Ivar’s in Mukilteo and angels in disguise

When I was little, my family would go out to eat for breakfast every Saturday morning. In hindsight, I have no idea how my parents could afford that! Yet, those memories of sitting around the table, talking and observing passerbys outside, and watching the ferry come in; are some that are super close to my heart.

Over the years the name changed and the restaurant fell into the ocean, but they rebuilt and are now Ivar’s in Mukilteo.

I think the best part about going out to eat each Saturday, other than being with family, was Janet.


Janet was our faithful waitress, each year she was there to watch us grow up. One of my favorite Christmas ornaments is a gift from her.

Needless to say, she is pretty special. Guess what? She still works there. She has been there those times I came home for a visit. She was there when I went back with my new husband. With my infant baby girl. And she was there this summer.


It is a treat to see her and something I look forward to each time we visit. She is truly an extension of our family.

Well, this visit, she gifted both of my kiddos a little something for their stay in Seattle. They had bubbles and cute games and all kinds of fun.


Mom was pretty excited about this one

Have I told you how special this woman is?


Both my parents were excited about this one!

She is one of those rare gems of a person that you find in your life who touches your heart and doesn’t let go.

Who do you know in your heart like that?



Oh, by the way, she also is a faithful follower of my blog. So…Hi Janet! Love you! (feel free to leave a comment saying hi to her! If you are ever in Mukilteo, go to Ivar‘s and say hi!)

7 Acre Wood near Conroe, Texas

You know how I am about bucket lists, right? I mean, I make them pretty much every season.

fall bucket list for toddlers

See what I mean?

Well, one of those things on my list is to visit a pumpkin patch.


Our visit to Conroe, Texas, landed us on the back steps of this awesome pumpkin patch called 7 Acre Wood. Here’s a secret though, it isn’t JUST a pumpkin patch, it’s also a year round play world for kids (and adults!)


They have all kinds of fun for the family.

Playground, petting zoo (where we learned the llamas REALLY DO spit!)…


Fun face cut outs, (those look almost real!)…


Pony Rides (those were extra, so we just pet him)…


Pig Rides…


And of course…




So the next time you are near Conroe, Texas, go check out the 7 Acre Wood! Seriously, it’s a treat!

Have you been to a pumpkin patch yet this year? Any plans to?

Lately, I’ve been…

Creating: All kinds of wonderful meals and recipes. It has been heavenly to be back in the kitchen! (Have you seen some of the meals on Instagram?)

Drinking: Cranberry juice like crazy. It’s weird what things I crave each pregnancy.

Enjoying: My children and watching them play together. It is a mother’s delight to see how much they love being together.


Taking: Naps every chance I get. Really, when is this pregnancy exhaustion going to go away?

Smelling: Everything. It is awful. I miss not being able to smell. I smell the diapers, I smell the toilet, I smell the trash. YUCK.

Wearing: My maxi skirt everywhere. It’s true, this is my favorite piece of clothing currently. I’m not really sure what I wore my other pregnancies, but it doesn’t really matter now that this is in my life.


Thinking about: Ways to be a better mom, wife, etc. Then wishing I could stop and just enjoy the ride.


Wishing: For snow. I keep dreaming of my time in Montana. I miss snow. I miss fall. I love Texas, but I miss the beauty of Creation. Here, all I see is pavement and brick houses.

Looking forward to: Listening to Christmas music, I keep holding off, but I’m not sure how much longer I can go.

Toddler Alphabet Tree

Now that the first trimester yuck is officially over, I can focus back on my lessons with Gracie.

In an effort to continue working on our alphabet letters, I have created this fall alphabet tree.

Toddler alphabet tree

It is a great decoration and a perfect way to teach the letters of the alphabet.

I wanted to hit home the difference between capital and lower case letters, since we just started differentiating.

Toddler Alphabet Tree

I cut a tree out of brown paper, it doesn’t have to be perfect, just do the best you can with the materials you have on hand.

Toddler Alphabet Tree

We are in that stage where she wants to be IN every picture and then she wants to see herself. Oh my!

Then make leaf cut outs. I am sure you can find some patterns online if you google it, however, I just freehand cut out different leaves.

Toddler Alphabet Tree

I wrote the letter and talked about the letter and the sound it made as she colored it different colors of fall.

Then, we hung them up, making sure to put capital letters on the tree and lowercase letters in a pile on the “ground” by the tree.


It turned out better than I hoped! We are adding to it each week, multiple times a week. By the time winter officially comes, our tree will be full!

