Moments 09.2018

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Our life in September! Moments 09.2018

Our life in September! Moments 09.2018 JoyFoodSunshine

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 all the shenanigans that went down in crazy town (i.e. my life in a nutshell).  So here it is for September 2018!

Recipe love:

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

One Pan Autumn Chicken Dinner from Cooking Classy {Easy & Healthy}!

Cheesy BBQ Zucchini Nachos from Oh Sweet Basil {Love everything about this}!

Tomato Bisque with Fried Cheese from The Modern Proper {My pregnant self just rejoiced}!

Honeycrisp Apple Kale Salad from Half Baked Harvest {Apple Season is HERE}!

Apple Bread from House of Yumm {Save a me a slice}!

New Recipe Videos

Here are the videos we produced for you in September! More to come in October!

Paleo Apple Cake

Candy-Stuffed Rice Crispy Cake

Easy Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe

Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe

Life with my tribe

20+ week pregnancy update

I wrote a detailed up date on this sweet baby girl! Check it out here –> 20 week pregnancy update. We love her so much already!

Our life in September! Moments 09.2018 JoyFoodSunshine


Fall is my FAVORITE hiking season! We have been enjoying our time in the mountains, and are really trying to teach Naomi to be a great little hiker.

Mara clearly loves it! She’s just along for the ride, but gets a little antsy to stretch her legs and explore with her siblings! I wrote a detailed post about Hiking with Kids that is one of my favorite posts to date! Check it out!

Our life in September! Moments 09.2018 JoyFoodSunshine

So far Naomi is our least enthusiastic hiker. She tires easily and isn’t very fond of being tough and doing hard things, LOL. So we’re trying to help her get used to it while still having fun.

I find that once we arrive at our destination and she can throw rocks into a river or climb around for a bit she cheers up and enjoys herself! And snacks always help, of course (like I said in this guide to hiking with kids)!

Our life in September! Moments 09.2018 JoyFoodSunshine

Cross Country 

I did it! I signed the kids up for their first sport! Let me just tell you that this was not an easy choice for us to make. We cherish our family time, and I am a person with an extremely small social plate (we’re talking dinner roll sized).

However, I have wanted to get the older two kids involved in something, because both Ritch and I were athletes starting at a very young age. I found a great cross country team that practices right after school (read: it’s finished before dinner)! And it only has three meets that are early on weeknights (read: no Saturday commitments).

The kids are absolutely LOVING it. Bethany is actually a super fast little runner, and it’s really good for Gabe to learn some perseverance and sportsmanship!

It was also difficult for me to take the plunge because it’s a team for kids who go to our local elementary school. I was nervous that my kids wouldn’t fit in because they are homeschooled. I was scared they wouldn’t know anyone, and that joining the team would highlight the fact that they are different instead of it being a fun activity where they get to know new friends.

So far that hasn’t been an issue, and my momma heart is grateful! But I also think it’s good for them to experience what it’s like to be different than others around them, and learn to be secure with who (or more importantly, Whose) they are. I want them to learn to deal with difficult people and situations at an early age, so if that does end up happening we will do our best to parent them through it well!

Our life in September! Moments 09.2018 JoyFoodSunshine

Building a new home!

We locked in all our structural decisions this month, and are getting ready to head to the design center in a few weeks. We’re honestly dragging our feet a little bit because they gave us a completion date of March-April…and with a new baby coming in February I was hoping more to move in late April-May (or heck I’d take June). But we’re SO excited to get into our new home that I’m willing to move (and show our house) with a sweet newborn baby!

I’m going to write on a series about building a home, decorating, etc. etc. I think it will be really fun to document the process! We built the current home we live in (before I started my blog) and my husband is a fount of information since he could build an entire house himself from scratch if he had to.

Some topics I plan on covering are: 

  • Building vs. buying an existing home? 
  • What are the most important upgrades to make when building, and where will they try to take you for a ride (because very little comes standard….like grass in the backyard lol).
  • Decorating! I’m no interior designer but we care about having our home look nice but still feel homey. Ritch builds almost all of our furniture, so I’m curious if any of you would be interested in some of those tutorials!

If you have any other questions please feel free to ask!

