Saturday, December 31, 2011

17 day diet:

Last March I was 163 lbs and lost 35 lbs doing this diet and exercise. Now after my short pregnancy and the holidays...I need to lose about 10 more pounds. I posted some here and here

17 day diet: Gonna start again tomorrow:

Some of the things I eat on the 17 day diet:
tilapia fish
ground turkey
tomatoes (cherry)
celery...I eat lots of this (to keep my mouth busy)
cook everything in garlic and olive oil
green beans (sauteed or baked)
apples (fruit before 2pm)
red grapes
Chobani Greek yogurt
soy sauce
fat free salad dressing
herbs and spices

Thy will be done!!! +JMJ+

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Toy Review Tuesday:

We have a house full of new toys...I spent hours on line this year trying to find things that would last and provide education as well as fun. This was a helpful site as well as many others. We have seven winter birthdays and my boys didn't want legos this year so I was in a huge dilemma.

I will let you know what we got each week and get back to you to let you know how they last.

This week I will review HEX BUGS.

I had never heard of these toys but they got good reviews and I was desperate for something for my 10 and 12 year old sons.

So far they love them and we got some extra sets to go with the bugs. We don't have pets so this is really fun for them, kinda a mix between a hamster cage and an ant farm...with no smell or mess. They mix and match their sets too.

This was their favorite gift and they played with it all day!


Sunday, December 25, 2011


YOU GOT TO CHECK OUT Karen on Itsy!!!

Love these shirts!!! I got my son in law a 1 and 1/2!!!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Exercising with kids:

Exercising with kids is always interesting...probably why I haven't done it all these years. Well this spring I tried all different times to get to the gym. Since the babies in my house started to wake about 6:15 I would go early. Well...I thought that was early.

I would get up at 5 crawl into my gym clothes and head off to the gym.

Then...the time change came...and my baby started to wake up even earlier. 5:20 to be more specific. I tried going to the gym at nap time, but my four year old would need me. I tried going at night...but I was exhausted from being up so early.

So, since I am a morning person...I got up a little earlier. I go sometime between 4:15 and 5:30am. This morning I went from 4:30 to 5:30am...came home, showered, and had my meditation time.

Guess what...the little bugger didn't wake up till 7:55am! Go Figure!

BTW...when I was a young mom with 7 kids under 10, I would hear people talk about getting up super early to exercise or pray. It was super discouraging to me. If you are pregnant or nursing or have a house full of needy kids...sleep and take naps as much as possible!!!


Thursday, December 15, 2011


First time in 21 years and 9 months...that I HAVE NO ONE IN DIAPERS...don't tell my husband, but it is kinda sad...I know I am a sick woman!!!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Our Photo Gallery Christmas Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Shutterfly Christmas Cards:

The past couple of years we have used Shutterfly for Christmas cards and just recently for my daughters Wedding pictures and albums. They have been great and fast. I liked their books more than the ones I ordered from other companies. If you go here you will see Christmas Cards. We even have used them for calendars for the relatives. Last year our Shutterfly cards were our favorite and everyone loved them.

I feel like a kid in a candy shop just looking at all the possibilities for any family style or size. This year here are some of my favorites:

Isn't this so could really show off some cute pictures with this one!
I almost picked fun!
Wow, this has great possibilities too!!!
This is classy and fun!!!

This is what we decided on:

Our Photo Gallery Christmas Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Once you have an account, you can make photo calendars, photo books, and all sorts of cool gifts. We have had great success with giving calendars for gifts and I love having small photo books in my purse so I can brag about my kids.

I am grateful for Shutterfly who is giving 50 free cards to bloggers!!!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Our Lady of Guadalupe:

The position of the sash (it's up high) and the folds in the tunic show that the lady is pregnant. The color should be black, which is symbolic of the Aztec maternity belt.

Pattern of the dress: The flor y canto pattern (flower and song) connect her to the native people and suggest divine revelation.

Her dress: A light rose/pale red is for the color of dawn. This color was hugely important to Aztecs, who saw considered the color to be the symbol of life, blood and earth.

Stars on the mantle: The eight-point gold stars are arranged as they would have appeared to Juan Diego in the night sky that winter in December 1531. Mary is also known as the Queen of Heaven, hence the stars.
Mantle: The blue-green color is the one worn by royalty according to the native people. The gold trim is symbolic of royalty and a person meriting great respect.

