Thursday, September 13, 2018

3 Simple Ways to Feel Your Best this Season

Here in Texas, Fall and Winter don't actually show up until they are basically over. The temps usually stay warm until October and even then you don't actually need a coat until the week of Christmas. But this week! This week has been rainy and cool and wonderful!

 It's like a Fall teaser. 

With the seasons changing and the holidays coming I jump into prep mode! I know what is coming and I don't want it! The season of colds and sickness. I didn't do a good job last year of preparing us and we did get sick. For the first time in a while, we were missing out of church and school activities because we were not well.

Here are 3 simple ways you can feel your best during this Fall & Winter.

#1 Eat well.
Have you heard the saying, "Don't live to eat, but eat to live?"  Our body was created for food that is alive and nutritious, rather than foods from a can, box or drive thru. Our immune system doesn't stand a chance if the majority of what we eat is processed, sugary, fried, junk food. Did you know 70% of our immune system is determined by the condition of our gut? This article gives more detail about the importance of having a healthy gut.

Eat produce that is in season. We love the summer fruits, but Fall brings us many yummy foods as well! I know pumpkins are popular this time of year and we do love a good pumpkin muffin, but if feeling your best is important to you, I would stay away from the Pumpkin Spice coffees. They are loaded with sugar and other ingredients that tax the immune system. If you just can't go without, here is a healthy alternative you can make at home.

 There is nothing better than a warm cup of coffee and a pumpkin muffin! Here is a recipe  that we have come to enjoy.

We need to eat raw produce everyday. Raw fruits and vegetables provide important enzymes our digestive system need to break down our food. So, grab a salad instead of a burger at least once a day. I also take enzymes everyday, because I know I will never get enough enzymes through my food. I buy my enzymes here.

And because we do have a crazy schedule and there are days when a healthy home cooked meal isn't going to happen, we drink Ningxia Red everyday. This is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to help keep us healthy and well.

Do you follow me on Instagram? Check out my Ningxia Story. @baileytribe is my username.

#2 Tackle the Germs

We have a no tolerance policy when it comes to germs, especially this time of year. I'm always amazed at people. They sneeze into their hand, wipe their nose,  then pick up something at the store, or touch their grocery basket, or shake your hand! Come on people! I know we were taught to share when we were little, but you can keep all those germs to your self. I don't want them, I have my own!

So, there's a few things we do in our house to keep the germs at bay. This time of year we just do them even more.
Wash your hands. I'm always telling my kids, "Go wash your hands...use soap too!" (because apparently they think that soap bottle by the sink is for decoration) This is the easiest way we can avoid getting sick. Wash your hands often, especially if you have been grocery shopping.

Clean surfaces often! They tricky thing about germs is that we can't see them, so we often don't even realize where they are. I clean the counters, table, door knobs, doors, etc...often. If people have touched it, I want it cleaned. I use Thieves household cleaner because I know it is killing the germs but I'm not putting harmful fumes in the air like other commercial cleaners do.

You can find out more about the Thieves line of products on my website or on my Instagram story. If you want to try some, let me know and I'll send you a spray bottle of Thieves cleaner!

#3 Eliminate Sugar!

Sugar crashes the immune system faster than anything! Ever wonder why people get sick more during the last 3 months of the year and then spend the first 3 months of the next year getting well? The holidays! It's the time to eat candy, bake desserts, drink dairy/sugary drinks! Because of the weather, we are inside more, moving less and breathing each others air. Our immune system doesn't stand a chance. So, pay close attention to the amount of sugar going in. If you avoid the sugar, I know you will see a difference in how you feel!

It's a great time to jump into a season of focusing on you and your health and wellness. Do you need a jumpstart?  Today & tomorrow (September 14th) Young Living is giving everyone who purchases a Diffuser starter kit 10% off. When you purchase, I will contact you and will send you a welcome package full of goodies to help you get off to a great start, access to our team Facebook page and I will reimburse your shipping on your kit (standard shipping). If you choose to join Essential Rewards, I will send you a free additional essential oil & skin care sample pack. Just mention this blog post when you contact me.   If you are ready to get your kit now, click my link and I will be in touch with you very soon!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Joy Happens, Especially on the Hard Days

I have a long to-do list for today. I'm so behind that I have resorted to posting sticky notes everywhere to help me manage the list.

But instead of attacking that list, I sit here, typing.

