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Memorial Weekend 2022

I barely took any pictures this weekend, but I could have taken a million… This weekend we had FIVE graduation parties, and one birthday party. Of course we went to them all… You know what that means? I didn’t have to cook! Woohoo! It also means my kids are getting older. I do love this stage and I love their friends, but I am not ready to begin hosting our own graduation parties starting next year!

In-between parties, we also were “forced” into gardening, as our sweet neighbors brought us strawberry and raspberry plants. I am beyond excited for berry season now!

Finally, Daniel smoked ribs all day, and Sierra made a strawberry pie for our Memorial Day celebration. It was such a yummy dinner! This is the second time we had strawberry pie on Memorial Day, so it is now going to be a tradition. (Thanks, Sierra!)

Happy unofficial start to summer! And, thank you to those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

Summer Means…

Getting back on the bike path! (First thing every morning!)

Planting fruits and veggies!! We probably won’t get a garden fully going this year, but we will definitely enjoy some homegrown treats in our greenhouse!

Wildflowers in our yard. (I love this picture of Boba enjoying them!)

And fishing! Xavi caught a rainbow trout. The other boys tried and tried, but couldn’t catch anything. Wolfie, on the other hand, caught several fish and was so helpful with Xavi. Xavi loved it so much, he is now planning to go on his daddy date fishing.

Now if only the weather would warm up a bit more, we could really call it summer!!!

May, May, May

Dear May, When did you get so busy??

I am going back a bit… Cinco de Mayo. We made our own tacos, but bought our tortillas fresh from Costa Vida. Nom, nom!

Mother’s Day: I stopped at the mailbox on the way home from my run to discover a sweet present from my Love; a “mom” ring with all 5 birthstones! I put it on immediately after feeding the horses!

Xavi gave me the lovely flowers, Natalie surprised me with a card on the coffee maker, Sierra made me lunch, and Allison cleaned the kitchen! What a crew.

May also brought the end of cross country. Malachi placed third among the non-ribboners.

End-of-the-school-year programs: the first grade poem recitation. Xavi did John 1:1-5.

Last day of school dinner celebration at Ciderworks with friends!

Elementary track and field day. (Malachi placed first in the long jump for the second year in a row!)

The bi-annual firefighter pancake breakfast

And, the art show and choir concert!!! (You look so handsome, Xavi!!)

And, May isn’t even over, yet! We have birthdays and graduations galore this year.

It’s true what they say… May is the second December!

Ladies Trip: Hawaii 2022

The text came back on a cold, snowy winter day in February: “Hawaii. House-sitting Mid-May.” The price was good, the temperature sounded amazing, and the friends were the icing on the cake. I had to say yes!

I flew to Seattle, then on to LA where I met up with my friends, then on to Maui where we got to briefly say hello to the couple whose house we would be staying at before they flew off to North Dakota to see their son graduate.

Above: The view from our deck upon waking up the first morning.

Day 1: We drove to Kaanapali to go to the beach. Stopped at the market for treats and lunch. Fresh sushi and pineapple on the beach with my friends… absolutely glorious!! Saw my first ever sea turtle. Enjoyed a pina colada as well. Had poke for dinner and shopped at Whaler’s Village with Deena while Caprice and Tina enjoyed a luau.

Day 2: Took a few pictures of my run around the block, including the neighbor cat that looks like our Angel! (Had to send it to the kids back home!)

Next we went to Lahaina for shops, lunch, and the giant Banyan tree. I should have worn my Montana shirt, but I was a day off!

Shaved ice for dessert before the beach and amazing snorkeling! This time I saw sea turtles face-to-face along with lots of other beautiful fish.

Finished the day with a beautiful rainbow and another gorgeous sunset.

Day 3: I was content to run around the block again, but my sweet Tina insisted I go run Thompson road, woke up at 5:45am, and drove me there. What a precious friend!! The view was so stunning… these are just a few of the pictures I took! (Apparently, the road dead-ends at Oprah’s house!)

After getting cleaned-up, we drove to Kihei for breakfast. The Kaluha Pork breakfast bowl and macadamia pancakes were so worth the wait! We also bought some t-shirts from the funniest Korean lady, who hugged us goodbye and gave us free bracelets!

After breakfast, we did the beach at Wailea. No snorkeling, but lots of wave jumping!! I was out so long, I fried my forehead.

After jumping waves, we walked to the hotel and snapped a few pictures of its beauty. I told Daniel we should renew our vows here! (Not that I even want to do that… but look at this chapel!)

We finished day 3 with a simple grilled dinner at home.

Day 4: We found a Hawaii food truck, and it made me so happy! The fish was so fresh, it melted in my mouth.

From there, we drove up to Haleakalā National Park — a dormant volcano, up over 9,000 ft in elevation. The temperature dropped significantly. We stopped halfway up, and were able to pray for a lady eating lunch there with her husband. God is so good!

I couldn’t stop taking pictures… it was just so beautiful! And, there is something so incredible about being up so high.

Above: the sunset off the deck on the last night. It was such an amazing trip! I loved every day — the beauty, the food, the conversations. We ended our time in prayer, and once again God reminded me how very blessed I am by those people in my life I get to call friends. Yet, I was excited to go home and see my family, as well. I left refreshed, refueled, and ready to hug my family!

