Our Christmas Décor!

I started this post before Christmas, but never finished it. Since the 12 days of Christmas starts on Christmas day I am going to still post a few thing over the next week or so.


Here is our family room, empty from all our other décor, with our new real tree ready for our Christmas decorations. We have boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations in our attic, most of which we did not use this year.

Super Easy Delicious Chocolate Pretzel Cookies

Join us on Facebook now!

This is one of our favorite Christmas cookies! They are easy to make, are always a hit, and the kids love helping. Although we usually eat healthier, we do splurge once in a while!

Super Easy Chocolate Cookies

Tip #14: 10 Ways to Save Money During the Holiday Season

Like us on Facebook now!

Finally here is another tip to save money and get out of debt. With Christmas not far away we thought we would post on how to save money on shopping and entertaining during the season. If you are like us and have a lot of people you have (or think you have) to buy for, you may be buying or spending more than you have too.

10 Ways Save Money During the Holiday Season!

A Simple Way to Wrap Gifts!

Join us on Facebook now!

We are wrapping the Christmas gifts that we put under the Christmas tree this year with brown packaging, wrapping paper. I like the simple and pretty look of these gifts.

A Simple way to wrap gifts!

Ordering New Reclining Sofas!

We ordered two reclining sofas the other day. Our couches we are  currently using in our family room, we bought new 20 years ago. We are addicted to reclining furniture!! BUT we are not fans of the recliner look. It took us a LONG time to find something we liked and in a fabric that was not too dark or too light. (We also have been saving for a long time.) We finally found this Lane Double Reclining Sofa that gives you the comfort of recliners but the look of a stationary sofa. This is the sofa we ordered, but not the fabric. This fabric is really a dark chocolate color. It looks lighter in this picture.

Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels!

Join our Facebook community now!

This is one of our favorite recipes. Have you ever ordered a soft pretzel. Sooo soft and delicious? Then you will love this super easy recipe for homemade Soft Pretzels.

Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels

Our Thanksgiving Day!

Join us on Facebook now!
We are definitely behind on posting this, but better late than never. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and we have a lot to be thankful for. Most importantly we have a wonderful family and we are thankful for everyone of our children, our parents and our grandchildren. 
We had most of our family together this past Thanksgiving and we had a wonderful day.
We set up our food and drinks in the garage. This year the weather was nice so we didn’t need to heat it. You could read how to use epoxy paint to finish a garage floor here, and how we organize and use our garage here.

Tip #13: 5 Easy Ways to Save on Your Food

Join us on Facebook now!

If you have been following us through all of our tips to get out of debt you will see how much you could be saving, and adding all of these savings together to really make a huge difference in paying off your credit cards, medical bills or other debts you may have.

We have always lived very frugal and have been able to stay out of debt just about our whole lives. One of the things that helps us stay out of debt are our shopping habits. Our food expense with 12 people living in the house is huge.  We use the tips below so we don’t waste food.

5 easy ways to save on your food

Tip #12 How to Save Money on Bottled Water

Click “Like” on Facebook for more family updates. 

We are back! We were on a vacation, which was awesome, I will post about it later. Sorry about being behind on our money saving tips. Our intent was to have post scheduled to go out, but that obviously didn’t happen. We know a lot of you are enjoying our tips to get out of debt, so we will continue with our them.

We love to have purified water and don’t trust the water coming out of the faucet, (We have well water with a water softener) but buying bottled water is not the answer for various reasons (mostly for your wallet).

How to save money on bottled water

Fun Fall Weekend!

Click “Like” on Facebook for more tips to get out of debt, and more.

How was your week end? I thought I would Show you some family pictures of our weekend. The weather was beautiful and we had a great time. On Saturday we went to a “Trail of History” and on Sunday we went to a “Fall Family Festival.”

These pictures are from our Fall Family Festival.
Michael, 17, helping Mary, 20 months.

