Posted in Adoption, Everyday, Giveaway, Inspirational Thoughts, Medical, My Lady

Nichole Nordeman Review and Giveaway


Every Mile Mattered

With life getting in the way of …. well …. life …. it is nice to have a respite of sorts.  Music is my respite.  I’ve been making long long LONG drives to Louisville, more times than not.  My co-pilot is always wanting MORE music.  So, I play more music.  This has been on loop in my van.  When you go through life with a child who has OMS and the uncertainty of things…it is nice to be certain of one thing.


He is good ALL the time.  He is good on the days Hunter walks and He is good on the days Hunter cannot walk.  He is good when we are home.  He is good when we are getting chemo.


Take some time….enjoy your surroundings….listen to some music.  Let Christ soothe your soul.

I will be drawing a winner for this giveaway on July 26, 2017.  To enter, simply “like” or “comment” on this post or any social media post (you can find links to those on the sidebar to the right).


Official website –

Buy links at:




  • You can also PREORDER her new book “SLOW DOWN”, which is due out in August!
  • Please check out her BLOG and be sure and sign up for her newsletter!



Assets can be found here:

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Posted in Essential Oils, Everyday, Health, Organization, Recipes

DIY Essential Oils Cleaners

Carpet Deodorizer

Empty container (I used an empty parmesan container…washed/dried well)

Baking Soda

10-15 drops of essential oil of your choice (I use purify cause it knocks out the smell of boy)

Mix well.  Shake on carpet before you go to bed to absorb the most smell.  Vacuum in the morning.


Room Deodorizer (think Febreze)

Spray bottle (I use those little ones from the travel section at walmart)

10-15 drops of essential oil (again, I use purify.  Be cautious of using lemon oil in a plastic bottle…it should really only be put in a glass or metal bottle)

1/4 c. witch hazel


Pour in your witch hazel.  Fill to almost the top with water.  Add essential oil of your choice.  Shake before using.


Furniture Cleaner

Spray bottle

10-15 drops essential oil

1/4 c. vinegar


Pour in your vinegar.  Add water to almost the top.  Add essential oils.  Shake before use.


Everyday Cleaner

Large spray bottle



20 drops Essential oils (purify, Frankincense, tea tree, pepperment, etc)

Onguard Concentrate (optional but worth it as an added protection for fighting germs)

Pour 1/2 the bottle with vinegar, add a good squirt (about 2 T. Onguard Concentrate), fill up with water and essential oils (if you have a glass bottle you can use lemon).


Posted in Everyday, Health, Homeschooling, Inspirational Thoughts, Marriage, Medical, My Lady, Once a Month Cooking, Organization, Truth and Honesty

Motivation Monday

This funk has GOT to go….so go it will.  As my Lady always says “pull yourself up and get outta that pit.”  With that being said….I’ve got things to do, places to go, and people to see!

  • Get thank you cards mailed
  • Email G her letter from the kids
  • Make a dentist appt for me and Noah
  • Make dentist appts for the three younger boys
  • Reschedule eye appt.
  • Schedule ACT for Noah
  • Let him drive (insert me vomiting)
  • Pack for Lville and our next drs appt
  • Call dr with update on Hunter
  • Wear makeup
  • Work on Family calendar
  • Pull some homeschooling stuff together
  • Get my letter of intent finished
  • Call OT to cancel appt
  • Reschedule said appt
  • Clean my bedroom
  • Go through and super clean the boys’ rooms cause there is a nasty smell that, frankly, scares me.
  • Call my mama
  • Go see V’s new apartment
  • Set my month’s goals (yes, we are 1/2 way into July but why wait)
  • Start my Bible reading again
  • Clean of and prepare homeschool computers and tablets
  • Read to my baby
  • Finish Freezer cooking
  • Baseball……….Baseball………….and more baseball
  • Go and see my Lady.

This season has sucked.  This year has sucked.  I have not enjoyed any of 2017 and not a whole heck of a lot of enjoyment was had in 2016 LOL.  What holds me together is knowing that known of this surprises Jesus.  He has got all of this.  He has my family.  He knows the beginning from the end.  I just have to buckle in and deal with the twists and turns of the rollercoaster I have been living on for the last year or so.

Time to live.  Time to breathe.  Time for a new season of life.  Time for new beginnings…..this is where Eccl. 3 comes into play.

Ecclesiastes 3 (NLT)

A Time for Everything

For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
    A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
    A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
    A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
    A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
    A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
    A time for war and a time for peace.

What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. 12 So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. 13 And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.

14 And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him. 15 What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.

Posted in Everyday, Inspirational Thoughts, Marriage, Medical, My Lady, Truth and Honesty

Happy 83rd Birthday to My Lady


This is my FAVORITE picture of My Lady.  It was taken 2 years ago after she made a miraculous recovery from her TIAs and her stroke.  She is wearing my absolutely favorite shirt that she owns.  I love her in the color red.

