July 2018

Well, July is pretty much over. Hooray! This month seriously kicked our booty. Without getting into too much detail on the internet, July was a tough month for our family…leaving Curtis and I just completely exhausted and burnt out. Despite all the hard moments, there were many pockets of good. Isn’t that how life works? Our stressful month ended with California visitors! Seriously, having this family stay with us this weekend was absolutely refreshing and got us out of our funk. Yay for family! And for family who loves you, encourages and prays for you! Love you Holtzclaw Clan!

Laura and I with our babies and long morning conversations over coffee.


Oregon nights are warm! We had late dinners and lots of backyard hangs. The big kids and dads camped out in our backyard. Ev was not very into it, but James loved it. I think bedtime was like 11?! My kids just had so much fun.


We went to Pips donuts and the Farmers Market. Look at these sweet boys!IMG_0769IMG_0760IMG_0758

SO many kids! The cousins and their boys. IMG_0748IMG_0738


This month we’ve been harvesting like every week from our community garden. My first homegrown tomato! And the most lovely garden flowers. It was so fun to pick and choose and make a bouquet!IMG_0729IMG_0722

Jon is joining at the table and loves it. So fun to see them all together. IMG_0721IMG_0715IMG_0714

We went blueberry picking like 3 times this month. Oregon is BERRY LAND! All the amazing upick farms seriously makes my heart so happy. This outing was with a few moms from church!IMG_0700IMG_0690IMG_0687

We also celebrated Jonathan turning ONE!! I made his favorite (Sweet potato blackbean nachos) and a simple cake. We had small celebration with just us, but looking forward to celebrating with family next month. IMG_0668IMG_0664IMG_0663


We now have a 4 year old, a 3 year old, and a 1 year old. Phew! Pray for Curtis and I! IMG_0660IMG_0650IMG_0648


Curtis grinding the oats for Jon’s cake. IMG_0646

More garden stuff from another week.IMG_0637IMG_0636

Family blueberry picking day.IMG_0630IMG_0626IMG_0621IMG_0616

We are living in our backyard most days. SUMMER! SUNSHINE! IMG_0608IMG_0603

July was a month I took off from intentional preschool activities. It was really great. We’ve just been filling our time/days with lots of outside time, splash pads, playdates, park dates, ect. But, James has started writing simple letters on his own without my instruction…Look at that sweet E he made! IMG_0602


My wild children.IMG_0598

I’m telling you, Oregon and it’s amazing bounty of summer berries…More BERRIES! Blackberries are everywhere in Portland. The blackberries in our backyard are finally ready! So we pick some almost daily. Stashing them in the freezer and hoping to make this jam for canning club. I’ll probably make a cobbler or some muffins too. What else?!IMG_0589IMG_0588IMG_0584


Another awesome haul from the garden.IMG_0573IMG_0570IMG_0566

I GREW ALL OF THIS! This newbie gardener is obsessed.IMG_0565IMG_0564


I had planned on having a slow summer mostly at home. But, this month is when I started to feel brave enough to go on outings with the kids, ALONE! This past year I have mostly stayed close to home, our community group or our co-op. When I did go out, I never went alone, as the thought of wrangling three children made me really anxious. Praise God for his strength and peace though because all that anxiety and fear is gone and I am so ready to adventure with my crew again! I’ve been taking them to the splash pads a ton. They love it! IMG_0560IMG_0559

Curtis had his CASA volunteer training on Jon’s actual birthday, so he wasn’t going to be home. So, we met him for lunch and then the kids and I went to go get ice cream. Happy Birthday, Jon!IMG_0551IMG_0548IMG_0537IMG_0533IMG_0519IMG_0517

Look at the fun stuff I got at canning club. My kids LOVED the ginger spiralized beets. They ate it out of the jar! Haha. IMG_0510

Bourbon Peach Pie because SUMMER.IMG_0509

We spent the 4th of July at our friends new house and hung out and grilled some food. The kids had so much fun with the fireworkers. Although, their faces don’t show it! Hahaha.IMG_0505IMG_0504IMG_0497IMG_0494IMG_0459IMG_0454IMG_0451IMG_0447


Curtis has been working a ton this month. It’s so nice when he’s home! img_20180723_165544556

We went to a local baseball game.’img_20180714_133049174_burst001

Had a donut/park date with a couple friends too.


Post evening splash pad. We went to work on the garden and then picked about 2 pounds of blackberries. Blackberry brambles are everywhere!! Even at our community garden.img_20180729_210413154_ll


It’s 1am and our house is 82 degrees because we have been experiencing at heat wave AND our central AC broke! So, super late bedtime tonight. But, cold brew is waiting for me tomorrow morning. Yes, iced coffee in the morning because tomorrow is supposed to be our last HOT day.

JAMES TURNS 3 & Other June Photos

This past weekend James turned THREE! We celebrated with tacos, grilled corn, homemade strawberry coconut milk paletas and a bonfire. The kids brought bathing suits and we had a pool party. We even bought a slip and slide! It was so fun. Pam and Jimmy were here, so it made the weekend extra special. I wish I took more photos , but, Jon was SOOO clingy at the party!

The besties roasting marshmallows.









Instead of a cake, I made paletas and we sang him Happy Birthday.







We had 40 people (half of them children! 😂) in our teeny house. I was worried how it would all play out. But, everything turned out great. And there was plenty of food left over too!

Birthday morning. We made pancakes with homemade whipped cream and strawberries and then opened gifts and hung out at home most of the morning.







Grandma and grandpa stayed for a week. Love this sweet morning breakfast scene.



Other shots from the month. Preschool at home. More learning about garden stuff. We also made “chocolate mud” (avocado, cocoa, and a tiny bit of honey) and talked about the difference between soil and dirt in regards to gardening.









Celebrated the first day of Summer with painting suns, going on a walk, and baked shortbread cookies topped with edible flowers.



Made a gift for some neighbors.






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Enjoying that “chocolate mud”.


We’ve been eating most dinners outside because SUMMER! I made some strawberry shrub cocktails with strawberries we picked. Mmmmm.