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  1. Lucia Tipton says:

    I am a grandmother with 3 grandsons (14, 16, 17) and 1 granddaughter (12). I have followed you and your lovely family for many years. I appreciate all you write and pictures you post. We took our whole family (11 people) to the north shore from Texas 2 years ago for a week. I thought a lot about you and your family living up on the hill somewhere behind our rental home on the beach. I just enjoy your Christian perspective on family and child rearing so much! Don’t retire from writing and photography. I look forward to reading the next chapters.💕

    1. Lucia, that means SO MUCH to me!! I’m so glad you’ve been able to visit the North Shore and so special with the whole family!! Texas is pretty great too, lots of people moving there (from California I hear) right now. 🙂 Big hugs to you and thank you for the encouraging words!! I treasure them!

  2. Just found your blog today and very happy to. I’ll be 50 in March 2021 and have a college age daughter at Alabama and 6th grade twin boys who are in public school, but 100% virtual since March. We’ve been very safe; however, somehow right before Christmas my husband and I got COVID. The kids have been testing negative so far and we’re working hard to keep it that way. I look forward to subscribing and looking at your other content. BTW, my youngest SIL (I have 5 of them) lives in Hawaii. She has a really cool job there, but that can be for another time.

    1. Well so glad you found the blog, Heather!! So sorry you got Covid, but let’s hope that is it for you and now you can have immunity! Fun hearing about your family and I’d love to hear about your SIL in Hawaii too! Blessings and Happy New Year!

  3. This coffee date has been so fun! I am so jealous of your fruit trees. We live in northern Montana where it’s too cold to grow much fruit (but we grow hundreds of acres of wheat and barley and lentils!). I had a great veggie garden this year though. I was able to preserve green beans, beets, peas, onions, carrots, and butternut squash to eat throughout the fall and winter. My three little boys (the brothers or los hermanos I like to call them) love to “help” in the garden, where they love to harvest the veggies or just dig around.
    Lately, I have been busy homeschooling my oldest boy who is in kindergarten. It’s going very well! I also teach piano to several little kids that I really enjoy!
    One last thing, my 29th birthday is coming soon. It’s actually in thanksgiving this year (the 26th!). We will be going up to the Rockies about an hour away to go cut our own Christmas tree.
    I hope you have a delightful thanksgiving this year with your family. Thank you for your continuous encouragement through your podcast. Just your voice is like a comforting friend to me!
    Love, Torie
    (My Instagram is @torie.grace.grubb)

    1. Hey Torie!! Happy Birthday and thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I wish we could combine forces and we’d have quite a feast!! 🙂 Big hugs to you and have a wonderful getaway this week. God bless!

  4. Andrea Toews says:

    Hi Monica.
    I live in Canada and we just got a little bit fresh snow over night. It is always so beautiful if there is fresh snow. Everything is shut down in our province, except schools and grocery stores. It is sad.
    But on the bright side, I am so grateful for my family, a safe home and marriage.
    I am so glad I found your podcast last year. I listen as much as I can. And I got the Boy Mom book for Mothers Day. Thank you for all your great advise. I am a mom of three boys (6, 3 and 1) as well, and I grew up with three younger brothers. So I fell like we have a lot in common.
    Monica, you are a big inspiration for me. Specially as a Mom of Boys. I hope and pray that my boys can grow up and be as strong and confident as your Boys. Thank you so much for all your wisdom, encouragement and advise. You have really good Sons and to see them gives me hope.
    I give you a big squeeze. And now when I think of traveling to Hawaii, I think and hope that I could see and meet you in person, because it feels like I know you so well already.
    Thank you and happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Thank you so much Andrea!! I LOVE hearing from you and ohhh that fresh snow sounds dreamy! Way to keep the amazing attitude in spite of challenging days. Sending hugs and Aloha until we meet in real life.. 🙂 XO

  5. I’d probably cry, I’m really weepy these days!! And tell you I’m trying to trust God with growing our family while seemingly all of my friends are growing theirs without any challenges. But then I’d tell you our season of waiting and loss has made me so much more thankful for the 2 children I DO have, and to see more clearly what a blessing and a miracle they are. Then we’d talk coffee and I’d want to try a Jura:)
    -Erin @huntingtonletters

    1. Hey Erin, I love this…tears are super safe over coffee, 😉, and I wish I could give you a big hug. Love your heart and trusting God, as you are, to fulfill every good purpose He has for you! Thanks for the sweet comment.

