Essential Oils: Thieves Oil {52 weeks of favorites}

I finally figured out what my “52 weeks of favorites” will be! ESSENTIAL OILS! Woo hoo! If you’re looking for essential oils to buy try Jojoba by rouh.

Before we hit up the doctor or try prescriptions, I always try something from home first.

Our #1 go to is pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.

Real quick, I want to let you know that any brand can put the words “pure, therapeutic grade” on their products. These terms are not mandated by the FDA. However, I can tell you, Young Living brand is the only one that sets itself to the highest of standards in all areas of essential oils with its Seed to Seal guarantee. Here is a great explanation from a seasoned EO user:

“Call the customer service dept of any other company, and ask where their Peppermint was grown, distilled, what the chemical properties are, how long it is distilled, how many lbs of material they use to get 8 oz of oil, etc. You can actually find all these things out from Young Living but NO other company offers the same ability because no other company actually has their hands in the entire process. Because essential oils are not regulated by the FDA, absolutely every company can say, 100% pure therapeutic grade, that term doesn’t mean anything. It’s self defined. Because the other companies do not grow their own plants, they purchase from a third party broker and so they have no way of knowing for SURE if the oil was virgin soil, if the plant was sprayed with pesticides, and the list goes on. YL defines what they mean and they give a Seed to Seal guarantee.”

That gives me the peace of mind and satisfaction that what I am putting on and in my family’s bodies are safe.

I can’t even begin to tell you what a blessing Young Living essential oils have been to our family.

I guess I can start with Thieves oil, that is where my EO experience began. My uncle gave me a bottle when I was working in child care, and was constantly sick almost 10 year ago. I placed a few cotton balls in a small bottle, and put a few drops of thieves in. I would take the lid off and breathe in the oil throughout the day.

In 2012 during flu season, Max was a brand new baby and Lexie was in Mother’s Day Out twice a week. She had about 10 other kids in her class. One day I picked her up from school with the dreaded news- 3 kids in her class and their siblings had been confirmed to have the flu. Before the week was over several other children had the flu as well. Lexie, praise the Lord, escaped the flu. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the essential oils for colds I was using helped my family. Thieves was one of those oils.

This oil blend is beyond amazing. I use it on my children’s feet during cold and flu season to support their immune systems. I have also applied a tiny bit (diluted) to my son’s teething gums. Thieves is considered a “hot” oil, and should typically be diluted with a carrier oil (like coconut or olive oil) before placing on skin, especially on children. I make up a small bottle of diluted thieves and olive oil, 4:1 and keep it in both the kids’ rooms to have on hand.

When we flew during the holidays to see family, I applied thieves to the kids’ feet before our flights, and also on the base of their spines.

I also diffuse it in our home- diffusing allows the tiny particles to spread through the air.

If I could put a bottle of thieves oil in all my friends and family members homes, I would!

I can’t wait to share some of my other favorite oils with you all!

If you are interested in how you can purchase Young Living oils at wholesale price, with NO strings attached, let me know. I am a wholesale buyer for my family, and you can get your oils at 24% off the retail cost. Email me at: QuietInTheChaos at gmail dot com (no spaces) if you would like more info! You can also sign up on their website, using my member number: 1555405

See this article: essential oils kill super bug (MRSA) from BBC.

I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. It is for informational purposes only.

Top Homeschool Supplies {day 3}

There are a few things we have in our home, that I can’t imagine homeschooling without.

The first one, is our Family Bible.

The first thing my daughter usually asks for when we start our day, is to read from our Family Bible. During her free time, she likes to get the Bible and delicately turn through the pages of the book. She rereads what we have read, and asks about the paintings.

I love that her education is rooted in the Bible, and that she enjoys learning about it.

The second homeschool supply I couldn’t live without is my Scotch Laminator.

This has been the best investment for our family homeschool. It was one of the very first things that my husband suggested I get, and I have used it a ton!

It is great for saving student projects, and it is also a valuable tool for creating reusable printables. When utilizing online resources, you can use a laminator to make anything you print reusable. From handwriting sheets to math practice, everything can become reusable. Simply file away for future students.

I also use our laminator for making our printable books, flash cards, and games more durable.

The third top supply on my list is a printer.

Good printers are expensive. They consume ink, and require paper which means they always cost money. But they save so much money. They literally turn your computer, tablet, or phone into your curriculum. This is why I recommend that you check out this guide on the Top 10 Best Printers For Home Office – Reviews (Ink Efficient). Before jumping into a printer purchase, it is important to consider your needs as you may need a more high end one if you are printing a lot of high-quality pictures for example. For the top things to check when investing in a new printer, click here.

The brand Brother looked like the best one on the market at the time. From providing home printers to brothers thermal printer for commercial companies, they have so much to offer. We bought a Brother MFCJ825-DW. I did so much research before I purchased this printer. What I found is that the MFCJ825 does the most work (print, scan, copy, and fax if you need that..), with the most options (like wireless connection) and takes a very reasonably priced generic brand, compatible ink.

