December 2018

We are entering another winter in Oregon. I really do love the changing of seasons. But, I will definitely be ready for some sunshine come February. December was actually really quiet for us. We didn’t do any of our Christmas outings, which I’m a little sad about. But, we needed some quiet this month. And the not to mention some stressful stuff like our car getting stolen the week before Christmas…it was a weird month!

We actually took the whole month off with school stuff and just focused on advent and Christmas activities. Lots of baking, home days, crafts, and movies.


We ended the month with 10 days in California. It was a really sweet time reconnecting with friends and family. Curtis and I got to go on a couple dates, so that was fun. This is us outside of the Red Room. I made Curtis take so many selfies and he was just over it. Hahaha


On our flight back. Traveling is so freaking stressful with so many young children. Lots of deep breathing and praying. Also, look at all our stuff. SO MUCH KID STUFF!IMG_20181230_174732378

The candlelight service at Vintage. I miss this place and how comfortable and homey it feels to me. I attempted to leave Jonathan at the nursery. Didn’t work. And it was pretty crazy juggling him during a service that was suppose to be quiet and mellow. I was sweating…This baby is feisty!IMG_20181224_170149466IMG_20181224_165437309

On one of our dates. We borrowed Curtis’ dad car and drove around, had lunch and coffee, and enjoyed the warm sunshine!IMG_20181222_112606



Back in Portland. On the night we flew to CA, we had our community group Christmas Party. We had pizza and wine, had all the sugary treats, and sang carols and did an white elephant gift exchange. Love these people.


One of the biggest blessings last year was joining our small group. We have only known them for a year-ish, but, goodness do these people love well. They continue to teach me a ton about hospitality, welcoming others, and giving generously and freely. The sweetest card with the sweetest gift for our family during a hard time. I have it on my fridge to remind me of the goodness we have here…especially on hard days when homesickness hits and we miss our people.


Love my friend Annie. She is always up for adventuring with me. We went on a hike with our kids and it was pouring rain!! Hahahaha. It got so bad that we walked back after 20 minutes and drove to the OMSI museum instead. HahahaIMG_20181220_102243

At our preschool co-op Christmas Party! We had a dance party, decorated Christmas cookies, wore our Christmas pajamas, and ended our last day of co-op with some hot chocolate.IMG_20181219_111212IMG_20181219_105841IMG_20181219_104833

So, I think I mentioned the lack of dates Curtis and I have had this last year. We are trying to do better. We went on a few dates in December. This picture was taken at the second place we went to and we stayed out till like 10:30, which is SUPER late for us. It was so nice!IMG_20181207_221559558


Thursday mornings are nature day. This day was freezing and windy! Do you see Jonathan in the middle of the swing? Cutie pie.IMG_20181206_105500433IMG_20181206_103545785


On a walk with a new friend. A friend from back in Santa Cruz introduced us and it’s really great when friend blind dates end up successful. IMG_20181204_113751836_BURST001

On another nature day at Leach Botanical Gardens. We love it there.



I hosted co-op at our house a couple times this month. I look so disheveled, but I am in my happy place.



Some advent activities this month. Love these tradition of ours.



We followed Slow and Sacred Advent Guide this month. It really made for special memories. This is after singing, Joy to the World, and lighting our candle. IMG_9487IMG_9486IMG_9481

We built gingerbread houses, had a Polar Express night with hot chocolate, more christmas movies with popcorn, made gingerbread men, and hosted more preschool co-op days at our house. IMG_9470IMG_9452IMG_9451IMG_9444IMG_9436IMG_9431



This was scene while I tried to make dinner one night. We were having some new friends over for dinner (this was actually our first time meeting, hahahaha) and Curtis was had a late dentist appointment and I was frantically trying to make this deliciousness. The only thing that kept the kids busy was this…toilet paper rolls. They were literally throwing them across the hallway and acting like completely crazies. The whole time I was wondering why do keep inviting people into our CRAZY?!! hahahaIMG_9411IMG_9396IMG_9503IMG_9510IMG_9513IMG_9515IMG_9394

Cookie making and decorating with her bestie. It was really crazy with all the kids. Curtis kept brewing coffee for the grown ups. We needed it! HahahaIMG_9382IMG_9380

I had to take Jonathan out during the cookie making. He has so much energy for a 17 month old! IMG_9376IMG_9375IMG_9371IMG_9365


