You Call THAT a Serving Size?!


My family laughs at serving sizes.

My kids laugh.

My husband laughs.


I hear “You call THAT a serving size?!” all the time!


I am the only one in my family that cares about serving sizes. Well, of the family members that still live at home. A couple of my adult kids now care about serving sizes, although they didn’t when they were younger.


You Call THAT a Serving Size?!


You Call THAT a Serving Size?!


I have to say that I agree with my family. Sometimes! Some of the serving sizes are laughable. Like the serving size of a banana is 1/2 of one. Or 3 crackers. Who only eats three crackers with their soup? Of course, if you are having one serving of cheese, which a one ounce serving is about the size of a pair of dice, then 3 crackers would be proportionate.


I have always tried to teach my kids to eat healthy foods. I did let them have sugar snacks, too, I just tried to teach them moderation. That mostly worked until they got old enough to have money. Then they would run to the store and buy lots of junk food. Then proceed to eat it in front of me, “Look! I’m more then the serving size!”. lol They outgrew that, thankfully. They figured out that they would never have money for anything else if that kept spending all their money on junk food. An important lesson to learn for when they start doing their own grocery shopping.


Despite my family laughing at serving sizes, I still try to fight the good fight to try to teach them healthy eating. And that it’s ok to have snacks sometimes, too, in modest portions. Because how sad would life be without baking (& eating!) cookies with your kids, having birthday cake, wedding cake, and mom or grandma’s special dessert?


So if your family is like mine and laughs at serving sizes, just keep reminding them. Telling them, and showing them, what the correct servings sizes are will sink in eventually. Maybe not until they are adults, but you will have set them up for a lifetime of healthy eating.



What Do I Want my Second Act to Look Like?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I want to do when I am finished homeschooling my children.

Our youngest is 16, with a couple of years of high school left to complete. Just having one student is so different from homeschooling all 6. I have a lot of time on my hands now. Time that I have been spending thinking.


What Do I Want my Second Act to Look Like?


What Do I Want My Second Act to Look Like?

My heart really is in volunteering and helping other people. Ii already volunteer a couple of hours a week. And I see myself spending a lot of time volunteering in several different places when my son graduates. I also see myself still being totally devoted to my family. I want to be available to my family for whatever they need. Help during an illness, help moving, etc., whatever they need.

Then there are the grandkids (hopefully, someday!). I want to be there in whatever capacity I am needed when my grandkids are on the way and are little. Hand holding, cooking, cleaning, babysitting, rocking those precious babies. I want to be the grandma that has sleepovers and bakes cookies with them, and attends all of their games/activities. I also want/need to earn some money, so I would continue working online with my own businesses.

Sounds like a full life doesn’t it?


But wait!


After my mother was in the hospital, something else has been on my heart and my mind. My mother was in the hospital for over 4 months, and she had to be on a ventilator. For the last 2 months of her hospitalization, she was in an amazing facility that had only people on ventilators. I got to witness first hand the work of a respiratory therapist. For the last 7 months or so, I have been thinking about becoming one. I would want to work in that facility. Which wouldn’t be a problem, I don’t think. The college I would go to for training puts students in this hospital for their clinical training. So I think getting a job there after I finish my training would be totally doable.


So this is my dilemma.


Do I want to go to school for 2.5 years, then work for several years? I will be 54 soon. I would be 56 almost 57 when I finished school. It is possible that I could work for 10 years after I finished school. I would really love to be a respiratory therapist in this hospital and make a difference in the lives of the people that my never get off a ventilator for the rest of their lives.


On the other hand…..can I really be as active in my family’s lives as I would like to be if I am going to school & working? What about volunteering? How would I fit in all the volunteering I would like to do if I am working? This ventilator facility is working on starting a volunteer program. I already asked to volunteer. So while it’s not an option right now, it will be later this year from what I have been told. I could make a difference in the quality of the patients lives by volunteering.


I am so conflicted! One day I know for sure what I want, and the next I don’t!




Has anyone ever been through this? How did you ever decide what your second act would look like?

A Wedding in the City


We left the hills of Kentucky this past weekend to travel to the big city of Cincinnati for a family wedding. Our niece, on my husbands side, got married. We used to live outside Cincinnati, but we haven’t been back in several years.


The wedding ceremony was at an old church downtown.




The church had not been used in 25 years, according to the website. Another church purchased it and finished the rehab just a couple of months ago.




It looks like the outside was kept as the original. The inside was a combination of the original and the new. It had the most gorgeous stained glass windows.




And an amazing ceiling and columns.  They had painted the bottom part of the walls black. They surrounded the columns with metal, lights, and speakers. Hung a large, retractable screen in the front.




It’s so awesome that they rehabbed an old church so it could be used and enjoyed again. Only it left me feeling sad. Sad that they painted the walls black, and added so much modern “stuff”. Just my opinion, of course, but I can’t help but think how much more awesome the church would have been if the walls weren’t black and they had found another way to incorporate the technology.




