"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." ~Lin Yutang

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Twenty fourteen

In January, binkles turned 9 and I turned 32.  Binkles, jones, and boo tried out for the school play, and binkles got a part!  On Martin Luther king jr weekend, the family spent an UNFORGETTABLE weekend at our friends' recently-purchased cabin in the mountains.  I can't remember if I posted about it, so here's a brief recap:  we spent weeks of anticipation for our first winter camping experience.  On the drive up, although she was fairly well potty-trained at that point, buttercup made a HUGE mess in her pants!  Thankfully I had put her in a diaper (who knows why, but I did).  We were snowed out of the cabin and had to run some errands.  We turned on the fireplace to start heating the cabin, and ran off in hopes the guys could get the driveway driven in so that we could park.  We got stuck in the driveway while we turned on the stove, but thankfully my pal is quite the pusher and pushed us out.  I was highly impressed since we had our Yukon XL packed with stuff and people!!!!  By the time we got inside the cabin, it wasn't warm, but the food was ready.  We also found out that the water wasn't working and we'd have to use the outhouse for any potty needs.  Starboy ignored this small detail unless it was convenient for him.  I know I took him outmultiple times, but the inside toilets had another story to tell.  
The water problem turned out to be frozen pipes.  That problem never resolved over the weekend.  We had to use snow and purchased a LOT of portable water.
I purchased disposables for buttercup, and that was difficult for her to regress into.  That was difficult.  
I also started my first cycle after the miscarriage I experienced in December.  It was very HEAVY, way heavier than I'd ever experienced before.  I messed several pairs of pants and a couch!
I think the dogs got sick.  
The fireplace started heating the house the second day, that first night was real winter camping for sure!!!!
We had a blast snow tubing and snow playing.  
There were probably a dozen or so disasters that I have conveniently misplaced from my memory, but it didn't matter.  It was one of the best weekends ever.  I honestly don't think any of the kids knew that ANYTHING went wrong!  It was real winter camping and we had a blast!!!!!!!!!!!
Other January news:  Otter Pop traveled to Arizona for work training and I did several oil workshops.  
In February, my most awesome husband sent me and buttercup across the country to stay with my sister and her family for a short week.  It was awesome to see them and spend time with them since they moved in July of last year.  While I was gone, boo turned 6.
The girls and I did lots of cookie sales for Girl Scouts in hopes to attend camp together in the summer.  
March was quite packed with oil workshops, binkles started track, more cookie sales, several school performances including the school play binkles was in, and then spring break, starting with buttercup's 2nd birthday!
In April, I was able to start volunteering at the elementary school once/week.  I love doing that!  I also was very deep in doTERRA workshops and training.  There were several Girl Scout events too in April.  
In May our family turned a corner of busy-ness that we've never experienced before!  The calendar looks quite empty but we weren't bored!!!!  On the 12th of May, we closed on our very first home.  We spent the rest of the month running to and from, cleaning, scrubbing, and painting, only to repeat the process at the other house.
In June then, we moved into the new house.  The kids got out of school on the 4th, and after that we were IN!
Wolfie went to church camp and jones turned 8!  By the end of the month we were tired of moving in and decided to put some fun in July.
So in July we started inviting guests over.  Finnagen was discovered to have some huge medical issues after being attacked by a huge dog over our newly built fence!  Binkles and jones went to church camp for the first time for one week, and then Wolfie went the next.  We started re-attending weekly pool days and started swim lessons for boo.  At the end of the month, binkles, boo, and I headed up to Girl Scout camp together.
In August, we returned and I started swim lessons with Starboy.  Both of those kids took to swimming very well!  I started a babysitting job, the kids started school, I got pregnant, we got a puppy, helped regime the puppy's brother (with nana), and spent a weekend down with some cousins at my parents'.
In September, Wolfie took drivers Ed, binkles started cross country, and I continued my babysitting job (3days/week) all while bouting morning sickness.  Girl Scouts also started up and this year I took on a leader position with the juniors (binkles age).  We met a German exchange student (Danke) that needed re-homed and decided that she could live with us, sharing wolfie's room that she was so excited to have all to herself.  Danke was already on the school swim team.  Mid September, Otter pop turned 41 and Starboy was hospitalized for several days.  He came out alive, but it was a scary respiratory distress!  Shortly thereafter, Wolfie went for a walk with mackintosh (the pup) and was bit several times by the same dog that bit finnagen in June.   We had parent teacher conferences at the end of the month and Wolfie finished drivers Ed to start her 6 month probation period.
In October, I started back up with oil workshops, mackintosh got an infection from the dog bite, we made lots of canned yummies (applesauce and relish), and Starboy turned 5!
In November, my father had open heart surgery and then Wolfie celebrated a weeklong celebration of turning sweet sixteen.  Even the skies partied and we got LOTS of beautiful snow!  My dad is recovering very nicely.  We had our family pictures taken and on thanksgiving revealed to our family that we are expecting a new baby.
In December finally we got to meet our little guy via ultrasound and Doppler detection.  We also got to attend the high school's foreign exchange night, music concerts, and several sugar-coated Christmas celebrations.  My sister came to visit with her adorable son, and Wolfie got a job!  We went to a most beautiful wedding, and wolfie's biological mom came to visit.  We started our Christmas break-from-schools and have been ailed with sickness ever since.  Currently Starboy is almost in hospital condition again as I poke letters.  We hope that this next year is filled with GOOD HEALTH, great friends, and fun memories!!!!
From all of us:  we love you and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Friday, December 19, 2014