Making spelt chocolate chip cookies with the kiddos while we snack on kale chips. This was the state of kitchen most of December. And this is why I gained like 10 pounds this past month! IMG_9362IMG_9358


We had some playdates this month.IMG_9351


I had to document this precious moment. Everyone playing quietly and together while Christmas music was blasting and I had cookies in the oven. This moment gave me so much life. IMG_9348


Our memory verse this month. And James’ first verse he memorized. SO SO SWEET.IMG_9340




Another co-op day at our house. Snack and craft time!IMG_9326IMG_9312


We had some friends over for waffles after church. Incredibly thankful for this cozy home and for people to share it with. Our friends are vegan, so we attempted vegan waffles and they were a little tricky to make…but coffee and waffles on a dreary Sunday hit the spot! IMG_9306IMG_9310


And more CA photos. Beach play with the Pao’s is must. Maybe next time I will learn and bring extra clothes for the kids. IMG_9561IMG_9564


My dad’s birthday celebration! We had such a sweet time with my family. We attempted some group photos with my sisters and our babies. We ended the party with some dancing. Just like we always do when my family gets together. HahahaIMG_9581IMG_9593IMG_9598IMG_9614IMG_9621IMG_9633


Our last day in CA, we decided to stay at the beach till sunset. It was really beautiful and warm (at least for us!).IMG_9636IMG_9646IMG_9655IMG_9686IMG_9692


Coffee and pastries with the cousins after church Sunday morning. Heart filled! IMG_9753

Also, the Ev and James wrote on the wall at nana’s. So special! IMG_9765IMG_9769IMG_9759


November 2018



Some November photos. Totally out of order! The weekend after Thanksgiving we got a tree and it was pure joy decorating and listening to Christmas music. I planned on having the kids bake with me after we decorated…but, everyone started to meltdown, so we had rest time instead. Rest time wins. Always. IMG_9190IMG_9182IMG_9168IMG_9152IMG_9125IMG_9118IMG_9114IMG_9095IMG_9088IMG_9085IMG_9083IMG_9067



This is our third year hosting friendsgiving and it was bittersweet. We’ve spent the last three years celebrating thanksgiving with two precious families. And one them moved last year to another city, so we hardly see them now! And the other family is moving to Boston! This was our last night with them. They were the first friends we made in Portland. And honestly, they ended up being like family. We did so much together. Thinking about December without them makes me weepy. In addition, we were feeling SO SO SAD about not being at Nana’s for Thanksgiving. Curtis and I spent the whole day cooking, watching the Thanksgiving parade, and honestly feeling sad about being away from family AND THEN feeling sad, that our dear friends in Portland are also leaving. BUT, it was so good to spend time with friends and open our home.

A photo I took after our guests left. I wish I could have taken more photos. But, I was busy hanging out! We made a batch of Manhattan’s and I had fun preparing the pretty cocktails. Our home smelled like apple cider and our stomach’s were full with delicious things!


Our Menu

Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad
Triple Mushroom Green Bean Casserole
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Butternut Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole
Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Maple Bourbon Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Buttermilk crust


Most afternoons look this. Making forts and jumping off everything because I breed hyper children.


Just some school stuff. We’ve been digging into a leaves/tree theme as well as Thankfulness. We’ve listened to loads of audio books and finished three read alouds this month. The kids loved Charlotte’s Web! They weren’t so into Stuart Little, and are currently really into the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. They pretend they are in Narnia and Evie pretends she is Lucy and it is so precious.


This month we threw our friends a goodbye party. My dear dear friend!! I made some autumn cocktails and had snacks and hung out with this precious family. We talked about how we are thankful for cloth diapers and friend blindates (how we met!), future family vacations with them and for friends who feel like family. I still get a lump in my throat, thinking about how different life in Portland will be without them. IMG_8985IMG_8978IMG_8969


November was rough for me. While I cried at our co-op, I had my mom friends pray for me, give all the hugs, and then deliver quiche so I wouldn’t have to cook, and text prayers and scripture to me. It really does take a village. A terrible photo of the most delicious quiche made by the most loving friend and sister in Christ. Reminding me of all the good we DO have. IMG_8960

Collecting all the nature things and making all the messes.



Ev turned 5! The weekend after her birthday, we had her friends over for a pizza/costume party. We ended the night with chilly bonfire and popcorn.