The ceremony was beautiful! Then we ventured back into Kentucky to an event center for the reception. We had never been to this Kentucky city before. So we got a little, shall we say, lost while trying to find it. I was reading the map on my phone, but it’s not my fault that my husband drives faster than the gps can spit out the directions! lol


The reception was a lot of fun! I meant to take the place card, but forgot it on the table! At least I got a picture of it, though.


They had a maid of honor, a matron of honor, and two best men. They all gave speeches, as well as the father of the bride, my husband’s brother. So there was a lot of toasting and glass clicking. Thankfully, they offered a non-alcoholic champagne version to drink. That’s what I, my husband, and our kids drank.




They had a dessert table that included chocolate cakes, several different kinds of cookies, several different kinds of pies, candies, and a few different gluten-free desert options. They removed the wedding cake from the table before they turned us loose on the desserts. I’m not sure if they ever served wedding cake, as we left before the party and dancing was over. It was pretty, though.




They had these to-go boxes on the dessert table along with a sign encouraging everyone to take some with them. It’s a neat idea, and gave us something to snack on for the almost 3 hour trip home.




I saw this car in the parking garage and my first thought was it’s their car. After thinking about it, after I took the picture, I came to the conclusion that it couldn’t be their car. There were other parties going on at the event center, so it made sensee that it wouldn’t automatically be their car, but I didn’t do much thinking before I took the pic. lol So I ended up with a picture of some random car that belongs to some bride and groom that I don’t know. So I thought I’d share it with you. lol




This next picture makes me laugh. I hadn’t worn high heels in years. The last time I remember wearing them was when our daughter got married 8 and a half years ago! I managed to get through the day, though, including walking down city sidewalks, and going down two sets of stairs to get to the reception. When we left the reception, I took them off to go back up the stairs. lol  I didn’t feel bad, though! When I was in line to get dinner from the buffet, I saw a woman that had taken her shoes off. So I lasted longer than she did. lol The walk back to the parking garage almost did me in! I so wanted to take the heels off and walk down the side walk in my stocking feet! I would have if it hadn’t been so cold out! I made it to just inside the parking garage before I took them off. lol

Those were some tough pantyhose! When I took them off that night and checked the feet, you could not even tell that I had walked quite a ways on cement with them. lol




I guess you can take the woman out of the country to a city wedding, but you can’t take the country out of the woman!



Why We Don’t Celebrate Halloween


Both mine and my husband’s families all celebrated halloween when we were growing up. So it just seemed natural to us to do the same with our children.


We started out celebrating halloween with the kids when our oldest was 4 months old. We dressed them up in non scary costumes, and went out to see family and friends. We never went door to door in the neighborhood. By 1990, 4 years later, we decided that that wasn’t working for our family and that we would just have parties instead.


So we got together with some friends and had a halloween party for the kids. With games, decorating their own cupcakes, and a jack o lantern pinata. It was a lot of fun, for the kids and the adults. After that year, though, we felt parties weren’t the answer either. So at the age of 4 & 2, our 2 oldest kids had celebrated their last halloween. Our four youngest kids have never celebrated halloween. (I’m talking about while under the age of 18, by the way.)


Why We Don't Celebrate Halloween


Why We Don’t Celebrate Halloween


We just FELT that there wasn’t something right about it. So we set out to learn about the origins of halloween and what a lot of the halloween traditions started as and represent. This information convinced us that our feelings were right.


Over the years, our convictions about halloween have grown. In the beginning we didn’t know the facts that we later learned, we just knew how we felt. Yes, I believe that God gave us those feelings. Thankfully, we followed those feelings, and now we know why.


We only have one child under 18 now. Those over 18, 5 of them, have chosen different routes. One doesn’t celebrate halloween, one has celebrated halloween with parties, etc., two participate in trunk or treat at church, one just turned 18 and I don’t know what her choices will be yet.


No, we don’t hold it against others for trick or treating. Or our kids for deciding to participate in halloween activities after they turn 18. In fact, when we lived in an apartment for a few years, we purchased candy & Christian tracts to hand out to the kids that came to our door. All of our nieces and nephews celebrate halloween. And, no, we haven’t told them they shouldn’t. They just know that we don’t. It really hasn’t been a problem with our families. We live out in the country now, and don’t get trick or treaters. If we did, I would have to scramble to find something to give them. lol


A lot of churches encourage celebrating halloween, including hosting “Trunk or Treats”. They park their cars around the church parking lot, and the kids go from car to car and get candy. Call it what you want, it’s STILL trick or treating and it’s STILL celebrating halloween! And we don’t need halloween “alternatives”! Why do so many Christians have a hard time standing up and saying “This isn’t a Christian holiday, and we aren’t going to celebrate it?!”


