Friday, December 12, 2014

new phases of life phases of life.

What is it about the age of 17 that makes you realize you have pretty much a full-grown adult on your hands.

16 was fun and we knew that she was growing up...but 17 is a whole new ballgame.


Not that we are trying to get rid of her anytime soon...she can live with us for another 10 years and that would be fine with us.

Until next time...


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pampered Chef

I am having an online Pampered Chef party.   (My house is too small for a regular one). 

Anyone who has owned their products knows how great they are.  Here is your chance to get some more! :)

And if you haven't tried them - here is your chance to do so!! 

See?  Win-win!

This is also a great opportunity to get some Christmas gifts!  They have a few bundles that can save you some money and make someone in your life happy.

Please order by Saturday the 15th so I can get a stoneware baker. :)

Here is the link to my online party:

Happy shopping!!

Until next time...



 Remember my post on getting back into karate?

Well yeah...I'm still doing it. :)

I started at the beginning (white belt), and next Tuesday I will be testing for the next belt up (orange).

Interestingly enough 3 of my kiddos will be advancing before me.  I'm actually proud of them.  They work hard and deserve to get the next level.

I don't have any pics of me in my gi this time around.  But here's a pic for y'all to enjoy from 20 years ago.  My girlfriends and I with our trophies at the Big D tournament in Dallas, TX.  (I was a white belt then too).  Then later posing around in our gis (I'm the one on the right in the bottom pic).

Until next time...


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

that mountain we call laundry

So, I've seen a lot of questions lately on some Facebook large family groups that I belong to about how to handle the laundry.  Yes, when you have a larger family, you have a larger mountain of laundry.  I've not had much trouble with it I guess.  We try to organize it and keep it going several times a day; at least 4 to 5 loads.  And sometimes 6 or more if bedding is involved.  With it being such a huge chore, one person is assigned that chore and that is it for them.  (Except for personal things of course).  And with mom helping out when it is needed.

We have two bathrooms with a large laundry basket in each one.  When it gets full, it gets sorted in the laundry room.

In our laundry room we have some shelves that my handy husband made. :)  On the top shelf from left to right are whites, reds and oranges, then pinks and yellows.  The color of basket indicates which color or similar color goes in each one. (With the exception of towels).  The second row is blacks, denim jeans and skirts, then towels.  The bottom row is two baskets for blues, greens, browns, purples, tans, grays, teal, etc.  

When one of these baskets are full it's time for a wash cycle.  (These are rarely empty lol).  The table is for folding and stacking the boys clothes...hence the basket of clean laundry on the table.  The girls clothes, mine, hubby's, and the baby's go on the washer and dryer in the front-bottom of the picture (also see the next picture for a better view).  We put them away as soon as possible to keep the surfaces clutter free.  Not that it is always done, but that's our goal. :)

To keep this mound of laundry under control we have one washer and two dryers.  Long ago (when I only had 4 or 5 children and my mountain started growing) I would have to wait for a dryer load to finish before I could put another load in to dry.  It was frustrating when I needed to get several loads done in one day.  So I started looking for a second dryer.  A few years ago I was finally blessed to get one and we kept two ever since.  It is a life saver.  The cycle of a washer is shorter than a dryer and we can get two loads done in the time it took to do one before.

You may have noticed a rod across the way in front of the shelves.  That is to hang up the hanging clothes so they can be taken directly into the rooms.  I also keep some of the boys church clothes in here permanently so they will not get tossed to the bedroom floor and messed up before Sundays.  It also keeps the empty hangers ready.

The white basket on the floor under the bottom shelf is for older ragged towels we use for spills and cleaning.  The other white basket partially under the table is for swimwear.  In the second picture you can see part of a brown wicker basket; that is for stray socks.  And it seems full most of the time, lol.

The empty space on the top shelf to the right of the pink basket is for clean towels to be folded and ready for use.  As you can see at the time I took this picture it was empty.  I'm guessing they were either hanging up in the bathrooms or in the dryers.  They get a lot of use. :)

And that's our mountain climbing aka laundry. :)

P.S.  That is our second refrigerator on the left in that last picture.  We have two full size, one in our camper, and a small chest freezer.  They all get plenty of use.

Until next time...


