Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Proactive Parenting

I realized today that I miss blogging.  I have so many thoughts go through my head that I should record, thoughts that may be helpful to others.  Or maybe writing is just a good form of therapy for me.

I don't know if you've experienced this, but life passes all too quickly.  When my four children were little I thought I would lose my mind trying to keep up with the expectations of motherhood.  It was really difficult to enjoy the journey because I was always stressed out.  We tried to have fun together as a family but for the most part fun was so much work, just like everything else.

All of a sudden my kids are so grown up.  My oldest just celebrated her first anniversary.  Yes, she's married.  That still blows my mind.  At that point a year ago I realized I only had a year left with my next oldest child and the tears came early.  My youngest is 11 and old enough that he can fend for himself which gives me a lot more freedom as a mom.  The next one up is 13 and my oldest boy is 17 and just graduated high school.  I have spent the last year enjoying the journey as much as is possible.  I have attended concerts, enjoyed their talents, prayed with them, cried with them, and laughed with them.  Not that we didn't do these things together before, but I appreciate them more because I recognize they will not be with me much longer.

Other parents have told me it's wonderful to have your kids leave home.  I haven't felt that way.  When my oldest got married it took me months to quit counting heads and wondering who was missing and where she could be before realizing I don't need to include her in my head count anymore.  I probably worry about her more now than I did when she lived at home.  As my next child prepares to leave for his mission at the end of the summer I know I will worry more about him when he's gone more than I do now.

Despite the craziness of life, the thought occurred to me today that my husband and I have achieved our goals as parents.  When we first got married, we decided we wanted our house to be the teenager hangout.  We may not be rich & have all the cool stuff, but we are able to provide plenty of entertainment, lots of yummy food, and we are able to be involved in their lives.  Hubby & I both felt that we did not tell our parents most of what went on throughout our teenage years and we didn't want it to be that way with our kids.  There's no doubt in my mind that my kids keep secrets, but for the most part they are willing to share with me things I never would have told my parents.

I realized when my kids were young that I needed to listen to them instead of ignore them.  Just the other day I heard a mom tell her kid that she didn't care about what he was interested in and I cringed.  The boy was 5 years old and I can only imagine what kind of havoc he will cause as a teenager just because his parents won't take the time to listen & care.  Then when they becomes "tweens" and go through puberty they want to shut down and not discuss what they're going through, mostly because they don't understand that the hormonal changes in their body is causing a lot of confusion and frustration in their minds.  As teenagers they start being interested in relationships I would pry and not give up when the going got tough.  It has all paid off (so far).  Now when my kids friends are struggling or in trouble, my kids aren't afraid to ask me for help or offer help to their friends because that is what is normal for them.

My oldest two kids have not received their drivers license until after they have graduated high school.  Not for the lack of trying, though.  My daughter was too involved with her friends and really wasn't interested in having a license until she needed one for her job as a nanny.  My son wanted his right away but became very busy and then was too involved with drumline, marching band and friends to take the time necessary to get a license.  Honestly this has been an advantage for me to stay involved in their lives.  I know where they are (most of the time) and have the opportunity to talk with them about their day one on one.  It also prevents the ability for the child to disappear with a vehicle, wreaking havoc. (Apparently I like that word tonight!)  Sure their friends come & get them & go places, which is nice, but I then can meet the friends and typically know where they'll be.

My son graduated high school this week and I have the thoughts going through my head, "Have I taught him enough?  Will he still come to me if he needs help?  What could I have done better?  Is it too late to teach him more?"  The answer is basically, "I don't know, that is all yet to be seen."  Meanwhile, this is just the beginning.  He gets to make his own decisions now.  Not that I won't guide him or give him advice, but the goal all along is to prepare the kids to be able to make good decisions on their own so they can be great contributors to society.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Cat Tales

Once again, my brain has deceived me.  I was excited to finally get all the boys back in school.  My youngest is on C track this year, which means he started school end of July, went to school for a whopping three weeks, then went off track.  Today should have been the day he went back on track.  My other two boys started school a couple weeks ago, so I was looking forward to getting back to a good routine of sorts.

