Family Competitions

We’re a weird family. There is no hiding it. Especially with social media. 😅 We have a family chat where the 17 of us share funny, random, important pieces of information.. Sometimes our weirdness ends up online. Here’s an example: My very science minded daughter landed in an art class in college that has been a thorn in her side. From sculpting soap into an anthropomorphic shape to self portraits, she has been stretched and we have enjoyed some great laughs! Following is the self portrait that she submitted with great reservation. We tried so many different renditions of her with oils and her chemistry book, but this is the one she dreadfully chose. :P ( I love it!)

The portrait was to sum up her current life.

The portrait was to sum up her current life.

Her dad, of course, thought the whole thing was great fun, so he duplicated the photo for family chat In honor of her effort. You’ve gotta love the socks! (I married this man! )

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The two photos ended up on instagram and Facebook where the public voted.. ‘Im pretty sure the crowd felt sorry for both of them, so the score stayed even with every vote for 24 hours. It was quite hilarious.

My family. 🙈I wouldn’t trade them.

Two are Better Than One

This pic of my youngest daughter trying to carry her bigger sister is a great visual of what marriage can be like sometimes. Sometimes we just need to take one for the team because we love our spouse and they need us to help relieve a little of life’s pressure. It doesn’t make sense but it’s beautiful in action.

It sums up my marriage in a little square. We take turns being strong for each other. Even in the best of circumstances, life is hard. Even surrounded by so many blessings, life is hard. Of course seasons bring times of rest in between certain challenges but in the end, overall, life is just plain hard! And that’s coming from an eternal optimist!

I love this scripture, “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” NLT, Ecc 4:12

I’m thankful God made us to need each other.

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Our Messy Love

My closet fell apart again. It’s just a thing I’ll battle, I guess, forever! It feels like a stupid issue that I should be able to train myself out of but I’m apparently not that mature. I’ve Marie Kondo’ed my stuff several times, but that’s not exactly like hanging a picture on the wall where it will never move again. My stuff has a vendetta against me. Here’s the deal, though.. this amazing man has never tried to change me in this area!! What??? It baffles me! I know it gets on his nerves but HE. DOESN’T. SAY. ANYTHING!! In fact, he’ll even step into the mess for a morning hug and kiss!

What the heck?

Don’t get me wrong, we are not that couple that gushes, “I married my best friend! Blah blah blah!…” It’s been a choice and a struggle to get here. This gesture of complete acceptance makes me wanna take my clothes off and add them to the pile. Know what I mean?

His hands have gravitated to that spot for the last 30 years. Sorry. Not sorry. :P

His hands have gravitated to that spot for the last 30 years. Sorry. Not sorry. :P

Anyway, I’ve learned a lot from him in this area! The best way to change a person’s heart is to NOT try to change them at all, but to embrace the whole person. Trust me on this, your spouse knows his flaws and hates them too. The more you love the your whole spouse the more he will want to rise to the occasion. He may never completely beat that bad habit you both hate, but I promise, showing him disdain isn’t drawing into your heart.


Here’s an example, if my husband was fussing about my struggle, I would probably create a pile so large at the front door that he would have to climb over it to get in the house. (I wouldn’t actually do that, but I would want to!) But all marriages are filled with imperfect humans and choices. No one has a perfect spouse. No one! So I challenge you, what replays in your mind over and over about your spouse? Do you rehearse the ways he disappoints you, or do you think grateful thoughts about his positive qualities?
Determining to change another human is a bad idea! It just doesn’t work! The only person we can positively change is ourselves! But… and that’s a BIG BUT!…. Understand that loving a person well gives them the freedom to rise up and change. Love is a powerful force. It covers a multitude of sins. Does anyone else struggle with this?

Our Steaming Dark Obsession

Who loves coffee? 🙋‍♀️ Our tribe is big! That’s why coffee is one of the most highly traded commodities in the world, with over 12 billion pounds produced per year! 12 billion pounds!! That’s insanely massive, and I’m pretty certain my family consumes 1 billion of those pounds. 🤦🏼‍♀️Kidding, Not kidding. So quality is big time on my radar. Unfortunately like most grown consumables the quality of the coffee bean has been compromised to produce quantity, at the expense of environment and  human health.

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Unfortunately our dark, steaming obsession is among the most heavily chemically treated crops in the world. I didn’t know this until recently, but long before the smooth hot brew touches our lips, while it grows innocently on the bush, it is sprayed with synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides, thank you very much – There’s nothing like sipping on a hot cup of insect repellent. Refill, anyone?

