Today was our pre-Thanksgiving baking day!  We made the rolls, poppyseed muffins, apple strudel, cranberry salad, blueberry banana muffins (those are breakfast for tomorrow), and managed to squeeze out enough oven space to bake 4 frozen pizzas for lunch (thanks to some great sales mixed with Ibotta rebates!).  Plus making mushroom rice and breaded pork chops with creamy gravy for dinner. :)

Uncle John made it safely around 3. Everyone was very happy to see him!  Penelope told me he was here and when we opened the door so she could see him, she said, “See, I told you he was here, Mommy!”  :). Funny girl!

All of that baking and we still managed to squeeze in watching “Inside Out” together and a video about making “Big Mac Sushi.”  I don’t know that we will be trying that one…

Here’s an updated picture of the great room. :)


Lucia has graduated out of the Moby wrap. Not because I wanted her to. Just as it gets cold it’s awesome to have a warm snuggly baby to carry in a beautiful warm wrap. No, it’s because she won’t stop flipping herself to the side. If you’ve seen her in the last month she has probably scared you with her sudden fast side flop when she’s being held. She loves to be held. She also loves to suddenly look another direction. No warnings. Just FLOP!  She has tried to flop herself out of many arms. Not unhappy, just super happy floppy. So, she was unsafe in the Moby as it isn’t designed to safely hold a strong floppy baby. The Ergo, however, does wonderfully. So, we upgraded. :). I even got her onto my back-first try!  Felt like something I had *maybe* done a time or two before. 😉

She’s happy as can be. She keeps trying to flop too-only the straps stop her. She’s then yells at them and goes on about her adventures from the back…


I don’t usually share recipes here-normally I post those to my cooking blog. But, this one is so yummy and perfect for the cold weather, I decided to share it here. When we woke up yesterday and it was 28 outside and a layer of frost coated most things, Katie came downstairs asking why we were having Wisconsin weather. Sure enough, at that time, it was also 28 in Green Bay!

So, after running all of our errands and Katie’s ACC class yesterday, we came home and made eggnog. It was fun and not super complex!

Homemade Eggnog (non-alcoholic)

4 cups whole milk

6 whole cloves

1 teaspoon vanilla (we prefer homemade vanilla, but any real vanilla will work in the recipe)

2 teaspoons cinnamon 

12 large egg yolks 

1 3/4 cups sugar

4 cups whole milk (yes, it’s on there twice-you could sub heavy cream for these 4 cups)

1 Tablespoon vanilla

2 teaspoons nutmeg
Bring the first 4 cups of milk along with the vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves to 210 degrees F over low to medium heat. This will just begin to do a low boil-not a rolling boil.  Stir frequently as you head the milk. 

While milk is heating, mix egg yolks with sugar until well combined. 

Once milk is at a low boil, turn off the heat and pour in with the egg mixture 1 cup at a time. Stir the egg mixture quickly while adding the hot milk mixture. Add 3/4 of the milk mixture to the eggs until you have a nice smooth mixture and then pour the eggs and milk back into the pot with the remaining milk. 

Turn back on medium heat and stir constantly until mixture thickens. It should take 5-6 minutes–but could go a little faster or slower, you will recognize it changing as it thickens.  Add in your remaining 4 cups of milk (or heavy cream if desired), vanilla, and nutmeg. Stir until it is all warm and then remove from heat. 

Strain mixture to remove cloves and pour into glass jars to store in the fridge. Tastes best once chilled for 5-6 hours or overnight, but it’s also yummy right away or slightly chilled. :)



I made coffee cake muffins for breakfast. The menu said “coffee cake” but waking up at 6:30 doesn’t give me enough time to make coffee cake for Jerry to be able to enjoy with us before he needs. So, I tried something new-muffins. 

They were delicious!  Everyone enjoyed them. :). Even Lucia. 


We were given this shirt by my brother and sister-in-law, John and Kerry, when their little girl, Emma, outgrew it. Emma is 3 months younger than Meghan, so Meghan and Katie didn’t ever get to wear it, but all of our other girls have worn it!