Last night I came down sick.  Not really sick, just a major sinus headache and suddenly no energy and no appetite.  I made sure to drink a lot of water and I went to bed early.  My sweet husband took care of breakfast & getting kids off to school this morning, with the exception of my youngest.  I got up finally at 8:15 and got him to school before 9:00.

My mom and sister are here visiting since they have doctor appointments, so I was at the table visiting with my mom while my sister had breakfast and I got the phone call.  It was from the elementary school, which of course, is not typical this early.  It was Josh, sounding very distraught and holding back his tears, "Mom, I don't go back on track until Wednesday."  He could barely get the words out, he's so soft hearted.  I could tell he was frustrated with me.  "I'll be there in a minute to get you, Josh, I'm sorry."  Thank goodness I'm feeling a bit better today.  Not completely back to normal, but okay to drive.

The moment I hung up, my black cat came through the screen door with something in his mouth.  First let me explain the screen door.  It's one of those cool ones "As Seen on TV" with magnets in the middle so that it closes as soon as you've gone through it.  We've only had it for a couples days, but trained the animals how to use it right away so that they can come and go as they please.  Brilliant idea (dripping with sarcasm).

If you know my cats, they've been known to bring in things they've caught before, so this is nothing new.  But this time I could see yellow hanging out of Friday's mouth.  He starts to meow with it in his mouth as if asking me, "What would you like me to do with this present I've brought you?"  I call to him and he comes right to me.  My goal was for him to follow me back out the screen door so we could deal with it outside the house.  Instead he sets it down at my feet.

It was beautiful!  A little bird laying on my kitchen floor, on it's back with it's feet trembling.  I had no idea whether or not it was hurt.  I grabbed a napkin to pick it up gently, but apparently was too gentle and the bird flew right out of my hand, so of course the cat had to do his job, which is hunting and my kitchen and dining room.  I wish we could have had a camera man ready with video going of the event.  It could have been a scene in a movie!  The bird landed in my basket of medicine bottles on the hutch, so of course the cat is right there to get it out.  I was right there to get it out, too, but the cat startled the bird and it flew across the kitchen.

The bird had yellow and green and gray feathers.  It was so pretty!  It's the type of bird you would see in a walk through wildlife exhibit at the zoo.  The thought crossed my mind for half a second that we could keep it and then as Friday (the big black cat) jumped onto the island, knocking things over as he goes, I remembered this is exactly why we will never have birds as pets.  Not to mention the fact that they are loud, obnoxious, and messy.  I picked up Friday, chewed him out and sent him away.

The bird had landed in the windowsill above the kitchen sink.  There's no screen in that window so this is my chance to catch it and set it free.  I very carefully moved away the bottles of soaps and cleaners that sit in the window in hopes to not startle it.  I also had to move our big box fan and gently open the window.  A miracle happened and the bird stayed put.  Once again, I caught the bird in the napkin and this time, held my hand out the window so the bird could feel the breeze and I said, "Are you ready little bird?  One, two, three, go!"  The beautiful bird flew over to the table and landed on the soft seat of a patio chair, probably to finish having a heart attack.

I don't know how Friday managed to catch that beautiful bird without hurting it in the first place, but I am so grateful it wasn't hurt and that I was able to see it!  Seems like all the other birds around my house are those dirty birds that ruin everything.

After chasing a cat and a bird around my kitchen and finally setting the bird free, I remembered my poor ten year old waiting at the school for me.  Back to reality and the consequences of my scrambled brain.  Thank goodness my son is so forgiving!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Wedding Day--A Comedy of Errors

My sweet little girl is all grown up.  After being a year younger than everyone else and the tallest in her class, she actually quit growing in 6th grade, at about 5'2".  By high school, everyone else finally caught up and surpassed her and she didn't like being short, so she started wearing spike heals to school.  By her senior year, that phase had passed and she joined the barefoot/minimalist community.

All of that is beside the point.

Sara and Bruce decided to get married.  Bruce is in college on a math scholarship two hours north of us.  Sara and Bruce have been together for well over a year and didn't like being apart, so they made plans to change that situation.  We were given three weeks notice to plan the wedding.  Sara had wanted it to be a quiet ceremony between the two of them until the day she had me help her try on her dress to make sure it fit right.  It took me about half an hour to tie up the back.  During this long arduous process, I asked her, "If you don't want anybody at your wedding, who is going to help you into your dress before the ceremony?"  Her response was, "OH!"  And that is how I, her mother, got invited to her wedding.  It feels good to be needed!

