Birthday Beach Month! October 4, 2020

Birthday Beach Month! October 4, 2020

The 23rd of September was my birthday, and we celebrated from the 22nd all the way through the end of the month! We spent the last week of September at the beach! I have no complaints there! πŸ™‚ We have done this for the past two or three years and so I have come to expect it as part of my birthday tradition! I hope it keeps!

On my birthday (the actual day πŸ™‚ ), we celebrated by having a wonderful home cooked meal. I love cooking so much I volunteered to make my own birthday dinner! I know, I’m a dork! I made roasted beef tenderloin, potatoes au gratin, and steamed green beans. The roasted beef tenderloin is so easy to make and it tastes better than anything you could get from a restaurant! Here is the recipe for Ree’s Roasted Beef Tenderloin! Dinner was followed by an extra special dessert! When Andrew and I lived in Boston we had the privilege of visiting the parker house a few times. The Parker House is known for their famous rolls, and the Boston Cream Pie! I love a good slice of Boston cream pie! I made a comment about it about a month ago, and Andrew decided he was going to order me one for my birthday. I’m so spoiled! It arrived on the 22nd, and we, I mean I, could not wait to taste it. So we had Boston cream pie two nights in a row! πŸ™‚ They did make a mistake in packing it, and so the design was messed up on the top, but trust me, it did not effect the taste! πŸ™‚ We did get a partial refund though when we told them how it arrived. It was nice to have a little taste of Boston in Arkansas!

The next week we headed down to the beach. Our original destination was Dauphin Island, but because of hurricane Sally we were sad to have to change locations. Instead we ended up at Fort Walton, FL. We had been to Fort Walton before and liked it, so it all worked out!

I have a TON of pictures so I narrowed it down to only half a ton! πŸ™‚

Because we had a last minute change in location we were able to get a condo on the ground floor. This had it’s pros and cons. Pros being we didn’t have to take an elevator and access to the beach was right out our front door. Cons being our view of the beach was obstructed by sand dunes. The condo had a great outdoor porch, and we were able to sit out there and enjoy breakfast each morning! The kids liked watching the crabs by our condo. πŸ™‚

We had nice weather during the week. Almost every day was pretty and sunny. However Tuesday was a little chilly and not the best beach day. Tuesday morning we were down at the beach, the kids were complaining about being cold and so they went back to the condo with Grand-mama. Samuel was still enjoying playing in the sand and so we stayed down at the beach. While we were playing in the sand I saw a shark swim up to the shallow waters. I couldn’t believe my eyes, and picked up Samuel and started following the shark swimming along the edge of the beach. He was only about two to three feet long, but I had never seen this before! I am so disappointed that I didn’t get it on video! We think he came that close to shore because there was no one in the water that chilly morning.

It has become a tradition that we go to the beach with Andrew’s parents. We all have a great time, and the kids get to spend special time with G-pa and Grandmama. This time G-pa got to read books to Emma and Samuel. I say books, but I think it ended up being the same one or two books over and over, and over! Ha! πŸ™‚

We collected some seashells at the beach at the the kids had fun water painting them!

One of my favorite things about the beach is that you never know what you are going to see! We found several crabs! David loves crab hunting! We also had a day where there were a lot of jelly fish floating around in the ocean! More than I have ever seen, actually! There were lots of moon jelly fish, and Andrew even spotted this big red jelly fish!! Not sure exactly what it is called but it had a lot of little fish swimming around it!

The kids always love playing in the sand! We love to make sand castles, and bury each other in the sand. Andrew does not like the sand! We were not able to coax him into being buried so I had to take his place! Sigh! πŸ™‚ Samuel did not want to be buried in the sand either! He loved burying everyone else though. πŸ™‚ He was a little more scared of the ocean this time than when we last went. He had a few times where he warmed up to playing in the water, but overall he was not too adventurous about getting into the ocean.

This is what a morning at the beach does to you! Look at that sweet face!

