Sunday, April 9, 2017

Weekend photos...

Babz turned 21

Caleb holding nephew Luca

 Big siblings take babz out for happy hour!

Eric had his first ever baseball game!

Eric has his first Baseball game!

Thy will be done!!! +JMJ+

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Birth Stories X17

I just saw this wonderful video by The Honest Company about birth stories. It just warmed my heart to see the many different birth stories and the joy that each one brings. It brought me back to my birth stories and the amazing miracle of life that God has given me.

My birth stories start in 1990 when I got pregnant on my honeymoon. My husband and I wanted to start a family right away and it was a huge blessing that I got pregnant right away. I delivered my first child, a little girl, at a hospital. When she was six months old I found out that, even though I was nursing her full time, I was pregnant. My son was born at home with a midwife. When he was about 11 months old I miscarried a baby at about 8 weeks.  Two months later I  got pregnant and had a beautiful baby boy at home. Things were busy but wonderful. I loved being a mom and learned how to adjust my schedule to meet the needs of three little babies.

I found that my dreams of being a mom were coming true. It was very challenging and I was tired and trying to find balance in my life but I was in my element. We moved into a bigger house and soon after my midwife delivered baby number four. With two boys and two girls many people commented that I had the “perfect” family. I realized that home births, although they aren’t for everyone, did work for me.

Baby five came 19 days late. After many sonograms making sure all was well my midwife decided my dates must have been wrong!!! After a long slow 17 hour labor my baby girl, was born! The next five years I delivered three very busy boys at home with no complications.

 My husband had a new job and our insurance didn’t pay for home births any more so my daughter, baby number nine was born in the birthing center where my midwife worked. It was a very different experience, but like all things new, we learn to adjust our expectations and make do with what needs to be done!

My husband’s small company had new insurance and the representative made a mistake and emailed me saying that we could have a home birth. With that in writing the company had to honor my request and I got to deliver baby number ten in a smooth home birth.

Now with five boys and five girls under 16 things were bustling around here like a three-ring circus. I was 37 and still daily trying to balance being a wife and mother by maintaining my home. My daily life consisted of keeping the house in some order, doing wash, and getting a meal on the table for dinner each night was challenging.

When baby number 11 was due the insurance wouldn’t budge, and would not let us have a home birth. So, our son was born in the birthing center weighing in at 11 lbs! It was pretty interesting delivering such a huge baby naturally. At one point my sister said it looked like I was a Gumby doll and my midwife pretty much had to flip him in the birth canal to get him out.

I was super excited when our insurance approved a home birth for my 12th child. Little did I expect that after 12 hours of labor my midwife and I decided it was time to go to the hospital because we were unable to get him to go down the birth canal. I had pretty much had it and as soon as we walked into the hospital I was ready for a c-section. The hospital midwife and my midwife assured me that my baby was not in distress and I should get an epidural to rest and prepare myself to deliver this baby vaginally. After a quick rest, I was still pretty “done” so I asked for a c-section. Not fully being “all together”, I regret my decision to not try harder to do a vaginal delivery. Not only did I not get to do skin to skin with my son, but I was unable to nurse him immediately. My husband stood next to me with our hungry newborn while they stitched me up. They did a pretty bad job at the entire c-section. My incision was very low, I ended up with a staph infection and some other issues I have had to deal with due to the surgery. Of course, the recovery period is more difficult after a c-section. I decided to sign out of the hospital early after a day. In case you didn't notice hospitals are not my favorite place to be.

I was forty-one now with seven sons and five daughters. I was very happy and many people would ask if we were “done?” I had just lost 37 pounds and was enjoying eating better and working out more regularly. Still in my heart I yearned for another baby. I went to the OB to check on my peri menopausal situation since I was getting older. My doctor sent me to get a sonogram and during the sono the technician asked me why I was here. I mentioned I wanted another baby and the doctor was checking on my physical status. She said, “Well, you are six weeks pregnant!” We were so excited but nervous because I had been spotting. Little “Hope” died when I was 8 weeks pregnant. It was very emotional for us but we moved on taking one day at a time and enjoying our 12 living children.

