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A couple of weeks ago I dove into a Jamberry party and asked for a free sample. Like most people, I had heard of Jamberry and kind of knew what they were. When my sample came, I tried it out and was amazed! No dry time. Instantly fabulous nails without the risk of smudging!

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After a day I was shocked! No chipping or peeling. The design was intact. A few more days passed and then I saw details about becoming a consultant. I swore I wasn’t going to get roped in. I had BTDT with MaryKay and hated it. The market was too saturated with no room to grow. However, with Jamberry, it is a fairly new company and significantly fewer consultants. Also, my success does not rely on the success of the team mates I sign on. I laid it all out to GamerDad, telling him that I didn’t think I would do it. He asked questions, I got them answered and he nudged me to go for it.

Factors going for me:
1. Market isn’t saturated here. Jamberry has a high quality product.
2. I have a business degree under my belt.
3. I am more organized and driven.
4. Social media!

By day 6, I wanted to peel my shield off because my free half sheet was coming in the mail (I won it via the party games by collecting the most points). Zero nail damage! LOVE!

First full “Jamicure”:

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Now my Dr Who Nail wraps are coming in as well as my StyleBox. Oh yeah, you can make custom nail wraps! Neato!

I just hosted my first party to get my consultant kit at a discount. Now I come to you asking to help bump me up to 50% off, please. Please click on Jen’s Jams and order that way.

Or, if you would like to host a party or attend my launch party on 3 November, please let me know (jlkoepl@gmail.com)! :) I have samples!!

Blessings!

My absence explained

Ok, I haven’t blogged in a few months. To be honest, life got crazy. We have dealt with a lot and I really didn’t want to toss it all on here at the time.

We went to see GamerDad’s family and took an extended visit because a family member wasn’t doing so hot. Two days on the road back home, we found out that said family member was with the angels. It was nice being at a good friend’s house the night we got that news instead of a hotel room.

When we came home, the next day, we discovered Hunter got really depressed and refused to eat. He was a 15 pound cat and he dropped to 5 pounds. We tried for a week to fatten him up on our own before we called the vet. They took him right in and kept him for a few days. He was doing better. Once home, he became sick again. Our roman tub was marinated in the contents of his stomach. :( Then he lost control of his bowels. When we found him laying in it, we knew. We cried bitter tears. The vet wanted to med him up again, but we said it was time to end his suffering. Yes, we felt guilty about it at first. However, his BP was so low that they had a very hard time sticking him with the needle. When the needle went in, he purred at my husband (the kids and I were in the waiting room, I couldn’t bear to watch). We all let him after he passed (it took seconds when usually it takes longer). They cremated him and we were told to get him later on the following week. They called that Monday to pick up his ashes. I was expecting a baggie inside a simple paper box. We received a gift bag adorned with his name, a very nice carved wooden box with his ashes and name inside, a certificate to show his love, and a Rainbow Bridge poem. I lost it.

We were going to bury him out back, but we decided to plant him under a photo of our daughter whom he was very attached to. Yes, a 10 year old, crotchety, ornery, male cat was attached to our baby girl. It was because he wasn’t with her for 3 weeks that he withered away and lipidosis got him as a result.

In the midst of that was sweet daughter’s party and then we held another party for our oldest just weeks after hers. Plus, I had gotten a stash of Hatch peppers and I -had- to roast those.

Fall came and I am usually in the best of moods then, but I wasn’t. I was still carrying the pain and I wanted pie pumpkins so badly to kick off fall properly.

Last week, I finally got my hands on some pumpkins and went to town. My mood has improved quite a bit. Something so simple. Proof that being in my kitchen is therapy for me.

Hopefully, I will be on here more regularly. I have missed my readers and the blogs I have followed.

God Bless!
~Me

Digest the title for a minute. Pecans, bacon, pumpkin bread, and French toast all rolled into one dish. YUM!

I seriously love fall. Soon as pie pumpkins were available, I grabbed 8 for me and 2 for a friend. The next day I prepped them for purée. The best method I have done in all my years making my own purée is to bake the pumpkins whole. After about 50 minutes, the stems pop right off and you can cut the pumpkins in half to cool faster. Then scoop the guts out and peel the skin off.

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I

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Save the seeds if you want. Half of mine were tossed in EVOO, smoked paprika, and sea salt. Bake at 300 for an hour, stirring often. We cannot keep our hands out of this jar!

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Anyway, back to this:

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Directions:

1. Cook and crumble about half a pound of bacon.
2. Thickly slice your favorite pumpkin bread. I dusted my pan in cinnamon and sugar and buttered/cinnamon/sugared the top when it came out of the oven.
3. Pour 5oz finely crushed pecans into a shallow bowl, add the bacon and mix.
4. Pour in 1-2T Heavy whipping cream in another shallow dish with 2-3 eggs and a glug of vanilla (I never measure it). Beat together.
5. Heat your frying pan, spray it down too.
6. Dunk the bread in the egg mix and let it drip a bit.
7. Press it into the pecan/bacon mixture.
8. Fry it up and serve with syrup.
9. Enjoy stuffing your face with the sweet and salty goodness!

~Me

Twisters

Two nights ago was the second night in two weeks that our family of five camped out in the closet. We live in a double wide, not really tornado ready.

It came suddenly too. I should say they since two tornadoes were confirmed on the ground at either side of our area. Both were EF-0s.

It was a blessing that GamerDad let the boys stay up and that I took a different route home from volunteering at church. If he hadn’t let them stay up, we would have had to drag sleeping boys into our closet. As for my route, I could have been in the throws of the storm with Lil Miss and Cherry, our SUV.