  6. Ah, I am so thankful for another coffee date with you! Over here in Minneapolis, Minnesota, we are on the border of fall and winter. We’ve had a couple of warmer days (and by warmer I mean in the 40s) but also a lot of crisp and cold days sprinkled in. I am a cold weather gal so I’m happy 🙂 Lots of sweaters and cozying up and hot drinks. The best running weather too! Before I have to pull on my baselayers and fleece pants just to get a run in, haha.
    Other than enjoying the change in season, I am plugging away through nursing school, chasing my three year old around, and trying to steal sweet moments with my husband. It’s been a hard year in a lot of ways but also a really beautiful one.
    P.S. I also go to sleep thinking about my coffee!

    1. Love this so much Sydney! Thank you for taking time to have coffee with me. 😉 Yay for cool weather runs (I love that!) and keeping such a great attitude in a challenging time. Big hugs to you and ENJOY the season! xo

  7. Well yesterday was my birthday, and my husband had planned family to look after our 4 little kids, and booked 2 nights away for him and I for the first time in 8 years, and booked pampering for me.. and then South Australia went into a hard lockdown for the next 6 days so we can hopefully cut down on the spread of Covid cases that started popping up. But thankfully, we still got to go out for the day before that happened, and my pedicure/massage/brow & lash tint pampering still happened, and so it was still a very lovely day!

    1. Julia!!! Oh my goodness, what timing. So awful — yet, so great…😂 Happy Birthday regardless and I DO hope you get a raincheck on the full getaway plan! Sending much love and prayers for all of this to end soon! xo

  8. Kristi Belt says:

    Hi Monica! Love your coffee date posts. I would tell you that after 4 years of part-time homeschool/public school collaboration, this year we went full time homeschool with Sonlight curriculum. I’m in love! I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to anything else. Homeschooling with 2 boys ages 6 and 9 is full of energy and activity and sweet special memories. There are plenty of hard moments/days/even weeks, but it is by the far one of the best decisions we’ve made for our boys.
    I would tell you that we are digging into Troy and Ruth Choi Simons Foundations book during dinner a couple times a week and are loving the way our boys’ young brains are processing these Biblical truths.
    I would also tell you that it’s hard to be in ministry (my husband is a worship pastor) during a pandemic. Really hard. But my husband and I would both tell you that God has used this time to challenge each of us individually in our prayer lives. And that our marriage has been greatly strengthened despite this hard season in ministry life.
    Thank you for your ministry! I appreciate you!!

    1. Kristi! What a lovely update — Sonlight is SO good — I have some of the sweetest memories of using Sonlight with my boys in the early years..
      Yay for Foundaitons- that is awesome. It is so well done! AND…I am sorry for the hard parts of ministering during the Pandemic. I am very close to our Pastor’s wife and know many others in ministry and I can see how difficult this is. Hang in there. God is doing things (you know that, but…) and we’ll understand more looking back I believe. Thank you for taking the time to comment! big hugs

  9. Thanks for your lovely update! Jealous of your Jura 🙂 i would tell you I’m working on a really cool history curriculum about WW2 for Italian high schoolers! My 2 little boys are doing well.

    1. Hey Naomi! Thank you for taking the time to say hi — and what!?? How cool! You’re creating a curriculum!? For Italian high schoolers. I’m super impressed. Sending hugs and Aloha

  10. Such a great post! Thank you Monica! Your sons are clones of their dad – and Grandpa Lyn too, I think. Its been a tough year; in July we celebrated our 50th anniversary at a small catered dinner with our 3 sons and their wives. And one week later my husband was diagnosed with a blood cancer! But he’s handling chemo really well. God’s got this! Our church was open for a few weeks and I think of you every time the Artis brothers are part of the worship team! We are blessed!

    1. Oh Marnie! So great to hear from you. Happy Anniversary and I’m so sorry about your husband’s diagnosis. Praise God the treatments are going well so far. Which church do you go to? That is so cool! Big hugs and thank you for taking time to comment. aloha- 🌺

      1. We’ve been attending Beaverton Foursquare both virtually and in person for the last year with our kids and about 10 of our grands.

        1. Oh so wonderful! I love it. Be sure to say hi to Thunder when you see him and let him know we have connected here. 🙂 Big hugs!