Ev with her BFF.IMG_8940IMG_8935IMG_8924IMG_8918IMG_8916IMG_8911IMG_8910IMG_8906IMG_8905IMG_8900IMG_8895IMG_8894IMG_8889

On her actual birthday we went on a hike with friends and then came home for lunch. She wanted salad for lunch, so she helped me make one. Making salads is her new favorite thing. She can make one herself for lunch and it’s wonderful. She just needs help with the dressing!

Later that night, grandma and grandpa surprised her at one of her favorite restaurants and it was so sweet and fun! We spent the weekend with them. It’s always so sad when they leave. We all miss each other!IMG_8866IMG_8856IMG_8843IMG_8835

We stopped at the top of Mount Tabor for birthday muffins. We sang happy birthday to her and had a beautiful view of the city and Mount Hood. She looks so big to me.IMG_8833IMG_8829IMG_8828IMG_8823IMG_8817IMG_8815

On her birthday morning Curtis stayed and had breakfast with her. I had so much planned and so many expectations for this morning and it was actually pretty terrible….hahhaha. And instead of having breakfast with her, I was in the room with James who was throwing the most epic tantrum. We ended up having a great day, but expectations are just so funny.IMG_8808

Our belated Halloween party with our preschool co-op! We all ended up with a terrible stomach bug and had to cancel our party, so once everyone was better we had it…In November. Hahaha We celebrated with sourdough waffles!IMG_8801IMG_8793IMG_8785IMG_8773IMG_8771


We made pumpkin pie playdough and it smelled so so good. IMG_8768IMG_8764IMG_8762


On our weekly nature days. The Hoyt Arboretum is so beautiful in autumn. img_3871









On one of our hike with grandpa and grandma!

Curtis and I are also doing a monthly swap with a friend. They have 4 kids. We have 3. So once a month we watch 7 kids for a few hours! But, then when it’s our turn…it’s amazing!! They keep each other busy though. Here they are harvesting mint from the backyard. Also, this is the only mom Jonathan will actually stay with. It’s such a blessing to have friends who love your children, but also to have your children love your friends! Curtis and I are feeling a bit of freedom.

After our devotional with Ev, she asked, “what is a christian?” and so our conversation began and long story short, Evie said she wanted to be a christian. We did the prayer with her…and it was so special to have had the opportunity to walk her through it. And I feel lucky to be a part of her spiritual journey. I had to take a selfie after we prayed because I want to remember this moment.

The day after thanksgiving my mom friend invited us over for donuts and I brought us coffee and we kept each other company while we felt sad that our husband’s were working the day after thanksgiving. We decided that donuts solve all our problems and make our sadness go away.

A friend from our community group has been serving in Lebanon for the last 6 months. She came to visit for a couple weeks, so we had girls night in….with all the yummy snacks and drinks.

Circle time at preschool co-op looks like this. Lots of noise and babies walking all over the place.


Tonight I am staying up too late preparing our advent calendar and making all the lists for December activities and festivities. This year really is flying by!

October 2018

Trying to take a quick moment to update this blog and posting allllllll the pictures. Also, it feels to take break from cleaning up explosive diarrhea and looking through all the good moments this month. This last week has been the pits. Since last Thursday, everyone in our little has gotten the worst stomach bug. Curtis ended up with it after Jon threw up on his face and although I am still fine, I wondering when it will hit me?! All the prayers that I don’t get it, please! Anyways, I am tired of cleaning up vomit and diarrhea and waking up in the middle of the night because kids don’t feel good or had accidents.  And being stuck at home with sick kids all day is pretty exhausting. Everyone is just tired and cranky! In addition, James has hit the threenager stage hard. Just when things got easier with Ev and I could breathe a little..BAM James enters with all the tantrums, fits, moods, and boy is it emotionally exhausting. Curtis and I also realized we’ve been only been on 4 dates since Jon has been born (16 months!) and we are feeling it. I am still very much sleep deprived and have become a co-sleeping family because that’s the only way the baby will sleep. One day we will sleep again.

Anyways, now I’m venting and writing it out helps me remember that things are not always so peachy. Sometimes I forget.

Here are some good stuff this month. Or just stuff we have been up to! We took a field trip with our co-op to the pumpkin patch. I love Sauvie Island and all the wonderful farms.  It was raining and it was a true Oregonian experience looking for pumpkins in the rain.



After preschool co-op. The kids running in the leaves and eating all the grapes and climbing fig trees.