What to say and what not to say when someone announces their pregnancy

Last week, I announced that I am pregnant.

That was my third pregnancy announcement in three years.

Three little pumpkins1

You could say that I know my stuff when it comes to what to say and what not to say when someone announces their pregnancy.

Even with this pregnancy, I was given some fabulous responses (Thanks Facebook friends!) and some not so fabulous responses.

Here are some guidelines when trying to decide how to respond when someone announces their pregnancy.

What to say when someone announces their pregnancy

1. “Congratulations!” This is the most common response with good reason, it never fails. It is a fail safe response. You could even add a smile if you are feeling really generous.

2. “I’m so happy/excited for you.” Considering this news is wonderful, being happy or excited for the mom to be is a pretty safe and highly appropriate response.

3. “What great news!” Like #2, this communicates that you are joining the new parents in their joy over this news.

4. If you get tongue tied in situations such as these, offer a hug and a smile. That will communicate your support to the new mama.


What not to say when someone announces their pregnancy.

1. Nothing. This is probably my least favorite. The mama to be tells someone she’s pregnant and is greeted by a face made of stone. Nothing is said. No facial muscles move. It’s just silence. This isn’t the best response to give the pregnant woman.

2. “Was it planned?” This is like saying, “Do you use protection every time you have sex? Or have you missed a few times?” Seriously people, if you wouldn’t talk about their sex life normally, then a pregnant belly shouldn’t change that.

3. “Are you happy about it?” What kind of a question is that? I can answer for every pregnant woman. Yes. No. Maybe. Every baby is a gift, but every pregnancy comes with doubts, concerns, fears and worries. I have been happy about every pregnancy. I have also had my moments when I wasn’t happy. I also had moments when my emotions were running so crazy, I couldn’t figure out if I was happy or sad.

4. “Again?” or “Already?” This implies you are NOT excited or happy for the pregnant mama to be. All mamas want her friends and family to be excited for her. even if you aren’t happy about the news, don’t let her know. Remember you ARE talking to a pregnant woman…full of hormones and emotions, which are not always stable!

What would you add to the list?

Hello 2nd Trimester, Goodbye Exhaustion

It really is the weirdest phenomenon. One day, you are so exhausted you can’t get off the couch even if a rabid bear came in a tried to eat you.  The next day, you are running around the house making homemade soup and bread bowls. (Did you see my pictures on Instagram?)

One day, you are so sick that you can’t even think about drinking water, much less stick any sort of food product in your mouth. The next day, you are drinking like a camel who’s filling up for their monthly quota.

Goodbye first trimester!

Needless to say that I am so grateful that trimester is over. Am I the only one that feels as if the first trimester yuck gets worse with each pregnancy? Technically this is my fourth pregnancy, we had a miscarriage between Gracie and Benjamin, and I feel like death walking. Or…I felt like death walking. Now I feel like a new woman. I have organized the pantry, cleaned out cabinets, made all kinds of goodies, stocked up on food for the winter (what am I? A squirrel?) and created new lessons for Gracie. All of this in one day.

Goodbye first trimester!

Everyone is pretty excited to have mama back!

So, if you are still around reading, thank you for sticking with me. Thanks for your patience when I wasn’t around much over the last two months. Thanks for your sweet words of encouragement. I’m glad to be back!

TLC Schools

I am a stay at home mama. Through and through. I love it. Some days it makes me cry. Most days, it just fills me with joy and wonder.

early education curriculum

However, there are those tiny moments when I am driving and I see a gal my age taking a jog by herself. Or when I see a woman out shopping with a necklace showing she has a whole passel of kids…yet she is alone. It is in those moments, when the morning has been frazzled that I wonder what life might be like if I sent my kids to daycare.

photo 2

I had the chance to tour the TLC School in Plano and folks, I was BLOWN AWAY. This school was everything I thought of when I was in school to become a teacher. It was warm, it was welcoming and everyone seemed to have a smile on their face. Not one of those creepy smiles like you would see in the book, Grandpa’s Teeth, but genuine smiles.

photo 3

The school starts accepting students at 6 weeks and all the way up through kinder. Each room is uniquely set up to meet the needs of that age group. Although they use a curriculum, the teachers adapt the lessons to fit the needs of those in their class. This isn’t just a daycare, this is a school where children are learning and thriving!

I told the staff that not only would I love to send my kids here, but I would love to work here. What a beautiful campus!

Photo: Spread the word! Our Open House at Hedgcoxe is this Thursday Oct. 16 from 5:30-7:30. If you LOVE TLC Schools, will you take a moment to share this post with your friends and encourage them to come check us out?