  11. Updated here include crazy work hours for my husband and long days at home. However, I’ve learned to be more intentional with just having fun and being present with the kids. We’ve done more crafts, cooking, and experiment and we’ve all loved it! We have seen God work despite the craziness and uncertainties! I hope to be able to see my family for the holidays. They live out of state and it’s sure hard not seeing them and living near them!

    Also, can’t wait for your next book! Boy Mom was fantastic!

    1. Thank you Beverly!! Sounds like you are navigating these times with wisdom! Well done. ❤️ I hope your holidays are super blessed. I’m so glad you enjoyed Boy Mom! Sending hugs!

  12. Hi Monica! It seems whenever I have had a question about raising boys, I find your blog – so having coffee with you seems like the natural next step! As a Christian mother of two boys, it is so refreshing to find others out in the world that I can relate to!!
    It’s finally cooling down a bit in CO – snow on the foothills and the fires near our home that began 8/13 are finally out. COVID, social unrest, fires, ash falling, smoke, election…it’s been rough! And yet, through it all, we try and intentionally seek out the good. My boys are 13 and 15. In normal times they would be busy with school, sports and their friends. I feel God has gifted us this time to slow down and “see” each other. We talk during meals at home instead of quick bites in the car and have really dug deep into what is important and what we value. Mostly we give thx to the Lord for all we have.
    Our boys have been fortunate to have in-person school, however with cases increasing this may soon change. Whatever happens, we are grateful that they have had a sense of normalcy for almost a semester. The boys usually play soccer in the fall, but the season was postponed so they jumped into x cntry. The pandemic restrictions created new opportunities to try something completely new. They both made new friends and did well. 2020 has been a journey, full of lots of ups and downs…in the end we feel blessed and continue to pray for peace and grace. Thx you for your words of wisdom and encouragement! Love your book and am gifting copies to my fellow boy mom tribe!!

    1. Hey Linda– I love this so much. Seriously, well done. I’m with you with all of the crazy out there –but you are walking through it with such wisdom and grace. Thank you so much for reading and sharing my book, too, that means so much to me. I imagine CO is absolutely stunning right now and it must be one of the most dreamy places to be at Christmastime. I hope you continue to enjoy the good and be patient with the rest! 🙂 Blessings-

  13. Desire' Robertson says:

    Such a lovely newsy coffee-date email Monica. I love your hair. Although I prefer a fringe on myself (commonly called bangs in America), I do think the no-fringe style suits you (and is that a natural curl you have? Stunning!)

    By the way, a very belated but heartfelt happy birthday to you. It sounds like you had a wonderful time with your parents and older boys.

    Your garden sounds like a veritable paradise with all the fruit trees, some of which I have never heard of, never mind tasted.

    I live in Sydney, Australia, and so we are in spring now, shortly to enter summer in two weeks :). I love spring but since we are fairly new to Australia from South Africa, I find the spring here a bit like a drawn-out winter (well that has been my experience for the last two springs we have had in Sydney). Some lovely spring-weather days interspersed with cold wintery days that had me pulling out my winter woolies again after I had clearly packed them away too soon this year.

    Our lockdown has improved and we are able to go to most places now (although social distancing is still requested). Since we are fairly new to Sydney, I love exploring and sightseeing and have been delighted to be able to get out exploring again after our lockdown.

    With the ease in restrictions, we will be able to go on a little beach holiday about 2 hours north of where we live for Christmas. Very exciting!

    I so enjoy your blog (I have followed you for many years on your blog – I don’t follow the other social media platforms) and now your podcast – you have such Godly advice which I really appreciate.

    Wishing you an enjoyable fall/autumn and I am not sure if there is a need to encourage you to keep warm as I am not sure how cold it gets during winter in Hawaii.


    1. Desire’! LOVE hearing from you and tried to even imagine your accent as I read your words! 🙂 Now I’m curious to see you with your “fringe” haha, but thank you for the kind words…I’m trying to be patient with the grow-out process. I studied one semester of college in Canberra and made my way to Sydney a number of times –Oh how I loved Australia!! I’m sure it’s wonderful to go exploring! Very strange to switch seasons but you sound like a trooper keeping a good attitude through it all. Blessings on your upcoming holiday. Thank you for following my blog for years (I am humbled) and please keep in touch. Sending hugs and Aloha–

  14. Hi Monica!!! So thankful for you & belated happy birthday!!! I’m saying hi from Canada where we had a little respite from already child weather which was glorious…now we are back to the cold and I’m honestly dreading the winter with covid restrictions and 3 boys under 5! My oldest is going to a little Christian school which we are SO thankful for and the other two are always home! They are fun & hilarious and forever intent on destroying our home…but big blessings. I love hearing about your life & your boys and pray daily that God will give my boys hearts for Him above all else! These days feel super hard and long…but at the same time I know I need to treasure these little years! Thanks for sharing your heart and wisdom with us!!

