Catch up time!

First, I must apologize for being absent for 5 years! It’s been a whirl wind for sure. My last post was of the birth of our youngest. Clearly, life got rather busy after that. It still is, to be honest.

Where are we now? Well, we have moved yet again, surprise surprise. However, we are now in our forever home. We were closer to my mother but then she moved, hah! I’ve taken a hand at gardening this past year and I can profess that I no longer have a black thumb as I once thought. We have a large Rosary garden in our front yard. Yes, you read that correctly, the FRONT yard! There is also a moderately sized flagpole garden out front which sports red, white, and blue flowers.

Out back we have some young elderberry bushes and blueberry bushes with one massive blueberry from my mom’s former house. Since we decided to stick around here, we also plopped in some trees because this lot was void of any trees: decorative pear, Japanese plum, peach, and two varieties of apple.

Pets have come and gone through our lives in these past few years. Cinnamon lived a long life and passed within the year. We had also adopted Angel, a sweet, derpy fluff ball with the stumpiest of legs. Unfortunately, she also passed away. Note, do not trust scratching posts with twine on it. Two cockatiels, Molotov and Sora, have also come into our home and we love them. They are rescues so they are timid most of the time. We show them patience and love. Then I decided we needed to rescue some guinea pigs, so we have Boo and George now.

Then the local VFW had someone dump off a bunch of hens and roosters. We decided we would try to capture some and raise them. Hah! That was an epic failure so we decided to buy from a local farm. We bought two 14 month old red hens, Poppy and Ruby, and four Sapphire Blue pullets. Now they are all of egg bearing age but since it’s chilly out, the blues haven’t quite gotten the hint yet. GamerDad built them a fabulous run to be safe from the hawks in our area. The kids love checking the nest boxes for eggs too. Man, there is nothing better than an egg fresh from the back yard!

Is GamerDad close to retirement? Maybe?? Things are up in the air right now. He is waiting to see about a promotion and also looking at orders. Would we move? No. This is our forever home. I cannot even consider renting this house out. It is perfect for us and we put a lot of labor into the yard and the home itself. For once, I am content in the same spot. I don’t have that itch to get going as I once got.

Our volunteer lives are still strong. Though we aren’t in the choir any longer due to the kiddos, we still serve as much as we can in different avenues. GamerDad is the Grand Knight over here so he does quite a bit there. He is also a lector. As for me, I crochet items for CWOC to donate to the local Catholic charity as often as I can, I am EMHC, and am a catechist. Someday I would love to donate my time to the thrift shop just down the road from us. They do a lot of good in our community, every cent goes to a local charity or organization that needs it.

What can you all expect of me from here on out? I hope to get on here once a week and just share what is going on. More folks are doing this school thing from home these days and I’ve been at it for 9 years now. If what I have to say helps, good!

Happy Advent and God bless!


New Squish

I know it has been a very long time since I have been in this corner of the Internet. Since the last time we have moved (across the US, hello land of authentic fall weather) lost a couple of family members (my dear grandparents), settled into our new home, and had a new baby!!

I want to tell her birth story. Let me rewind a bit to my eldest daughter. When we had her anatomy scan, St Therese gave me a sign. Only my pink roses were open that morning. I knew she was telling me I was having a girl before we even got to the scan. Being that we already had a name set and that I swore that child would pay tribute to St Gerard or St Gianna since the previous pregnancy was a double loss, Therese did not get incorporated into her name. Gianna did though.

Once we learned this one was a girl, Therese became the first name. I had to! Plus we stuck in a Dr Who name for a middle name. Once we lost my grandmother, I added her middle name with a spelling twist. 

In Texas I had an OB but I knew once we moved I would be switched to a midwife to do a home birth. Kiddos 2&3 came insanely fast. I wanted to ensure I wasn’t the next news story, “mother delivers on the side of the beltway during rush hour.” That and I knew I could do it. Two mamas in my life showed me that it can be done and I just had to. I hate hospital stays and being away from my family. 

A sweet lady friend and doula in our new area helped me find a midwife and birth assistant. I liked them both right away! Yes, it meant we spent $$ out of pocket since our insurance does not cover homebirth 100%. Worth every penny!

This end of pregnancy was much like R’s, plenty of Prodromal labor. My midwife was called during one because I swore it was real. *sigh* It wasn’t. And so I waited…and waited. And endured the, “oh you poor thing, no baby yet, your belly hasn’t dropped yet, etc.” I did my best not to glare daggers. I even ignored countless text messages, PMs on FB, and such because I grew tired of being asked how I was (which really was a round about way of asking if I was in labor) or “have you had the baby..” I am such an open book and everyone knows that! Oh well.