The week has been a difficult one and I need to write it out.
The challenges.
All the emotions. All.the.emotions!
All the joy!

Friend, it's been quite a week. I remember a couple of weeks ago thanking the Lord for giving us a season of calm. Isn't he so good to give us a moment to catch our breath before he moves us towards the next lesson.

The Lord is working on one of my kids. I posted on Facebook this week that it's difficult to watch it happen. As a mom, you never want to see your kid struggle or hurt. But then again, you do want to see it. You do want to see your kid experience consequences of bad decisions. You do want to see your kid learn from stupid mistakes. But all the emotions involved are what is hard to manage.

This kid. He belongs to the Lord and this week I had to give him back over and over again. He disappointed me.  He scared me.  He made me mad. He made me cry! All in the same day.

But Joy! In the midst of my prayers for this kid, God reassures me, comforts me, reminds me that he does hold his boy very close to him, which is why all of this hard stuff was happening. God was not going to give up on this kid. That is JOY!

Knowing, God loves your kid more than you can.

Knowing He never gives up on us.

Knowing he will continue to wait until my kid comes back to him.

Knowing this gives me joy.

I wish the world could understand what real joy is! It has nothing to do with how I feel, because I have had all the feels this week. Joy is about what God is doing in my life and in my kids life and knowing it is out of his crazy love for us. And because of his joy, we can walk in confidence that His plan for our kids is so much better than ours and he is piecing together a story that could change lives!

"So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NLT)

Are you following me on Facebook? You can find me at

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Motherhood...Hardest Hood ever

I've lost my joy.
I don't enjoy my children anymore.
I'm always cranky.
I feel lost.
I feel lonely.
I don't enjoy being a mom anymore.

Have you ever thought any of these things? I have. The early days of being a mom were so hard. I was basically still a newly wed, still learning how to manage a home and then I was a mom as well. Learning how to be a wife and be a mom and keep my house from becoming a complete disaster was too overwhelming at times.  I had days when I wanted to get in my car and drive away! For realz! I just couldn't handle this mom gig anymore! And if one more kid cried because I gave them the wrong dippy cup I was just gonna lose it!  You get what I'm saying.

So, I guess this post is to all the moms our there deep in the trenches of mothering.

Hang on!

Don't let go!

It's hard. Truly it is. Motherhood is the hardest hood you will ever live in!

God made you a mom because he knows you can not only raise kids, but raise them really well. It's hard to see the rainbow when you are still living in the storm, but it's there. Trust me. One day, your kids will arise and call you blessed! It's not a greeting card! It's a promise from God.

Here are a few ways you can do more than just survive.

1.  Cherish the days. They are short. I know this sounds like a hallmark card, but hang with me. I remember thinking, I can't wait until they are older. Now they are older. Some are married. Two of them have their own kids. And all I want is for my kids to be home with me! Now the days feel very long. But, God in his wisdom gave us Charlie. He is six years old. He is a constant reminder to me to slow down and cherish everyday I have with my kids.

2. Stop and have a tea party. Yes, I know the dishes are still dirty, the clothes need to be washed and I'm sure there are errands to run, but just stop, set aside the to-do list and spend that time with your kids. My older kids always heard, "I can't right now, I'm busy". Being an older mom, I've learned to stop and play a game of Monopoly with Charlie, watch Sam play Minecraft, take Gracie shopping for no special reason. It matters. They may not remember it, but I will. But I think they will. I'm always amazed at what my older kids remember that I don't.

3. Make God time priority. I remember how it was. If I opened my eyes at 6:30 am, my kids opened their eyes at 6:35. It didn't matter when I got up they were up too. Making time for prayer and Bible study is just as important as breathing. In fact, that time was my reminder to breathe. Even if all you get is 5 minutes...take it and pray.

4.  Date your husband. This ranks right up there with your God time! You need time with your husband. If you can't get a babysitter and don't have family to help out, have at home dates. Stay up late one night a week after kids go to bed, eat a special snack in bed, watch a favorite movie, doesn't really matter. Just make time for each other.  One of these days your kids will grow up and leave (hopefully ;) )  What are you and your husband going to talk about when your kids are gone?

5.  Find a community. We were created for relationships and mothering can be one of the loneliest seasons of life! Join a MOPS group or participate in whatever your church offers for moms. If they don't offer anything then you start something. Invite moms over for dessert. Meet up at the local coffee shop. Join a Facebook group for Christian moms if there aren't any local options for you. Just find a community of moms and get plugged in. This can help in such a huge way. If none of that works, send me a friend request on Facebook! I love meeting and getting to know other moms!