That being said, I do not tell others they shouldn’t celebrate halloween.  In fact, you very well may see me liking and sharing other people’s halloween posts on social media. Because, come on, their kids are cute! And some of those recipes look really yummy!


Celebrating or not celebrating halloween is a matter of fun for some and a matter of conscience for others. Not celebrating halloween has been the right thing for our family.


It’s Been One Crazy Summer



Fall is now officially here and I am reflecting back over our summer.


It’s been one crazy summer!


It's Been One Crazy Summer!


My mother moved in with us! After being in 3 different hospitals for a total of 4 months, my mother was finally able to come home. She chose to move in with us until she was ready to go back to her home. We all get along, so that wasn’t a problem. The dynamic just changes when someone else moves into the house. She was here for almost 4 months. I’m happy to say that she has now moved back to her own house! I’m happy for her not happy she is gone! lol That was her goal. As soon as she was aware of what was going on in the hospital and starting to get better she said she wanted to go back to her own house. Here she is on her 80th birthday this summer eating her seafood feast I made for her birthday dinner.




I spent the majority of the summer driving 3 kids to work. At three different places. All working different hours. In 2 different towns! I felt like I was living in my car! lol




One daughter, Hannah, saved enough money and bought her own car this summer. So now she drives herself to work. Which is awesome because she is the one that worked in another town about 30 minutes away.


Hannah car


The 17 year old girl quit her waitressing job, so I didn’t have to drive her anymore. My son, unfortunately, fell and broke his leg. His work laid him off since you can’t work in a factory with a broken leg. :( I’m happy to report he is leg has healed, and he is currently looking for a job. He did get his van running before he had to stop working. So I will only have to drive him to the new job for a couple of weeks until he can get insurance on it again. Even though he had a broken leg, he still helped us set up the huge clothes giveaway at church.


Kenny clothes giveaway


We had a litter of 3 kittens and a litter of 3 puppies born about 24 hours apart! May 17th and May 18th. My kids were so happy! They love when the animals have babies. It got a little crazy in the house though. (If crazier is possible!)




Our cats have always been outdoor cats, except when they have kittens. (Sorry for the blurry pic. One of the kids took it, and it’s the only pic I have) Then they get to stay in the house for about a month. They love it! lol And so do the kids. Mama kitty has to round up her kittens when she wants to feed them, as the kids are always holding the kittens.




Piper, the mama dog, was very unappreciative of the cat being near her puppies. This sometimes led to a little fighting. Mama kitty always won. lol Piper doesn’t like getting her nose scratched. lol


I worked in the kitchen for Vacation Bible School at our church. That’s a lot of food to prepare.  We served Nachos one night. This is just some of the bowls of nachos.


VBS nachos


We even made a 12 foot ice cream sundae on the last night!


12 foot sundae


My youngest son went to two different camps this summer. He went to Kung Fu camp put on by his Kung Fu instructor. He was gone from Monday to Thursday afternoon, and had a great time. The next week he was home, before leaving the following week for church camp. He was gone from Monday to Friday afternoon. He turned 16 while at church camp!

Zach camp


He always has a great time at both those camps. This was his 2nd year at Kung Fu camp and his 5th year at church camp. As soon as he gets home, he’s talking about going back next year.

We, meaning he, kept homeschooling all summer. Well, except for the 2 weeks he was gone to camp.

To end the summer with some additional craziness, he got his drivers license permit! We survived teaching his 5 older siblings how to drive. I hope we can survive him! lol He and I have laughed so much over this picture. I happened to take this picture at just the right moment, after the flash from the official camera went off. His picture on his permit came out good, but this one is just hilarious. lol


zach permit


So after a very busy, very crazy summer, with 90 degree temps the whole summer, I’m ready for fall!


How about you, did you have a good or crazy summer? Are you ready for fall, too?



It’s All Fun & Games Until Someone Gets Scared By a Paper Towel!


I went to the dentist with my husband the other day. They put us in a little room, took xrays, then left us. In a tiny room. For an hour. Can you say bored?


Oh, to add to the fun, there was no chair for me to sit on! So there I was. Standing there bored. I had already read all the pamphlets. Played with the electric toothbrushes on display. And checked Facebook on my phone several times. Apparently, I don’t do bored well. lol


Then the paper towel dispenser caught my attention.


paper towel


The paper towel is hanging out because I was trying to see how long I could it. For the record, you have to tug on the paper towel before it will dispense more.


So then I decided to see how close I had to walk to the paper towel dispenser before it would dispense. I was bored, remember? lol


I walked by, getting closer each time. Which was not easy, since the sink is right there next to the dispenser.


It's All Fun & Games Until Someone Gets Scared By a Paper Towel


All this time, my husband was sitting in the cushy (ha!) dentist chair. Watching his crazy, bored out of her mind, wife.