At 41wks1d, I went to my midwife for an NST and asked for a stretch and sweep. At first she was against it until she peered on down her calander. That weekend she had a big race so the earlier the better. Once she started the procedure she was certain I would not make it to the weekend. About 15 min from the house I started getting mild contractions 6 min apart.

I refused to get excited about it. It was probably just my uterus being angry at the stretch and sweep, Prodromal most likely. 

By 4:30pm things were getting stronger. This got me into high gear, “let’s get the house picked up, do laundry, and do the dishes…then call hubs and midwife.” GamerDad was in the middle of a meeting at work that he then got booted out of (his boss’ wife is a doula, so he gets the urgency). My MW could tell on the phone that this was the real deal just by talking to me so she called the assistant and they all came. 

My kids had a blah dinner of sandwiches because at that point I just couldn’t focus on anything more than that. I did not want to eat and each kid ate solo so I could focus on one sandwich at a time. Hubs came in after they all ate. My MW came shortly after with her assistant following her by about 5 minutes. 

They observed me for about 15 minutes and then started setting up our bedroom for birth. I was still thinking this was another dry run, that there is no way this was going to end with a baby in my arms. At this point with the previous 2, I did have a baby in my arms. What was taking my body so long?!?! Yeah, I had a lot of negative self talk going on inside my head.

At one point labor stalled and they said they were going to head out but to try and rest. I tried and no way was it working. I could also tell they were really still here, the assistant coughed every so often. Being on my side was torture. To all fours I went with tears in my eyes. Hubby fetched them back. The magic hands of my birth assistant rubbed my back without me even saying back labor. I have never had it before and I do not wish it upon anyone! I was banking on a super fast and easy labor. Instead I got a normal length labor from the pits of hell. 

I started out on all fours in bed. My knees kept sinking into the memory foam and my legs went numb. GamerDad got my ball out and onto the floor I went, all fours, rolling on the ball. He camped out beside me. I remember him trying to pet my arm to soothe me and I about bit his head off (sorry love). Again, knees had enough, MW suggested I try a reclined position. I attempted it and WHAM, massive contraction that hurt so very bad and I could not handle that position. I screamed that I couldn’t do it and flipped to all fours on bed again, mid-peak. By now this is midnight 41+2. Everyone was stunned that I pulled that off.

I remember flinging off my pajamas because it was so flipping hot! Not really, but I was burning up. My mind was saying I was nuts for not being in a hospital. I would have been begging for the drugs to make it stop. From deep within I fought against those thoughts, screaming through contractions and into my pillow. Before I knew it, my waters EXPLODED! I guess they were all at the foot of the bed with a flashlight and mirror to check dialation progress. Yeah, it got covered. I was told to push gently then because her head could be seen. I tried but I just could not push gently through those contractions! Two pushes later she was born. Instantly I saw her adorable chub and that she looked like she would rather be sleeping. For a moment she was ticked off because she wanted held and to be asleep. Therese was born at 12:20am. By 12:30 she was finally nursing a bit as I delivered the placenta. She then peed all over me. 😛

  This is her snuggling GamerDad as I had a shower. Look at those cheeks!!!
  Getting weighed! 8lbs10oz! Biggest bag of my 4! *toots her own horn* I didn’t tear! GamerDad got to cut her cord too. 🙂
   Some sweet moments! 🙂

  Bad lighting, but we do tandem nurse (R nurses for comfort or to go to sleep)! R likes to keep a hand on her sissy. Love it so much! 
Therese’s first check up had her weigh in at 7lb8oz. Yesterday we went again and she went up to 8lb12oz at six days old!

We do have several more appointments for her. Hearing test, an ultrasound for her sacral dimple, and the last weight check and PKU test.

Would I do a homebirth again? Heck yes! It was an amazing rush! Recovering at home was so much nicer than being checked in on every hour or so. 

Little Therese gets baptized on All Saints Day! 🙂 Perfect day for it!


Me! 🙂

Solemnity of The Holy Family

Today is the feast day of Our Holy Family. Today also marks the day a lady came up to me at Mass to ridicule my family.

I was calming down our 16 month old in the foyer as we have no cry room. My husband tended to our sons ages 7&5. We sit up front because our family wants to be physically closer to Christ. There are times where the boys fidget but refer to their ages and we quickly redirect their behavior.

She told me that our family is disrespectful that no one behind us gets anything from the service and that we probably don’t either. Ok, so I guess everyone behind us was polled about our family, including our daughter’s godparents…please read that with sarcasm. She also informed me that Fr is upset by us but won’t say anything despite us seeing him quite a bit due to our roles in the parish.