Doing these will help, but you have to be intentional, or you will sink. Everyday is a new opportunity and a gift.

You will make it! I did...I know you will.

Friday, July 27, 2018

3 Simple Habits to Keep you Focused during Your Quiet Time

Tell me if you recognize this scenario.

You sit down with your Bible to have your quiet time and as you begin reading the scriptures and it's just what you needed to encourage your soul and then remember you need to pick up some lettuce at the grocery store. What? Where did that come from?

You go back to reading and then it happens again, you remember that you need to return a phone call. You pick up your phone and see that you missed 3 phone calls. Stop! Focus! Seriously, why is this so hard now?

I get it. What could only take 30 minutes often turns into an hour because I cannot stay focused.

Lord, help me!

I've found a few things to do that have actually helped me to make the most of the time I spend with the Lord.

1.  Start off with prayer and deep breathing. This will quiet your mind. I love to put a drop of Frankincense essential oil in my hand, breath in deeply when I pray. It really helps to quiet my mind and help me stay focus, plus it just smells so amazing.

2.  Silent your phone.  I have my quiet time first thing in the morning with my first cup of coffee. So, typically my notifications are already turned off, but not always. This keeps me from checking my phone when someone text or calls me. I have to be very careful though because I often use an app for my devotions. I don't go anywhere on my phone except that app. If that is still too much of a temptation don't use any apps during your quiet time.

3.  Have Post-It notes close by. When those random thoughts do come, write them down. That helps to get them out of the way. Sometimes the Lord will put certain people on your mind so you want to remember to pray for them and possibly contact them later.

It takes at least 21 days to create a new habit. Commit to doing this for 30 days and see if that helps you have a more focused and meaningful time with the Lord.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

2018/2019 New Homeschool Year

We are getting ready to start our new school year.  I can't believe the summer is almost over. But in truth, I'm so ready for it to be over. The record breaking temperatures here in Texas have really drained us and has limited us on what we can do outside. We do not school year round, but I think this summer would have been a great time to start.

This year I only have four that are still in school. That is crazy! It seems like just a year ago that my planning pages had 9 kids across the top. Now I only have 4 and 2 of them will be completely independent so that means really, I only have 2. I don't know if I should be sad or thrilled!

I'm really changing things up this year. We are trying several new curriculums and methods. You would think after 22 years I would know exactly what I want to do, but my kids still have different learning styles so I work to accommodate while still challenging them.

My two oldest still in school are Zach and Gracie. Zach began working with his dad so he fell behind last year as he struggled to balance working and school, so we are working to get caught up. He is 16, super smart and willing to do whatever he needs to do.
He will be doing all of his school lessons online using Power Homeschool (formally known as Acellus School) It was suggested to me by a friend and I've spent the summer looking it over. I think it will be a good fit for Zach. For $10 a month he can take 6 courses. That's perfect and we can supplement what we need to.

Gracie is 13 and will be doing 8th grade work.  She is also working from the Power Homeschool site for some of her courses, not all. I'm working to prepare her for Highschool and I think this will be a good fit for her as she is already very independent in her work.
She will be using Apologia's Physical Science for science because she really loves that. She is also doing Geography with the younger boys and I. I love that she still enjoys doing hands on projects with her younger brothers.

Gracie loves Art. She found her talent with watercolor and sketching so I found Arty Factory,  a website she will go to twice a week and follow the lessons there. She can choose various types of art and I will assign some Art history to go along with her other lessons as well.

Sam is practically 12. His birthday is the last of our September birthday marathon.
He will be doing some 5th grade work and some 6th grade work. The beauty of homeschooling, we can focus on the areas that still need more work.  I realized last year that Sam needs more of a hands on approach with his math (and I do too), so we are switching to Math U See. I was really hesitant to switch him to this, but after talking with some of my homeschool mom friends I think we will be ok.

A friend told me about a fairly new curriculum that uses a touch of the Charlotte Mason method. I've always loved this method, but am too unorganized to make the most of it. The Good and the Beautiful site is a full curriculum for the younger grades and more is coming for the older grades. Language Arts for grades 1-5 are FREE! You can print it out yourself, or you can order everything already printed (for a price of course). I printed everything out yesterday. It's a lot of printing, but it really gave me a chance to look over everything in better detail and I am really looking forward to using this. She incorporates poetry, art, geography into the language and grammar lessons. I printed out grade 5 for Sam because we really need to get a more solid foundation in writing & grammar.

