My children have hand, foot, mouth disease–yuck!

Just to hear the word—DISEASE makes it sound like something awful and gross.  But in reality–hand, foot, and mouth disease is just a viral illness.  Just like if you were to get a cold.  It just sounds so much worse.  I decided to write on this because the only information I could find was from medical sites and not from REAL Mom’s who had to deal with this.  Let me share with you the  journey of my children having  hand, foot, and mouth disease.

This illness has affected our entire household– in various different forms.  Remember there are 11 of us living in the home.  It started with seeing some tiny almost blister like bites on my daughter. She woke up and  I thought that it was strange and that she must of gotten attacked by a spider or some other strange insect here.  No itching, just lots of tiny blister like bites.  Then that same day–two other children started with high fevers.  Those fevers spiked to 103.5 and would not go down right away with Ibuprofen doses.  I sponged them with a cool washcloth and it eventually went down to a low grade fever of 101.  This lasted for 48 hours, returning every 6 hours as the medicine wore off.  Another toddler cried out in pain as he drank from his sippy cup—-his throat had tiny blisters in it and hurt to drink anything.

Then I got word that a friend’s child was diagnosed with this disease and I knew that is what we had. Hand-foot-and-mouth disease — a mild, contagious viral infection common in young children — is characterized by sores in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet. Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is most commonly caused by a coxsackievirus. I had come to learn through the various ages of my children, how it affected each person.  Here is a breakdown of such:

3 year old—had mild low grade fever for about 2 days then  small spotty hive looking spots on feet, toes, hands, up part of arm, around mouth, and inside of mouth appeared that lasted about 1 week.  On day 2 of seeing spots, had extremely itchy feet and hands—used Benadryl liquid, socks on feet and then I rubbed them.  Refused to eat or drink anything for few days.  Hurt to suck, avoided any acid type drinks or food.  We found yogurt was something he enjoyed eating and ate an entire quart container of it in one day. Tried offering liquids–did not want that for about 3 days–just small sips of water.

4 year old—just had spots, no fever, no complaints, ate normal–developed cough later

5 year old–had fever of 103.5 for 48 hours, spots occurred during that time.  They appeared on feet, legs, hands, arms, around nose, mouth, on buttocks, more severe looking on this child.  Had extreme itching—gave Epson salt baths, covered in Hydrocortizone cream, rubbed feet through socks, applied carmex to lips constantly, ate popsicles and drank Gatorade—throat hurt and had accompany cough.  Ear pain developed in this child.  Used ibuprofen to help symptoms ease.

6 year old—had extreme fever of 103 and fatigue for 3 days.  No spots at all.  Terrible cough that kept her up at night.  –only child under 10 that did not receive spots

9 year old—had high fever 102—rested within 2 days had spots on hands, feet, and around nose.  Stayed in bed, itchy but manageable.  One week and symptoms have disappeared.

10 year old—had extremely high fever 104—developed sores after 2 days of fever all over feet, hands, all around mouth developed blisters.  Laid in bed for days.  After one week all blisters have left and appears normal.

upper teens and adults—-received sore throat, extreme fatigue to stay in bed for days, and low grade fever–no spots

My suggestion——REST, keep low acid type foods—yogurt, rice krispy cereal softened in milk was good, butter crackers, bananas, popsicles, and  Gatorade.  I made a pot of chicken noodle soup and some ate it, but the above was typical diet for a week.

Giving warm baths in Epson salts was a nice relief for itching.  We then covered bodies in clothing and rubbed the sores.  Some spots, blistered and became sores but we kept them covered in antibiotic cream.  We kept the Ibuprofen in them nonstop.

