A Merry Christmas Letter and Pictures

First of all we hope everyone had a very, Merry and Blessed Christmas. We would also like to thank all of our readers and Shaklee customers for their support and business, and pray that everyone has a Happy New year.
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My Parent’s Pink Bathroom Renovation

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Have you ever seen a “Pink Bathroom”? That is what our family called our hall bathroom. You will see why we called it that below.
I also came from a family with 12 children. I never thought I would have the same. My husband and I did want a large family, and we were willing to accept whatever God would bless us with. We are very blessed to have twelve beautiful children and couldn’t imagine it any other way.
My parents had a house built, and moved in to it, in 1964. We had 3 bathrooms; one we called the yellow bathroom, one we called the pink bathroom and one we called the blue bathroom. (Could you imagine actually picking out these colors for the fixtures? My Mom did!) Well, they have been these colors for all those years. Until, last year while my husband was out of work, we did some updating,  remodeling, and renovations, at my parents house.  You could see the kitchen here, the family room here (the removing of paneling), how we removed wall paper here, and the bedroom here. Eventually, I will show you all the rooms we have done. My Mom is sooo happy with all the changes.

My dad was not very handy and to him, as long as something worked there was no reason to replace it. One of the reasons they agreed to have some things done to their house was the fact that it has been getting hard for my Mom to get around, and they were thinking if they had to move to a ranch there were definitely things that needed to be done to their house, to be able to sell it. 

This bathroom was one of the rooms we felt was very important to renovate for them.

This picture is one of the after pictures of their hall bath (It will always be the pink bathroom to me.)DSCI0234

Taffy Apple Salad

This is one of our favorite recipes, although we don’t make it very often. It calls for a lot of sugar and we try to limit the amount of sugar we consume. We make it usually for Thanksgiving. The combination of the peanuts and apples makes this so tasty.
1 cup sugar (I use less.)
16 oz crushed pineapple (I use chunked pineapple sometimes.)
2 tablespoons flour
2 eggs
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Mix and heat in a sauce pan, on medium heat, until thick. Chill for 2 hours. (If you use chunked pineapple use only the juice for this step and fold the chunks in later with the apples.)
16 oz whipped topping (I like to replace whipping cream sweetened with maple syrup)

Add this whipped topping to the chilled sauce.8 cups Granny Smith apples cut up into small pieces
2 cups chopped peanuts
Fold the apples and peanuts into the creamy mixture.

Now it is ready to serve! Yummy!

What are some of your family favorite salads?
Do you have any Thanksgiving specialties?
Parents of a Dozen

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Glitter, Glue & Paint

A Great Way to Organize your Paint Colors

Have you ever opened a paint can after a couple of years, to touch up the walls, and the paint had dried out or was ruined and you couldn’t read the label to buy more?

Here is a great way to organize paint colors.  
When you have a can of paint mixed, ask for an extra label, attach it to the color swatch on a piece of paper, put into a plastic sleeve, and then in a folder. Mark what room it is for.

A New Family Photo and Thanksgiving!

How was your Thanksgiving? We had a great time with our parents, our children, and grandchildren over to our house for a feast. It was nice to have everyone together, and we were able to take a family photo.Family photo 2011-11

Bathroom Organization

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Storage is always and issue for our family in every room. Keeping things simplified is one of the things we try to do. The more things you have, the more things you have to store. We have garage sales twice a year, one in the spring and one in the fall. I find that having a garage sale encourages us to go through everything the best we could. It is important to keep things neat and clean, even in the bathroom.

Here is our master bathroom. I like to keep it as neat as possible with nothing on the counters. I chose brown for the walls because I like the contrast against the white, and we get plenty of light in there.
I must have different watt bulbs in the light fixture. lol (I didn’t notice this before.)
You could see how we framed the mirror here.

Vivix Testimonies!

Hear are several real Vivix testimonies to show how it helped them live a happier, healthier life.

