Working for a Water Bottle

Recently my five year old son Rhett left his beloved water bottle at soccer practice.  I say beloved.  It was really only beloved because every night Jake or I would fill it up for him with fresh ice water, and every night he would take approximately one sip from it before he went to sleep.  It was beloved because it was a part of his bedtime ritual.  He didn’t love it for itself, more for the comforting familiarity that it’s nightly filling provided.  And then one fateful day, he left it at soccer practice and all of a sudden he was bottleless.

Yesterday I told him that he was going to have to do extra chores around the house in order to earn money toward a new water bottle, and instead of whining or begging, he absolutely jumped on it.  I was somewhat taken aback.  I thought I had a couple of weeks of feet dragging and cojoling ahead of me.  No sir.  He picked up the living room, the dining room, my office, and then asked for more!  He cleaned a toilet, he unloaded the dishwasher – kid was on a roll!  Today he begged me for more chores to do and I thought, ‘What is happening here?  Should I start praying that my kids lose their stuff?  Because this is awesome!’  I decided to have him clean out the car for me.

First he just went through and gathered trash, which took all of about three minutes.  Since he was literally begging for more I told him he could use the leather conditioner on the seats.  I took a cloth and sprayed it down thoroughly with the stuff and handed it to him.  Then I told him that when he needed more he could spray more on the cloth or directly onto the seats themselves, and then went inside to make lunch.  This obviously was my fateful mistake.  He was out there for a while, and at one point he hollered to me, “Mommy I’m doing so great!!!!”  I figured I should be monitoring this activity, but frankly I was getting lunch done without bother and just kinda figured it would be ok.  Finally he came and got me and told me he was done and he wanted me to see.  I was expecting little or no actual leather conditioning to have occurred.  My expectations were way off internet.  Way off.  Instead of nothing, I walked out to the car and saw this:

Every seat in the whole van was drenched and dripping.  When you ask Rhett Dreyer to condition some leather, by golly he’s going to condition some leather!  My eyes got wide, but he was SO proud of himself for his thoroughness!!  And really I had to admit that I was proud of his thoroughness too, I just hadn’t imagined that ‘thorough’ would translate to sopping wet seats.  Sometimes parenting throws you the funniest curve balls and you can’t even laugh on the outside about them!  Even the little mirror that is on the headrest facing Ransom so I can see him in my rearview was doused in leather conditioner.  Bless his sweet little heart.  I just grabbed a rag and we both got the seats wiped down and the drips taken care of, and I thanked God that it was non-toxic leather conditioner we were breathing in.  After that the sweet little man went on to ‘clean’ the inside of the windshield with some glass cleaner.

And he even went on to ‘wash’ the car.

I’m so proud of that boy.    He more than earned himself a water bottle.  Now that I know he’s a crazy hard worker, we’re talking lemonade stands…

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Ransom Joseph | One Year

I can’t believe it’s been a year since Ransom Handsome surprised us all and burst onto the scene fashionably early.  His whole existence from conception till now has been an entirely different and precious season in my life as mom.  His name means ‘redemption’ and ‘God will add,’  which is a banner I believe he will carry and live out through his entire life.  But I treasure these moments with him that represent my redemption and my increase.

Having four years between babies, it has been so fun to start all the way at the beginning again and for every teeny little accomplishment to be the MOST AMAZING THING EVER.  He just started waving bye-bye and I am absolutely BESIDE myself with his genius.  His little expressions kill me, he truly is Handsome Ransom, and the little tuft of hair that sticks out of the cowlick on the back of his head?  I CAN’T EVEN.

