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Somedays are REAL tough….

I know we all imagine This perfect "fairytale" life and having children is just the cherry on the top. Don’t get me wrong we have been truly blessed with all our children but let’s be real, some days are real tough, not just a little but ALOT!
Getting up in the morning has always been a crazy time for us over here with our tribe. We always have at least one early riser so that means if I want any "alone" time, then I need to get up when it’s still dark out! Which I love love snuggles on the couch if we have early risers but sometimes that can become a problem because I still need to get up and start our busy day. When you homeschool, you just need to be ready and prepared for your day. So… then when is there time to get in the shower, get ready for the day and have time with God before all the littles are at my feet telling me how starving they are, as if they haven’t eaten for days. Seriously, my kids LOVE to eat constantly. As a matter of fact our biggest bill!!!
Don’t you just love the days that everything runs so smooth that you can’t believe the day has already come to and end? The kids have just played so nicely and you got lots accomplished. As a matter of fact today was one of those days. Kids sharing the iPad, some kids playing legos and making amazing creations, some playing with a fall sensory bin, and the older ones doing their schoolwork without me prompting them.
I may have not showered but I did manage to get dressed and my heart is so full when I have cooperation and less disagreements.
But we all know this doesn’t happen all the time.
Let’s go back about a month ago when my 6 year old decided to cut open a humungous stuffed animal "to see what was inside". Talk about a massive mess to clean!! I feel like we had little tiny styrofoam balls sticking to the ceiling, walls, and to the floors (which I went through 3 vacuum bags) for weeks!!

Oh and the time my 3 year old just a few weeks ago decided to pee all over the bathroom floor because he couldn’t get to the bathroom quick enough and in the same day hid in the pantry and poked his finger in about 12 coffee cups and poured the grinds all over the floor while getting into peanut butter! Listen…stories of my 3 year old and all my kids at 3 years old for that matter, could go on and on. Why are kids so mischievous? This is just a small tip off the iceberg what really goes on over here on a daily basis, but I just wanted to let you all know that being imperfect is OK.
Sometimes we just need to laugh things off. They are learning just like we are each and everyday.
Lots of people think just because we are a large family, I have all the answers. The truth is… I don’t. Surprising huh?
Somedays are so tough that I just would love to get a break. Somedays are so tough that I didn’t think I did enough. Somedays are so tough that I questioned myself about keeping it calm. Somedays are so tough that I questioned my strength. But at the end of the day I know that tomorrow is a new day and I get to start all over again. Just hope and pray that my son looks at me and says "Mommy, pinky promise". As he does that and looks at me with those big brown eyes of his, I know that God has given me a big job indeed, but it’s so stinking rewarding all at the same time. I get to be their Mom which is the BEST job in the whole world. So yes, I have more crazy days then not and I get mad at stupid things sometimes, but I am still in a learning phase of just laughing some things off. To a degree of course.
Listen… when you’re having a crazy chaotic day, lighten up. Sometimes we need "mommy time-outs", a brisk walk, or just go to a room where you can reevaluate yourself and why you are getting all upset at little things mostly. Kids will always be kids and they need to learn too. They explore and get into things that they shouldn’t, they argue with siblings, throw things sometimes, stomp their feet, yell, cry, want attention (sometimes positive and sometimes negative), and can also be demanding at times.
But I reassure you.. give them some growth space to talk things through with them. We can’t always have our way either. Things will NOT ever be perfect and that’s ok. Sometimes go to their level. My kids love when we put on some music and just dance. To all you homeschool Mom’s out there give yourself some credit and stop being so rigid. Kids will learn each and everyday. I know for me if my children learn respect and how to become a mature hardworking teen/adult then I have done my job. We need to prepare them for the future. I tell my kids all the time, "I don’t tell you to do something because I am being mean, but rather because I love you and I am teaching you to be responsible".
You will eventually get that meal in or that shower that you have waited all day for. But in reality they need you. Kids don’t care if you showered or are in your best outfit for the day. All they care about is spending time with you and being happy.
So when you are having a bad day and the kids are all crazy, get into your "kid" mode and come down to their level. I guarantee you…. they will love it!
Matthew 18:3
And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

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We Are What We Eat!