What time of year, you ask?  The time of year where I wake up and it’s cold and it’s close to Thanksgiving, which means Advent and then Christmas are coming. That means it’s BAKING time!  So, to start it off, today we made “Scotcheroos.”  These are peanut butter Rice Krispie treats covered in butterscotch and chocolate chips melted over the top. They are delicious!  We took some over to the neighbors to enjoy too!


We spent the day cleaning out the garage. Not just a tidy-up, but really getting rid of stuff that we just don’t need to own anymore. Same in the house-I’ve been really sending things out right and left. Things that we just don’t need or love. Things that just take up space and bring no joy!  Hopefully I will get some pictures taken soon!  That’s my goal, to get to the peaceful, calm, state. Jerry’s is a little different–not that he doesn’t enjoy peaceful and calm. He is ^ close to being able to hook up the rest of the way the second stove in the garage so he can brew beer!!

When I skip laundry for just 2 days it becomes scary!  I had the children bring down the laundry baskets from upstairs (which I had noticed were mighty full when I walked past them this morning) I realized that taking a 3 day laundry vacation isn’t really all that great!  Today, I have a mountain to tackle!


Being able to sit and hold your baby who is being very snuggly. Watching your two and three year old daughters host their own tea party. What could be more wonderful?  More precious?  What could be…funnier?  😘

Oh, did I mention the best detail. They had just finished Tony scrub the kitchen floor. When these two little ones scrub they put everything they have into it!  Clothes and all!  ;). So, they were soaked so I helped them take off their shirts and pants. So, they decided they’d play tea party. In just their underwear. 😀


So, for the last 7 months I haven’t made much, crochet wise.  I have been working on a very special project.  A shawl for our dear friend, Barbara. Barbara, who came to watch the children every week for the last few months of Lucia’s pregnancy so that Jerry could drive my bed-ridden self to my appointments. 

It’s finally finished and delivered!  So I can share photos!


What does that mean in Large Family Life?  It means that the two year old has given up for the day. ;). So precious, sweet Penelope!

Jerry and I snuck in a date night tonight just because. :). Then back home to get Meghan and Tony to “Ignite” Night, the middle school youth group program at Church–they had a blast!

We had a fun day today. Day 2 of our 2 week Thanksgiving Vacation. We had several big stacks of books–enough to fill five reusable cloth grocery bags–to send out of the house. It was a tough call between donating and taking to Half Price Books. We chose the latter. We got a fair price and Tony found some cool books to buy with his money while we waited for their offer. That really is a pretty cool program they have going on!

This morning, Tony was helping to dress Lucia. It was pretty adorable–unless you are Lucia. She was a little concerned. 

This evening she fell asleep next to Jerry on the couch. Oh this age is so precious and squishy!


A package arrived today from Grandma Mary and PopPop. Inside were many things–including four boxes of bugs…

She was pretty funny about finally getting to eat one. She had been proudly proclaiming “I want to eat a cricket” earlier when we first opened it-in this video. 

Everyone but Josephine tried at least one. It’s fun to watch in this video!

I grabbed a few photos of the front yard–was doing a “then/now” comparison.  The “then” photos are from 3 years or so ago from before we bought the house. 


Next week will begin our 2 week fall/Thanksgiving break. Two weeks so that we can do some random odds and ends that have been needing to be done for a while the first week and then just be family and enjoy each other’s company the second week. Well, most of us, Jerry still has work all week this week and all but Thursday and Friday of next week. My brother, John, will be up to visit for several days starting next the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week. 

Week 11 of our school year is done!  Hooray!  I think I might actually be more excited than the children!  😁

This school year is going well overall. We’ve had some rough weeks that have been busy with appointments or other life events, but the children have been great. They work hard and press on!

Happy 7 months to beautiful Lucia Grace!  She’s such a sweet baby!  We are blessed and thankful to have her!  


This is the only way Lucia wanted to take a nap this morning…

Not quite a peaceful spot if you ask me…


The children are close to being done with school for the day. So they are playing with the little girls. :)



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