More About This Momma

Sunday, October 20, 2013

doTERRA Essential Oils Garbage Disposal Fresheners

Just stopping by to drop off a quick, fun and easy doTERRA DIY Craft Recipe! YAY!!! I made these the other day and my kitchen smells soooooooooooo good! I got this recipe from the official doTERRA blog.  However, I did not have any liquid castile soap on hand and I quickly discovered any liquid soap will work.

2 Cups Baking Soda
1 Cup Salt
1/2 Cup Water
30 Drops of Essential Oil (I used Lemon Scent; you might also try Lavender for a softer, sweeter smell, or any other scent that you really like!)
1/3 Cup Liquid Dish Soap (no particular brand required)

In mixing bowl, combine the Baking Soda and Salt, stir until well blended.
Add soap and oil into the mixture, do not stir yet
Add water BUT only 1 tablespoon at a time, stopping to mix the ingredients together inbetween
Continue adding water ONLY until you reach a "wet sand" consistency (note: if the mix gets too watery, add a little more baking soda and salt to thicken it up)
Use tablespoon or regular spoon to scoop out and drop the mix onto wax paper, about 1 inch apart.  The consistency should be thick enough that it won't run.
Let dry overnight, make take up to 24 hours, until they completely dry and hard; place in container until ready to be used.
Once you finish doing dishes, drop one into your garbage disposal and smell the beautiful doTERRA scents freshen the air in your kitchen!

To purchase oils for this recipe, go to my web site and enjoy shopping!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend... What's left of it, anyway!!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Building A To Do List

The question I receive the most from my friends, family, and followers is, "How do you find time for everything that you do?"

Yes, homeschooling, raising an infant, editing for a transcription company, blogging, laundry, cooking, baking, crafts, couponing, planning a wedding, and cuddling with my honey does seem next to impossible.  There are days where I feel more accomplished than others.

Thankfully, with each passing day my life has seemed to get a little more organized on its own.  That wasn't until I made an executive decision to get control of my schedule, though...

The very first step I had to take, as a Christian woman, was to focus more on God and putting Him first in my every day life.  For me, in my own personal experience, the days where I wake up and start out with prayer and devotion tend to become my most productive days.  Choosing to be spiritually focused allows everything else to fall into place for me, and keeps me more centered and balanced.

The second step for me is prioritizing.  This isn't always easy.  On the days when Stud walks into a messy house, he could easily think that I didn't prioritize my day very well (thankfully, I have a man who knows I'm always hard at work on something).  On the contrary, those are some of my best days, when I finally allow the laundry and toys to build up and accept that I have more important things to focus on.  I have had to learn that a tidy house does not always signify a well-disciplined house wife.  Being home all day with the kids does not mean that your house should be spotless.

Once I have God and my priorities in line for the day, the last step is much easier to accomplish: make a schedule! Originally, I tried to follow a pre-set schedule but then I realized, my life is too crazy, too hectic, and too sporadic to stick to a daily itinerary.  My schedule needs to be flexible in order to keep up with my life.

So, my days will typically start out looking something like this: "Wake up, shower, help Stud get his day going and off to work, go into my room and have prayer/alone time with God and my Bible, feed the children their breakfast and do devotions with them, write out my list of things to do for the day, check my emails while Ninja does his chores, and then start school..." The rest of the day follows whatever I wrote on my list, until 5pm when Dr. Phil comes on.  That's the only time I turn on the TV during the day, while I cook dinner and/or put laundry away.

However, recently I came across something way cooler than I could have ever thought of, myself! The author of the blog Tales of Beauty for Ashes created an EPIC Daily To Do List.  She found it in her beautiful, wonderful, amazing heart to share it with other desperate mothers, like myself, and make it downloadable.  Thanks Becky!

So NOW.... instead of scribbling my list of things to do onto the nearest sheet of paper or a sticky note, my list looks more like this!

What I love most about this list is the fact that she included a place at the top for a Bible verse (or, if you prefer, an inspirational quote) to read throughout the day and keep yourself motivated.  Secondly, I love that she created a spot where you can circle how many glasses of water you have drank so far.  I am an avid believer in drinking plenty of water throughout the day; it is the most natural and healthiest way of giving yourself the energy and focus that we all need!

Yes, I did also steal Becky's idea to put the list inside a picture frame so that I would not need to print a copy for myself every day. No, I'm not near as creative as Becky is.  Yes, that is why I love web sites like Pinterest so that I can steal other people's ideas.

On that note, I would like to conclude by asking my readers, what routines do YOU follow in order to keep yourself on schedule and organized every day??