Moon: The moon was worshiped by the native people. By her stepping on them, it shows how the old gods do not exist, only the one god.

Angel: In Aztec culture, only honored people would ever be carried around on someone else's shoulders. The angel supporting the Blessed Mother show that she deserves the highest honors and that even angels care for her.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Time to heal:

It is time to heal:
After trying to get pregnant...
Then finding out I was 6 weeks pregnant...
Being nervous due to spotting...
Then finding out the baby didn't have a heart beat...
Naming the baby HOPE...
Being grateful for what we have...
Nervous about the D & C...
Not having a D & C...
Slowly passing the baby...
Then today we buried our baby...
Closure and healing time...
Please dear Lord, bless us with another child...


Friday, December 9, 2011

Check out our Christmas Card:

Our Photo Gallery Christmas Card
Design your Christmas cards at
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

TOY REVIEW: Playbmobil

My 6 year old daughter just got this for her birthday: If you like PLAYMOBIL than you will love it...probably one of the top 10 coolest playmobil sets I have ever bought in 15 years

Buy it here...


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Christmas Wish:


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Cecilia:

My Dear CC, we love you so much!!! You are mommy's little helper and help with the babies. God has blessed our family with you. May you always grow close to Him and have Jesus as your very best friend!!! #10 Rocks!!!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

St Nicholas day coming Dec 6th:

We love Playmobil and St Nicholas:

buy here:


Mary and Joseph on FACEBOOK?


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Prepare for Advent:


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Our Thanksgiving recipes 2011:

Each kids picks something to make each year...sometimes it is a new recipe and other times something new.

Alex made her famous Sweet potato casserole...recipe unknown

Vanilla Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Serves: 8
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 75 Minutes
This pumpkin pie recipe is less spicy than traditional pumpkin pies so you can really taste the pumpkin flavor!

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, flour, salt vanilla and cinnamon. Pour filling into pie shell.

Bake for 20 minutes at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) then turn oven temperature down to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and continue baking 40 more minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
CALEB'S SECRET CHEESE recipe available

Apple Pie Apples
• 5 Granny Smith apples
• 2 bags caramel melts(melt according to package directions)
• 5 craft sticks (these are included in the caramel melts bag)
• 1 bag white candy melts
• 2 cups brown sugar mixed with 2 tsp cinammon
Insert craft sticks into center of washed/dried apples.
Melt caramels according to package directions in a medium sized bowl in microwave.
Dip apples into caramel—I used a spoon to help evenly coat the apples.
Put apples on a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper that has been sprayed with Pam. Put into freezer for about 3-5 minutes.
While in freezer melt candy melts according to package directions in bowl in microwave.
Remove apples from freezer and coat with melted candy melts using a spoon if needed just as with the caramel.
1. Before candy melts dry on the apples, roll/spoon/sprinkle the apples with the brown sugar/cinammon mixture.
2. Place apples on cookie sheet and refrigerate.
1 (16 ounce) package OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, divided 1 (8 ounce) package PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened 2 (8 ounce) packages BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted
Crush 9 of the cookies to fine crumbs in food processor; reserve for later use. (Cookies can also be finely crushed in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.) Crush remaining 36 cookies to fine crumbs; place in medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls, about 1-inch in diameter.
Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover chocolate can be stored at room temperature for another use.) Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.
Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store leftover truffles, covered, in refrigerator.

JOSEPH:Poppy Seed Cake

Take a Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Golden Cake mix , do not follow the instructions on the box, but add the following ingredients instead:

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup poppy seeds
8 oz. sour cream
4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. and grease bottom and sides of bundt cake pan and sprinkle with sugar. Mix all of the ingredients 3 to 4 minutes. Pour into the bundt pan and run a spatula through the batter prior to putting it into the oven. Bake at 350 for one hour. After cooling, turn the cake upside down on a platter and sprinkle the top with confectioners sugar.

Orange-Cranberry Relish
1 orange- unpeeled, cut into wedges
3 cups fresh cranberries (rinsed)
1 cup sugar

In a food processor, pulse 1/2 of the orange and 1/2 of the cranberries until desired consistency. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Pulse the remaining 1/2 orange and 1/2 cranberries. Pulse again until desired consistency. Add to the mixing bowl.
Stir in sugar.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken,
drained 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese,
softened 1 cup Ranch dressing
3/4 cup pepper sauce (such as Frank's Red Hot®)
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 bunch celery, cleaned and cut into 4 inch pieces
1 (8 ounce) box chicken-flavored crackers
Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half of the shredded cheese, and transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on Low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with celery sticks and crackers.

