Hello again !

So, in order not to sound like a broken record I’ll keep from stating the obvious.  I’ve completely neglected my blog.  How does this happen?  Oh, I know, it’s that thing called life.  I’m the worst at getting caught up in it.  Believe me when I say that this has been a crazy school year.

Just in case you didn’t know, I’ve been dealing with some health issues that have brought me to my knees.  If I didn’t have God to turn to who knows where I’d be.  Back in September or October, I’ve honestly lost track of when it all began, I started experiencing severe dizziness and pain.  It was so bad that I missed days and days of work.

Now fast forward to today, after numerous visits to my primary doctor and Ent it appears to be allergy issues coupled with stress.  I am still having minor issues with dizziness/feeling foggy, but it’s much more manageable.  I thank God every day that he has given me the strength that I need.  I lost track of the number of times I recited the verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Now I know that everything happens for a reason and we need to experience struggles in order to be grateful for what we have, but when you’re in that moment it’s tough.  There were many days that I wanted to quite.  Just give up.  The only reason I didn’t is because I had that small voice in my head pushing me.  It told me not to listen to the lies, to stay strong and push through.  Everyday that I listened to that small voice I found it getting easier and easier.

What a blessing it is that we can go to God with our struggles.  Whatever they might be.  I praise Him that he gave me the strength and I know that if something similar happens again then I can give it all over to Him.  I pray that you find that you can do the same and if you’re not there yet you soon will be.

Summer is over! Well, almost.

So what did I do this morning you ask?  I went to school.  Noooooooo!  This just means that summer is close to being over and reality is going to set in again.  I really wish that I could somehow stretch a few more weeks out of it, but unless I find a time machine I don’t think that will be happening.

I do know that our daily routine of sleeping in needs to slowly wean back to our early mornings.  Today I almost lost it when I tried to get everyone out the door by 9:00.  It was like we were all stuck in molasses and on slow motion at the same time.  Between one not being dressed and the other losing it because he couldn’t watch his show I almost said, forget it, let’s just stay home.  But, alas I pushed through.

I did not actually get much done in my classroom today, but the ideas have started flowing.  I can usually visualize what I want each area of my classroom to look like.  Since I have moved classrooms, as well as buildings, it is a little bit harder for me to really know how I want it all to look.

3rd grade is so different from Kindergarten and there are things that I have always needed that are no longer required.  It’s just a matter of tweaking some things and reinventing others.  So far I have my library area pretty well set, at least for now.  I am trying to come up with ideas for how I want to set up the areas for centers and my bulletin boards.

I will try to take some pics tomorrow and that way I can have a before and after to post.

Making Lemonade out of Lemons-Literally

Oh my!  I am not sure what happened but I have been in a funk for the past couple of days.  I was supposed to post this like a week ago, but I was just not feeling it.  Now I am back to normal and so ready to get back into the swing of things.  So, as promised, here is the recipe for the delicious lavender lemonade that I made for our BBQ a couple weekends ago.

lavender lemonade 3

Here are the ingredients; a bag of lemons, honey, lemon and lavender essential oils.  I also found this super cute glass pitcher to put it all in.  The best part is it was on sale at TJ Maxx for only $14!

lavender lemonade 4

These two oils are a couple of my favorites.  They can be used in so many ways and the flavor that they add is amazing!  I love just having the lemon in my water.

lavender lemonade 2lavender lemonade 1

I juiced 9 lemons right into the pitcher.  It was a little difficult trying to keep all of the seeds from going in, but if they do it’s no big deal.  They won’t come out of the spout anyway, so no one would accidentally get them in their drink.

Next, I made a honey syrup with a cup of honey and a cup of water.  I warmed them in a small saucepan until they combined.  Then I added two drops of lavender and two drops of lemon to the honey syrup.