Look at the positive.  It could have been worse—we could have had to live through chicken pox or vomiting.  I am thankful that they all got it within a week and we were able to just stay home without contaminating anyone else.  It took about one week from start to finish with each child.  Would I want to get this again?? No way!!!  I am thankful it went through everyone at the same time and quickly.  Now we are on the mend!

large family organization part 4 —little boys room

large family organization series

In a home full of so many people, having so many things it can get pretty messy if I am not careful.  When we moved to our new state of North Carolina, I had to size down even more on my children’s toys.  Each child got a plastic dish pan full of toys to take and that was it.  We kept a few larger items like a box full of blocks—which has been refilled thanks to Daddies wood working business:)IMG_20151114_130455Also, some waffle blocks that the boys enjoy building with.  Everything else got given away.  We needed to bring only the things we thought we would really use and then we could always buy  more things later after we got here.  Well it has been a year and we have pretty much stayed the same with the boys room.  One of the boys enjoys his lego collection and has a small ice cream bucket full of them…..IMG_20151114_130716

and the other boy loves small metal cars. ……

IMG_20151114_130520 His box is full of those and small action figures.  Makes clean up easy, I had given away to church any toys that they grow out of and no longer use.  It is so much easier to clean a room each day when it is just a few items compared to tons.  We keep these all tucked nice and neat under the bed.  When I had all of the items sitting out in the room—the lego box, Stephens box, the block box, the waffle block—-it seems that they get into them more and make a mess.  Once I slid them under the bed, they had to “think” about them more to play with them verses just dumping everything out because they are there.

IMG_20151114_130934The boys room is simple, they have a set of bunk beds and a small table with the tv/vcr on it.  Not a lot to mess up and this in turn gives them a larger space to play in.

For clothing, we use those plastic drawers labeled for things to go inside of.  I don’t fold their clothing very much as they can get out their own and make a mess.  I try to keep underwear,socks, and pajamas in the same drawer so they aren’t digging through the shorts and pants making a mess.  It works.  I will eventually get them their own drawers but this works for now.  We hang all shirts and they put their shoes in here as well.IMG_20151114_130600We keep it simple and practical.  You can watch my VLOG of this room as well if you would like.

leftover turkey ideas

If you are a planner then you have been thinking about what you are going to create with all that leftover turkey.  In our family, there isn’t much leftover turkey unless I make another one—which I might………

Well the internet is full of great leftover ideas—I like to keep mine simple. We do the same things if we can and these have been family staples for years.

Sandwich spread.  Take your turkey and grind it in a food processor.  You can do the same for ham.  If you want to make equal parts of turkey and ham that makes a nice combination.  Mix in some whipped salad dressing and it is done.  If you are creative you can add some chopped onion, relish, or celery or keep it simple with meat and mayo.  Spread on bread.

By the way if you use the food processor for your turkey and ham, you can freeze it into plastic bags. Thaw and use later on.  We do this all of the time.  No taste difference.

Turkey haystacks.  My friend Danielle has given me her, chicken haystack, but it would work just as well with turkey. Easy meal for busy days.

Taste like thanksgiving casserole. Always a favorite in our home.  Layer in a 9×13 baking pan—stuffing(smoosh it down real good), chopped turkey, leftover veges–corn or green bean casserole, and mashed potatoes.  Create a gravy with sour cream, can of cream of chicken soup , and half a can of milk.  Spread that on top and you can put shredded orange cheese on if you have it.

Turkey and gravy over biscuits.  A yummy comfort meal.  Bake some biscuits—use frozen, refrigerator, or make some drop ones.  Then make a gravy with water, chicken bouillon and cornstarch.  Add pieces of leftover turkey.  Serve with can of peas if your family likes that.

Turkey and swiss sandwich.  Make grilled cheese style sandwiches with turkey, sliced swiss cheese, and if you want to get not so plain add some stuffing, cranberry sauce, mustard, and gravy.

Turkey pot pie.  Use refrigerated pie crusts and fill with shredded turkey, frozen mixed vegetables, and 2 cans of cream of chicken soup .  Top with crust and bake 350 until done.

Turkey noodle soup.  Make a variation of chicken noodle soup but with turkey.  Water, chicken bouillon, turkey, mixed vegetables, and noodles.  Easy.

Pumpkin smoothies.  Use leftover pumpkin about 2 Tablespoons, 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt, 1 cup milk, cinnamon or nutmeg.  Blend and enjoy.  If you want it more frozen, add a few ice cubes.