As you know, I am diabetic with all the problems that go along.  One of my greatest fears is losing my legs as my grandfather lost his from diabetes.  I suffered severe neuropathy in both my legs and feet.  In addition to that, I had 3 stints put in my left leg last summer and was diagnosed with PAD

How to Peel Garlic in 10 Seconds

In our family we use a lot of garlic, and it takes time to peel a lot. We are all for saving time whenever possible. When we found this little trick we were so excited. lol
Garlic is also a natural antibiotic. Any time someone seems to be coming down with something we load up on garlic, fresh and we use this garlic. We have been able to overcome several illnesses with garlic.
Here is a video showing you how to peel a whole bulb of garlic in 10 seconds.
Crush the bulb with the palm of your hand to separate the cloves.
Scoop the cloves into a bowl, cover it with another bowl and then shake for 10 seconds. Then all the cloves are peeled. This is great!

What do you think?
Parent of a Dozen

An Easy Way to Decorate for the Fall

We really like to decorate for the fall, not for Halloween. Here we decorated our front porch using a pumpkin and squash from our garden, corn from the corn stalks we used, and a lantern. We also scattered pine needles to give it a very natural look.IMG_3319

The Shaklee Difference

How are you doing today? How do you feel? Are you getting the most for your money? We have been using Shaklee products for 12 years and we really like using the products  and are now  independent Shaklee distributors. Some people don’t realize the difference in using these products compared to other products. These are the reasons we use these products.


• No artificial flavors
• No artificial sweeteners
• No dyes or trans fats
• No hidden fillers
• No animal testing
• No banned substances
• No Chlorine Bleach


• Over 80,000 annual quality control tests
• Guaranteed potency—third party verification of botanical ingredients
• Guaranteed purity—350 contaminant tests conducted on EACH new botanical ingredient
• 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

• $250 million invested in testing research and development
• 70 published clinical studies
• 60 Shaklee scientists
• 55 patents and patents pending
• 50th Anniversary Landmark Study showed that Shaklee long-term supplements users have markedly better health than those who took only a multivitamin or no supplement at all

If you are interested in more details, here is a short video.

Since we have been using these products we have not had to have our children on any prescription medicine.

Go to our website and join as a member for 15% discount on ALL orders and email us at Parentsofadozen@live.com for an additional special.
Parents of a Dozen
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Campout in the Yard

How are you all doing? How has the weather been for you? This past weekend was beautiful. We went to the apple orchard, and two fall festivals, and the fall color was perfect.
A couple of weeks ago we had a little campout in the back yard. We have gone camping a few times in the past but it has been a long time and is really hard to plan and pack for a camp out with all the kids. It is either too hot, too buggy, too cold, not having the time to spend preparing and packing for a camp out. And not to mention schedules. Could you tell we are not campers. lol! So we decided to have a little campout in the back yard with the younger children. The weather was cool but not cold, and we decided that afternoon. The older boys helped set up the tent.

How to Make a Baby Bib

Here is our little girl wearing her new bib. I can’t believe she is already 7 months old. (Here she is 6 months.)  She is very small for her age. She was 8 pounds and 2 ounces when she was born. I started giving her baby food at 5 months. I could tell she wasn’t getting enough from just breast feeding. Since then she put on around 2 1/2 pounds, is filling out, and is more content.IMG_2964

How to Install a Brick Paver Patio

We showed you the changes we made to the exterior of this house here. Now we are going to show you how we installed a brick paver patio. The previous owners took their patio with them when they were foreclosed on. Then the weeds grew and grew!
We knew to sell the house we were going to have to clean up this mess. We decided to put another brick paver patio in.

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Beef Stew and Baby Food Recipe

Having a large family, I like to find recipes that are easy to make, healthy, and easy to serve, especially on days when everyone is unable to eat at the same time due to work, sports, dance, and practices.

This recipe is one of our family's favorite, one dish meals. These are nice because everyone could take what they want before they go to a game or when they come home from work. I really like making meals like this on cool fall or winter days. I am going to give you the original recipe which we follow (mostly). I definitely double, sometimes triple, this depending on what we have in the house.

One of my time savings tips is that we do not peel the potatoes or carrots. The skins have more nutrients, fiber and it saves time. I use 2-4 pounds of carrots and 5 pounds of potatoes and that is a lot of peeling. I also use our food processor to chop the onions and garlic.

Beef StewIMG_2556


When everyone was done eating I put all the leftovers in to my Cusinart food processor and blended it small enough to feed to my baby. She loves it!!!IMG_2575I put the baby food into the freezer in these Tupperware Freezer Mates, and then lable them.  I have had these for years and I use them all the time.
I use different sizes, and they all stack together nicely.