With my first two babies, I absolutely loved being a mom, but I contantly had this self-applied pressure in the back of my head to be ‘accomplishing’ something all the time, and frankly I let it steal a lot of the still quiet moments I could’ve had with them.  After experiencing a loss and gaining some more wisdom and perspective over the last few years, I am much more intentional about treasuring moments now than ever before.  I’m so thankful that I’ve gotten that chance.  And while I’m always going to be a little sad with every milestone and birthday my babies encounter, I am also so excited and honored to watch them and cheer them on as they grow up.  Of course I won’t exactly be complaining if Ransom turns out to be a late walker like his brothers though, let’s be real.;-)

Here are a wildly indulgent amount of photos to mark the first birthday of Ransom Joseph Dreyer.

Cutie boy.

Fake smile!


That expression!


How you doin?


Cutest little sad face with those two precious little teefies.




Thank you Kaye from House on Oak Street for helping me get some smiles out of him on your front porch!


I love that face!  Hehehe.




All the happy little expressions.


Hehehe, Baxter wanted in on the fun.


And here are some cutie pictures that I snapped of the birthday boy in his birthday outfit this morning.


THAT face.


Happy birthday Ransom Handsome!  You are so very loved!

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Life in January and February

As iPhone cameras have gotten better, the amount of photos I take in every day life with my real camera has severely declined.  I’m not sure how I feel about this yet.  Part of me says that my everyday life photos don’t really need to be taken with such a powerful camera.  I especially tell myself this when I don’t want to carry that powerful camera.  Which let’s be real, is most days.  But part of me wonders if I’ll regret it having so few ‘real camera’ photos.  It’s really hard to say, but the phone camera is really winning out these days!  Here however are some actual camera efforts from the first two months of 2015.  Literally these are the only times photos have been taken on my real camera for personal use this year.

First up was my 30th birthday.  It was such a great day and such a great party!  I felt so loved and celebrated and supported.  I’m so excited about my thirties!  Many thanks to Andy Murphy (who doesn’t have a website to my knowledge!) for grabbing my camera and snapping photos that night.
Isn’t Ashley fabulous?

Then one day I decided to snap a few photos of Handsome Ransom outside and on my bed.  Because his first year is drawing to a close, and I gotta make sure I capture as much of it as I can.  So I can look back and cry about how big he is later.

His sad face is the cutest!!!!  Those lashes!


And lastly I set up the tripod to capture our little family Valentine’s dinner.  Please note the outfits the boys put together for themselves, and the the tie they clipped onto Ransom’s pjs.  The first shot is just funny because everyone looks grouchy even though they actually weren’t at all.  And the second shot is just sweet.  Love my boys!

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Horning Family | Dallas Outdoor Family Photography

These posts are so woefully overdue.  This sweet family has now welcomed their second baby boy, Marshall, and he is just as cute as cute can be.  The Hornings hold a special place in my heart.  When they were engaged, Chuck lived at our house, and Sasha lived at Ashley’s house!  They were like our first children to leave the nest :-).  Now they have two babies of their own!  Their wedding was one of the last that I ever photographed, and then this past fall I had a chance to photograph them as a family of pre-four.  Enjoy!

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Everyday Oils: A Day in the Life With the Premium Starter Kit

So you went to a class about essential oils.  You sniffed, you smelled, you sampled.  But perhaps only two or three of the oils you tried especially caught your fancy while the rest went over your head.  Or perhaps you dove in and ordered your Premium Starter Kit, but now that you have it, you aren’t sure what to do with all of the oils anymore.  That’s ok.  I’ve taught classes after which someone thought that they only wanted lavender and lemon.  I’ve had people sign up and then get home and forget how to use all but the lavender and lemon.  If you fall into one of these two categories, fear not.  The Everyday Oils in the Premium Starter Kit are just that – for every day.  They can truly all be used in a typical day, which is why the PSK is SUCH a good deal.  You’re getting all these oils, plus your membership, plus a diffuser, plus some great Ningxia Red samples and more!  And by the time you buy just two or three full-sized oils, you’re going to spend about 3/4 of the cost (or more) of the PSK and not even end up with a diffuser.  And trust me, you want the diffuser.  So I thought I’d run through what a typical oily day in our house looks like using those blessed Everyday Oils.