2012-10-21 Fall Family Fest 2012-10-21 148

Tip #11 How to Save Money on Your Phone Service

Click “Like” on Facebook for more tips to get out of debt, and more.

Sorry we are so behind on these tips. We are slightly busy! This tip, to help you get out of debt, could save you a considerable amount of money each month.

Tip #11 to get out of Debt, How to save money on your phone bill

Tip #10 How to Save Money on Subscriptions

Click “Like” on Facebook for more tips to get out of debt, and more.

I bet most everyone could take advantage of this tip.

Tip #10: Free up space in your mail box by canceling subscriptions.

You could save your self a little or a lot of money depending on how many subscriptions you have.

Tip #10 to get out of Debt, How to save money on subscriptions 

Most of them maybe charged

Saving’s Summary

Click “Like” on Facebook for more tips to get out of debt, and more.

We are about a third of the way through our 31 day challenge and it’s time for a quick summary of your savings. (A little behind schedule.)

Savings Summary, 31 Tips to save money and get out of Debt

Tip #1 How to Find Excess Spending. Explained more in other post; Savings ???

Tip #9: 15 Ideas for a Free or Cheap Date Night

Click “Like” on Facebook for more tips to get out of debt, and more.

Seeing that the weekend is tomorrow we thought we would share some ideas for a free or cheap date night. That sounds bad, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have an enjoyable evening.

Tip 9   15  Ideas for a Free or Cheap Date Night

We have always been a little tight with money some years were worse than others. Even if you don’t have any money or are in debt there is no reason you can’t have fun. We have found a lot of things to do for really cheap or for free. We feel it is important for any relationship, whether it is with your spouse or your children to take the time to be together and have fun.

Tip #8: 20 Activities for Cheap or Free Family Fun

Click “Like” on Facebook for more tips to get out of debt, and more.

Tip #8 To Get Out of Debt: Find cheap or free activities for the family.

Spending time as a family is important, but it doesn’t have to put a dent in the bank account or rack up the credit cards. We have found that you could have quality family fun and not have to spend anything or very minimal. If you are use to spending a lot on family activities, and change your activities to FREE ones, you will be able to save that much more. Remember to put the savings towards one of your debts.

20 Activities for Cheap or Free Family Fun

Tip #7: 20 Tips to Conserve Water and Save $$$.

Click “Like” on Facebook for more tips to get out of debt, and more.

Tip #7 to get out of Debt: Limit the amount of water you use.

Everyone uses water and most of us take for granite that it is just there. With these tips you could save yourself a lot of money each month.

tip 7 20 tips to conserve water and save money

Whether you live on a lot with well water or have city water, it still costs a lot of money, and if you conserve water, then you could save a lot of money.

Tip #6 How to Cut More Car Expenses

Like us on Facebook for more tips to get out of debt, and more.

Tip #6 Buy a Used Car

We have owned several cars throughout the years and none of them were ever bought new. That may not sound to strange to some of you, but considering my father-in-law worked at a dealership for 40 years you would have thought we would have bought at least one new one.

We have always lived very frugal and never could justify having car payments for a new car.

Car Silhouette

Our last post was on eliminating a car and how it may be possible for you. If that is not an option you may consider:

Tip #5 How to Save Money on your Car

Like us on Facebook for more tips to get out of debt, and more.

Over the years we have owned several vehicles. We have four of them right now and six drivers (12 people living in our house) and with all the work and sport schedules it is sometimes difficult arranging the car schedules, but it is better than buying another car for right now. Well, our 25 year old son has a car for his two jobs and our 23 year old daughter has one for her 2 jobs, hubby has a car for work, and we have the family tuckster (We call this our BUS!) It is sometimes a struggle arranging the car schedules but it is better than buying another car for right now.

This is our BUS!

How to save money on you vehicle[8]

Tip #4 How to Save Money Eating Out

Like us on Facebook for more tips to get out of debt, how-to projects and more.

Thank you for following along with our 31 tips to get out of debt series.

Everyone is different. Some people eat out quite often, while others only eat out occasionally. Whichever way you go, you can save money eating out.