One of the benefits of going with grandparents to the beach is that you get to have a date with your honey! Andrew and I went on a lunch date! I totally over indulged! The food was great, the view was amazing, and the company was even better! πŸ₯°

Beach shenanigans! It looks like they are doing push ups or something!

This is at a restaurant in AL, Capital Oyster Bar, on our way home! I totally recommend eating there! They had amazing outdoor seating with a beautiful view of the Alabama river too!

We managed to do some virtual school while at the beach, but we have to get back to reality this week!



“Dem Bones….” September 19, 2020

“Dem Bones….” September 19, 2020

We had another great week of virtual school! I have to say that overall, I am enjoying doing school at home. I’m sure the work is more intense for those in the higher grades, but for early elementary, it’s easy peasy! πŸ™‚ I enjoy the flexibility it gives us. For example, David finished his work early on Wednesday and we were able to go out and enjoy the rest of our day! Sometimes David fusses at doing his math assignments because that’s not his favorite subject, but overall he seems to be liking school at home too.

Our theme this week was the human body. Emma was asking me about what was inside her body last week. She’s such a funny child. She’s a very deep thinker for three. πŸ™‚ So we studied our bones and organs this week. I have to say it was quite fun. We checked out books from the library and watched you tube videos about bones and the how the body functions. The kids were really into it! Maybe they will be doctors someday!

We glued skeleton bones together, and learned about the organs, what their functions are, and where they are in the body!

I mentioned we finish work early sometimes…one day we decided to do some shaving cream art! It was a fun activity and it kept them entertained for quite a while. We swirled drops of food coloring around in the cream to make colors. Their creations started out really neat, colorful, and pretty. By the time they were done it was looking pretty gross and they had it all over! πŸ™‚ I had Emma and Samuel go get in the shower afterwards they were so messy! I’m glad I had them do this on the porch because I was able to hose it down afterwards!

It’s starting to feel like fall around here! I love the cooler weather! The kids are able to play outside and not melt! Ha!

My favorite picture of the week!

Story time with Dad! ❀



Gardens and Bugs. September 12, 2020

Gardens and Bugs. September 12, 2020

We had a family outing this week!!! On Monday we went to the botanical garden! It felt so good to go and do something normal. It has been so long since we have been able to do something like this. We are still being very cautious about going out around people, but felt comfortable going to the gardens. It was outside, we were able to take our own food and have a picnic, and there were not too many people in close proximity. The gardens were beautiful! Cooler weather is around the corner, and so I hope to visit the gardens again. The kids had a fun time! Their favorite part was feeding all the fish and turtles in the koi pond! We also enjoyed the butterfly garden! I love butterflies, and it was so neat to see the caterpillars, the cocoons, and the butterflies!! It made we want to plant different butterfly attracting flowers in our yard come spring!

Visiting the Botanical garden was a great start to our week of learning about bugs and insects! Since having David I have learned more about bugs, spiders, and various insects than I ever imagined I would!! Honestly, most creepy crawlies don’t frighten me, as long as they are NOT in my House!

We actually found an amazing variety of insects this week! We have a tree in our front yard that the cicadas love! So we found several of those. We also found a few praying mantises this week! This is the first year that I have seen praying mantises since we moved here. I don’t know if I just wasn’t looking for them before or what!? One day David caught a giant grasshopper, that he immediately looked up in his bug encyclopedia, and discovered it is actually called an Eastern lubber grasshopper. We even caught a dragonfly! We went on a bug scavenger hunt one day, and observed lots of different bugs. I let David teach us all about the parts of the insects. He was more than willing. πŸ™‚

I have a couple more recipes to share with you this week! One night for dinner I cooked a delicious peach glazed grilled chicken breast recipe by Bobby Flay! I paired it with rice and a Caesar salad. The glaze for the grilled chicken is so good! Don’t be afraid to slather it on. Also, I recommend setting some aside to serve extra with the chicken!

