Moments 11.2023

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November was a wonderful month in so many ways!

“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! So here it is for November 2023.

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Life Lately

November was a pretty quiet month. We just focused on homeschool, Thanksgiving and welcoming the Christmas season!

Mom’s Weekend

My bestie and I snuck away for a few days and went to sunny SoCal! We stayed at an amazing hotel in Beverly Hills and were truly pampered.

We shopped, went to the beach, and ate guacamole by the pool while soaking in the sun. The main reason for our visit was to see Mariah Carey’s Christmas show in Hollywood. It was so fun to get to go with Kels and experience a new place I had never visited before! I’m so grateful for a beautiful friend & sister in Christ who truly “loves at all times.”


We had a fabulous thanksgiving! We had a full house, full hearts and full bellies! We kicked off the day with our favorite tradition – a 5K run. The kids did amazing this year. There were NO tears and no one even walked!!! It felt like a new era. I love Thanksgiving so much, and it truly was a blessed day with good friends.

I made a good number of these Thanksgiving Recipes.

Things I’m loving

Here are some things I’ve been loving lately…

  • Best Christmas Cookie Recipes. Try all of our festive holiday treats.
  • Also check out my Kitchen Gift Guide – it lives on my site all year long – but has been recently updated for the season. All things I use and love in my kitchen.
  • Vitamix is having a pretty great sale now through 12/30. If you’re in the market for a new blender, or want to bless someone this holiday season – I suggest jumping on these offers- popular colors will sell out. I recommend the Ascent 3500, it’s the blender I have and have used every day for 8 years! They also released an Ascent Gold Series and I love the colors!

Life & Faith

I saw something that said, “protect your heart from temporary people.” Immediately I resonated with that sentiment, as it’s something you have to do often in ministry (especially as a lead pastor & wife).

However, God pressed this truth on my heart – no one is permanent. And even the people who you think are here to stay, have a way of surprising you. So, a life lived “protecting” yourself from people who are only in it for a short time is lonely and futile. A fools errand.

I do believe in guarding your heart. God has often given me supernatural discernment which has helped me avoid a lot of pain in ministry over the years. However, when your heart is broken and betrayed by people you once trusted, don’t let their actions keep you from being who God has called you to be. Don’t let the wounds inflicted from other peoples’ darkness steal your light.

So, if you are in a similar place – healing from deep betrayal, let me encourage you to continue to treat people with grace & love. To be generous. To freely give of yourself because you have been given so much by the only One who has promised to never leave or forsake you.

In our life, this season can be summarized by saying that people have treated us in ways we would never treat them – even after they have done their worst, we refuse to do what they have done. Marcus Aurelious wrote, “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.” And I will hold steadfastly to this for as long as I have breath – You did, but I will never.

God’s calling on our lives is sure – and we are resting in that. Along with the excitement about this next season with some truly wonderful people. Elisabeth Elliot said, ” “Of one thing I am perfectly sure: God’s story never ends with ‘ashes.” Amen to that.


I didn’t take as many photos this month as I usually do (too busy living). Here are a few!

My sweet snuggly Z is still just the greatest gift.

The littles along for the ride on our Thanksgiving Day 5K!

The joys of homeschool – I love that these kids live every day together and love on each other so well.

K is doing so well at school. She put these numbers in order from 1 to 50 all by herself (and had a blast doing it). She also is reading exceptionally well and we’re about halfway through our reading curriculum (and she’s 4)! She is highly motivated and loves learning. I love snuggling with her on the couch while she reads her book to me with her sweet little lisp. Memories I will cherish forever!

We went to a light festival to kick off the Christmas season. It wasn’t too cold since we went early, and it was so beautiful. We walked through the light displays and the kids played in some of the areas for quite some time. It was a perfect way to welcome the holidays.

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