31 Tips to save money Eating Out

If you are trying to cut your debt, not eating out or eating out less can definitely save you lots of money. However,

Tip #3 How to Save Money on Lunches

Like us on Facebook for more tips to get out of debt, how-to projects and more.

I am glad you are joining us with the 31 Days blog party, that the Nesting Place is hosting. This is going to be very difficult to get all the posts written and out in the 31 days, but we are going to do it.  We are happy to have you follow us through the month to find out more tips on to get out of debt and be debt free. Hopefully you will find some or all of these tips helpful to you in your journey to become and/or be debt free. If you like these tips please share our link with your friends and family.

Tip 3 Pack a lunch 2012-10-03

We have always packed our own lunches for work and

Tip #2 to Get Out of Debt: How to save Money on your Energy Bills

Like us on Facebook for more Tip to get out of debt, How-to projects and more.

Tip # 2: Turn down your thermostat 3 degrees!

Since it’s the beginning of the month and there’s starting to get a chill in the air (at least where we live), we thought this would be a good place to start with this tip.

Tip 2 to get out of dept

Turn your thermostat down 3 degrees (even more at night when you go to bed, just use an extra blanket). If you have a digital thermostat, set it to go down at…

Tip 1 to get Out of Debt: How to Find Excess Spending

Like us on Facebook for more tips to get out of debt, how-to projects and more.

Do you have credit card debt? Are you earning less money than you were a few years ago? Are you struggling to stay afloat?  You’re not alone. Many people are in the same boat as you are today.

Tip 1 Look for Excess Spending

Many people have asked us how do we manage to have no debt (except for our mortgage) while also having 12 children.

31 Days of Tips to Get Out of Debt!

Like us on Facebook to get our latest posts and more!

For the next 31 days we will be joining hundreds of bloggers who have accepted The Nesting Place, 31 Days Challenge, to write about one subject every day.

31 Tips to save money and get out of Debt 2

We are going to be trying to post posting 31 tips on how to become debt free.

We have been able to stay debt free…

How to Frame a Bathroom Mirror

Click Like us on Facebook for more How-to projects and more!
I showed you how we organize our bathroom here. Below is one of the pictures I showed, and we got several requests to show how we framed our mirror. We have framed several mirrors, shown below. Some of the frames we used mitered corners, and some of the frames we used straight side cuts with square corner pieces. The second way, is WAY EASIER.


The first thing to do, is to choose a casing to use for the frame. We used several different …

Family Apple Picking

Click “Like” on our Facebook page for more updates.
Hi, everyone, I have been MIA! I have been getting our home school year going, which takes a lot of extra time.  The first few weeks are always very time consuming.  Getting everyone use to new subjects and schedules. Things are getting a little more settled. Nothing around this house is ever  SETTLED! LOL!
Family apple picking
This past weekend we went …

Homemade Giardiniera



Click “Like” on  our Facebook page for more recipes.

Homemade Giardiniera

Do you like Giardiniera? There is nothing better than when it is homemade. I have only made this a couple of times, it is easy to make and is delicious. I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com. I like using this website, although I usually alter recipes a little do to what I have on hand. They are still delicious!

I bought this big box of all

Shaklee Powered Olympians Win Medals!

Go to our Facebook page now and click the like button, to receive additional updates!Read

The Olympics are over but the adrenalin lives on. The USA rocked this summer didn’t they?

2012-08-08 Vegas Convention 2012-08-07 251

I’m usually not such a big fan of watching the game but hearing about the large number of athletes that are Shaklee users made me want to watch this year more that usual. At our Shaklee Global Conference in Las Vegas, we had a live feed to London with our Shaklee Olympians talking to us about

Celebrating our 29th Anniversary!

Like us on Facebook now to receive additional updates on our family!

Last week was another busy week for us. We celebrated 29 years of marriage, our daughter’s birthday, and our son’s  birthday. We also had guest in from out of town, a 50th birthday party to go to, and my Mother-in-law had a hip replacement, who is now having complications from that. (Please pray that she recovers quickly.)