My Lady captured my heart so many years ago.  Her presence is one that demands acknowledgement, in my opinion.  She is tall, regal, beautiful, honest, and she has a smile that lights up any dark spots.  Little did I know that underneath all those worldly attributes was a deep love for her Jesus, her hero (Jerome), her children, her grandchildren, her church, and her community.  She knows everyone and who is related to whom and how to get to, not only their childhood homes, but to every home every person has ever lived in and what job that they held.

She is a master cook of things like Poke Salad, Cornbread, white beans and ham…she knows everything to know about everything in the kitchen and how it relates to health.  She has taught me how to love more deeply.  How to sacrifice without complaining.  How to make decisions when I am confused.  She has held my head in her hands as I have cried over my marriage, my children, and my family.  She prays for me faithfully.  I cannot fully put into words what she means to me and how she has affected me and my life.

I am better for knowing her and being loved by her.  She is my dearest friend, mentor, and confidante.  I wish her circumstances, today, were different than what they are, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she *feels* the love and prayers from everyone around her.

Happy Birthday, my Lady……………

Posted in Everyday

Soups Galore

Yes, it is summer.  Yes, it is hotter than Hades.  No, I really do not care.  Soup is my comfort food and I make it all year around.  Now, because of my enormous crew of 7 kids and Big Daddy, I usually always make 2 soups for one night.  Whatever leftovers we have, if we have them, is lunch for the next day.

Green Pepper Soup (can replace the rice with cauliflower rice to make it low carb)

Chicken Noodle Soup (I am making this twice)

Chili (I am making this three times….also I add a 1/2 a block of velveeta cause I can)

Beef Stew

Zuppa Toscana

Tomato, Bacon, and Spinach Soup

Vegetable Soup

Cheeseburger Soup

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Enchilada Soup

Brown up a couple of pounds of ground beef, a green pepper, and an onion.  Season with seasoning mix.  Drain, if needed.  Once drained, add in 10 oz. enchilada sauce, 1 can drained (and rinsed) black beans, 1 can whole kernel corn (drained), 14 oz. diced tomatoes, a block of cream cheese, 2 c. chicken broth (may need to add more water if you think it is too thick), 2 green onions and a slew of cheddar (2 good handfuls).

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

I take about 6 potatoes and wash them thoroughly (you can peel them but the nutrients are actually in the skin, so I don’t).  Put them in the pot with about 3 c. of water and 4 chicken bouillon cubes.  Also add seasoning and minced onions.  While I am doing that, I fry up a package (or 2) of bacon OR you can use REAL bacon bits.  Once your potatoes are fork tender, add about a cup of heavy cream (or milk), 1/4 c. sour cream, chopped green onions, crumbled bacon and a splash of that bacon grease.  I also add a can of cream of mushroom soup.  Next, add 2 big handfuls of cheddar.  Taste to see if you need to add anymore seasoning.

Cheese Tortellini and Kielbasa Soup

In 1/2 stick of butter, cut up your kielbasa into bite sized pieces.  Add 1 onion and some minced garlic.  Once that is done, drain if necessary.  Then add about 3 c. of water, 4 chicken bouillon cubes, and some seasoning.  Add in a can of cream of mushroom, 2 c. chopped spinach (or kale), Fresh mushrooms, bacon bits (if desired), 1 c. of heavy cream (or milk), a block of cream cheese, 1/4 c. sour cream, 2 large handfuls of cheddar and your tortellini.  Cook until the tortellini is fork tender.


*****This is 7 full meals and a 1/2 a meal*****

Posted in Adoption, Everyday, Medical

Spotting the Zebra Pt 3

Dr. Ehert has been so good to us.  So thorough and she even fielded questions from my sister, Hunter’s grandma.  She really wants us to be discharged to Frazier Rehab, across the street, for an indefinite amount of time.  I just want to go home…even for just a night.  I needed to see my kids, my kids needed to see me and Hunter.  I needed my shower, my bed…just for a few hours.  I declined the offer to go to Frazier and I set up Speech (he had lost some of his speech), Occupational therapy, and physical therapy.  If the doctors were not satisfied with his progress, then we would go.

The Hospitalist said that there were really no more tests to run and that we could go home because A) they had no clue what he had B) there were literally no more tests to run C) I begged.  So, without a diagnosis…..we hustled and got out of the that hospital.  We drove for about 3 hrs and then my phone rang. It was Dr. Ehert.  She said that we left without seeing her.  I explained that we saw Dr. Bhalla (her fellow) and that she cleared us to go.