Mary and Cecilia made pies and apples with Lizzie also hot chocolate!
Preparation Instructions
Combine the peanut butter and chopped pretzels in a bowl and mix well.

Freeze the peanut butter mixture for at least 30 minutes.

Roll about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the peanut butter mixture into a ball with your hands. You may need to refreeze the balls if the peanut butter softens too much. (This is why crunchy peanut butter is best, to help shape the balls).

Melt the chocolate chips until runny.

Dip the peanut butter balls into the chocolate until fully coated and place on a plate covered with waxed paper. Be careful to not let the balls touch each other before the chocolate has set.

Sprinkle with your favorite decoration if you like.

Refrigerate to allow the chocolate to harden, then serve.
Ingredients1 cup Crunchy Peanut Butter
½ cups Finely Chopped Pretzels
1 cup Milk Chocolate Chips
Shirley Temple:
20 cl ginger ale
3 cl grenadine syrup

Build in a highball glass. Add ginger ale over ice and sprinkle grenadine syrup over it. Garnish with a lemon slice and a cherry.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Mourn with us:

It is with a heavy heart that I need to share that we found out today that the baby didn't have a heart beat.

We went to the specialist for our checkup to see how things were. I could tell by the sonographer's face that things weren't good. The doctor came to break the news and let us know that our baby went to God about 2 weeks ago. We are praying that the passing of this baby goes smoothly with the will of the Father in control.

What I am Grateful for:

1. God for entrusting another soul to our family
2. My husband for supporting me through our craziness
3. My children for being so excited about another baby and sad that it will be awhile till they meet
4. My family and friends for rejoicing and mourning with us
5. The doctors and technicians who never made me feel strange for wanting another baby, and actually being excited for us and this addition to our large family
6. So glad I got to Holy Hour this morning before my appointment...I needed the strength that only God could give me
7.The miracle of faith and friendship happening on my facebook is the most pro life activity I have experienced in a long time~your words have brought me to smiles and tears!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

50 Mile Trail Race:

Yipee, he ran 54.5 miles in a TRAIL race...what a great accomplishment!!!

My Husband ran a 50 mile race today:

It was crazy...He started at 6am, the kids and I got there at 3:50pm waiting for him to finish about 4:30pm...then the runners were finishing and complaining that the route was messed up... the course was 54.5 miles instead of 50. They didn't have their lights with them cuz they figured they would finish before 6 pm...and then they had to run in the dark in the woods which took them twice as long!!!

The stinking hill they had to run to get to the finish line...these race people are crazy!!!

Then they had to run up this hill that was super, super, steep...I wanted to punch the race coordinators!!! Rob was too excited to be upset!!! HE DID IT!!! YIPPEE!!!

From my two oldest children: (so sweet)

Alexandria says:
Not only is my dad an Iron man AND qualified to run in the Boston Marathon this spring, he also just finished running a 54.5 mile race! Very proud of my daddy. He is so awesome I can't even tag him in this post because he is too cool for Facebook!

Joshua says:
Just in case you weren't sure that my dad can beat up your dad just ran a 54.5 mile race.


Thursday, November 17, 2011


Being a mom to seven son's...yesterday's reading really hit home with me...

Reading 1 2 Mc 7:1, 20-31

It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested
and tortured with whips and scourges by the king,
to force them to eat pork in violation of God's law.

Most admirable and worthy of everlasting remembrance was the mother,
who saw her seven sons perish in a single day,
yet bore it courageously because of her hope in the Lord.
Filled with a noble spirit that stirred her womanly heart with manly courage,
she exhorted each of them
in the language of their ancestors with these words:
"I do not know how you came into existence in my womb;
it was not I who gave you the breath of life,
nor was it I who set in order
the elements of which each of you is composed.
Therefore, since it is the Creator of the universe
who shapes each man's beginning,
as he brings about the origin of everything,
he, in his mercy,
will give you back both breath and life,
because you now disregard yourselves for the sake of his law."

