Tuesday, December 27, 2016


There is a lot of giving & receiving this time of year.  Family, friends, & co workers.  Then there are Toys for Tots, bellringers with buckets, shoeboxes, Angel Tree, etc.

It can be quite overwhelming.

We have gift giving in our immediate family, & we have our game for Christmas Day with our extended family.

When the gift giving involves parents and grandparents it gets a bit tricky because they have everything!  That's when creativity comes into play ~ this year we made our parents calendars featuring pictures of their great grandchildren.  They loved them!  Each month is a different child or group of children, made of pictures taken throughout the year. 

For our children ~ this kinda varies depending of the young person and their circumstances.  One of ours just moved and needed some household items, one got essential oils and supplies, 4 got luggage, one got new clothes and one got a check.  There really is no "one size fits all".

But in all of the excitement, I reflect on how well I did as a parent, in teaching my children how to give and receive graciously and how to serve others.

Even at very young ages, they can be taught to give to grandparents, aunts & uncles. Ornaments, little drawings, or purchased items from money they "earned", it doesn't have to be expensive. And make it fun...teach enthusiasm for giving. But teach them to give.  If they learn early, they will carry on the tradition when older ~ birthdays, Christmas, Mothers & Fathers Day.

Teach them how to receive gifts ~ learning thank you is a huge deal.  An in person thank you is great, or a text or a phone call.  But say the words.  They all need to learn (at any age) Thankfulness.  Receiving a gift or gifts is a blessing and it blesses the receiver to hear those words. This is especially important for gifts received in the mail from out of town ~ if you don't acknowledge the gift, the giver never knows that it was even received.

Teach them to be hospitable ~ cooking dinner for family, invitations to visit, offers to help after family dinners with clean up, running errands, serving others.  There are lots of areas in our lives to practice hospitality.

And how well did I/we do in my/our teaching/mentoring/leading by example/encouraging ~ it depends on the child, their situation, and their circumstances.  I could have done more.

I fall short in areas also ~ I miss opportunities to serve others,  I try to be thankful for every gift (its the not receiving that I struggle with and need to overcome), I don't want to take anything or anyone for granted, I want my home to be friendly and comfortable for folks to visit.  No matter what age, we can all learn more & do more.

Hope you all had a great Christmas.

We received the greatest gift of all time when the Lord sent His Son to the earth ~ may be we forever thankful for His gift and His ultimate sacrifice.

Friday, December 16, 2016

December....so far

Simplifying our Decembers has been great ~  more time for relaxing and doing what we really want ~

so far I have ~

taken pictures of Aiden & Amy decorating a giant gingerbread man

made some scrabble tile letter ornaments of all our names

shopped with Amy

run errands and eaten lunch out with mom

drunk lots of hot chocolate and hot spice tea

home cooked meals

wrapped gifts

helped Amy with a gift

diffused awesome smelling essential oils

"attended" 2 online oil parties and a 2 week oil camp

read books downloaded on my kindle

got in some cross stitching

killed a sewing machine (yes, this happened yesterday, it is dead)

enjoyed my quilts and electric blanket

helped Greg plant our vineyard (10 muscadine vines)

entered several 12 Days of Christmas drawings and won prizes on 2 of them!

closed on a small house today for our oldest son (which selfishly means, we get out rv back!)

mailed Christmas cards

got my gifts together and wrapped for our Christmas day ugly Santa game

Watch some holiday movies!

went to Aidens preschool Christmas program to watch his classmates sing (he chose not to participate)

PaPa brought him a truck~ then we went to steak n shake for lunch
The rest of this month will bring ~

Our 3 oldest sons birthdays~ the 18th and the 22nd

taking Amy to MS to spend Christmas with Austins family

family dinner at Moms

Christmas dinner at my sisters

Greg is preaching on Christmas morning

our 3 little Cutler grandbuddies are coming to spend the night and play

moving James

I hope everyone has time to relax, focus on family & fun, eat some yummy food, remember the Christ that's in Christmas

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Essentially DIY Projects

I was busy yesterday and totally forgot about blogging.  I do have 2 essential oil recipes that I did last week and both turned out great.

The first was a DIY eye make up remover ~ its awesome

Equal parts of fractionated coconut oil (fco) and water
1/2 the above amount of witch hazel
25 drops Lavender Essential Oil

(On the fco water and witch hazel, I did 2 tbsp. each of the fco and water and 1 tablespoon of the wh)

I didn't take a picture because a pic of a bottle of clear liquid is not real exciting.  But I love this stuff ~ will definitely be replacing my old make up remover with this.  Very soothing and easy to use ~ I squirt it on the little cotton rounds.  I got this recipe from my friend Kim, in Mississippi!

The next is DIY- Moisturizing Lotion Bars (from doTERRA)

2/3 cup beeswax
1/2 cup coconut oil (not fractionated)
1/2 cup cocoa butter
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil (got at Walmart)
15 drops doTERRA oil (I used citrus bliss ~ 20-25 drops would have been better)

*Measure all ing., except for Essential oil in a large glass jar (used a quart canning jar)
*Place jar in saucepan with 1-1.5 inches of boiling water
*Stir ingredients till combined (its takes a little while for the beeswax to completely melt)
*Once, melted, remove from heat. Let rest 3 minutes.
*Add essential oil and stir.
*Pour mixture into a silicone mold.
*Let mixture harden 2-3 hours. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in container until ready to use.
*Rub lotion bar on skin for extreme moisture.