I forgot to mention last month, that Ev and James are in nature school. I drop them off for 2.5 hours once a week and the kids hike around Mt. Tabor the whole time learning about all sort of things. I love hearing James identify different type of trees and Evie talking about Hawthorn berries and mushrooms and it just makes my heart happy. Also, having a break from them is so wonderful. I drop off Jon with a friend every other week and I go to a coffee shop and work on my lesson plans and then run back home for a quick cleaning spree. Do you see James? Love those trees!IMG_8552

This is them before class one day. They looked so precious all bundled up. Once the winter session starts in January, they will have on the rain suits full time. SO MUCH RAIN.IMG_8547

Trying out the meal planning on a monthly basis. Kinda boring as I really like trying new recipes every week, but I am hoping this will help us save even more money on the grocery bill. IMG_8545IMG_8538IMG_8536

Interrupting the math lesson. He likes to climb on the table and destroy all the school things. Keeping me tired and on my toes.IMG_8532

Math with pumpkins and our nature tray. IMG_8531Lovely little things they’ve found on our nature walks.IMG_8530

Sunday hangs with one of my favorite friends. They had us over for squash pizza and apple pie after church. The kids played so well and we got to have such good conversation. Love this friend so much.IMG_8524IMG_8519IMG_8517IMG_8515

We did our family pumpkin patch trip. It was fun. We picked our pumpkins and made squash soup for dinner. And it was sunny day! Yeah!IMG_8510IMG_8506IMG_8503IMG_8501IMG_8499IMG_8495IMG_8477IMG_8473IMG_8470


Some homeschool stuff.

Ev and James made their first apple pie. I helped with the chopping of the apples, but they did the rest! We made the pie after reading, Ugly Pie. They really liked this book.

Honestly, I have been struggling a little with homeschool and philosophies. I try to incorporate alot of the stuff that I learned teaching in traditional school and it’s hard to recreate that at home. And then I compare what Kinder teaches are doing with their students and I think, am I doing enough? Will my kids be prepared? Thankfully, I have discovered  Charlotte Mason and it’s shifting so much of my perspective. IMG_8459IMG_8451IMG_8443IMG_8438



We went to the Portland Nursery and brought home sooooo many apples. We’ve made all the apple things. IMG_8391IMG_8372


More homeschool stuff. Mud play, more science experiments with apples, making apple cider, and climbing apple trees. IMG_8369IMG_8341IMG_8338IMG_8336IMG_8327

Our garden at the end of the season. We grew pumpkins! We only got two, but I was so excited. We are putting the garden to rest for the fall and winter, but goodness gardening this summer was ridiculously fun.IMG_8288IMG_8285IMG_8284IMG_8282IMG_8280


Curtis was home on a school day, so he helped Evie work out some vowel stuff…which has been tricky for me to teach her! The rest of us enjoyed the russian apple cake we made. Topped with homemade whipped cream and another cup of coffee…I wish every afternoon looked like this! hahahahIMG_8277IMG_8276IMG_8270IMG_8269IMG_8264IMG_8260

Helping make the Apple Cake and Ev working on a workbook while James plays with the apple pie playdough we made. Also, a math lesson Ev wasn’t really into. IMG_8249IMG_8247IMG_8239IMG_8216

And the fall meals begin! I am loving roasting all the veggies again.IMG_8210

I got distracted cooking with the big kids and this kid found the chalk and ate so much of it. Whoops.IMG_8205

We went on another field trip with our co-op. We went to an apple orchard in Sauvie Island for apple picking! Followed by a story and picnic.IMG_8198IMG_8188IMG_8172IMG_8161IMG_8160IMG_8155IMG_8149IMG_8143

Also, some phone pictures from our weekly nature walk.


Outside time at co-op! Climbing trees.


Halloween Night! 2 superheroes and Elsa. Jonathan started walking this month too. It’s been fun. But, also hard!


Pumpkin carving night. James wanted a superhero and Ev wanted a cat with a small heart.


Kids helping Curtis with all the yard work. SO MANY LEAVES.


More homeschool stuff: Tomato soup, making pumpkin donuts, making a web with yarn, cutting open a pumpkin and exploring, measuring and weighing pumpkins and learning words like, circumference.



Visiting the goats in our neighborhood after the Farmer’s Market.IMG_8642IMG_8636IMG_8628IMG_8625

Our farmers market has a fun kid program. Each week is a different activity. This week was making their own tea bags. They got to choose the herbs they wanted. Ev chose chamomile, lavender, and lemon balm. James chose chamomile. IMG_8619

Morning scenes from the weekend.IMG_8606

New haircut for me. A mom bob, because yeah!IMG_8601

Me: The directions say to color the acorns.

