer tournament by a scorpion in her pants and tried to regain my lady-like composure.

"It's okay (weak laugh). I got it (panting). It's dead."

It's funny, but the woman I had been chatting with never did come back to finish our conversation.

In case you're wondering, it's really hard to recover your composure and your super cool, hip homeschool mom front after you've been attacked by a scorpion. IN. YOUR. PANTS. I advise trying to avoid this scenario altogether.

I do have to give credit to God for an awesome story that I believe will top all holiday stories for years to come, though. Because I was willing to take one for the team, we will have story telling GOLD for years!

Take that, One-Eyed Dog!

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The Day I Almost Accidentally Got Braces


I took my daughter to get her braces this week.

[These awkward/embarrassing stories always start out so normally, don't they?]

The appointment lasted for over an hour, and while I waited in the waiting room, I occasionally saw the nurse come and ask other moms if they would like to come back to see what was being done to their child.

So, when a nurse appeared almost an hour into the appointment, looked at me, and said, "Are you ready?" naturally I thought she meant "Are you ready for me to show you to your daughter?". So I said I was ready and followed her back.

[Oh, Hindsight. How you mock me!]

Only she didn't show me to my daughter at all. She showed me to an empty chair. And she said, "Have a seat. The doctor will be right here to get started on your braces."

[See, this is the awkward part.]

And you know those moments when you find yourself at a crossroads? When you have to make a decision about which way to play a misstep? Like when someone you don't recognize approaches you and starts chatting it up, and you must decide in that spit second to either A) pretend you remember them, or B) come clean and ask them to remind you who in the world they are.

So, I'm standing there thinking, "Well... actually my teeth have been shifting..."

[This here is another one of those moral dilemmas, for those playing along.]

But being the honest person I am, I shifted my weight a couple of times and stammered out that I wasn't a patient, and I had only followed her because I thought she was taking me to my daughter.

That's when I got the "now I have to walk all the way back to the waiting room" icy stare from the annoyed nurse, and I had to do the walk of shame back to my seat.

And that concludes the story of I almost accidentally got braces.

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The Day I Grew a Mustache

Have you ever gone to an important meeting or event and wanted to look your best and then when you got there, after you had already talked to somewhere in the vicinity of a hundred people, including the most important and influential individuals present, you realized your zipper was down or your shirt was unbuttoned in an unfortunate place or you had something in your teeth?

Okay, I'm about to top all those horror stories just to make you feel better about your experience. It's my way of giving back. My gift to you.

Last year I attended a certain blogging event, which had several blogging big-wigs in attendance.

I ended up sitting next to a very nice blogger who just so happens to be a rock star in the blogging realm. As in, if I told you her name, there's a pretty good chance you know of her and have read her stuff.

As per my extrovert custom, I was yacking it up with her, talking about everything from our kids to our blogging strategies. At some point in the conversation she leaned in and whispered, "You ... uh... have something on your (motions to mouth area)... uh...in your teeth."

Of course, I was embarrassed that I had been talking to lots of people in the room with what I thought was probably a speck of pepper in my teeth, so I excused myself and started to make my way to the ladies room.

On the way, I was stopped by a Smockity reader who had been waiting to meet me, so I chatted with her for a while, even though I was anxious to get to a mirror and rid myself of that pesky speck of pepper.

I finally made it to the ladies room after being stopped by a couple more people, and I was able to look in the mirror.

What I saw made me hear the shower scene music from Psycho.

This was no speck of pepper, people.

There was a whisker. Growing out of my upper lip.

I kid you not. That thing must have sprouted after I left home (because I assure you I primped and groomed plenty before I left) and grown at the speed of sound, because it was the stuff mustaches are made of.

It was like a scene out of The Shaggy Dog. Or that werewolf movie with Michael J. Fox.

I left my house looking fresh-faced and well groomed.

And I showed up to an important event looking like this.

This was beyond embarrassing. I. Was. Horrified.

I frantically dug through my purse praying for a pair of tweezers to materialize, but of course there were none. Why hadn't I listened to that worst case scenario show on the Discovery Channel??? I made a silent vow to always carry tweezers and one of the windshield puncture devices in case my van were ever to suddenly be submerged under water. And sharp scissors. Because I would need to cut my seatbelt to get out.

As it was, I was woefully unprepared for such a shocking, time-lapse worthy, growth of facial hair.

I tried my best to pull it out with my fingers. Nope. That sucker wasn't budging. I finally resigned myself to dabbing some powder on it from my compact, and I swallowed my pride and walked back into the conference.

No one mentioned my mustache that day, but I learned a valuable lesson.

Your forties will betray you, friends. Always carry tweezers in your purse. And one of those windshield puncher-outers.

You never know.

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