Just thinking of all the questions that people love to ask on an everyday basis….. A few that always stick out to me is "how do you make dinner" or "how do you cook for that many people" or "what do you make"? The answer is pretty simple actually. I usually find a recipe or something that is just a regular recipe that I make and just get the ingredients and spend some time in the kitchen preparing and cooking and then serve my family! No..all kidding aside. But, the answer is simple enough. We make dinner just like anyone else just with a lot more of the ingredients.
We NEVER just make a single meal without doubling or tripling the recipe on something. We usually have at least a couple of the kids in the kitchen that love to help make the meals. This is one reason we choose to eat what we do so that hopefully our children will learn that good foods that are good for you are fun to work with and we can be creative. And YES, we do pasta just lots of it!
We have chosen to live more of lifestyle that has lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with other good things. 🙂 Although the kids do eat eggs and some dairy.
Because of our youngest son, he has lots of severe food allergies, it is our job to make sure that he and all our children eat a lot of good healthy foods because that’s what our bodies crave. Our bodies don’t want all the junk and processed foods.
My husband and I have done some research on "healthy living" and we have decided that an organic and plant based way of eating is best for our family.
Which "healthy" can mean a variety of different things or ways for a lot of us. I am just sharing what we have decided is best for us.
Lots of people will say "Eating healthy is too expensive". Well, I get it. Although think of it like this…. If you go to the market and buy Oreo’s for 2 for $5, why can’t you go to the market and buy 2 packages of blueberries or strawberries or even a bag of apples for $5? The thing is, you need to eliminate all the "bad" stuff and replace it with "good" stuff. So when people say they can’t afford it, it really comes down to NOT buying any junk at all and not buying the good and the bad stuff but rather just the good stuff. Does that make sense? Anyway, we try to teach the kids that healthy eating can be fun and doesn’t have to seem daunting. Don’t get me wrong Oreo’s are yummy but without any nutritional value at all. So if we get a sweet tooth we will make things homemade and have some fun in the kitchen!
We don’t eat out very much except for the occasional pizza which we will regret later with our stomachs. 🙁
God has given us everything that we need in this so called world. So why do we need processed foods? We don’t! It will just come back to get us eventually. So I am not telling you how to eat but rather just giving advice of what I know.
Think of it like this… Our bodies are a vessel and we need to take care of them right? Well would you put regular gas into a diesel vehicle? No you wouldn’t so why would you put some synthetic food into your body? It is NOT going to be running properly and you will begin to wonder why you feel the way you do. Believe me, I get lots of people asking why they feel the way they do and the first question is always how and what they are eating.
I am no expert or nutritionist but I do care about nutrition for sure. And after finding out about my son’s allergies it has been amazing to me how my eyes have opened to finding out more about our foods and supplements that we consume daily.
I could continue to go on and on about this and other health related issues but you know where to reach me if you have questions. 🙂
A few of our favorites!:
Bean Tacos
(recipe for the large family of course)
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
2 cans kidney beans
(or whatever beans you like)
(mash these up in a pot on the stove)
chili powder
(mixed these all in with the beans and heat)
chop up all your fixings
lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, black olives
(the kids will sometimes use sour cream and cheese)
heat up shells in oven and enjoy!
Garlic White Wine Pasta

boil 2lbs pasta (we use brown rice pasta from Trader Joe’s)
saute brocoli, peas, red pepper (or any other veggies) in olive oil or avocado oil
add about 1/2 cup white wine, minced garlic, salt and pepper
toss and your done!
super yummy!!!
Garlic Green Beans

3lbs of green beans
minced garlic
red onion
avocado or olive oil
saute altogether until beans are soft and that’s it!
Little Man eating some breakfast!
Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

2 cups brown rice flour (we use this due to allergies)
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce ( we also use apple cinnamon butter from Trader Joe’s)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
stir altogether and cook on oiled skillet and enjoy! I know this little guy did 🙂
drizzle with real maple syrup or agave
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The Everyday Hustle