I add the honey syrup to the lemons and then started adding a cup of water at a time until I got the right flavor and consistency.  You just kind of half to play around with it and it depends on how tart or sweet you would like it to be.

lavender lemonade

Then I added neon purple food coloring, until I got a color that I liked.  I stuck the pitcher in the fridge and let it sit over night.  The next day it was probably one of the hottest days ever and this delicious drink was the perfect thing.

I hope you are able to make this for your family and enjoy it as a refreshing drink.

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Peppermint Fudge, What?!

This past weekend my beautiful niece was dedicated at our church.  So after church we had a small BBQ and I thought, “What better time to try out some new recipes using my oils?”  I had been pinning like crazy and needed to see if they were any good.  The first one I made was peppermint fudge.  Can you say, York Peppermint Patty?  That is exactly what this rich deliciousness tastes like.  I took some pics, just in case you want to try it for yourself.

peppermint fudge 4

First, you line a pan with foil and put non-stick spray on it.

peppermint fudge 1 peppermint fudge 2peppermint fudge 3

These are the ingredients.  That’s it!  No joke.  You need 3 cups of semi-sweet morsels, a can of sweet condensed milk and one drop of peppermint essential oil.

peppermint fudge 5

You put the morsels and condensed milk in a saucepan on low heat.  Let it slowly heat up and melt the chips.  You do not want to rush this or you will have burnt chocolate on your hands.  Once the mixture is smooth you add the one drop of peppermint oil.  One drop is really all you will need.  It is some super potent stuff, so don’t overdo it.

peppermint fudge

You then press the mixture in the prepared pan, cover and stick it in the fridge for a couple of hours.  Easy peasy.  Once it is hard you can cut into small squares.  I say small because it is very rich.  You only need to eat a couple of these babies before you have had your fill, which is a good thing for me.  If this was say, a tray of brownies, they would not last long in our house.  Fudge, on the other hand, has a little bit longer shelf life here.

Well, I hope you are able to make yourself a batch and enjoy that chocolatey, peppermint goodness.  Tomorrow I will try to post the recipe for the lavender lemonade that I made as well.

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My new kit!

So the long awaited day FINALLY came!  My kit came in and I am over the moon excited about it.  I don’t want to overwhelm you with everything, but I probably will.  So be prepared!  Here is the box that my kit came in.  Not too big, but they pack it pretty full with everything.

box

So I ripped it open immediately and here is what I found.

oils

My beautiful oils!  As you can see I have opened every single one of them.  I probably spent a good 20 minutes just smelling them all and making the kids smell them too.  I was a bit surprised that they did not all have the generic type “pretty” smell that we all usually experience with scents.  There are some that are really potent and should not be inhaled deeply from the bottle.

The next thing I took out and plugged in right away was this.

rose diffuser

It is so pretty and really easy to set up.  I just put in water to the fill line and started diffusing right away.  I put 3 drops of Copaiba and it was lovely.  I have since tried Lavender and Peace and Calming.  It is also super easy to clean out between uses.

Here are some more of the goodies that were packed inside.

inside goodiesproduct guide

The left picture is all of the samples that you get.  There are little bottles, that are super cute by the way, that you can put any oils in to hand out.  There are also little cards that the sample bottles connect to with information about the oil, as well as uses.  I gave out my first two last night!

There are little sample packs with 4 drops or so of oils that you can give out and would be great to just keep in your purse.  The Ningxia Red samples are included and I am excited to try those.  Each pouch has 2 servings and is supposed to be a great energy booster.  There is also a bottle of Stress Away, which surprisingly I have not opened yet, and a roll on that you can add to any bottle.

The picture on the right is the product guide, which has everything that they sell, as well as pricing.  I like that the pricing is there for the retail price, as well as the discounted price, if you are a distributor.  There is also an EO magazine which would be awesome to hand out.  It has some great articles on what essential oils are and ways to use them, as well as how kids can even get involved.