    1. Oh Amanda, I can just imagine the energy in your home. I pray you really can just soak in the fun of it…It will pass, though the winter may be long. Hang in there and thank you so much for taking time to comment. Big hugs!

  15. Sounds like some awesome plans for your family with all of those fruit trees 😍. I’m looking forward to having a few extra days off next week, celebrating Thanksgiving a little differently and turning 40 the day after! This spring I figured we’d be back to normal and I’d be traveling somewhere fun for my birthday but here we are with plans getting changed once again.

    1. Awww, I know the feeling! Happy Birthday to you and I hope you can enjoy winter just as it is… Aloha!

  16. You are such an inspiration. I turn 48 in January and I’m in shock. I’m closer to 50 then 40. I had a surprise baby at 42 and he turns 5 in December. He makes me feel younger then I am everyday. I recently realized that I’m blessed with my age and it’s just a number. I pray God can use me to mentor or share godly wisdom with others. Our world needs Him!

    1. Such great perspective!! Yes, we are blessed with every day God gives us. Thank you for commenting! xo

  17. Andrea Rueter says:

    Thank you for all you do for moms. I found your blog ( like many moms) through your post on porn and have been following ever since. I have loved your book and your podcast is amazing. I regularly discuss it with my husband and talk about you like I actually know you! Anyway, we recently had to move because of a Covid job loss and it’s been difficult. One of things that brightens my day is taking a walk to explore my new town while listening to your podcast. And I love coffee too so I’ll be checking out that machine! Many blessings on your day!

    1. Thank you Andrea!! I love that you talk like you know me — That’s my heart! 🙂 So sorry about your recent necessary move…but I love walking and exploring. What area are you in? Big hugs to you — and tipping my coffee cup in cheers to you.

  18. Love the coffee date blog posts. Thanks for your encouragement and character training course.
    Here in Nebraska our weather is trying to decide if it should give in to winter just yet… 57 degree days and then 30 degree days. We had a huge ice storm last week that knocked our power out and snapped dozens of trees but the ice covered everything was beautiful!
    Covid is crazy here but lots to be thankful for. Oldest daughter started high school swim team and so proud of her dedication to a very tough sport. Still trying to meet with our youth group and watching “The Chosen” with them. Check out this series about Jesus if you haven’t- LIFE CHANGING! 💛

    1. Thank you Megan!! Crazy weather there — but honestly sounds exciting to us (we don’t get a lot of variety around here as you know…haha.) Yay for swim team!! And the Chosen is my favorite — I keep wanting to host a weekly Chosen party! Way to go. Big hugs to you!

      1. What a delightful thought to imagine coffee on your back porch in Hawaii! I was in Hawaii once, way back in 2000! It’s been on my list of places to return to! Absolutely loved it! Ive been teasing my husband and kids that since I have a friend there now, so we could visit your family for Christmas. Hawaii is one of few states CT will allow us to travel to these days, instead of going home to IL. Fall was a beauty this year. I think the leaves held on extra long this year because they knew we needed that extra beauty! So many gorgeous fall days with that blue September sky…even into November! It’s cold now, definitely can feel the winter chill. Our four children are all at home schooling. Two doing remote learning in our local high school, the other two I’m homeschooling. The days are mostly good! Lots to be thankful for, health especially! The past week got the best of me and I shed lots of tears. I think I’m grieving the losses of the upcoming holidays and the past years stresses. Makes me long for heaven even more…where there will be no more tears or heartache. But I have a good good Father who holds me and comforts me, so close to His heart. He knows my days ahead, and I’m thankful. I appreciate your friendship and encouragement, though we’ve never met. I look forward to sharing coffee someday in our heavenly home! Have a blessed Thanksgiving! ❤️