But take heart the story gets happier. Sara Flore from the Equal Exchange blog, reports:

“In the case of organic coffee there are no synthetic fertilizers or chemicals used in growing or production, which means cleaner beans, air, land, and water. The coffee is grown with only organic fertilizers, like coffee pulp, chicken manure, or compost. Organic farms also combat climate change by emitting less carbon than chemical farms, while also sequestering significant amounts of carbon. As a bonus, organic coffee beans are richer in healthful antioxidants, and many people can even taste the difference. Your health, and the health of the planet, both get a boost.”

So … We don’t have to give up our guilty pleasure in order to protect our health or the environment. We just need to sip with discretion.  Our bodies will thank us and so will our organic farmers who need our support.

Here’s a little oily tip from a health nut! After I have had my fill of coffee for the morning, I sip on hot water with drops Enfoflex vitality. This cleans my kidneys, aids in digestion, and energizes me way better than the coffee. Don’t have a wholesale account yet? Go to the buy oils tab and grab your starter kit! Let me know you saw this and I’ll send you a bottle of Endoflex as a welcome to the world of oils gift!

Rollerballs and Inhalers for Camp!

Ok, moms! Who’s sending their kids on a mission trip or to summer camp? 🙋‍♀️ These types of activities are great opportunities for our kids to take ownership over their health practices! If you reach for oils at home on a daily basis, it will be first nature to them when they are away form you.

Prepare by making the necessary roller bottles and inhalers:

I pack roller bottles and inhalers to address physical and emotional needs they might have as they travel!

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I buy the amber colored rollerballs with metal rollers and gold lids: Roller Bottles from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LrOnkV

✅Tummy: Digize, aroma-ease, lemon

✅Bravery: valor, inner child

✅ Insect and Bobo Eraser: purification, lavender, (citronella: optional)

We have used essential oil inhalers for years with great results! When you get the eo combo right it feels like mouthwash for the nasal passage! :P The results are AMAZING! Essential Oi Inhalers from Amazon: 
https://www.amazon.com/Adecco-LLC-Essential-A…/…/ref=sr_1_8…

✅Calm: cedar-wood, peace and calming, copaiaba

✅Energy: peppermint, bergamot, lemon

✅Thieves Mouthwash in a squirt bottle for the airplane to clean breathe!

✅Thieves cough drops for all the singing

Of course I can only recommend YL oils because I know their standard and processes. Check out the Seed to Seal promise with YL here: https://amzn.to/2FHT6ej

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

I’m an advocate for purity in all our products and foods. If you want to hear how toxins can affect us, I did a workshop on this last month and will send you the audio with the powerpoint. Just ask me for it.

I would love to hear from you if you use any of these recipes!

Bug Spray


Hello everyone!! 

Last night I made a fun bug spray bottle with some of my favorite essential oils, witch hazel, and water! 😊

You should take some time to read about the toxic chemicals in standard bug sprays and their side affects. 😳The Think Dirty app is a great tool for this. 

25 drops citronella oil
15 drops purification
5 drops peppermint
1/2 cup of witch hazel (Or coconut oil)
Filled the rest up with water.

It smells amazing. I can’t wait to try it tonight on my walk!

* You could also mix it in a carrier oil such as cocunut oil to get a longer lasting repellent affect, but then you would use a different type of bottle to dispense it.. A side benefit of the coconut oil is that it also acts as a sunscreen from UV rays.

Also, if you ever need a cute label let me know. I would love to work with you to create something you love. (Sydnie Bonin on Instagram and Facebook)

**A big thank you to my amazing daughter in love, Sydnie Bonin for this post!

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Dry Shampoo

DRY SHAMPOO



This stuff is AWESOME for greasy hair. Especially if you are just now switching from toxic shampoo and conditioner to clean products. When you first do that, your scalp may not be used to what you’re giving it, so it could over produce oil. NO WORRIES. Finish your natural and clean shampoo and condition bottles, and use this dry shampoo to help keep the grease at bay while your body is adjusting to the new products.

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Ingredients

4 TBLSP ARROWROOT, tapioca, or non GMO cornstarch

4 drops YL Peppermint eo

4 drops YL lavender eo

For Brunettes:

4 TBLS cocoa

For Blondes:

3/4 tsp turmeric

For Red Heads:

2 1/4 tsp paprika



Instructions:

Mix the dry ingredients in a small, very dry bowl an dmix well with a dry spoon. If the coloring seems too light add more of the appropriate ingredient for your hair color. Add the essential oils and mix well. Add to an airtight container for storing. It would be ideal to use a foundation brush to apply the powder to your hair starting at the front and moving to the back. Run a comb through to distribute evenly. Enjoy your clean hair!  (If I knew who to give credit to, I would! Thank you, Dana Crenshaw for sharing this with me! It's changed my life!):P

Just Enough, Please!