I told her thanks for her concern and she pressed on saying that when her 5 kids were young they behaved well at Mass and if they were ever disrespectful they wouldn’t sit up front. When I finally took a deep swallow to calm my nerves, I told her I would speak with my family. It was then that she thanked me for bringing my family to Mass. Yes, that all left me hurt and confused.

All I could do during Mass was pray for this woman six rows behind us. After Mass we usually go to the donut fellowship in the cafeteria, but I needed to speak with my family.

This interaction with this woman had me crazy close to wanting to switch parishes. My husband immediately went to one of our deacons to talk about this. He was just as shocked that today of all days this woman brought judgement on us, let alone that it took 2 years for her to say anything. He wants to speak with Fr about it and see if an announcement can be made about all families are different etc. I appreciate that.

Our boys went right to the doors and held them open for our parishioners as they left the church. My heart melted!

Please join me in praying for this woman and all others that may be like her. Pray their hearts soften and that they gain understanding.


Anniversary with WordPress


Has it really been 8 years?!?! Wow! Thanks for this comfy spot on the internet, WordPress!


No Title

Hi all, sorry I have been absent for so long. I am trying to find a new balance between home schooling, volunteering, and being a Jamberry consultant!

It has been a whirlwind this past month and a half. Christmas is fast approaching and I wanted to take the time to slow down.

No parties until January, which is both welcomed and dreaded because I do want the bookings.

In my first month I got promoted a few times and finished all three FastStart goals. Now I am working on my own goals and assisting my team.

My first house party was last weekend and it went well despite how nervous I was! Yes, I forgot to mention some stuff but I got through it!

A couple of weekends ago was the annual parish party that the organization I am president over hosts. I was worried about it because a bunch of mini disasters happened. By the time it all started I was carefree because I put it in God’s hands. What a relief that was! We had some pretty cute decorations too! Pine cone trees and yarn sheep. 🙂

Our family also survived what my hubs dubs Fake Ebola where your stomach revolts and just hates you for about a week. It took two weeks to make its rounds through the five of us.

Lil Miss is currently working on her eye teeth and some molars so sleep has been fun. 😛

Hubs has been working on applying to different jobs within the military and that piled on some more stress but we are beginning to see the end of the process and relax a bit more.

So, now y’all know why I have been gone. 🙂

Back to Jamberry: If any of you want to host in January, I am offering a free half sheet of wraps to those who book a Facebook party, plus an additional gift if your party hits $150. Please email me at jenniferkoepl@gmail.com or visit my Jamberry Page. I also have a business Facebook page, here.


Pumpkin Enchiladas

Like many of you, I saw a post floating around Facebook with mouthwatering looking pumpkin enchiladas. I just knew I had to make them!

For starters, the recipe is here: Love Bakes Good Cakes

My tweaks:

1. I used my homemade pumpkin purée. Instructional is here: Pumpkin puree

2. I also used homemade whipped cream. Buy Heavy Whipping Cream, add a dash of sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves…vanilla too because why not? Put all that in your stand mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until you get thick, white yumminess. If you beat too far you will gain pumpkin spiced butter and buttermilk. 😉

3. I used a pastry bag to pipe the filling in after I let it chill for a half hour. This was so the filling could firm up. Piping made the filling process neater.


Of I really wanted to be ambitious, I could have made my own tortillas and caramel…but I decided to be lazy there.

Be warned, it makes 20+ servings. I have leftover filling that just might be a dip for some apples in the morning. Yes, for breakfast! 🙂

The finished product, excuse the “fine china”:




Big tatas for Breastfeeding

Yesterday, The Leaky B@@b posted an article on Facebook about a mother who was too embarrassed of her large bust to nurse her baby, especially in public.

Instantly, many of us well endowed ladies posted pics of our nurslings looking near suffocated at our bosoms. I happened to share one of when our latest one had just been born.

Today, I woke up to see that the image was posted by Jessica, the creator of The Leaky B@@b. Her SugarBaby had some cute quips for a 2 year old. See the post here.

Again, more women came out of the wood works showing their support because it is difficult to nurse with large tracks of land…mountains…what ever you call them. 😉 A few even were timid at first but opened up, beautiful to see!

In a culture that tends to look down the nose at NIPers (nursing in public), it was nice to see overwhelming support.

If you are a nursing mother, please, go give that page a look and follow it on Facebook.

Also, no more posting my tatas on the web. I was ok with The Leaky B@@b doing it to help even one woman, but don’t do it. Golden rule folks.


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!


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”:


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!!


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!

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.







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!


Anyway, back to this:



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!