Right now, Amazon doesn’t have this printer at the price I paid with free shipping. But I am sure you can find it somewhere else. The ink is compatible, works fine, and gives great results.

I am not sure what we would do without our printer- I print so much of our activities and work off the internet for free. It is a lot of money to invest in a printer, but it also is a great printer, with good reviews, that isn’t just a throw away a year later. I’ve got so many printed documents, my house is always full of piles of paper. I’m actually considering getting some document management software from so that I can properly organize all my documents online. My friend works in an office and she uses document management software too. She says it’s made her life much easier and it’s even increased her productivity!

These are the 3 things that our homeschool could not function without. They are absolutely essentials for us.

What are your homeschool essentials?

Don’t forget about the iPad mini giveaway, enter here:

iPad Mini Giveaway: 5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

Read about other homeschooling essentials at any of these blogs:

Mary @ Winecup Christian Homeschool
Jenni @ Conversaving
Meghan @ Quiet in the Chaos
Karen @ Tots and Me
Beth @ Weavings
Tawnee @ Adventures in Homeschooling
Karen @ My Harbor Lights
Amy @ Wildflower Ramblings
Kristi @ The Potter’s Hand Academy
Tara @ This Sweet Life

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner {Day 2}

Welcome to TOS’s 5 days of homeschooling essentials, day two.

My #2 for of homeschool essentials is a planner. For me, it is the Ultimate Homeschool planner by Debra Bell.

This planner is a life saver when it comes to homeschooling. It allows you to plan for up to 6 students. Everything is blank so you can fill it in as you wish-dates, grids, names. At first, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about that. But after using it for a few weeks, I was in love! Many children initially think that being homeschooled is a bad option, especially when one of the things they look forward to about going to school is being with their friends. But as they soon understand, doing this is for their own benefit. Your tutor may not have all the resources that your school can provide, but through the use of the internet, everything is within your reach. Deadlines are also set to make it feel like a schooling environment. “I’d rather be playing with my friends than doing my homework“, is the type of mentality that will leave any student behind on their work. But there are online solutions to help, which means you will be on your way to getting a good grade.

As well as online services, there are many ways that you can be productive while being home schooled. Through traditional methods like using a planner, you can write days of the week, student names, or subject titles in any of the weekly grids. Then, there are monthly pages; each month gets a two page layout. These are also blank, so you can begin, end, and skip any months you’d like. For instance, we didn’t really do much in December, so I didn’t fill in the month of December. What I also like about the monthly layouts, is there are enough daily squares for those really weird months where the days fall in such a way you need a fifth row on the calendar.

There is a lot of space for notes, and each week begins with a page for a scripture focus, and goals. There is also allotted pages for each week’s “memorable moments” which I use as a journal for the kids. Even though we don’t need so much planning power just for preschool, this is a wonderful, thorough, Christian based resource.

Everything I journal and prayerfully plan for children’s educations is neatly organized in one place; that, I love.

There are some complaints about having to write in all the blank dates, etc because the moms didn’t like their handwriting…

I agree. I don’t like my sloppy handwriting. But, I also think it is a great piece of memorabilia for my children one day. I cherish the journal I have of my mom’s when she was pregnant with me, and the handwritten envelopes from my grandmothers. Along with being an amazing planner, this can be a piece like that my children can look back on one day.

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner is my second homeschool essential! Check it out on Amazon for an inside look and to read reviews.

Don’t forget about the iPad mini giveaway! Enter here:


5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials
Want to read about other blogger’s homeschool essentials? click on a link below:

Mary @ Winecup Christian Homeschool

Jenni @ Conversaving

Meghan @ Quiet in the Chaos

Karen @ Tots and Me

Beth @ Weavings

Tawnee @ Adventures in Homeschooling

Karen @ My Harbor Lights

Amy @ Wildflower Ramblings

Kristi @ The Potter’s Hand Academy

Tara @ This Sweet Life

Traveling: On the Road with Healthy Menu Options {and M&M link-up}

We just came back from a wonderful family road trip- the husband and I loaded up the 3 year old and 16 month old, and hit the road for the beautiful mountains of Colorado.

I’ve not ever been skiing, or to CO. My husband has been a few times. It was amazing, and did I mention beautiful? The mountains were breathtaking!

Rocky Mountains

We are so blessed to be able to travel for a little family vacation. And just because we are traveling doesn’t mean we go crazy with junk food. We try very hard to stick within a reasonable budget, and eat healthy snacks. {which exclude fast food!}

We see it as, the more money we save while on the road, the more we can enjoy spending on nice meals and fun for the kids, once we get where we’re going.

So what does our road trip food look like?

It looks like several pre made peanut butter sandwiches, 4-8 oranges, 3-4 apples, a container of clean grapes, a few bananas, and a bag of nuts or trail mix.