We also made our own Caesar dressing for the salad! Andrew helped me out and made the dressing! I like to use Ree Drummond’s recipe for Caesar salad. I had anchovy paste instead of the fillets, so we substituted a couple teaspoons of the paste. It tastes amazing!

I also make baked Ziti for dinner last night! This recipe by Ree Drummond is a lot like lasagna. I cheated on the sauce and just used jarred spaghetti sauce, but I have made my own sauce before and it is good too! I just happened to be tired, and so it was easier to open a jar of sauce! πŸ™‚

Baked Ziti! Yum!!



Rainbows and Things. Saturday, September 5, 2020

Rainbows and Things. Saturday, September 5, 2020

I have decided to do a weekly theme with the kids. This week we studied Rainbows! I learned right along with the kids! πŸ™‚ Learning about rainbows taught us about light, colors, and clouds. Who knew we could learn so much from rainbows. We read several books about rainbows, and the story of the first rainbow! Overall we had a good second week of virtual school. Monday was MONDAY! There were quite a few assignments for David, and I made the mistake of thinking he had to do all the extra curricular activities on Monday. By the end of the day we were both DONE with school!! I have learned from my mistake! The rest of the week was much better though!

Emma loves doing her ABC mouse. We are also working on how to use scissors, and write our abc’s and numbers with a pencil. I have found that it is great for her to learn the formation of the letters using fingers, and chalk. It takes a lot more skill to write neatly with a pencil! So we are working on that!

One of my most difficult and exhausting tasks of the week is keeping Samuel occupied while I work with the other two! I have been scouring pinterest for little activities to keep him busy, but also learning too. I have been trying to teach Samuel his colors, and I found this neat sorting activity with plastic cups and pom poms. It is a great learning activity, but didn’t really buy me that much time. 😊 It was great as long as I was standing there helping him, but as soon as I left pom poms became crammed in a cup and on the floor. I also tried hiding puzzle pieces in a rice tray. This actually did keep him busy for a while, however it initially ended up with rice all over the floor! So I have learned that if we do this again it is going to be outside on the porch.

We did a rainbow craft this week too, and I was feeling so great about it until I discovered that I had the kids do the colors in the wrong order! πŸ˜‚ Some teacher, huh! I made sure to discuss with the kids about the error of my ways!

We have started teaching David about money. He is learning about the different coins, how much they are worth, and how to count them. Not only is he learning about money, it’s a great math activity! He of course wants to keep some of the change after he is done. πŸ™‚

Money sorting.

I made a couple great recipes I want to share with you this week! I made Ree Drummonds Spicy Dr. Pepper shredded pork recipe! I had attempted this recipe in the past, but I made a couple mistakes and it didn’t turn out very good. Hah, the cooks fault! This time I did it right, and wow, it was amazing! First of all, I used my dutch oven instead of the crock pot. Second, I used the whole 11oz can of chipotle peppers! Don’t be afraid! It will turn out beautiful! It is also a very versatile meal. We had two meals out of it. First we made pulled pork sandwiches with slaw. The second meal we did pork nachos! I honestly don’t know which I liked better, they were both so good! Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the nachos! They were just too amazing. All I could think about was devouring them.

The other recipe is a classic favorite, Banana pudding. Everyone has their own idea of what banana pudding is, but I have loved this recipe ever since my mom started making it when I was a kid. It’s super easy to make, and even more delicious!

Recipe: 2 boxes of instant vanilla pudding, 3 1/2 cups of whole milk, 1 can of condensed milk, 8 oz cool whip, vanilla wafers and bananas (two or three depending on how you like it). Mix it all up until until the mixture is smooth and layer with the wafers and bananas! Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight before serving.

Banana pudding! πŸ™‚



God’s promise! (This was from last weekend!)
Week 1: βœ”!

Week 1: βœ”!