Spring Projects

When I sit on the couch in “my spot” every morning, I stare at the massive walls of beige, and dream of what to do… Behind the tv was a problem because it edged up against the rock fireplace, so I couldn’t do shiplap there. I finally decided on shiplap around the door, and a wallpaper mural behind the tv.

My husband warned me the wallpaper would be difficult. He was right. Yet, it was so worth it… it looks amazing! (Easy for me, the “Helper” to say!) The shiplap also had its share of woes. Overall it didn’t take too long, but the impact is incredible!

I already have ideas for the wall above the stairs… stay tuned!!

Homeschool Banquet 2022

“An Enchanted Forest” That was the theme. I was able to help out the day before, but never got to see it complete. From what I was told, it was “magical!”

Getting ready was so fun. We stopped in downtown to pick up flowers and coffee, then to meet friends for hair and make-up.

After my coffee, they offered me wine… yes, please.

Following downtown, we headed for the house the girls rented for the night to get dressed. The sweet boys showed up early, and had to wait outside a bit.

Natalie and Caleb. They are like “cousins.”

Allison and Joshua. They are great friends and work together.

I just love all these kids!!!

Malachi and Daniel arrived just in time to see them off. Then Malachi did a backflip. Of course. From what I heard, it was a super fun night!Once again feeling so blessed by our precious community!

This ‘n That

I’m feeling a little behind these days… Running the race that is the school year, and the end is in sight, yet there’s still a lot to do!! I decided to blog a few of the random things happening, before going back to blog the girls’ high school banquet among other things.

Malachi had his April Dad date at Sykes. Though their cinnamon rolls cost about 4 times what they were when I was a kid, they are still worth it!!

We got more baby chicks! 15, to be exact. The kids bring them to morning time each day to keep them company while doing school.

Malachi had his piano recital and did fabulous! He definitely does not get his music skills from me!

We got a call last week from the neighbor that a “goat” was in our horse pasture. He turned out to be a sweet lamb. We searched and searched for the owners, but to no avail… finally our friend posted it on the Facebook Livestock group, and we found the owner. Some in our family were sad to see it go. I was not.

Xavi came home from a friend’s house the other day exclaiming, “Look what I got!” He and his friend worked in the yard and were rewarded with Mc Donald’s and $20. He couldn’t wait to tell Malachi… only Malachi also came home with $20, a burger, and fries for working in his friends’ yard!! What are the chances?!?!

The greenhouse is officially built! Naturally, that meant Daniel and I should have a sleepover in there. Ha! We lasted until 12:45am until we were way too cold and almost touching the ground from a leaky mattress. It was a fun adventure, at least.

With the weather warming up and the sun staying up until 9pm, after-dinner park play is now in session.

I may have won one round of tag… just sayin’. I still got it! There’s a slight update for ya!

Easter 2022

It was a busy weekend… Saturday was Xavi’s birthday, then Sunday was Easter! Once again we awoke to another crazy overnight snowfall!!! We may or may not have wished each other a Merry Christmas rather than a Happy Easter!

Sadly, a few of the girls’ items for their baskets didn’t arrive on time. I figure as long as there is chocolate on Easter, everything’s good!

The theme for the Kids’ Easter Service was “He Rescued Us,” so they had lots of rescue vehicles. I had to snap a picture of the boys in front of the fire truck for Daniel, who was sadly working back in California.

While the rest of us colored Easter eggs, Sierra made our lunch; “deviled eggs,” (Malachi pointed out the name was not exactly appropriate for Easter!) Meanwhile, I also baked some Easter bread for dinner time!

The boys played with birthday toys while the girls practiced doing make-up for banquet.

Carol and Gary arrived at dinner time for the Easter meal, as well as a post-dinner Easter egg hunt, since the snow was finally melting and the sun was coming out!

We ate dinner. Had our hunt. Walked around the property. Enjoyed Sierra’s lemon bars for dessert, and called it a night! It was a beautiful Resurrection Day!

Xavi Turns 7

Saturday morning! Xavi was so excited, he kept asking all morning if I could make his party earlier. I told him 11am was fine. So, he enjoyed his requested Cocoa Pebbles and gifts from parents, siblings, and grandparents.

He requested a chocolate cake, so I made it from scratch and did an almond icing, but they did not go well together. So sad. Sierra’s vanilla cupcakes with strawberry frosting, on the other hand, were amazing! So were her Oreo cake pops!

Friends arrived soon enough, and it was soon time for lunch. Already amazed at how many bullets were everywhere and how loud young boys could be, the moms and I took our lunches to the greenhouse. (We lasted a good 20 minutes before getting caught! They begged us to come back for cake and presents!)

Grandma got Xavi a watch, and all he kept saying was, “Can you believe how old I look wearing this?”

Nathanael’s present… (the biggest saved for last), was a box inside a box inside a box inside a… and finally some amazing presents! He is one blessed kid to have such amazing friends.

Auntie Nai read Xavi his special Spiderman letter from their family. The moment he sees her he runs for cuddles! These two have a special bond.

Happy birthday, my precious boy! We are so blessed to call you son!