Then….there was a pause……………

She asked me how far out of Louisville we were.  I told her that I was about 3 hrs from there and a 1/2 hour from home.  She explained to me, so gingerly, that one of his test (1 of about 200) came back positive and that we needed to turn around and get back up there to start steriods.  I asked her how urgent it was and if I could just go home for a bit and she was hesitant.  She said the sooner they start it, the sooner he could get better.  The treatment was to last for 5 days.  She never mentioned a diagnosis but there was definite concern in her voice.  I told her that I was going home, getting a shower, seeing my kids and sleeping in my own bed. I would be happy to leave in the morning and as long as his life was not in danger…that is what I was going to do.  I had to mentally prepare myself to be up there for that long, again.

We got home and it was sweet.  He was so excited to see everyone and everyone was excited to see him.  I jumped in the shower and blew off all that nasty hospital funk.  It was glorious.  I slept so well that night.  About 9 am the next morning, we headed out again.  I felt more prepared.  I knew what to pack and was mentally ready.  We got up there and we were able to bypass the ER and go to quick admitting.  They were expecting us.  We met up with the beloved IV team again and we got an IV started for him and for Superman 🙂  They told me that they were going to give him high doses of steroids for the next 5 days.

Steroids is supposed to make you eat and make you a bit grouchy….I could not get this child to eat anything.  He wouldn’t even eat a cookie.  He did sleep some but it was restless.  After 3 doses of steroids, he was able to stand on his own and  maybe take a step or two.  His tremors lessened.  He voice was not as shaky, but his eyes were everywhere!

Early the next morning, at 1 am, I had finally shut my eyes for a moment and in comes the nurse.  She said that I had a phone call.  My thoughts are “who on earth is calling me, on a nurses cellphone, at 1 am in the morning.”  It was Dr. Puri.  He is a pediatric neurologist and he was calling me from Myrtle Beach.  I asked him why he was calling me while he was on vacation and he said that he wanted to ease my nerves.  He is a phenomenal doctor.  He is well loved, well educated, and he has seen some bizarre things.  He said that there was no worry of MS, which is what I thought he might have (in my medical mind LOL).  He had all the symptoms of that.  He said because no lesions were found, anywhere, that it is highly unlikely that he has this.  He said he believed it to be another autoimmune disease and he assured me that they, as a team, would figure it out.

In comes Dr. Sweeney.  I came close to dismissing him because he looked the age of my son, so I thought that he was a youth volunteer.  He said that the team had assembled and discussed our case.  They wanted to run more tests, but felt pretty confident in the diagnosis.  He basically kicked every other doctor off the case because this was strictly a neuro case and there was no need for a bunch of drs telling me their opinions and interrupting our day when they didn’t need too.  We did another MRI of his brain and spine (with contrast) and another CT scan of his chest, abdomen, and pelvic region.  They knew what they were looking for.  We did a follow up urine test and they “attempted” to draw blood while he was asleep…6 sticks later, they still could not get enough blood.  I put my foot down, at that point and told them that if ANY IVs or blood draws were necessary….ONLY the IV team would do this for me.

Once all these tests came back (normal, I might add)…Dr. Sweeney stopped the steroids (he had had 8 doses of it) and he started him on IVIg (immunotherapy) for about 6 1/2 hrs.  He said when that was finished we could go home.  There was nothing else for them to do or anymore tests, at the moment, that they could do.  I could do the same thing here as they could there.  They did want me to take him to Frazier for a couple of weeks.  I explained that we already had therapy and equipment in place and they were satisfied with that, for now.  We would readdress it when we came back for our follow up appointment.

Dr. Sweeney captured the rogue zebra… Pt 4.






Posted in Everyday, Recipes, Health, Adoption, Saving Money, Organization, Couponing, Once a Month Cooking

Once a Month Cooking Menu

Recipes will follow but for now, this is what is on tap for me to cook for this month (actually a month and a half because we have some stuff already put in the freezer).

This list will be for Breakfast, some Lunches, Dinners and sides that will go from July 10-August 31.  For lunch…we eat leftovers regularly, so I’m not going to break the bank buying stuff to make some gourmet lunches when my kids will happily gnaw on what is left in the fridge.

I WILL NOT cook on Sundays, so that takes out 7 days.  Also, on Thursdays (with the exception of July 31 which is Daniel’s 13th bday and I will cook whatever he wants) is ALWAYS pizza night…so that is 7 days worth of Thursdays.  The other date to note is August 24th, which is Jude’s 11th bday . I can already tell you that he wants Ethiopian food.