Your husband walks through the door, you want to just feel some relief. You want to tell him so much about your crazy day. You want to let him know about everything that possibly could have gone wrong or just didn’t happen right. You want to ask him a million and one questions before he even has a chance to put his two tired feet into the doorway. Your kids are running around and acting as if all you did was give them candy all day long. They are so eager to get your husbands attention but all he want to do is just walk in, take a deep breath and relax from his day. Does that sound familiar?
Now if you’re anything like me… which I am not comparing how many children I have then you. But man, sometimes the days are so crazy and so long that I can’t wait for my husband to walk through that door and greet me with a kiss and start my novel of the day, because I always have a list of things to say. I know how much he loves that I could go on and on for hours. Ya right!
For all you homeschooling Mama’s out there and even if you are a stay at home Mama, you know what I am talking about right? You have a long day and you barely even know what you are making for dinner and there’s a pile of laundry just waiting to be folded that you will eventually get to.
It’s almost like your husband goes off to work for the day and then comes home and they are done. Well….not happening for us Mama’s that are exhausted and ready to just put our feet up and call it a day.
This is something so crazy to say but sometimes even though we have the most hardest, stressful and most rewarding job there is out there, we still consider ourselves quite lonely at times. Don’t you agree? We need that adult conversation and that’s one of the reasons I can’t wait for my husband to just get home everyday.
It’s kind of crazy that our husbands don’t want to hear about the million spills that we cleaned up that day, or how someone didn’t want to listen with their "listening ears"or how about how many times you had to tell your child that we just don’t do something or hurt somebody, or throw things in the house. Not only are we Mom’s but we are also referees, maids, teachers and so much more. My list could go on forever about the things that go on in our house on a daily basis, but I will spare you the truth.
Our husbands want to hear about how their children were awesome today, or someone learned to read or the baby is starting to walk and all the "fun" things that us parents get to experience.
Sometimes I really would love to erase all the negative things that we have to go through, but then again I don’t think we would be as good of parents if we didn’t suffer and deal with somethings. We need to learn and going through things is the only way to learn sometimes.
Sometimes we need "adult" talk to just feel like we are some sort of importance.
I have learned that being a Mom of a large family in these days has a lot of benefits actually. I get to watch each one of my children grow into these adults and hope and pray that they continue to follow God.
Don’t you just wish that when your child was born God sent a manual along with them? That would be amazing!
I think lots of you probably think that just because I have a large family that I have all the answers. I know this is going to shock you, but I DON’T! I am still an apprentice parent just like most of you. I learn each and everyday with my children and as a matter of fact, just when I think I know it all…here comes another child with another issue or something different that I thought I had already conquered! Man this parenting thing can be soooo hard. But at the end of the day I look at them and realize what an incredible blessing that I have right before me. It’s ok not to be a "perfect" parent and it’s ok to get frustrated sometimes at the whole learning process of everything…. as I just stopped because my 3 year old always has something to tell me or he’s getting into something!
So you need to know…. Don’t do this parenting thing alone. Reach out and ask for help. Don’t be ashamed that you need help because we ALL do! Make sure not to try to be that poster parent and think that you need to match up to what everyone else is doing because that’s NOT what your kids need. They require a few things Love, Attention, Guidance, Trust, and parents who set a good example!!
So don’t beat yourself up over how your day didn’t go according to your plan. Don’t stress that you didn’t get all the housework or schoolwork done. We need to support one another and be there if we need a hand. We are never too busy for another Mama!
Tomorrow is a new day Mama’s! So hug them tight and kiss them goodnight and then go talk your husband’s ear off and then give him a kiss goodnight! 🙂
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Techno – Logical World

We have the access right in the palm of our hands. Thinking back to the first time becoming a Mom almost 24 years ago to now the way that technology has evolved is crazy to say the least. So if you are in your 30’s, 40’s, or older you know exactly what I am talking about! The 20 year olds well….they remember having dial-up for internet when they were little and being kicked off of the computer just incase someone was to call. But for us that are older we actually had to use a "house phone" to call and make plans or just to talk to someone. Now….we know every thing and almost too much of what others are doing. We have access with us 24/7.
Somedays I think about how life was so much more simple. We would sit there with our children and play "toys" and read books for hours and hours. Life was just so much more laid back wouldn’t you agree? Now that we has so much technology with our phones we find that even young kids have the advantage of having a phone even at such young ages. Not here though. We make a rule that the kids are not allowed a phone unless they can pay their part of the bill. We homeschool so things are a little different. But just thinking of the avenues that can open up with all the social media sites is rather scary. Kids thinking that their "friends" are people that they don’t even know or maybe people that claim to be someone or something they are not!
We need to stay on top of our children and ask them continuously what they are doing and who they are talking to. I never imagined the crazy world of being having to talk to cyber friends! I remember just taking with someone face to face and getting to know someone in "real" life to become your friend.
Some of the new apps that are out there it’s just insane. Why do kids need to feel acceptable and "popular" through social media? Why do they need to feel as if they fit in with the cyber world? What happened to the innocence of these kids? What happened with going to the movies, taking a bike ride, going out for ice cream, going shopping, just having a simple conversation and just being a kids WITHOUT A CELL PHONE???
It’s not just the kids but its everyone now a days. We rely so much on our phones and social media to feel that we are accepted. Which is really a sad thing for this generation. Sometimes we see all that people are doing and unless you know that person it could all be NOT REAL. We are always trying to keep up with the next person when before it was just trying to keep up with your neighbor. Where can you be where you don’t see at least someone starring at their phone or talking a selfie?
So anyway I thought of this word more in depth and thought ok… techno means art or or technique and logical means reasonable or
understandable. So I guess that it means a reasonable art or technique! So I guess we can say it’s logical right?
Yes, I know…we need the internet! I know I would be lost without it. My children even do some of their schoolwork on the internet. We have google at the touch of a button!! Who would have ever thought that we would be using a computer for all our answers? When we used to have to use our home phones (does anyone that is under 10 know what that even is?) to give someone a call to get an answer. What about Pinterest? Oh how I love Pinterest! Recipes, DIY’s, how to make just about everything. I mean how cool is that! Then there’s YouTube! Do you want to know how to fix things just go to YouTube. My husband just fixed our washing machine recently thanks to YouTube!
So, yes the internet and technology can be amazing and we really do need it. Just a matter of what you use it for. It’s going to be crazy to see what the next 10 years will bring with technology. Not sure about you, but I could never live without the internet. If I didn’t have internet I wouldn’t be writing this next blog post right now. So from 24 years ago to now it has been a complete change for sure! Can you imagine if we just took a step back in time to only about 200 years ago? Geez people that lived that long ago were probably predicting what we would have been like! Now we look towards the future and only one can imagine what the future holds. Although God has had it all figured out for years and years which is why we can’t outsmart Him.
Not sure about you, but I could never live without the internet. If I didn’t have internet I wouldn’t be writing this next blog post right now.

