We were gifted a few free passes to Legoland for the day. We discovered a few rides, did the splash pad, raced some Lego cars, the kids oooed and ahhhhed at all the cool Lego creations, and generally had a pretty great day! Especially fun to be on someone else’s dime so we didn’t feel bad when we had to leave for nap times. 😉 Thank you Lemon’s family!

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Dear Dayla| Love, Your Proud Mama

Dayla, today we were at a birthday party and the party favors were little stuffed monster dolls. Your brother was too busy to come get one, so you took it upon yourself to get him one. You told me that you knew he would regret not taking one after the party was over. You told me that you were deciding between the pink and a pink and green striped one for yourself. You asked which one you should take. I said, “Just take them both and then one of those can be Sebastian’s” to which you replied, “But mom, Sebastian likes blue. I am getting HIM a blue one.”

Incredible. So selfless. So thoughtful.

Then one of the kids accidentally took the one you had picked out for Sebastian; the blue one now gone. You were upset, but you seemed so brave in that moment as you told me how sad you were. Then you said you were going to go ask Ms. Jody if she had any extra blue ones. And this is so big for you, you don’t usually like asking adults things without Mom by your side. But you did. You had such drive and purpose. Ms. Jody said she didn’t. You tried to hold in the emotion, but it overcame you like a tidal wave. You cried. Full tears. Completely lost all sense of caring that you were crying in front of a group of strangers. You have been caring about that recently, not wanting to cry in front of strangers, but you didn’t care today. You were SO sad. In the moment I didn’t realize why. I was frustrated at your tears. I said, “I thought you wanted a pink one?!” You looked at me with big tear drops and said, “The blue one was the one I saved for Bash. Mom, he loves BLUE and there are no blue ones left.”

You cried not for your own loss, but for the loss of your brother.

Dayla, in that moment my heart filled up. I am so proud of the girl you are becoming. So loving, kind, thoughtful….and on many days you are even learning self-lessness. You cried for someone else’s loss. It was beautiful. You are learning true beauty, Dayla. You are beautiful. I am so proud of you.


So today we took home 3 monsters, no blue one, but a pink and green striped one for you, a yellow one for August, and a purple striped one for Bash (purple has been his other favorite color these days).

Country Fair

Every year Dayla’s school does a “Country Fair”. They have a cake walk, some blow up slides, some booths with crafts, music, a person who does balloon animals, a person who does face painting, and lots of booths with kid level carnival games. It is all totally affordable and pretty much has everything at it that kids love to do. All in all, I say they do a pretty great job.

This year we went for our third time. It was the second time that Dayla felt brave enough to have her face painted (this is SO HUGE FOR US).

Sebastian was just barely big enough and brave enough to go on the blow up obstacle course and slide.

I think it is safe to say that we all had a blast!






New Chicken Coop

When our neighbor’s dog got our chickens last May, the chicken coop got destroyed. In a strange way it was a blessing, because it gave us the excuse we needed to build the coop that we wanted. After having our first coop for years, we knew it’s strengths and weaknesses, and couldn’t help but long for one that would be a better fit for our family and our yard, as well as better defend our girls from unwanted predators.

When we got our new retaining wall put in, putting the coop where we had been wanting it to be, well, that suddenly became a possibility.

Daniel accepted the coop challenge with gusto and a lot of kindness…hearing what I wanted….and coupled that with what he wanted. We looked, we got inspired, we talked, we dreamed, and we planned. We came to the realization that we both wanted a more stylish coop; a coop with both function and good looks. We were inspired by others, but in the end we ended up coming up with our very own coop design.









After two months of Daniel building, spending weekend after weekend doing a lot of hard work…we are proud to have the world’s most stylish (and functional!) chicken coop.





I could not be more excited for this coop….or more proud to be the wife of my amazing husband. It is projects like these that really reveal how kind, patient, loving, serving, and hard-working he is.

Life Around Here in August

Some of my favorite posts….the ones that just give a window to our every day lives.





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And last is Daniel’s picture where he caught me. I thought it would be a fun change of pace to do an act of service as part of Daniel’s birthday present this year. In 11 years of marriage I have never mowed the lawn. This year his birthday was 98 degrees outside…but our lawn desperately needed a mow since Daniel has been out of town most the month….so today I mowed.

He caught me…and he totally got a kick out of it. Happy Birthday my love.


Apple Picking

I have always wanted to go apple picking in Julian. I also always thought it would be some big “thing” that we would plan, obsess about, and have on the calendar months in advance.