We’re not a super outdoorsy family. We like a contained, safe environment with a touch of sunlight and wind. Throw in a some gorgeous flowers, several cute animals, a comfy spot to sit and we’re good to go. Well recently the kids and I ventured out to our local Butterfly Museum to get a dose of the above mentioned scene. We greatly anticipated the soft, feather like creatures floating by, landing on our shoulders, and posing for the camera.

 

However, it was a bit more than a few of my kids expected.

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Halle flew through the door and down the concrete stairs of the Butterfly Museum without a care expecting a dose of heaven.

 

Until I hollered, “Halle, look up!”

 

The flying ceiling caught her off guard and she ducked and screamed and ran for cover. Which proved to be her next problem…



There is no cover in a Butterfly Museum. There are only trees covered in butterflies, and rocks covered in butterflies, and platforms layered with more butterflies. Not a happy situation for someone trying to ESCAPE butterflies!

 

The scene was rather comical. She thought she wanted to be surrounded by butterflies, but when her wish came true, she realized it frightened her.

 

Then there was my 13-year-old dressed in red. We missed the memo stating that butterflies flock to red like delicate bulls out of an open gate looking for a place to land.  She was in a constant state of swatting the back of her shirt, “Is that my tag or a butterfly? Check again!

 

She learned that a few butterflies is fun, but thousands can be troublesome.

 

My husband and I have been known to joke that if a little is good, then a WHOLE LOT must be better. That practice has gotten us in trouble more times than we’ll admit.

 

It’s gotten most of us in trouble, if we’ll be honest.

 

I think of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the little boy that gorged himself on Chocolate. A little was good, so he ate A LOT!

 

Greed is in our human nature and it steals peace, joy and happiness from us. Contentment is a choice. It’s a choice that frees the soul to live a full, happy life in whatever circumstance.

 

When the Apostle Paul was in prison he was content. He was cold and hungry, yet he practiced contentment. (Philippians 4:11)

 

John Bunyan, the author or Pilgrim’s Progress wrote that great book in a filthy prison cell unfit for even an animal to live. Yet, he did not spend his days grumbling about what he lacked, he rested in what he had- life, pen and paper – and in turn gave the world the second greatest book ever written (In my opinion.)

 

Discontentment feeds greed, which steals joy and spoils families. If we have food and shelter, we have all we need. Make a list of all the extras God has blessed you with and consider sharing them with others. The list might look something like this:

 

24 pairs of shoes

A closet full of clothes

A drawer full of jewelry

A refrigerator stuffed with food

A car (or 3)

More kitchen tools than cabinet space

More dishes than people to feed in a week.

More home accessories than can be dusted in an hour.

Just enough can be the biggest blessing when it comes to stuff. Having an abundance is not a bad thing, until it becomes a burden. If you feel weighed down and burdened by too much laundry and too much dusting then consider (Acts 20:35) “Its more blessed to give than to receive,” and start blessing your neighbors. We can’t take wood, hay and stubble with us when we die, so why spend so much time worrying about it? Give away that which you don’t need. Too much can over take a life with responsibility and stress. Stuff takes up space, money and time.  We own it, so we must insure it, maintain it, move it, keep up with it, think about….

Would you rather dust your stuff or fly to Italy? Consider how much time and money you want to spend on stuff and then make adjustments and experience freedom. Bigger and more does not necessarily equate to better.

SO many times we strive to obtain that which we think we want, only to discover that it ‘s not what we thought, having lost that which was really important in the process. If you are in debt, stretched for time and burdened with things, consider shedding some wood, hay and stubble. Trim down your material responsibilities and save or the extra money that is freed up. Bless those closest to you with more time and bless those in need with your stuff.

 

Shed some stuff…REST in CONTENTMENT and find JOY in the process.

Imaginary Friends

We are avid readers around here. I try to teach my kids to read a wide variety of genres so they won’t have lopsided brains, I tell them. (Just kidding, sort of.) I want them to learn how to think and to be conversationalist, so if you ever meet a boring Bonin, it’s not my fault! I tried! But the most important step for me as a home school mom is to talk to my kids about the author’s point of view, to help them dig deep. Where are they coming from? What do we know about the author that would have shaped him to write it? I want my kids to THINK! Not to just digest!

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So here’s a little story I wrote to show that how we train our children matters:

The elementary school child stands outside the classroom door ANXIOUS on this first day. A sweaty palm clasps the cold metal door knob and questions flood:


Will they like me?


What if I’m the only one in clothes like this?


What if EVERYONE is buying lunch and I’m the only one with a lunch box?


What if I don’t know the answers?

What if… what it…


Fears, doubts, and self-insecurities creep through the brain. Trembling for a brief moment the child remembers his mother’s counsel to talk to his imaginary friend, “He’ll tell you what to do. He knows the answers and will guide you.”


