Moments 04.2022

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This month we wrapped up homeschool co op for the year, celebrated Easter and two birthdays and enjoyed the spring weather.

“I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell myself to hold on to these moments as they pass.”

Welcome to “Moments” here on JoyFoodSunshine. At the end of every month I share a recap of our family’s favorite moments!  Here’s a snapshot of our life from April 2022!

Life lately

This month we wrapped up homeschool co op for the year, celebrated two birthdays and enjoyed the spring weather.

Baby Z!

Zach is 15 months old. He is still as sweet and spunky as ever and loves walking around everywhere he goes. The only place he still crawls is outside on the grass or sand – I think because the terrain is unpredictable and he is cautious.

One day he was wearing this outfit and Bethany remarked that he looked like Tim Allen in the Santa Clause and I can’t unsee it. So cute and chubby!

Speaking of outside, he lovesss being outdoors. He walks up to the door or window, grunts and holds out his hand like he’s trying to say “take me out there!” His grunting usually starts cute and sweet and then escalates to an angry screech if he doesn’t get his way! haha! I love how much he enjoys playing outside. It is such a game-changer being able to just send the kids in the backyard and Z just plays with the rest of his siblings!

This month I officially stopped nursing Z. My milk dried up and I was forced to end this season before I was ready (but would I have ever been ready)? I even got down to my very last bag of pumped and frozen breastmilk, which was also very emotional for me. We still snuggle while he drinks a bottle at nap and nighttime, but it’s just not the same.

We went hiking for Gabe’s birthday, and it was the very first time I didn’t carry Z. Instead, Keilah graduated out of the pack and hiked on her own (like a rockstar actually) and Zach road in our hiking pack instead of my ergo. Too many first lasts.

Memory Master

We had our last co-op meeting for the year and then our community celebration. I already mentioned that Bethany and Gabe achieved memory master, but they got recognized for their accomplishment during the celebration, along with their friends.

In case you missed it, in our co-op, we have 24 weeks of memory work across the following subjects: Math, Latin, Geography, History, Timeline, English and Science. They memorized every single week and every single subject and recited it 4 times to 4 different adults.

We chose to get them bikes as a reward (plus an upcoming camping trip just the two of them and daddy). They had outgrown their other bikes quite dramatically so they really needed new ones!

During the end of the year party there is an event called “Faces of History.” The older kids wrote papers on famous historical figures, and then dressed up as the figures and read their papers to the group. Bethany chose Elisabeth Elliot and did an amazing job.

Mara’s Birthday!

The first birthday we celebrated this month was Mara! She turned FIVE and I still feel like that can’t be possible. She asked for scones for breakfast and pizza for dinner!

Of course she picked a unicorn cake (vanilla frosting, chocolate cake) and enjoyed being celebrated all day long!

For her birthday date she chose to go to her favorite breakfast restaurant and then to a sporting goods store to play games and ride the ferris wheel! We had so much fun celebrating our sweet and spunky five year old.


The same weekend we celebrated Mara was Easter (fun fact, she was actually born on Good Friday)! Unfortunately, some of my kids were still sick during this time as part of our 6-week puke plague haha. So we had to watch the Easter service from home in our PJs – which the kids actually didn’t mind.

We still had a fun day celebrating Easter – just with less of a focus on food/candy this year! 😉 We waited to do our egg hunt until after nap time (due to Ritch having to leave early for church) and Z was still a little crabby!

We put one fun gift in each kids’ easter basket, and this year I got the 3 little girls costumes from Encanto (their current favorite movie). They have dressed up and sang the songs from the movie for weeks now and I love it.

I was a little bummed because I bought the kids the cutest Easter outfits this year and we didn’t even get to go to church on Easter! SO….we all wore them to church the next week!

Gabe’s Birthday

Two weeks after Easter Gabe turned nine! He is such a sweet and tender boy and we just had the best weekend celebrating him. We kicked it off with his birthday date. He chose to get coffee at our favorite coffee shop first.

