It’s been one week today.


And I can still barely talk about it.


What was my in-law’s house, that is right next door to us, burned down. Two of our sons, and one’s fiancee lived there. We had split it up into 2 separate “apartments”.


For about 30 terrifying minutes, I thought one son & his fiancee were in there. (Other son was at work)




I had just talked to them about an hour and a half earlier, and they were there. He had gotten off work early, so was home. Otherwise, she would have been there by herself when the fire started. They don’t have a car, so I couldn’t tell if they were there or not, and they weren’t answering their cell phone.


I didn’t know that someone had picked them up.


So as far as I knew at the time, they were inside.  It was horrible.


They were out, and getting ready to go to the next town to go out to eat, when they saw smoke in our direction. They came over here to see what it was before they went.


Thank God they were not in the house!




So we have spent the last week shifting through the rubble trying to find anything that is left (there isn’t much, it burnt to the ground), trying to find places to live for them, replacing medicine, and a million other things that need to be done when you loose everything in a house fire.




We still had the majority of my husband’s parent’s belongings in the house. We had a lot of our stuff over there, too. Furniture, tools, hobby supplies (including all the model cars my husband, myself, and our 6 kids had made over the years), to name a few. Then our 2 sons, and a fiancee lost everything they owned.


There was no insurance. The fire department didn’t try to find out what caused it. Probably because the house burnt to the ground. Maybe because there was no insurance company to report to. Either way, we will never know what started it. We do know it wasn’t the wood stove that we used to heat with, as it had been warm here and there had been no fire in the stove for at least 3 days.


So much was lost in this fire. I still can’t even think straight.


But no lives were lost.


And that’s the most important thing!



(I could not bring myself to take any pictures during the fire. I borrowed this pictures from our fire department’s Facebook page. So photo credit to PCFD)

I Quit


I quit my new job today. The one I’ve had for 3 weeks. The one I got after having not having worked full time in 32 years.

I went to work to start replacing my husbands income. He has literally become allergic to his work. Literally. So we are trying to figure out ways to replace his income so he can quit his job before he gets any sicker.

I got hired for a second shift work at home job. It has been awful for my family, though. I did not think that it would be that hard on my family. I knew it would be an adjustment for everyone. But it was much, much harder on them than I thought it would be.

I always put my family first. It’s who I am. I can not, and will not sacrifice my family for money. No amount of money is worth putting my family through a hard time.

I asked for a shift change, but I would have had to work two more weeks before being able to ask for a switch, and then there is no guarantee.

So after much prayer, thought, and discussion with my husband, I decided to quit. And, no, my husband did not tell, ask, or force me to quit. It was totally my decision.

I will be going back to work full time when my family situation changes. I.E. when my youngest son graduates high school.


I Quit


So I quit my job today. And I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.


In the Kitchen with Linda – & a Life Update

It seems like forever since I’ve shared an In the Kitchen with Linda post. I have indeed been in the kitchen. My family sees to that. lol


I do cook different during the summer months. So I haven’t spent as much time in the kitchen as I do the other months of the year.


In the Kitchen with Linda


Back in January, I shared What Do I Want My Second Act to Look Like? I recently decided to get back into the work force after not working for 32 years. Oh, I was a consultant for a kitchen wares company a couple of different times. I am currently an ambassador for a health and wellness company, as well as working for this blog and on social media. But it’s been 32 years since I have had a regular, full time, work schedule.


I have accepted a job as a customer service representative. I will be working full time from home answering calls. This is for a legit company that I had to do the same pre-employment checks as if I was working on-site for a company. Drug test, background check, etc. (Yes, I passed both. lol)


It’s going to be an adjustment for my husband and our one remaining under 18, homeschooling, son. I will be working afternoons & evenings. We are still homeschooling. I will still have plenty of time to homeschool him. He mostly works independently anyway.


What does this life update have to do with being in the kitchen?


Well, I now need your help! What are some quick and easy, nutritious meals that my meat and potatoes husband and prefers fast food teenager will like?


I’ve got the meat and potatoes in the slow cooker covered. And the fries and chicken strips in the oven covered. lol


So please share your ideas for meals that can either be made ahead, put in the slow cooker, or would be super easy for my husband & son to put together.