Sara's mother in law offered to take care of the flowers for the ceremony and asked if I could help her with some flower arranging.  We spent much of that Friday in search of extra hydrangeas, since the ones she had bought were already wilted.  After searching the valley high and low, we eventually found a hydrangea plant at Smith's grocery store.  Hallelujah!  Since we had floral paint, the color of the hydrangea's really didn't matter much.

I helped with the flower arranging as much as I could until I had to leave to go pick up the groom and help them run errands, one of which was to pick up his tuxedo and another was for them to get their marriage license.  Luckily, we had all the paperwork they needed for that to happen!

Upon returning home, we had a family wedding dinner at Golden Chorale.  This was the place of choice since the food is already cooked and there's a great variety!  Bruce is the oldest of 7 kids in his family and Sara the oldest of 4 kids.  We figured it would be easier on the kids to not have to wait for their meal to be prepared.  Luckily dinner went as planned!

After dinner, Bruce's mom returned with a few of her kids to our house to add final touches to the florals.  There were many bouteniers and wrist corsages and of course, a beautiful bridal bouquet!  By this time the hour was late and I was exhausted, on the verge of grumpy and decided it would be wise to get organized since the wedding was to take place at 8am the following morning.  Zack was not at home to hear the announcement.  Elijah and Joshua were asked to gather their church clothes, specifically their black suits and lay them out with white shirts, black socks, and black shoes.  This would make our morning oh so easy, I was just sure of it!  Bruce's mom had taken her girls and found cute dresses that were all the right colors for the wedding and so I wanted the boys to match as well.  For this to work, the chaos had to happen that evening.  Josh found his clothes right away.  Eli couldn't find his black pants, so we decided he would borrow Zack's extra pair of black church pants.

Guests finally left around 11pm and I hit the sac around midnight but couldn't sleep.  I will add that I got the prompting to set my I did.  After tossing and turning for what felt like hours, I probably fell asleep around 2am.  I had set my alarm for 6am.  Just a side note here.  I have an iPhone, which means when the alarm goes off, it doesn't stop for about 15 minutes before it finally gives up on you.  Apparently Matt had set his alarm for 5:30 and we slept through it (another iPhone).  My alarm went off at 6, and we slept through it.  Seriously, I haven't done this in years and it absolutely baffles me.  The only explanation I can find is that my sleep cycles were so far off that I was in a very deep sleep.  At 7am, Sara came out of my bathroom after doing her makeup and said, "Mom, are you going to get up and get ready for the wedding?"  I jumped and asked why she hadn't woken me sooner.  She told me she thought I was being rebellious because I didn't want her to get married.  Aack!

And so the fun begins.  I took THE SHORTEST SHOWER of my entire life.  I think it might have lasted 30 seconds, basically enough time to get my hair wet and get out.  I had Matt wake the boys and told them they got a two minute shower and to get their suits on right away.  We were supposed to be at the church by 7:45 and I had to get me ready and help Sara into her dress.  Thank goodness the boys had their suits set out!  By the time I came out of the bathroom with my hair blow dried, Zack was out of the shower, "Mom, my suit is in my locker at school."  (He had a choir concert that week and had left his suit at school.)  My jaw hits the floor and I am speechless, which seriously doesn't happen very often.  I finally decided to search his closet to see what might be a good alternative.  I figured we'd have to find Elijah's black pants so Zack could wear his spare pair.  Zack had a black suit coat with white pinstripes.  That was close enough.

Next Joshua emerges with his outfit on, complaining, "Mom, these pants are WAY too big for me in the waist and super long.  I don't know what's wrong."  You've got to be kidding me.  He takes off his belt to show me the size.  Yup, they're Elijah's pants.  No wonder why Eli couldn't find them the night before!  So Elijah takes Zack's pants upstairs to Zack and puts on the pants Josh just took off, so the question of the day is, where are Joshua's black pants?  I searched high and low.  Not in the drawers, not in the clean laundry baskets, not in the dirty laundry baskets.  Nowhere to be found and I'm running out of time.  So Josh puts on his beige pants with his black suit coat.  *heavy sigh*  Elijah is the only one dressed as planned in his black suit.  I have the boys all find blue ties and decide I can't do anything about this conundrum.