Then the three of us went bowling. It was SO much fun we laughed so hard we literally cried.

Then, on his birthday we went hiking to his favorite place where the kids spent about an hour rock climbing and just playing in the mountains. It was so fun and refreshing to get back into the mountains (without snow) for the first time since winter hit.

Then we came home and his BFF came over for the rest of the day. They played and we had dinner then cake (chocolate bundt cake) and presents.

Then his friend got to stay late to watch Star Wars (until almost 11 PM) which was a huge treat for G. The next morning he woke up and said, “Yesterday was the best day of my life.” Melt my heart.

Things I’m Loving

  • These Encanto Costumes are good quality and so cute. They go in and out of stock so keep checking. We got Mirabel, Isabella, and Dolores.
  • These Go Macro Bars are my favorite on-the-go snacks. I have enjoyed every flavor I have tried!
  • Essential oils. I diffuse oils all of our home every day. I also made this room spray to freshen up spaces that need extra TLC.


I’m actually in the throes of recipe testing for 2023, so lots of what we ate this month (when it wasn’t chicken noodle soup which I literally made 15 times in the course of 6 weeks haha) isn’t coming until later. But here are some faves we made in April.

Ground Beef Tacos

I make these ground beef tacos and homemade taco seasoning at least once every single week (not exaggerating).

Best Scone Recipe

Chocolate bundt cake


We made the trek downtown to see the cherry blossoms at the capitol building – it was cold but so beautiful.

We went on a double date with some of our most cherished friends (who also have 6 kids)! Our kids got to play together while we went out to dinner and enjoyed 3 hours of uninterrupted conversation.

Ritch and G on his birthday date! We seriously had the most fun.

We were still sick through the middle of April. We had SIX weeks of puking, fevers, coughs, etc. and I felt like it would never end.

I ended up taking Naomi to the doctor after her FOURTH bout of throwing up and sustained high fevers of 104-105. He said it sounded like we just had 3 separate viruses that got us all over the course of 6 weeks. It was a season of life I will never forget honestly.

Poor sick Z!

One more shot of my cuties in their Easter outfits because I can’t help it!

Here’s K feeling better dressed in her Easter presents (costume AND goggles lol).

Sunday selfie!

Snuggle baby.

K finished her potty chart! She woke up 21 days (not consecutively) with a dry diaper. Here’s to hoping she’s on the track to ditch pull ups during nap and nighttime soon!

We went to the tulip festival and it was so much fun!

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  1. My name is Anita and I just found this page looking for a different chocolate chip cookie recipe, have made them three times already. I am an old lady in her late 70’s. I have 5 children and only one in late 40’s. YOUR FAMILY is beyond beautiful and the most important Families are forever, I have the best grandchildren in the universe and now they are older, I enjoy them everyday. Only one of my children were able to have children. I love cooking and baking and if you would like I would love to share some of my favorite recipes. Most of my recipes are in my head, Enjoy every day and moment and know you are enough. Keep loving one another Anita

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your beautiful six lambs and the stories behind each photo. I’m an old nana now but Father God has blessed me abundantly by answering my prayers for allowing me to lead each of my four sons to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Now their children are following our King Jesus, also. Praise His holy Name! You are a light in this dark world. Thank you again for entertaining me with your BEAUTIFUL lambs. BTW: I know exactly how you felt when you stopped nursing Z! I cried and cried, also when I stopped nursing my youngest! No one can understand the joy and peace with pure fellowship with God while nursing the miracle of giving life sustaining nourishing food while nursing. I’m talking too much🤭. God bless you and your whole precious family!!!
    Nana in Portland, Oregon

  3. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family and love for them. In the ever changing world in which we love (and the changes are not for the better), I’m encouraging by your faith and dedication to family. God is in control, yet we all need hope. Your posts provide proof that when we lean on God, He will guide us, protect us, and use us to touch the lives of others. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much Diane. I’ll admit it’s getting harder to stomach the world around us with the way things are going, but I hope to raise the next generation to stand up and fight – and lead by example while I can!