My alarm goes off at 6.  I turn it off and roll over for a few minutes before getting out of bed.  When I do, I sit on the edge of the bed and wonder exactly how I was positioned in my sleep to create the current ache in my right neck/shoulder area.  I reach for some coconut oil and PanAway and massage my right shoulder with my left hand.

After I stumble all the way out of bed, I the diffuser with water and a combination of Joy + Citrus Fresh (4-5 drops of each for a full tank).  This combination rocks my world, it smells sooo good.  I walk into the kitchen and pour myself a little Ningxia Red with a drop or two of lemon as my morning treat and waker upper (I’m showing you my bottle of Ningxia Red in the photo below, but the PSK comes with two sample packets).  Go back to my room and do a little yoga to wake up my body, while pausing for sips of Ningxia.  My kids aren’t allowed to come out of their rooms until 7:15 and miraculously, Ransom is still sleeping, so I soak in the Joy and Citrus Fresh and even apply some Joy to my heart, wrists and neck (one drop goes a long way) while I’m having my quiet time and Jake is getting ready for work.

When the big kids come out of their room, I go out to the kitchen to eat the breakfast my husband has made for us (he’s a keeper).  The trash really stinks because we forgot to take it out last night so I add a drop of Purification to the bottom of the empty trash can and spray some of my homemade Purification spray (water with 20 drops of Purification) in the air.  Much better.  We kiss Daddy goodbye and start our day.


Someone gets a boo-boo after trying a really cool Ninja Warrior move, so I pull out the Melalueca and bandaids.  I add a drop to a bandaid and apply it to the battle wound.  My Ninja Warrior’s nose seems to be running a bit as well, so while I have him, I apply a couple of drops of Thieves to the bottoms of his feet, along with some of the Melaleuca.

Later, Ransom Handsome needs a little convincing that it’s time for a nap, so after we nurse I put a drop of Lavender in my hand, rub my hands together and run them all over him.  I may even put some Lavender in his diffuser.


After finally getting everyone down for naptime and ‘quiet time’ (I’m running fast and loose with the word ‘quiet’ here), it’s time for Mommy to sit down and work.  Stress Away is my favorite favorite oil, both for times of stress and times of peace, because when I smell it I feel like I’m sitting on the beach.  The beach I tell you!  It’s beautiful.  I apply two or three drops neat to my wrists and rub them together and then across my neck.  Aaahhhh.

I bring my diffuser into my office and fill it about half way with water and add 2 drops of Peppermint and 3 drops of Citrus Fresh.  Mmmm.  This combo helps me to stay alert and on task.

Work time goes by oh so fast and soon, all three boys are running around again.  After changing a diaper, I reach for the Purification again.  A drop in the can and some spritz in the air.  Then I’m trying to wrap up my work, get Ransom fed and happy and start dinner before Jake gets home.  Have I mentioned that Stress Away is my favorite?



After dinner when it’s time to wind it down, we bring the Lavender back out.  It goes in the diffuser in the big boys’ room and I repeat the drop in the hands routine for Ransom.  Everyone goes to bed and falls asleep pretty quickly.

I notice that I’m having a scratchy throat.  Mama don’t mess around with scratchy throat, ain’t nobody got time for that.  I fill a capsule with 5 drops of Thieves and top it off with some melted coconut oil.  I have a small jar of coconut oil in my bathroom that I melt by setting it on top of my bedside lamp.  If I think my scratchy throat is allergies, I may also diffuse or make a capsule with 2-3 drops each of Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint.

It’s been a good day.  After we watch a couple of episodes of ‘Friends’ on Netflix, we Lavender ourselves, crawl into bed and call it a day.


What do you think?
Does this help to give you some ideas on how to use those oils?  How are you using your Everday Oils?

For more information about how to sign up with Young Living and receive your own Premium Starter Kit with the Everyday Oils, click here.

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