At this point, I'm in my dress and my hair is as done as good as it's going to get.  I have no makeup on and no jewelry on yet and Sara is ready for me to help her into her dress at the appointed time we are supposed to be arriving at the church.  I laced her dress up double time!  I had the boys brush their teeth while I put on my makeup and we headed out the door, arriving to the church 30 minutes later than planned.  This being only 15 minutes late for the ceremony, I was somewhat pleased until Sara said with a scared voice, "Mom, I left Bruce's ring at home.  It's in my jewelry box."  I told her to sit tight and I'd go get it while everyone pinned on their flowers.  No big deal, right?  That's what I kept telling myself, anyway.  Ring acquired, back to the church I go.  When I walked in, Sara had the look of death on her face and nobody else was around. "Mom, I forgot the marriage license, it's on my dresser!"  You've got to be kidding me.  I hand her the ring and walk back out, drive back home, grab the license and head back to the church.  I'm thinking, "If she forgot anything else, this marriage is not happening today."  By the time I return, it's 8:30.  Sara had also left her veil at home, and there it stayed.

The ceremony was beautiful and only immediate family was there. We took pictures and dispersed.  The newlyweds left for Midway for professional wedding photos and a short honeymoon, while the rest of us decided we deserved a big breakfast after the surviving the morning's chaos.  Matt and I fixed belgian waffles loaded with fresh berries and homemade whipped cream, hash browns, and bacon.  We feasted 'til we were stuffed and then hung out for awhile before deciding we needed to get on with our Saturday.

Everything turned out okay in the end, but I sure felt like everything that could go wrong did go wrong.  Meanwhile, the happy couple have started their Happily Ever After!

I have since gotten phone calls from my beautiful daughter sayings things like, "Exactly how does one cook a chicken?" and "I thought I knew how to cook until I left home." and "We are so tired of eating the same thing every night.  What else can I cook with these ingredients?"  As the mom, it's so nice to feel needed and to have the opportunity to hear my little girl's voice again.  I miss her hugs and her amazing smile.  I miss my best helper.  Time to do some more training with the boys.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

My New Discoveries in the Gospel of Jesus Christ

I have not blogged in AGES.  I'm so sorry.  Life has been pretty hectic.  I think about it regularly, but obviously it doesn't get any farther.  But today I feel that I have amazing things to share with the world!

At church, I am the Relief Society Secretary.  This means I attempt to keep things organized in order to be a support to my presidency.  When I was first put in, nearly a year and a half ago, I asked if I'd be in the teaching rotation for the monthly presidency message in Relief Society.  No such luck, secretaries don't teach.  *heavy sigh*  That's okay, I love the interaction I get with the ladies as we do home visits, and I have also found that for some reason, the new sisters come to me with their questions.  Possibly because I got their personal information from them to begin with.

So the opportunity finally arose for me to teach RS.  I have had a message I have felt I needed to share with the Sisters in RS for a few months now, so it was easy to use that as my topic and go from there.  Some of you may not know that the presidency message is not an assigned topic or prewritten lesson.  The presidency is expected to be in tune with the needs of the sisters in our ward, as well as be in tune with the Spirit in order to know what the Lord would have them teach.

I'd like to blog my lesson, but I want to focus on an experience that I had while reviewing my lesson just last night.  My lesson was finished about a week ago and I spent the week reviewing and tweaking it as I felt inspired.  I went to the temple and the Lord helped me have a better understanding of what I was teaching, which was really cool.  Then last night as I was reviewing it before I went to bed, I felt inspired to look up a certain topic in the scriptures to possibly add to my lesson.

So here's the breakdown.  Most of my lesson is taken from Ch. 8 of Daughters in My Kingdom.  I also used an essay by Valerie Hudson Cassler (who is an LDS Scholar), in which she expounds upon the stewardship of men vs women by assigning a tree to each.  Let me explain.  Going back to the events in the Garden of Eden, Moses 3:9 (towards the end of the verse) reads, "And I, the Lord God, planted the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and also the tree of knowledge of good and evil."  So here are labeled the two trees.  Cassler explains that Tree of Knowledge represents the women's stewardship, and the Tree of Life represents the men's stewardship.