In late May, we got a phone call from a local pregnancy support network asking us if we would be willing to host a 12-week-old baby boy for about six months while his birth mom got situated. We said yes and due to God’s special blessing we have had him for five years. After a busy couple of weeks with this wonderful new addition I found out I was pregnant again. Again, due to me being 44 there were concerns. After lots of tests the doctor said I was doing great and I could try a V-back at the hospital with midwives who worked there. At about 17 weeks my water broke and I was on bed rest with the warning that there was no way my baby would survive. My wonderful midwife would visit and let me listen to our son’s heartbeat.  After almost three weeks I started bleeding pretty hard and the doctor let us know that he had died. I went to the hospital with my husband and we prepared for a different type of delivery. I delivered Steven myself in the bath room. He was almost 20 weeks and absolutely perfect. He had the cutest nose, little finger nails and stole my heart. I had a real hard time for the following month. My friend helped me get motivated to take care of my other 12 children and our foster baby. I am pretty sure the mourning I was dealing with was more the loss of my fertility and the beginning of this new season of my life.

Fast forward about four years and we again were asked to take in another foster baby boy. He wasn’t born yet and we waited for the day to arrive. It was interesting waiting every day wondering if this was the day. Even though I wasn’t actually giving birth, the day to day unknown was very strange. Our family wondered each day if this would be the one. Funny thing was that he was born on the August 1st the day I delivered Steven. We ended up getting this wonderful gift when he was one week old. He is now eight months old and we have been so blessed by him being part of our family.

Each person has their different birth stories. Some beautiful and some difficult. All different labors help us grow and make us the people we are. They let us become the best we can be and use the events in our lives to make us stronger.

Thy Will Be Done!!!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Dollar Meals...

Mike Timmerman did this article on us on  Team Clark ...

Sam Fatzinger doesn’t run a restaurant, but you might think she does by looking at her kitchen.
There are two refrigerators, two ovens, two dishwashers and a huge pantry that this lifelong Maryland resident says she couldn’t live without.
That’s because Sam and her husband, Rob, have 13 children!

How a mother of 13 feeds her family on a budget 

Read more: How a couple with 13 children lives 100% debt-free
The story of this frugal family recently went viral after the Washington Post learned how they’ve managed to live debt-free on just one income. Now, is getting an exclusive look inside the family’s kitchen.
Here’s the pantry where Sam stores budget-friendly staples like pasta, rice, beans and so much more.
Mother of 13 reveals the secrets to making $1 meals
Sam says Rob, who works in the computer software field, used to do most of the shopping and cooking, but she does now. The busy mother says she spends about an hour preparing meals every day.
Here you can see the two refrigerators and two ovens, but not Sam’s favorite appliances — the dishwashers!
Mother of 13 reveals the secrets to making $1 meals
Married for 27 years, several of the couple’s 13 children are grown up. But there’s still quite a crowd at dinner time. Sam says about nine people sit around this table every night.
Mom will make a plate for the younger children, but it’s serve yourself for everyone else!
Mother of 13 reveals the secrets to making $1 meals



Meals for less than $1 a serving

When Sam told us that she feeds her family for $1 per serving, we wanted to know exactly how she saves money on groceries. Here are Sam’s top four tips to eat well on a budget:

Know where to shop

Sam says she spends about $300 a week on groceries, but it used to be even more before Aldi came to town a few years ago. She does 90% of her shopping at Aldi and 10% at Giant, a regional grocery store.
After asking the butcher when he marks down meat, Sam knows exactly what time to shop to stock up on inexpensive cuts of meat for 33% off.
As for club stores? The Fatzingers canceled their membership to avoid buying unnecessary items. They prefer Aldi.
Read more: Buying these 9 foods in bulk will save you big bucks

Stockpile strategically

Sam plans her weekly menu based on three things: what’s in the freezer, what’s in the pantry and what’s on sale at the two grocery stores she goes to.
“The better the sale, the more we get,” Sam told
And if there’s a “limit one” on some food items, that’s no problem for this family. She just brings along some of her kids to buy more!

Always be prepared

Can you imagine going to a drive-thru with so many children? That’s not this family’s style.
Sam says she makes sure to pack snacks and water bottles in the car to be prepared for those times when fast food may seem like a tempting option.
And with a pantry like hers, there’s never a shortage of food!

Keep it simple

Sam says her children, who are homeschooled, fix their own breakfast and lunch, and their menu choices are posted on the side of the refrigerator.
Her secret to getting it all done? Keep it easy, easy, easy!
  1. Cereal
  2. Yogurt
  3. Toast
  4. Oatmeal
  5. Fruit
  1. Leftovers
  2. Nachos
  3. Sandwiches
  4. Fruit and vegetables
Mother of 13 reveals the secrets to making $1 meals
As for dinner, Sam loves her slow cooker! She whips up a lot of simple meals like tacos, spaghetti, chili and “many, many chicken dishes.” Rice, potatoes or noodles are served nightly.
Sam has posted some of her favorite recipes on her blog, including these:
While they typically eat at home, the family goes out to a restaurant about four times a year.
Meanwhile, Rob and Sam sneak out for a date night about once a month, using restaurant gift cards that they receive as birthday and holiday presents.
Click here to read more about the Fatzingers, including how they paid off their mortgage early!