        1. Diana– Thank you so much for having virtual coffee with me. What a great update…and truly appreciate the honest hard part too. So awesome to allow this time to point our gaze to heaven…and yes, how much fun it will be to share eternal coffee dates! ❤️ Glad things are going as well as they are there and keep up the amazing work juggling various school situations and all of that. None of this is easy. I hope you have an amazing thanksgiving and make the most of it all! XO

  19. Hi Monica! Love your coffee updates. It’s definitely Fall in Northwest Jersey and the air is so chilly. But living here in the mountains makes this the most beautiful time of year and nothing makes me happier than seeing all the leaves show their colors. Our house backs up to woods followed by the lake and the view this time of year is perfect to sit on the back deck with MY morning coffee although I definitely need a blanket those early mornings. We’ve even had the first dusting of snow…but I’m not ready for that yet. This year I have broken my “no Christmas before Thanksgiving” rule and allowed my husband to start decorating for Christmas already (2020 rules). It is bringing me more joy than I expected especially since we are having Thanksgiving just the 2 of us and our 2 boys this year. With health issues in our parents, it’s not worth the risk of exposing them since my boys are still out doing activities and going to school (part-time). It’s a little sad but I do believe it’s for the greater good and we are waiting to decide how we will spend Christmas, praying for case numbers to drop. I guess that’s it from up here. I look forward to hearing more and more about your new book! And happy birthday of course 🙂 Oh – and my Instagram handle is @tkallish

    1. Thank you so much Tania! I hope you have such a special, cozy-family Thanksgiving. Your view sounds just dreamy and I would love to have a morning coffee out there (with blanket, for sure!) Sending hugs and prayers for things to get better soon…xo

  20. Loved this update! And boy, would I LOVE to have a coffee date with you on your amazing lanai! We are super excited to visit home this Christmas and New Years! My husband (or son) has never experienced a Hawaiian NYE so I’m pretty excited about that! I’m a little nervous about all that’s happening (spiking cases in OH, etc) but we are just trusting that God is in control. Because if he isn’t sovereign over our trip, he’s not sovereign over the election, the virus, anything! Our new church launched in late October and we’ve been enjoying the time with our community. We’ve all been through tough times this year and it’s been so great to be moved and cared for by them!

    1. www, love all of this so much! I hope your trip is amazing and I’m sure your kids will love it! Yes, let’s just keep trusting God. His ways are so much higher…Big love to you!

  21. Dee McAuley says:

    Aloha and good morning! At least it’s morning here in NC! It’s fall but we’ve had a long “summer” with warmer than normal temperatures. Looking forward to a cool down this week to really feel like fall! At least we got to enjoy the fall leaves last month when we traveled to the NC mountains to visit our college senior. We also have a college junior on the NC coast – best of both worlds, but it breaks this Mama’s heart to have both boys grown and flown! As I often remind myself, this is what we prayed and prepped for all those years! still bittersweet and hard…
    We too are missing travel! We were fortunate to get a trip to Belize in back in February before Covid shut us down, and I got to celebrate my 50th there! Beautiful country and people. We also celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary next March (you and I are on a similar timeline!), and normally I would be planning an amazing trip, but it will have to wait.
    Prayers for the next book – loved the first!
    Blessings for you and your family! 💙

    1. Oh such fun updates Dee! Thank you. You’ll have to keep me posted on your anniversary trip b/c I have no idea what to plan/not plan. I WISH I had been to Belize before things closed down but we haven’t done a lot of traveling (other than to the same places on the mainland) so I am not super confident about planning. Tell me when you decide to go and I will follow! haha. 🙂 Sounds like a special season with your college boys and I hope you have wonderful holidays ahead! Big hugs —

  22. I’d share that my family and I got a quick getaway to escape it all last week to Maine.being a beach town where we stayed it was perfectly splendid that everything was shut down for the season and exactly what we needed to escape for just a bit.

    Ps Sunday the 22nd is my birthday!!! 🤞

    Twinkhaki (Instagram)

    1. Hey Karen! Yay for a good getaway, so glad! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you do something super special! Big hugs — (and see you on Insta!)