Then we pack a small cooler with Lexie’s rice milk and Mister’s coconut milk, along with lots of bottled water. In that cooler we usually add lunch meat, and anything else that needs to be kept cool or cold. The cooler goes in the very back of the van or suv with our luggage.

When we stop for gas we may grab a few snacks, like more nuts or pretzels.

This trip, we traveled for about 8 hours. Some people think we are crazy to travel for that long with two young children. Maybe we are! One of our friends said that we should fly instead and then get a quote from this relocation company. She said they would pick up our suv and take it to and from Colorado so that we could still drive it whilst we were away. This was tempting, but flying is more expensive and makes it harder to control what you are eating. And hey, the drive is part of the trip for us. We actually managed to rent a car seat for the kids, so that made things easier for us. We spent a lot of time in the car on this vacation so it was important that the kids were safe and comfortable whilst on the road.

At lunch time on our journey, we stopped at a park where I made us sandwiches with spinach, and we had salads with homemade dressing. The kids were able to run around and enjoy themselves, and then we were back on the road in less than an hour.

I also like to pack freezer food for meals once we get to our hotel. We stayed in a condo that had a small kitchen. I grabbed a bag of frozen mexican chicken soup, and some frozen sloppy joes. This way we can eat one or two nice meals out for dinner, and still have healthy, delicious meals in our condo a few nights to save on cash. We are a family that eats out maybe 3 times a month; we don’t really enjoy eating our every single meal while on vacation.

And that is it! It is so easy to pack a small cooler (you will be amazed what you can fit inside!) and a lunch bag with fruits and pre made sandwiches for easy, on the road meals.

Going on vacation doesn’t have to wreck havoc in your wallet, or your health!

Be encouraged, friends! What foods do you pack for road trips?

January 20th ~

Read it With Me Wednesday & Wisdom Wednesday Linkup!

Last week I began the Good Morning Girls Bible study that is also a book study of, Anything by Jennie Allen.

This study was going to be a challenge for myself.  I have so many thoughts and ideas running through my head all the time, I am endlessly googling things, “pinning” ideas to save for later, looking for easy DIY tutorials for specific projects I have in mind.

But I rarely pick up books anymore.  I haven’t read a good book in months and months, at least not one since before Max was born, I know.  And before, I was a book-aholic; I had to make myself stop reading a book so I didn’t finish it too quickly, and still I flew through several books a month.

I miss books.  And when I saw this study from GMG, and read that it was both a book and Bible study, I thought, “score.”

But in all honesty, while I have done the Bible reading and prayer journaling …. I haven’t picked up the book yet.  =/

That begins after I write this post tonight!

On the first week’s study, GMG posted a blog titled: The Importance of Taking Risks.

This blog post solidifies one big reason why I was on board with moving to Nebraska.

It was a risk.

A big risk.

I remembered a very good friend in middle school (who came from a Christian family) once telling me that her Dad said to be “content” and just satisfied with everything in life was being farthest from God.

For whatever reason that has always stayed with me.

So when JTom asked what I thought about Nebraska, and if it was something we might really want to consider, those were the exact words I told him- The story from when I was 13, hanging out with a great girl friend (who, btw, does missionary work now), and feeling like if we prayed about this enough, and it felt right, we should do it.  I wasn’t afraid to be out of our comfort zone anymore, like I had been for so long.

When we are so comfortable with everything in life that we are just coasting right on through, we rarely seek God.  As a matter of fact, that is when He usually becomes a God of convenience.

But to take risks, to be in a place that is sitting right on the edge of uncomfortable and unknowing, that keeps our eyes on Him.  That is when we live with the utmost faith.

“Trust Him.
Live Boldly.
Live in such a way you HAVE to depend on Him.
Life is more exciting when you live it fully engaged.”

Maybe I was craving that faith; maybe that is why God has kept me from being scared or saddened by the move or being so far away from what I have always known.  I haven’t shed one tear over being lonely or far away from everything I’ve known for the last 6 years.  

Not because I don’t miss it, but because here is good too. 

And while it is risky, and nerve wracking sometimes, it isn’t bad, or lonely, or miserable.

Someone at the pool last week asked JTom and I if we were homesick; we looked at each other kinda puzzled, and said, “no. not really.”

We have always had the mentality that we are home.  Our family; J.Tom, me, and the babies are home.  Do I miss the idea that my family was 3 hours away …. sure.  Do I miss the familiarity of Hot Springs, I guess so?  But every day is new here.  Every time we venture out we meet new people that may be who God has put in our path for a reason.

Sometimes I feel impatient about why we haven’t found the right church, or a consistent group of friends or play groups.  But then I remember that we are putting forth the efforts, actively praying and searching, and He will take care of the rest.  He knows his plans for us.

For I know the plansB)’> you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will callE)’> to me, and I will listenG)’> me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

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