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

and so it begins

20 years ago I started taking karate at my local community college.  I was signing up for my first semester in college and I need a PE credit.  Karate was the only one that interested me.  I really enjoyed it and even advanced to a green belt.

Fast forward 20 years, 12 children, a mostly sedentary lifestyle, and some plus pounds later to last week.

I started karate again.  Yay me.

I was so seriously sore the next day and twice that the second day.

Last night was my second class.

Oh.  My.  There are no words to describe the feelings in my legs when I go up or down steps.  I am so thankful I don't live in a two story house. lol

I dread tomorrow.  The second day is the worst.


Until next time...


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

we have to eat what?!

 How to get your kids to eat their veggies?

Serve this with it.

Whole tilapia.  Yum.  I think I'm the only one who ate a significant amount of it. lol

Even my 3 year old said it was "disgusting".  Actually, it was pretty good.  Just drizzled some olive oil in the pan, threw the fish in it, and baked for a while.  Served with rice and stir-fry veggies.

Until next time...


Monday, July 7, 2014

giveaway winner!!

I loved reading about your 4th of July memories.  

 Photo: Happy Independence Day!


My favorite 4th of July was probably one I remember as a teen.  Growing up the big thing to do on the 4th was attending the 4th of July Rodeo in Wright City, OK (a town close to my grandparents).  This particular one my younger aunt and I were allowed to walk around the carnival by ourselves.  We had so much fun.  After riding the rides we wanted, we went to watch the rodeo.  We made sure to get to the rodeo in time for the bull-riding (our favorite part).  The big finale at the end of the rodeo was the fireworks with the last one being an American flag lit up in the arena.  It was a great night. :)

And now announcing the winner....drum roll please...




and the winner is.................Kathleen W. !!!!  Congratulations!

If you still are partial to the lavender I will send you that one.  If not, let me know the scent you want.

Thank you all for entering.  Keep checking back, I may just have another giveaway up my sleeve soon. :)

Until next time... JenT

Sunday, July 6, 2014

birthday (again)

Well, it's about that time around our house...yep another birthday. :)

This one is for one of our little princesses...she turned 7 on July 3rd.  (yes, I'm late in posting)

 (She was happier than she looked, we just didn't get a good picture of her with the balloons).

She likes princesses and playing with her sisters and brothers.

She picked a pink and purple birthday cake and her oldest sister obliged.

She likes Frozen and I know a lady that crochets loveys, soooo....

 (Anna and Elsa loveys)

 All of our little kids love the loveys we have (we also have Merida and Rapunzel from the same lady).  If you are looking for a lovey for your little one visit her etsy shop Lucy's Loops05.  She does some amazing work.

And that's all. :)

Until next time...


Sunday, June 29, 2014

giveaway: homemade soap!

I am having a giveaway!!

 cold processed scented homemade soap vanilla lavender rose sea mist ocean breeze

I can't remember the last time I had a giveaway of my very own on here.  The last few times I've talked about giveaways, they've been from another blog.

But this time it's my very own giveaway...of my very own soap...that I made on my very own.


You pick the scent you want and I'll send you a bar of homemade soap.  It is made of natural oils, water, sodium hydroxide (lye), scents, and colors.

Here are the scents I have available:

Saddle Up (a leather-like scent)
Lavender Touch
Sugar Cookie (vanilla)
Very Berry (strawberry)
Rose Petals
Sea Mist (ocean scent)
Date Night (chanel)
Tropical Paradise (coconut)

To enter this giveaway, you only have to comment below and tell me your favorite Independence Day memory. 

That's it!

Yes, I know - so simple.  No rafflecopter...just me, a bowl, names, and someone picking a winner. (So be sure and leave your name and a way to contact you such as an email address).

This giveaway will last all week long.  I will pick a winner next Sunday, July 6th and announce it Monday the 7th.

So - comment away!!

Also - I have these soaps available on my etsy shop for purchase.  So you don't have to wait and take a chance on winning.  You can have some now!  Just go here and choose what you want.

Until next time...


Thursday, June 26, 2014


Today is the first day of the Applachian Home Educators Conference right here in my town of Pigeon Forge, TN.