The new made up friend encourages him to walk through the door on this morning and assures him that that everything will be fine. The invisible buddy gives similar advice the child’s mother gives.


The young child calls his new friend Wiz and learns to seek Wiz’s wisdom and advice in situations, self-doubt, insecurities and more. Wiz guides him, relaxes him, and helps the child reach deep inside his inner self for instruction and peace. Wiz calms fears.

Wiz is fictitious yet very real to the young child. The child’s concerned mom wants the best for her off spring and dreams of success in her son’s life, both now and as an adult.  In her quest to help him cope with changes and daily stress she follows the advice of a professional child physiologist-an expert and assists her son in adopting an imaginary guide. Pretend is an important game for children. Playing pretend is actually a child’s work; it’s how they grow, but let’s break down the exercise of putting an imaginary friend as an authority or guide.


As the questions become more serious, the stress greater, the decisions weightier, the made- up wisdom giver is not a sustainable source of guidance. Confusion and darkness will be his companions if he has not learned to seek wisdom from the One who has all the answers. We would not go to a blacksmith for direction on how to bake a cake; we head straight to a baker. And we should teach our children where to go to find wisdom. The bible is full of ancient wisdom and even if you are not a Christian, biblical principals work for a successful life.

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” Psalms 118:8.

Why not just point our kids to the Creator who made them in the first place? It makes more sense to teach them to talk to God rather than an imaginary friend with no background in counseling. He, the One who made us, will comfort and guide them (and us) better than any fictitious character. Pinky promise!

Which Mother are You?

A woman sat by a hearthside place

Reading a book, with a pleasant face,

Till a child came up, with a childish frown,

And pushed the book saying, “Put it down.”

Then the mother, slapping his curly head,

Said, troublesome child, go off to bed;

A great deal of Christ’s life I must know

To train you up as a child should go.”

And the child went off to bed to cry,

And renounce religion—by and by.


Another woman bent over a book

With a smile of joy and an intent look,

Till a child came up and jogged her knee,

And said of the book, “Put it down—take me.”

Then the mother sighed as she stroked his head,

Saying softly, “I never shall get it read;

But I’ll try by loving to learn His will,

And His love into my child instill.”

That child went to bed without a sigh,

And will live religion—by and by.


--Selected from Soul Sculpture


When I had a house full of little children, none of which could tie their own shoes, I savored the quiet night time hours when I could curl up with my Bible and read to my heart’s content while they snoozed safely in bed. Those hours fueled me to make it another day. They filled me with instruction, hope and comfort as I stretched into the ever growing roll of full-time mommy. 


One particular night stands out in my mind, and I don’t know if this particular little one remembers it like I do, but I was especially weary. I NEEDED MY TIME. I curled up in my big chair, with Bible, pen, spiral and hot tea at my fingertips when ‘round the corner shuffled a sleepless child in footy pajamas. 


“Will you read me a story? I can’t sleep.”


With a smile and a nod, I made my lap free and battled these thoughts,


Didn’t I just read you FIVE an hour ago? Can’t I have ONE section of the day to call my own? Lord, SERIOUSLY?




But I said…


“Sure sweetie, what will it be?” And we cuddled and laughed and read until my eyes crossed. 


My Bible didn’t get read that night, but I knew I made the right choice.


It is by God’s grace alone that that was my response. He was teaching me once again, to slay my will--to trust Him. He has good plans for His children.


I know I could have turned my son’s heart sad and cold that night and given him a mysterious hatred for God’s Word. But God in His goodness showed me how to capture an important moment. He is enough. When I found the above poem, I realized that even in these small moments, “There is no temptation but that which is common to man, but God is faithful.”


Ponder the poem and cuddle with a child every chance you get.

Sassy Hair Spray!

Let’s get SASSY! Ok, so it’s no joke that we have A LOT of girls in our home. And not just any girls, super fun, extra girly girls. I’ve loved learning and coming up with clean and safe alternatives for our home. A big one is hair care! The girls in our home want to participate in the daily “glam up”, while not harming our bodies with toxic chemicals. A couple of our favorites are the Sweet and Sassy Hair Spray and Dry Shampoo!

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SWEET AND SASSY HAIRSPRAY

Ingredients 

15 drops lavender essential oil 

10 drops lemon essential oil 

8 drops of Cedarwood essential oil 

4 drops geranium essential oil (for dry hair types)

 half an ounce of vodka or which Hazel

5 ounces distilled water


Instructions:

Combine above ingredients in a spray bottle and spray onto damp or wet hair. Style as usual but beware… Your hair will be full of body, excess product residue and build up will be gone and you will need less styling products! Warning! Some women have reported a little more sassy in their step… Now isn’t that sweet?