After about 4 passes by the paper towel dispenser with my shoulder, I came to the conclusion that my shoulder was too short to set off the automatic dispenser. Short person problem #4,357


As I was telling that to my husband, with the dispenser behind my shoulder, it decide that I was indeed tall enough. And dispensed a paper towel onto my shoulder.


I, however, was not expecting it. So I jumped a mile. And jumped away from the dispenser. I may, or may not, have screamed a little. And had a funny, scared face.


Now my husbands boredom was relieved as he laughed his head off at me! I’m sure he wishes he had a video of it!


The moral of this story? Don’t leave me in little room with a paper towel dispenser. Unless you want a good laugh!


Give Kids The World 30th Anniversary



Give Kids The World, a nonprofit organization that provides children with life-threatening illnesses and their families week long, fantasy vacations, celebrated its 30th anniversary in March, marking three decades of providing the happiness that inspires hope.


My family stayed at Give Kids the World in 2002 on my son’s wish trip. I wanted to be sure to share this with you since I have first hand experience in how awesome Give Kids the World really is!


give kids the world


Since 1986, the organization has hosted more than 143,000 children and their families. Give Kids The World partners with more than 240 wish-granting organizations from around the world to bring these families to Central Florida to experience the world’s most beloved theme parks. There is no cost for visiting families.


give kids the world


The inspiration for Give Kids The World was a wish that went unfulfilled. Thirty years ago, a 6-year-old girl named Amy wanted to visit Walt Disney World. But despite efforts to make that dream come true, Amy, who had leukemia, passed away before all of the pieces could come together. An Orlando hotelier and Holocaust survivor named Henri Landwirth was so moved by her story he pledged that no child’s wish would ever again come too late.


give kids the world


With the help of his friends and colleagues in the hospitality industry, his new venture could make a wish come true in as little as 24 hours. Give Kids The World started in 1986 as a few rooms spread out between several local hotels. Three years later, the whimsical Give Kids The World Village resort opened in Kissimmee, and has grown to encompass 79 acres with 144 two-bedroom villas.


give kids the world


The one-of-a-kind Village looks as if it leapt off the pages of a child’s storybook. It features the Castle of Miracles, where golden stars personalized with each wish child’s name twinkle on the ceiling. There’s a magical carousel, a child-size train, a dinosaur-themed mini golf course, two pools and a spectacular splash pad. Halloween and Christmas are celebrated every week, as is the birthday of Mayor Clayton, a six-foot rabbit who serves as honorary mayor of the Village. All the amenities are designed to help the children and their families forget – if only for a week – the challenges that living with a life-threatening illness present.


give kids the world


Today, the mission of the Village is fulfilled with the help of dozens of corporate partners and countless donors, including Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, as well as Kennedy Space Center, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, and Gatorland, all of which provide admission tickets.


give kids the world


Visiting families enjoy complimentary breakfast, lunch and dinner provided by Perkins Restaurants & Bakery, Boston Market and Papa John’s Pizza. Additional support comes from longtime partners such as Mears Transportation, InterContinental Hotels Group Owners Association and Orange Lake Resorts, Home to Holiday Inn Club Vacations.


give kids the world


“Over the last 30 years, we’ve welcomed thousands of children and their families into our Village home and into our hearts. Each one of them has made an indelible mark on our lives,” said Pamela Landwirth, President and CEO of Give Kids The World Village.


give kids the world


“As we look back through the years, we are so thankful for the incredible generosity of our corporate donors, our partners, and everyone who has helped support our mission,” she said. “They have shared their time, talents, and resources to ensure that our families leave the Village with memories they will cherish for a lifetime.”


give kids the world


Every wish kid gets a star on the ceiling of the Castle of Miracles, shown above. My son’s star is just inside the front door, on the ceiling right outside what used to be the Fe Fi Fo Fun Game Room. They’ve done a lot of changes since we’ve been there, so I’m not sure if that is still a game room, though.


In 2015, the Village welcomed more than 7,700 families, a number expected to grow in 2016. To accommodate the continuing growth, additional villas are under construction. The first phase of Banyan Park, which includes an additional 24 villas, is scheduled to open this fall.


give kids the world


Also this year, Give Kids The World is bringing memories of the Village to “alumni” families during “family reunions” to be held in cities throughout the country. These ice-cream socials will allow guests to reconnect, reminisce and rediscover the feeling they had at the Village while meeting other families with stories much like their own. The family reunions are scheduled in cities such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Columbus, and Philadelphia.


give kids the world


Our time at the Give Kids the World Village was amazing. The peace that you feel when you are in the village can not be felt any where else in the “real world”. It truly is an incredible place for the wish kids, and their whole families.


For more information on Give Kids The World Village’s mission, the resort or how to make a donation that will help provide the “Happiness that Inspires Hope,” please visit