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Fighting Woman & Her Story

I want to take this time to talk about someone who I consider to be a very near and dear friend.  I haven't physically seen her in about 6 years but I still love her now just as much as I did the last time that I was able to hug her.  Barbara is a friend who comes from my "Army Wife" days, when I was still married to Ninja's dad.  She was the first friend I made when we were stationed at Fort Hood, TX.  Within the same night that we met, it took us no time at all to see that we were going to become very good buddies.

We met in 2005, which was my first official year of living as an Army Wife. I was 1,300 miles away from all of my family.  I have always been an independent natured girl, but I was also 20 years old at the time and I missed my momma. When I needed comfort, Barbara stepped up to the plate and took me under he wing.  She was almost like my big sister during those days.  She showed me how to shop on a budget (not that my mom hadn't already taught me, but this time I was actually spending money from my OWN bank account!) and how to cook good, cheap meals.  Barbara had two handsome young boys, Payton and Kyle.  She demonstrated for me the love of a young mother through them.  Her world revolved around her husband and two sons.

There is one other thing, *the greatest thing*, that Barbara taught me: how to be a strong woman.  I learned very quickly in Texas how different the military life was.  While I am very happy with my life now and wouldn't trade it for the world, I still look back on those days and miss the friendships that I built. They were some of the shortest lived, yet strongest friendships I will ever know.  You see, in the military even the spouses don't have their family around them. So you learn to adapt and become a family with each other.  That's why, even though we now live across the country and haven't seen each other in years, Barbara is still like family to me, along with 5 other women whom I still keep in close contact with.  That is also why, when Barbara began experiencing severe health issues, I longed to be by her side.

A few years ago, the doctors found a tumor on Barbara's brain.  It's okay, you can breathe --- she went through chemo therapy and has been successfully cancer free for 3 years now! However, Barbara's battle is far from being over.  She still has a benign pituitary tumor, which interferes significantly with her life because it screws with her hormones, her cognition, and it can even cause her to have slurred speech at times.  She suffers with her brain swelling over and over again, and she gets terrible migraines.

These photos were taken during Barbara's chemo

To add to her history with cancer and her brain tumor, Barbara also has Interstitial Cystitis; something that I too was diagnosed with 12 years ago.  It's a disease of the bladder and if anyone has experienced a Urinary Tract Infection, imagine having one every day for the rest of your life.  Antibiotics do nothing for it because it is not caused by a bacterial infection.  It is something you are born with, though it doesn't often show up until you are older.  It is a painful and miserable disease, which I can testify in my own life leads to depression and anxiety, as well as lack of sleep! While there are some treatments for it, IC is still a bit of a newly discovered disease and therefore, the treatment options are slim... and expensive.

Even though my days as an Army Wife are over, Barbara's are not.  She is often left alone with the boys and her own, personal struggles while her husband, Michael, is either out in the field or across seas, working hard to provide for his family and protect his country.  She is proud of all that he does, and so am I.  Michael is a very loving and devoted husband and I can only imagine how hard it has been for him to leave his family, especially his wife in her times of need.  But this couple is a true symbol of what a military family goes through when they put their own needs and desires aside to serve their country.  In my opinion, Barbara and Michael BOTH deserve a standing ovation, a thank you, and a salute from anyone who is reading this.

Yet, through all of the pain Barbara has never let her faith be shaken.  She has never shown any signs of weakness or regret for her husband's service to his country.  When I speak to her all I see is a beautiful, courageous woman who continues to praise God for her wonderful life.  She certainly has a lot to be thankful for!

When Barbara agreed to let me share her story on my blog, this is what she said:

" I really, really don't want anyone feeling sorry for me. I am truly blessed. By no means has it been easy with Michael gone and Payton's autism ups and downs, but you know there is always someone worse off. I keep that in mind on bad days. It is truly my friends and few family members that keep me going, physically, emotionally and mentally. So right now I am brain cancer free, praising God. " Amen, Barbara.  Praise God.

I hope I have done a well enough job, painting Barbara's story by portraying her struggles that are out-shined with her strength and faith.  But of course, my words could never come close to truly doing her beautiful story justice.  I wish that everyone could be blessed with Barbara as a friend, the way that I have been blessed. So I believe it honestly goes without me having to say, what a strong and beautiful woman Barbara is, and she needs our prayers.

Payton's Birthday Party, 2005

Inside my kitchen at our Christmas party

Me (prego with Ninja), Barb and Becky at Barbara and Michael's wedding; I was her maid of honor
Ninja and I visiting our friends in Texas, 2007

Slowing down long enough to appreciate the beautiful things that keep me busy!