Antiochus, suspecting insult in her words,
thought he was being ridiculed.
As the youngest brother was still alive, the king appealed to him,
not with mere words, but with promises on oath,
to make him rich and happy if he would abandon his ancestral customs:
he would make him his Friend
and entrust him with high office.
When the youth paid no attention to him at all,
the king appealed to the mother,
urging her to advise her boy to save his life.
After he had urged her for a long time,
she went through the motions of persuading her son.
In derision of the cruel tyrant,
she leaned over close to her son and said in their native language:
"Son, have pity on me, who carried you in my womb for nine months,
nursed you for three years, brought you up,
educated and supported you to your present age.
I beg you, child, to look at the heavens and the earth
and see all that is in them;
then you will know that God did not make them out of existing things;
and in the same way the human race came into existence.
Do not be afraid of this executioner,
but be worthy of your brothers and accept death,
so that in the time of mercy I may receive you again with them."

She had scarcely finished speaking when the youth said:
"What are you waiting for?
I will not obey the king's command.
I obey the command of the law given to our fathers through Moses.
But you, who have contrived every kind of affliction for the Hebrews,
will not escape the hands of God."

May I always be a good example to my children...Lord bless my sons (and all my children) to live a life dedicated to you!!!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Happy birthday to my high school sweetheart...loved ya since I was 16. So happy I married you...22 years, go figure...13 babies!!! You make me laugh!!! God is so good to us. I love you more each day. Can't wait to see what the next 22 years will be.



People always ask me about chores...what age? How much?

Well I am known for having the world's largest job chart...
My motto is: "If it needs to be done...then find someone to do it!"
The funny question is, "how do you get them to do it?" Well, you gotta be were not put on this earth to be your kids buddy...but to teach them responsibility and a good work ethic.

One of my favorite stories was when my Barbara was about five. I was sitting on the couch nursing the baby at the time. When I told her to do her jobs...she looked at me and said, "What are your jobs!!!???" I looked her in the face (trying not to laugh) and said, "I am doing my job...the most important job of all. Feeding the baby and making sure you guys do your jobs!" Well, she is almost 16 now and she still has a mouth on her!

Does your kid have a life? Don't they want to play with friends, the computer, an ipod, the wii, use their phone, go on facebook? If they want a life...than they do their jobs!!!

By best advice about how to make a job chart is to sit down a couple of nights and look around your house. Think about what frustrates you...what frustrates your husband? (cuz, it isn't gonna work if you don't tailor it to your family, your house, your circumstances!)

Me: I looked around my house and saw...the front hall a when a friend or neighbor came by I was too embarrassed to let them, I keep my front room clean and the hallway. No one is allowed upstairs for various reasons and we try to tidy up the downstairs as much as possible. Also, I am very disappointed at the end of the day if I didn't have a chance to read to the babies or play a game with the preschooler...

So some jobs on the job chart are: clean front hall/clean living room/read to kids/play game with kids

My Husband: He hated pulling up the street after a long day at work and seeing our house look like an orphanage with bikes, strollers, scooters, helmets, car seats, balls, etc...all over the yard. He also hates when he opens the van door and three shoes and five water bottles fall out...

So some jobs on the job chart are: clean front yard/clean front porch/clean car

So make it work for your family. I really like what Mommy Matters Blog says about jobs:

From Barbara Curtis:


Each child has his own timetable, so ages are suggested and approximate. Ages given are on the early side; for boys, who mature more slowly, add six months to ages given.

1 1/2 years:

Getting diaper for self or new baby
Putting disposable diaper in trash
Picking up small items from floor
Shutting cabinet doors
Turning on dishwasher

2 years:

Putting away toys
Unloading dishwasher — putting away plastic dishes and cups

2 1/2 years

“Folding” napkins
Helping set table
Putting away silverware
Peeling carrots
Pouring measured items into mixing bowl
Putting away broom and dustpan.

3 years:

Dusting lower shelves
Emptying small trash cans
Carrying stacks of clothes to rooms

4 years:

Feeding baby
Putting away books
Further dusting
Sorting recyclables

5 years:

Making bed
Setting table
Feeding pets
General straightening of rooms

6 years:

Pouring milk for family meals
Clearing table
Emptying trash
General folding
Polishing silver, brass.