  23. We finally cleaned out the garden we planted with the boys this past spring. We taught them how to grow veggies from seeds. They loved it and went out every day to check on our plants. Afterwards the garden box looked sad so I sent the boys out with dump trucks and kids garden tools and told them to get dirty and have fun. I watched them from the sunroom window interact and start learning how to compromise. They are 5 and 4.
    We feel lucky our five year old has had 12 weeks of in person school. He is learning to read and is beyond proud of himself (as he should be). Our 4 year old got back to daycare at the end of June and is wicked smart. He is ready to start kindergarten now. He has a photographic memory.
    I am trying to come up with some solutions for Christmas. We usually spend the week at my parents and Santa finds us there. That is out of the question. My siblings will not allow it due to Covid. I’m trying not to burn down the family tree and come up with a solution for some kind of Christmas Day. My mother almost died this summer due to the lock downs. Long story short…active woman stuck in her home for weeks on end and developed blood clots. Despite going for care, she was blown off as just being stiff and depressed from Covid. She had a deadly saddle clot. We took her to the ER one night looking for answers. The specialist told us had she gone to bed instead of the ER she would have died. That’s how close we were. Anyhow, I’m trying to work with my Siblings to strike a balance between the virus today and tomorrow is not guaranteed. It is hard. Like many families, we are all in different places in relation to Covid. Hoping we can find a solution.
    Winter is coming here and I do hope we get some snow this year. Last year we didn’t have any. That is unusual, but little did we know 2020 would be full of unusual.
    Great coffee time!

    1. Oh my, Maribeth!! That is heavy stuff…Praying for your family now. So glad mom is ok! What a close call!! 😯 Sooo great getting kids in the dirt and learning about gardening. Keep up the amazing work. Sounds to me like you’ve got your head on your shoulders and I think you’ll have a great holiday season ahead! 🙂 (And chuckled out loud at the “trying not to burn down the family tree…” I get that. 🤣 )

  24. What a great update Monica. I’d love to share some of that delicious-looking coffee with you on your Hawaii back porch. I’m actually in Palm Springs, California right now visiting from Florida. I just turned 51 this past weekend and I’m visiting a dear friend – who just finished radiation treatment – at my husband’s urging. In this crazy time of Covid I’m really grateful for travel and more so for forever friends and a great husband. Things at home are super tough with our youngest son who’s 17. So the break is extra sweet. God bless you!

    1. Alexandra. Wow, what an update. I wish I could share my coffee (and a big hug) with you! Palm Springs is so beautiful, I know your friend must be so blessed by your visit, especially now. (and what a good husband!) I also hope this time away helps you zoom out and maybe gain some good perspective to help you parent your son when you return. hang in there — and keep up the great work! xo

  25. Blueberries in Hawaii, I would have never guessed! Dreamy garden goals ❤️ Hello Monica all the way from France! (Alaska girl marries French boy = 10 years & 2 little boys later) I find myself often translating your podcasts to my French mama friends- they are that good 😉 My neighborhood has ALL little boys! Ha ha. It’s the best. Over here we’ve been in lockdown since the beginning of November… curious what the holiday season will look like, but not letting that steal our joy. Hoping to create our own little ‘Christmas village’ in our garage for the neighbor kids and mulled wine for the parents. Bless you heaps!

    1. Holly! Oh this made me smile. 😀 Love imagining you in France with 2 little boys with all the neighborhood kids! (and translating my podcast, seriously — I’m humbled!) So sorry about lockdown…I’m afraid it’s about to happen everywhere…😬 But the Christmas village would probably end up being your kids best holiday memories. (and the mulled wine…oh delicious!) Much love —

  26. Emma Johnson says:

    I love your update Monica! Communication is very important right now, especially when hearts are breaking from covid-isolation and polictial stress. Thanks for the Bible verses, they are so encouraging! And I seriously would have coffee with you, even as a tea-lover!

    Much love!! Emma

    1. Awww, Emma. You are so right — Communication and staying connected in general is SO important! You’re so sweet– You might actually enjoy this coffee, but I’d also be happy to make you tea. 😉 big hugs!

  27. The leaves have almost finished changing here. Mostly cool weather mid 50s sometime we get to the 60s ☺️. I just turned 50 as well. 😜 we homeschool and the kids in college are on line. Hubs and I get along for the most part. We have tiny moments that didn’t last Very long. We are always on each other’s side. 23 years married next week. No big plans for thanksgiving we are on lock down again. Deciding to give thanks in ALL things.

    1. Kelly – thank you for the updates. I love it. Sounds like you and I have very similar lives right now! 🙂 Hang tight and keep up the great work in all ways. Sending hugs!

