Friday, December 30, 2016


Hello, everyone!  I'm just posting to let you all know that I'm taking a short blogging break.  I'll be back in a week or two...maybe three.  I have some ideas that I want to work on in the mean time.  Thank you! 

Monday, December 26, 2016

My Favorite Time of the Year

I LOVE CHRISTMAS!  It is my absolute FAVORITE time of the year!  I love the music, the smells, the atmosphere, the decorations...just everything!  Christmas with kids is even more amazing. I love to see the joy and wonder on their little faces.  My kids sing Christmas songs all day, and they love the little Christmas countdown tree we have.  Every day they add an ornament to the countdown tree until, on Christmas day, they put the star on top.

We celebrate by going to my in-laws house Christmas day.  My mother-in-law gathers the grandchildren around (there are 9, with 1 more on the way!) and read them the Christmas story.  Then we all open presents.  The kids all play with their new toys while the men usually talk and the women get food ready, or snacks out.  We always have Lasagna and Chocolate Christmas Roll with a few side dishes.  (this year my MIL made a fantastic snack of cheese-stuffed jalapeƱo peppers wrapped in bacon...YUM!) It's a fun-filled day of family and fun! 

This year, I found 12 Christmas-related books and DVDs and wrapped them.  For the 12 days before Christmas, each kids unwrapped one present each night.  They then watched the movie or I read them the book.  It was so much fun I'll probably do it again next year! 

What are some fun Christmas traditions in your family?  Please share in the comments below!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Dreams DO Come True!

So, our 12-passenger van finally bit the dust.  (the snow dust)  The first super cold day this week, it decided to spring several leaks in various places.  That was the last straw for us.  Just two weeks ago, the kids and I got stranded in Green Bay because the brake line snapped.  (after being "fixed" the day before at the mechanic)  So, we decided enough was enough, and that we would get a new van.  We looked at several ads for used vans, but we came to the conclusion that if we wanted a van that would last a long time, we should buy new.

Bram and I went to a local dealer, and it just so happened that they had 3 12-passenger vans on the lot!   We were looking at Ford Transits and Nissan NVs.  None of the dealers around us had any Transits in stock.  We drove the Nissan around for a bit, and decided to get it. 

The best part?  I have been wanting a Nissan NV for almost 2 years now!  I first saw one in the Culver's parking lot in the spring, and practically drooled at it.  So gorgeous!  Bram said we would probably never have one unless, years down the road, we would find it used.  My dream came true, and now I am driving in a beauiful, red, Nissan NV 3500!

It is a tank, seriously!!  From the outside it looks massive.  I've gotten a few open-mouthed stares.  I am so happy with my new van, and I am so glad I don't have to worry that something is going to break when I drive. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

How I Make a Little Money on the Side, Being a SAHM

My husband has a great, well-paying job.  I appreciate all that he does to make sure we have enough money for our large family.  Occasionally, I like to get special things, and in order to have extra money for that, I do two things:  I sell my Crochet work, and I sell on eBay.

1.  Selling my Crochet Work

I set up a free website where people can go to look at all the items I have made to get ideas.  I also sell in a local buy, sell, giveaway Facebook group.  I set up a Facebook page where I can interact with my customers, and where people can message me about their order.  Most of my orders are through word-of-mouth from my happy customers.  I would love to sell at a craft fair someday, but right now, it's just not possible.  I use my kids and myself as advertising by making them cool hats and myself nice scarves and hats.  I have been asked for a business card several times just by wearing what I make!  This past Saturday, my friend and I, with my kids, went to a craft fair and I was stopped by a woman asking where my kids got their hats!  I was able to hand her my card, and she was so excited.

2.  Selling on Ebay

My mother-in-law has a successful eBay store for homeschoolers, and she got me started on eBay.  I just sell random things.  Some are brand new that I got at a discount and wish to profit on.  Some are books or other items I have lying around my house that I wish to get rid of.  It is super easy and really fun!  It's great to have a mom who I can run prices by.  She helps me figure out how to sell and what price to set.  You can sell just about anything on eBay!  I just sold a brand new, in the box FitBit Alta for $115, and I paid $65 on Black Friday for it!  After Paypal fees, I made $46 on it!

So, these are the two ways I make a little extra money for myself.  If you're not the crafty sort, eBay is a great way to make some money.  If you are crafty, what a nice thing to make a little money doing something you love! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

THM Recipe: Chicken Pepper Spinach Stir Fry (E)

I came up with this on my own after getting home from my exercise class.  I was hungry, and dove around in my fridge until I came up with this!

Chicken Pepper Spinach Stir Fry - E     (Print This Recipe!)