I am so looking forward to this.  I'm volunteering tonight at the registration table, so if you come by be sure and find me and say hi.

I've been looking over the schedule of speaker and found a couple of ladies I am so eager to listen to.  I hope I get the chance.

If you are close to east TN (Pigeon Forge), I hope you take the time to come out to the conference.  If you are already registered to attend and are already here - you made a good choice. :)

Appalachian Home Educators Conference

Until next time...


Saturday, June 21, 2014

teachable moments

I wonder how many teachable moments I've missed in my children's lifetime?  Too many to want to recall right now I suppose.  But starting from now, I want to look for those moments.  It's not Sunday School/church once or twice a week that they'll remember, but those spur of the moment lessons that happen in daily life.

For example I remember the promise from God through the rainbow from my Mama telling me about it one day after it rained and we saw a rainbow in the sky.  I don't remember learning about it from Sunday School first (although I did hear the story many times after that).  But I remember Mama telling me about it first.  I was able to share that with two of my daughters one day when they went with my husband and I on some errands.  We, too, saw a rainbow and I asked them if they knew the significance and the story behind it.  They did. :)

I had another teachable moment today.  My 5 year old son was told to help his older sister clean off the table.  He was given the specific job of bringing the condiments back to the kitchen.  He turned and looked at his sister and asked what she was going to do.  I immediately thought of that passage in John where Peter asked Jesus what John was going to do, after Jesus commanded Peter to feed His sheep.  I explained to him that we don't need to be looking at what others are supposed to do; but we are to focus on our job.  We should do what we are supposed to do without worrying about others and their work.  I told him the story too, in a short basic way that hopefully his 5 year old mind comprehended.  He didn't need a sermon with verse references and an alliterated outline; he just needed a simple story and a way to connect it with what he had done.  Here's hoping it will stick. :)

Until next time...


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

giveaway over at the Duggars' blog


The is giving away Scripture Talk Bible memory dvds.

If you want to be entered into the giveaway, go there now!

Good luck!

Until next time...


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

looking ahead...homeschool conference

Appalachian Home Educators Conference

It's that time of year's out!!  (Actually for us it's not - we go year around).

But most people are out for the summer.  Now I realize that some homeschool moms are glad to see the last of books until fall.  But some of you I know are crazy about anything school.  I've got the solution...the Appalachian Home Educators Conference! 

If  you look to your right you'll find a link to take you to the website.  I encourage you to check it out.  Not only is it taking place in my town (yay!!!), it just happens to be Pigeon Forge (can you say vacation?!) with tons of fun things to do (plus discounts if you are attending the conference!), and they have something that sounds like fun right at the conference - an outdoor adventure tent (find it under the activities tab)!  I know my kids will be going. 

So how about it?  Start your summer off by vacationing in one of the funnest places in the eastern U.S - PLUS - get your curriculum for next year and you don't have to even think about it all summer long.

Until next time...


Friday, May 30, 2014

book number 3

 My girls are at it again! 

They have published their 3rd book on amazon Kindle.  Check it out here:

 If the link doesn't work, let me know.

Until next time...


Thursday, May 8, 2014

breaking news

Finally a big sister.

May 3rd saw the entrance of our 12th baby into this world.  He is the 7th son in our family.  I never thought I would have 12 children and that 7 of them would be boys.  I love all my children and feel very blessed to have them.

 "my new baby brother"

He is a good baby and took to nursing like a champ; despite the fact that he spent the first day of his life in the NICU.

My blood pressure had been high for the last couple of weeks and when I went in for my appt with my midwife on Thursday the 1st of May, she sent me straight to the doctor.  Let me just insert here that our midwife is not one to send you to the doctor/hospital on a whim.  She knew that something was going on, and wanted to find out what.  In the end, we all knew that the Lord knew what He was doing when He gave her that nudge.

Thursday the doctor did lab work at the hospital and said that everything looked fine.  He sent me home with orders to stay in bed and to call if things changed according to a list of instructions he gave me.  He knew that I wanted to have a homebirth and was willing to work with us in order to make that happen.  A very rare find indeed - a doctor that doesn't criticize homebirths and/or midwives. 

Friday I woke up (actually I woke up all during the night) feeling worse and with my blood pressure not going down.  It still hovered in the high range that neither midwife nor doctor particularly liked.  I headed back to the doctor.

