Friday, July 1, 2016


 Miss Kam.

She's such a breath of fresh air.

The other day we had some errands to run, and we made a stop at the Dollar Tree. 
It's a favorite of the girls', don'tcha know. 
Because everything is right in their price range {and mine too, if we're being honest!}

Kam took a little of her hard-earned money, and purchased party hats, plates, and cups, for her AG doll, Emma's, birthday.

Sweet girl, she was hard at work decorating, and getting everything just so.
 And then she invited her sissies and mama in for a celebration.

She captured some memories,
 brought out the goodies,
 and even had gifts for her favorite doll.
 I just love her imagination, spirit, and creativity ♥
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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Breakfast Time

 In the spirit of more time with kiddos in the kitchen . . .

I present:

Pancake D├ęcor.

Start with a mini pancakes,

add a little whipped cream and powdered sugar,

A dash of sprinkles,

Apparently more is more to a certain, just-turned-five year old.

And, voila! A festive, summertime breakfast treat.
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Monday, June 27, 2016

Kids in the Kitchen ~ Popsicle Bites

 Our "finding the joy" adventures that I had planned in my head, took on new form when Tay started coming down with a virus.  Last week, when Kenners had started running a high fever and complaining of a sore throat, I had chalked it up to lack of sleep and stress.  But when Tay showed the same symptoms a week later, I had to accept that we were spreading some germs 'round here.
Yay. Summer Sickies.

Luckily, a sweet friend had recently brought dinner to us, and with that she included just about everything you could think from her garden. Fresh lettuce, spinach, onions, raspberries, and blueberries. Yum, yum, yum!

So. Straight to the kitchen we went, to make a feel-better-kids-snack.
{PS ~ This adult liked it just fine too!}

I knew I wanted to make popsicles, but they take such a long time to freeze, and Tay-Tay is not known for her patience; particularly when her throat is on fire.

So we started with these:

Little bites of creamy, yogurty, raspberry-y, goodness!

We found a mini ice cube tray, mixed our ingredients, and poured straight into the tray.

About an hour later, and they were done!

Then I found these plastic shot glasses that I had picked up at the Dollar Store awhile back.
And cut some cute, paper straws in half to use as sticks.

The PERFECT size for mini popsicles!
 Quick and easy, and oh-so-delicious!
 No need to wait for a sore throat! 
These little treats could be gobbled up as a sweet, Summertime, cool-down, snack! 
That's just what my older girls did!

The details: {In case you want to make your own!}

You'll need:

Raspberries {or your favorite berry!}
 ~ About 2 cups {more or less, depending on how many treats you plan to make}

Vanilla Yogurt {1-2 Cups}

A splash of Cream orrrrrr I used Vanilla Creamer. Oh Yum. Oh Yum, Yum, Yum.

Mix it all up {I like to crush the berries a bit}, and pour into whatever mold you choose:
Popsicles, ice cube trays . . .

Toss in the freezer, and you're on your way to frozen goodness!
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Friday, June 24, 2016


It is a mess around here.
I'm not sure how else to describe it, really, other than life is real messy right now.
A couple of weeks ago we lost my father-in-law, tragically, and suddenly.  To say that we are lost, and having trouble knowing how to go on, is an understatement. We were *just* finding our way after the last tragedy, four years ago. Just beginning to smile again.  Just finding the joy in the new memories being made. And now . . . what?
That's been my question for the last two weeks.  'What now?'  Of course, I just want to scoop up my mom-in-law, and move her right in with us. But, I'm not real sure she'll go for that.  {Orrr ~ has anyone searched mother-in-law cottages on Pinterest? Adorable!}  But I think our first step is just that, a step.  One step, and then another toward living again.  I am reminded how short this life is. How little time we have with one another.  So my goal is to do MORE.  Even when I feel like doing less.  To make more memories with my daughters and husband, my mother-in-law, and my own parents. More sleepouts on the living room floor. More nature walks. More time with my girls in the kitchen.  More life, less stress. More trust, less control.
That's the plan, Stan. To seek out a little bit of joy in this world of chaos and confusion.
Big hugs from me to you, in case you are feeling lost too.
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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Happy Birthday, Taylor Grace!