I felt inspired to find the verses that talked about Adam and Eve being forbidden to partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  I skim through a couple chapters and finally come across Moses 3:15-18.  They read, "(15) And I, the Lord God, took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden, to dress it, and to keep it.  (16) And I, the Lord God, commanded the man, saying:  Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, (17) But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (18) And I, the Lord God, said unto mine Only Begotten, that it was not good that man should be alone; wherefore, I will make an help meet for him."

I gasped!  I read it again like three more times.  Why have I not noticed this before?  Why has it not been taught in church doctrine, in seminary, in primary?  Did you notice?  In verse 15, the Lord spoke to the man, Adam, and in the next two verses he tells Adam (and only Adam) that he, Adam, is forbidden to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  JUST ADAM.  In the next verse, Eve was created.  In other words, Eve was NOT forbidden to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  The only commandment she is given happens in the previous chapter, Moses 2:28, "And I, God, blessed them, and said unto them:  Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."

I have been taught through LDS doctrine that Eve was foreordained to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  She agreed to this in the preexistence and this was her major role in the Plan of Salvation.  Her stewardship, which Cassler explains is our stewardship as women, is to put agency into play, opening the doorway from heaven to earth and for women to provide mortal bodies for all of the Spirit Children of God.  This stewardship is a Godly power and is just as important as the role of the Priesthood.

Cassler goes on to explain the Tree of Life represents the men's stewardship that we know of as the Priesthood.  Their role is to open the doorway back to heaven through the ordinances that provide salvation (baptism) and exaltation (temple sealing).  So many women feel they are inferior to those who hold the Priesthood, but that is not the case.  Our roles are equal, divine gifts from our Heavenly Father.   One cannot take place without the other.  Women cannot provide mortal bodies for Spirit Children without the help of man.  Men cannot gain eternal exaltation without being sealed to a woman.  This right here is why the Church teaches that a family unit is SO important!

But there's more!  Amazed by what I was learning the night before I taught my lesson, I wondered if there could be more still.  But of course!  In Moses 4:6, Satan shows up to tempt Eve.  "And Satan put in into the heart of the serpent, (for he had drawn away many after him,) and he sought also to beguile Eve, for he knew not the mind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world."  The critical words here are, "...he knew not the mind of God..."  God already knew what would happen when Eve partook of the fruit.  He had given her this divine role.  Satan did not know that by tempting Eve to eat of the fruit that all of the Spirit Children would have the opportunity to come down to earth!  Had he known, I don't think he would have tempted Eve.  As it was, it was important for Adam to not be the first to partake of the fruit.  It was not his stewardship and would have possibly caused some major problems in the Lord's plan.  But it was important that Eve be the one to eat first and then provide the opportunity to Adam, which means she actually provided him a way into mortality just as is our role as women.

I'm sure Adam had told Eve that they were forbidden to partake of the fruit.  It says in Moses 4:9, Eve is telling Satan they are not allowed to partake of that fruit.  And yet, Eve had not been commanded by the Lord to not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

As I said my prayers and climbed into bed, the Holy Ghost confirmed to me these things are true.  I was so excited that I could not sleep.  Maybe some of you knew this already, but this is a big discovery for me!  I think it's one of those things the Lord reveals to us as we are ready for it.

If you are interested in the essay I refer to written by Cassler, you can find it at  It is titled "I am a Mormon Because I am a Feminist." I love her perspective, which helped me put into words how I have felt about women and the Priesthood for many years.  Thank you Valerie!

My lesson goes on to talk about other aspects of the Priesthood.  I hope to blog about those another time, maybe even tomorrow while it's fresh on my mind.  So keep your eyes peeled for part 2!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Adventures of Goomba!

Friday I got a phone call from my husband explaining that a coworker of his brought his dog to work and left him in the car.  I missed the part about why this happened.  But the loaded question was, can his dog hang out at our house for the day and half the night while we're at work?  I only have to clean house and be a taxi mom.  Sure, why not provide Nanna with a house guest and buddy?  Then comes the clencher.  His dog is bigger than a good 30 lbs or more.