We survived the first week of school at home! We did it quite well if I may be so bold. On the first day we did the typical first day pictures, a special look through the school supply box (I have always loved school supplies!), and all about me posters and art.

Here are first day of school pictures! David is in first grade, Emma is three so she is doing preschool. Samuel of course had to have his picture taken too, and wants to be right in the middle, doing whatever the other two are doing!

We actually had a bit of a rough start to our week. Emma and then David began the week feeling under the weather with a fever (of all things!!!!), but it passed quickly and the rest of us have been fine. It’s a good thing we chose to do virtual school, or we would have had to stay home anyway and go get tested and miss the first week of school, and it would have been a nightmare!

The first picture shows the kids hand art and about me posters. The middle picture shows them sitting at the table drawing their “me” pictures. Samuel is occupying himself with play dough! πŸ™‚ Later in the week we talked about germs. (It seemed fitting, after the way our week started. Ha!) We read the curious George book about germs, and did some germ art. Using watercolors, straws, and thick paper you basically just blow blobs of paint on the paper! After it dries you can add eyeballs! The kids love blowing the paint around with straws!

On Wednesday we decided to have a back to school water balloon fight. I bought a package of water balloons from the dollar tree a while back, and I have been saving them for a special occasion and this seemed fitting. The kids love water balloons! There is something cool, and fascinating about them. It took me quite a while to fill them up, and then they were gone in a flash!

Water balloon fight!

What I enjoyed most about doing school at home this week was the flexibility of the schedule, and being with the kids. We were able to settle into a routine, and David was able to do his work in two to three hours. Most of which was done in the morning. You forget how much time they spend at school doing other activities besides their class work! The biggest learning curve this week was how to use the technology. David’s grade is using an app called SeeSaw, in which they are able to share assignments back and forth using pictures, notes, writing, voice and video recordings. Once I figured out how to do it, I then helped guide David through how to do it. We have gotten better through the week, but it’s going to take a little longer before David is comfortable using the app on his own.

Our daily schedule ended up looking something like this:

Breakfast (Bible story) at 7:30, Clean up /kids get dressed and morning chores 8:00, Playtime (generally outside weather permitting) 8:30-9:00, School work 9-10:00, Snack time/play time 10-10:30, School work 10:30-11:30, Lunch preparation, consumption, and cleanup 11:30-12:45, Finish up any school work left/play time 12:45-1:15, story time 1:15, nap time/quiet time 1:30-3:30. The rest of the day is filled with free time!

At breakfast the kids love to do their Bible story video! This is something we have been doing for quite a while now, and I want to share the website with you! It’s They are really great videos for the kids, there is an app, and other great resources too! We first started out doing the app, but then I discovered the website with the videos and the kids have liked those.

The hurricane rains came through today, and so we ended the week by playing in the pond that was in our driveway! πŸ™‚ While the kids were playing, they discovered worms everywhere in the water! A few worms doesn’t generally bother me, but we got to looking and there were what I believe to be hundreds of worms that had surfaced onto our driveway! No joke! The kids thought it was great, and were trying to save them from drowning. I was a little freaked out!

Saving the worms!

So I realize it has been a while since I shared any of my cooking recipes with you!! It’s 2020, what can I say! I have still been cooking non-stop, and I have no reason for not sharing any recipes with you other than I have been a stressed out air head!! So I’m going to remedy that!!

I have finally found the best biscuit recipe! For real! Look no further! Making biscuits is so easy, and you will never ever want to buy another can of biscuit dough once you make these! I promise! Here is the link to Sally’s Baking Addiction Home Made Buttermilk Biscuits! Don’t be afraid of the buttermilk!


Another recipe I have tried recently that deserves sharing is Food Networks Best Chicken and Rice recipe! (If I have already shared this, please forgive me! I believe we have already established my absentmindedness.) This is nothing like the chicken and rice you are currently thinking about! I urge you to try this recipe and you will never think about chicken and rice in the same way again! It’s also a one pan recipe! So it makes for easy cleanup.