Pancakes (made from scratch, not from bisquick….we are all about saving money)

French Bread

Zucchini Muffins

Banana Muffins

Carrot Muffins

Granola Bars


Fruit bars


Omelet Cups

Breakfast Cookies

Breakfast burritos


Meat and Cheese sandwiches (turkey, ham, roast beef, bologna, fried bologna….provolone, American, swiss, cheddar)




Homemade Pizza x 7

Spinach, Ricotta and beef Enchiladas on a bed of rice

Chicken & Broccoli, Scalloped Potatoes, Green bean casserole

Beef Stroganoff

Mexican Casserole

Mexican Lasagna

Mexican, Ricotta, and Spinach Lasagna

Baked Pasta, Garlic Bread, Salad

Burgers/Hotdogs/Fries x 5

Tacos, Refried Beans, Rice x 3

Chicken stuffed cheese/spinach wrapped in bacon, Roasted Potatoes Sweet peas

Pork Chops, Hashbrown Casserole, Corn, Lima Beans

Chicken Cordon Bleu, Cream Corn, Baked Potato

Cheeseburger Casserole, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet peas

Chicken Alfredo, salad, bread

Round Steak with Mushroom Sauce, Broccoli and Bacon, Mashed Potatoes

Philly Cheesesteaks, Homemade fries

Greek Marinated Chicken, Fried Zucchini, Rice

Pork Roast with Feta and Mushrooms, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet peas

Baked Chicken, Cream Corn, Cauliflower and Broccoli Au Gratin

Beef and Broccoli, Fried Cauliflower rice

Garlic Cheddar Chicken, Mac and cheese, Roasted potatoes, sweet peas

Tater Tot Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, Corn

Pork Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Lima Beans, Asparagus/Feta


Spaghetti, French Bread, Salad

Lasagna, Garlic Knots, Salad x 2

Breakfast (Sausage and egg casserole, bacon, biscuits, pancakes)

Soups x 7:

  • Stuffed Pepper Soup and Chili
  • Vegetable Beef and Cheeseburger
  • Chicken Noodle and Tomato
  • Tortellini and Zuppa Toscana
  • Broccoli and Potato
  • Enchilada and Beef Stew
  • Chili and Chicken Noodle
  • xtra chili

Roast/Potatoes, Asparagus and feta, Green Beans, Mac and cheese x 2


***Recipes to come***





Posted in Everyday, Recipes, Health, Saving Money, Once a Month Cooking

Gearing Up For a MONTH of Cooking

Pray for me, folks.

Sometimes, when I’m in a season of depression “Uncle Joe” (as my friend Ron calls it), one sure fire way of occupying my mind is to cook.  I love to cook and I love to have healthy choices for my family.  I have a large family with 7 children and Big Daddy….but we have added a couple of bonus daughters and some hairy legged boys who are “dating” said daughters…so I’m feeding a slew of people.

I’m blessed that my kids are not picky.  I’ve worked hard at always trying to make new things and having them try new things (ie Fried Radishes).  When they were younger, I would load up their food with hidden fruits and veggies.  Chocolate chip cookies with white beans….also, chocolate brownies with spinach and blueberries.  We also did carrot bread, banana bread, zucchini bread….you can throw in so much food in spaghetti sauce…I became a master.

This time around, I’m going to focus how I can get the most bang for my buck, in a healthy way.  Healthy food (fresh fruits and veggies) are expensive.  It can break the bank to eat well and be healthy.  That is really sad.  The fact of the matter is that, as Americans, we are large people.  Processed, boxed food is easy to make, filling, and cheap.  How pathetic is that.

I will tell you, that we have laying hens…we usually always have eggs.  We also buy our cow (a whole cow) once a year and we buy a pig to slaughter once a year.  So, when I go to the store, I do not have to buy meat and that makes my grocery bill look a bit different than yours.

Take stock of your pantry, fridge, and freezer.  Write everything down.  Work your menu AROUND what you already have…that means you buy less.  Do not buy fresh veggies (with the exception of a few things)…buy them frozen.  They are frozen at their peak and it seals in all the good nutrients. I generally cook Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.  Thursdays, my husband makes me a pizza and the kids either has frozen pizza or leftovers.  Sunday, I do not cook.

Start out with freezer cooking for a week or two weeks at a time.  It prevents you from going to the store everyday.  Take cash and a detailed list of what you are fixing.  If you do not have freezer space, I freeze things in gallon baggies.  I lay submerge the baggie in warm water (after the food is placed in it and I’ve sealed it about 3/4 of the way).  Once it is in warm water…you can seal the rest of the bag because the baggie forms to the food.  You can either do that or lay it flat with a straw in the corner to get all that air out.

Get out your calendar and mark down the dates that you are going to cook for for 2 weeks.  Include breakfast items, lunch items, breads, supper and then mark off what you already have and the rest you need to buy.

Once I get my menu ready (later today), I will post what I will be cooking and my grocery list if you want to use it.  I’m excited…first time I’ve been excited in a while.

Happy Cooking, friends.