Monday, February 13, 2017

Instant Pot & My Favorite Cookbook

You've seen the photos.
You've heard the reviews.
You can't wait to get your hands on an Instant Pot and a copy of "Family Feasts for $75 a Week" of your own so you can cook live with me during one of my videos!
Click below to grab one of each for yourself.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Debt Happens

If you ever spent time in the past reading my blog before I almost completely dismantled it only to have a half-hearted relaunch then you know that my husband is a cancer survivor.  You know that it rocked our family hard.  You know that God spared him, healed him, and continues to bless him with good health.  I've never shared the details with you, but it could happen - some day.  Today however I want to talk to you about another crushing side effect of the big, evil C which happens to be one letter grade lower - *D*ebt.

Debt happens.

Maybe you went to college and left with a debt holding so many zeroes that you wondered if you would ever be able to pay back what you borrowed on the salary that once seemed like a dream but now seems like - wait, what!?!?

Maybe you lived the high life during times of feast, and you hit a famine unprepared, unaware, and unwilling to stop the train before it plunged engine first into the abyss.

Maybe you're just living life and you're already screaming at your computer screen like a hormonal teenage girl on a daytime talk show, "Ya'll don't know me!  Don't hate!"

Who knows.  I don't know.  I don't know your story.  I wouldn't be opposed to hearing it, but there is a long standing history on my blog of me pouring my heart out publicly and you, my sweet anonymous friends, pouring your heart out privately.  I'm cool with that.  Emails are nice.  I don't mind at all.  Solidarity is one of my words for the year.  So if you're looking for a pal to rip the burning coals from the steam engine, rip on the brake handle, and smack the conductor around - I'm the fist of fury you've been looking for.  


Because I'm a giant, meddling, nosebag who can't wait to tell the world all of the details of your private affairs.  

Oh wait, that's not me.

Because I've been there, and it HURTS.  It's paralyzing when you compare the location of the decimal point in your bank account compared to the one on the growing pile of hospital bills, or I-just-couldn't-live-without-it credit card debt, or whatever bills.

Now for a pearl of wisdom from my dad or Rocky.  It was one of them.  I can't be sure.  It was probably both of them.  

"The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that! I'm always gonna love you no matter what. No matter what happens." 
I basically have it memorized.  You should print it out with a picture of me doing scary mom face and put it in your wallet.  It will work hard to prevent unnecessary card swipes, but then again you will NEVER - and I mean EVER - get that picture.  So let's keep going.  I'm shuddering like the snowman on Rudolph when he talks about The Abominable - S to the C-A-R-Y.

January for us is a no spend month, and I'm going to be sharing occasionally about how we're doing it, why we're doing it, and how we make it work with a family of 8.  Come along for the ride, and together we can give our debt a haymaker while watching our savings soar.

I can't promise you'll make it.  We'll have to dig deep, but I think you can do it.  You're amazing. :)  I know because I know everything.  Ask my kids, and they'll tell you that's why they're homeschooled.  *insert wild laughter here*

Be encouraged!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

I am a RAD mom

I am a RAD mom. 
That means that I have a child who sees me as the enemy, a child who desperately wants to love me, be a permanent part of our family, and feel normal for a change. I have a child who doesn't know how to hug me or snuggle with me, but she will jump playfully into the arms of a stranger or person who spends little time with her. Sure, later on she'll defecate on herself or urinate in her bedroom maybe she'll smash out her windows or having a screaming fit while trying to rip out her own hair or beat her face off the wall, but you're probably right that her relationship with you is healthy while her relationship with me is not.
I am a RAD mom.
That means that I have spent countless hours agonizing over decisions that I could once make at the drop of a dime. Leaving our home can be an agonizing process that might sound to the neighbors like someone is being murdered all because my child was asked to do an every day task like wear pants or please put on her shoes. It might sound outlandish, but our record time for putting on pants was 96 minutes and it won't surprise me if some day it takes longer. No, a spanking won't fix it. Neither will time out, a big long hug, or a conversation where I remind her that she is safe and all is well. 
I am a RAD mom.
That means that I spend my spare time reading blogs, talking to a support group, crying in the shower, and reminding myself that we chose this path and we will overcome. I force myself to believe that despite today's setbacks tomorrow is worth it and something, even if it's just one good thing, might happen and make it worth it. I read, and reread, and read once again the words of the premier RAD therapists in the world. I memorize every last drop of their wisdom because I am going to need it before I even turn the page. I celebrate milestones that are years behind where she is intellectually because I have a need to see some good in her among the hell that is often our daily life.
I am a RAD mom. 
That means that what works for your average child, your well behaved child, your perfect little angel will not work for my child, and if it does it's simply because she's manipulating you. Don't believe me? You don't have to because when it comes right down to it she's mine, she's not yours, and you have NO right to question
my reasons
my methods
my decisions
my choices
because at the end of the day you won't be the one trying to fix the issue, and her issues are none of your business. If I choose to vent to you, it's because I need you to tell me that my hard work is going to pay off and that you support me no matter what.
I am a RAD mom.
And you ain't seen NOTHIN' yet.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Capturing Forever

You've heard it said, "a picture is worth 1,000 words."  A smile.  A frown.  A genuine expression that we hope will be engraved in our minds and hearts forever.
Little hands.  Little hearts.  Little moments.  They get swept up in the busyness, the chaos that we call life.  They are the times that we yearn desperately for when we wake up one day and realize that those who were once little are suddenly not the tiny bundles of joy once swaddled in our arms.

