Arizona Getaway

The trip was planned a bit last-minute. We've been wanting to do a hiking trip to the southwest for awhile now and everything just aligned for early October. Honestly, it feels like one of those things that I didn't think about a ton ahead of time because life here is full and then all of a sudden it's over. But! While we were there it was four glorious nights and days of setting our own schedule, putting in dusty miles in the red rocks, reading books in 24 hours, and having really important relationship conversations as we lingered over flights of local beer.

This trip was really good and special. We came home with fun, new memories and more depth to our relationship and those things are worth all the money and coordination it takes to make it happen.

I felt a little emotional unpacking my dusty hiking shoes, knowing it could be awhile before Devin and I get that kind of time again (also I need more canyons and mountains in my everyday life), but so thankful it happened. There really is no one else I'd rather travel with, even if he can be a little neurotic about making it to the airport on time.


Nailed It

 Or another way of saying it...God was gracious to us this week.

Week three of school is in the books and it was a great one. So far each week has gotten better. Not every day looks the same but we're slowly getting into a bit of a flow and everyone seems happy about the flow. Unprompted, Henrik told me he likes homeschool and that I was a great teacher.

This week I kind of felt like supermom. We made homemade popsicles and ice cream, planted potatoes, worked on life skills like cutting potatoes and cleaning bathrooms, read lots of books, completed all assignments and even got further in one area than I planned to. There was a lot of interaction and hands-on things, like a phonics assessment disguised as a game. We wrote and mailed thank you cards to some people. We took some park adventures. Basically we did all the things and all (mostly) enjoyed them with good attitudes. I don't expect every week to go this way, but I was needing a confidence boost with this home educating thing so I'm quite thankful.

First week of homeschool


Snuggled up on the couch reading together about Native Americans. Boys asking good questions.

We gathered for our morning time and Soren runs up and says to me, "uh Fahma Boy?". Day three and the two-year-old had already picked up on the title of our book.

Reading Farmer Boy outside on a beautiful morning while the boys colored.

One-on-one connection. 

Friday morning nature hike with friends. Boys getting to play with friends.

Henrik excited about his online math.


Henrik asking when he would get to zoom with his real teacher and then asking to go back to Blackhawk when I informed him that I was his real teacher and this wasn't distance learning it was actual homeschool.

Ira feeling sad on the first day that he didn't have a real desk like real school.

Frustration over LA curriculum for both boys and me wondering if I chose the wrong things.

The daunting realization that I bear the entire burden of their education at this time.

So many conflicted feelings for me processing the reality of everyone else going back to school.


"just pay attention, ok!"

"Ok well I don't know how else to explain this to you!" I'm pretty sure that's what all the nice homeschool moms suggest you say to your child when they're frustrated and don't get something.

Forcefully removing two-year-old from the room and asking him to just please go somewhere else.


Putting the boys to bed Friday night. Unprompted Henrik recites his verse from the week. Then Ira wanted to say it again. Then they both wanted to sing our morning hymn chorus. My heart warmed as I thought of the connections we made after just a week of routine and scripture and singing. And I thought..."yeah...this is going to be ok".

Vacation and into July...

On the evening of the 2nd we headed North to our favorite spot along the west shore of Lake Michigan. A few days with some of my sisters and their families and a couple days with just my parents and then some days with just us. It was really nice. I felt a little sad some of my siblings couldn't stay longer and that Betsy's family was absent...I think coming out of months of quarantine didn't make me as anxious for time with just us, but it was nice nonetheless. 

Summer days are long. So much daylight and time to fill with the kids. Recently we've hit that point in summer where I'm not sad about a rainy or cloudy day and excuse to be inside.
I'm definitely in homeschool planning mode and looking ahead. It's strange not to be getting class lists or to be caring about the school's plan for re-entry. I'm glad though.

I've been thinking about control lately. How this year is such a good example of how little control we really have. We often have a false sense of having things under control which inevitably gets stripped from us at some point. Also, we tend to do poorly at the things we actually can control, such as how and when we engage on social media or what we eat or how we spend our free time.

A daily thought I have right now in regard to the happenings in our country is: why is everyone so angry? I'm consistently baffled by how outraged people get over the dumbest things. Then I think about the toll that it has to take on mental health to always be mad about something.

A bright spot the past couple weeks has been a small group of women meeting at my house to talk about the book Be The Bridge by Latasha Morrison. The discussion has been rich and I've been so encouraged to sit among women who want to humbly listen and learn and repent.

On to the pictures...

Full-swing Summer

Today watching "coffee talk" from SmartHer News (love her and how she presents the facts) she said a couple things I've been thinking about...

One was that as pediatricians look back to Dec/Jan there were some strange sicknesses with kids and apparently there's some discussion of COVID-19 being here earlier than we thought. I have been wondering this as some people we knew had a bad cough/respiratory illness in February that in hindsight seems a lot like Covid. I'm convinced (as a person with no medical training) that more of us have had it than we think. But of course I could be totally wrong about that.

Another thing she talked about was Trump's first rally and his main points about if the democrats win we can expect "anarchy, loss of freedom, loss of guns, and higher taxes". She mentioned that White, Suburban women are one of the key groups (just like in 2016) to impact this election. Realistically, Indiana is never a huge factor in the election, so I'm not sure how much this applies to me, but it made me think as I am in the demographic of white/suburban/woman. Trump's message seemed mostly to me about instilling fear in people that if he doesn't get re-elected we can expect "total anarchy". He must think white, suburban women are prone to fear...oh wait... I for one will not be giving into his scare tactics.

This fear thing is so real. I think it's the number one reason white women don't want to engage in the race discussion. So much talk about "losing our freedoms"...this is fear-based. Fear that somehow this comfortable American Christian life we've created for ourselves won't be quite as easy for us if the playing field is leveled. That's a harsh observation but I really believe it's playing a huge part.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on anything I just said...regardless of if you agree.

So, summer...

Man, these days are long. So fun and full and long. We've been getting in lots of pool time, splash pads, popsicles, parks, etc. Some days the boys are outside before 8 am and since it isn't dark until 10...that's quite a bit of space to fill.

My two peony bushes were fantastic. I only wish they lasted longer.

After a long time searching we finally bought an outdoor dining set, but are now returning the poorly made chairs. Sigh.

My parents took the boys for a couple days so I could finish painting Soren's room and we also needed a babysitter for some friend plans. An unexpected gift was kayaking with 3 of my favorite friends for a couple hours on a perfect 70 degree day. 

Soren got his first real haircut which aged him like 6 months overnight. I felt sad, but he's still v cute.
The older boys are still very into making their own breakfasts...

This past Saturday was the summer solstice. We always celebrate with the standard menu of charcuterie, wine, and whiskey. Devin smoked trout which was a big hit. John and Emily joined us - it's always fun and easy to be with them.

And then Father's Day! Devin golfed with John and Matt in the morning, took the boys to the pool, smoked some ribs, and we all ate too much. I don't say Devin is a great dad out of obligation...he really is very kind and thoughtful when it comes to the boys. They adore him for good reason.

Happy June! The days get shorter from here on out!