+JMJ+ Thy Will Be Done!!!

Monday, March 13, 2017


It has been a busy couple of weeks around here as I try to fulfill my state in life as a wife, mom. and homeschooler and still try to evangelize and bring others closer to CHRIST.

After the Washington Post article came out,  I did some small interviews with friends and others but lately I have tried to balance my state in life with sharing our story and not needing to leave our home.

This was super fun !

So now I just need to figure out what else God has in store for my family and how to keep us on the track to HEAVEN!

Thy Will Be Done! +JMJ+ THY WILL BE DONE!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Danielle Bean Podcast Girlfriends

Thanks to Danielle Bean for letting me share about one of my favorite things...Being FRUGAL! 

Listen HERE and support Danielle in her Podcast!


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Tomato Soup:

                                    Creamy Tomato Basil Soup


                                        1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
                                        1 28 oz can diced tomatoes--I use rotel and blend
                                        1 tbsp crushed garlic
                                        1 14 oz can chicken broth {or 2 cups}
                                        2 Tbsp sugar
                                        1/3 cup butter
                                        1 cup heavy cream
                                        1Tablespoons Basil


                                        Combine the tomatoes, broth, and garlic bring to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes.
                                        Reduce the heat to low and stir in the sugar and butter and mix until they are dissolved, melted and well combined.
                                        Very slowly pour in the heavy cream while simultaneously stirring until all the cream is combined and the soup is creamy.
                                        Stir in the basil.

***can add a dollop of pesto and Parmesan cheese


Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Bedtime Rules:

Lent is a good time to get back in the habit of getting the little guys back in a routine. So I re-post this every once in awhile to remind myself! I just stuck this on the walls of my four youngest children. (11, 9, 7, and 5) This way we all remember the importance of routine. 

+JMJ+ Thy Will Be Done!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

White Chicken Chili

White chicken chili
(thanks Cheryl and Kathy)
Simmer the following in a big pot: 
1medium onion
1medium chopped green pepper
1tablespoon margarine

Once they have softened add 1-2 cups chopped precooked chicken to the onions/pepper

When these items are good and hot,
ADD 3 cans cannellini beans (white beans, can be hard to find at some stores), add the juice from the beans too!
Add 1-2 packages of chili seasoning mix…depending on how flavorful you like your chili

Mix these with the beans, chicken, veggies.
Now Add 
1 Large can or crushed tomatoes (28oz can)
2 15oz cans of whole or (petite diced tomatoes)
1 can of corn (drain water before adding to mix)

Stir all these ingredients together and let it get hot.  

Taste the chili to see if you think needs more flavor.  Then add the last ingredient
1/3 cup of sugar (really helps to bring out the flavor of the tomatoes)

Thy Will Be Done!!! +JMJ+Whit

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Adult kids living at home...

Over 18 living at home contract:
Two kids married and four over 18 living at we try to make it work...

We love you all and enjoy having you (and your stuff) in our home. We are so proud of you for all your hard work and paying for your own school and expenses. Our goal for you when you are 18 and over is to help you obtain the Will of God and remain pure and free from mortal sins. This being said, we thought of some easy but helpful things we would like you to do as a “rent” to live here.
1. Clean up after yourself (bathroom, kitchen, laundry)
2. Be kind and helpful to your siblings
3. Protect the innocence of your younger siblings by what you watch, listen, or do…please don’t let them use your phones or other devices without permission from us.
4. Keep your room tidy
5. Please attend one extra mass a week and try to get to monthly confession.  We know how hard this time in life is with many important decisions and temptations, having some extra graces, wisdom, and quiet time always helps.
6.Help with house work (special cleaning projects) and school with the younger kids. Especially the kitchen, bathrooms, and extra tutoring with the little kids. 

We know you are all busy with work and school but we also feel like you find time to watch your laptop or spend time on the phone but you don’t seem to find the time and energy to help around the house, so you choose what you would like to do to contribute to our home. 
Choice A: follow the above 6 suggestions
Choice B: Pay Rent $25 a month to help hire a cleaning lady and pay for tutoring.

+JMJ+ Love, Dad and Mom