About an hour later Matt shows up with XXL dog and dog owner.  Nanna barks  and gives up quickly when that doesn't affect huge black dog at all.  Guest dog's name is Goomba.  Good name for a big dog, but "Black Bear"  or just "Bear" may have been more appropriate.  I call my XL dog my little pony for good reason.  Goomba could be called Bear for good reason.  HUGE.  Oh, and did I mention he's a long haired dog?  HUGE, I tell you, HUGE!

So there were many small adventures with Goomba, but one in particular was pretty darn funny.  My biggest concern about Goomba was not letting him get out the front door.  Zack's band members came by to help Zack load his drum set into the van for their Battle of the Bands at the High School that night.  They finally figured out if they kept both dogs IN the house, they could open the side gate and take the drums through the yard to the van.  This relieved my concern of one of the dogs getting out the front door.

Once the drums were loaded I needed to drive them back to the High School.  A few minutes earlier, I had put our cat, Gracy, outside so she wouldn't encounter the Bear, I mean Goomba.  She decided to sit on the front patio chair in front of the big picture window.  Apparently Goomba noticed she was there.  Now I knew Goomba had a thing for chasing cats so I figured it would be safer for the cat to be outside.  With Goomba nearby, I opened the door just a crack to let myself out.  Goomba suddenly pushed past me to chase the cat that was no longer innocently sitting nearby.  Gracy jumped out of her comfortable seat and dashed across to the neighbors yard and up a tree.  I dashed into the house to get Goomba's leash and a dog treat, knowing that Goomba is very motivated by food.

Once outside, I handed the leash and treat to Zack and asked him to follow Goomba since he had seen which way Goomba went.  Zack went around the neighbors house and told us to head around the other side of the house.  Two band members and myself head around the other side in hopes to block the dog from running past us.  Goomba headed our way since he was slowly being followed by Zack from the other direction.  I managed to catch Goomba on his way past, managed to find his collar through his blanket of fur until Zack arrived with the leash and treat.  Goomba laid down and ate half of the treat Zack had offered him.  With the other half still in his hand, Goomba kept bumping into Zack trying to take the rest of the treat, and sliming his with drool in the process.  Zack handed me the treat and I slowly jogged back to the house with Goomba close behind wanting the treat.  

WHEW!  Beast safely back in the house, I took the kids back to the High School.  Never a dull moment.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Eucalyptus Oil

Do you have kids coughing?  So much gunk is going around right now.  It makes me sick (no pun intended) to think about all the germs coming home from the schools.  Ick.

I found a link on Pinterst (have I mentioned lately that I love Pinterest) that is about using the essential oil Eucalyptus on your kids' feet at night so they're not coughing all night long.  I love learning new ways to use my oils!  I learned just in the nick of time.  My youngest got over the flu like symptoms and now has a bit of a cough and sniffly nose.  Because we use essential oils, his flu never got bad and his cough hasn't turned nasty.

On a side note, we use Immune Strength by to fight off any bugs that try to get us.  It doesn't mean we don't get it, but it sure helps us not get the bug as bad.  If you catch it on day 1, you can kick a virus right out the door.  Seriously!  When one of us complains of a sore throat or coughs, I immediately put some Immune Strength on their feet.  One of my kids particularly dislikes the scents from the oils.  When I make him use the oils, I allow him to then put on his socks and shoes so that it does not irritate his nose.  If one of us actually comes down sick, I use the Immune Strength on that person twice a day, then once a day on the rest of us so we don't catch it.  Here's the good news. is going to have a Black Friday sale and Immune Strength will be on sale!!!  As well as several other great oils.  You seriously won't want to miss it.  I stock up on this stuff because it works!

Okay, back to Eucalyptus.  What this lady's blog did not talk about is the fact that there are three different types of Eucalyptus oils.  And they each do something different.  So...I want to tell you about all three of them.  I will quote from the RockyMountainOils website.  I feel that their website is very informative!

Eucalyptus Citriodora

This eucalyptus is a powerful antiseptic. Powerful antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, deodorant, expectorant, insect repellant, purifying. 