Good news for you: they are having an open house this week! There are two campuses, the Hedgcoxe campus has an open house this Thursday and the Democracy campus has one next week. Here are the details:

5:30-7:30 PM on October 16th – Hedgcoxe campus – 5200 Hedgcoxe Rd, Plano, TX 75024

5:30-7:30 PM on October 23rd – Democracy Campus5301 Democracy Dr Plano, TX 75024

Or, you can always schedule a tour through the Facebook page or by calling them.

If you are looking for a place to put your child this year, this is THE place!

Granola mommy?

When I was pregnant, I had a friend tell me, “You are probably going to end up being one of those granola mommies, aren’t you?”

I laughed awkwardly at this, because I wasn’t quite sure what she meant by “granola mommy”, but now, three years later, I get it.

She meant one of those mommies. You know the type that think they are doing the best for their kids while the family members look on with a judgmental eye. Yeah, that’s me!

My toddler hasn’t ever had cake, or cookies, or ice cream, or…well, basically any sweets. I figure, I am such a sucker for anything sweet, I want to hold it off for her as long as possible. (I do have it on good authority that she is going to be getting ice cream in the near future, though)

Neither of my children watch T.V. They have never sat in front of a T.V. for hours, mindlessly watching while I got stuff done. Read between the lines: I don’t get much done.

Gracie has, now that she has been two for a while, watched a few things. I let her see a six minute Elmo podcast and a sign language video (that was SOOOO creepy)

All that to say, I dropped the kids off at Bible study the other day and when I came back through to check on Benjamin after dropping Gracie off, I noticed all the infants were staring up at the wall. I couldn’t see what was on the wall, but I took a guess.

“Are they watching T.V.?” I asked hesitatnly.

The childcare helper smiled and said, “OH yes, it’s been a lifesaver since we only have three helpers and seven babies! We just stick the T.V. on and let them watch a movie and they are happy and quiet.”

You know those moments where you just have to let it go?

This was one of those moments. A few hours of adult bonding time for ??? minutes of the little man being babysat by T.V. = So worth it.

Enjoy the show, little bro!

This entry was posted in Kids.


This little girl of mine, she’s a pistol.

I’m not sure what that really means for someone to be a pistol, but I think it means that she is spunky.

She keeps me on my toes and I have no idea how I am going to keep up with her when she REALLY gets to talking.

Lately, she has floored me with some of the things she says. Mind you, this little one turned two on the 4th of July.

The same child who can’t put two words together when I ask her why she hit her brother with the pool noodle, walks up to her grandma and says;

“Mimi, I like your shirt today.”

Okay, this same child who gets all tongue tied when I ask her about her day at Bible study and ends up saying something like, “Shuuh du la busssssh da la laaaaaag da la maadddssssshhhh EAT!”

Yes, that child. As we were eating breakfast the other day, she looks over at me and says, “You’re so funny mommy.” Then goes back to eating.

How about when that child gets upset that I take too long to hold her hand while praying and says, “NO MOMMY, HOLD MY HAND!”

Ah yes, that precious child.

I am one blessed mama!

This entry was posted in Kids.

Weekly Menu Plan #1

I have had a few requests for my menu plan and I figured, I would try to start posting once a week. Hopefully, this will give you at least a few ideas of things you can feed your family during the week. Feel free to use the entire menu, if that is better for you!

Weekly Meal Plan

Many of these recipes I make from scratch and don’t use a recipe, but I tried to link back to a few similar recipes, in case you wanted to try them!


Breakfast: pancakes

Lunch: Muffeletta sandwiches (Recipe coming this week)

Dinner: Parsnip macaroni and cheese


Breakfast: Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting - so moist and full of pumpkin flavor | Cooking on the Front Burner

Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: Quesadillas


Breakfast: scrambled eggs and bacon

Lunch: Au Jus Sandwiches with homemade au jus

Dinner: Salmon with Wilted Spinach Salad and mashed potatoes

Wilted Spinach Salad with bacon and egg (1)


Breakfast: French Toast Casserole with apples

Lunch: Lettuce Wraps

Dinner: Salmon with Wilted Spinach Salad and mashed potatoes


Breakfast: leftover casserole

Lunch: Muffeletta sandwiches

Dinner: One pan burrito bowl with spinach salad


Breakfast: Homemade biscuits and fried eggs

Lunch: burritos with leftovers

Dinner: Oven friend chicken with rice and veggies


This day is usually spent eating leftovers or whatever meal was planned, but didn’t get made.