Pictures ~

the jar is ready for the boiling water
The ingredients ~ I used beeswax pellets because they are supposed to melt faster

the ingredients are starting to melt

for the 2nd batch I put a crocheted dishrag on the bottom of the pan, kept the jar from rattling in the water!

all melted and ready to pour

I got this cute owl mold of wish ~ for little lotion bars

Got this mold off wish too ~ both work well ~ this one is a little too big
Next time I will use a little deeper pot.  I am also going to make a batch of lavender/frankincense bars ~ I think it will smell amazing and both oils have great skin soothing/rejeuvinating properties.  Since we used the silicone molds the bars came right out.  The owl faces & details are cute but after you use it a couple of times....all the detail has melted away.

*These do not feel greasy.  I just rub it on my skin and it absorbs pretty quickly.

*Using 15 drops of oil is not enough scent ~ as Amy said "she can still smell the beeswax".

*In the summertime, you may have to refrigerate these, coconut oil melts at the 70 degree range ~ not sure what it will do in this mixture.

Both recipes are a keeper!  I have used both daily since I made them!  Bonus ~ there are no ingredients that I don't know what they are!


Happy DIY!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wedding Wednesday

Bowties delivered for little boys in the wedding and 5 more pairs of suspenders coming!

Greg has been busy making the lantern holders for us- using a pinterest idea and recycling grannys wooden porch bannisters. Lanterns for wedding are silver ones from IKEA.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Essentially Monday

dōTERRA® Spa Citrus Bliss Invigoration Bath Bar is a moisturizing bar combining dōTERRA's Citrus Bliss blend of therapeutic grade essential oils, exfoliating milled oats, and natural emollients from coconut, sunflower, and safflower oils and shea butter. It is free from harsh, artificial fragrances and colors and other ingredients that can be irritating to the skin. The Citrus Bliss blend of essential oils provides an invigorating cleansing experience and makes bathing a blissful and uplifting highlight of your day.
retail price is $9.32

dōTERRA SPA Lip Balm is a natural formula containing plant oils, botanicals, and essential oils to hydrate and soothe lips while delivering the unique scent and taste of essential oils. Along with our new formula, we’ve added two new flavors to our original blend of Wild Orange and Peppermint. Experience the scents of paradise with Ylang Ylang, Clementine, and Lime essential oils found in our Tropical Lip Balm; or, invigorate the senses with our Herbal Lip Balm containing Lemon Verbena, Marjoram, and Spearmint essential oils.
• Each lip balm contains a select blend of essential oils that provides a unique sensory experience
• Moringa oil is an emollient that helps improve how the lips look and feel
• Avocado oil provides hydration, essential fatty acids, and softening to keep lips looking healthy
retail price is $6.50
The dōTERRA SPA Basics Kit makes pampering simple and easy. Enjoy gentle cleansing and the energizing scent of our Refreshing Body Wash, then moisturize with our light and silky Hand and Body Lotion.
retail price for the set is $30.67
can also be purchased separately
lotion $20/bath wash $17

You can go to http://mydoterra.com/jacksonsessentialoils ~ to see all the products doTERRA offers.

On my order I placed last week, I added the Citrus Bliss bar soap and the lip balm.  I am looking at replacing many of our commercial products with Natural products!

Friday, December 2, 2016


We have all got colds here ~ I for one am tired of blowing my nose.  We will get tremendously stopped up and then the airways open and we can breathe again. 

I got on pinterest and found a diffuser blend of essential oils for sinusy issues ~ this is being diffused in our living room during the day and at night as we sit and watch tv

2 drops oregano https://doterra.com/US/en/p/oregano-oil
2 drops lemon https://doterra.com/US/en/p/lemon-oil
2 drops peppermint https://doterra.com/US/en/p/peppermint-oil
2 drops Melaleuca https://doterra.com/US/en/p/melaleuca-oil
*I added On Guard and Balance to the mixture also ~ https://doterra.com/US/en/p/on-guard-oil  https://doterra.com/US/en/p/balance-grounding-blend-oil

At night, in the bedroom, I am diffusing Serenity & Breathe.  I have not had any bad stuffiness at night.  https://doterra.com/US/en/p/doterra-serenity-oil https://doterra.com/US/en/p/breathe-respiratory-blend-oil

Still skeptical about essential oils?  Think about this....Bobs candy canes and peppermints us REAL peppermint oil....what do you think that is?  We use lemon juice and lemon rind in cooking/baking recipes....the essential oil is cold pressed from the rind.  We use oregano, thyme, basil, cinnamon, etc. in cooking ~ the essential oil from these items is potent...you only need a drop or 2 to zing up a recipe. 

Most bottles are 15ml in size and each holds 250+ drops of oil ~ if you only use 2 drops a day ~ the bottle will last you 125 days or 4 months. 

All of the above links go directly to the product information pages on the doTERRA site ~ this site is absolutely full of information on each oil, DIY recipes for all kinds of items to try and  a scientific research blog.  If you would like further information or some samples, please let me know~

Oils are around us everyday, why not give them a try?