Moments 07.2016

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Moments 07.2016

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 July 2016!

Recipe love:

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

Fluffy Greek Yogurt Blueberry Pancakes from Ambitious Kitchen! I made them twice in one week…they’re SO good! Now to make them gluten-free…

Blueberry Crumble Bars from The Sweet and Simple Kitchen! YUM!

Raw Chocolate Coconut Cashew Bars from Dishing out Health! I can’t even.

Easy Homemade Ricotta Cheese from Texanerin! She makes it look so easy!

Grilled Veggies with Avocado Whipped Feta from How Sweet It Is! I’ve been making her recipes since before I knew I was reading a food blog! Love this one!

Life with my tribe:

4th of July! We had an amazing day! We had a blast exploring the zoo and spent time with good friends in the evening! I seriously love my kids so much…watching them explore places like the zoo is SO much fun!

Moments 07.2016

Hilarious story: I had a discussion about cannibalism with my children while we were grocery shopping. Yes. You heard me correctly. It went a little something like this…

I pick up some ground beef and put it in the cart. With a seriously concerned look on his face and frantic tone in his voice, Gabe says (while moving his arms up and down), “MOM!! We can’t eat killed meat!”

Me: Gabe, all the meat you’ve ever eaten has been killed. You don’t want to eat live meat, trust me.

Gabe: But MOM! We can’t eat killed meat we just can’t.

Me: What do you want to do? Go up to a cow in a field and take a bite and call it dinner? I promise Gabe, all the meat people eat comes from animals that have been killed.

Bethany: (chiming in) Yeah! Like pigs for bacon, cows for steak…and people!

(umm what in the world did my daughter just say?!?!)

Me:  Bethany, we don’t eat people! That is wrong and very gross! It’s called cannibalism!

Bethany: What’s cannibalism? Why don’t we eat people?

(what did I get myself into here)?!

Me:  Cannibalism is when people eat other people. Honey, no normal person would ever think of eating another human being. It is wrong. We are supposed to love people, not eat them. Plus, it’s against the law!

Bethany: But why mom?

(how do you explain this to a 5 year old and a 3 year old?) 

Me: Because it is illegal, you will go to jail. Plus it’s weird to talk about so lets think of other types of meat that we eat that aren’t people.

Gabe: Chicken.

Moments 07.2016

We have a WALKER! I can’t even TELL you how excited I am that I get to say these words…my baby is walking! Now let’s get something straight…I am never in a hurry for my babies to move. Seriously, Bethany didn’t crawl until she was 10 months old and I was not upset about it! There’s something so nice about putting your baby down and knowing he or she won’t can’t move. However, Naomi has been crawling since she was 9 months old, and she has such sensitive little skin that if she crawls around without long pants on for too long she gets rug burn! {*tears*} Once summer hit I was so ready for the walking to begin so she could wear shorts!

Moments 07.2016

Naomi started walking later than my other two kids! Both Bethany and Gabe took off walking two weeks after their first Birthday! Namoi just got the hang of it last week, and she’s almost 14 months old! Any who…you try snapping a clear pic of that cute little blur! Impossible.

Moments 07.2016

We have a TALKER! Naomi officially says “Momma” and “Dadda!” I am one of those super skeptical parents who refuses to claim that my child said their first word until I’m 1.5 million percent sure. But it’s definitely real…Naomi points to us and says our names (insert heart melting)! She also just started saying “this” and pointing at things. So. Stinkin’. Cute.

How does she compare with my other two kids? Well, Bethany was singing every stanza of the song “Amazing Grace” by the time she was 18 months old (seriously that kid is unreal), and Gabe could only say 3 words at the same age. Naomi is a happy medium between the two! πŸ™‚

Pool Daze: We have an amazing pool in our community that we play in at least once every day! I grew up as a swimmer, lifeguard, swim team coach, and snack bar worker extraordinaire…so I want to instill the same love for the water into my kids! It hasn’t been difficult…they could jump,  splash and swim all day long…so that’s just what we do! Again…try snapping a good pic of three kids ages 5 and under at the pool without making a scene! #reallifepeople

Moments 07.2016

Kids Camp: Every summer our church puts on a free, week-long camp for kids in the community! A team from our home church in Chicago comes out to help and we have a total and absolute blast! I was excited to get to be more involved this year (because last year I had a brand new sweet baby to take care of)! I was the snack lady (of course) and had TONS of fun coming up with ideas! Every day a different character from the Old Testament came through a time machine and told the kids about their life and how they point to Jesus! So…I made snacks to match every day! Day 1 was moses parting the Red sea:

cropped moses

Day 2 we served Fruit Snacks (jewels) and pretzel sticks (scepters) for Queen Ester! Day 3 we met Jonah and made banana whales! Day 5 was everyone’s favorite (of course) “mud and dirt” (i.e. crushed Oreos and chocolate pudding) for Ruth (because she worked Boaz’s land). Let’s just say I was way grateful for my food processor after using it to crush 300 Oreos! ???? The last day we made string cheese slingshots (with raisin stones) for the story of David and Goliath! Phew! It was a lot of work feeding 125 people every day, but so SO fun!