Here is the recipe for beef stew that I got from my Mom also a mother of a Dozen.

2 pounds of beef stew chuck: cut into bite size cubes.  Browned in a hot skillet (I use what ever beef I have, and is always bought on sale.)
2 medium onions: sautéed in 3 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic:  Minced or crushed
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Worchester sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon salt: I usually add more to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 dash all spice or cloves
6 carrots: I will add whatever I have.
8 potatoes: I may add more or less depending on how big they are.
4 cups water: I use enough to cover the meat and vegetables.

Brown the beef, add the sautéed onions and garlic, then add the rest of the seasonings.
Cook for 2 hours on medium heat.
Add the carrot for the last 30 min.
Add the potatoes the last 20 min.
When the vegetables are tender, thicken with water and flour.
I add about 1/4 cup flour to a cup of cold water then mix onto the pot with everything else.

How does this compare to your beef stew?
Do you ever feed your baby  table food?

Parents of a Dozen

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Natural Fall Decor for our Mantel

There is something special about the changing of seasons. I really like each season and the changes in weather. Where we live, we have all four seasons for around 3 months, give or take a few weeks. The Fall is always great. I like the cool crisp air, the changes in color, and the indoor fires. I also enjoy decorating for the changes in the seasons. The past couple of years I have decorated for Autumn with items including Hydrangeas and several other items from our yard. Here is our mantel for the fall.

Police Officer Died After Inhaling Noxious Fumes

If you think you are safe cleaning your house or office, think twice before you spray your cleaners again. The Chicago Tribune had an article this week about a police officer who died from breathing noxious fumes from and aerosol cleaner.

He was coughing and having trouble breathing after inhaling a cleaning substance that a maintenance worker sprayed from an aerosol can on a desk at the district station.
He was released from the hospital after a few days but returned a short time later when his illness persisted. Robinson's lungs all but shut down, forcing doctors to place the father of two teenagers in a medically induced coma. He died April 4, his family said.
Read the complete story here.

I know that I wouldn’t want that to happen to anyone especially to one of my family members. I have been using these non-toxic cleaning products for 12 years and wouldn’t use any other products. I know when I clean, I am really cleaning, and  not adding toxic chemicals into my house. They are very effective and less expensive. These products are very concentrated so you only use a little for each use.
To change all your cleaning products to safe, effective products I would recommend this Starter Kit along with Scour Off, and the Hand Wash. This would cover everything you would need to clean everything in your house.
You'd have to spend more than $3,400 to get the same amount of clean found in the Get Clean Starter Kit!
And, when you purchase the Get Clean Starter Kit you also make a positive impact on the planet:
Keep 108 pounds of packaging waste from landfills.
Eliminate 248 pounds of greenhouse gas.
What is the worth of your families health?
Parents of a Dozen

How to Mix Basic H Video

Hello! I wanted to share with you a video my daughter, Bonnie, from House of Grace put together. It shows how to mix our most used and favorite cleaning product ever, Shaklee Basic H, into your spray bottles. It could be used to clean just about everything.


  I hope you enjoyed this…
What did you think?
For more uses for Basic H, click here.
If you have any questions for us, please leave them in the comments and we will get back to you.
Order your Get Clean Starter Kit today!

Thanks and have a great day! Smile

Parents of a Dozen

Are you looking for a business where you can work from home, have unlimited earning potential, and help other people in the process?  Shaklee may be the company for you. Send an email to (ParentsofaDozen@live.com) if you are interested. We can explain how our team works and how you can get on the ‘fastTRACK’ to success!

Homegrown Peach Baby Food

This is the first year we actually have peaches on our 4 year old peach tree. They are so juicy and delicious. We are also getting a lot of other food from our garden. IMG_2542
I really like to try and eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle. So having fresh fruit in the house is great.IMG_2538We picked pick about three of these bowls full and still have some more to pick.
IMG_2541This is our little baby, who is 6 months old. She started eating baby food about a month ago.  She really likes these peaches.
IMG_2552I peeled the peaches, cut them into small pieces, and then I was able to mash it with a fork. I could have use the blender or food processor, but these peaches were so juicy they mashed easily. Who wants to clean unnecessary dishes? lol
IMG_2545Do you ever make your own baby food. I like the fact that I know exactly what my baby is eating; no additives, no preservatives,  no msg…

Do you ever make your own baby food?