Not a lot of excitement, just easy and plain leftover ideas.  Create less stress in your food prep.  Be blessed.

Thanksgiving inexpensive craft ideas

I remember back in the day when I would order tons of Oriental Trading crafts for my children at each holiday and think it was great.  Then I would spend lots of time trying to glue and hold something that was not an easy put together craft for my little ones.  I then learned its time to find age appropriate ones and stick with it.

Here are some crafts that are inexpensive and your children—depending upon the age—-should be self sufficient in making them.  There is no point to craft time, if Mom is putting them all together:)

Salt dough pumpkinsIMG_20151117_145415

These are super easy to make and if you have little ones, they will enjoy playing with them like playdough.  For your older ones, they will enjoy creating wonderful mini pumpkins.  Cute decoration that your children will enjoy putting out every year.  Mine would use them to decorate their dollhouses with.  Good fun.

Corn cob napkin holders

These are great if your children love doing that meticulous crafting job.  I did these one year and thought it took forever, but my children were happily making dots and loving it.  All you do is cut toilet paper tubes into 1 inch sections so that you are left with a ring that will slide over your napkins.  Give them a qtip or eraser tipped pencil and some yellow paint and let them dot circles all around the ring.  It will look like a piece of corn.

Make a turkeyIMG_20151114_113257

My children make these every year, simple and easy.

Make a slice of pumpkin pie

This was fun to do with my little ones.  You take a paper plate and cut it into pie slices.  Have your child color it like a slice of pumpkin pie–tan and brown.  Then apply a little glue stick and sprinkle some cinnamon or nutmeg on to it.  Glue a cotton ball to the top for your whipped cream.  Cute and fun.

Make turkey apples.IMG_20151117_144233 

If you have an abundance of apples to spare, this is a great filler activity.  Create some turkey heads before hand, if you have little ones and glue onto toothpicks—I reinforced mine with tape.  Then give your child some toothpicks, colored marshmallows and colored cereal.  Let them make turkey feathers to decorate.  These are cute for your table, unless your children eat all the pieces off!IMG_20151117_144308

Turkey glove

Take clear plastic gloves and fill the fingers with colored candies—M&Ms or Skittles.  Fill the palm part with popcorn.  Tie shut and glue a turkey face on the thumb area—neat party favor.

Make a thankful tree

Cut out a large tree out of paper bags.  Precut leaves and have each member of your family write what they are thankful for on them.  Tape them around the tree on your wall.  If you are super creative, grab a tree branch and paint it.  Stick it in a jar with some rocks and attach leaves with twine to your tree with your families thankful things.

Be sure to print off my FREE Thanksgiving pack-–to keep your children busy while making last minute preparations.

Simple easy, not much work—good for a busy Mom.  Be blessed today!

Thanksgiving book list 2016


In our family, we are regular supporter of our local library.  I believe our stack of books each week is huge:)  I think any homeschooling parent can relate.  Now that it is time for Thanksgiving, I wanted to search out some good books for my children to read.  I do have another list here , and also here, but since we have moved the books offered at our current library  are different from the ones before.

I recommend signing into your library website and doing a search for any of the books mentioned and have them sent to your local library.  What a great time saver for us Moms.

Older elementary reading books

Eating the plates    a Pilgrim book of food and manners

Cranberry Thanksgiving

How many days till America

Gracias the Thanksgiving turkey

If you were at the first Thanksgiving   –this is full of historical information and facts.

Younger read to me books

I know an old lady who swallowed a pie

Squanto’s journey

turkey surprise

The squirrels thanksgiving

Thanks for thanksgiving

Fat chance thanksgiving

A turkey for thanksgiving

Duck for turkey day

thanksgiving at the tappletons

sarah mortons day—good picture books of pilgrim life

samuel easton day—good picture books of pilgrim life

early readers

its thanksgiving

thanksgiving mice


An old fashioned thanksgiving

craft books

crafts for thankgiving

thanksgiving fun


Happy reading!