Back at the hospital they did more labs, which still looked normal.  However, since I was 38+ weeks he decided to admit me and induce labor.  They started really slow since I did have a previous c-section.  That night the contractions were not regular in any shape or form. 

When the doctor checked me again not much progress had been made PLUS my little rascal had his arm up over his head.  NOT the way to have a baby. lol  For the first time I chose to have an epidural...the doctor was going to attempt to push the baby's arm past his head in order for the head to come down and have a normal delivery.

Sounds good in theory, right?  Well, as soon as the arm was pushed back, the cord came down.  Even worse.  The doctor played "push the cord back - get the head to stay down" a couple of times, then it was past play time.  Into surgery for a c-section.  Luckily I had already had the epidural, so it was nothing to put more in there.  I'm so glad I was able to be awake. 

Our doctor got to ride down the hall on the end of my bed.  Once there everyone functioned like a well-oiled machine.  The whole procedure took minutes and soon enough our baby was on the outside.  The scary thing was that he wasn't crying.  Waiting for that first cry was hard enough, then to see and hear the hand pump going over his head was worse.  They worked on him for a little while and when he was ready they took him to the NICU.  The let me see him for a few minutes before wheeling him away.  He actually was moving and his color was excellent, they just wanted to monitor his breathing and oxygen levels.  His apgar score when up from a 2 to a 9 in 10 minutes.

 changing the baby

Visits to the NICU went well.  He then got to go to my room Sunday evening.  He took to nursing like he had been doing it for ages.  We did have to supplement those first few hours because for some reason I wasn't getting any colostrum let alone milk.  But by Monday evening he was exclusively nursing and has been ever since. 

Tuesday we were discharged and came home to lots of brothers and sisters ready and waiting to welcome their new baby brother.  They have been keeping us in the bedroom, waiting on my hand and foot, and generally "fighting" to be the next to hold him. :)

Several people have asked what I needed.  I have a baby registry on Amazon if you feel inclined to send me something.  I know that some people think that after several babies you just automatically have what  you need.  Not true.  Things wear out, get lost, and babies always need new things.  So while I did have a few things such as sleepers and t-shirts, I would welcome new stuff (or even used) for the baby.

And that's how my week has gone. :)

Until next time... JenT

Sunday, April 27, 2014


I am so ready to have this baby.  And I remember that every time I get this way, it seems to last for longer than I want it to.  Bummer.  So I have misery to look forward to for the next unforseeable future.

It's the last weeks that seem to drag...and drag...and drag.

What's more disappointing is that I really want an April baby.  I know, I know it really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things when the baby is born.  It's just that we already have a May birthday and crazily enough, this baby is due the day before said birthday.  Of course if it follows in the footsteps of it's older brothers and sisters the actual "birth" day will be later...much later.  Bummer again.

Oh well.  Soon enough I'll be rid of the waddle, the swollen feet, the general overall feeling of yucky and will be holding a cute little baby.  :)

And that makes it all worth while.

Until next time... JenT

Friday, March 28, 2014

beliefs on children

Sometimes when people find out how many children we have, and that we are having another one, they ask the inevitable question: Are you going to have more?

I generally say yes, or we don't know, because depending on what point we are at (pregnant or not), we don't really know if we will have more.  We leave that in the hands of the Lord.

A good friend of mine explains it sooooo much better than I do.  If you want to read a longer explanation of what we believe about having children, go read her blog post over here.

Until next time... JenT

Friday, March 14, 2014

I Lost My Mind at the Smithsonian

My two oldest are at it a good way. :)

They have put their second book on Kindle.  You can find it here to purchase for only .99.  There will also be a few days you can get it for free.  I haven't set those up yet, but will post an update for when that happens.  If you haven't read their first one, find it here


They are working on the third one in the series and already have ideas for a fourth and fifth.  Be on the lookout for those coming later this year.  


Until next time...


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

spring cleaning 50% off sale!!!

 I am doing some spring cleaning on my etsy shop.

PLEASE, PLEASE stop by and find something to purchase.

Everything over $5 is 50% off!!!!  Use coupon code: SPRING14 in the checkout.