Chicken and Rice!

In an effort to include the kids in more cooking activities, I bought a set of kid friendly knives. It has turned out to be a great purchase because the kids love using them. Emma especially has taken to helping out in the kitchen. She often requests to make her own breakfast, or help cut up fruit and vegetables. This evening she cut the stems off the green beans for dinner!

Little Chef!



Ready or Not! August 21, 2020

Ready or Not! August 21, 2020

In an effort to keep things honest, I must admit that I am feeling rather anxious about school starting next week. We are doing virtual school through the local school David would be attending if not for covid 19. I don’t know how it is going to go exactly, and there in lies the reason for my anxiety. I like being in control! I want to know exactly how things are going to go from A to B! (Considering the life we live one would think I would be over the whole control issue by now!) I have done my best to plan some things on my end, the trouble is not knowing what the other end has planned. I am trying to step back and go with the flow. Not stress too much about it, and just see how it plays out. While this is not technically homeschool, but schooling at home, my hope is that this will give me an idea of how it could be and confidence in taking that next step should we choose to go that route later on.

We have been preparing for school by doing some learning activities this week. Emma is learning to write her capital letters! I found this idea on pinterest. She is writing them with her finger in a tray of rice bits. It works really well, and it’s fun! We have also been writing them with chalk on the sidewalk. David has been practicing his writing in his workbook from the dollar tree! He also reads all the time!

Emma Writing her ABC’s

David has been feeling some anxiety lately too about everything. It has been showing up in random tummy aches, and fears of catching the virus! He is old enough and reads well enough that we have had to stop watching the news channels with him in the room! In order to help alleviate some of this anxiety we, David and I, decided we should go on an outing together. David called it a date. πŸ™‚ We went to a restaurant, and ate dinner together. Eating outside at the restaurant helped alleviate some anxiety about catching the virus, and David ended up eating all his Buffalo Wild Wings mac n cheese. πŸ™‚ We then went to the book store, where David looked through all the Pokemon books, and finally chose a graphic novel book. We then went for ice cream. I can’t believe how big David is getting! My baby is seven and going into the first grade!

Just in the last week our kittens have grown! They are still tiny and cute though. πŸ™‚ The kids love Fred and Ethel, but Emma really loves them! She plays with them, pets them, and wants to take care of them. Just look at that smile!

I also caught a picture of Emma playing “tea party” with her dolls this week. It was so sweet! They weren’t actually having tea though. They were having cake! πŸ™‚

Cake Party!

I managed to dress the kids up Sunday, and we took a few pictures! Look at those cutie pies! It sure is difficult getting them all to pose at the same time. David is the worst, because he doesn’t want his picture taken! πŸ™‚

Prayers and Peace to everyone who is going back to school, one way or another, this week!



Lucy (Fred?), Ethel, and Squirt! August 12, 2020

Lucy (Fred?), Ethel, and Squirt! August 12, 2020

If you recall, a few months ago our cat, Zoe, disappeared. It has been really difficult explaining this to the kids. As much as it pains me to say it, it would probably have been easier if we had actually found her dead. At least we wouldn’t be left with this lingering hope that she might come back some day. The kids held out hope for several weeks! Emma still thinks she might come back. That hope has waned over the recent weeks, and while we still love and miss Zoe, we are excited to accept some new pet loves into our life! Who knows, Zoe might just show back up some day! In the mean time, I would like to introduce you to our new pets! I’m going to start with our pet turtle, Squirt. He was found on the drive way of my parents house by Emma. He is a baby slider, or pond turtle. Emma has loved and cared for this turtle for a couple months now. At first we were just keeping him on our screened in porch in a well kept box. After a couple months of Emma waking up every morning to go outside and feed and care for squirt (without me having to remind her), I decided it would break her heart to turn him loose this fall. So soft hearted me bought squirt an aquarium, and he now takes up permanent residence in our home.