The smiles, the laughter, the silly moments of sibling snuggles have left us standing in the background wondering where they've gone.

We do our best to describe that simple smile or that tough guy pose, but words can never do them justice - not even 1,000 words.

For us, that means a trip to our family photographer, Casey Lynn Photography.  

Whether we're silly or serious, dressed up or fresh from playing in the dirt, she grabs hold of our memories and solidifies them for eternity.

Casey's prices are affordable, even for a family as large as ours.  She's even joining us for the birth of our newest child so that not a moment will be missed.

I think her images speak for themselves, but there are plenty more on her Facebook page.

Be encouraged!

Monday, February 10, 2014

My Favorite Cookbook Ever

I made one of my favorite meals for dinner tonight.  

It comes from my favorite cookbook.  

Two of my friends bought the book tonight based on this one recipe alone. 

 It's perfect for big families like mine, and I'm sure you'll adore it.  It really can't be beat!  Look how much abuse mine has taken!!

Get it while it's hot!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

How Much Physical Activity Do Kids Need?


Kiddos should be active for at least 60 minutes each day. This amount of activity offers many health benefits to your kid as well as benefits in the classroom! Kids who are more active have better concentration and focus during the school day, activity can also improve your child’s behavior in class and boost their performance at school. It is important for schools to incorporate activity and health education in the curriculum to establish healthy habits, but it is also important that we teach our kids these habits at home as well! Consistency is key! So encourage your kids to be active with you and at recess! 


Wednesday, January 1, 2014



Being physically fit has many health benefits like decreasing your risk for certain diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. There are many more benefits to fitness that you may not realize! Fitness improves your mental health, helps you weigh less, improves your sleep, acts as a stress reliever and also plays a role in increasing your bone density! Making the decision to live the fit life is also important in teaching your kids the value of living a healthy lifestyle! You are your child’s biggest influence! Be a positive role model! Start with getting active by doing things you enjoy, like walking the dog or going for a swim at your local Y! Take your kids with you and make getting fit a family affair!

Source: Frechman, R. The Importance of Fitness in Your 30’s.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Kid Friendly Healthy Pancakes

One of my best friends introduced me to these pancakes, apparently the recipe was made popular by The Biggest Loser and it floating all around Pinterest! When I first saw the recipe I couldn’t believe that they would be any good… Until I tried them! They are so delicious and virtually guilt free! I also like this recipe because it uses whole grains (oatmeal) as opposed to traditional pancake mixes that use enriched white flour.
Serves 3: 191 calories | 24 g carbs |19 g protein | 7 g sugar
  •  6 egg whites (or ¾ cup of egg substitute)
  • 1 cup rolled oats, dry
  • 1 cup cottage cheese (I would use fat-free to cut back on calories, but you can choose whatever you’d like)
  •  2 tsp sugar (or less, depending on your preference)
  •  1 tsp cinnamon
  •  1 tsp vanilla
1)       In a blender/food processor or what have you- blend all ingredients until smooth (I use an immersion blender like this one.
2)       Spray pan or griddle and place over medium-low heat
3)       Pour ¼ cup of batter on griddle and flip when bubbles begin to form
4)       Cook until golden brown
5)       Serve whichever way you like it-- with butter and maple syrup, fruit, nuts, yogurt, the pancake options are endless!
I also tried a savory pancake with this recipe by adding some shredded carrot, onion and mushroom which was also tasty! Get creative! 


Monday, December 30, 2013


·         Use your lunch break as a time to sneak in a 10 minute walk!

·         Use commercial breaks as exercise breaks! Do a few squats, push-ups, crunches, lunges, jumping jacks, jog in place, whatever your little heart desires! If you’re watching a show with your kids, have them join you!

·         Park your car at the far end of the parking lot when going to the store or work. By adding as little as an extra 30 minutes of walking to your day can improve your health and weight status!

·         Instead of taking your grocery cart to one of the ‘return stalls’ in the parking lot, take the time to walk it back to the front of the store! You’ll burn a few extra calories, especially since you’re already parked further away!

·         Do a squat when you need to pick something up vs. bending over.

·         Take advantage of stopping at a red light! Use this time to squeeze and relax your buns and thighs as many times as you can until the light turns green!

·         Choose the stairs over the escalator and elevator!

All of these things can be done whether you’re with your family of 5 or solo! Remember that any amount of extra activity can benefit you, but try to aim for 30-60 minutes of exercise/activity per day for maximum benefits!

Do you have any tips for sneaking activity into your day? Let us know!!