Moving on…

It has happened, once again… I have run out of picture space on this blog.  It seems to happen about every 4 years.  I have moved on, and would love it if you want to join me.  My new home is  Soon I will also have go to this site, as well.   See you there!

“Beach Day”

Before leaving California, the kids were suppose to have a beach day with their homeschool friends.  With COVID restrictions lifted, we thought we were in the clear…. but the night before the beach day, protests started up near the beach and the trip was cancelled.

Now that our friends have gone home and Daniel returned to work, my job has been to research homeschooling for the fall.  I found what looks to be like an ideal fit for our family, and proceeded to call the director.  She informed me that they were having a “beach day” the next day.  (In fact, they have one EVERY WEEK!)  The kids were confused.

“Beach?  Here?”

I had to explain that a beach isn’t just the shore of an ocean, but across the country there are lake beaches, as well.  The sky was a gorgeous blue, and the temperature was a comfortable 77 — except, with the breeze and cold water, it didn’t feel quite warm enough to swim.  Malachi did meet a friend and worked up enough bravery to jump in.  The rest of us stayed dry and talked!

What a blessing to meet like-minded, sweet homeschool mamas.  Ironically, most of them live very close to us.  I was able to exchange a few numbers, and drove home praising God for His provision in every aspect of our lives — including relationships!  Of course, it will certainly take time to develop the kinds of amazing friendships we had back in California.  And, we will always cherish those and welcome visitors!!!  But, I am so grateful for every new experience, and every precious person God puts in our lives!

First Visitors (Week of Fun!!!)

How do you summarize a week of fun with some of your best friends?  It was so fun and so packed, we actually didn’t even take that many pictures!  I think a bullet point will do best:

  •  barbecues
  • cool walks
  • shopping in town
  • sweet peaks ice cream
  • river rafting
  • movie and popcorn nights
  • game nights (Scattegories, anybody?)
  • late night cookie baking
  • bonfires and s’mores
  • kayaking/ boating/ paddle boarding at the lake
  • painting walls
  • hanging lights
  • building furniture
  • doing hair and make-up
  • lounging in the hammock or the front porch swing
  • endless cups of coffee
  • Mudman burgers and huckleberry shakes
  • Farmhouse breakfast, hot chocolate, and rock climbing
  • hand stands and cartwheels
  • shooting in our backyard!
  • petting the cows
  • creating animal documentaries and watching them on our big screen
  • staying up way too late!
  • creating memories and having the best time with friends that are family!!

We love you, Pages!  What a week… we miss you, already!

4th of July 2020

Our first Fourth of July in Montana!! It can sure feel like a long day when you’re waiting for both fireworks as well as your dearest friends from California to arrive!  But, we started our day with some star biscuits and testing out our whole house speakers with patriotic music.

The annual Fourth of July kids’ picture.  (I must say, our backdrop has improved dramatically!)  We had a simple lunch while waiting for our friends, and the cherries were out of this world delicious!!

Dinner prep… I made the menu for the entire week with our friends, but Daniel found me unpatriotic with fajitas on the Fourth.  So, smoked burgers and garlic parmesan corn it was…

After dinner, we walked through our forest down to our cup de sac where we were going to do fireworks with the neighbors.  Daniel was so excited to do some fireworks that wouldn’t have been allowed in California… Turns out, they were nothing compared with our neighbors’ fireworks from Montana!!!  Wow!  It was an incredible show.

Just before midnight, we headed back up to the house and went to bed.  We heard and saw some amazing fireworks through the window of our bedroom for the next hour!  Other than the dog being completely traumatized, it was a terrific Fourth of July!!

Just Another Drive…

On our short drive to town, we pass by several canola fields.  I can’t decide which is more dramatic — the fields under a dark blue sky, or the fields contrasted with an ominous gray sky.  Both are spectacular.  I told Allison the new “job” of the shotgun driver is to grab my camera when we pass beauty — (of course, this is every drive, so once in a while!)

God, your Creation is MARVELOUS!!!

Father’s Day 2020

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to be with our “Pop” this Father’s Day… but the kids did make him cards with “hints” as to his present! (We also allowed him to build it himself once he came home… wasn’t that nice of us?)  Movie nights just got better!  Seriously, the popcorn is amazing and what is a theater without the smell of popcorn in the lobby?

I cannot wait to decorate our little mini kitchenette in the basement.  I have so many ideas. I’m thinking it might be wise to finish unpacking boxes before starting a project, though…

Happy Father’s Day to the best “Pop” ever!

Eat Me!

She wanted to bake cinnamon rolls, but we were missing three ingredients.  After some more searching, she decided on pinwheel cookies.  She wanted to make them completely by herself — which was great, because I didn’t have time to help her!  I peaked in at one point and saw the 2 perfect balls of dough — one white, and one pink.  She asked if I could help her with the rolling part.  “Nope.”  I came back a few minutes later to find marbleized “Eat Me” cookies!  So clever… Not pinwheels, but we all enjoyed eating them.  I only wished I hadn’t finished my second cup of coffee before they were done!!


I was sitting in my office working on my to-do list when the thunder boomed.  I looked out the open window to see some dark clouds rolling in.  From the kitchen, I overheard the kids eating their grilled cheese and telling Xavi it’s ok — the thunder is cool and won’t hurt him!

I grabbed my phone and went to the back porch where I snapped these three pictures.  While the pictures are beautiful, it occurred to me that they don’t really tell the full story.  Seeing the beauty is one thing, but hearing all the different birds harmonize through the thunder… feeling the slightly warm  summer breeze blow over me, and breathing in the fresh summer air all worked together to stir my soul.

I walked back in, where the kids’ conversation continued.  “Is there ever a day that’s not amazing here?”  (Obviously, they already forgot the toils of Monday!)   I had to agree with them, though…. Despite being surrounded by boxes and having spent 2 full weeks here without really getting out, we really do feel like we are living in paradise!


  •  I woke up to find peony petals all over the floor.  (They sure were gorgeous while they lasted!)
  • Our new end tables for our bedroom came today — they were the wrong color!
  • The dog dug a hole under our neighbor’s fence; again!
  • The kids’ show practice ended abruptly with crying and yelling.
  • The cat threw up all over Natalie’s carpet.
  • I had to beg my boys to come on a nature walk with me.  (We didn’t even leave our property!)  One declared it boring, while the other complained that I was taking too many pictures of flowers and mushrooms and not of animals — that weren’t there!
  • It feels like a Monday — why, it IS Monday!

Never-the-less, we started our day with our Monday muffins.  Sierra chose strawberry jelly filled muffins from her AG cookbook, and we all loved them.  The weather is a perfect 75.  They sky, the fresh air, the trees… smile, smile, smile.  And, the empty boxes I had Malachi haul to the garage — also, big smiles!!!

We just finished our homemade pizza dinner, (because I forgot to defrost our meat this morning), and all the attitudes have improved.  (Maybe I’ll forget to defrost meat next time everyone is grumpy!  Or make more strawberry filled muffins?  Am I teaching my kids to feed their discomfort?!?!?)  The kids are headed down to the theater to kick back with Zootopia, (one of my favorite!), and I can’t decide if I will join them or sit on the front porch where the mix of sun and clouds and shadows cast from the trees is breath-taking!

Decisions, decisions…