The other day Daniel said to me, “Let’s go apple picking tomorrow.” That is something I really love about my husband, that he says things like, “Let’s just go!” Don’t get me wrong, he is thoughtful, and a wonderful planner. He looked up which places to go, which places are best, made calls, looked at websites, etc. etc., but he is definitely more impulsive than I am. I actually think he is the perfect balance of impulsive and planner. I love that about him.

So we went apple picking.












It was hot and it only took about 30 minutes to pick our two bags of apples (which was completely different than I expected). But the kids LOVED picking the apples, we ate apple pie after, and we had a really fun day.


Bash tantrums, screams, and whines just like every other two and a half year old. Yet there are so many things about him that are incredibly unique and indescribably sweet.

Being that Bash is about 9 months behind in his language skills, he has made up several of his own words and signs to communicate what he wants to say. He is short on words but not on ideas, humor, or love.

I don’t want to forget this part of him, so I am going to jot down some of my favorite things about Bash right now:

1. Sometimes when Dayla and I are in a tense moment of stubborn wills, he will just come over, insert himself right in the middle of us, and stand on his head, leg flapping around in the air. Sometimes he will just look at us with his big blue eyes and laugh. We can’t resist it. We will look at each other and break out in laughter, soon forgetting whatever it was we were mad about seconds before.


2. Sebastian still has yet to master turning a door knob. Being that he is my second child, I am now wise enough to know this is not something I need to teach him. That being said, when he wakes up from his nap he will just stand at his door and knock until I come. Recently when I open the door he has started saying, “POP!” with his hands in full jazz hands stance. Even though I know it is coming now, I can’t help but laugh every single time. It has become one of my favorite parts of the day.

3. He is too busy to snuggle. If I ask him to hug me or kiss me, he will respond with a loud, “NO!” right before running away with a giant grin on his face. If I run after him and catch him, smothering him in kisses, he will usually just giggle ceaselessly.


4. The one time I can get him to hug me or snuggle with me is right after his nap after his “POP!”. I will sweep him up into my arms, bring him to the couch, and he will give me a good 20 minutes of mama snuggles before he is off running again.

5. Sebastian is crazy observant. Like details. And EVERY detail. Being that one of the developmental things abut two year olds is wanting things the same (for example most two year olds want to read the same story over and over), this leads to some interesting moments in our house. I swear to you, if a hair on my head is out of place, he will notice and fix it (after squealing loudly that it is not right).


6. The above described trait also results in Sebastian being EXCELLENT at finding things. I can send him to another room and say that I want a blue pen…and he will find it. I have come to see it as a game, and it amazes me every time. [Part of me hopes this is something that stays with him through his life, as I am convinced it would make him a great husband.] 😉

7. Sebastian loves his sister. I can ask him to do something and often get met with a “NO” (two years old), but I have yet to see him say no to his sister. He looks up to her and loves her and will do pretty much anything she asks. It is ridiculously adorable. Today after he retrieved something for her, she turned to me and said, “I love having Bash as my little brother.” Now I know the way to her heart….and hopefully she will always feel that way…even when he stops retrieving.

8. He genuinely feels joy for others. For example, Dayla and Sebastian watch a show together called “Bo on the Go”. There is a part of the show where you are supposed to jump up and grab a key out of the sky. Every time he jumps up just like Dayla and tries to reach it, but she often claims that she caught it “this time”, because “she is taller”. Very very rarely does he feel disappointed he didn’t get it, usually he smiles with delight and shouts to me, “Mama! Dayla key!” I swear he is even happier when she catches it than when he gets it himself!

I sure do love this little guy. He has the biggest heart and most incredible smile. I can’t wait to see the man he grows up to be.


The Summer Recap

This is our third year with Dayla having a “summer break”.

The first year I feel like I was a little too scheduled. The second year I went the opposite extreme and made absolutely no schedule (which resulted in a summer of non-stop videos). Just like Goldilocks, I feel like I got it “just right” on the third try.

I made a calendar with activity magnets.


Dayla chooses the activity for the day using the magnets. We also have some chore time, some bible reading time, some snuggle time, some baking time and some screen time each day. It is the perfect balance of active (for Bash) and slow and planned (for Dayla and I).

Here are some of the things (that I happen to capture) that we have been up to this summer:

The beach

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James and Violet visit

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Pump It Up

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Family dinner picnics after swim class

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Date nights for Daniel and I

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And just hanging around the house

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I think we will go with the same plan next year!