Sorry, Squirts a little shy! πŸ™‚


Our most recent addition is two adorable kittens! We named them Lucy and Ethel!:) However, after having them a couple days, we have decided that Lucy is actually a Fred!! HaHa πŸ™‚

We LOVE them!!! Kittens are so darn cute!! Fred and Ethel are about seven to eight weeks old, but they are really small. They have their bed, food, and litter box in the laundry room. We put the baby gate up in front of the doorway, not to keep the kittens in, but to keep the kids out! πŸ™‚ I’m very glad we did. The kids have been really good with them, but sometimes the kittens need a break! They run in the room to hide, or to take a nap without being disturbed by little hands.

David and Emma are old enough to know how to treat animals, but Samuel is still learning. I’ve had to discipline him a couple times about his behavior towards the kittens. This morning Samuel left his blankets on the floor and the kittens laid down to nap. He came in the kitchen and decided to “nap” with them. πŸ™‚

Out of all of us, I’m pretty sure Andrew is the one who loves the kittens the most! Yes, Andrew! πŸ™‚

In other news, it has been a fairly busy week!! We went to visit G-pa and Grand-mama for a day. We love getting away for the day, and just having a great time! It helps morale! πŸ™‚

We then traveled to visit my sister and brother in law in Tennessee! It was a fun road trip, and we had a great visit with them! It was the first time the kids had been to Auntie Leah and Uncle B’s house in TN! They loved spending the night! I can’t take credit for these gorgeous photos! My sister took them and sent them to me. David was all about seeing Uncle B’s Pokemon collection and playing video games! We were blessed with beautiful weather, so we were able to enjoy being outside too.

Then my parents came for a visit! I don’t know if my parents can come for a visit without fixing, cleaning, or doing some project for us! I am by no means complaining about this, it’s just a fact. πŸ™‚ Dad had a few things to repair on the kids playhouse, and he also put up a shelf for us in David’s room. My mom thinks she has to clean the entire house and do all our laundry while she is here. Our house is never as clean all at once as it is when my parents have just left. πŸ™‚ They can come as often as they want! πŸ™‚ We had a great visit, some delicious meals, and some fun times too!





Making Lists! July 30, 2020

Making Lists! July 30, 2020


Date Night!

David and Emma went to spend a few days with Papa and Nana, and Samuel spent a couple days with G-pa and Grand-mama this past week! I was in much need of some alone time! Andrew and I had a date night! Andrew cooked steaks, with roasted potatoes and broccoli! We even ate off our china plates! πŸ™‚ It was nice to have some time together. It was VERY quiet! At first I enjoyed the quiet, and then I decided that quiet is over rated, and so we went to pick up the kids. πŸ˜‰ Not exactly true, but you know! πŸ™‚

I have been in a clean out, get organized, and planning mode in the past month. While I haven’t accomplished all I would like, I have done quite a bit in the way of cleaning out closets and getting rid of some things. I have also been making lists of things I need to do to help get ready for school. I know some people just go with the flow and don’t seem to need to make plans, or lists, or anything, but that is not how I roll. I am very much a list person! I make lists about everything, it’s how I keep my brain from exploding. πŸ™‚ I can guarantee you that by the time school starts I will have a daily schedule written down, and probably a whole list of activities and things we can do at home. My brain is swirling with possibilities and ideas as I type!

I was at the dollar tree the other day, I found a whole bunch of work books for David and Emma! So if you are looking for something to help your kid brush up on their letters, writing, etc, or something to help supplement what they are already learning.Β  I recommend going to the dollar tree! I found several prek-k books about shapes, colors, letters and numbers for Emma, and several first and second grade books with math, phonics, and handwriting! I was also on a search for art supplies, and found several things at the dollar general store! (It beats going in Wal-mart right now)

I have been thinking about making a list of books that I can tie in different activities with for the kids. Whether it be a craft, music, baking, etc. I would love to hear some of your ideas! I can think of several off the top of my head, but you may know a book or activity that I’m not familiar with!Β  I’ll share my list with you when I get it put together!