Our new home is very close to our current home, so we regularly take evening walks down to the home site to see how the construction progress is going in the surrounding area. The only thing I am not very excited about is living in a construction zone again…but I know that passes very quickly (especially in our neighborhood), and it will be SO worth it to be in our forever home!

Our life in September! Moments 09.2018 JoyFoodSunshine

Mara 18 Months!

How is my sweet Mara 18 months old already!? I seriously adore that feisty little girl, and thought I’d give you a few updates on some new skills she has learned in the last month!

  • Climbing up AND down the stairs. She has been able to crawl up the stairs for a long time (since she was 10 months old). But she just learned how to go down by herself, which is a game changer. I no longer have to worry about her tumbling down when she makes her way up! I’m very glad about this one! LOL!
  • New words. Her vocabulary hasn’t really taken off yet, but she definitely has learned how to communicate in ways that I understand! She says mommy, daddy, no (she’s really good at saying no), and now she can say all of her siblings names. She says “Laaaa louuuuu” which means love you (and I love it).
  • Reading books. love it when my kids start “reading” books. Mara has three favorites right now: Ten in the Bed, Chrysanthemum, and Whole-y Cow! Fractions are fun! She will walk to the book shelf, choose one of these three options, and toddle up to me or Ritch with it in her hand and say, “eeeeeeeseeee!!!” There’s no resisting that “eeeeese,” so we proceed to read her book of choice a few times before suggesting that it’s her turn to read it to us. She then will make noises that mimic our tone and inflection as she turns the pages and points to the pictures. It’s adorable. I love it!

Our life in September! Moments 09.2018 JoyFoodSunshine

A few of my favorite things…

Deuter hiking carrier

We have had this framed hiking carrier since Bethany was 6 months old and have used it to trek all four of our kids up and down all sorts of mountains. It has held up tremendously well and still looks brand new! I love that ours came with a little sun cover/canopy to protect our babies from the sun!

Hello, Goodbye Doormat

I have had this doormat for over a year now, and I absolutely love it! Ritch said it was looking a little worn, so I rushed to the Pottery Barn website to see if they were still selling it….and PHEW they are! I am not interested in replacing my doormat with every new holiday, nor do I want it to draw too much attention. Which is why I love that it welcomes my guests with a “hello” when they walk in the door, and politely says “goodbye” as they leave! 😉

Cozy Sweater

YAY FOR FALL SWEATERS! Fall is my favorite time of the year to get dressed lol! I have three of the “last years” model of this sweater and I wore them literally every day. I was hoping to find them in a size bigger for this winter since this baby is due in February! I’m going to order this one and cross my fingers hoping to find it in more colors!

Recipes I’m Making on Repeat

Here are a few recipes we enjoyed in September! I really like posting these pics here so you can see what food looks like on a normal day in my house. No fancy styling, just my phone camera and a slab of marble I have on the kids’ picnic table outside. 😉

Honey Mustard Quinoa Salad

I started making this on repeat again because I have to pack lunches on Thursdays for homeschool co op and I need something portable to bring along for momma!

Our life in September! Moments 09.2018 JoyFoodSunshine

Easy Homemade Pizza Dough and Pizza Sauce

Sunday night is pizza night in our house. Pineapple is my favorite, while the rest of my family prefers pepperoni!

Our life in September! Moments 09.2018 JoyFoodSunshine

Flourless Paleo Brownies

I made a half a batch and baked it in this little cast iron skillet…SO GOOD.

Our life in September! Moments 09.2018 JoyFoodSunshine


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  1. I love that you shared that Bethany and Gabe are doing cross country. We have a very sweet friend of the family (a family who used to go to our church) who now live in Utah, and two of their three oldest children are doing cross country. They were all homeschooled, but they are such a blessing and a light to their team, so I think, if God leads you that way, it seems like such a good way to reach out with the love of Jesus to others. I know what you mean by a small social plate! That’s me too. <3

    I would so love to see some tutorials about how Ritch made some of your furniture.

  2. Goodness, you have so many exciting things going on now especially with building a new house and pregnancy! Love reading your updates. I ran CC too in middle and high school; how fun your kids are enjoying it now! 🙂