MY lasagna recipe

I actually made a recipe.  (It's not my style, so drop your jaw.). I'm a rule follower.  Sometimes I'll add a pinch of something or veggies, for your health sake, but I don't throw things together!  And technically, I didn't do that this time either...  But I'm still calling the recipe mine because I combined 2 recipes and then added things.   (Just go along with me...  Don't burst my bubble!)

MY Lasagna
A box of lasagna noodles 
2+ lb of ground beef. (I suggest using half beef, half pork)
1 chopped onion
3 T fresh minced garlic (or 3 cloves minced)
2 T fresh basil torn all up little
2 tsp oregano + 1 drop essential oil (divided)
2 T brown sugar
1 T salt
1 big (29 oz?) can & 1 normal (14 oz?) can of petite diced tomatoes
1 T anchovy paste
6 oz tomato paste
A bag of frozen spinach
Some fresh or canned mushrooms, diced finely so the kids don't notice
24 oz cottage cheese
2 beaten eggs
1 T pepper
2 T dried parsley
1 tsp salt
1 lb mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 lb shredded cheddar
A small bag (8 oz?) of finely shredded Italian 5 cheese blend

1.) in a large frying pan, sauté the onion, then throw in the ground beef and brown.  Drain.  Add in the garlic, and spices (minus the essential oil) and mix together.
2.)  clear an area of the pan and squeeze out the anchovy paste.  Let it melt while you open the tomato paste.  Mix the tomato paste with the anchovy paste and mix it with the beef mixture.  Stir in the diced tomatoes with juice (of course), and add the drop of oregano at this point and the spinach and mushrooms (no juices).  You could chop up a variety of other veggies including, but not limited to: broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, and squash!  Let this simmer for as long as you want.
2-1/2.) prepare the pasta
3.) Open the cottage cheese and stir in the beaten eggs, parsley, salt and pepper.  
4.) Combine the 2 lb of cheeses, but not the small bag of Italian cheeses.  
5.) Get out that pan that's bigger than 9x13 that your mom gave you since your family is so big.  Start layering:
-Noodles (in that big pan the noodles fit width-wise).
-cottage cheese mix
-shredded cheese mix (generously since this is your husband'so fav part)
-meat sauce
This is supposed to layer 3 times, but I only got 2.  The top layer gets the extra bag of Italian 5 cheese blend on top and some sprinklings of grated Parmesan cheese too if you want.
I threw mine in the convection preheated oven at 375 degrees and it was hot and ready in an hour.
I thought it'd take more like an hour and a half though.  

No pic this time.  It was too tasty to stop and take a picture.  I served mine along side cooked veggies (broccoli), because my children love their veggies on the side and hate it when I sneak them in (except the spinach and mushrooms).

Monday, December 15, 2014

It's the most wonderful time of the year

We bustle about with lots to do and little time...  One thing we try to purpose -as a family- is to not get distracted from the true meaning of Christmas and this beautiful season!
Danke newly joined the school band and is also a member of the high school choir.  On the first Thursday of December there was a wonderful concert put on.  Danke plays the violin and viola, but picked up the clarinet as her American musical instrument project.  Kinda like, she speaks German, English, and Russian, but is taking Spanish as a class in America...  Industrious much???
Boo had a sweet little Christmas concert last week on Thursday.  She was amazingly precious.  When singing silent night, every time they would cross the common line "mother and child", she would make eye contact with me, smile real big, and wink at me! 
The kids and I are trying new Christmas sweets recipes this year.  We found a fun "Christmas bark" recipe that was simple and tasty.  
We're planning on making truffles as treats this year.  When I looked for ideas and recipes, I found out that you can pretty much make a truffle in any flavor!  (Even bacon!)  so we all voted and narrowed it down to six.  I hope we don't accidentally eat them all.
I'm loving receiving Christmas cards from friends and family.  I appreciate being kept up to date.  Please be safe this season and don't forget the sacrifice God gave us on the very first Christmas so many years ago!  