For several years I have looked at using My Father's World with my kids, but I could not afford to buy the whole kit. A friend was selling an older version of the teachers manual of Countries and Cultures so I bought it and loved it! Gradually over the summer I've been collecting the books needed. Many of them I already had. We are only doing the Bible and geography/history portions. But I'm excited and think the boys will really like this. As we study different countries, we are learning of various missionaries from past and present who have served in these countries. We are getting our hands dirty (which always makes me nervous) as we are doing a lot of hands on projects and cooking foods from various countries.

We attend a local co-op and Sam will be taking the rest of his classes there. He will be taking Chess, Literature, Anatomy & Physiology (Apologia), PE and Computer Coding.

Charlie is my baby and it's so hard to type this...but he will be in 1st grade! When did this happen? We like to call him our 40 yr old 1st grader because he just acts so much older than he is. Growing up in a house full of big people will do that to you.

I basically ordered for Charlie what I ordered for Sam just in 1st grade.

Language Arts: The Good and the Beautiful
Math: Math U See Primer
History/Geography: Countries and Cultures
Science: Apologia Anatomy. I bought him the Junior Notebook and he & I will work through parts of that together.

Charlie is taking classes at our co-op as well. He will be doing Grammar, Spanish, Bible, Art and PE. He can't wait to take big kid classes.

The boys and I are going to read through the Narnia Series together this year. They have only seen the movies (shame on me). I loved reading through this series with my older kids, so I'm really looking forward to this.

So, here's to a new year. I've been praying and searching and comparing and praying some more over what we should do, so I'm looking forward to how our new year will be. I'm expecting great things!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Facing Life with Confidence

"How's life?" a friend asked me. I cringed inside at her question. She appeared to be doing this "mom thing" so much better than I was. I felt as though I was barely hanging on, yet there she stood all put together, her children all put together. Do I really tell her  how life was or do I give her the glossy answer.
"It's great! How's life for you?" (glossy answer it is)
I was too embarrassed to let her know I was drowning in motherhood!

Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise against me, yet I will be confident.

Psalm 27:3

I love this verse. When my children were all young they were the army marching against me. At least that is what life felt like most days. I felt attacked. I couldn't do anything right. I couldn't make anyone happy. I was so mean for making them do chores. I was abusing them by making them eat their vegetables and drink water instead of Kool-Aid like "their friends" did. And Heaven forbid if I made someone take a bath!

Are you there? You could probably add to my list.

How many times have you asked God, "What have I got myself into?" This motherhood thing is harder than I thought!

Ok so, I understand that when David wrote this Psalm he was actually in a life threatening situation, but the point I want to make  is where he drew his confidence from. It's the same place for us. God is our confidence!

Whether you are facing an impossible situation or you are just trying to keep your kids alive, the mindset is the same. "I can do this because God is my strength!"

God is there. He is your strength, your life, your joy. With confidence we can face whatever it is God has us facing today and know that we will survive! In spite of what we may think at times, our children are not out to destroy us and neither is God.

Motherhood is hard, but that's ok. For the sake of sounding like your mother...doing hard things is how we grow. We know this, that doesn't mean we like it. One day I will be at a place in my relationship where I can welcome with open arms the trials God brings because I know they will draw me closer to Him. I'm not there yet. I still cringe and ask "Why?!" and then I say, "OK, I trust you." But I'm still kicking & screaming a little bit inside. God knows this and still loves me anyway.

Here are some additional scriptures I keep close as reminders that God is with me and is bigger than any trial, impossible situation or cranky kid.

Isaiah 43
Psalm 20:2-5
Psalm 27:13 & 14
1 Corinthians 1:25

I have a bit of homework for you. Write at the top of the page, "God is bigger than..." Then write out your "army encamped against you". What is it, who is it that is making you feel as though there is no hope. Now at the bottom of that page write, "God is my strength, my hope and my joy! I can do all things through Him that gives me strength!" (Phil 4:13)

Put this up where you can see it. If something new pops up add it to the list. Remind yourself daily that God is bigger. He love you! He doesn't want you to just survive, he wants you to enjoy being a mother. He wants you to find joy in it and satisfaction.