A big thank you for sharing ideas with me!

Say Yes to The Cake!


We humans celebrate with food. Think about it.


Can you name any celebrations that don’t include food? Whether they are religious holidays, community events, birthdays, anniversaries, sporting events, and any manner of parties. Food is not only included, but is an integral part of the celebration.


Say Yes To The Cake!


Say Yes to The Cake!


Let’s focus in on family celebrations for a minute. How many birthdays have we refused to eat the cake? Are our kids going to remember how much fun they had with us or are they going to remember that mom never ate their birthday cake with them?


Yes, of course we need to focus on our health and what we eat. I’m not saying eat cake every day. Just as a celebration with your family. Most hostesses will honor your request for just a small piece of cake. Sometimes, though, we all will run in to a hostess that will give us a large piece of cake anyway.
Here’s my solution. Eat a bite or two. Celebrate. Comment to the hostess, or to your kids, how great the cake is. Then throw the rest of the cake away. We needn’t feel guilty for throwing away something we didn’t ask for.
I recommend celebrating all occasions with your kids. They will be grown and gone before you know it.

Celebrate with them! Have fun!

Say yes to the cake!



Lunacy – The Correct Word to Describe My Life Lately


I haven’t been around much lately. Life has been so crazy, that crazy isn’t even a strong enough word! Lunacy seems a little more accurate.


Ok, my life as a mom of 6, along with homeschooling all of them is a crazy life. I admit it. lol  So much more has been happening, though, to elevate life way beyond crazy.


It all started a couple of months ago. My oldest son was driving my car to work when he was rear ended at a red light. He was ok, except for whiplash. I did spend about 6 hours with him in the er, though. My car was damaged, but thanks to my husband, I could still drive it. He is an Auto Body Tech. The guy you take your car to to fix! So he checked it out, and fixed my tail light so I could still drive it while waiting to wade through all the insurance paperwork.


About a week and a half later, the other persons insurance company tells us they are totaling the car. We chose to buy it back from them, so had additional paperwork to do. We had to apply for a salvage title, then when that came back, apply for a rebuilt title before we could drive the car again. We found this out the hard way. I was out with the car while my husband went to the court house. He came and told me I couldn’t drive it anymore. Yikes! I did drive it home. Thankfully, it was only about 5 miles!


This is the part of the story that really starts the lunacy!


I have been driving my son to work every afternoon. So now that we were down to one car, I had so much more driving to do! Let me start by saying that my husband & son work in a different town than we live in. My husband works about 20 miles from home, and my son works about 23 miles away. Same direction as my husband, just 3 miles beyond his work. Due to traffic, it usually takes at least 30 minutes each way, sometimes more.

So I had to drive my husband to work in the morning. Drive my son to work in the afternoon. Drive to pick up my husband at work. Then one of us had to go pick up our son from work. Thankfully, my husband picked him up most days. There were several days, though, that I picked him up.


Are you catching that? I did 3 or 4 – 40+ mile round trips a day! That’s about 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours in the car. Every day. It sure felt like I was living in my car! Throw in cooking, cleaning, laundry, and homeschooling my 17 year old. I barely had time to breath!


Then on Memorial Day, while still having only one car, I spent over 6 hours in the er with my sick mother. Then a few days later I had to spent 8 or so hours with my sick son in the er. Then a few days later, I spent about 9 or 10 hours in the er with my yet again sick mother.


In a 10 day period, I took people to the er 3 times! That’s not counting doctor visits I took them to, as well. While still being a one car family. Thankfully, everyone is on the mend now. Except for 2 follow up appointments scheduled right now, I hope to stay far away for doctors and hospitals!


I finally got my car back a couple of weeks ago! I was so happy. For 4 days. That’s when we were driving down the highway, at about 59 mph, and a deer ran into our car! It was at 11:20 in the morning! We didn’t see it until right before it ran into the car.


It was a good 4 days! lol I lost the use of my car for another 2-3 days while my husband had the windshield replaced, put a new drivers side mirror on, and pounded out some dents. Lots of dents. At this point, I do not even car what the car looks like. As long as I can drive it, I couldn’t care less if it is dented.


So now I finally have my car back for real, I only have to take my son to work in the afternoon. My husband usually picks him up at night. Oh, what shall I do with all that free time?!