Friday, December 12, 2014

Welcome to our family, little Turbo!

Here's the news in our family.  We are settled, we got a puppy (Mackintosh),
we're hosting a German foreign exchange student (Danke),
I was babysitting a little Sweet Pea three days a week until last week, and now we're expecting a new baby!
New Baby (Turbo), will make his -yes, I had my ultrasound today- appearance in May.  
My estimated date of delivery is May 2.  I think 5/10/15 would be a fun one...  But I'll take him whenever he decides is good.
The kids are doing alright in their new schools.  I'm not sure if I already updated the school situation.  Wolfe and Boo got into a great charter school that I'm digging.  It's full of great kids and teachers!  Binkles and Jones are attending the local public school.  It's subpar, but they have caring and super teachers and we've been impressed with the amount of love poured out on our kiddos.  
Starboy and Buttercup are better than coexisting at home together each day.  In fact, they've become good friends!  It's sweet.  
My darling sister arrived for a brief visit last Friday and traveled down-state to visit others on Tuesday am.  She was darling enough to let her one-year-old son tag along!!!  It was over joyful to see and spend time with the two of them!  It's a big bummer the big mister in their family couldn't come, but he has big exams to study for!!!!
Beyond all this jibber jabber, I'd like to extend a warm holiday greeting to you and your family.  I hope this finds you happy, healthy, and hopeful for our Savior's return...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fun in the sun

June was spent moving in!  Lots of hard and seemed to be endless hard work.  It still seems like their is no end to the work, but it's getting to be not as hard.  Kinda like exercise.
We are starting to enjoy the summer this month!  We had 2 weeks of VBS.  2 kids went to both weeks, but binkles and jones were graciously invited to attend kids camp for one of the weeks.  They had a great time and survived very well without their parents.  It was a different experience, especially for jones. 
If I were labeling this summer, it would be the summer of salvation.  The four kids between age 4-9 began to understand the gift of salvation this summer!  
We've gone swimming twice and got the hot tub set up this afternoon.  My kids are starting to get up and by get dressed, they take that as "get your swimsuit on". Especially buttercup.  She doesn't even have to be told.  She just knows that the fun clothes to replace Jammie's with are swimsuits.  Plus she has a good handful of them, they are bright and fun, and they are easy for her to put on by herself!  
This month we also started our open house dinner parties.  It's fun to have friends.  It's also fun to eat together.  It's also super duper fun to own our house.  So we are joining all of those!!!  If you haven't come yet, we're excited for you!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Home sweet home

We have painted, built fence, purchased big items, filled the house, planted flowers, filled the yard, ran into problems, pulled out a pond, de-flowered a garden, fixed lots of sprinkler problems, killed some weeds, and the end result: made a home!!!
It has been HARD WORK!!!  But, now I can finally say it was worth it.  We have a few straggling boxes that are having a hard time finding a home, but for the most part, we are home.  
The neighborhood has been better than expected.  The next door neighbors have been overly friendly and helpful.  The wildlife park -behind us- serves lunch for free every weekday!  I saved 50% on car registration by living in a different town!  The perks just keep adding up!!!!
There's a girl across the street who it jones and binkles age.  The park FILLS with kids at lunch time.  Wolfe got into the k-12 school I was praying for.  Things are looking good for us here.  Please continue to keep us in prayers as we haven't had the healthiest season this past month.  Thanks for all the help and support we've received.  Our friends and family are by far the best of the best!!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

closing day!!!!

a new chapter in our life:
we own a home!

we signed the papers today and by 5pm we should be moving some boxes over to the new home. 

what's next: 
  1. we have to build a fence. 
  2. since we have nearly a month to move, we will remove wall paper and paint this house up.
  3. we need an over-the-range microwave.
  4. we need a new dining table.  one that we all fit around. 
  5. we need to weed the garden and personalize the landscaping!!!!!!!!!!!  i am SUPER excited about this to-do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  6. we need a lawn mower!  i mean, the cutting machine.  i have some laborers that can push the thing...
  7. we want a new bbq grill, but it's not a necessity.
yikes.  that sounds like a lot, doesn't it?  i am super excited right now though, so i'm going to overlook the expenses that are glaring me in the face with that short list! 

in the future, we want to:
  1. cover the back patio.
  2. extend the shop and build a tree/playhouse on it. 
*sigh*  oh boy i am S.T.O.K.E.D.  thank you, Lord, for this blessing!!!