      1. Yes we do! I have 3 boys and 1 girl, ages 20-14!! All 2 years apart except the last 2 are 18 months. Side note we have an espresso machine and love it so much we roast our own beans. 😍 thanks for the encouragement to stay the course. 🙏🏼🙌🏼

  28. I currently live in Massachusetts, and let’s just say it’s a hard place to live in right now.

    But! I’m now homeschooling 3/4 kids, and they’re really hitting their stride and learning so much these days. I’m so proud of them.

    And tomorrow, I will be able to eat solid food for the first time in two months! Wish me luck relearning how to chew. 🙏🏼

    1. Amanda, sorry Mass. is hard right now…The world is strange right now, right? 🤷‍♀️ So happy homeschooling is going well — it’s the best feeling!! And now I’m curious why you haven’t been able to eat solid food…You ok? Hope you ENJOY!! 🙂

      1. Just a little major jaw and dental surgery. 🙂 I’m obviously very excited to eat again – food motivated like a dog. Ha!

  29. I live in Tennessee. We are beginning to have some cold evenings.
    This year has been hard, but God continues to be faithful. I am enjoying some date nights with my husband such as laying on our hammock on the deck and star gazing and taking daily walks together. I am also enjoying the extra time with my teen boys due to the fact that we spend more time at home.
    I am choosing to be thankful everyday despite a difficult year. A thankful heart is a happy heart.

    1. Rebecca– Oh I love this. Good job choosing good perspective! Enjoy those cool Tennessee evenings (I think I just heard a little Tennessee Christmas song run through my head…haha — was that Amy Grant? 😉) Sending lots of love — thanks for taking time to comment!

  30. Hi Monica! I most certainly look forward to and read blog posts!!! I love your coffee date sharing. It’s hard to imagine my boys in college, but five years will fly by and I hope we can build memories together while exploring the city each kiddo is studying near- just like you did! The fruit trees are super exciting! All you need is a rambutan tree…
    Outside of Chicago things are chugging along. The boys are in middle school for two days at school and three at home. I couldn’t be more proud of how they are handling things, but I’m sure we’d all appreciate a safe return to normal as soon as possible.
    If we were really having coffee, I’d tell you how much our family is missing travel. As public educators, we are minding the travel advisories and have only slipped away to a neighboring state not on the list a few times in the last year. We had some pretty epic trips canceled due to covid. We’d love to begin planning for next summer, but I’m not sure if that is wise. Big sigh… At least we are safe at home and have everything we need.
    Aloha to you and your family!
    PS- How lovely to offer a giveaway! Should my name be drawn, please go on to the next reader. I am still enjoying the Clark Little postcards I won years ago that hang in my office : )

    1. Shannon! I ALWAYS love hearing from you! Yes, those five years will fly by…guarnateed. But I have a feeling you’ll enjoy each season as much as I have!
      Funny you mentioned Rambutan — I am pretty sure that is one I forgot to mention! haha (I’ll double check with Dave, but that sounds familiar…whatever it is! ha!)
      Yes to missing travel…you are so good at keeping perspective and making the best of things. I am with you about 2021– It is Dave and my 25th anniversary next April and I really wanted to plan our first trip to Europe. Now I’m not sure for a few reasons. :/ hmph. And you are so sweet– but no way– if your name is chosen you know you could find a new book on Amazon! 🙂 Sending hugs!

  31. Took a fall walk today here in PA and neat to hear the leaves russeling on the ground with a slight wind!
    Loved hearing about all your fruit grown on your property, some I’ve never heard of tasted before. Neat that even tumeric is included, as I drink a tumeric chai tea nightly! That would be a great other post by you to show pics and explain what you do with all the fruit,and what some of the less common ones are and tastle like! I enjoy your posts!

    1. ohhhh, Fall in PA sounds dreamy! 🙂 And yes, I’ll look forward to sharing more from the garden as it grows (and as i learn how to use some of the new fruits!) Tumeric is super healthy, I am trying to use it in more recipes! I haven’t tried it in chai tea but I will have to!

  32. Christina says:

    We are preparing for my sweet sister’s wedding. She’s marrying a Marine Corps officer and gets to move to San Diego. We are praying that further closures don’t happen before her big (albeit small) day happens! And I LOVE the podcasts with David Thomas. It’s great to hear a man’s perspective on boys! Thank you. Please have him back again.

    1. Thank you Christina! It’s such a challenging time for those getting married — I do hope and pray your sister gets to have her dream wedding, despite the less-than-idea circumstances. I’ll try to get David back on for sure! Blessings!