Both David and Emma were in extreme need of some new shoes! They both literally walked out of their summer sandals, and David keeps outgrowing his tennis shoes. So I ordered them both a new pair of tennis shoes for this fall. I’m telling you this because when looking for David a pair of shoes, I came across a pair of boys light up shoes, not too expensive, and easy to find. However, when looking for Emma a pair of shoes I found it to be much more difficult! I knew if I bought David a pair of light up shoes, I had better find Emma a pair of light up shoes as well. (Yes, there is that much jealousy in our house!:) ) Emma loves Paw Patrol and PJ Masks, and so I went searching for her a pair of shoes. I found a pair of paw patrol girl shoes, but they were really expensive! Double the amount of what I was going to pay for David’s shoes. I figured it was because they were the “paw patrol” shoes. I became curious and searched for paw patrol and pj masks shoes in boys, they were a lot cheaper!! In fact they were the same price as what I was going to pay for David’s non-character shoes. WHY?? So I showed them to Emma and she chose the PJ MaskΒ shoes.Β  I bought my daughter a pair of boy, PJ Mask shoes! Is this crazy? Am I the only one to do this? I don’t know, but Emma loves them! Oh yeah, they light up too! So double win!


Our little garden has done exceptionally well this summer! Our cucumber and tomato plants have out done themselves! I have put away about eight to ten bags of whole tomatoes in the freezer this past week! I had never done this before, but I watched my mom do it practically every summer as a kid! So I had a good idea about how to do it! If you have a surplus of tomatoes and don’t want to go to all the trouble of canning, I recommend doing it this way! All you do is bring a big stock pot of water to a boil, drop the tomatoes in and let them sit for about a minute, take them out and cool them down in some ice water. Then make a small slit in the bottom of the tomato with a knife. The tomato skin will peel off very easily. Then core the tomato. Put the peeled and cored tomatoes in freezer bags! I put about five or six tomatoes in each freezer bag, but you could put more if you want. They will be great to use in chili’s, soups, and sauces this winter!

My favorite picture of the week!




Decisions, Decisions! July 18, 2020

Decisions, Decisions! July 18, 2020

I don’t know how every one else is feeling right now, but I am feeling super stressed! In the late evenings we generally take a walk. My sweet four year old Emma is a deep thinker. She sometimes says to me on these walks, “Momma, I wish the virus would go away!”. My response, “Me too!!!!”. She says, “I miss my friends”. My response, “I know you do.”Β  It makes me sad to think that she is thinking about a virus! David doesn’t really talk about it much, but he does occasionally say that he misses his friends. Andrew and I (as many of you) are faced with the decision of whether to send the kids to school this fall! This is a terribly difficult decision! Ordinarily, David would be starting first grade at his local school, Emma would be starting preschool, and Samuel would be attending a parents day out program a couple days a week. However, because of the state we are in due to Covid-19, our future is possibly looking quite different. We have made the decision to take the online option for school this fall. It is a huge step for us, because we would not ordinarily consider homeschooling. David has loved school, and done very well in school. So I worry how this year will go. Emma still has a couple years left before she can start kindergarten so I’m not worried about the academic aspect of keeping her home. We will have a lot of fun doing ABC mouse! I pray we are making the right choices. I also pray for everyone else having to make these type of decisions right now. Everyone is doing what they feel is the right thing for their family, and we all need a lot of prayer and support right now.

I will miss the personal down time that sending the kids to school and PDO generally gives me. I hope to settle into a routine that will still allow me to have some respite. On the other hand, I love having the kids home and I look forward to spending more quality time with each of them. We have been having a great time at home this summer! We do miss doing our usual outings to the zoo, and splash pads etc., but we are thankful to still be able to visit grandparents!