 Oh my goodness, Tay, you are five years old!
Tay 3slot  

I had a bit of a break down a few weeks ago as I thought about the fact that you will start Kindergarten this fall . . .

And this is the first time I've had a Kindergartener, and NOT had a smaller one at home.

You are my baby girl.
 And you fit that role perfectly.

You're ornery as all get out,
stubborn, feisty, spirited, and spunky!
 But you are also loving, sweet, helpful, and full of joy!
Birthday02P (2)  

Every day with you is, truly, a new adventure.
 Happy Happy Birthday, my sweet girl!
We love you to the moon! 
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Monday, June 6, 2016

Road Trippin'

 Last week was crazy-busy with our final Bible study for the season,
errands, and a day with friends at the amusement park. 
But finally, FINALLY. I uploaded photos from our weekend trip to Medford.

We don't get down there often, but we sure do love it!

This trip was hush-hush because the occasion was a surprise birthday party for my aunt!

Medford is {should be} about a 4 1/2 hour drive. 
But, for our little family of six, it's more like six hours.

It takes us forever to get out.
Then we have to stop for eats and treats:

But everyone sighs a great big relief when we've scaled the last mountain pass,
and Medford is in sight.

Once we got settled in our room, there were plans made for dinner with my parents, sister, and her family.

Shoji's is a favorite because it's so much fun to watch someone prepare your meal right in front of you!  And what a show it is!

{Tay LOVED all of the fire}

The next morning started with snuggles.
 Then off to the restaurant we went to surprise Aunt Pat.

She was surprised :)

And it's pretty safe to say we ALL had a pretty great time.
 We got a little visit time in with family,

and then it was time to say good-bye :(
 Until next time, anyway.

Any great ideas for passing the time in the car? 
We've got several road trips planned this summer, and not one of us is any good at traveling :)  
Car games, activities, any ideas to make travel time fun would be much appreciated!
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Monday, May 23, 2016

The End of a Year

Another school year has come to an end, and I really feel the need to document this one.
Every year is special in its own way, but this year has been a turning point in many ways.

For starters, I wasn't ever sure we'd get this far.
It's true.
When we started our homeschool journey, I thought, maybe we'll homeschool through Elementary.
Maybe even Middle school.

But I hadn't ever thought as far as high school.
And that, my friends, is where we are with this one here:


Miss Sierra will be a Freshman next year. {Insert bug-eyed emoji}.
Let me just have a minute to compose myself, because, TRULY, I do not know where the time has gone.

Okay. I'm back.

So, here we are.  Turning point.
And I am delighted to say that we are going to continue on this crazy path.
Because we love it so so much.

Any time I've let doubt creep in, I am quickly reminded why we do this thing:

Because we love being with one another.
Because we get to choose our own curriculum.
Because the thought of my children spending more of their waking hours away from home than at home, when we really have so few years with them anyway, makes me want to cry.
Because I believe they are receiving a better education.
Because they have so much more TIME to really explore hobbies they are passionate about.
And that is just the tippy top of the iceberg.

These girls ~ I am so proud of them.


Last week we went in for testing, and they were AMAZING!
They exceeded my hopes a million times over ~
 the way they handled themselves,
by testing much higher than their grade levels in each category,
and by working so hard this year.

Yay, Girls!  We've done it!

We've had:

a year of studies;

a year of crafts;

a year of experiments;

a year of taking advantage of the sunshine when you see it!

A year of picnics by the creek;

a year of new beginnings;

a year of learning, and sharing;

a year of  LIVING
 Thank you, Lord, for this blessed gift!

Now, let Summer begin!!! 
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