Ev: I don’t need to. I already know how many uncolored acorns are left. It takes too long to color all the acorns all the way.

Oh the loop holes.


I can’t believe tomorrow is November. And that we are planning another birthday party and Friendsgiving in Portland. And that in a few months it will be three years since we all uprooted and moved here. Times flies. And I really can’t help it, but, this time of year always makes me feel very homesick. The feeling surprises me every year!

August 2018

August flew by. We in CA for almost two weeks in August, went camping for a few days, and then we were sick for another week. I can’t believe it’s September already! I don’t want summer to end yet.

Last week my friend Annie and I decided to take the kids to one last summer concert at Sauvie Island. Pure summer magic! We both took 5 kids during bedtime (without our spouses!!) and boy were our hands full. It was crazy, but so worth it! Here we are with our crew.  Jon is on my back! 



This month we also completed the summer reading program at the local library. The kids got some cool prizes like tickets to go the fair, a trail blazers game, and chiptole!

I have been living off of this: maple cardamom iced cofffee.


More garden harvest.


We made lunch using only garden ingredients. Zucchini noodles for lunch!


Ev’s bestie turned 5 and we celebrated with her at the splash pad! They had fun with the face painting. Rainbow Unicorn besties!




Kids have been playing with mud pretty much everyday. That means I am constantly giving baths! So exhausting! But, they just have so much fun. And it’s keeping them busy and content. It’s all I want!


When friends come over and hold your fussy baby and make you a bourbon lacroix drink….YES.


Ev is doing so well reading. She is pushing through her bob books.  IMG_0931

Again, these kids are living in the mud kitchen this month. Living their best life hahaha


August has been AMAZING at the garden. So many tomatoes!


After our visit to CA, we went on our first camping trip as a family of five. We survived! It was hard! Both kids ended up a sick and nights were terrible because of the fevers. Since James wasn’t feeling great meltdowns were all over the place. SO MUCH WHINING.

BUT, we did have some awesome moments too.


Curtis making dinner our first night. BBQ chicken. MmmmmmIMG_0952


The kids went fishing for the first time! Lost Lake is beautiful.








I love love love camping. Sitting drinking coffee while we watch bacon cook slowly?! So nice to be away from technology and distractions.



James had terrible first night (itchy feet…he ended up with Hand Foot Mouth!!), so he slept in until like 11am…He was so happy when he woke up.



We went camping with friends and Curtis took the kids out on the boat we rented. They loved being on the boat!




And then we went on a family ride around the lake. Later, the kids and I hung out by the water with our buddies while Curtis went out fishing ALONE.



We stayed in a yurt!


Ev having dinner while Curtis deals with a melting down toddler. Hahaha


Our last day the kids got ice cream and then Curtis and James went on the boat again and did more fishing.


What to do with all the garden tomatoes?! Honey Goat Cheese Gallette’s!



Back to home life. The best life.


Making more garden cucumbers. Love this recipe. IMG_1087

Preserving summer…because YUMMM






I started organizing our school closet for this next school year.



Ev making letters to dad. She’s been writing “poems”. SO sweet.IMG_1111



I’m getting ready for fall. Fire Cider and bone broth.IMG_1119


Oh more shots from the summer concert at a farm in Sauvie Island. Picnic dinner, climbing trees, and dancing and chasing friends. These are really kids are living their best life.





IMG_1149The sunset was amazing.


Impromptu hiking with friends. This hike leads to a children’s garden. It’s really sweet.


More picnics. Sellwood Park was really pretty. After the picnic we walked to the water and the kids played by the river. 

More garden fun! Love seeing the kids grab the food and snack in the garden while I water and weed.

More blackberry picking at the garden.



My friend hooked me up with figs from her fig tree. I made a batch of honey fig jam. YUM! The next day I made some cream scones and homemade whipped cream. Best treat. IMG_1170

Fridays are pizza night at our house. We are obsessed with our sourdough pizza dough. This week’s pizza: Delicata squash, kale, with caramelized onions and fig and blue cheese pizza.IMG_1167

We went peach picking with some of our favorite people. After some peach picking we headed over the local cider house.