We went for an overnight stay this week, and the kids loved riding the mower. David is almost big enough to drive it by himself. They also had fun picking wild blackberries, feeding the bunnies, and celebrating Nana’s birthday!


The kids have been beating the heat by playing in their little pool in the back yard. David is almost too big for it, but he loves splashing around in it and shooting water guns. I love the picture of them sitting on our reading bench, reading. Samuel is enjoying his snack. πŸ™‚ David is actually reading very well. He has started a series of chapter books called, Kids of the Polk Street School. It’s a series Andrew remembers reading as a kid. He really likes them, and reads a few chapters of a book every night before going to bed! He is already on book three!

One thing that I am thankful for during this time is that the kids have each other to play with. While they don’t always get along, and there is a lot of fussing at times, they also have times where they are really sweet to one another.

Emma Selfie! How does she look so grown up! I think it’s the hat! πŸ’–


I pray that you will find peace and assurance in these times of uncertainty and decision making.




Celebrations of Life. July 10, 2020

Celebrations of Life. July 10, 2020

The past week has been filled with happy and sad times. Celebrations of both life and death. Last week we celebrated Andrew’s birthday! He couldn’t decide on what type of cake he wanted for his birthday. He likes citrus, and so I talked him into a lemon cake with a cream cheese butter cream frosting. It turned out to be the perfect choice too, if I must say so! πŸ˜‰ I generally do not like citrus desserts, but I actually loved this cake! The lemon is fresh and not overpowering. I will definitely be making this cake again! You can find the recipeΒ  of this delicious Lemon Layer Cake at Sally’s Baking Addiction site. I love her cake recipes!


We also celebrated the Birthday of our Country, and our freedom! With as many problems as we have as a country, I am still very proud to be an American! I love my home land, and I know we can all work together to make it an even greater place. Do you see the shirt and shorts Samuel is wearing in the picture below? That outfit used to be David’s!!! Sniff, Sniff! I’m pretty sure I have a picture of David wearing it somewhere, and now I have one of Samuel too! We had a great fourth, with in-laws and friends. We had Bbq and all the fixins’! We also had home made ice cream! For me, home made ice cream is a must for the fourth of July. Some of my fondest memories growing up are of our fourth of July celebrations we had as a family, and the home made ice cream. It was churned by hand then, but I happen to have an electric ice cream machine now. I recommend it! The last several times I have made ice cream I have used a recipe that uses cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla. It’s from food network called Old Time Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe. It’s super easy. While it taste great (I mean, come on, it’s ice cream!), it’s not the ice cream I remember from my childhood. I asked my mom about it, and while she doesn’t remember the recipe, she does recall that it had an egg base. While the egg base recipes are much more complex, I might have to break down and give it a whirl. It may be worth it to find that ice cream taste I remember.

We stayed up late watching fire works. Our neighbors put on such an amazing display! It’s nice to be able to sit on the back porch and watch! This year, when it got really loud, Emma watched from inside going from window to window, David sat on the porch and watched with Andrew’s sound muting headphones on, and Samuel sat on my lap in amazement and as content as could be! πŸ™‚


In the midst of these celebrations was the passing of my Aunt Pam. (She was my Dad’s older sister.) She left this world all too soon due to cancer. She was an amazing person! Growing up I remember thinking how I wanted to be like her. I still do! Not only was she my aunt, she was my Sunday school teacher for a few years, and my piano teacher for a short period. She loved teaching, and she loved the Bible. Aunt Pam’s passion and excitement for the stories of the Bible was contagious! I learned so much from her!

Aunt Pam was fun to be around. I remember spending the night with my cousins, (what amazingly fun times we used to have!) and playing games and watching movies. She was so much fun to watch a movie with! Anyone who knows my aunt knows what I mean! πŸ™‚

Aunt Pam had so much faith! She lived that faith everyday. Because of her faith she had an internal happiness. A joy which was evident to everyone she met. She will be missed!


Love and Peace,