I thought that once I got my car back life would calm down. I should have known better! Especially since I had events scheduled on my calendar.


On Saturday, June 20, I hosted a wedding shower for my 18 year old daughter and her fiancee. It was a great shower! It just involved a lot of planning and prep. I plan on sharing shower pics later this week.


I volunteered in the kitchen at my church for VBS last week. So I was there 3-4 hours a night Sunday thru Thursday. While packing for….


2 days ago, on the 1st, we helped our 21 year old daughter move to a big city a couple of hours from home for college. She has attended a local community college for 3 semesters, while living at home. Now she will be going to a big university to finish her degree. She wants to get a B.S. in Anthropology. She spent a couple of years after homeschool high school working, and deciding what she really wanted to do. And now she’s going for it! I am so proud of her!

Her moving means that I now have to deal with all the “stuff” she left behind! I’m not sure how she crammed so much stuff in her bedroom. She took 2 car loads of stuff to college with her. And the rest has exploded all over my house!


That is a few of the major things that have made my life so crazy lately. There were many, many smaller things adding to the lunacy, too!


I spent yesterday on the couch all day with a bad headache. I didn’t even go to church it was so bad. My step counter registered under a thousand steps for the entire day.  So, yeah, I barely moved.

I have a bit of a lingering headache today. But I am ready to get back at it!

Ready to get this house in order after the shower and moving upheaval.

Ready to get back to blogging!




*Edited to add the part about the deer. My husband just told me I left it out. How could I forget that part?!



The Important Lesson I Finally Learned about Being a Mother


Some moms have this whole mothering thing down, and don’t have trouble with this. Then some of us moms, like me, are still learning lessons. I slowly learned this lesson over the last few years. What am I talking about?


The Important Lesson I Finally Learned about Being a Mother


Ok, here it is. The important lesson I finally learned about being a mother.


It’s ok to make yourself and your health a priority.


The Important Lesson I Finally Learned about Being a Mother


Now, to you, that may not seem like an earth shattering observation. To me it is. I have always put my family first over myself. And I know there are many, many mothers out there just like me.


I in no way mean if you are taking care of yourself that you are not putting your family first.


Like I said above, some mothers have it all figured out. Then some of us are so busy taking care of the husband, the kids, the house, homeschooling, church ministry,etc. that we don’t pay any attention to ourselves.


Sound familiar? You try to serve healthy, nutritious meals to your family. Yet you are so busy at meal times and snack times making sure that the kids are eating what they should that you don’t pay attention to what you are eating. You make sure the kids have physical activities to participate in, yet you don’t make sure you have enough time to exercise.


There is a reason the flight attendants tell you that if the plane is crashing to out your own oxygen mask on first.


You can’t take care of anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself first!
It is important to make sure you get enough rest.
It is Important to make sure you are physically active.
It is important to make sure you eat the healthy meals you are serving, not just pick at something while you are cooking and cleaning up the kitchen.


So now after years of putting myself last, I am working hard at putting myself first. Making time for exercise, even if that means someone has to wait for something instead of me doing for them right away. My “baby” is 16, so the whole family is capable of waiting. If you have an infant, or toddlers, it’s different. You may have to exercise while they are sleeping instead. You will have to figure out what works for you.

It is of utmost importance for women to get enough rest, exercise, and to eat healthy. Our lives, and the lives of those we love depend on it.


We can’t take care of others if we don’t take care of ourselves first!


I wish I had learned and applied this lesson years ago!



1 Cool Hair Trick I Learned From My Daughter

I was eating dinner with my daughter the other night, and she just casually tells me a hair trick that I had never heard before.


1 Cool Hair Trick I Learned From My Daughter


1 Cool Hair Trick I Learned From My Daughter


She told me that she learned to put the conditioner on her hair before shampooing. Put on the conditioner, then shampoo as you usually do.


I tried it.


It worked brilliantly!


I have oily hair, but need conditioner on the ends. I’ve never been able to find a happy medium before. Even if I only put the conditioner on the ends, it always seemed to climb up my hair and make my even more oily. But now… The bottom of my hair is soft, but not weighted down like conditioners can do. Plus, no conditioner on top of my head to make my hair even more oily.


This trick is really going to work for me!