That's basically buy one get one free!

Some great skirts for spring and summer.  Don't miss out!! 

This sale will continue through March 25th (my birthday).

Until next time...


Sunday, March 9, 2014

then I said...

 My comment to what is going on with some of the Christian leaders and accusations being thrown their way.

"This is sad and pathetic.  I don't even pretend to know what really went on with those two men.  I'm just wondering when in the world Christians are going to stop attacking other Christians and make a stand against the world?  Christianity is growing weaker by the day because we're too busy fighting amongst ourselves.  Christianity is the only religion in the world with soooooo many factions!  It's unbelievable!  Why aren't we putting forth as much effort and condemnation against the evil of this world?  Why aren't we taking our fight to the streets to turn this world to righteousness and away from sin?  When are we going to stand together and fight for the cause of Christ?  Instead we spend our time throwing stones at the leaders because someone decided to make allegations of things that happened 20 plus years ago.  Instead we decide to persecute the leaders that go forth to make a difference in other people's lives.  We stand back and hide behind our own self-righteousness and pretend that our sin is whiter than theirs.  We condemn, ridicule, and judge when we have no leg to stand on.  We demand things we have no right demanding.  We blog and write and gossip, but do we lift them up in prayer?  Do we stop to think that maybe, just maybe they are not guilty of the crimes they are being accused of?  No, instead like the Pharisees of Jesus' day, we cry out "Crucify him, crucify him".  We take the word of someone we know nothing about.  Someone who would have gone unheard of in this lifetime except they accused a well-known leader of a heinous crime.  A well-known Christian leader.  Why are not the Muslim leaders accused of this?  Why not a Hindu priest?  Why not an atheist?  Because it is Christian persecution and we are too blind to see it for what it really is.  Until we can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that what is being said is truth, I think we need to keep our mouths shut and pray."

I don't even know if she will allow this comment to be posted on her blog since it wasn't very supportive of what she said, and her comments are moderated.  Here is the blog post

However, I'm just sick and tired of all the attacks and allegations that go on against Christians in leadership.  Sure they're not perfect, but neither are the ones throwing things out at them.

Until next time...


Thursday, March 6, 2014

local homeschool conference and chess

I love the fact that we are having a homeschool conference in my town.  I've lamented not being able to attend one in all the years I've been homeschooling.  There was always too much expense involved for the whole family to attend, or it was not a good time for me to be away from home.

So when I found out Appalachian Home Educators was holding a conference I got very excited.  I volunteered right away, then volunteered my two oldest girls. :)

Now more excitement for more than just me.  They are going to hold a chess tournament!!

 (When pieces go missing, improvise with Lego people).

My kids have been playing chess for several years now.  They started at a much younger age than I did.  When I was a teenager, a cousin of mine and I came across an old chess set at our great-grandmother's old house.  We asked if we could have it and that summer we taught ourselves how to play.  It's fun and educational!  lol  Of course I would have to say that.

Anyway, if you are planning on attending the conference, don't forget to sign up for the chess tournament.  I have 2 or 3 that plan to sign up.  There are two age categories; primary (5-9) and youth (10-18).  The only thing they need to know is how to play chess.  And if they don't know and are wanting to learn, now is a good time!  You have until June 24th to register.  Of course the earlier, the better price you pay.

The Appalachian Home Educators Conference is June 26th-28th, 2014.  Don't miss it!!!

Until next time...


Monday, March 3, 2014

and yet another birthday!

The most and closest birthdays occur between 19 Feb and 1 March (19 Feb, 22 Feb, 1 Mar).

The last one was for our princess. :)  Well, all the girls are princesses, but she was the first one to really act like one. (The two oldest were more tomboyish than girly).

For her birthday, an Alpaca show just happened to be in town.  Since it was something we don't normally go to, we decided to check it out.

 I think these things are pretty neat.

 The stuff they make with their wool is pretty cool too.  We were able to touch the dyed wool and it was so soft you could hardly feel it!

 Love this sweater and another teal one in the middle of the rack.  Unfortunately, everything was really expensive.

Back to the birthday girl.

Yes, sometimes they like to help decorate their own birthday cake.

She is now 9.

*sigh*  My little babies are growing up!

Until next time...