7 years:

Loading dishwasher
Sweeping floor
Opening cans
Cleaning windows
Helping with grocery shopping

8 years:

Washing pans
Cleaning bathrooms
Beginning cooking skills
Sewing buttons
Helping with grocery list

9–10 years:

Changing baby’s diapers
Helping with meal planning
Further cooking skills
Washing car

At this age, the child should be able to learn any housekeeping skill, as long as you are willing to teach him. Certain skills, such as ironing, mowing lawn, and babysitting for siblings depend on maturity level and/or family circumstances. Parents know best.

------isn't she so wise!

See some of my older posts on this subject here! Or of course my hubby will make you laugh when you read this!

I could talk for days about this...but, I gotta go do my chores!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Toy Review Tuesday:

We have seven winter is really hard to find anything fun, practical, and that we need. We really have EVERYTHING!!! (just come look at our messy house)

I need ideas!!! Please send me suggestions of things that you would actually buy again!!!

Here are some of our past ideas!!!



Happy Birthday Dom...You are totally the family comedian, after watching The Pacifier he walked around and asked everyone to call him "Little Puppet"...well it are starting to be a big little puppet!!!

We love you proud of your diligent study habits and kindness to your family and friends!!!

May you stay close to Jesus all the days of your life and may He always be your best friend!!!


Monday, November 14, 2011


Captain America:
The big kids (ages 9 and up) in our house enjoyed this movie...little hard to follow for younger kids...but we liked it. Make sure you watch about 5 minutes after the credits for the follow up movie trailer coming out soon...

See reviews from Common Sense and Plugged In.


Friday, November 11, 2011

The love of reading:

We love to read around here...but, momma gets so tired and falls asleep when reading to the precious kids...especially when pregnant!!!

This perfect find at the library was just the right length and had great recipes in the back. Of course we called it Apple Farmer CC!!!

We read Apple Farmer Annie and made Applesauce Cake:

Applesauce Cake
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1/2 teaspoon allspice (optional)
1 cup applesauce
2/3 cup raisins

*Cream together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
*Add eggs and beat well.
*In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
*Add to creamed mixture alternately with applesauce, beating after each addition and blending well.
*Stir in raisins.
*Pour batter into 9-inch greased tube pan.
*Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until browned. (toothpick inserted into cake should come out clean.)
*Cool, then spread with Butter Frosting (see recipe below).

Butter Frosting (it did'nt need the frosting...but is sounds so good)
2 tablespoons softened butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk

*Cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla extract.
*Add milk and stir well.
*The frosting should be smooth and easy to spread.

Glad to know we weren't the only ones who loved this book!!!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

{pretty, happy, funny, real}:

This is the first time I ever did the {pretty, happy, funny, real} post...
I hope I did it click here for more bloggers photos.

round button chicken





Monday, November 7, 2011

Movie Review Mondays:

Movie Review Monday's are back...cuz I am kinda laying low with this pregnancy for a time.

One of our family favorites is INCREDIBLES!!!

Plugged in has a nice family lesson to go with it.

You have all seen this is a classic...

My favorite character is Edna 'E' Mode!!! How about yours?


Sunday, November 6, 2011

One week ago:

Let's see...One week ago...
I had just run a 10k for Vocations.
Little did I know what God had in store for my week...
I was a size 6 and just cleaned out my closet of old fat clothes...

I was reviewing my week:
1. Holy hour on Monday
2. gym from 5:15-6:15 Tues-Fri
3. appointment for mammogram
4. appointment for sonogram
5. appointment with vascular surgeon
6. go to soccer playoffs for my sons

Little did I know that what I thought was my period...was actually spotting for my unknown pregnancy that we had been praying for all year...

So, on Tues when the Sonographer was checking my supposedly pre menopausal ovaries...she found our precious 6 week old baby!!!

So, no appointment with the vascular surgeon...
So, no going to the gym...
So, no soccer games out in the cold for this little baby...
And lots of spoiling on momma this week as she lays low, plays cards, reads, sleeps, and eats away...

Most of all...bye-bye...size six!!!
Hello maternity clothes!!!

We have an appointment in 3 weeks with a please pray for us!!!

My 25th reunion...
Last 10k for VOCATIONS!!!
2 years ago...20th wedding anniversary...6 months pregnant...
boy that camera really adds lbs.
This August...after I lost 37lbs for my daughters wedding!!!
more reunion pictures...