Moments 03.2018

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Moments 03.2018 JoyFoodSunshine

overhead view of a sprinkle donut

Welcome to “Moments” here on JoyFoodSunshine. At the end of every month I share a recap of all the shenanigans that went down in crazy town (i.e. my life in a nutshell).  So here it is for March 2018!

Recipe love:

Here are a few must-share recipes from the month of March from my favorite spots around the web!

Zucchini Matcha Oatmeal from Feasting on Fruit {Zucchini season is almost here}!

One Pot Taco Pasta from House of Yumm {SO Dreamy}!

Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies from Ambitious Kitchen {LOVE these}!

Blueberry Pie with a Purple Berry Crust from Wife Mama Foodie {Gorgeous!!!}

Raspberry Lemon Bars from Paleo Running Mamma {These scream “Spring”}!

New Recipe Videos

Here are the videos we produced for you in March! More to come in April!

Dairy-Free Matcha Ice Cream

No-Bake Easter Nests 


Life with my tribe

March was a month of transitions and changes for all of us! And while they may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of life, my mommy heart is feeling them all…very deeply. So let’s start with the youngest and go on up! 😉

Mara Hope

Oh there are so many fun things to tell you about my sweet Mara! I am working on a huge 1 year update for her {how is it time for that already?!} but here are a few tidbits to hold you over until then!

Mara has started doing this little “trick” where the second I pick her up she arches her back and throws her hands over her head. She thinks it’s hilarious, and it kind of is! 😉 I always kiss or tickle her little neck and she pops back upright giggling and smiling. She is definitely a sweet little goofball!

Finger foods 

Mara finally started eating puffs like a boss, so we graduated her to real people food. So far she has had success with bananas, cheerios, soft cheese, sweet potatoes, and even a peanut butter sandwich! We’ve have just started feeding her little bits of our food during meal times and she has been able to handle most it without choking {hallelujah}!

I do wish that she would stop putting everything see sees on the floor in her mouth. I have a mild mommy heart attack at least twice a day and have to go fishing for pieces of paper, stickers, legos, etc. etc. that my bigger kids have accidentally dropped. I really hope she grows out of this phase soon, because I’m pretty sure my hair is turning gray at a much faster rate because if it!


Mara is weaned. I am an emotional mess. And my boobs hurt. I’ll discuss this more in detail in an upcoming post, but holy moly I have had the hardest time letting go of this part of Mara’s life. The first day I put her to bed without nursing her at all I went into my room and sobbed for over an hour! The tears just kept coming and I just let them, I think I needed a really great cry.

Naomi is potty trained!

Now onto the second youngest…Naomi is potty trained! YAY for only having one kid in diapers!

All of my kids have been very different in the potty training department! Bethany asked, “Can I go on the potty like you Mommy?” when she was 18 months old and was completely potty trained by two, totally self-motivated. Gabe never showed any signs of being interested in ditching his diapers, so one day after he turned 3 Ritch just took him out and got him some underwear and that was that. He literally has never had an accident.

Naomi is somewhere in between those two. She started asking us to change her diaper every time she peed even a little bit, so we knew she was aware enough to give it a try. However, she was super resistant to the idea. I think it’s because she is my most social little one, and the idea of being alone in the bathroom was just no fun to her! Well, we decided to just go for it and I’m still on the fence about if she was 100% ready, but there’s no turning back now because she is totally not interested in wearing diapers anymore.

She has had more accidents than the other two, but overall is doing well. Thankfully, so far, all her messes have happened at home, and she has been really great at telling me she has to go when we’re out and about!

Gabe finished his reading book! 

Gabe can READ! I use the book The Reading Lesson to teach my kids how to read initially, and so far it has worked really well! Gabe is starting to pick up more and more words and I’m introducing him to more challenging books. He started reading this Christian Liberty Nature Reader (Level K) and is really loving learning new information about animals! I am searching for fun boy series for early readers, so if you have any recommendations please leave them in the comments below!