2012-07-21 Jim Stari's 50th Birthday party 2012-07-21 007

Shaklee Athletes to watch for in the Olympics!

Like us on Facebook now to receive updates on the Shaklee Olympian Athletes.

I am not much of a sports fan myself, but I do enjoy watching the Olympics with my family. Another thing I like about the Olympics is that is gets the whole world joined for some competition and fun.  Not only are the people together actually playing the games themselves, but they come alive in just about everyone’s house through the TV, computers, and now on the go everywhere, with smart phones, giving updates.

  Troy Dumais

There are eight athletes that are a part of the Shaklee Pure Performance Team who have qualified for the Games in London. Let’s follow these athletes, and watch them bring home the GOLD!

How-to add Shelves for added Bathroom Storage

Like us on Facebook for more how-to projects.

We are always in need of storage space and we like to have things organized. So when we added these shelves I was so excited.
2012-07-09 How to add shelves for extra bathroom storage
We had this open space over the toilet that I realized I could utilize. I can’t believe I didn’t think about it years ago, and it was so simple to convert into shelf space.

Staining a Deck with Solid Color Stain

 Like us on Facebook for more how-to projects.
2010-05 041
While my husband was out of work for a couple of years we flipped three homes and worked on some side jobs. One of the jobs we did was to renovate and update my parent’s house. Their deck was weathered and not looking too good.  Look at the before.

Railing or No Railing?

How was your 4th of July? Ours was very nice, but HOT!!! 
This is our house, and we have been contemplating the idea of taking out the railing. I like how it looks, but there are several reasons on why we would want to take it out.
2012-07-05 Porch Railing 2012-07-05 023 02

Bananicles (Banana Pops)

Like us on Facebook for more ideas for children.

It is hot today and our air-conditioned is not big enough to cool our house down, so we don’t use it. I am not a fan of the air myself, but on a day like today it would be nice. It is going to get close to 100 degrees. The kids like to play out in the little kiddy pool and run through the sprinkler to keep cool. (I like to join them! LOL!)
I also like to treat them to something cool.  We make what we call Bananicles or Banana Pops. It is a frozen banana on a stick.
2012-06-08 Bananicle 2012-06-08 001

Kitchen Cabinet Organization

Like us on Facebook for more tips.

An organized kitchen is very important in having an efficient kitchen. I am very fortunate to have a lot of cabinets. It makes it easier to keep neat and organized with more space. Having 12 children we need more of everything, cups, plates, etc. Even with all these cabinets I do keep some things that are only used occasionally in the basement.
This is one angle of my kitchen….

Gyros with Ground Beef

Like us on Facebook for more Recipes.

This is a recipe that is very easy to make and everyone in our family likes it. If you like Gyros, you will like this. This is a must try! The texture is different because ground beef is used instead of the lamb, but the flavor is delicious.


Meat: (brown, add seasonings and simmer on low for 10 minutes)
1 pound Ground Beef
1 Tablespoon Oregano
1 Tablespoon Mint Flakes
2 Cloves Garlic chopped or crushed
Sea Salt to taste (I use at least 1 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt)
Pepper to taste
Sauce: (Mix all together)

1 Cup Plain Yogurt
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 Cucumber (peeled and chopped)

1 Clove Garlic chopped or crushed


Place a spoon full of the meat on a warm pita, add sauce, and top with onion and tomatoes.
Do you like Gyros?
If you try this come back and let me know what you thought.
Subscribe to our blog below or like us on Facebook now to receive our latest posts so you won’t miss any DIY projects, organization ideas, recipes of all kinds, cleaning tips and health and wellness information.
Enter your email address:

Parents of a Dozen

Linking up to:


Cleaning Chocolate and Grass out of Clothes Safely!

Having 12 children we are always dealing with stains in clothes! It was nice to find an easy way to clean chocolate and grass out of the clothes.