Let us know your baby favorites.

What does your baby like?

Parents of a Dozen

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Changes made on the exterior of this Flip House

As many of you know my husband had lost his job over 2 years ago because the company he worked for outsourced the work to a company in Taiwan. We had started a couple of home based businesses, one of which was flipping homes. This is where you buy, fix up, and resell houses, hopefully for a profit.
This is the house we bought to flip last fall after we completed the things that we needed to upgrade in order to resell the house. IMG_0060 This is the house before we did anything. It may not look that bad, but nobody had lived in the house for two years and there were a lot of things that needed to be done. Some of the things we did on the exterior of the house were to

How to Make Dill Pickles

IMG_3793I showed your our garden here. We have been getting A LOT of cucumbers, so many that we can’t eat all of them.(We only got a few tomatoes so far.) I am going to show you how we make pickles. I have only made them a couple of times, so I am not an expert by any means. Actually, I helped my 12 year old daughter make this batch of pickles.
First we got together several canning jars. We use these for drinking glasses and to store other food items in our pantry also. IMG_3771
We washed all of the cucumbers in water and Shaklee Basic H2. I clean all my fruits and vegetables including lettuce and berries (Home grown lettuce has a lot of dirt on it and this works great.) I use this safe non-toxic cleaner for everything. I don’t want to use anything that is not safe for my family. IMG_3778
We cut the cucumbers into wedges. They could be sliced thin or left whole, also.
Then I put them into the jars. We put in as many as we can without bruising them.
IMG_3786 We use fresh garlic. Separate the cloves, and …IMG_3776…peel them.   IMG_3780 I use a Zyliss Garlic press. I use a lot of garlic, all the time, and this is an easy one to use. I bought mine at a Pampered Chef party years ago. You could get them several places now.
IMG_3783Put the garlic in and then just squeeze. I scrape the garlic on the side of the jar. We added 2 cloves to each jar. IMG_3784 We then add 2 tablespoons of Celtic Sea Salt. This is unprocessed salt which is way better of you. We buy the 22 pound bag, which lasts us a long time.
IMG_3772 IMG_3787 We also grew dill in our garden for the first time. I had no idea what part to use from the plant. I think you could use any and all of it. Does anyone know or have experience with this?
IMG_3775At first I just used the feathery part that is attached to the stem but then I added some of the top part. The flavor was delicious!
IMG_3790The last thing was to add filtered water. Water has so many unwanted containments that it’s important to use a good quality water filtration system. (This one is even certified to take out up to 99% of lead for only pennies a day!!!) 
Just fill the jar until it is about one half inch from the top. 
IMG_3791 Put the lids on tight and let the jars sit at room temperature for two days. (I actually, gently flipped the jars back and forth to mix all the ingredients.)  If the cucumbers are whole it will probably take three days. Slices may only need one day. Then put the jars into the refrigerator. They should last for several months, but not in our house. lol!IMG_3793   And that is it. So easy and the family loves them.
Dill Pickles
4-5 pickling cucumbers
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of sea salt
1 cup filtered water
A bunch of fresh Dill or 1 tablespoon dry Dill
Have you ever canned pickles? How did they turn out? What ingredients do you use?
Do You can anything else? If so, what do you can? I would love to know!
Parents of a Dozen
Are you looking for a business where you can work from home, have unlimited earning potential, and help other people in the process?  Shaklee may be the company for you. Send an email to (ParentsofaDozen@live.com) if you are interested. We can explain how our team works and how you can get on the ‘fastTRACK’ to success!

How we Organize and use our Garage

About five years ago  we move to our current house, and being parents of a dozen, being on an acre lot was a must.  We used to live on a quarter of an acre lot and we really wanted the kids to have more room to run around and play. Another amenity to this house is that it has a three car garage with a ample storage cabinets. These are some of the awesome cabinets that came in the garage.

Our Trip to the Global Conference 2011

I am so excited! My husband and I just got back from the 2011 Shaklee Global Conference in Washington DC with over 5000 attendees. Here is a picture of us receiving a recognition award from Roger Barnet the owner and CEO of Shaklee. It was great being up on stage with soooo many people in the room.
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