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Sleepless Nights

We all have that one time or other with our kids when we talk about our sleepless nights and how exhausted we are as parents. The newborn babies that wake multiple times in the night to the older ones that have a nightmare and just want some snuggle time in their parents bed. Some of us co sleep and others just get woken up.
The sick kids , the sleepwalkers, the kids that have night terrors, or just the kids that just don’t sleep ….PERIOD! Now of course we love our children and believe it or not, I can remember being almost excited for my babies to fully sleep through the night and then when that happens…I miss it in a strange sort of way. We all love the snuggling and watching your children slowly drift off to dreamland, but sometimes we just want our own bed back. Don’t you agree? I mean come on, no one told me about all these sleepless nights before having kids, especially when they get older!
So, I have a story to share that is kind of crazy. I have a son (well, lots of them! But one in particular) who is now 5 years old. When I tell you that we had sleepless nights I am not lying. As a matter of fact, he didn’t sleep through the night until he was 4 years old! So every night when I would go to bed I knew for sure he would be in there at some point. I was exhausted and burnt out most days and found that I just wasn’t functioning at my full potential. I didn’t know exactly how I was going to make it through the day, but now I can look back at this and talk about it.
Even going to preschool was a struggle not only for him due to his behavior, but he was such a distraction to the rest of the class.
Our pediatrician recommended Melatonin. So that’s just what we did. I have to tell you that after doing extensive research I realized that Melatonin is NOT the answer! So for all you parents please do your research. It is not a supplement but rather a hormone that comes for animals! Ya kind of gross right. Anyway… I could go on and on about this subject so maybe that will be another blog post.
Anyway, I started doing some major research and realized that my son had SPD (sensory processing disorder). He seeked sensory and needed to be close with other people. He would be constantly squeezing my arms and had to be right next to someone all the time. His behavior was out of control most days due to not sleeping. Now you can imagine when you don’t sleep well, but for a little guy, he was really struggling.
It was a LONG 4 years with him not sleeping for sure.
He had some sleep apnea issues that were addressed with specialists in Boston and we all agreed that his tonsils and adenoids would have to be removed to give him the best chance of sleeping.
His energy always seemed to be great unless it was night time, and then he would be asking to go to bed. We did go through with the surgery and he did amazing, although the recovery was awful! Although that didn’t cure the sleeping issues.
So I started with my research on how I could help him just get some sleep. I found out that lavender diffused in his room would help him, so that’s exactly what we started to do. Everynight we would diffuse lavender and it got to the point he was asking for it. Anyway, it helped but we knew that something else had to be added. So we found out that a weighted blanket might just do the trick. So I ordered him one of these heavy blankets in hopes that we would all get some sleep and he would feel secure and not need me in the middle of the night. I prayed so hard for my son to just be able to sleep through the night because we all just became sleep deprived and couldn’t even function normally anymore. I would always say that after I had him my "hobbies" came to a halt.
Well, between both the lavender and the weighted blanket I thought I had things figured out but still he was waking up but not as many times in the middle of the night. I am telling you it was almost like we were playing tag in the middle of the night.
So I heard of this amazing Chiropractor that specialized with pregnant woman and children, which was so up my alley because not only do I have lots of children, but I am a Birth Doula also. She works with all people! 🙂
My first reaction was, "why would I bring him to a Chiropractor when he wasn’t even hurt"? Why do I want someone to "crack" my son? I just didn’t understand all the benefits of a Chiropractor at that time. I even mentioned to my pediatrician that I was bringing him to see one and see was a little hesitant. This is where I should add that you are the parent and God gave you the wisdom to know what is best for your children. We know them best.
I still didn’t understand until I started to do some more research and found so many benefits of having a Chiropractor. I thought what do we have to lose right? So I called and made and appointment to take him in. We went to Harmony Chiropractic and when I tell you that the Chiropractor is amazing…that’s just an understatement! She was so welcoming of us and loved my son to pieces. Well the first night he seemed to be a little more relaxed when we got home which was nice. Then by the end of the first week we implemented all three things including the weighted blanket, the lavender in the diffuser, and the Chiropractor and guess what?…..we had a 4 year old little boy that slept through the night!!!! Can you imagine how happy we were? Even more so I was so excited to have my son get a good night sleep and be able to function the way that he deserved.
We prayed for that day to come. My husband was so exhausted having to go to work everyday and I was dragging with one eye open on most days. I was overwhelmed and stressed out and definitely NOT myself.
So for all you thinking that there’s no end in sight and your family is not functioning due to lack of sleep go find yourself an amazing Chiropractor! You are not alone in this. Hang in there and keep praying.