We love Hood River. It’s the best day trip. Summer is all about the picnics.IMG_1195IMG_1193IMG_1189

Also, on the right is our new housemate! She is the sweetest and we are hosting her at our house until April. She is from China and it’s been really fun.IMG_1185

At the peach farm in Hood River. Look at that mountain. Mt Hood you are a beauty! We had such a hard day with the kids on this day. Ev was challenging with so much disobedience and James was fussy and needy…That night he ended up with a fever, so poor guy was just feeling sick. Ah, such is life with little people. Curtis and I are pretty much always tired, but I love making these memories with my crew.


CA Vacation

This California visit was so sweet. My sister in law’s wedding brought the whole family together and it was so great! I wish I would have brought my camera, but oh well. Here are some phone photos. The older two did amazing! Things like traveling do get easier as they get older. And we had to travel with a lot less stuff is just so nice. Babies need so much stuff!

I was so worried about traveling with three. It was pretty tiring, but overall they did great. Baby was challenging, but that’s a baby for you!

I wish I could have taken more photos at the wedding!

Curtis with his cousins/best friends and the babies!

These sweet girls are so sweet. Wish we lived closer to these cousins!

Babies from 2017! Love how many babies we have in the family.

Took the kids to are old stomping grounds. Ice cream shop and the beach!

We did the beach everyday because my kids are obsessed and its only 5 minutes away.

One last beach cousins with some of our favorite people!

I go to see my sister too!

We had a taco night with our old hiking friends. I love them so much! I didn’t know them very long before we moved, but we’ve kept in touch and text allllll the time and we try to hang everytime we are in the same city. I love how well the kids play!

Took a day trip to see my parents. We had to get Mexican paletas of course!

More beach and ice cream. It’s summer and vacation, so yea!

Went to a concert at the beach and had picnic dinner. We had my favorite burritos. I miss Mexican food.

Our sweet cousin took us on a coffee shop date. She is amazing and I wish she was closer!

His first time at the beach.

I got to see this sweet friend too! We picked up coffee and took a stroll around the beach. Such kindred spirits and I always feel so refreshed and encouraged after some time with her. I want to be her when I grow up!!!


Thanks to the grandparents, I squeezed in a couple girls nights and went to a couple of my old favorite wine bars. Yay!  It was really fun getting all the park dates and play dates and hang time and with family and friends and all the people we miss in Santa Cruz. The people in our lives are gold. I feel blessed. Our last night there Curtis went out all with all the guy cousins and I sneaked away to hang with Jenny and Laura. We drank tea and talked all about homeschool and books and mom life and it was life giving!


I’m updating this while the kids craft and make messes. My kids have such high energy and they are so loud! So, I gotta go and make more coffee so I can make it through part two of our day…I’ll proof read this later! haha

July 2018

Well, July is pretty much over. Hooray! This month seriously kicked our booty. Without getting into too much detail on the internet, July was a tough month for our family…leaving Curtis and I just completely exhausted and burnt out. Despite all the hard moments, there were many pockets of good. Isn’t that how life works? Our stressful month ended with California visitors! Seriously, having this family stay with us this weekend was absolutely refreshing and got us out of our funk. Yay for family! And for family who loves you, encourages and prays for you! Love you Holtzclaw Clan!

Laura and I with our babies and long morning conversations over coffee.


Oregon nights are warm! We had late dinners and lots of backyard hangs. The big kids and dads camped out in our backyard. Ev was not very into it, but James loved it. I think bedtime was like 11?! My kids just had so much fun.


We went to Pips donuts and the Farmers Market. Look at these sweet boys!IMG_0769IMG_0760IMG_0758

SO many kids! The cousins and their boys. IMG_0748IMG_0738


This month we’ve been harvesting like every week from our community garden. My first homegrown tomato! And the most lovely garden flowers. It was so fun to pick and choose and make a bouquet!IMG_0729IMG_0722

Jon is joining at the table and loves it. So fun to see them all together. IMG_0721IMG_0715IMG_0714

We went blueberry picking like 3 times this month. Oregon is BERRY LAND! All the amazing upick farms seriously makes my heart so happy. This outing was with a few moms from church!IMG_0700IMG_0690IMG_0687

We also celebrated Jonathan turning ONE!! I made his favorite (Sweet potato blackbean nachos) and a simple cake. We had small celebration with just us, but looking forward to celebrating with family next month. IMG_0668IMG_0664IMG_0663