Moments 07.2016


Around our house:

The next project I want to share with you is this adorable picnic table my husband built! We wanted to have a fun place for the kids to play and for us to eat outside (#lesscleaningthefloor)! I absolutely love this table and we spend many hours out here every day!

picnic table

Our Garden:

Ok, I’m a little sad to report that our garden isn’t doing as well as we hoped! We are getting tomatoes, and a few snap peas but other than that we’re still just waiting (waiting on the world to change). If you have ANY gardening tips (or ideas as to why this wouldn’t be working) please drop me a line!

Moments 07.2016

The first year we did a garden here in Utah it was at a community plot and we had an amazing yield! Seriously we got so much produce I was set for a year! I’m grateful to be seeing some blossoms on our zucchini plant…but everything else looks pretty blah!

Moments 07.2016


Hiking! Seriously, living in Utah has been so amazing. I love hiking with my kids! This was the first time I took them to this lake alone and I feel totally empowered! We’re going hiking all the time now, no excuses! Not a bad place to eat snacks…right?



A few of my favorite things…

Lucy Zen Seeker’s Tunic! This is my favorite tank top in the world! I like my workout clothes to be loose-fitting without looking frumpy (LOL) and this tank top totally delivers! I’ve worn it on almost every hike I’ve taken this summer…including this hike in Park City with my hubby to celebrate 9 years of marital bliss! πŸ˜‰ (More on that to come)!

Moments 07.2016

Gilmore Girls!!!! I am seriously beyond excited for the Gilmore Girls Revival (like more excited than any 30 year old person should be)! I am dying! My husband and I started watching all the episodes from S1E1 and I look forward to our little GG cuddle session every single night! Thank you Netflix. I love you. Did you see these pics?!?! AHH! I’m rooting for Logan! And Loreli and Luke better be married with babies in the first episode! #teamlogan #theyreold!

These sandals! Sanuk Yoga Slig 2 Flip-Flops! I am in L-O-V-E with these! They are so comfy and cute!


It’s time to start planning homeschool! I already know I’m using this curriculum for Gabe’s first year of preschool. However, I have ZERO idea what I am going to do with Bethany for first grade! We did My Father’s World Kindergarten and I can’t say I was in love with it. So ..if any of you homeschool mommas out there have any first grade curriculum suggestions (for a kid whose an exceptional reader) please drop me a line! I have spent hours (and hours) researching curriculum and I can’t make up my mind!

Well that’s all she wrote! How was your July? What was a highlight for you from the past month? What are you looking forward to in August? 

If you want to stay connected or you make something from JoyFoodSunshine I would love to see your creations! #joyfoodsunshine

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  1. Wow. You really made ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE of those super cute little snacks?! πŸ˜‰ Also having different characters time travel to the camp and tell their stories was a cute & creative idea! I am super impressed!!

    I’m not a mama (yet!), but I was homeschooled and I was definitely a voracious reader. Basically what I remember my mom doing was requiring a certain amount of math practice every day, and maybe a little spelling/grammar, and then supplying me with books and letting me go at it. She didn’t give me very many textbooks; she gave me REAL books that I totally enjoyed reading. And yet because she gave me a great variety, I learned all about science… and history… and literature… And it was FUN! πŸ™‚ I guess it was sort of a modified “living books” kind of an approach. As I got older, she let me choose more and more what emphasis to take in my education… For example, I was not super interested in science, but very interested in writing. So she let me pursue that emphasis in my schooling. I thought it was great! πŸ™‚ Looking back, I am so grateful that she nurtured my ability to read and to educate myself, rather than relying on someone else to teach me. Now, as an adult, I am STILL learning about all kinds of things, because as a child I developed that invaluable skill of educating myself.

    Let us know what you end up using! πŸ˜‰

    1. First, I made one example snack and the kids had to make their own! LOL! My goodness I would’ve gone mad that week if I had to do that! πŸ˜‰
      I LOVE all of your advice! Thank you! I was not homeschooled (even taught science in the public school for two years before I had my daughter) and I’m an eager listener when people have any sort of advice or counsel!

      1. Ahhh… smart woman! πŸ˜‰ Plus I bet the kids LOVED getting to play with their food. Kind of like a crafts/snack combo. So cool!

        Glad you found something worthwhile in my ramblings about being homeschooled. I certainly loved it, and I’m so glad that your kids get that opportunity too!! πŸ˜€

  2. your husband is so handy!! first the tree wall art, now the picnic table. lucky ladyyyy. Sorry to hear about your garden, that would frustrate me to no end. At least you have some snap peas πŸ˜‰
    my favorite thing from July was driving to Prince Edward County and sleeping on a boat for a couple nights!

    1. I am one blessed woman that’s for sure! He has built almost every piece of wooden furniture in our house! I seriously can’t buy furniture anymore LOL! We actually JUST saw one zucchini starting to grow this morning! So I have my fingers crossed that since it’s getting cooler here (meaning the high is 90 instead of 100) that might help it grow! πŸ™‚ That sounds so amazing! I’m dying to visit Canada someday! Banff is like #1 on my bucket list!

  3. How clever is your hubs making that table?! I want one!

    You guys have had such an awesome month! I am looking forward to a month of celebrating! August is my Dad’s birthday, followed by mine and then a heap of my friends!

    1. He is so handy! I love this table because it’s small enough that it doesn’t overtake our side porch, but big enough that adults can comfortably enjoy a meal there! πŸ™‚ Sounds like your August is going to ROCK!