Get Chocolate Stains out

Growing Green Onions: A Fun Project for the Kids

This is a fun project for the children to try. All of mine had fun watching the onions growing every day. So did I! lol!
This is what we did:
Cut the tops off the green onions and put rubber bands around the base of the onions and placed them into a bowl or a glass cup.
This is a picture after the first day for most of them and after a week for the onions on the right. (We wanted to try more.)

MY “Parents of a Dozen!”

I hope everyone had a happy Mothers Day.
The past several weeks we have been extremely filled with activities, which left no time to blog.
We finally closed on our investment house. Yay!!!! You could see all the things we had to move here.
This past weekend my nephew got married and we had family in from several states. This is a picture of my parents and their 12 children. (I am the 5th oldest)


Tips to Healthier Living Series: Part Four, Nutritional Supplements

Hi, how was your weekend? We had a great time yesterday celebrating our son, Thomas’ eighth birthday. I can’t believe he is that old already.
I want to share with you today about why I supplement and why I use the supplements I do.
Healthier Living 6 Series

Cleaning the Grill!

With grilling season approaching, I thought everyone would like to see how we clean our grill.

We got this grill at a garage sale this past summer for $20.00. The family that was selling it was putting in a built in grill along with a new brick patio. Our grill we had thrown out, because it was no longer working and rusted through. As you could see it was not looking too pretty, so we brought out our trusty cleaners and got to work. Look at the before picture. Yuck!
How to Clean Your Grill

Moving Day!! Tons of Decor!

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter. This past Friday and Saturday we moved furniture, decoration, and staging items out of our investment home. We are scheduled to close on Tuesday, Finally! I pray everything goes well this time.
Several of our children helped in the move. 

Coloring Easter Eggs!

Coloring Easter Eggs is a tradition in our house. The children always look forward to it, at least some of them. (Depending on the age!)


Hallway Transformation!

I am so excided! We finally installed the hardwood floor that was sitting in our hallway for a year. (See the boxes on the left.) We used the flooring (3/4 inch thick tongue and groove hardwood) that was left over from our main floor. You could see a post on that here. It looks so much better! What do you think?

Wood Floor in Hallway before and after

Here is our hallway from both directions before the hard wood.

Take Your Life in a Whole New Direction!

 Take your life in a whole new direction and do a 180. To read my daughter’s story click Here!
Before and After
Do you know of someone that you could benefit from this?

Parents of a Dozen

Subscribe to our blog below, like us on Facebook, or follow this blog now to receive our latest posts so you won’t miss any diy projects, organization ideas, recipes of all kinds, cleaning tips and health and wellness information.
Enter your email address:

Why We Don’t Use a Microwave; Tips to Healthier Living: Part 3

We have not been using a microwave for the past 13 years now. When we started learning about health and nutrition, I learned how the microwave decays and changes the molecular structure of the food by the process of radiation, so we chose to not use it anymore and got rid of our microwave.
No Microwave

Fishing with the Younger Boys!

We have had the most unbelievable weather this past week, for the area where we live. All the plants are about a month ahead of schedule, the grass is green and we actually mowed our lawn this past weekend.

Last Friday we had a lot of rain and our boys collected probably 100 earthworms from the driveway, patio, and the sidewalks. They really wanted to go fishing and with the weather being so nice we decided to take the younger boys the the state park that is near our house to try our luck at fishing. We don’t really know much about it, but it was a nice outing and we all had fun.



Earn Money While You Shop!

Here is a way to earn money while you shop on line at your favorite stores.
Shop on line for cash back
Ebates.com is a great Web site that pays you cash back every time you shop online (up to 26% back!) Ebates works with 1,500 stores including Sephora, JCPenney, Kohl's, Home Depot, Overstock.com, Groupon, Barnes & Noble, and Walmart, so you are sure to find your favorites.
In addition to cash back, Ebates has thousands of great coupons, free shipping, and special offers from its stores, so you always get a great deal.