My kit came on Tuesday and already I have made two different kinds of bug repellent, Thieves tea (Which was delicious by the way.  My four year old could not get enough of it), solved some tummy issues with Digize and put Lemon in my water yesterday.  Not to mention having the diffuser on nonstop since I got it plugged in.  It has been awesome!

I am planning to have some make and take parties soon that I am really excited about.  Still trying to nail down the details, but I think we will be making bug spray, bath salts, clothespin diffusers and either sugar scrub or linen spray.  There are so many different ideas out there that it is hard to choose.  I will also serve refreshments incorporating the oils in them.  The tea I had the other night would be great, as well as this delicious looking Lavender lemonade that was shared with me.

I could go on and on, but I will leave you with this quote that kind of makes me laugh.

flannery

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A Little Bit of This and That

So I had every intention of writing something yesterday, but the day got away from me.  Plus, I didn’t really have anything to write about.  Today I decided to be ambitious and clean off my cluttered desk that is in my bedroom.  The desk that I just HAD to have because I knew I would get so much more done with a desk.  Well, anyway, my desk is now somewhat organized an I am remembering how much I do get done when I have a space to do it in.  This said space can also serve as a work only space and when I leave it then I am no longer working.  I was finding that it was becoming hard to unplug, so I am hoping that this is the solution for me.

Well,  I am super excited about today because today is the day that my essential oils kit is coming in the mail.  Now I may have just checked the tracking number for the dozenth time and it is out for delivery.  Going on this journey of trying essential oils has me really optimistic and excited to see what happens.  There are some areas that I feel our family could truly benefit.  As soon as the kit gets here I will take lots of pictures and post the unveiling.

Another fun thing happened recently, we got a new trampoline for the kids.  Well used, but new to us.  Kara’s birthday is tomorrow and she is hitting double digits. 10!!  I can not believe she will be going into 5th grade this year.  Oh boy!  Well, one of the things she asked for, for her birthday, was a trampoline.  So when I saw a friend post that they were selling theirs, since they are moving, then I knew that I had to snatch it up.  I just picked up pool noodles today to do the Pinterest find below.

trampoline noodles

We are also looking to have it sunk in the ground.  How cool would that be?

trampoline sink

Summer is slowly passing by, but I know that July will be gone before I know it.  So my classroom will start to become my priority very soon.  I am hoping to become more familiar with my new 3rd grade standards and units.  Eek!  I am still not sure what I  have gotten myself into, but I have peace in knowing that it was the right decision.

I guess that’s all for now.  Stay tuned for my full review on my essential oils kit!

Let it Go (disclaimer:this is not a Frozen parody)

Luke quote

There are few things in my life that I absolutely have to have.  A good night’s sleep, my favorite book and anything with peanut butter.  I am a severe peanut butter addict!  So when I came across this verse it made me really stop and think.  What am I clinging to?  Are there things in my life that I am not letting go, which are causing me to miss out on what God has planned?  I know that I have a tendency to prioritize my life in a haphazard manner, especially during the summer months.  Being a teacher can be both a blessing and a curse.

Don’t get me wrong I love having time off to spend with my kids and reboot.  The hard part for me is going from a crazy busy schedule to the exact opposite.  The whole first week of summer is like this weird transition period where I still wake up early, give myself tasks to complete each day and stay as busy as I can all day.  A month into summer, I won’t lie, the kids and I stay in our pjs for as long as possible.  My daughter, twice this week, was in pjs when my husband got home from work.

I try my best to take time to read my bible and pray, but for some reason I have a hard time placing it at the top of my list.  The one thing that I do manage to do almost every day is turn on my worship music and wash the dishes, clean the bathroom, hang out in the pool or whatever else the day entails.  But in my mind, I know that’s not enough.

There are way too many other things in my life that I just let get in the way or cling to, as the verse says.  Why?  What am I afraid of?  Do I really think that I can do a better job of steering my life?  Like the song says, Jesus take the wheel.  I want all of the fabulous things that He has planned for me, not just the mediocre things that I think I need.