1tsp. coconut oil
1 chicken breast, cooked, sliced into thin strips
1 bell pepper (any color will do, I used orange), thinly sliced
2 handfuls spinach leaves
2 TBS. fish sauce
ginger, to taste
red chili pepper flakes, to taste
1 cup brown rice, cooked

saute the pepper and spinach in the coconut oil.  When cooked through, add in the cooked chicken breast slices.  Pour fish sauce over the veggies and chicken, and sprinkle the ginger and chili flakes on top.  Stir all together for about a minute or two.  Set aside.

Cook the brown rice, or heat up pre-cooked rice.  Place on a plate, and place the veggies and chicken mixture over it.  ENJOY! 

*you can either use pre-made brown rice, or minute brown rice.  (make sure there are no off-plan ingredients added)

Living with PCOS

After doing extensive research (including reading 7 books on women's hormones and 3 books specifically on PCOS), I have decided to start using natural supplements as well as stick to a PCOS-friendly diet and exercise program.

I have been put on Metformin ER, but the side effects are just brutal.  Nausea, Upset stomach, Bloating, Gas, Diarrhea,...I's terrible.  Why live like this when there is a natural alternative called Inositol?  I found a compounding pharmacy online that makes a supplement powder called "Ovasitol" which is a dosage of both D-chiro-inositol and Myo-inositol.  You need a 40:1 ratio of D-chiro-inositol to Myo-inositol;  and Theralogix has measured it all out for you!  You just dissolve one packet in water or other beverage once in the morning, and once at night.

I also am taking these different vitamins and supplements:

Women's daily vitamin gummies

Taking a daily vitamin makes sure you are getting all of the basic vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy body.  I use Alive! Women's.  It has a small amount of inositol. 

Fish Oil gummies

Studies have shown a great decrease in cholesterol numbers when taking a fish oil...mainly Omega 3.  I take NatureMade fish oil gummies.  (no matter how much flavor & sugar you use, it still tastes like fish oil.)    It can also help insulin resistance to disappear, lowers high triglycerides, manages testosterone, and aid in weight loss.  (looking back now, I think I'll just stick to the capsules.  I don't need added sugar in my diet.)

CoQ10 gummies

This is an antioxidant that supports healthy energy and metabolism;  both of which are greatly hindered when you have PCOS.  I use VitaFusions CoQ10 gummies. (In the future, I will stick to capsules to eliminate sugar and sugar substitutes.)

Evening Primrose Oil

Studies have shown that taking Evening Primrose Oil can greatly reduce the bad period symptoms often experienced with PCOS.   I use Up & Up (Target brand).


This little supplement helps in decreasing insulin resistance, reversing hair loss, lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as a number of other benefits.  I use Up & Up brand.


B-vitamins are helpful in so many ways!  Some help with metabolism, other help with energy, and still others aid in glucose tolerance factor.   I use Up & Up brand.


Cinnamon is a natural anti-inflammatory.  It is helpful in weight loss.   I use a local natural food store's brand.

Chromium Picolinate

This supplement helps keep blood sugar levels stable.   I use my local natural food store's brand.

Calcium & Vitamin D

I found a vitamin that is a combination of Calcium and Vitamin D3 at Target, so I'm taking that as well.  I got the Target brand of bottle.  It contains 500 tablets.

I have found some amazing websites for women suffering from PCOS.  Here are a few, PCOS Diva, Hello PCOS, and PCOS Diet Support. These ladies all suffer with PCOS, and have done extensive research themselves.  You can get PCOS specific suppliments and such from PCOS Diva.  You can sign up to get a monthly subscription box filled with goodies, samples, and tips for those with PCOS from the Hello PCOS website.

The books I have on PCOS are A Patient's Guide to PCOS, The PCOS Diet Plan, and 8 Steps to Reverse Your PCOS. They are so detailed and explain the condition in great detail, as well as provide meal plans, recipes, and ideas to help treat your PCOS.   

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Homeschool Update

Hey there!  I'm just doing a small update of our homeschooling.  I already did a post on how we switched curricula and that we are LOVING the new curriculum HERE. 

Kayson is my 5-year-old, and he is in kindergarten.  He is absolutly IN LOVE with school!  He even wants to do it on Saturday and Sunday!  The most exciting thing happening for him is that he can read!  He is so excited, and sounds out big words in other books just so he can practice reading.  I am so proud of him and his love of learning!

Fionna is 7 and is doing 1st grade with her 6-year-old brother, Tiernan.  They both are liking Christian Liberty Press and their favorite subject is History.  They learn Bible stories from the first happenings in History, and color pages.  Fionna is great in Math, although she likes to rush through things.  Tiernan is great in Phonics, and can get pretty much every page and every pronunciation correct! 

Mama is loving homeschool!  I have a pretty solid routine now where I switch back and forth between Kindergarten subjects and 1st Grade subjects.  It works well, and things go pretty smoothly every day. 

I look forward to the day when I will have at least 10 years under my belt.