Eucalyptus Globulus

Beneficial for burns, blisters, cuts, insect bites, repellant, and as an immune system stimulant.

Eucalyptus Radiata

Beneficial for sinus problems, coughs, sore throat and mouth infections. It is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral.

Amazing?  YES!  So.  If you want to treat a sore throat and cough, buy the Eucalyptus Radiata.  If you or the kids tend to get lung problems, laryngitis, or bronchitis easily, add the Eucalyptus Citriodora to it.  Yup, use them both.  If you want the benefit of the immune boost offered by Eucalyptus Globulus, add it in as well.  I have bought little bottles with roller tops for easy application.  It would be beneficial to mix your Eucalyptus oils into one little bottle.  In fact, I think I'll do that for us!  I need to add one the Citriodora to my oil collection, then I'll have all three.  In the meantime, I'm just using Eucalyptus Radiata and it has helped my 8 year old not cough so much at night.  I forgot to put it on him last night so I put it on him this morning before school.

On an adult, you can apply this oil "neat" which means undiluted.  You only need two drops per foot at most.  Pure oils are very powerful and can send the body into shock if you use too much at once; however, they can be reapplied several times throughout the day if necessary.  For a child, use a carrier oil and dilute the oil about fifty percent.  I have Fractionated Coconut Oil (FCO) and I put about 3-4 drops of that in my hand, then 2-3 drops of the oil with it.  Then I rub it onto my child's feet.  The nice thing about this is I benefit from it too, as the oils soak into my hands as well.  That is, until I switch to a roller bottle.  Recognize my little kids are big.  My youngest is about 85 lbs.  So if your little kids are little, you might only use two drops total with the FCO.

I also buy oils from  Their prices are sometimes cheaper than RMO so I always do comparison pricing.  MRH does not offer oil blends, so I always get those from RMO.  But MRH offers tons of other stuff besides oils, which I believe is why their oil prices are slightly lower.  Information wise, I love RMO for the ease of using their website and amount of information on each oil.

If you have any questions about oils, please feel free to ask!  I'm not certified, but I have learned a TON about essential oils this year and feel strongly that as a culture we can use doctors and pharmacies less and use natural healing more.

The BEST Apple Crisp Ever!

For those of you that don't know, I am a major Pinterest fan.  The coolest part is actually trying new things that other people have posted on their blogs as being good.  I have to admit, a few have been epic failures, but not this recipe!  I love apple crisp.  I also have a box of apples in the kitchen that are on the brink of going bad, so I needed to find something to do with them besides eat them one at a time.  I guess I should have stored them in the cool garage.

Yesterday I took a meal to a friend and she gave me the greatest compliment.  She fell down her front stairs night before last and ended up in the ER to make sure nothing was broken.  After offering to bring her dinner she said to her daughter, "I want to tell Christy not to, but she's the best cook I know, so I'd love to eat her food!"  Wow!  That's a huge compliment.  Sadly, I cook a few things really good and everything else is just average.  Anyway, I did take her a tray of this Apple Crisp for dessert as well as some vanilla bean ice cream to go with it!

Apple Crisp

5 lbs. apples (about 10)
grated zest of 1 orange
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed orange juice
2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 lb. cold unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9x13 (deep) baking dish or 2 8x8 pans.

Peel, core, and cut the apples into large wedges.  A peeler, corer, slicer tool makes this part faster!  Combine apples with the zests, juices, sugar, and spices and mix thoroughly.  Pour into pan of choice.

To make the topping, combine all topping ingredients and mix with an electric mixer on low until it's crumbly and butter is the size of peas.  Scatter evenly over the apples.

Place apple crisp on a sheet pan and bake for one hour until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce (opt.)  SERVES 10.

This recipe is so huge!  I highly recommend using two deep dish 8x8 bakers and splitting the recipe.  It will work great as a freezer meal dessert, so cook half for tonight and stick the other half in the freezer for an other day!

I'm thinking I might add a regular crust underneath and use this recipe as my dutch apple pie with carmel sauce for Thanksgiving dinner.  YUM!  The added citrus in this recipe really gives it the zing that I love.

This recipe was taken from Barefoot Contessa Parties!  blog.