Another noteworthy thing about Gabe is that he is always dressed to the 9’s. I bought him some bowties to wear on easter {I bought 8 for $12 on amazon and they are awesome}. He wears them every day, wether he’s wearing a collared shirt or not. This was his outfit to go hunt easter eggs in the community park. Gah I just love him.


Bethany lost her second front tooth this month, making her a front-toothless beauty! She is getting more grown up by the day, and  parenting a seven-year-old is uncharted waters for me and Ritch!  We’ve been trying to find ways to differentiate her from the younger kids by giving her more responsibilities and privileges.

Ever since Mara was born the three older kids have shared a room. It’s kind of a circus in there, but I didn’t feel comfortable letting any of them sleep in the bedroom in the basement because it feels so far away from me and Ritch. Well, after talking about it we decided to offer that room to Bethany. She eagerly took us up on that offer and seems to really be loving having her own space.

The thing she loves the most, though, is getting to stay up a little later than the other kids and have some special one-on-one snuggle/bible reading time with Daddy & Mommy. I’m still getting used to the fact that she’s not a little kid anymore! But we’re trying our best to embrace it! 🙂

Family bowling for the first time! 

We were all feeling stir crazy from being trapped inside all winter…so Ritch and I decided to take our kids out to do something fun that we had never done before…bowling! To say we had a blast wouldn’t even do it justice. Mara napped on me, which led to some hilariously awful bowling on my part {even with the bumpers up hahaha}…because I did not want to wake the sleeping baby! 😉

Bethany did REALLY well! She even learned how to throw the ball the normal way, one-handed! She’s just a little competitive {not sure where she gets that.. ;)}, and was really glad to have beat all her siblings! Gabe and Naomi were absolutely hilarious! They could barely get the ball down the lane, and Ritch had to help it along on more than one occasion! It was the best day and we had the best time!

A few of my favorite things…


To all my mommys out there, this potty seat is the best thing EVER!!! I am so not into those little potties, because they totally gross me out. We used to have one of these removable potty seats but those get pretty icky too! We first saw this type of potty seat at a friend’s house and knew we had to install one in our home ASAP! I love that it’s just part of the toilet, it’s easy to use AND to clean!

This Sweater

I literally have it in 3 colors, and would buy it in every single one if my size got restocked. I have worn it every day since I bought my first one and I’m in love.

OPI Nail Envy

I usually have really great nails {thanks for the genes mom}! However, a while back I got a gel manicure and decided to take it off myself {HUGE mistake}! My nails have never been the same since then, and I have tried a many different strengtheners to try to heal them. Nothing worked until I found Nail Envy by OPI! It has helped strengthen my nails enough for the broken parts to grow out on most of my nails. It even comes in a few colors, so I was able to paint AND nourish my nails for Easter!


I have discussed my love for Rose Line Pottery many times here in my moments posts! Well this month I went and bought almost every piece of pottery that Travis makes and I have been loving shooting with them! I even signed up for his “Mug of the Month” club because Ritch and I decided to replace all our old boring mugs with gorgeous hand-thrown beauties from RLP! I can’t wait to get my first one!

This Song. 

I have listened to it on repeat this entire month. I love it so much.

Recipes I’m Making on Repeat

Here are a few recipes we enjoyed in March!

No-Knead Bread

{an old favorite I have been making for years}!

Black bean brownies

{Of course}

Gluten-free Greek Yogurt Mac & Cheese

I was sent some Eat Banza Chickpea Pasta to try and I used it in this recipe. The verdict was that the pasta was great with sauce, but was obviously made with chickpeas when eaten by itself! I love its nutritional profile, and since my husband loved it I will probably buy some more!

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

The name says it all. We will always and forever love these cookies!

Well that’s all she wrote! I’d love to hear a highlight from your March! What are you looking forward to in April!?


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1 Comment

  1. I love reading your monthly updates! Your kiddos are growing up SO fast! I feel like it was just yesterday when Mara was born. So many exciting changes 🙂