Twice I heard dead silence and then the train sound that is the tell take sign. Right before the silence, Lil Miss freaked out. The rest of us were chilling/praying (our house was shaking quite a bit).

The aftermath was just stuff blown away, trees down/torn apart, and our power being out. Our power was out for 9 hours! Most of our town had it back in 2-4 hours. We had to toss most of our food in the fridge. Why? Fridge food can be ok if an outage is 4-6 hours. A half full freezer is good for 24 hours, if it is full, 48 hours.

Thankfully, our renter’s insurance is amazing. I called them to see if they would reimburse us. Had I not just shopped on Monday, I wouldn’t have worried about it. They went above and beyond. I was asked to estimate the cost and they factored in the local tax.

Our family went out to lunch at Olive Garden since our main staples (meat and cheese) were in the trash. The boys still had some energy about the storm and spoke loudly about it. I apologized to the server and explained why we were even there to begin with. As we finish our meal, the manager clears the table and our server comes behind him with a huge smile on her face. They comped the adult meals!

On the way home, we paid it forward. I heard of a mom who lost her cloth diapers and reuse-able breast pads. She had them drying outside when the twister hit her neighborhood. Being that I don’t leak anymore and we have cloth diapers to spare, I gave her some of each.

Life can sometimes eat you up, spin you around, and toss you far from where you want to be. Dust yourself off, turn around, and count your blessings.

We are so thankful that all we lost was stuff. We have each other and we have our faith.

Our oldest had Bible study at the base chapel last night. The theme, “trust in God.” I asked him if he trusted God the other night. He was honest and said no, but that he does now.

God bless!

Homeschool Conference trip

This past weekend we headed down to San Antonio for a homeschool conference. It was small but the message was big! Many of the speakers were homeschool moms of four or more kids. Some also ran home businesses or had time to write a book (seriously?!). It was much needed for our home. GamerDad was suggesting before the conference that when we move again, we put our oldest in public school so i can have a break, he can be in a real class, etc. none of what I want or need. These speakers expressed that their desired changed, mine have too. I once wanted to get back to work. Having kids and schooling them have put me on a different path. Home with my kids is where I belong. We learn about things together.
Fr Felix was my favorite speaker and I know he resonated strongly with my husband. He is a really funny guy with a lot of energy. Prayer was his main message. We teach our children the memorization prayers but many of us fail to teach our kids how to have conversations with God. GamerDad now starts off meal prayers ad-libbing and then does the “Bless us oh God, for these thy gifts…” I love seeing that change in him.

We also took time for fun: the Riverwalk boat tour, firehouse museum, the Alamo, Sea World, the zoo, and we attended the vigil mass at The Basilica of The Little Flower. I had to pay tribute to St Therese. After all, the morning of the anatomy scan of Little Miss, only my pink roses were in bloom, giving me a heads up on what to expect.

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Now we are home, our school books in the mail, and are starting the school year by writing to our first pen pal from Japan! How exciting! We are thrilled to get started!

God bless!!

Pale me+TX sun= sunburn

This weekend has been gorgeous! We took the kids to the park yesterday and I slathered us all in homemade sunscreen . Click the blue for the recipe.

20140601-071817-26297801.jpg I doubled the recipe and got slightly more than what two of these jars can fill.
Being that Lil Miss loves to shove her fingers in her mouth and that she is as pale as I am, I wanted to make sure we had a non-toxic option. It rubs in great and leaves your skin silky smooth, much needed in our arid environment! Added bonus, you need to store it in the fridge, so it goes on cool and feels amazing on those hot, summer (sprummer?) days.

I missed a few spots on myself.

20140601-072010-26410751.jpg Ow! And itchy. For some reason, sunburn always makes me itch.

Usually I just put on aloe lotion and call it good. A friend told me last time to use lavender oil too, it takes the burn out. A double punch to the burn, I will take it!

20140601-072132-26492850.jpg I put on the aloe first and then rubbed in a drop of lavender oil before bed. Here is what the same spot looked like this morning, no more red!

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Did the sunscreen work? Well, I covered the kids and GamerDad covered himself. None of them are burned. I am either extra burnable or I missed some spots. I’d say it works!

God bless!

Baby Led Weaning

After two kiddos who did mushy food and gagged at textured food, we opted for BLW for this one. What is it? You simply give your baby whatever it is that you are eating in small pieces minus the usual no-nos (salt, honey, peanut butter, etc). Yes, this works with babies who have no teeth to speak of. Lil Miss will be 9mo soon and is just now getting her first tooth at the service. We have done BLW with her for about 3mo now.
She first attacked strawberries. Now she goes after watermelon, like this:

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I might add that right before this she was screaming and doing a weird demon voiced “dada” call. GamerDad was freaked by her deep voice calling out to him as he did the dishes (yep, I cook, he cleans up my mess. He’s all mine, sorry ladies!). Then I saw her reach for my watermelon since I obviously was not shoving homemade fries over to her tray fast enough. The picture soon came after I gave up my sweet slice of watermelon. In minutes she looked like she was in a blood bath and the watermelon was pulverized.
Yep, she knows how to bite, chew, and swallow. Textures do not throw her off thanks to BLW. It also makes my life so much easier, no cleaning out baby food jars or trying to find a place to store them or make room in the freezer for homemade baby food. No hours wasted prepping it all because she eats what I eat. Another perk, it is called the mommy diet. You only really get to eat about half your plate because baby claims the rest. By the time you get to eat a few bites and baby has had more than you, you decide you are full. :P

God bless!

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