Sweet Surprises

I wanted this post to be a garden update.  Sadly, our garden is looking quite shabby.  Our snow peas have completely died.  Horn worms have descended upon our tomatoes.  And, the few tomatoes we have refuse to ripen.  The sunflowers have brown spots, and I’ve spotted some ants on them.  The zucchini plant looks terrible and has stopped producing.  I am a poor, poor gardener!


Despite my lack of success, we have a beautiful butterfly friend who still likes to come around.  It is a sweet surprise to my day when I spot it.  I always see butterflies as a symbol of new life and new hope.  And so, I haven’t given up on my garden.  I will keep trying… perhaps there is yet life in it!

Summer Craftin’

It’s a favorite summer craft… perler beads

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We have always enjoyed being creative with our designs, but this time we looked up patterns on Pinterest.  There is so much out there!  These ponies are from yesterday; today we’ve found several more patterns we love!

Hooray for summer crafts!

Down Time

Though summer has felt more busy than I would have thought, I still love that I have some down time for simple projects.  I can’t resist a fun clearance item, so when I saw this wooden wealth on clearance this past winter, I snagged it and let it sit in my closet.  It was only on clearance because it was “out of season,” but really — a plain wooden wreath could go with any season, despite what the label demonstrates!

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Since I have no 4th of July wreath, I decided to make one.  I am not in love with how it turned out, (especially since I am horrible at making pom poms), but it was just fun to actually make a non-kid craft.

Hope you’re enjoying some summer down time!


One of the best parts of summer is when dear old friends come to visit from out of state.  When my friend moved to Texas a few years back, I was heart-broken.  We were next to each other in the hospital as we gave birth to our first girls.  (Unknowingly, another friend was also in the same hospital with us giving birth to her first girl!  Our first three girls are just hours apart.)  We all went on to have more kids and to homeschool.  We share the same values, and the same heart for raising kids in the Lord, though we no longer share the same home state.


Between us, there are now 11 kids!  We are blessed!


The day was spent mostly in the pool, with the temperature reaching 111 degrees.  But, the kids also had fun playing games, dressing up, coloring and playing together just like old friends…. even though we now see them just once a year!


My friend’s dad is an organic gardener, and she spoiled me with these incredible tomatoes.  (I have to fight my kids for them!)

Though we don’t see each other like we used to, it is such a blessing to pick up again right where we left off, and to have the opportunity to hug her kids and see how they’ve grown.

Day of Rest

It seems we have been going non-stop since school ended with play dates, visitors, VBS, etc.  Today was once again filled-up, but I decided we needed to cancel all plans and relax.  Best.  Choice.  This morning we got the house put back in order, as well as laundry done.  (Can you hear my sigh of relief?)  This afternoon, we played in the pool, (despite the yucky ashes from the nearby fire!)

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The 3 youngest had a blast jumping off the wall.  Jump.  Crawl.  Repeat.  Over and over and over.  They called themselves the sis-bro-sis jumpers.  Meanwhile, Allison and I took pictures and played volleyball.

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Why do I not plan more “down days?”  Probably because we’ve been blessed with some really great fun days — but sometimes rest is so good for the soul!

Father’s Day 2016

A simple family day… Just the way we like it!

Almond cupcakes, goat milk caramels, and an afternoon cooling off in the pool since it reached 107!

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It was so nice to finally have Daniel home, again!  Wish it could last…

Happy Father’s Day to an awesome father and husband!

Good Night


Putting the (not-so-baby) chicks to bed usually comes after I’ve done the dishes, tucked the kids in, and finished all other “must-do” evening chores.  Some nights I am just beat and wish I didn’t have this one last chore.  Other nights, I am just enamored with the sunset and will stay out sweeping the path extra long just because I am so happy to be out there.

Tonight was one of those “good” nights… I lingered with my broom and my thoughts swept over this day.  It started off a bit rough… my husband was forced to work, meaning he has been home just once in the last 10 days.  The kids were disappointed.  My oldest woke up with a fever of 103 and was miserable all day. The Father’s Day present I ordered almost 3 weeks ago that was suppose to come didn’t come.  I am tired and have lots to do.

But, despite the circumstances I was overwhelmed with peace.  I am learning to thank God in all troubles, and He is opening my eyes in so many ways.  I falter.  I forget.  I fail.  But, He is so faithful!

Tomorrow is a new day, and I am so grateful His mercies are new every morning!

Friday Afternoon

Everything about our room makes me smile.  Downstairs.  Full of light and windows.  Our fun wall.  That fan.  It’s a favorite spot in our home.  I would say it’s a sanctuary, and it is… but it’s also a playground for the kids.  We have countless videos of the kids doing “cool tricks” on our bed.  If one kid ever finds Daniel and I in there, he or she will yell, “Family tackle,” and before long we are all piled on the bed.  It’s the best.


It’s also the first room you see when coming in from the garage, which makes it a dumping ground for car-sleeping kids.  And, after a week of birthday parties,  VBS, and swimming, this boy was beat.


I’ll have to wake him up in time to finish our week off with yet another birthday party!

Sweet dreams, little one.