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Cor. 10:31

Sunday, May 4, 2014


giminy cricket, it's been a long time since i updated you on the home search. 
that house that God was lining all up for us... the one that i dreamed about for many months...  it dropped through.  it must not have been God's will for us and i had guarded my heart enought that it wasn't shattered.  but i won't lie and say it didn't take a bruise or two because of it.  :( 
last month, we found a home.  this one isn't miraculous or anything... it just seems to be right and so we're moving forward.  i am trusting in God to protect us and provide us in a wonderful environment.  i hope that we are able to witness to those that He places around us.  we should be moved in by the end of the month.
please keep us in your prayers.  we have to build a fence around it and do a lot of painting. 
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Cor. 10:31

Friday, April 25, 2014

spa night out

otter pop is doing his annual jui-jitsu tournament tomorrow.  he called me mid-day and said, "i need a sauna tonight.  find me a sauna."  so... i made us a date.  i found this amazing relaxing atmosphere spa.  i didn't realize how much i liked it until i spotted the scripture on the wall as we were leaving.  i love that! 
anyway, that wasn't really the best part though. 
we got a private room with a really nice hot tub, sauna, shower, and cooling bed.  each room had light music playing and dimming lights with a realistic glow-in-the-dark heavens painted on the ceiling.  the hot tub was awesome.  the sauna was my favorite type.  it was a dry sauna with a water dipper in there to create steam as well.  it was awesome.  we both really loved it. 
we came to find out that the owner is an old acquaintance of otter pop's. 
if you're local and interested, i'll gladly share the info.

 "Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart..." Prov. 27:9

Saturday, March 29, 2014

what happened to the last year? doTERRA.

hello!  what's going on???

we are finishing off a nice week of spring break.  the kids are all home from school and we've had perfect spring weather.  the week started out with sunny skies and picnic-y weather, followed by nice sunny days with a brisk feel to them... the kind of days where you head out with a light coat and after playing for a short while the coat comes off.  yesterday and today were spring showers pouring down all day long.  i can see the plants all soaking it up and loving every minute of it.  it's not too cold... just perfect for the rainy spring day.  i love spring!

at the beginning of last year i was introduced to the idea of using essential oils for healing and health purposes.  i thought it might be a hoax, or maybe not a hoax but maybe a scam... so i dove into research on the validity of essential oils.  i also dove into research on what's the going rate of essential oils, which is the best company, etc.  i was introduced to essential oils by a couple that used doTERRA's essential oils.  i did a ton of research on that specific company. 
by march, we had sampled several different oils and seen results.  so, we decided to dive into not only the oils and using them, but the company -doTERRA- too.  i haven't regretted it since.  it took me about half a year to start making enough money to pay for oils every month.  now after a year, it's growing and growing.  the business is fun, full of integrity, and it's real... so it's not like i have to be a high pitched salesman.  i don't sell the oils.  i just teach people about the oils.  it is awesome.

so, if you don't know about doTERRA or essential oils, now you know someone who does.  ask me.  please let me tell you all about what they've done for our family and our life!!!

"Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart..." Prov. 27:9

Sunday, January 12, 2014

hormones and uniqueness

i've been doing some light research on hormones recently.  i have a good passion for women's health, pregnancy, and... babies.  and a minor passion for health in general. 
what happened last month is that i had a miscarriage.  after the miscarriage i had some major hormonal issues.  my moods were swinging as far forward as they were backward and then would twist up and hang as far right as possible and then swing back as far left as possible.  it has been an "exciting" ride.  no one likes it.  no one and that especially includes me.  
so i started lightly researching hormones.
what i first came across -which what i probably already knew deep down, but appreciated it being stressed in the teaching i was listening to, is that HORMONES ARE UNIQUE TO EVERYONE individually.  it's kinda a duh thing if you think about it, but it probably isn't stressed in teaching as much as it should.  kinda like all health things...  we are each unique.  no one is the same as anyone else.  and that includes identical someones. 
when i was looking into and learning about fertility awareness, the same thing was stressed because that is what awareness is all about.  i love it.  our bodies are unique.  dr's would like to know what everyone's base everything is (temp, blood pressure, weight, blood stuff, hormone stuff, etc.) but the truth is, unless it's their own body or a research body that they record and chart daily... they have to just go off the "average" number that's given to them as the acceptable answer.
too bad that we are SO unique, that the average can be extremely high for some, and extremely low for others.  and yes, i'm using extreme on purpose.  it's true.  some people are WAY OFF average, but that's them and they're still alive and well. 

anyway, i guess i have a lot to say.  i'll most likely say more later, but this is all the time i have today.  or right now, at least.  :)

happy birthday to my eldest blond kid yesterday.  she's 9 now.  that's just one year off from double digits.  i'll take it.  i love her!

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Cor. 10:31