We now have a 4 year old, a 3 year old, and a 1 year old. Phew! Pray for Curtis and I! IMG_0660IMG_0650IMG_0648


Curtis grinding the oats for Jon’s cake. IMG_0646

More garden stuff from another week.IMG_0637IMG_0636

Family blueberry picking day.IMG_0630IMG_0626IMG_0621IMG_0616

We are living in our backyard most days. SUMMER! SUNSHINE! IMG_0608IMG_0603

July was a month I took off from intentional preschool activities. It was really great. We’ve just been filling our time/days with lots of outside time, splash pads, playdates, park dates, ect. But, James has started writing simple letters on his own without my instruction…Look at that sweet E he made! IMG_0602


My wild children.IMG_0598

I’m telling you, Oregon and it’s amazing bounty of summer berries…More BERRIES! Blackberries are everywhere in Portland. The blackberries in our backyard are finally ready! So we pick some almost daily. Stashing them in the freezer and hoping to make this jam for canning club. I’ll probably make a cobbler or some muffins too. What else?!IMG_0589IMG_0588IMG_0584


Another awesome haul from the garden.IMG_0573IMG_0570IMG_0566

I GREW ALL OF THIS! This newbie gardener is obsessed.IMG_0565IMG_0564


I had planned on having a slow summer mostly at home. But, this month is when I started to feel brave enough to go on outings with the kids, ALONE! This past year I have mostly stayed close to home, our community group or our co-op. When I did go out, I never went alone, as the thought of wrangling three children made me really anxious. Praise God for his strength and peace though because all that anxiety and fear is gone and I am so ready to adventure with my crew again! I’ve been taking them to the splash pads a ton. They love it! IMG_0560IMG_0559

Curtis had his CASA volunteer training on Jon’s actual birthday, so he wasn’t going to be home. So, we met him for lunch and then the kids and I went to go get ice cream. Happy Birthday, Jon!IMG_0551IMG_0548IMG_0537IMG_0533IMG_0519IMG_0517

Look at the fun stuff I got at canning club. My kids LOVED the ginger spiralized beets. They ate it out of the jar! Haha. IMG_0510

Bourbon Peach Pie because SUMMER.IMG_0509

We spent the 4th of July at our friends new house and hung out and grilled some food. The kids had so much fun with the fireworkers. Although, their faces don’t show it! Hahaha.IMG_0505IMG_0504IMG_0497IMG_0494IMG_0459IMG_0454IMG_0451IMG_0447


Curtis has been working a ton this month. It’s so nice when he’s home! img_20180723_165544556

We went to a local baseball game.’img_20180714_133049174_burst001

Had a donut/park date with a couple friends too.


Post evening splash pad. We went to work on the garden and then picked about 2 pounds of blackberries. Blackberry brambles are everywhere!! Even at our community garden.img_20180729_210413154_ll


It’s 1am and our house is 82 degrees because we have been experiencing at heat wave AND our central AC broke! So, super late bedtime tonight. But, cold brew is waiting for me tomorrow morning. Yes, iced coffee in the morning because tomorrow is supposed to be our last HOT day.

JAMES TURNS 3 & Other June Photos

This past weekend James turned THREE! We celebrated with tacos, grilled corn, homemade strawberry coconut milk paletas and a bonfire. The kids brought bathing suits and we had a pool party. We even bought a slip and slide! It was so fun. Pam and Jimmy were here, so it made the weekend extra special. I wish I took more photos , but, Jon was SOOO clingy at the party!

The besties roasting marshmallows.









Instead of a cake, I made paletas and we sang him Happy Birthday.







We had 40 people (half of them children! 😂) in our teeny house. I was worried how it would all play out. But, everything turned out great. And there was plenty of food left over too!

Birthday morning. We made pancakes with homemade whipped cream and strawberries and then opened gifts and hung out at home most of the morning.







Grandma and grandpa stayed for a week. Love this sweet morning breakfast scene.



Other shots from the month. Preschool at home. More learning about garden stuff. We also made “chocolate mud” (avocado, cocoa, and a tiny bit of honey) and talked about the difference between soil and dirt in regards to gardening.









Celebrated the first day of Summer with painting suns, going on a walk, and baked shortbread cookies topped with edible flowers.



Made a gift for some neighbors.






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Enjoying that “chocolate mud”.


We’ve been eating most dinners outside because SUMMER! I made some strawberry shrub cocktails with strawberries we picked. Mmmmm.