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A New Season Is Upon Us

No matter the phase of life you are in, it’s just for a short amount of time just like a season. It’s hard to actually believe that before you know it, you are already into the next phase of this so called life and there’s no turning back but moving forward can be almost scary but exciting at the same time. Almost when a tree loses its leaves in the Fall you can’t put them back on, but you know in the Spring they will be more beautiful then you could ever imagine right?
Well lets talk about the everyday family life around here with our tribe…
The baby almost walking, the teething, the 3 year old (which is a whole ‘nuther story)! The "middles" that are all learning to read and get a little sassy in between, the teenagers that are just trying to figure out life, and yes the "adult" kids, do I need to say more? Oh and the sweet grandchildren phase, which is all new to us right now.
This is the season of my house right now. Just learning each and everyday what this season is all about.
Think of it like this…. we can use a tree as an example. Sometimes we will have a big beautiful blooming tree and other times we will have a tree that is just full of branches and looks lonely out there in the world waiting for some attention.
We need to go through these seasons as a learning process and to figure out what our next step will be to get to the next season.
Whether we face challenges, new job changes, parenting issues, good times, bad times, new babies, grieving, challenges, moves, or even just the everyday obstacles that we face each and everyday, our seasons will always tell a story.
We will not always have a Spring and we will not always have a Fall, but that’s why there’s Summer and Winter to balance us out cause fire and ice will make things a fresh slate. Almost like a time to think about where our next season will be heading.

There’s always hope of change coming. Everything has a cycle and that makes life interesting for sure. The experiences that we get to have and see change right before our eyes is amazing!
I love to think about just how crazy in the almost past 24 years of becoming a Mother for the first time, how many seasons that we have actually gone through.
We need to accept the season that we are in and not just thank God for the good seasons but also the seasons that we may think are terrible. Be thankful for all seasons of life because it may be hard when you are faced with that season, but there’s a reason and a purpose that you are going through it. Not sure about you, but I look forward to each and every season although I might not of said that when going through a few a while ago.
So….. ask yourself this question…"Are you happy with your season, or would you just say that you are content?"
It’s like we have chapters in our lives and before we open a new one we have to finish what we started. To me that’s exciting.
Watching my children grow through these seasons has given me joy and hope to a future that will mold and form them.
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A New Day….. (at least the way it was planned).

Well well, where do I begin? So you want to know how in the world is it even possible with having that many kids and homeschooling on top of the daily agenda that needs to get done? Well quite honestly… not always how I would have hoped.
We all have these amazing plans and how we want to get things done in a day right? We have our "to do lists" on the fridge, our cozi app on our phones (which is awesome by the way), we have sticky notes just plastered everywhere (maybe), or just a mental note (that’s if you still have some sort of a brain left)!
So I am going to give you a recap of our day the way it was intended anyway, but just remember…. it doesn’t always go so smoothly.